The following story contains spoilers for WandaVision episode 7.
- After teasing for much of the season, Episode 7 of WandaVision finally saw the first glimpse of Monica Rambeau gaining powers.
- She first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1982, and has had numerous superhero identities, including one containing her mother’s MCU nickname: Photon.
- We’ve only seen a small glimpse of her powers at work so far—but will certainly be seeing more.
For several episodes, WandaVision has been hinting at the idea that Captain Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) could be becoming something more than human. As she went in and out of the Westview Hex, Monica was warned by Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) that her cells were entirely re-writing themselves, changing the fiber of her very being. We knew this would continue to happen; her clothing was completely changed the first time she went in. When she came out, not only was it changed to be period-appropriate, but it was made of 87% Kevlar.
Now, having re-entered The Hex—after a very dramatic sequence featuring some flashbacks to her childhood as depicted in Captain Marvel and surely foreshadowing her coming appearance in Captain Marvel 2—Monica seems to be fully changed. Not only did she make it through the magical barrier without falling into a trance or having her get-up changed, but she’s now complete with some sort of super powers. Her eyes are a cosmic blue, and from a quick POV shot, we can see that she’s seeing things differently, too. Could she be a new hero herself, taking on her late mother’s nickname: Photon?
Superpowers aside—and believe me, we’ll get to the superpowers—Monica has fairly easily proven herself to be the strongest characters in this whole damn series. Yes, obviously Wanda has powers that are basically controlling an entire town, and probably will be revealed to have literal mutli-dimensional powers too. But even before getting special abilities, Monica has shown a perseverance throughout the series that kind of feels special in these movies—it reminds, in some ways, of Steve Rogers in the first Captain America or maybe even more aptly, her aunt Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel. A desire to do good at whatever personal cost.
Monica’s lost her mother super recently. And clearly had some kind of history with Carol Danvers that we haven’t entirely seen or heard all of. When she walked her body through that Hex portal, and the lines from the past were behind her, and her various selves were scattered, it garners an emotional response. We don’t know what, exactly, even, we’re feeling. But Teyonah Parris does such a good job that we know she wants this. And she wants to do it right. And she’s going to push her way through it, because that’s how strong this character is.
While the story of WandaVision revolves around our two titular Avengers, Monica has been the covert hero of the story from the very beginning, before we even realized that she was the Captain hailing from S.W.O.R.D. And now, as we see her trying her best to save Wanda from Hayward’s plans to obtain Vision and use him as a weapon, and whatever Agatha Harkness is up to, she’s got some newfound powers—and perhaps a new identity as Photon—to break in.
So, what are Monica’s powers?
It’s not entirely clear yet what kind of powers and abilities Monica has gained from her entering and exiting The Hex. But we’ve seen it formulate in a couple moments. Most clearly, we’ve seen her eyes change to a new shade of blue. But we’ve also seen Monica now absorb a blast from Wanda. We know she’s changed, because we’ve seen Monica take a blast from Wanda before—last time, the energy blasted her through walls and walls and right out of The Hex. This time, she just absorbed it, falling on the sidewalk in a classic hero’s pose.
When Monica’s eyes are that blue shade, she sees the world in a different way. That changes when she blinks it away. But know it’s there.
It’s hard to say definitively what any of this means as of yet, because we haven’t seen it put to practice (there’s still two episodes left, so just be patient). Her primary comic ability, though, was the absorption and manipulation of energy—that would seem to be what we saw when Wanda smashed her to the ground, and she landed with blue swirls of power around her. She used Wanda’s energy for her own good.
Monica’s other powers in the comics included super speed, and the ability to take non-physical forms. All of these, if actualized, could not only play into WandaVision, but Monica’s role within Captain Marvel, too.
Does Monica Rambeau have powers in the Marvel Comics?
She sure does. In fact, she’s gone by several different names—besides Monica Rambeau, of course—throughout her time in the Marvel universe. Some of the most notable of these include the second Captain Marvel (even before Carol Danvers in the comic canon), Photon, Pulsar, and Spectrum. For a stretch in 1987, Monica was even the leader of The Avengers.
Monica’s adventures as Captain Marvel have even been collected in a trade paperback, which was released in 2019.
WandaVision is setting Monica up to become Photon.
Of all her past alter-egos, the one it makes the most sense for Monica to fully become within the MCU is Photon. Obviously there’s already a Captain Marvel in Carol Danvers, and Monica was a part of her origin story. The name Photon already holds sentimental value for Monica in WandaVision, as we saw in Episode 4 that her “Photon” was a nickname of her late mother, Maria, who was the founder of S.W.O.R.D. and a best friend to Carol Danvers.
In the comics, Monica changed her name to Photon after conceding the title of Captain Marvel to Genis-Vell, the son of Mar-Vell (the latter character played by Annette Bening in the first Captain Marvel film). We don’t think the WandaVision story is going to quite reach this point—but it would make a lot of sense if her hero name simply settled in at Photon. Once she takes a deep breath and understands what’s happened to her, that is.
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