Scarlet Witch


Scarlet Witch

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caption=The Scarlet Witch as drawn by George Pérez.
character_name=Scarlet Witch
real_name=Wanda Maximoff
species=Human Mutant
publisher=Marvel Comics
debut="Uncanny X-Men" #4 (Mar. 1964)
creators=Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
alliances=Brotherhood of Evil Mutants
Avengers
West Coast Avengers
Defenders
Secret Defenders
Force Works
Lady Liberators
aliases=Wanda Frank, Ana Maximoff, Wanda Magnus
powers=Reality warping, manifested as probability alteration and magic|

The Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The Scarlet Witch is the daughter of master villain Magneto, the twin sister of Quicksilver and the half-sister of Polaris.

Publication history

The character first appears in "X-Men" #4 (Sep. 1963) and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Fictional character biography

The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver's pregnant mother — Magda — takes sanctuary at Mount Wundagore in Transia, the home of the High Evolutionary, after seeing her husband Magnus use his magnetic powers for the first time. The twins are born; as Mt. Wundagore is the prison of the Elder God Chthon, his residual energies alter Wanda, which will later give her the ability to use magic in addition to her mutant abilities. Fearing that Magnus would discover the children, Magda leaves but dies of exposure to the elements. The births are attended by Bova, who soon after assists World War II superheroine Miss America, who gives birth to a stillborn child and loses her own life in the process. These complications are thought to be due to radiation poisoning, deliberately caused by the villain Isbisa, the enemy of her husband Robert Frank, also known as the hero the Whizzer. Bova hides the truth from Frank and claims that only the mother has died, and that he now has twin children. Frank, however, is shocked at the death of his wife and flees at super-speed. ["Avengers" #185 - 187 (Jul. - Sep. 1979)] As Wundagore was no place for human infants, the High Evolutionary places them in the care of the gypsies Django and Marya Maximoff, who raise the twins as their own children. The twins are forced to flee a mob when Wanda uses her powers to protect herself, which causes a fire that kills their adopted gypsy mother. [Recounted in "Vision and the Scarlet Witch" Vol. 2, #1 - 12 (Oct. 1985 - Sep. 1986)]

Once Pietro and Wanda reach adolescence, they discover that they are in fact mutants. Pietro possesses superhuman speed, while Wanda learns that she can control probability. When the pair display their powers in public, and are again attacked by a superstitious crowd, they are saved by their father — now the supervillain Magneto — although neither Magneto nor his children are aware of their connection. Magneto then recruits the pair for the first incarnation of his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. As part of Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Wanda battles the original X-Men in their fist mission for Magneto. ["X-Men" #4-7] The Brotherhood battles the X-Men on several occasions, although the twins become reluctant members of the Brotherhood and only remain because of their obligation to Magneto. When Magneto and his lackey the Toad are abducted by the cosmic entity the Stranger, the Brotherhood dissolves and the twins declare their debt to Magneto to have been paid. ["Uncanny X-Men" #11 (May 1965)]

Avengers

Soon after Magneto's abduction, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch are recruited by the hero Iron Man to join the Avengers. Along with Captain America as leader and former villain Hawkeye, the four become the second generation of Avengers and are later dubbed as "Cap's Kooky Quartet". ["Avengers" #16 (May 1965)] Wanda becomes close friends with Hawkeye and a loyal member of the team until accidentally shot on a mission against Magneto. Quicksilver then flees from the Avengers with his wounded sister. ["Avengers" #49 (Feb. 1968)] The pair accompany Magneto back to his mid-Atlantic base, ["Uncanny X-Men" #43 (Apr. 1968)] and Wanda spends the next few weeks recovering from her wound, watching as Magneto captures the X-Men ["Uncanny X-Men" #44 (May 1968)] and Pietro skirmishes with the X-Man Cyclops ["Uncanny X-Men" #45 (Jun. 1968)] and later Spider-Man. ["Spider-Man" #71 (Apr. 1969)] After these encounters the twins finally realize that Magneto is the true villain. Wanda and Pietro are then kidnapped along with several other mutants by the Sentinels, but are subsequently freed by the X-Men. ["Uncanny X-Men" #59 - 60 (Aug - Sep. 1969)]

Quicksilver later returns to the Avengers and advises them that Wanda has been kidnapped and taken to another dimension by the warlord Arkon. ["Avengers" #75 - 76 (Apr. - May 1970)] After being rescued, Wanda — together with Pietro — rejoins the team. The Scarlet Witch then falls in love with teammate the Vision, ["Avengers" #91] an android originally created as a weapon by Avengers foe Ultron. Before long, the two develop a romantic relationship. ["Avengers" #108-109] Their relationship has a tumultuous start as both Quicksilver and Hawkeye object — Quicksilver cannot accept his sister loves a robot while Hawkeye loves Wanda himself. ["Avengers" #109 (Mar. 1973)] Wanda later defeats Dormammu in the climax of the Avengers/Defenders clash. ["Avengers" #118] Wanda and Pietro also meet Robert Frank, the Whizzer, who is alleged to be their father, and briefly joins the Avengers. ["Giant-Size Avengers" #1] Wanda is captured by Dormammu, and rescued by the Vision; despite the initial conflict over their relationship, the Vision and Scarlet Witch are then finally married with the blessing of the entire team. ["Giant-Size Avengers" #4 (June 1975)]

The Scarlet Witch begins to become frustrated with the fluctuating level of her mutant ability, and is tutored in sorcery by a true witch, Agatha Harkness. The training allows Wanda even greater control over her hexes ["Avengers" #128 - 137 (Oct. 1974 - Jul. 1975)] Alongside the Avengers, she defeats the menace of the Serpent Crown. ["Avengers" #147-149] With the Thing and Stingray, she again halts the menace of the Serpent Crown. ["Marvel Two-in-One" #66] Wanda's training in sorcery later proves invaluable in battle against Ultron. ["Avengers" #161 (Jul. 1977)] Wanda and Pietro are abducted by Django Maximoff and taken to Wundagore, where Wanda is temporarily possessed by the demon Chthon; after being released they are advised by Bova that neither Frank nor Maximoff is their biological father. ["Avengers" #185 - 187 (July - Sep. 1979)] With Spider-Man, the Thing, Doctor Strange, and Quasar, she used the Cosmic Cube to overcome the Serpent Crown once more. ["Marvel Team-Up Annual" #5] Soon after, while trying to track down Magda one last time, Magneto would learn that he was the father of the twins. He immediately informed them of their relationship shortly after the birth of Pietro's daughter Luna. ["Vision and Scarlet Witch #4 ()] The Scarlet Witch and the Vision take a leave of absence from the Avengers, ["Avengers" #211 (Sep. 1981)] and courtesy of Wanda's enhanced power conceive twins. ["Vision and the Scarlet Witch" Vol. 2 #3 (Dec. 1985)] Wanda gives birth to twin sons named Thomas and William, ["Vision and the Scarlet Witch" Vol. 2 #12 (Sep. 1986)] and with the Vision eventually joins the West Coast Avengers, ["West Coast Avengers" Vol. 2 #34] needing some time away from the main team after the Vision becomes unbalanced and tries to take over the world's computers. [Climaxed in "Avengers" #254 (Apr. 1985)]

Their relationship is almost ended when the Vision is abducted by a coalition of the world governments and dismantled to ensure that he is no longer a threat. Although rebuilt, the Vision is recreated as a colorless, emotionless synthezoid. ["West Coast Avengers" #42-45 (Mar. - Jun. 1989)] Wanda's agitation is increased when Wonder Man - whose brain patterns were the model for the Vision - refuses to repeat the process and "humanize" the Vision, as he is secretly in love with the Scarlet Witch and sees an opportunity for himself. ["West Coast Avengers" #45 (Jun. 1989)] Now desperate, the Scarlet Witch consults a Dean of Robotics in the state of Texas, who secretly manages a mutant research facility. The Scarlet Witch is bonded with a sentient symbiotic substance, with the Dean intending to use Wanda as a prototype to replace mankind. Wanda is, however, rescued by her team mates with the assistance of Captain America and She-Hulk. ["Avengers West Coast" #47 - 49 (Aug. - Sep. 1989)]

Another personal setback follows when it is revealed that Wanda's children are in fact two missing shards of the soul of the demonic entity Mephisto. Master Pandemonium, who believed the shards were actually part of his soul, abducted the "children", which were revealed to have been imaginary creations of her magic and willpower, formed from portions of Mephisto's being, and were then returned to their original state. In an act of kindness, Agatha Harkness then erases all memory of the children from Wanda's memory. ["Avengers West Coast" #51-52 (Nov. - Dec. 1989)] Despite this, the Scarlet Witch retreats from reality and falls into a catatonic state. The Vision, now guided by cold logic, decides in the wake of recent developments on the East coast to return to the main team, and is apparently oblivious to the condition of his wife. ["Avengers West Coast" #53 (Mid Dec. 1989)] During the Atlantean invasion, Wanda is captured by Ghaur and Llyra as one of the seven "brides" of Set, although she is freed by the Fantastic Four and Avengers. ["Avengers Annual" #18; "Avengers West Coast Annual" #4; "Fantastic Four Annual" #22] Wanda's weakened state over the loss of her children and changes in her husband makes her susceptible to the mental commands of Magneto, who is also apparently being aided by Quicksilver. Adopting a new evil persona, Wanda turns against the Avengers as she and her family battle the Avengers West Coast team, ["Avengers West Coast" #55 - 57 (Feb. - Apr. 1990)] until it is revealed that Pietro was only waiting for the right moment to stop his father and helps drive Magneto off. During the battle Wanda again reverts back to a catatonic state, with this being caused by the time entity Immortus; although he is later defeated and Wanda is rescued by the Avengers and restored to sanity. ["Avengers West Coast" #60 - 63 (Jul. - Sep. 1990)]

Despite the Vision's absence, the Scarlet Witch remains with the team. When the West Coast team is dissolved by the main team due to internal disputes and mistakes in the field, ["Avengers West Coast" #102 (Jan. 1994)] Wanda goes on to lead a breakaway team called Force Works. ["Force Works" #1 (Jul. 1994)] The team suffers several setbacks, including the death of Wonder Man on the first mission. ["Force Works" #2 (Aug. 1994)] When the team splinters after the last mission involving Kang the Conqueror, ["Force Works" #22 (Apr. 1996)] the Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye return to the main team. ["Avengers" #397 (Apr. 1996)] The Vision and Scarlet Witch reconcile shortly before sacrificing themselves with the other Avengers and Fantastic Four to stop the mutant villain Onslaught. ["Onslaught: Marvel Universe" (1996)] Due to the intervention of Franklin Richards, the Scarlet Witch and her team mates exist in a parallel universe for a year, ["Avengers" #1 - 13 Vo. 2, (Nov. 1996 - Dec. 1997)] until being returned to the mainstream universe by Franklin. ["Heroes Reborn: The Return" #1 - 4 (Sep. - Dec. 1997)]

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 in le Fay's image. Although successful, Wanda retaliates by restoring Captain America's memories, who in turn is able to restore several Avengers' memories. Wanda also accidentally resurrects Wonder Man, who assists in her escape. Although the Avengers defeat le Fay, the Vision is damaged in the final battle when Le Fay destroys the lower half of his body. The Vision is placed in a surgical repair device, and via hologram communicates with Wanda and asks her not to visit him while he heals. ["Avengers" #1 - 4 Vol. 3, (Feb. - Apr. 1998)]

An upset Wanda visits Agatha Harkness and learns that she is now able to channel chaos magic, which will allow her to change reality. After much deliberation and still hurting from Vision's rejection, Wanda resurrects Wonder Man and the two become lovers. ["Avengers" #10 Vol. 3, (Nov. 1997)] The Vision is eventually repaired and there is a confrontation between he and Wonder Man, although they part on amicable terms. ["Avengers" #23 Vol. 3, (Dec. 1998)] During the war against Kang, Wanda and Wonder Man separate, as they realize that theirs is a relationship of passion with no interest in a normal future. ["Avengers" #51 Vol. 3, (Apr. 2002)] Wanda later reconciles with the Vision, and becomes energized with chaos magic when the villain Scorpio splits the cosmic entity the In-Betweener into his separate order and chaos personas. ["Avengers" #58 - 60 Vol. 3, (Jun. - Aug. 2002)]

Avengers Disassembled

After the Avengers return from events in England, Janet Van Dyne, the Wasp, enters into a romantic tryst with the wounded-but-recovering Hawkeye. While discussing the affair with Wanda, a slightly tipsy Wasp confesses to a pregnancy scare and inadvertently mentions Wanda's own children. This, plus her growing powers, causes Wanda to suffer a mental breakdown. Wanda started rewriting reality, causing a series of threats and incidents to inexplicably occur one after the other, including the deaths of the Vision, Scott Lang and Hawkeye. Wanda also resurrects the recently deceased Jack of Hearts, so that he could explode, killing himself and Ant-Man, and destroy half the mansion. She also proceeds to recreate her children. In a flashback, Wanda angrily confronts Agatha Harkness about her children. The Avengers confront her and Dr. Strange shuts down her mind. Wanda is then retrieved by her father Magneto, and taken to Genosha. Nick Fury finds Agatha's corpse at her home, and realizes that she has been dead for a while.

House of M and Decimation

After the events of the House of M, a newly resurrected Hawkeye seeks out and becomes intimate with Wanda, who is now living a normal life with no mutant abilities and no memory of her past. ["New Avengers" #26 (Jan. 2007)] The mutant Beast later finds Wanda and seeks her help to deal with the aftermath of Decimation, but she has no memory of him. ["X-Men: Endangered Species" (Oct. 2007)] The Young Avengers Wiccan and Speed then decide to find Wanda, as Wiccan wants to know once and for all if she is indeed their mother. They travel to several places connected to Wanda and themselves in their search. Though they do not find her, she is briefly shown leading a seemingly normal and peaceful life in a house in the woods at the base of a mountain. ["Young Avengers Presents" #3 (2008)]

Powers and abilities

Initially, the Scarlet Witch had the mutant ability to manipulate probability via her "hexes", which usually manifested physically as "hex spheres" or "hex bolts". Wanda has the ability to affect probability fields to cause an occurrence of various unlikely phenomena, including spontaneous combustion of flammable objects, rapid rust or decay of organic or inorganic materials, deflection of objects in flight, and disruption of energy transmissions or fields. These hexes were relatively short range, with a 20% unreliability factor, and limited to line of sight. Casting a hex requires a gesture and concentration on her part, though the gestures are largely a focus for the concentration. Despite this precision, the hexes are not necessarily guaranteed to work, particularly if Wanda is tired or using her powers excessively. If overextended, Wanda's hexes can backfire, causing probability to work against her wishes or to undo previous hexes. The effects are varied but almost always detrimental to opponents, such as causing the robot Ultron to short circuit ["Avengers" #162 (Jul. 1977)] or a gas main underneath the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants to explode. ["Avengers" Annual #10 (1981)]

Writer Kurt Busiek redefined the Scarlet Witch's powers, and maintained that it was in fact an ability to manipulate chaos magic, given to her by the demon Chthon (imprisoned within Wundagore Mountain) when she was born. Busiek's redefinition upgraded Wanda's powers substantially, and she is shown as being capable of feats such as the resurrection of Wonder Man. Writer Brian Michael Bendis later revamped Wanda's powers yet again, with Doctor Strange stating that there was in fact no such thing as chaos magic and implying that rather she had been altering reality. After she lost control of her powers during the Avengers Disassembled event, as a precaution Doctor Strange shut down her mind.

Other versions

1602

In "Marvel 1602", the Scarlet Witch character is Sister Wanda, a nun working for Inquisitor Enrique (Magneto).issue While she is a witch-breed (this reality's mutants), her powers aren't defined; she does, however, show awareness of supernatural forces and the power to repel/banish them.

Age of Apocalypse

During the Age of Apocalypse, The Scarlet Witch is a member of Magneto's X-Men. She dies defending the X-Men's base on Wundagore Mountain from an attack by Nemesis, her last act being to ask the newly-arrived Rogue to take care of her father. ["X-Men Chronicles" #1 (Mar. 1995)]

Exiles

Nocturne, a former member of the alternate-reality traveling Exiles, and now a member of New Excalibur, is the daughter of the Scarlet Witch and Nightcrawler in an alternate reality. In a flashback to TJ's time, Wanda was shown to still be in the Avengers.issue

Heroes Reborn

Scarlet Witch was one of the Avengers in the Heroes Reborn universe, in which she was raised by Agatha Harkness. The Asgardian sorceress Enchantress falsely claims to be her mother. ["Avengers Reborn" #1 Vol. 2, (Nov. 1996)]

JLA/Avengers

The Scarlet Witch's powers were magnified to an extreme amount in the DC Universe, where Chaos Magic is a product of the powerful Lords of Chaos. The power, evil in nature, started to corrupt Wanda, and it is implied she would have succumbed to darkness had she remained in the DCU.issue

Marvel Zombies

A version of the Scarlet Witch helps Ash find the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis. She is later attacked and infected by a zombie Punisher. She can later be seen in the main Marvel Zombies series as a background character. ["Marvel Zombies" #1 - 6 (Dec. 2005 - Apr. 2006)]

MC2

An older version of the Scarlet Witch appears in the MC2 universe. ["A-Next" #1 (Oct. 1998)]

Ultimate Scarlet Witch

In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, Wanda Lensherr Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, is still the daughter of Magneto and the sister of Quicksilver. She has the ability to alter probability; making the impossible, possible. Wanda is originally a member of Magneto's cult, the Brotherhood of Mutants. Following her father's apparent death, she and her brother lead the Brotherhood and guide the group away from Magneto's mutant supremacist ideals and keep in touch with Charles Xavier to promote a more peaceful mutant-human integration. The siblings eventually agree to work for the Ultimates in exchange for the release of imprisoned Brotherhood members, although Nick Fury retains them in the black ops division of the team due to their terrorist past. When Magneto returns and takes back leadership of the Brotherhood, Wanda and Pietro flee to the Triskelion (homebase of the Ultimates) and side against him. The pair are then elevated to public status on the Ultimates, having proved their loyalty.

Wanda was recently killed (via a seeking bullet) by an unknown assailant. Devastated by the loss, Pietro leaves the Ultimates (partnering with their father Magneto and taking Wanda's body) to seek her murderer. ["Ultimates" Vol. 3 (#1 - 2 2007)]

Powers and abilities

The Ultimate Scarlet Witch has to "do the math" in order to use her powers — she must calculate the mathematical probability that the effect she intends to create will actually happen, with the more unlikely the effect, the more complex the mathematical formula. Very much like her Earth-616 counterpart, Wanda can fly, alter reality, create force fields, and teleport objects. A drawback is that Wanda must use her hands to channel her powers.

Other Media

Television

* Scarlet Witch appeared as a part of the Avengers in select episodes of the Captain America portion of "The Marvel Superheroes".
* The Scarlet Witch appears in the 1994 animated television series "Iron Man" voiced by Katherine Moffat in Season One and Jennifer Darling in Season Two.
* The Scarlet Witch made both a guest and a cameo appearance in the 1990s X-Men animated series. She was voiced by Tara Strong.
* The Scarlet Witch appears in the 1999 animated television series "". She was voiced by Stavroula Logothettis.
* The Scarlet Witch appeared in the animated television series "". She was voiced by Kelly Sheridan. she first appeared in episode 215, "The HeX Factor", and her last appearance was episode 409, Ascension part 2 (the series finale)
* Scarlet Witch has been confirmed to appear in "Wolverine and the X-Men" voiced by Kate Higgins. In the series, there are hints of a possible romantic interest with Nightcrawler.

Video games

* The Scarlet Witch is a playable character in the game "" voiced by Jennifer Hale. In the game, Scarlet Witch is a member of Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutants and she joins the combined team in order to rescue her brother Quicksilver and her half-sister Polaris from Apocalypse. Despite being a member of the Brotherhood, she does not share her father's view of humanity. According to Wanda, she and Quicksilver largely remain in the Brotherhood to restrain their father's actions.

Toys

* The Scarlet Witch was part of the Avengers line released by Toy Biz in 1996, and was part of Marvel Legends, Series 11.

Other

* The Scarlet Witch was among the Avengers in the Got Milk? TV spot in 1999.

Footnotes

External links

* [http://www.marvel.com/universe/Scarlet_Witch_%28Wanda_Maximoff%29 Scarlet Witch] at Marvel.com
*
* [http://www.uncannyxmen.net/db/spotlight/showquestion.asp?faq=10&fldAuto=90 UncannyXmen.net Spotlight on Scarlet Witch]


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