Scarlet Witch

Scarlet Witch is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. Her first appearance was in The X-Men #4 (March 1964) in the Silver Age of Comic Books. She is first depicted as a supervillain along with her twin brother Quicksilver, as a founding member of the Brotherhood of Mutants. In most depictions, she is portrayed as a mutant, a member of a fictional subspecies of humans born with superhuman abilities, and, for much of the character's history, was considered the daughter of the mutant Magneto and the half-sister of Polaris. The Scarlet Witch possesses abilities to alter reality in unspecified ways and is a powerful sorceress. The Scarlet Witch is later depicted as a regular member of the Avengers superhero team. She also becomes the wife of fellow superhero and teammate Vision, with whom she has two sons, Thomas and William.

Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch.jpg
Art by Frank Cho.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe X-Men #4 (March 1964)
Created byStan Lee
Jack Kirby
In-story information
Alter egoWanda Marya Maximoff
Specieshuman mutant (originally)
human mutate (retconned)
Place of originTransia
Team affiliations
Agatha Harkness
Notable aliasesWanda Frank
  • Scientifically enhanced magical abilities[1]
  • Reality warping[2]
  • Probability manipulation
  • Teleportation[3]
  • Matter manipulation[4]
  • Time manipulation[5]
  • Energy projection, manipulation and absorption[6]

The character's in-universe backstory and parentage have been changed more than once. Depicted in the 1970s as the children of golden age superhero Whizzer, a retcon in the 1980s revealed the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver to be the unknown offspring of supervillain Magneto. Born to Magneto's estranged wife in Transia, Scarlet Witch and her brother are left in the care of their adoptive Romani parents and she is raised as Wanda Maximoff (later referred to as Wanda Frank while the Whizzer was considered to be her father). In another retcon in the 2010s, it is revealed that Quicksilver and she are not mutants but were kidnapped and used as subjects of genetic experimentation by the High Evolutionary, then misled to believe Magneto was their father.

Along with starring in two self-titled limited series of her own, the character appears in animated films, television series, arcade and video games as well as other Marvel-related merchandise. Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch is portrayed by Elizabeth Olsen in the films Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019) from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Elizabeth Olsen will reprise the role in the upcoming Disney+ series WandaVision (2020) and the film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022).

Publication historyEdit

The Scarlet Witch debuted, together with her brother, Quicksilver, as a part of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in X-Men #4 (March 1964).[7] They were depicted as reluctant villains, uninterested in Magneto's ideologies. The Scarlet Witch is depicted as calm and submissive, as with most female comic book characters of the time.[8] Her costume was mainly composed of a bathing suit with straps, opera gloves, short boots, a leotard covering her body, a superhero cape, and a wimple, all of which were colored in shades of red.[9] She was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.[10]

Lee also wrote the Avengers comic book, composed by the most prominent heroes of the editorial. He eventually removed all of them, save for Captain America, and replaced them with villains from other comics: the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver from the X-Men, and Hawkeye from Iron Man's adventures in Tales of Suspense. The team was known as "Cap's Kooky Quartet".[11] Although common in later years, such a change in the roster of a superhero group was completely unprecedented.[12] Lee and the following Avengers writer, Roy Thomas, hinted to other Avengers being romantically interested in the Scarlet Witch. Those plots were not continued at the time, and the twins were removed from the team after a crossover with the X-Men.[13] Some years later, Thomas started a long-running romantic relationship between the Scarlet Witch and the Vision, considering that it would help with the series' character development. He elected those characters because they were only published in the Avengers comic book, so it would not interfere with other publications.[14] The first kiss took place during the Kree–Skrull War arc. Thomas also added Hawkeye into a love triangle with both characters.[15]

Steve Englehart succeeded Thomas as the writer of the Avengers. He gave her a more assertive personality, removed Quicksilver, and expanded her powers by turning her into an apprentice of witchcraft.[14] The Vision and the Scarlet Witch married in Giant-Size Avengers #4 (June 1975), and the end of the Celestial Madonna arc.[16] The couple starred a limited series of 4 issues, The Vision and the Scarlet Witch (1982–83), by writer Bill Mantlo and penciller Rick Leonardi.[17] Previously, in Giant-Size Avengers #4 (August 1974), Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch had been revealed to be the children of golden age superheroes Whizzer (Robert Frank) and Miss America (Madeline Joyce). However, in this limited series Magneto was retconned to be their father instead. Englehart returned to the characters with penciller Richard Howell for a second limited series, in which the Scarlet Witch gets pregnant by magical means and delivers two sons.[18] Englehart would eventually introduce the Vision and the Scarlet Witch to the West Coast Avengers, another title he was working with. John Byrne replaced Englehart, and wrote the controversial "Vision Quest" storyline, where the Vision is dismantled and turned into an emotionless machine (thus annulling his marriage with the Scarlet Witch) and the kids are treated as an offshoot of the devil and erased.[19] The website Women in Refrigerators interviewed Englehart about the change, who did not like it.[20] The West Coast Avengers title was closed, and the team was renamed as Force Works in 1994. The new title ran for only a couple of years.[21] By this time the character starred its own comic book, written by Andy Lanning and Dan Abnett, and pencilled by John Higgins, which lasted for only 4 issues.[22] The classic costume was removed, using instead a very revealing one and without the tiara. As it was poorly received, it was soon changed to a red and black one, for The Crossing.[9]

Marvel Comics was nearing bankruptcy in 1996. The Avengers and other titles were relaunched in a new continuity without mutants and outsourced to the studios of Image Comics artists. The project was named Heroes Reborn. Rob Liefeld worked with the relaunched Avengers title, and unexpectedly included the Scarlet Witch in the team. The character is not a mutant in the new continuity, only a sorcerer. Marvel renegotiated the terms of the deal, and Liefeld was replaced with writer Walter Simonson and penciller Michael Ryan. The project was a success, boosting the sales of the titles and bringing Marvel Comics out of bankruptcy.[23] The project ended after a year, and the Avengers were returned to Marvel and relaunched again, by Kurt Busiek and George Pérez. Pérez designed a new costume, with Romani influences and abundant curly hair. The design was unusually complicated; Pérez commented that he preferred it that way because it was more challenging to draw, but accepted that other artists would find it irksome.[24] Alan Davis stated that when he became the artist on The Avengers, he asked to change the design because it didn't work well with his simpler, less detailed style.[25]

The character played a pivotal role in the Avengers Disassembled storyline and related limited series House of M, and appeared in the Young Avengers follow-up series, Avengers: The Children's Crusade.

The Scarlet Witch is a regular character in Uncanny Avengers (2012), beginning with issue #1. The Axis crossover retconned the character's parentage again, revealing that Magneto was not her father after all, doing away with a relationship that had been canon for decades. It also revealed that she was not a mutant, but a common human that received powers with the experiments of the High Evolutionary. This plot twist was published when Marvel and Fox had a legal dispute over the film rights to the character, as Fox has a film license for the X-Men, mutants, and their related characters.[26]

Under the All-New, All-Different Marvel branding, the character received her own ongoing solo series[27] written by James Robinson in late 2015.[28] Robinson explained that he has been influenced by the work of Matt Fraction and David Aja on the Hawkeye title: "... they managed to stay true to the character in the Avengers while also taking it in a fresh direction, so it wasn't just that same Avengers character doing solo things, which I don't think ever really works for any sustained period of time for any of those second-tier characters."[29]

Fictional character biographyEdit

Magda, the wife of Magneto, escapes from him while pregnant and takes sanctuary at Mount Wundagore in Transia, the home of the High Evolutionary. She gave birth to twins, Wanda and Pietro. The Elder God Chthon altered Wanda at birth and gave her the ability to use magic in addition to her mutant abilities, planning to use her as a vessel when her powers reached maturity. Fearing that Magnus would discover the children, Magda leaves the sanctuary and supposedly dies of exposure to the elements. The twins are attended by Bova, who soon assists the super-heroine Miss America through labor, but the birth results in a stillborn child and Miss America dies in the process. Bova tells the Whizzer (Robert Frank) that the twins are his children, but he flees because of shock from the death of his wife.[30] The High Evolutionary places them instead in the care of the Romani Django and Marya Maximoff, who raise the twins as their own, naming them Pietro and Wanda. After Django Maximoff steals bread from a neighboring town in order to feed his starving family, the townsfolk set fire to the Roma village, killing Marya. Pietro carried Wanda to safety and the two wandered Europe.[31] The events of their childhood were so traumatic that they did not remember them until well into their adult lives. After Wanda used her powers to save a child, they were chased by a mob. They were saved by Magneto, although neither of them are aware of their connection. He recruits them for the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, which fought against the X-Men on several occasions.[7][32] When Magneto is abducted by the cosmic entity Stranger, the Brotherhood dissolves and the twins declare that their debt to Magneto has been paid.[33]

The AvengersEdit

Soon after Magneto's abduction, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch join the Avengers.[34]

Wanda is accidentally shot on a mission against Magneto. Quicksilver rejoins Magneto and leaves the Avengers with his wounded sister.[35] After a pair of encounters with the X-Men, the twins left Magneto, but did not rejoin the Avengers immediately. Wanda and Pietro are then kidnapped with several other mutants by the Sentinels, but are subsequently freed by the X-Men.[36][37]

Quicksilver later returns to the Avengers and advises them that Wanda has been kidnapped and taken to another dimension by the warlord Arkon.[38][39] After her rescue, both of them rejoin the team. Scarlet Witch then falls in love with android teammate the Vision. Before long, the two develop a romantic relationship.[40] Their relationship has a tumultuous start as both Quicksilver and Hawkeye object—Quicksilver cannot accept the idea that his sister loves a robot while Hawkeye loves Wanda himself.[40] Despite this, the pair eventually marry with the blessing of the entire team.[16][41]

The Scarlet Witch begins to be tutored by a true witch, Agatha Harkness, which allows her even greater control over her hexes.[42] Wanda and Pietro also meet Robert Frank, who believes them to be his children.[43] This is later disproved when Wanda and Pietro are abducted by Django Maximoff and taken to Wundagore. Wanda is temporarily possessed by the demon Chthon, and after defeating it is advised by Bova that neither Frank nor Maximoff is their biological father.[30][44] Soon after, while trying to track down Magda one last time, Magneto learns that he is the father of the twins. He immediately informs them of their relationship, shortly after the birth of Pietro's daughter Luna.[45] The Scarlet Witch and the Vision take a leave of absence from the Avengers,[46] and she conceives the twin boys named Thomas and William. As the Vision is an android, she conceived using magic.[47] Wanda gives birth,[48] and, with the Vision, eventually leaves the East Coast to join the West Coast Avengers.[49]

Their relationship is almost ended when the Vision is dismantled, and then recreated as an emotionless android. Wonder Man, who had a crush on the Scarlet Witch, refuses to allow a new recording of his brain patterns to restore the Vision's personality.[50][51] Another personal setback follows when it is revealed that Wanda's children are in fact missing shards of the soul of the demon Master Pandemonium.[52][53] Absorbed back into Master Pandemonium, Agatha Harkness temporarily erases Wanda's memories of her children from her mind in order to ensure that she can temporarily disrupt Master Pandemonium's physical form.[53] It is ultimately revealed that Immortus masterminded those events, as he sought to tap into the temporal nexus energy she possessed. The Avengers ultimately rescue Wanda, who regains her memories of her children in the process.[54]

Immortus's actions leave Wanda's hex power drained and highly unreliable,[55] which was fixed by Agatha Harkness and Doctor Strange.[56] Wanda is then nominated as leader of the Avengers West Coast team.[57] When the team is dissolved,[58] Wanda leads a new one called Force Works.[59][60] The team suffers several setbacks, including the death of Wonder Man on the first mission.[61] When the team splinters after the last mission involving Kang the Conqueror,[62] Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye return to the main team.[63]

The Vision and Scarlet Witch reconcile shortly before sacrificing themselves with the other Avengers and the Fantastic Four to stop the mutant villain Onslaught.[64] Due to the intervention of Franklin Richards, Scarlet Witch and her teammates exist in a parallel universe for a year,[65] until returned to the mainstream universe.[66]

Shortly after the heroes return, the Scarlet Witch is kidnapped by the sorceress Morgan le Fay, with the intention of using Wanda's powers to warp reality.[67] Wanda temporarily resurrects Wonder Man, and the Vision is damaged in the final battle with Le Fay.[68][69][70][71] Agatha Harkness tells her that she is now able to channel chaos magic, which made her more powerful. Wanda is able to fully resurrect Wonder Man, and the two become lovers.[72] The Vision is eventually repaired and—after Wonder Man breaks-up with Wanda[73]—they resume their relationship.[74] Her ability to channel chaos magic culminates when the villain Scorpio splits the cosmic entity the In-Betweener into his separate order and chaos personas and Wanda has to reassemble the entity.[75][76][77]

Reality-warping eraEdit

Wanda hears the Wasp mock her ambitions for motherhood, only to find herself missing her memories of ever having had children.[78][79] Scarlet Witch then seeks out help from Doctor Doom to see if he can restore her children to life. To do so, they summon a mysterious cosmic entity which merges with her.[80] Wanda, under the influence of the entity, launches a campaign of terror against the Avengers, blaming them for the death of her children. The Vision is destroyed, Hawkeye is killed, and Scott Lang is apparently killed (it was later revealed that he was actually saved by Wanda's future self, who teleported him to the future in a manner that made it appear he'd been killed). Doctor Strange defeats Wanda, and Magneto leaves with her.[79]

Realizing that the Avengers and the X-Men are seriously contemplating killing his sister due to her unstable powers, Quicksilver convinces Scarlet Witch to use her powers to create a world where everyone has their heart's desire fulfilled.[81][82] Although the reality warp succeeds, several heroes (Hawkeye, Wolverine, and Layla Miller) regain their memories and gather Earth's heroes to stop the "House of M".[83] When Magneto discovers what Quicksilver did, he murders him. Wanda resurrects him and, enraged with her father, depowers 90% of the mutant population,[84] including Magneto and Quicksilver. She is later shown in Wundagore, living a secluded normal life.[85] Both Beast and a resurrected Hawkeye met her during this time, but departed after confirming that she had no true memory of her past.[86][87]

Return to The AvengersEdit

The Children's CrusadeEdit

Wiccan and Speed from the Young Avengers thought themselves to be reincarnations of the lost children of Scarlet Witch, and try to locate her. Magneto, Quicksilver (whose powers had been restored) and the Avengers try to locate her as well. They find her in Latveria, amnesic and engaged to Doctor Doom.[88] Iron Lad rescues the team and Wanda, teleporting them into the past, where Wanda regains her memory. When the group returns to the present, Scarlet Witch tries to commit suicide.[89] Wiccan then tells her that her father and brother are alive, and that he is her reincarnated son. She returns with Dr. Doom, seeking his help to undo the spell that erased mutant powers, but Doom manages to steal the reality-warping power for himself.[80] He becomes omnipotent, but Wanda and Wiccan steal his newfound powers.[90] She does not return to the Avengers, and stays in solitude.[91]

Avengers vs. X-MenEdit

The Scarlet Witch returns to the Avengers during the events of Avengers vs. X-Men.[92] Ms. Marvel and Spider-Woman offer her a return to the Avengers. Although she is initially reluctant, she accepts and follows them to Avengers Mansion. Despite both heroines pleading her case, the Vision angrily snaps at Wanda, blaming her again for having manipulated and killed him, and telling her to leave. Ms. Marvel and Iron Man rush to Wanda's defense, the Avengers defer their decision to the Vision, who elects to stand by his point, even if obviously pained by the situation. Ms. Marvel carries away a crying Wanda.[93] When the Avengers go to extract Hope Summers from Utopia and are nearly defeated by a Phoenix Force-empowered Cyclops, Scarlet Witch arrives and saves them. Hope agrees to go with Scarlet Witch; when Cyclops tries to stop Wanda from taking Hope and touches her arm, she causes him physical harm.[94]

Though hunted by the Phoenix-powered X-Men, Wanda's return to the team provides the Avengers a much-needed boost as many teammates are captured by the X-Men. Hawkeye is severely injured rescuing Wanda from being teleported away by Magik and White Queen, the former of which sees Wanda as a monster for depowering mutantkind. Wanda's power provides the X-Men with a threat that not even the Phoenix can face down as the Avengers employ magical illusions to trick the X-Men into thinking Wanda is with the various Avengers groups. Further investigation links Wanda's powers to the Phoenix Force. When Cyclops goes Dark Phoenix,[clarification needed] Wanda and Hope Summers, who is mimicking Wanda's powers, defeat him and cause the Phoenix Force to leave him. After Hope inherits the Phoenix Force, she and Wanda combine their powers to apparently destroy the Phoenix by saying "No more Phoenix". This results in the repowering of mutants, undoing Wanda's actions on M-Day.[95]

Uncanny AvengersEdit

Following the war, Captain America selects the Scarlet Witch to join the Avengers Unity Squad, a new team of Avengers composed of both classic Avengers and X-Men.[96] After that, she asked her close friends Janet Van Dyne and Wonder Man to join and sponsor the new team.[97] In Uncanny Avengers #14, she meets her apparent death at the hands of her teammate Rogue, who had absorbed Wolverine's powers.[98] This death is eventually undone when the surviving Unity Squad are projected back in time, having learned that Rogue was manipulated by the Apocalypse Twins into killing Wanda, allowing the Avengers to band together and defeat an approaching Celestial.[volume & issue needed]


When the Red Skull mounts a new attack,[volume & issue needed] Wanda attempts to work with Doctor Strange to cast a spell of moral inversion to draw out the part of Xavier in the Red Skull and put him in control of the body,[99] but this spell backfires when Doctor Doom is forced to take Strange's place,[100] resulting in the moral inversion of all heroes and villains in the vicinity.[101] When Quicksilver and Magneto try to talk the inverted Wanda down, Wanda attacks them with a curse designed to punish her blood, but only Quicksilver reacts and Wanda realizes that Magneto is not their father.[102] Before she can pursue this further, Doom appears with the resurrected Brother Voodoo and the spirit of his brother Daniel, who possesses Wanda[103] so that she and Doom can undo the spell and restore the heroes' and villains' moralities to normal.[104]

Identity crisisEdit

The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver take a trip to Counter-Earth.[105] After being tracked down and defeated by Luminous (a female who was created by the genetic material of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver), Wanda and Pietro were brought to the High Evolutionary. He revealed to them that Django and Marya Maximoff were their true parents—implying that the twins are actually the lost Ana and Mateo Maximoff—and that they were not mutants but had been experimented on by the High Evolutionary.[106] After escaping from the High Evolutionary's experimentations, Pietro and Wanda located the Avengers Unity Division (who had travelled to Counter-Earth looking for the twins) and helped the inhabitants of Lowtown (a refuge for the High Evolutionary's rejects) from their creator's assault.[107] After the High Evolutionary is defeated and he escapes into a portal with Luminous, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver return to Earth with the Avengers Unity Division.[108]

All-New, All-Different MarvelEdit

Seeking to find her place after all the revelations of her true past, Wanda finds herself working with the ghost of Agatha Harkness to investigate recent disruptions in magic, and briefly meets the spirit of her biological mother, Natalya Maximoff (Django Maximoff's sister), who was apparently the Scarlet Witch before Wanda.[109]

When the second superhero Civil War began, Pietro came to ask Wanda for help but Wanda refused, because she and Pietro disagreed on which side was right—Pietro not liking the idea of profiling people based on what they might do and Wanda feeling that thinking about the future would have prevented many of their more dangerous mistakes in the past. Past precedent made Wanda feel that introducing her powers to a conflict of this nature could make the situation more dangerous (plus she distrusted Tony Stark), and she resented Pietro for trying to tell her what to do as though she was a child, bluntly informing him that his refusal to learn from his mistakes marked him as a sociopath. She invites Pietro to join her in learning more about Natalya Maximoff but he refuses and the two fight. Wanda bests her brother and coldly tells him she never wants to see him again.[110]

Wanda's search for answers leads her to Serbia where a priest reveals that Natalya, seeking to spare her children of her difficult life as a witch, gave baby Wanda and Pietro to her relatives, Marya and Django Maximoff. When the town came under attack by the High Evolutionary and his Knights of Wundagore, the priest told him the location of the twins, whom he proceeded to experiment on. Upon discovering this, Natalya pursued the High Evolutionary to Transia and died fighting to rescue her children. Touched by her sacrifice, the High Evolutionary returned Wanda and Pietro to Django and Marya to raise after he had concluded his experiments.[111] Discovering that Marya was still alive, Wanda is finally able to thank her aunt for looking after her and her brother when they were younger though she questions why she and Django never told them the truth about Natalya being their real mother. Marya also reveals that, like her mother, Wanda's grandfather was the Scarlet Warlock, leading Wanda to conclude that witches with strong magical bloodlines are associated with complex colors (as opposed to the Red Witch) to protect themselves.[112] Wanda finally discovers that a manifestation of Chaos is responsible for destroying witchcraft and, joining forces with the spirits of Natalya and Agatha, are able to weaken it enough for Quicksilver (whom Natalya summons at the last moment) to destroy it. Wanda and Pietro reconcile but Natalya sacrifices herself to save magic. Before she dies, she reveals that it was not the High Evolutionary who killed her, but Wanda and Pietro's father.[113] After this, Wanda re-dedicates herself to being an Avenger, declaring that while she has fixed witchcraft, she still must work on herself but that she is ready to do is alongside her teammates.[volume & issue needed]

During the "Last Days of Magic" arc, Scarlet Witch later helps Doctor Strange defeat the Empirikul, a science cult focused on destroying magic in every dimension.[114]

Secret EmpireEdit

When Captain America, as a member of Hydra, made his move to take control over the United States as seen in the Secret Empire storyline, Wanda was seen among the members of Hydra's Avengers.[115] It was eventually revealed that Wanda joined other superheroes in Washington, D.C. in trying to stop Hydra, but they ultimately failed, and Wanda was subjected to a power that caused her to lose control of her powers and her mind and was brainwashed into serving Hydra.[116] During a "dinner" Ultron/Hank Pym was having with members of the Underground, Captain America, and Hydra's Avengers, he revealed that Scarlet Witch is possessed by Chthon.[117] Madame Hydra later mentioned to Captain America that Chthon's possession of Scarlet Witch has left her unhinged.[118] During the battle in Washington DC, Scarlet Witch is knocked out by Thor, enabling Doctor Strange to make preparations to free her from Chthon's control.[119]

Dawn of XEdit

Following Krakoa's transformation into a sovereign nation state for mutants, Wanda is now considered an enemy of the state of Krakoa. She is even referred to as "The Great Pretender" by mutantkind, due to the revelation that she is not a mutant, but a human that received powers with the experiments of the High Evolutionary, and listed as one of the most devastating assailants in mutant history. Considering the list of humans who have committed major mutant crimes, Wanda is ranked second, with her Decimation having killed 986,420 mutants. She ranks behind Bolivar Trask, the creator of the mutant-hunting Sentinel robots responsible for 16,521,618 deaths in total. However, she ranks above such leaders of hate groups and/or mutant massacres as William Stryker (who is responsible for 414 deaths), Donald Pierce (who is responsible for 348 deaths), and the Leper Queen (who is responsible for 221 deaths).[120]


During the "Empyre" storyline, it was discovered in flashbacks that against the advice of Doctor Strange, Wanda tried to atone for her past sins and mistakes by addressing another genocide, one of 16 million mutants at the hands of Cassandra Nova on Genosha. She spends a year gathering arcane artifacts to redeem herself, unaware that Xavier had helped in developing the Krakoan resurrection protocols, where he and five young mutants can combine their powers and skills to resurrect dead mutants as they were. When she tried to resurrect the millions of Genoshan mutants who were slaughtered by Sentinels, she passes out from her ill-fated attempt and as she wakes up, she discovers that something went wrong with the spell and her expression moves seamlessly from surprise to terror when she realized that she had raised them as undead and not as living, breathing mutants.[121] She then left the island and went to Doctor Strange's aid. While he holds her accountable for her actions, he nevertheless creates a spell to counteract Wanda's and states that it will take 30 days for the spell to be fully undone. He also implemented an ethereal barrier around Genosha to prevent any resurrected flesh from leaving the island until the spell dissipated. However the barrier didn't prevented the entrance on the island and during this period of time, the Cotati have set up a base on Genosha in their planned invasion on Wakanda and are immediately attacked by the zombies which somehow began affecting the gate of Krakoa located there. A team of X-Men was sent there to investigate and were overwhelmed by both parties until the spell worn off and the Genosha zombies turn to dust. The X-Men are left unaware it was the Scarlet Witch doing and she was later seen reading a book by a fireplace while shedding a tear.[122]

Later, Black Panther instructs Brother Voodoo to take Ka-Zar, Zabu, Black Knight, and Scarlet Witch with him to investigate strange occurrences in the Savage Land. They arrive to find a slain Tyrannosaurus as Scarlet Witch senses they are surrounded. The group is attacked by the Cotati and they fight them until the Cotati Ventri unleash Man-Thing who they have under their control. As Ventri states that the Savage Land and the world will be theirs, Ka-Zar is shocked to find that the Cotati have gained control of Shanna.[123] With Doctor Voodoo and Scarlet Witch immobilized and Black Knight imprisoned, Shanna tries to get Ka-Zar to join them as Matthew states to Black Knight that they have to do something. Doctor Voodoo used a trick to do a mental trick. Scarlet Witch does the same as she tries to free Shanna from the Cotati's control. As Ventri notices something happen with Scarlet Witch, Doctor Voodoo takes control of Man-Thing to free Matthew and Black Knight. Scarlet Witch brings Ka-Zar into Shanna's mind where he learns that some creatures in the Savage Land are dying and trees are falling.[124] When Ka-Zar had been stabbed by a Cotati using Black Knight's Ebony Blade, Scarlet Witch and Doctor Voodoo worked to extract Ka-Zar's soul from the Ebony Blade as Shanna the She-Devil uses the same waters that resurrected her on Ka-Zar.[125]

Powers and abilitiesEdit

Writer Steve Englehart first associated the Scarlet Witch's powers with witchcraft.

When the Scarlet Witch was first created by Lee and Kirby, her powers were not well defined. She had "hex powers", that could cause random and unlikely events to take place. This gave creative freedom to the writers, as it actually meant that her powers could be used for any purpose required by the plot.[10] Despite the character's name, she had those powers as a mutant, and not because of actual witchcraft. Later writers gave her an increased control over her power, so that she could cause specific events and not just random ones. Englehart also made the character explore witchcraft under the tutelage of Agatha Harkness, a trait that was kept by later writers. The effects of her powers are varied but almost always detrimental to opponents, such as causing the artifact the Evil Eye to work against the inter-dimensional warlord Dormammu,[126] forcing the robot Ultron to short circuit,[127] or a gas main underneath the Brotherhood of Mutants to explode.[128] Scarlet Witch also has the potential to wield magic and later learned that she was destined to serve the role of Nexus Being, a living focal point for the Earth dimension's mystical energy.[129]

Writer Kurt Busiek redefined Scarlet Witch's powers and maintained that it was, in fact, an ability to manipulate chaos magic, activated due to the demon Chthon changing her mutation at birth into an ability to wield and control magical energy. This was offered as an explanation for her various feats that seemed to go beyond probability alteration, as well as why her hexes almost always have an effect that is favorable to her goals.[72] During Busiek's run as well as the subsequent run by Geoff Johns, she was shown to be capable of large-scale spells given enough concentration and time to shape the chaos magic to a specific goal, including the resurrection of Wonder Man.[72]

Her powers were retconned in Avengers Disassembled, removing chaos magic and turning them into reality warping. In House of M, this new power was enough to change the whole universe.[130] Her powers were retconned back to their previous ones in The Children's Crusade, and the previous events attributed to an outside force that had temporarily increased them.[90]

This was again seemingly changed during AvX when she is shown powerful enough to exhibit a degree of resistance to the Phoenix Force and can cause pain to its hosts, such as Cyclops when he tried to stop Hope from going with her.[131] This becomes less effective as the Phoenix Force portions are divided among those who have not yet been defeated.[volume & issue needed] Scarlet Witch is so powerful, in fact, that she is the described as the only thing the Phoenix Five are still afraid of. A vs X #12 confirmed that her powers involve chaos magic, and stated that she has "Mutant Magic", and the "primal source of her chaos" magic is cosmic.[volume & issue needed]

In the 2016 Scarlet Witch comic series, it is confirmed that Wanda was born with the ability to utilize witchcraft and that this has been seen in other women within her family; Wanda also believes that The High Evolutionary genetically altered her, making her more receptive to magical energy.[1]


Though later incarnations took on feminist overtones, the character of Scarlet Witch was not conceived with ideas of female empowerment in mind. At her debut in the 1960s, the readership for superhero comics was assumed to be exclusively male, and the genre was male-dominated in terms of both artist-creators and the characters they invented. The Scarlet Witch was thus envisioned as a token female character with a passive power, and was used mainly for interpersonal relation plots, perhaps to draw female readers who were believed to prefer romance comics.[132] Avengers writer Roy Thomas even created a group of female superheroes, the Lady Liberators, in order to mock Second-wave feminism.[133] In the 1980s, writer Steve Englehart and artist Richard Howell produced a limited Scarlet Witch series that offered a stronger, more independent character with enhanced powers and a family. He lamented that those changes did not stick, and the kids were killed shortly after he ceased writing the character.[20]

Don Markstein's Toonpedia asserted: "The Scarlet Witch is unique among superheroes, and not just because she's the only one who wears a wimple. Her super power is unlike any other—she can alter probability so as to cause mishaps for her foes."[134]

The Scarlet Witch was the second-highest-ranked female character (at #12) on IGN's list of "The Top 50 Avengers",[135] and was ranked 97th in Wizard's "200 Greatest Comic Book Characters of All Time" list.[136] She was #14 on Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.[137]

Other versionsEdit

In other mediaEdit



Marvel licensed the filming rights of the X-Men and related concepts, such as mutants, to Fox. Fox created a film series based on the franchise. Years later, Marvel started their own film franchise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, focused in the characters that they had not licensed to other studios, such as the Avengers. The main core of this franchise were the Avengers, both in standalone films and the successful The Avengers film. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were disputed by both studios. Fox would claim the rights over them because they were both mutants and children of Magneto, the villain of most of their films, and Marvel would claim those rights because the editorial history of the characters in comic books is more associated with the Avengers rather than the X-Men. The studios made an agreement so that both of them would use the characters. It was made on the condition that the plots did not make reference to the other studio's properties: the Fox films could not mention them as members of the Avengers, and the Marvel films could not mention them as mutants or children of Magneto.[152] The arrangement became moot following the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney – the parent company of Marvel Studios, and the confirmation future X-Men films will take place within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.[153]

The 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past, however, did not feature Scarlet Witch. There is a brief image of Quicksilver with a small girl in the film (as well as a deleted scene where Quicksilver's sister and mother reference an unseen female sibling) but the director Bryan Singer denied that the girl was Scarlet Witch, saying that she was only Quicksilver's little sister, and that it was just a nod for comic book fans.[154] The sequel film X-Men: Apocalypse introduces another daughter of Magneto, Nina, who is also unrelated to the Scarlet Witch.[155]

Elizabeth Olsen plays Wanda Maximoff in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The comic book costume was ignored in favor of more everyday clothes. She first appeared, as well as Quicksilver, in a mid-credits scene of the 2014 film Captain America: The Winter Soldier as a prisoner of Baron Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann).[156] Scarlet Witch became a supporting character in the 2015 film Avengers: Age of Ultron, where the siblings initially conspire with Ultron (James Spader) but later defect to the Avengers.[157][158] Quicksilver dies in the ensuing conflict while Wanda goes on to become a member of Captain America's Avengers. She appears in the 2016 film Captain America: Civil War.[159] Both Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson signed multi-picture deals.[160] Olsen reprises the role in the 2018 film Avengers: Infinity War and its 2019 sequel Avengers: Endgame and will appear in the upcoming film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.[161][162] In the films, her primary powers are phenomenal telekinesis and telepathy, gained due to exposure to the Mind Stone.

Video gamesEdit


  • Scarlet Witch was among the Avengers in a Got Milk? TV spot in 1999.[177]

Collected editionsEdit

The Scarlet Witch's solo appearances have been collected in a number of trade paperbacks:

Title Material collected Publication date Creative Team ISBN
Vol 1: Witches' Road Scarlet Witch #1–5 July 2016 James Robinson (writer) 978-0785196822
Vol 2: World of Witchcraft Scarlet Witch #6-10 January 2017 978-0785196839
Vol 3: The Final Hex Scarlet Witch #11-15 May 2017 978-1302902667

See alsoEdit


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