Marvel’s What If …? The Scarlet Witch’s most terrifying moment was given a darker twist and shows how the situation could have gone more disastrously.
While several memorable moments from Marvel history could be classified as iconic, very few are as significant as M-Day. With just three words that the Scarlet Witch reduced the population of mutants across the world to a tiny fraction of its former self. As shocking as it was, What If…made things infinitely dark by expanding the reach of the grief of Wanda to include almost every villain and hero the Marvel Universe has ever known.
Brian Reed, Jim McCann, and Paolo Pantalena’s “What If… Scarlet Witch Ended the ‘House of M’ by Saying, ‘No More Power?” from the pages of the 2008 issue of What If? House of brought readers back to the moment in which Wanda Maximoff single-handedly altered the course of history. After the shocking truth of the incidents of House of M was revealed and her brother Quicksilver was killed by Magneto, Wanda took it upon herself to attack their father in the most brutal way possible. Rather than erasing the powers of mutants however this time, the Scarlet Witch determined to wipe them out by changing a single word.
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What If …? Remixed Marvel’s M-Day
In uttering “No further powers,” in place of “No more mutants,” Wanda left not just Magneto and the other mutants, but the likes of the Avengers completely powerless as well. The extent of this shift was enough to make you shiver, but the fallout caused it to be even more alarming. It amplified what readers knew already in frightening new ways. The primary Marvel timeline’s M-Day version saw anti-mutant terrorists make use of the occasion to unleash a volley of attacks against institutions that were then in no way protected. What If? the House of M created a power vacuum that was unlike any other? In turn more traditional or technologically inclined groups such as A.I.M., Hydra, and The Hand came together as an unstoppable force of evil.
Fortunately, heroes who had no inherent superhuman capabilities like Iron Man were still able of standing in the front. Although this was a way to emphasize the severity of Wanda’s actions, however, it wasn’t enough. While Wanda’s Decimation was reversed within the Marvel Universe, it is not possible to prove that it was ever reversed in the What If? counterpart is an egregious reminder of just how bad things could have turned out. However, this isn’t just the case for comics. There are many reasons for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to explore similar, if not the same terrain.
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How a World Without Powers Could Look in the MCU
While mutants aren’t playing a significant role in the MCU just yet there’s no reason to believe M Day or the Decimation would show up on the big screen anytime soon. In terms of the tiny screen, however, Marvel’s What If …? This is an ideal location to investigate the worst-case scenarios that Wanda’s reality-warping abilities could lead to. Although there are obvious concerns about where this story would be able to go, based on MCU’s previous offerings, the answers are equally evident.
In 2021’s WandaVision and 2022’s Doctor Strange, in the Multiverse of Madness, Elizabeth Olsen played the Scarlet Witch and was an evil threat that can alter the world according to her preferences. In both cases, they also gave Wanda a heroic moment that made her a better person in the sense. If none of these events had occurred, Wanda would have the opportunity to take on the most harmful elements of her power like Doctor Strange did in the first season’s What If. This would allow Wanda to take on the other power of the universe, and could also be the start of her quest to never lose again. The fans could see this dark side if there is a continuation of the series.