Like many X-men Universe fans, I am so glad to hear about the addition of Scarlet Witch to the lineup for the latest Avengers movie. As one of the most interesting and complex characters in the Marvel Universe — and one that has been frequently served the role of the crazy woman in the attic or the deux ex machina, my standards for not screwing up her portrayal are super-low.
However, I hope that instead of casting Scarlet Witch with whomever is the latest blondish starlet, she is portrayed by a woman of color. Scarlet Witch has a unique power — to control the perception of and occasionally alter actual reality, but most important for Marvel continuity, is the daughter of Magneto. Many great Internet debates have centered on Magneto’s heritage, but the movies made the choice for Jewish over Roma. However, Scarlet Witch/ Wanda was raised by a Roma family — and her deceased mother was also Roma. The continuity of the movies has Magneto as a child during the Holocaust, thereby making the Scarlet Witch’s traditional birth year of 1958 impossible.
But why couldn’t Scarlet Witch be born in Vietnam, during or shortly after the Vietnam War? Or otherwise have a backstory allowing for her to be portrayed by a woman of color?
One thing becomes obvious when looking at the present cast of Avengers compared to at least the more modern version of the X-men — it is very male and very white. Having Scarlet Witch portrayed by a woman of color would help bring a different type of balance than the Hawkeye Initiative. Changing an originally white character has already taken place within this continuity twice — Nick Fury and Heimdall — why not make it three?