Who is Monica Rambeau, and why does she matter to 'WandaVision'?

Monica Rambeau laying on the ground in WandaVision.
(Image credit: WandaVision)

This post contains spoilers for WandaVision.

WandaVision is still firing on all cylinders after the third episode. We’ve been introduced to most of their neighbors and some of the other residents of Westview, and there have been plenty of hints that things aren’t what they seem. In this newest episode titled "Now In Color", we get a healthy dose of Geraldine (Teyonah Parris), a woman Wanda (Elizabeth Olson) befriended while at the fundraiser meeting in the previous episode. 

While we don’t fully know yet why she is in Westview, we learn by the end of "Now In Color" that Geraldine’s presence there is much different from the other residents. After Geraldine mentions a detail about Wanda’s brother's death, she is quickly booted right out of Westview. When she finally lands, she’s outside of what looks like some kind of military perimeter and is greeted by military personnel—likely S.W.O.R.D. agents. But back to Geraldine, who is actually Monica Rambeau. 

MCU Monica Rambeau is the child of Maria Rambeau, best friend of Carol Danvers. We haven’t seen Monica since the end of Captain Marvel. She’s all grown up now and presumably working with or for S.W.O.R.D. A stark departure from her comic’s history. For those unfamiliar, you may be asking how Monica fits into WandaVision and her character's significance. An Easter egg from "Now In Color" might shine some light on that.

Monica Rambeau's Origins

Before Carol Danvers started calling herself Captain Marvel, that was Monica’s moniker. She wasn’t just the first female Captain Marvel; she was the first resident of Earth to go by the name period. In the Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16, Monica becomes Captain Marvel after destroying an energy disruptor with her bare hands. She develops powers that allow her to turn herself into any pure form of energy, like gamma rays. Before this happens, Monica was having a hell of a bad day at work. The show makes a nod to Monica’s struggles at the workplace when she recants her day to a very pregnant Wanda.

In the show, she mentions how she goes above and beyond to help her boss develop a pitch idea for the agency she works at as a temp. Her story ends with getting a promotion, the exact opposite of what happens to her in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16. In her origin story, she is working as a harbor patrol officer. Monica is passed on again for a promotion to captain. A promotion she rightfully deserves, but her boss is a misogynistic prick, to put it lightly. This prompts Monica to quit and subsequently leads to her becoming Captain Marvel. It was always in her destiny, her boss be damned. Monica goes on to become the first and only Black woman ever to lead the Avengers. 

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Comic Ties with Wanda and Vision

Wanda and Vision are still with the team when Monica joins, and they do have some interaction with one another. In Avengers #233, Monica helps save Vision when he is left comatose after phasing through a force field that pops up out of nowhere downtown. None of the Avengers except Monica can break through it. She goes into space to slingshot herself around the sun and strikes the force field as her body is in the form of a gamma-ray laser. It breaks, and everyone is finally able to get to Vision in hopes of helping him. In the next issue, Wanda and Monica strike up a conversation after learning they both speak French, which prompts Wanda to share her life’s story with Monica. Soon after, Monica assures Wanda she doesn’t have to feel like she has to face her problems alone anymore. By Avengers #235, Vision is still unresponsive, but Wanda and Monica have become closer. 

Monica Rambeau turns herself into pure energy.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Monica’s presence in WandaVision makes sense. She was an Avenger just like the couple and has established relationships with them both. Now what their relationship will be now that Monica’s cover as Geraldine has been blown, we don’t know, but this won’t be Monica’s first time trying to help the Visions in any way she can.  

Monica goes by the codename Spectrum these days in the comics, and it’s probably safe to assume she’ll go by Spectrum at some point in the MCU. She’s had many names since Captain Marvel was taken from her. No matter what name she goes by, be it Geraldine or whatever, the fact remains: there is only one Monica Rambeau.