Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff): Odd, Cool, and Defining Facts
By: Domonique Salberg
Many were happy to see Scarlet Witch join the MCU years ago in Age of Ultron; after all, she is a crucial Avenger and among the most intriguing Marvel characters. But contrary to her unassumingly villainous introduction, she has been an ally for the Avengers for decades, lead them, and has destroyed them. And that’s, Wanda, perplexing and powerful. A mutant hero sometimes prone to villainous tendencies, despite her repeated mental anguish, she always strives for good.
Still one of the coolest comic book characters, she is a connective thread between the superheroes and the mutants in the Marvel Universe. So, undoubtedly a fantastic, essential character, here is a composed list of her most odd, cool, and defining comic book details spanning decades of stories.
Wanda Disassembled the Avengers
In the comic ‘Avengers Disassembled,’ Scarlet Witch single-handedly disassembled the Avengers. Several characters were killed, some went missing, and others were emotionally defeated. Nevertheless, we find out later that once the dust has settled, the cause of it all was due to Scarlet Witch’s machinations. Why would she do this? Much later, we are told through stories that she was under the influence of other villains, where they used her powers to tear the team apart completely.
Scarlet Witch Was The Catalyst for ‘House of M’
After she disassembled the Avengers, Wanda’s mental health suffered, and she couldn’t handle it and became comatose. This event leads the Avengers and X-Men to gather and discuss if Wanda should be killed to prevent any more catastrophes. Upsetting her brother Quicksilver, he convinces Wanda to warp reality into a world where Mutants are the dominant race. It spurred a long and complicated struggle in the form of the ‘House of M’ comic which we now get to see part of in WandaVision, ending once Wanda attempts to reverse the effects by speaking the words “No More Mutants.” Returning the world to normal, she also de-powers 90% of the world’s mutant population.
Magneto Is Wanda’s Father
Wanda is the daughter of a woman named Magda and father Erik Lehnsherr (Max Eisenhardt), a.k.a. Magneto. Her mother escapes from Magneto to Mount Wundagore in Transia because of her fear that Magneto will find their twin children. The twins (Wanda and Pietro/Quicksilver) end up being raised by Bova and later adopted by the Maximoff couple.
However, as comic book continuity can be changeable, the legitimacy of Magneto being Scarlet Witch’s father has shifted over the years or retconned, where it was revealed she is the result of experiments conducted by the High Evolutionary. Still, Magneto being her father, is the most popular origin. Moreover, although she was introduced as a mutant, Marvel increasingly treats her as a sorceress, which may be why her origins have changed.
She Is A Witch & Mutant
As I mentioned before about the Marvel writers’ tug and pull of Wanda’s origins, we can assume she is both mutant and witch. Having mutant and magical powers, her magical abilities specifically, were imbued by Chthon in the Wundagore Mountains as an infant.
Later, she was trained by Agatha Harkness in witchcraft and has used these magical abilities to hone her mutant powers and control her hexes. As for her mutant side, she is like the X-Men and gets her powers from the X-gene that manifests itself during childhood. Wanda’s power set makes her one of the few mutants on the Avengers.
A Cow-Lady Raised Wanda
Remember how Scarlet Witches mother was Magda, who escaped from the father of her children, Magneto, to give birth to her twins in the Wundagore Mountains? These mountains are also where the High Evolutionary had been building an army of people evolved from animals. There we meet Bova, a cow-lady that acts as a nanny and midwife for the High Evolutionary and takes care of Wanda and her twin brother Pietro until the Maximoff gypsy family adopts them.
The Vision and The Scarlet Witch Comic
Wanda and her husband, Vision, have their own solo series. The comics focused on their relationship outside the Avengers and featured the birth of their twins.
Wanda Was Originally A Villain in X-Men
Wanda made her first appearance in X-Men #4 as a villain, where she was part of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Her brother Pietro also joined, and together with Magnetos team of bad guys, fought the X-Men in one of the earliest escapades. However, the team-up was brief—the mutant twins soon after quit the Brotherhood to work with the Avengers instead.
Scarlet Witch’s Headpiece
Have you ever wondered what Wanda’s headpiece is or inspired by? Well, it’s called a wimple—the headdress some nuns wear.
Tommy and Billy
Using her magic-based powers, Wanda impregnated herself with the Vision’s children, giving birth to two boys named Tommy and Billy. But she made an unintentional mistake in the process and conjured a sliver of Mephisto’s life essence. It allowed him to reabsorb the twins later, deeming them ceased to exist. A major tragedy, it continues to influence Wanda’s character to this day.
Complicated Power Set
Wanda’s powers are difficult to define within the Marvel comics since they have varied in magnitude since her conception. To put it simply, she can manipulate probability via hexes. Meaning, through concentration, she can make things explode, catch on fire, or short circuit. What makes her power set particularly confusing is that she can use magic with her powers.
Vision’s Unrequited Love
Besides their children being born then ceasing to exist, Wanda’s love, Vision, is dissected and his emotional patterns removed, which takes away his ability to reciprocate Wanda’s love.
Superhero’s Wiccan and Speed are Wanda’s Children
Revealed in the Young Avengers comic, Wiccan and Speed meet and figure out they are twins, for which they decide to search for their missing mother—the Scarlet Witch. It is understood that Wanda’s magic and love for them could not be destroyed, allowing their souls to be reincarnated, living and growing to become superhero’s Wiccan and Speed.