'Splainin to do

'WandaVision' leaks: The "engineer" isn't Reed Richards, it's someone better

"This is Blue Marvel, signing off."

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is full of people who know people, but that doesn't always mean people are who you think they are. In the case of WandaVision on Disney+, Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) has twice now teased a friend who is an "aerospace engineer" that could solve the problem going down in Westview, New Jersey.

Marvel fans have spent every week buzzing that the unnamed "aerospace engineer" is Reed Richards, also known as "Mister Fantastic" and leader of the Fantastic Four. But what if it's not Reed Richards? What if Monica's friend is someone even better?

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The Theory — On February 13, Marvel fan Jimmy Folino shared on his Twitter account of 12,200-plus followers, @MrNiceGuy513, his own theory about the identity of Monica's "aerospace engineer" contact.

"Reminder that Adam Brashear and Monica Rambeau dated in the comics," tweeted Folino. "I hope the Aerospace Engineer Monica knows is Blue Marvel." Folino included a tender moment between Monica and Blue Marvel from Avengers: No Road Home #10, published in 2019.

Shortly after Folino tweeted their theory, other places picked up on its possibility, including Fansided and CinemaBlend. And now, the theory is picking up steam as KC Walsh, editor in chief of news site Geeks WorldWide quote-tweeted Folino with a GIF of Kathryn Hahn (as her "Agnes" from WandaVision) playfully winking from Episode 3.

Is Folino actually onto something?

Who is the Blue Marvel?

Monica Rambeau as Spectrum and the Blue Marvel in Avengers: No Road Home #10.Marvel Comics

To understand the theory, one must know the Blue Marvel. Created by Underworld creator and actor Kevin Grevioux, Blue Marvel is Adam Brashear, a Black American superhero who has operated with the Mighty Avengers and the Ultimates. He holds a Ph.D. in theoretical physics and a Master of Science in electrical engineering from Cornell University. In fact, Adam gained his powers, including super-strength, stamina, flight, super-speed, and energy manipulation from a scientific experiment gone awry. (Big surprise.)

The accident allowed his body, now altered by mutagenic radiation, to draw power from the Negative Zone. A big side effect is that Adam ages slowly. While he should be in his 80s, physically, he looks no older than 40.

Cover of Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel #1, written by Kevin Grevioux.Marvel Comics

Though he made his comic book debut just 12 years ago in 2008, Blue Marvel's canonical history goes back to the Korean War. He was a decorated veteran awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Kennedy. But on the same day, Kennedy asked Adam to retire, as America in 1962 was unprepared to accept a Black superhero. After one more mission that put him in contact with Uatu the Watcher, Adam retired and became a professor of physics at the University of Maryland.

Unbeknownst to him, his wife Marlene Frazier was an undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agent assigned to watch Adam, whose superpowers made him a possible threat in the eyes of the government. Though the discovery of Marlene's true nature caused their marriage to strain, the two patched things up. Unfortunately, Marlene was killed by Anti-Man in collateral damage.

Since his debut in 2008, Blue Marvel has been a semi-regular presence in the Marvel Universe, often appearing in books like Mighty Avengers and The Ultimates. As of 2019, Blue Marvel is in a relationship with Monica Rambeau, who is now operating under the name Spectrum.

This also raises some interesting questions if Blue Marvel really is Monica's "friend" in WandaVision. Were they dating before the Blip? Did Adam move on after Monica got dusted? Could that explain why she seemed to bristle at the mention of Captain Marvel? The debut of this character could give Marvel yet another chance to explore the unexpected impact of Avengers: Endgame on the broader MCU.

The Blue Marvel, with teammates Captain Marvel, America Chavez, Spectrum, and Black Panther, in Ultimates #3.Marvel Comics

The Inverse Analysis — Since Marvel announced a new Fantastic Four movie back in December, fans believe WandaVision is setting up the pieces for Marvel's Fantastic Four. (I admit, I thought so too.) While Marvel's adaptation will be the fifth Fantastic Four movie, Marvel's movie will be the first in the MCU canon, which is why fans are holding their breaths for an epic reveal.

But because the Fantastic Four is such a big deal, and Blue Marvel has a more focused history with Monica than the Fantastic Four, it stands to reason that WandaVision can more realistically introduce a character like Adam/Blue Marvel than Reed Richards.

While it's true Reed is an aerospace engineer and Adam is not, it's also true the MCU will retool a character's story to suit what the franchise needs. Wanda, for example, is not Sokovian in the comics but Romani. "Sokovia" was introduced exclusively for the MCU.

Stepping out of the MCU for a second, the reveal of Reed Richards or any of the Fantastic Four requires a stage at San Diego Comic-Con, not a cameo appearance in a streaming show. (We've been truly spoiled by The Mandalorian setting such epic expectations.)

While this shouldn't rule out all references to the Fantastic Four, fans ought to temper expectations for when, not if, Reed Richards doesn't appear in WandaVision. At least until he does.

WandaVision streams new episodes Fridays on Disney+.