Sure, you’re all talking about that moment from this week’s WandaVision. We get it! It’s pretty much all we’ve been thinking about too. But don’t miss the forest for the trees as episode five still had plenty of other secrets up its sleeve, including Monica Rambeau’s mysterious reference to an aerospace engineer. So as usual we are here to wildly speculate about who she might have been talking about and what it means. We have some educated reasons for our speculating though…
“I know an aerospace engineer.”
During the action-packed drama of episode five, you might have missed the moment where Monica states, “I know an aerospace engineer who’d be up for this challenge.” If you did hear her, maybe your mind went to Captain Marvel. It would make sense. Carol Danvers was at least a pilot, but later on we see that Monica doesn’t seem fond of Carol. So you can wipe her off your proverbial Jimmy Woo conspiracy theory board. Monica’s face lights up when she thinks of her aerospace engineer friend, and though she doesn’t name them we have some thoughts… four to be exact.
In case you weren’t aware we’ve been very excited about the Fantastic Four entering the MCU. After episode four we were pretty sure that WandaVision was setting up their entry and now after “On a Very Special Episode…” we think we were right. See, the Marvel Universe has very few well known aerospace engineers. But one man and his fantastic family fit into the role perfectly—they just happened to be invented before that was the popular verbiage for what they did. Yes, we are saying that Monica was referencing a member of the Fantastic Four. Most likely Mister Fantastic himself, Reed Richards.
The Fantastic Four???
Introducing the Fantastic Four has long been a fan favorite theory and albatross around Marvel’s neck. After all, they didn’t own the film rights to their own first family for decades. And they already have an established world of heroes to work with. So, understandably, theories about how they could join abound from the Negative Zone to time travel. But it seems in a startling occurrence of Occam’s Razor, the simplest answer is the right one. Rather than having to explain where the Fantastic Four have been, maybe they just don’t exist yet. Perhaps Reed, Sue, Ben, and Johnny are just friends of Monica? Could they have studied together? Monica is a space explorer, after all. And this would be a great way to introduce a new iteration of heroes into the MCU without any retconning or shenanigans.
The best part about this theory is the fact that Monica and Reed have an existing relationship in the comics. It’s one that goes back to her first ever titular solo issue: 1989’s Captain Marvel #1 from Dwayne McDuffie and M.D. Bright. The comic introduced the world to Monica’s superhero alter ego. It’s a gorgeous issue that features dynamic yet naturalistic art that is still some of the best to grace the publisher’s pages. But in the midst of Monica’s solo debut, she has a key interaction with Reed Richards.
When Monica’s powers change, it’s Reed that she visits for help. But Reed isn’t the only member of the Fantastic Four who has an important connection to Monica. During her first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16, it’s Ben Grimm who encourages Monica to take on the mantle of Captain Marvel, telling her of the history of the hero who came before her.
Give Sue Storm Her Due
When Monica says she knows an aerospace engineer that might help them, it makes a lot of sense to think it could be Reed or Ben. But we’d like to propose another option: what if it’s Sue? Both the films and the comics have struggled to give Sue her due. She’s often more interested in being a mother, supportive wife, and sister than pursuing her own career. In fact, in the much maligned Fantastic Four reboot from 2015 she doesn’t even get to go on the expedition that gives the team their powers!
Making Sue the mysterious aerospace engineer friend would be super cool, especially as a way to reintroduce the Fantastic Four to a new generation. And with Monica’s powers clearly on the way—note that weird MRI scan—Reed could have his uses too. Perhaps he gets called in by Sue when Monica’s powers manifest?
There’s also the fact that Secret Invasion and the Fantastic Four are intrinsically connected, with the Skrulls as perennial antagonists to the First Family. So, if as we suspect, the Marvel Studio shows are setting up a big Secret Invasion crossover, then introducing Reed and family now makes sense. Doing it via S.W.O.R.D. and Monica feels natural and real to the world of the MCU too.
If we wanted to avoid origin story overkill altogether, maybe the four and Monica have been on space missions before and they already have the beginnings of their powers? That’s less likely but it could be an interesting route. Whichever way the MCU goes, it seems like Monica might be our way into meeting the Fantastic Four, and we think that’s the best possible outcome.
Featured Image: Disney+