WandaVision: Wanda’s $850 Million ‘Hex’

Wanda’s actions are creating a financial crisis in the Marvel Cinematic-Universe.

Credit: The Walt Disney Company

The new Disney+ series, WandaVision, is the latest Marvel content to arrive on the platform since its start in November of 2019. It is an exciting sitcom featuring Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) with a whole cast of characters. On the outskirts of the sitcom land, West View, is the conglomerate of organizations lead by S.W.O.R.D. officers; Captain Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), Director Tyler Hayward (Josh Stamberg) and F.B.I. Agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park). The show goes into detail on how Wanda Maximoff was shown on security footage breaking into a S.W.O.R.D. facility and taking the corpse of her love, Vision, to a small town in New Jersey. In doing so she created a ‘hex’ (coined by Kat Dennings character, Dr. Darcy Lewis) that encroached a whole town and manipulated the environment and all 3,892 inhabitants. Now the town of ‘West View’ is under government surveillance and heavy policing in order to try and save the people of ‘West View’ and suppress the danger of this ‘hex.’

The Cost Breakdown

During an extensive re-watch of the first five episodes of the series, I have found that the crew responsible in securing, protecting and investigating the ‘hex’ is around 2,300 people. This number is represented by the examination of the background in every shot showing countless tents for numerous activities along with the hectic nature that Dr. Darcy Lewis walks onto when she was brought to the S.W.O.R.D. Response Base. These factors along with the throwaway comment that Dr. Lewis made about seeing members of FBI, Army, Air Force Office of Investigation, Space Command, and Research Lab brought me to the conclusion on the amount of personnel that is current on the S.W.O.R.D. Response Base. In more detail I found the average salaries of each rank in the military along with private sector employees of the government to cover all factors of the Army, Air Force Office, and S.W.O.R.D.. For Space Command and Research Lab, I found their sources for each average salaries on job recruiting sites. All this information was put together and split into respective categories for their duties and through my understanding of military facilities, I compiled the number of people and jobs that would be applicable for the base.

1,380 people — Military

230 people — S.W.O.R.D.

230 people — FBI

345 people — Research

115 people — Other Organizations

All this information provided along with Director Hayward talking about how the anomaly started nine days prior gave me a chance to suspect that by the end of the season it will reach 14 days or two weeks. Through meticulous working of salaries in a two week span I settled on $3,946,705 for the salaries of all people on base.

Credit: The Walt Disney Company

As we were able to view the facility more and more as episodes progressed, I was able to count some of the tents and workspaces the the S.W.O.R.D. Response Base had in its possession. Although not all of the base is captured in frame, my best estimate would be one main building, four large tents, and around 40 small tents around the ‘hex.’ This estimate lead me to search for tents similar to what is used in the show and what many militaries use today. The appraisal for the large tents were around $10,000 and the small tents were priced at $7,300. As I worked in these rates along with my estimate for the main building on base that seems more elaborate was given an estimate of $200,000 due to its sheer size and potential material.

This estimate was grabbed from the availability of funds that the show presents us with as the facility is able to run medical scans with ease along with the purchasing and acquisition of old televisions that are able to be scattered around the facility. This number is also given due to Captain Rambeau’s line in Episode Five stating she could theoretically make a “fallout shelter on wheels” so to speak meaning the spending for the project must be high.

Credit: The Walt Disney Company

This section is the bulk of the funding against the ‘West View’ Anomaly as most of the equipment in the facility is technology in order to track all aspects of the ‘hex.’ In this case, I was unable to collect much information on the amount of technology on the base, but was able to analyze that the size of the base along with the amount of personnel which would warrant a large quantity of technology. Along with the knowledge that many tracking technology of Gamma, CMBR and Sonar Radiation are scattered among the facility. The Response Base also holds selections of lighting and communication equipment with the added stock pile of government drones that were kamikazed into the barrier of the ‘hex’ as we see in many scenes of WandaVision.

The S.W.O.R.D. Response Base is a sizable facility that has many aspects that can be seen as normal, but what needs to be understood is that this is a temporary base and the equipment and items that are present were placed recently. The bulk of this section is relating to the storage of the facility marked in heavy-duty boxes that I have found in countless scenes. Those boxes add up in large quantities and make up for nearly half of the budget. The other half is comprised of items usually found on military bases and a majority is the last half is made up of firearms and other offensive weapons that are very prevalent on base.

Government Facilities are often required to hold liability insurance for all their staff on base along with the countless insurances associated with government assets and state codes. For this reason most of the funding for this section is the high premiums associated with the insurance even though the base would only be active for the two week span.

As you may be able to find, in many scenes of WandaVision it is visible that many cars, trucks and aviation technology is available on base. For this reason, I have included in the budget the rent associated with the two week tenure of these assets involvement on the base. The amount of personnel that run this base accounts for the massive quantity of cars and trucks that patrol and work at the Response Base.

Credit: The Walt Disney Company

I know right! I would not expect a small town to be such a costly accident, but Wanda never ceases to amaze me. When looking for the real life equivalent to ‘West View’ in the MCU, I did find a town called West View in New Jersey! However, the size of the town along with its infrastructure did not match the MCU’s ‘West View’ so I looked deeper into towns inside New Jersey. I did come to find that the Marvel comic series, House of M, was a major influence for the show which helped my discovery in a town in New Jersey called, Leonia. This town was an inspiration for the comic, so I looked up the average house price currently in that area and came up with an estimate of around $520,000 per house along with $20,000,000 for all of its commercial properties. As the ‘West View’ sign reads “3,892 residents” I accounted for the average household size and found that 1,388 houses would have to be located in the town. For this reason, I found that Wanda’s ‘hex’ would be a financial nightmare and her powers to be a colossal danger to the MCU.

I understand that the town does not looked destroyed in the current episodes, however, as Captain Rambeau stated “she is manipulating reality” meaning their property would be altered which under many standards would be property damage.

Wanda’s ‘hex’ shows the damages that enhanced people (mutants) can do to the economy and even the impact on the community. Comment any suggestions on more economic breakdowns I should cover!

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Analyst and Undergraduate Student @University of South Carolina

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