Scarlet Witch is a Marvel Comics
character, now widely known as the instigator for several arcs
like Avengers Disassembled
and House of M
. She first appeared in "X-Men
" vol. 1 #4 (March, 1964), created by Stan Lee
and Jack Kirby
. Wanda Maximoff, daughter of Erik Magnus Lehnsherr (AKA Magneto
), was born with magic-like mutant powers. With her twin brother Pietro (aka Quicksilver
), she was raised in the Wundagore Mountains by gypsies
. As it turned out, Wundagore served as a prison
for the Elder God Chthon
who imparted a fraction of his power to Wanda so that she might one day serve as his vessel
. Eventually, she and Pietro were recruited into the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants by their father (though neither he nor they were aware of their relationship at the time), and for a while they were both enemies of the X-Men
. Eventually Magneto was imprisoned and, having nowhere else to go, Wanda and Pietro applied for membership in The Avengers
along with another ex-villain (Hawkeye
/Clint Barton). Captain America
accepted them, as the roster was then empty (except for himself) and thus they converted to the side of good
Initially, she had a mutant power: just point in some direction, and weird things will happen. "Witch" was just a fancy name. In time, she began to study actual magic with Agatha Harkness, a real witch, and began to earn her name. During Kurt Busiek's run, she tapped into the "Chaos magic" and became one of the most powerful (if not the most) Avenger.
Wanda fell in love with and married The Vision
, the Avengers' Ridiculously Human Robot
, but the marriage was troubled when she became pregnant. Wanda had used her powers to conceive with the android, and give birth to twin sons, only to later find out that she had drawn on the demon Mephisto's magic, who proceeded to erase their existence. The time-traveling villain Immortus claimed he had set up all these events
, including her marriage to Vision, with the goal of driving Wanda insane, since she was the "living anchor of reality"
of her universe. He intended to use her to reshape reality to his will
, but the Avengers stopped him. She then suppressed her memory
of her children, and it seemed she could move on (even though she had to break up with Vision afterwards).
Alas, it wasn't meant to be.
While discussing just how complicated having kids would be for a superhero, Janet/the Wasp slipped up and briefly mentioned Wanda's "kids" to her, leading Wanda to discover the truth and consequently suffer a complete breakdown. Thus began the arc of Avengers Disassembled
, where Wanda lost control of her powers and killed off several Avengers, including Vision and Hawkeye, without even being physically present — she spent most of the arc being kept company by illusions of her children until the Avengers came to confront her. She was eventually disabled by Doctor Strange
, only for Magneto to come and take her to Genosha to atone for his neglect. But her rampage destroyed the Avengers, since they couldn't go on after to the damage she had caused.Captain America
and Iron Man
founded the New Avengers and were about to move on, until...
Tensions arose between Magneto and Professor X in Genosha, because Xavier refused to help Wanda as she attempted to bring her husband back to life. In the end, Magneto retreated further and Xavier called in the X-Men
to decide on Wanda's fate; they agreed to kill her. Pietro overheard this news and in horror pleaded with Wanda to take immediate action. She ended up rewriting reality so Mutants became the dominant species, and Wanda had a human body in which she could have her sons. This was House of M
(check the main article for the details of what happened).
At the climax of House of M
, Wanda turned on Magneto after seeing what he had done with his mutant-dominated world, prioritizing mutants over his children and even killing Pietro in a rage. To get revenge on him and
Professor X, who refused to help her, she uttered the words
: "No more mutants"
, and reverted the world back to normal, depowering 90% of all mutants in the process and causing many deaths. Subsequently, she lost her memories and powers and retreated to a secluded life on Wundagore. Clint Barton, now revived, paid her a visit and eventually decided that she was better off not knowing what she had done.
The Scarlet Witch reappeared and instigated the formation of the Mighty Avengers (although some heroes like The Young Avengers
' Stature were justifiably angry at her), which included Pietro himself. However, it transpired that this was not the real Scarlet Witch but the trickster Loki
using her image as a disguise.
In the 2011 The Childrens Crusade
, Magneto teamed up with Wiccan
to find Wanda and get some answers. She was discovered living with Doctor Doom as his engaged bride, with no memory of her past. After an intervention by Iron Lad, Wanda and the Young Avengers were transported into the past, and a chance encounter with the Dread Jack of Hearts reawakened her memory. Declaring "More mutants," she touched the depowered mutant Rictor and restored his abilities. But the X-Men
came calling... as did the Avengers.
wanted Wanda dead to make her pay for mutant genocide, while the Avengers protected her to give her a chance to redeem her mistakes. But turns out everything was a ploy for Doom to steal Wanda's powers and gain omnipotent powers. Eventually both teams banded together to defeat Doom and cripple him. The X-Men
decided to not kill her and instead let her live as a method to pay for her crimes. Captain America
offered her a spot in the Avengers once more, and she can currently be seen in Uncanny Avengers
It was recently announced that Scarlet Witch will enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe
in Joss Whedon
's sequel to The Avengers
- Vision and the Scarlet Witch Vol. 1 (1982)
- Vision and the Scarlet Witch Vol. 2 (1986)
- Scarlet Witch (1994)
- Mystic Arcana: Scarlet Witch (2007)
- Avengers Origins: The Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver (2012)
Tropes associated with the Scarlet Witch:
- Actually a Doombot: In the Children's Crusade mini, it was revealed that the Wanda living on Wundagore Mountain after House of M was a duplicate.
- The Apprentice: To Agata Harkness
- Break the Cutie: Taken Up to Eleven. Just...see above.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Wanda's relationships with her brother Pietro sometimes look a little 'too close'. In Ultimate Marvel Universe they are outright stated to be lovers.
- Cape Snag: She has a pair of cases at the West Coast, and tried a new costume without cape. It didn't stick.
- Clones Are People Too: Sort of. Have you ever seen a Love Triangle made of a woman and 2 male clones? Well, you have the love triangle of the Scarlet Witch, Wonder Man, and the robot The Vision. A robot whose brain patterns are a copy of those of Wonder Man. They do not look alike, and had different lives since Ultron first made the Vision in the 70s, but still...
- Demonic Possession: By Ch'ton
- Fake Brit: In the second X-Men Legends game, she was voiced by Jennifer Hale with a British accent. Never mind that Wanda isn't even British.
- Generation Xerox: In the Young Avengers, Stature falls in love with Iron Lad, a kid from the XXX century. Who rebuilds the Vision, using his own brain patterns on him. And then he returned to his own time, leaving the Vision behind, who begins a love relation with Stature. Sounds familiar? It should. See "Clones are people, too".
- Heel Face Revolving Door: She's gone from evil to good to mad to...
- Hot Mom: To Wiccan and Speed of the Young Avengers...sort of. She's not their biological mother, but their souls (or at least part of them) are those of the children she created, reborn.
- Not to mention she has an alternate reality daughter with Nightcrawler.
- Hot Witch: Mutant powers? Magic? Mutant powers that let her tap into magic? No matter which, she qualifies.
- Lady of Black Magic
- My Sister Is Off Limits: Quicksilver's attitude over her the first years. Turned into a I Have No Sister when she told him about her relation with the Vision.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: At the end of "Ultron Unlimited". All the battle-weary Avengers were counting on her to use her powers to break Ultron's body... but she was badly hurt, could not concentrate, and made Ultron more powerful than ever instead. If The Cavalry did not arrive to save the day...
- Power Creep, Power Seep: When she started out, she had only the power to create "hexes," which would cause bad things to happen. Her powers have since expanded to the point where she is a Reality Warper almost on par with Q.
- In Avengers Vs X-Men, her powers are somehow connected to the Phoenix and thus increase dramatically once the Phoenix comes to Earth.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Several Big Bads, such as Immortus and Morgan Le Fay, used her as their power source.
- The origin of her powers is a combination of her natural mutant abilities and being infused with a portion of the powers of Chthon, an immensely powerful demonic entity, who intended to use her as his host. And still does.
- Reality Warper: Her probability manipulation could be regarded as a minor form of reality warping. Crossover event Avengers Disassembled cranked her up to full Reality Warper.
- Robosexual: She even married The Vision. And as of Avengers Vs X-Men, it's shown that she still loves him.
- Scarlet Fever
- She's Back: The formation of Mighty Avengers teased this, but it was really Loki in disguise. Played straight in Children's Crusade #6 — Wanda's alive, repowered, and back to her old self. Which arguably makes things even more complicated.
- At the end of the Children Crusade, seems like it's going to be permanent.
- The Power of Love: More than mere magic, it's what allowed Wanda to bring Wonder Man back from the dead.
- Tomboy: Hard to imagine nowadays, but the Scarlet Witch was a bit tomboy back in the 1970s. Even Hawkeye once defined her as a "Churchill with skirts"
- Took a Level in Badass: When she tapped into chaos magic, at the begining of Kurt Busiek's run. She grew from being mere Fetish Fuel, the girl in the swimsuit that makes tricks, into being arguably the most powerful Avenger (but not as far as with reality warping yet). In fact, several battles had the other Avengers gaining time until she could concentrate and defeat the monster with her magic.
- Trauma Induced Amnesia
- Truly Single Parent: Created her two sons with nothing but her reality warping powers. Or so it was in the beginning.
- Unwanted Harem: Being the only female in Magneto's earliest incarnation of the Brotherhood of Evil and the only female Avenger for a while probably caused a lot of it.
- Weddings for Everyone: Mantis and the Swordsman got married at the end of The Celestial Madonna Saga; and as they were at it, why not get the Vision and the Scarlet Witch married too? What a pity that Pietro is not there, he will miss the wedding... but hey, he made a I have no sister scene about her love for the Vision, and he did not invite her to his wedding with Crystal, so he deserves being left out.
- Winds of Destiny, Change: Trope Namer. What her mutant power was originally thought to be. Everyone underestimated.