BY MATT TUCK
What was up with the Nexus reference in WandaVision and what does it mean to comic collectors? Here’s your obscure character checklist.
WandaVision’s mock commercials are getting weirder by the episode. This has become one of the hallmarks of the show. The nostalgic ads are tied directly to the Scarlet Witch, with allusions that range from Stark Industries to Baron Von Strucker. There is no doubt they are bread crumbs left by the show runners just to drive MCU theorists insane. And it is working, I can attest to that. At least it gives us something to discuss, right?
After Episode Six’s dark "Yo-Magic" yogurt or whatever it was (the one with the claymation kid who gets an ironic death from not being able to open his Yo-Magic snack), last week’s commercial “advertised” what appeared to be an antidepressant called Nexus.
In the comics, the Nexus is basically the center of the multiverse, which gives rise to Nexus Beings. They are the linchpins of their corners of the multiverse, critical in holding its reality together. It does not necessarily mean they are all godlike beings, although some are. It is more about importance as each is critical to keeping a timeline’s reality coherent.
In other words, they are convenient plot devices for writers who want to mix up the origin stories or the state of the Marvel 616 and need a handy explanation. Nexus ex machina, baby.
Guess who is considered a Nexus Being? That’s right - the random guy in the circus outfit that chased Darcy and Vision after they stole the truck. No, wait. It’s Scarlet Witch. If someone who can stop mutants from reproducing and change an entire timeline with her mind is not a Nexus Being, who is?
Going back to the comics, she is included among the likes of other Nexus Beings such as headliners Vision, Kang the Conqueror, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Odin, and even second-tier characters like Havok and Rick Jones.
Marvel tends to follow through on its Easter eggs (there was even an Easter egg within an Easter egg after the Man-Thing image in the Nexus ad), and having such a direct reference to the Nexus will result in...well, something. The idea of the Nexus and Nexus Beings is so expansive that it could be used for a wide variety of roles in the MCU. What it could mean is that Marvel Studios may use the Nexus to incorporate, shall we say, lesser-known characters into the cinematic universe, though that is a gross understatement. Generally speaking, even longtime Marvel Comics readers don’t know all of these names.
With so many characters considered “Nexus Beings,” today we will focus our attention on five relatively obscure characters that could appear in the MCU along with their first appearances. Check out the full list over at Comic Vine.
The premiere of Immortus is a bit complicated. Technically, the initial time he is referred to as “Immortus” was in Avengers #10. However, as his fans know, he is actually a version of Kang the Conqueror/Rama-Tut. The time-traveller apparently was offered a deal by the Time-Keepers to stop conquering and start preserving timelines. Thus, Immortus was born, and he even sports a giant hat that is the envy of Galactus.
With Kang confirmed for the third Ant-Man movie, it is not out of the realm of possibility that we could see some version of Immortus in the MCU. It could happen.
Want to collect that Immortus premiere? Not only is it an early Avengers comic, the price also gets the bump from it being the debut of the catchphrase, “Avengers, assemble!”
Who is Leonard Tippit? Didn’t he play Mr. Spock in the 1960s? Different Leonard.
Debuting in Avengers #101, he is a teleporter with the power of energy blasts. Unfortunately, he was too busy to give himself a cool villain codename. He gained cosmic powers thanks to the Watcher, who hatched a plot worthy of The Terminator; Tippit would kill the parents of four children destined to bring about the apocalypse. Leonard did not last long in the comics, which is likely why hardly anyone has heard of him.
Of all the characters on today’s list, Lore may be the most likely to appear in live action. She only lasted three issues, but those just so happened to be part of Wanda Maximoff’s solo series, specifically Scarlet Witch #2-4. Lore is a fellow sorceress with skills on par with Scarlet Witch. In the comics, she wanted to conquer dimensions of the multiverse. It didn’t go so well, and she died in SW #4.
The whizz in wizards, the source of sorcerers, the ayatollah of rock and rolla, Merlyn (brought to you buy the letter “y” because spelling it with an “i” was passe) is far from being an obscure character. For Thor’s sake, he is part of the foundation of the King Arthur legend.
But not everyone may realize that he is also a Marvel Comics character, and he is ranked among the Nexus Beings. With all the witches and wizards floating around the MCU, it would not be too surprising to see Merlyn make a cameo at some point.
In Marvel history, Merlyn first appeared in 1944’s Young Allies #11 back in the days of Timely Comics.
Is there anything here that doesn’t scream Bronze Age? While his costume may have come straight from the dance floor of Studio 54, he is a sorcerer from the 31st century (because hailing from the 32nd century would have been absurd).
All the way in the 31st century, apparently everyone is magical. Sise-Neg, still angry over his terrible name, wanted to be the most magical, and not just under the disco ball, either. In a bout of unsurpassed comic book logic, Sise-Neg found a way to travel through time to somehow get even more magic and possibly become a god. So there you have the villainous origin story of Sise-Neg, who first appeared in 1974’s Marvel Premiere #13.
As odd as it may sound, Sise-Neg could work in the MCU. Being magical, he fits into the worlds of Scarlet Witch and Doctor Strange, and he has been known to throw down with the good doctor. At this rate, every character will get an MCU moment, why not Sise-Neg?
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is also a teacher, freelance writer, comic collector, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.