Agatha Harkness is a centuries old witch and possesses a great mastery of magic. Her remarkable talents already soon led to her meeting the Fantastic Four. She lived in a home on Whisper Hill, until it was destroyed during a fight.
Agatha was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and first appeared in Fantastic Four #94 (1970) .
Major Story Arcs
Witch Hunts and the New World
In 1428, in Transia, near Wundagore Mountain, Agatha was with her coven attempting a protection spell to defend them from the oncoming angry mob. They had found out that Agatha and her friends were witches. Among her coven were the ancestors of Nico Minoru and Zoe Laveau. Laveau’s ancestor withheld information that Corina, their youngest member, would be sacrificed to the dimensional being, Valtorr, for the spell to work. Agatha, who disapproved of Laveau’s measures, continued for many years to save Corina but was never strong enough to take on Valtorr.
Centuries later, Agatha moved to the “new world” of America. She settled in Salem, Massachusetts and hoped to start a new coven and practice magic in peace. Unfortunately, this resulted in the Salem Witch Trials, which Agatha originally approved of thinking it would test their skills and only make them stronger. Her mind was changed by a time-traveling Firestar, who showed her that war was not the only way.
She uprooted her coven and moved to Colorado, starting the town of New Salem. There she would marry and give birth to a son, named Nicholas Scratch.
Nanny of the Fantastic Four
For decades, Agatha had built a good reputation as a governess, a teacher of children in private households. When Reed and Sue Richards had a son, named Franklin Richards, Agatha was hired to be the nanny to the young boy. This was not only done because she seemed to be a sweet older woman but also because of her capability to keep Franklin from harm, even from the supernatural if need to be.
Agatha and Franklin had a good relationship, and Franklin was often left in her care when the Fantastic Four went on an adventure. She soon noticed something strange about the boy. Franklin was an extremely powerful mutant, it seemed. She was the first to warn his parents of his reality-warping power.
Over the years, she became an indispensable ally to the Fantastic Four. She gave them prophetic warnings of threats from Overmind and Air-Walker. She sheltered them when Atlanteans attacked New York City. She even once rescued Reed when he was stuck in the Negative Zone. Ultimately, her work with Franklin's powers led to the defeat of Ultron.
During the fight with Ultron, the Fantastic Four teamed up with the Avengers. This gave Agatha the opportunity to cross paths with The Scarlet Witch. Sensing her potential, she announced to the Fantastic Four that Franklin no longer needs her and convinced Wanda to accept her as a teacher. She would continue to teach her until her marriage to the Vision.
Back in New Salem, Nicholas Scratch, Wanda’s now-adult son, fathered seven children. These children had immense magical power and were assembled as Salem’s Seven. Scratch would use them to help him take over the town of New Salem. He convinced the townsfolk that Agatha had betrayed them by taking her job with the Fantastic Four and had her and Franklin Richards kidnapped to be put on trial. The Fantastic Four came to their rescue, defeating the Salem’s Seven and revealing Scratch’s true evil nature. With this revelation, the townsfolk had him banished.
Salem’s Seven would eventually take over the town again. They would kidnap their grandmother, Agatha, and burn her at the stake. This got the attention of Wanda and Vision, who fought and defeated Agatha’s grandkids. The magic Wanda absorbed from them would set the stage for the twins she magically conjured for her and Vision to parent.
Because this power was borrowed from pieces of Mephisto’s soul, he eventually reabsorbed the twins, causing Wanda to have a nervous breakdown. Agatha, inexplicably resurrected, would show up and wipe Wanda’s memory, hoping to relieve her of the trauma. This would eventually backfire, when Wanda’s mind fractured entirely.
During the events of Avengers Disassembled, it was revealed that Agatha had died by the hands of her former pupil, the Scarlet Witch. The Scarlet Witch had had a nervous breakdown over the loss of her children. When Agatha tried to help the Witch by confronting her with her loss, she became feral and slew Agatha in the process. Agatha has not been heard from since her death, but it seems logical that the Avengers had a burial for her.
Agatha was resurrected when her spirit came to the aid of Scarlet Witch, who was investigating an illness in witchcraft. She teamed up with the spirit of Wanda’s biological mother, Natalya, to combine their powers with that of Wanda’s to take on Chaos, an abstract identity that sought to kill the Goddess of Witchcraft. Natalya sacrificed herself to take Chaos out, ensuring Witchcraft's safety and returning Agatha to the land of the living.
Eventually, she took a job at the Strange Academy, a school founded by Doctor Strange to prepare the next generation of magic users. There, she would work with student Zoe Laveau and guest lecturer Nico Minoru, descendants of women she once was in a coven with. One day, she, along with most of the magic users in the world, had a shared prophetic vision of the end of the world centered around Zoe. As vapor goons arrived to attacked Zoe, Agatha whisked her away to safety.
In an old safe house of Agatha's, she described to Zoe the mistake that her coven made when summoning Valtorr and wants Zoe's help in fixing it. Unknown to Agatha, Corina, the coven member who was left to Valtorr, was now going by Korrosion. She had slain Valtorr and was now manipulating the prophecy to get vengeance. With help from a magic mirror, Zoe and Agatha connected to the Spirit Rider, Kushala, who was trapped in Valtorr's realm with a newly assembled Midnight Suns investigating the vision. She connected them to Midnight Suns from other realities fighting Korrosion.
With the help of Zoe and a variant Nico Minoru, Agatha used the ancestors of her former coven members to create the apocalyptic vision that started everything. This created an anchor in the present for the Midnight Suns to jump to from Valtorr's realm and protect Zoe and Agatha from the vapor goons. This gave Agatha the opportunity to create a magical dagger and stab Korrosion, causing them both to disappear. With the danger seemingly gone, Kushala and her other teammates returned Zoe to the Strange Academy.
However, Agatha did not die. She was reborn with her youth restored.
Witchcraft: Agatha possesses a great mastery of the mystic arts. She can also create illusions, move objects, project force-fields and thoughts, and teleport.
- High Priestess: Agatha Harkness' mystic abilities are so vast, that she is 1/3 the Earth's High Priestess, a title that she shares equally with her former student, Scarlet Witch, and X-man, Storm.
- Familiar: Her pet cat, Ebony, can transform into a mystical panther and is very dangerous.
- Longevity: Agatha has been alive for quite some time and recently been restored to a level of youthfulness.
- Height: 5'11"
- Weight: 130 lbs
- Eye Color: Blue
- Hair Color: Black with a gray streak
- Citizenship: American, by way of the colonies
- Marital Status: Previously married
- Occupation: Witch, teacher at Strange Academy; formerly governess, town leader
- Known Relatives: Unrevealed husband, Nicholas Scratch (son), Brutacus, Gazelle, Hydron, Reptilla, Thornn, Vakume, and Vertigo (grandchildren)
Ultimate Agatha Harkness
In the Ultimate Universe, Agatha is a Colonel in S.H.I.E.L.D. with Alpha Clearance. She visits the Baxter Building to have words with Dr. Franklin Storm. She feels that the needs of the Fantastic Four are not being met. She says the history of the program they are running is one of squandered potential and wasted opportunity.
She proceeds to interview each member, asking questions about their personal lives and relationships. She seems to want to really connect with Johnny Storm. Agatha is a professor in the Ultimate Universe. However, she does not like Susan Storm and she brilliantly leads Susan into an ambush. Agatha joins with the rest of Salem's Seven in beating Susan to the edge of unconsciousness and tossing her into the river to meet a watery doom.
X-Men Evolution (2000)
Agatha appeared in two episodes of X-Men: Evolution.
Agatha was recruited by Mystique to help Wanda, recently freed from a mental institution, to develop and control her powers. Later, after Mystique was turned into stone in freeing Apocalypse, Nightcrawler sought her out in hopes of helping his mother. Agatha admitted that there was nothing she could do, but revealed that Rogue might have the ability to change Mystique back with her powers.
Agatha Harkness was voiced by Pauline Newstone.
The Avengers: United They Stand (1999)
Agatha Harkness has appeared in the Avengers: United They Stand episode ''The Sorceress' Apprentice'' voiced by Elizabeth Shepherd.
Agatha Harkness is a "nosy neighbor" sitcom-trope named Agnes to Wanda and Vision in Westview, before she was revealed to use magic which she used to fight Wanda. Agnes is played by Kathryn Hahn in WandaVision on the Disney+ streaming service.
Agatha was a member of a coven of witches in Salem. She was caught practicing dark magic and put on trial by her mother. But amidst her execution by magic, she reversed it and killed her would-be murderers, including her mother.
Sensing a wave of magic, she ended up in Westview which was stuck in a warped reality under Wanda Maximoff's control. Intent on uncovering how it happened, she feigned submission and with knowledge from the Darkhold, she took on the identity of Agnes.
Agatha: Coven of Chaos
Kathryn Hahn will reprise her role as Agatha Harkness in the WandaVision spin-off about the title character which will be called Agatha: Coven of Chaos. The spin-off will be streaming on Disney+.
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