The Scarlet Witch (real name Wanda Maximoff) is a human with the ability to alter probability. For a time, she was believed to be the daughter of the mutant Magneto and his late Roma wife Magda. Wanda is also the fraternal twin sister of Pietro (Quicksilver); she was born first of the two. Wanda and her brother are both Romani and Jewish. Shortly after Magda became pregnant, she witnessed her husband use his magnetic powers and realized that he was a mutant. Being terrified of mutants, Magda did not tell him about her pregnancy and fled from their home at the first opportunity. Magda eventually found refuge with a benevolent cow-like humanoid named Bova, who lived on Mount Wundagore in Transia. The twins were born on Mt. Wundagore, and due to the mountain's mystical energy, it gave Wanda the ability to use magic in addition to her other powers. Shortly after the birth, Magda was driven mad with fear that Magneto might come for her and discover the twins. Despite Bova's attempts to reassure her, she fled the mountain during a blizzard in order to protect the twins and apparently died of exposure soon afterward.
The motherless twins became the responsibility of Bova. A short time later, Bova helped a World War II heroine named Miss America give birth to a child fathered by her superhero husband, the Whizzer, but unfortunately, both child and mother died from radiation poisoning soon afterward. After Whizzer arrived, Bova only told him that Miss America had died, and gave him Pietro and Wanda to care for, claiming they were his children. Whizzer initially took the twins with him, but once he discovered they were not his own, he immediately returned them to Bova on Mt. Wundagore.
Bova then found another set of foster parents for Wanda and Pietro named Django and Marya Maximoff, who had just lost two children of their own. Django and Marya were Roma, and unfortunately suffered from prejudice and persecution in Transia. Django worked as a doll-maker, but it was hard for him to find customers due to him being Roma. Django eventually had to steal food to keep his family from starving. When Wanda grew older, she was sexually molested by a boy her age and was forced to use her powers to keep him away from her. The villagers, however, accused Wanda of seducing the boy and attacked the Maximoffs, setting fire to the family’s wagon. Marya was still inside and burned to death. They clubbed Django unconscious, but Wanda and Pietro were able to escape. Wanda and Pietro now believed that they were the only members of their family left. The two twins grew up together taking care of themselves, and Pietro grew very protective of Wanda.
The Scarlet Witch was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and first appeared in The X-Men #4 (1964).
Scarlet Witch has been through some major changes in her comic book career. Wanda began her career as a mutant on the side of evil, being a member of Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. But just over a year later in May 1965, she joined the Avengers and became a hero in Avengers #16. The line between good and evil with her blurred, not because of ideals, but because the slightest misuse of her powers was a cause for concern for many.
Bronze Age and Modern Age
For many years, Wanda was a core member of the Avengers and West Coast Avengers teams. But the Avengers Disassembled, House of M and Decimation storylines radically altered her powers and her place in the Marvel Universe. Her powers had initially been portrayed as a simple ability to manipulate probability and generate hexes on her opponents. But following a breakdown caused by the realization that she had lost her children, Wanda manifested an ability to alter all of reality and caused the deaths of several characters as she lashed out at her former friends. The Children's Crusade storyline, involving the Young Avengers in a quest to find and confront the now amnesiac Wanda who may once again alter her place in the Marvel Universe for good.
Major Story Arcs
Brotherhood of Evil Mutants
Eventually, Wanda and Pietro used their powers in public again, resulting in their being attacked by a superstitious mob. Magneto arrived and saved their lives, and in return, they agreed to join his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Wanda became known as the Scarlet Witch, and Pietro, due to his power of super-speed, took the name Quicksilver. They were the first members of the Brotherhood, but neither Magneto nor the twins were actually aware that Magneto was their real father.
Wanda was now a beautiful young woman and two male members of the Brotherhood, Toad, and Mastermind, often tried to seduce her, but Magneto always protected her from them. However, Magneto would also inflict pain on Wanda whenever she gave a thought of leaving the Brotherhood. Magneto recruited more powerful beings to aid the Brotherhood, such as Namor, after Wanda failed her objectives during certain missions. Namor eventually quit the Brotherhood after witnessing Wanda being abused by Magneto for her disloyalty. After Magneto was taken from Earth by the cosmic entity called the Stranger, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants effectively disbanded. The American superhero Iron Man then asked Wanda and Pietro to join his team of heroes, the Avengers.
The twins briefly went back to Europe to consider the offer, but soon returned to America and joined the Avengers. They wanted to redeem themselves for their past actions when they were members of the Brotherhood. Captain America trained them as Avengers, and Hawkeye became Wanda’s closest friend on the team. During her stay with the Avengers, Wanda became attracted to the android Avenger known as the Vision and the two began dating romantically.
Both Pietro and Hawkeye were very vocal in their disagreement with the relationship. Pietro felt dating an android was beneath Wanda, and Hawkeye also disapproved because he had developed his own feelings for Wanda. Eventually, Hawkeye got over his jealousy and gave Wanda and Vision his blessing. Pietro, on the other hand, denounced his sister’s love. Later, during an argument with Hawkeye, a telepath named Moondragon erased Pietro’s hate for the Vision.
Learning Her Powers & Marriage
Also during her time with the Avengers, Wanda was tutored by a true witch named Agatha Harkness. Harkness helped her to understand and employ her powers more efficiently. She disciplined Wanda’s magical ability and taught her to control her mutant hex power.
Wanda's romance with the Vision culminated in the two getting married. This important event in her life caused her to wonder who her real father was. For a time, she believed that the Whizzer was her biological father. Wanda eventually learned that Magneto was her real father, which made her even angrier at Magneto because of his abusive behavior during her time in the Brotherhood. Later, after Agatha Harkness died, Wanda became infused with magic powers that made her pregnant with twins, whom she named Thomas and William. Wanda and Vision decided to retire as Avengers in order to raise their children.
West Coast Avengers
Vision and Wanda eventually came out of retirement and joined a depleted West Coast Avengers. The Vision was kidnapped by other countries that were still angered with his attempt to take over the world years earlier. Vision's memories were eventually wiped clean, leaving him completely robotic and logic-driven and with no emotional attachment to anything, including Wanda. She decided to find a way to restore the Vision's memories and personality.
Wanda sought out Wonder Man, who was considered the Vision’s 'brother,' since the android's personality and memories had originally been created from Wonder Man's own. But since they shared the same psychic template, Wonder Man also loved Wanda and had always been jealous of the Vision. He wanted Wanda to marry him instead. Wonder Man was counseled by Wasp (who could not have children of her own and questioned the existence of Wanda’s children), who convinced him to not allow anyone to use his memories to restore the Vision’s.
Wanda’s children began to fade in and out of existence. It was eventually revealed that Agatha Harkness was still alive, and had used mystical energies containing parts of Mephisto’s soul, turning them into Wanda’s children in order to hide them. One of Mephisto’s minions kidnapped Wanda’s children and reabsorbed them back into Mephisto. The Avengers attempted to rescue the children but failed. Agatha erased a grief-stricken Wanda’s memories of her twins and helped the Avengers escape from Mephisto’s realm.
Everyone’s life went on, with Vision still having no memories and showing little concern for Wanda on the battlefield. Vision eventually decided to leave the West Coast team to join the East Coast roster. Wanda begged Vision to stay by her side, but he told her that the East Coast needed him more than she did. This led to Wanda having a nervous breakdown and helping found a new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, along with Magneto (who had returned to Earth) and Quicksilver. Pietro soon revealed that he only joined Magneto to take back his fragile sister. The West Coast Avengers tried to save Wanda, but she was then kidnapped by Immortus. Immortus revealed that he had manipulated Wanda’s relationship with Vision in order to destroy the android, and this process made Wanda emotionally fragile.
Force Works & Return to the Avengers
During the process, Wanda’s mutant power connected her to multiple parallel universes. She was then rescued by the West Coast Avengers and rejoined the team. Wanda stayed with the West Coast Avengers for quite some time. Hawkeye helped her deal with the loss of her husband and her twins. Wanda would eventually become leader of the West Coast Avengers, but soon left to become a founding member of a new team called Force Works. The ill-fated team did not last long however, when Wonder Man died on the first mission as a member of Force Works. The group disbanded, and Wanda rejoined the Avengers. Around this time, Vision began to regain his past memories and emotions for Wanda and the couple tried to reconcile. They were interrupted when they had to battle Onslaught and died alongside other heroes. They were put in an alternate universe, but were returned to their proper universe by Franklin Richards.
Return to Earth-616
After returning to their own Earth, Wanda, along with her fellow Avengers and the Fantastic Four, soon tried to settle down once more after the events of the last few months. It was however not much later that Wanda was kidnapped by the sorceress Morgan Le Fey. She was able to escape and resurrected Wonder Man to ghost form in the process. Le Fey battled Vision and wounded him badly. Vision tells Wanda not to visit him because of his current status and her fragile mind. Wanda revisited Agatha Harkness where she learns that her mutant powers were still evolving. She is able to now channel Chaos Magic which is considered very dangerous by professional magicians. Wanda also learns that she can resurrect the dead now. After she was rejected by Vision so much, she decided to revive Wonder Man and pursue a relationship with him. They began having an obvious affair right in front of Vision who had his entire memories restored. However, their relationship would go nowhere after Wonder Man reveals that he does not want to get married and have children. Wanda dumped Wonder Man right after that. Soon Wanda and Vision would reconcile and try to rebuild their relationship. Wanda began using her Chaos Magic more often and it started to consume her with chaos energy.
When the Wasp began a romantic relationship with Hawkeye, she would constantly talk to Wanda about the developments of their romance. One day after Wasp had a few drinks, she revealed to Wanda that she once had children that were hidden to her. This triggered something deep inside Wanda’s mind. She sought out her former teacher, Agatha Harkness to learn the truth, and murdered Agatha for the betrayal. She went on to exact her revenge on her fellow Avengers. She hit each of them unexpectedly. At this point, Wanda was believed not to be in her right mind, driven mad by her immense power and the memory of the children she lost. It is highly likely that what she did to the other Avengers was unknown even to her, and their destruction was created on a subconscious level.
First, the corpse of Jack Of Hearts was raised from the grave and blew up the Avengers Mansion, killing Scott Lang. It is not fully known whether this was actually Scott Lang's body, if his mind was in the body at the time of the attack, or if it was simply a construct generated by Wanda's magic which was meant to resemble the former Avenger. Next, during a U.N. meeting where Iron Man was speaking, the unmasked Tony Stark became overwhelmed with the sensation of drunkenness despite his long-term sobriety. He called out the Latverian ambassador, talking about how the entire country should be wiped off the map, and threatening to kill the politician where he stood. Before Hank Pym was able to lecture Tony, Wanda's Avengers communicator signaled a code white, signaling that they were needed at the Mansion. As Stark flew off, the United States Chief of Staff called him and informed him that he was being forced to resign from his position within the government.
Back at the mansion, SHIELD had arrived at the scene to lend assistance and investigate. The Vision flew in on an Avengers Quinjet, crashing into the side of the building. An apologetic Vision emerged from the rubble and ejected several metal orbs which grew into Ultron robots. The army of Ultron robots attacked the Avengers, sending She-Hulk into a blind rage. After the Ultron robots were defeated, She-Hulk ripped the body of the Vision in half, utterly destroying him. Iron Man arrived just in time to incapacitate her, but not before she had severely injured both Wasp and Lionheart.
At this point, Wanda had either killed or taken several of her teammates out of action, most likely still not even realizing that she was behind the attacks. The remaining Avengers had little time to try to figure out what was happening or who was attacking them before returning to the Mansion. When they returned, they found Nick Fury as well as many past members who were close enough to assemble, and a few friends of the team. Fury was trying to get the superheroes who had arrived to leave so that they wouldn't mess up his investigation when a group of Kree warriors (generated by Wanda's magic) flew in to attack. During the attack on the Avengers, Hawkeye sacrificed himself to bring down the Kree warship.
After the destruction of the ship, the remaining Kree fled and Doctor Strange arrived to inform them that the attacks on the Avengers were magic-based. He declared Wanda to be insane due to her possession of reality-altering abilities that were beyond her comprehension or control. He was aghast that she had been allowed to live her life without checks and balances, saying anyone who had such a powerful control over probability would have lost their grasp on reality. He scolded the Avengers for not consulting with him about Wanda’s past. He also reveals that there is no such thing as “Chaos Magic.”
Strange led the Avengers to Wanda who had begun creating a fake reality around her composed of those she cared for. The arrival of the Avengers threatened this peace and the existence of the children that she had once again willed into being. Wanda summoned new constructs of heroes and villains to battle the group of superheroes and created demons to battle Strange. She was no match for Strange's power, and she was immobilized by him. It was then that Magneto, hearing of his daughter's mental break, arrived to rescue her. Magneto took Wanda back to Genosha in hopes of healing her broken mind.
House of M
While in Genosha, Magneto asked Professor X to help Wanda but he refuses to do so. Instead, Xavier put Wanda in a coma. She was trying to restore her husband’s life and undo the harm she has caused. Xavier then calls a meeting with the Avengers and the X-Men to decide whether they should allow Wanda to live or not. A horrified Pietro immediately came to Wanda and told her of this. He convinced her, while she was in this fragile mental state, to distort probability to create a new reality, called House of M. In this new reality, the mutant/human ratio was reversed, and Magneto was the supreme ruler (hence, House of M). Wanda was also not a mutant in this reality and she had children.
However, Layla Miller used her powers to restore the memories of a few mutants, who created an assault force to try and re-establish the correct reality. This militia assumed it was Magneto who convinced Wanda to create the House of M. They attacked the House of M with a full army and in the process, Layla was able to restore Magneto’s memories. Wanda confessed it was Pietro that convinced her to warp reality.
Infuriated, Magneto yelled at his son for using his name in this and killed Pietro. Wanda then revived Pietro, angered that Magneto placed mutants over his own children. To remedy the problem, Wanda conjured all her powers and uttered the 3 most impacting words in all of the Marvel Universe: "No more mutants". This sent reality to where it was before with only a select few remembering what had happened, and 99% of the mutant population losing their powers. From that time onward, the events were referred to as M-Day.
It is later revealed, that not only does Wanda not remember House of M or have her powers, she does not have any recollection of who she was, and has created a new life for herself. She currently resides in an unknown village in Europe. Later, Hawkeye was able to track Wanda down to a city near Wundagore Mountain. Hawkeye saves Wanda from thieves but Wanda reveals that she has no memories of her past and believes that she has lived in the village her entire life. She thanks Hawkeye and calls him her hero. The two begin to get close and eventually they sleep together.
After that Hawkeye awoke and tried to enter Aunt Agatha's room, but when he tried to grab the doorknob, it disappeared as if by magic. Hawkeye looked at Wanda but she, seemingly, was still asleep. Beast has also tried to get Wanda to undo the damage she caused the mutant race. Instead, she tells him a story about the fisherman and the mermaid, after informing Beast his watch was a fake. He asks her questions about magic in the hopes it would trigger her memories, but she simply states she is waiting for her Aunt Agatha (who many suspect to be Agatha Harkness) and does not believe in magic.
Beast dreams of having a conversation with Wanda, who tells him "Sand is sand" and that he shouldn't mourn the passing of what passes, that she didn't invent death. When he tells her she delivered a death sentence, she reminds him that she spoke her mind and brought about change, not death. No more mutants, no more pain. However, when he brings up the valid point of asking about the mutants who were happy with their gifts, Wanda points out that he's still dreaming.
The Children's Crusade
The Young Avengers Wiccan and Speed convinced that the Scarlet Witch is their biological mother, go in search of the real Wanda. Along the way, they encounter both Magneto and Quicksilver, who are quickly drawn into a fight as Pietro attempts to kill his father Magneto. Wiccan transports the Young Avengers, Magneto, and Quicksilver to Transia to begin their search. In the midst of a fight, Wanda suddenly reappears, only to be 'killed' by Quicksilver, who had hurled some wooden stakes at Magneto but hit Wanda instead. This 'Wanda' is revealed to be a Doombot, suggesting to the gathered group that Wanda is being held captive by Dr. Doom. After teleporting solo into Castle Doom, Wiccan encounters Wanda inside her private quarters. Hoping for a nice reunion with his mother, Wiccan attempts to tell her that he is her son. Unfortunately, Wanda has no knowledge of him or anything about her past life. She tells him she is set to marry Doom in a day.
Before Wiccan can do anything, Doom bursts into the room and knocks him out with a blast from his suit. Doom reveals to Wiccan (after healing him and removing his powers) that he didn't find Wanda, instead, Wanda found him. She has lost her powers and has no recollection of her past. He also claimed that he loves her. On her wedding day, Wanda frees Wiccan from his chains and tells him that Victor wasn't acting in his usual way when he saw Wiccan and she asks Wiccan to tell her everything.
Wiccan tells her about Scarlet Witch up till the event when he meets Speed. He cuts off in his mid-sentence: "and I realized (that Speed and I are your lost twin sons)-" when he sees that the Avengers, as well as the Young Avengers and Magneto, have arrived in battle Doom and Wanda. Wolverine sees Wanda and attacks her and is about to kill her when he gets hit by a laser beam from Iron Lad.
While the rest of the Avengers and Young Avengers reunite with Iron Lad, Doom slips away to where Wanda and Wiccan are at and attempts to kill Billy. Wanda begs him to stop and says she doesn't believe Wiccan's story but wonders why Doom is so concerned she might have. Magneto burst through the wall and attacks Doom, while Billy slips away with Wanda saying they have to get her somewhere safe. Iron Lad appears and says he can help by transporting all the Young Avengers and Wanda to his safe haven in the Timestream. Iron Lad says that to try and help Wanda regain her memory, they should go back to the day it started when Wanda resurrected Jack of Hearts and murdered her teammates. Everyone is worried about them (especially Cassie) changing the past but Iron Lad assures them that with his technology, they can inhabit the past without affecting it. He transports them all to the Avengers Mansion, the day of Wanda's breakdown, but she still doesn't recognize or recall anything. Cassie sees her deceased father, Scott Lang, and runs to him. To everyone's surprise, she is able to touch him and he can see her. Suddenly Jack of Hearts appears and the Young Avengers (with Scott in tow) run from him. Wanda stays behind and walks up to Jack, and he pleads with her about why she's making him do this. As Speed, grabs Wanda to escape, Jack exploded. They appear in the present with Scott Lang, but in this reality, he is still dead, as he stands in front of his own memorial statue. They ask Iron Lad how that is possible and how he brought them and Scott there without changing the past. He replied that he didn't and then Wanda appears behind them saying that she did it. They turn to see Wanda, in her Scarlet Witch costume, telling them that Billy was right, she is the Scarlet Witch and she remembers everything.
Feeling guilty about her past misdeeds, Wanda attempts to commit suicide. Billy is able to talk her out of it by revealing that he believes himself and Speed to be her reincarnated children. He then requests that she use her powers to reveal whether or not he and Thomas are her children, to which she agrees. She realizes that they are in fact her children and her, Billy, and Thomas tearfully embrace each other. Beast suggests that Wanda absolve herself of her crimes by attempting to reverse the effects of M-Day. She is successfully able to restore the powers of the mutant known as Rictor, just as a team of X-Men shows up to confront her. As the X-Men try to take Wanda into their custody, both Magneto and the Avengers defend her which leads to a battle between both teams. During the battle, Emma Frost uses her telepathy to influence the thoughts of both Wiccan and Speed until Wanda interferes and causes each member of both teams to fall asleep before teleporting herself and the Young Avengers to Doctor Doom's castle. There Doctor Doom and Wanda convince the Young Avengers into using a spell to separate Wanda from her powers. Combining the powers of Wanda, Wiccan and Doctor Doom they began their spell until it was interrupted by Patriot, who fired an explosive arrow at Wanda which interrupted the spell before it could be completed and thereby giving Doctor Doom all the powers that they were trying to harness.
Avengers vs. X-Men
During Avengers vs. X-Men, Wanda finds herself on the side of the Avengers, her powers being the only thing capable of hurting the Phoenix Five. As the Phoenix avatars grew stronger, however, Wanda's hex bolts became less and less effective. Tony Stark deduced that it would require the efforts of both Wanda and Hope Summers to stop the Phoenix.
Although she had fought with Hope at first, they successfully defeated Cyclops after he became the Dark Phoenix and rid the world of the Phoenix Force for now. The aftermath of this fight resulted in the re-emergence of the mutant race with several new powers manifesting at the very moment of the Phoenix dispersal.
Following the events of Avengers vs. X-Men, the Red Skull has a new plan for world domination. He will use the brain of Charles Xavier to overtake the minds of a large populace and turn the rebuilding world into chaos which is already very anti-mutant. Captain America already had a plan for a joint Avengers and X-Men team based off of a need to rebuild the destroyed cooperation between the two large factions of superheroes in the Marvel Universe. As it happens often with hero teams, the heroes come together under fire as opposed to being assembled on purpose. In this case, it starts at the grave of Charles Xavier as Rogue and the Scarlet Witch almost come to blows over the past as they discuss the recent events of which both have had a part (which has been often conflicting.) At the same time, they are attacked by the Red Skull who enacts his plan to gain access to Xavier's power. He takes them hostage and after gaining the power to mentally control them, he heads to New York City where the Avengers are busy trying to rebuild. He successively takes control of more heroes while others escape from his power. Thor and Scarlet Witch are engaged in a battle while the Red Skull has taken control of Captain America, and Wolverine has already been incapacitated. Havok enters the mix and tries to help battle Thor but realizing they are outmatched, Scarlet Witch decides the only action which makes sense is to remove Thor from the battle and sends him to outer space temporarily. Meanwhile, Rogue has broken free from her power by assuming the power negation from Goat-Faced Girl and knocks out Red Skull's power temporarily. He shoots her and regains his power and convinces Havok to attack her. Not realizing that Captain America is now free of his control, he attacks the Red Skull who realizes that the momentum has turned against him and retreats. Scarlet Witch later visits Rogue in the hospital and asks for a truce and a return to their old friendship. She declines and indicates that the only reason that she is staying with the Uncanny Avengers is because Xavier would have wanted it this way and because she wants to keep an eye on Scarlet Witch (as she has also already agreed to join the team).
AXIS and the High Evolutionary
As time goes on, Wanda eventually becomes closer to Rogue. During the events of AXIS, she ends up being Inverted and is turned evil. She is combated by Doctor Doom (now a hero thanks to the Inversion) and his makeshift team of substitute Avengers. Doom manages to capture a small portion of Wanda's power, and in a truly noble gesture, uses it to resurrect Cassie Lang.
As the crisis reaches a tipping point, Doom resurrects Brother Voodoo, who is able to turn the tide against Wanda. After Daniel Drumm possesses Scarlet Witch, the heroes are able to undo the Inversion spell, returning everyone to normal. However, during the event, Wanda and Pietro learn that Magneto is not their biological father and that they are not actually mutants.
The twins head to Counter-Earth, with the other Avengers following after. While there, they learn that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were the biological children of Django and Marya Maximoff all along and that they are not mutants but the result of being experimented upon from an early age as part of the next step in evolution. The High Evolutionary eventually deemed them failures and concocted the tale about Magneto being their father in order to hide their true origins.
Powers & Abilities
The Scarlet Witch possesses the mutant power of affecting probability fields. By a combination of gestures and mental concentration, she creates a hex-sphere, a finite pocket of reality-disrupting quasi-psionic force, which upon reaching its intended target, causes the disturbance in the molecular-level probability field surrounding the target. Thus, unlikely phenomena will occur. Among the many phenomena she is able to cause are: the sudden melting of gun barrels, the spontaneous combustion of any flammable object, the rapid rust or decay of various organic and inorganic materials, the poltergeist-like deflection of an object in flight, the sudden evacuation of air from a given volume, the disruption of energy transmissions and fields, and so on. These phenomena occur practically instantaneously after the completion of her hex. Her range of hex-casting is limited by her line of sight. (She cannot watch a live television broadcast and cause a hex-phenomenon to occur at its point of origin.)
Scarlet Witch's hex-casting ability had a 20% unreliable factor and she is limited in the range of sight, although she has been able to overcome the latter limitation on occasion via extreme concentration and sorcerous enchantment.
Wanda is also a living focal point for the Earth's magic. Her sorcerous training with Agatha Harkness is separate from her mutant ability of probability (science). But the mixture of the two makes her considerably more powerful than just using her probability powers. She has a special affinity for the natural elements and materials that true witches utilize in their spells: the four alchemical elements, wood, organic substances, etc. The reliability factor of her hex-casting ability is also limited by her physical condition: when well-rested, in good health and mentally and emotionally alert, Scarlet Witch can cast numerous hex-spheres in rapid succession and attain desirable results for almost an hour. However, certain events in House of M, have shown that her limits may have been removed altogether. And her powers actually evolved, giving her the mutant ability to alter reality on a vast scale by way of magic
In the House of M storyline, Wanda showed that she could fly, transform people and matter, fire powerful beams of magic, and disable other mutants abilities. She could also bring the dead back to life. And while it appears that Scarlet Witch may have depowered herself, an incident with Hawkeye shows that she may have in fact retained her reality-altering powers. Another hint of this is that Wanda is 1/3 the Earth's High Priestess, as seen in the tarot cards. Showing that there is still hope for her after all.
- Height: 6'0"
- Weight: 152 lbs.
- Eyes: Green
- Hair: Brown
- Known Relatives: Unknown father (status unknown), Magda Lehnsherr (mother, deceased), Pietro Maximoff a.k.a. Quicksilver (twin brother), Vision (estranged husband), Django Maximoff (foster father, deceased), Marya Maximoff (foster mother, deceased), Crystal (sister-in-law), Luna (niece), Tommy & Billy (reincarnated sons), Talia Wagner a.k.a. Nocturne (alternate-reality daughter), unborn twins of Tommy and Kate Bishop (alternate-reality grandchildren)
- Identity: Public identity
- Citizenship: Transian (the U.S. naturalized)
- Place of Birth: Wundagore Mountain, Transia
- Marital Status: Divorced
- Occupation: Avenger, adventurer, witchcraft tutor, housewife, former terrorist (with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants)
- Education: Unrevealed (though Wanda did receive tutoring from Agatha Harkness in the use of her magical abilities and control over her hex powers).
Age of Apocalypse (Earth-295)
In the alternate reality called Age of Apocalypse, Wanda's life was short-lived. She grew up with her father, Magneto, and her brother, Quicksilver, at Wundagore Mountain, the location for Magneto's training school. The two Lehnsherr siblings were taken care of by Bova, a humanoid cow when their father was otherwise busy. When Magneto and his X-Men left to stop Apocalypse's first attack on his way to domination, Scarlet Witch and Rogue were left behind to watch the other, younger, students. Unfortunately, Apocalypse had planned for this and sent his son, Nemesis, to attack the remaining students. In the battle, Wanda was killed, but with her dying breath, made Rogue promise to watch over her father.
Wanda had the same hex-casting powers as in the regular Marvel 616 universe.
Ultimate Universe (Earth-1610)
In the Ultimate Universe, Wanda Lensherr Maximoff was again the daughter of Magneto and the twin sister of Quicksilver. Both she and Quicksilver were in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, but when her father seemingly died at the hands of his enemy, Charles Xavier, the twins took over leadership of the group. They eventually decided to embrace Xavier’s ideals of peaceful coexistence instead of their father’s idea of mutant supremacy. They assisted the X-Men in rescuing many mutants from the Weapon X program. Wanda and Pietro would eventually join the Ultimates (this reality's version of the Avengers) in exchange for the release of any brotherhood mutants in prison. However, Nick Fury kept them out of the public eye due to their terrorist past. Wanda constantly pleaded with Betty Ross to convince Fury to allow them onto the public team, but Betty always refused. Eventually, Magneto returned and forcefully brought the two of them back to his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Wanda and Pietro tried to escape their father and flee to the Ultimate's Triskelion base, but Magneto caught them and proceeded to injure Quicksilver badly while leaving Wanda unharmed to watch her brother’s suffering. They were rescued by the Ultimates and received their wish of being promoted to public status on the team.
During the Ultimates 2 storyline, Hank Pym brought two of his advanced humanoid robots to the Triskelion base. Wanda flirted with one named the Vision and later arranged a date to go to a museum with him. The Ultimates later became a separate entity from SHIELD. One day while out walking in public with her brother, Wanda was shot with a bullet made specially to kill her. It was later revealed that the bullet had been designed by Iron Man's corporation, Stark Enterprises, though Tony Stark himself denied any involvement. Later in the Ultimates 3 storyline, it is shown that the bullet was fired by the Ultimate Incarnation of Ultron, originally just a robot that Wanda had had a conversation with. Her powers caused the machine to malfunction which resulted in it falling in love with her. Realizing that Wanda would never love him, he decided to kill her. After her death, Quicksilver steals her body and moves it to an unknown location. She is later laid to rest.
The Scarlet Witch of the Ultimate Universe relied on mathematics in order to wield her power effectively. She calculated the mathematical probability of each situation in order to choose the one that would give her the greatest advantage. Wanda also appeared to be physically stronger than her main reality counterpart and received combat training during her time with the Brotherhood. Wanda could fly, transform objects, and create force fields. She also had a "luck" power, which required concentration and the use of her hands.
Marvel 1602 (Earth-311)
In the 1602 reality, Wanda was a nun and was known as Sister Wanda. She served the Grand Inquisitor, Enrique, who was this reality's version of Magneto. She did not know that he was her father.
In this alternate reality, the X-Men died on their first mission against Krakoa, the Living Island. On leave from the Avengers, the Scarlet Witch is on her honeymoon with the Vision when she's mentally contacted by Beast (Hank McCoy). Using Cerebro, Hank informs her of the situation and teleports her to Colorado. There, Wanda meets and then joins with Hank and his "X-Men". They battle and defeat the Ani-Men, and thwart the schemes of Count Nefaria. Professor X asks Wanda to join the new X-Men, she declines but accepts a reserve status.
Earth-398 was created when the long-time Avengers villain Morgan Le Fay stole the Twilight Sword from Asgard and used its mystical energies to transform reality into an entirely medieval society, with herself as its queen. The Avengers were bewitched into serving as Le Fay's personal bodyguards, known as "Queen's Vengeance". Wanda became known as "Gypsy Witch" and was a member of "Queen's Vengeance". Eventually, Wanda broke free of Le Fay's mind-control and restored the minds of her teammates. The Avengers then fought and defeated the sorceress, and reality returned to normal.
In this reality, Scarlet Witch and Nightcrawler fell in love and had a daughter named Nocturne.
On Earth-12, Scarlet Witch was a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, along with Quicksilver, Toad, Blob, and Mimic.
In this alternate reality, Scott Summers (Cyclops) never fell in love with Jean Grey. Due to his anti-social and reckless behavior, Cyclops is passed over for leadership of the X-Men. Professor X chooses as his leader the Angel, who then takes Jean Grey for himself. Fed up with everything that's happened, Cyclops leaves the X-Men and joins the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and, possibly, begins a relationship with the Scarlet Witch.
In this alternate reality, Wonder Man survives the events depicted in Avengers #9. So when the Scarlet Witch joins the Avengers, she immediately develops feelings for Wonder Man. He reciprocates, much to the consternation of Quicksilver. After Quicksilver is killed in action, a grieving Wanda accepts Simon's proposal and they are wed soon afterward. With Simon Williams alive in this reality, Ultron transplants his own brain patterns into his new creation: the Vision. He attacks the Avengers and is defeated by Ant-Man (Hank Pym), but not before critically wounding Wonder Man. In a last-ditch effort to save him, Pym records Simon's brain patterns and transplants them into the Vision. Despite protests from the Scarlet Witch, Simon Williams will live on as the synthetic being known as the Vision.
In this alternate reality, the Scarlet Witch is a member of the Avengers-- a small group of what's left of Earth's heroes after Charnel conquered and destroyed the planet.
In the Marvel Mangaverse, Wanda was a member of the Avengers.
Scarlet Witch was one of the Avengers on this Earth, which is not an alternate reality, but a parallel Earth located in Earth-616. Here she was raised by Agatha Harkness. The Enchantress falsely claimed to be her mother.
Marvel Zombies (Earth-2149)
In the crossover between Marvel Zombies and the Army of Darkness, Wanda helped Ash obtain the Necronomicon. She was later killed by the Punisher in the siege of Doctor Doom's castle.
Scarlet Witch was in a coma beneath the Avengers Mansion, with her powers holding a gate to another world. She was awakened from her coma by the mad Asgardian god, Loki, in order to become his puppet and to take his vengeance to the heroes that had defeated him in the past.
Larval Universe (Earth-8311)
In Spider-Ham's reality, Scarlet Witch was an anthropomorphic dog named the 'Scarlet Pooch' and was a member of the Scavengers (this reality's version of the Avengers).
X2: X-Men United (2003)
Scarlet Witch's name is listed in William Stryker's files on Lady Deathstrike's computer.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Scarlet Witch made a brief cameo in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, portrayed by Elizabeth Olsen.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Wanda does not appear in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but is alluded to in a deleted scene that was included the extended "Rogue Cut" of the film. In the scene, Quicksilver's little sister (theorized to be a young version of Polaris) is told by her mother to "Go upstairs and bug your sister." According to director Bryan Singer, the sister being referenced was Wanda.
The Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)
Scarlet Witch appeared in Avengers: Age of Ultron, with Elizabeth Olsen reprising her role from The Winter Soldier. This version of the character lacks her magic abilities from the comics and instead relies on psionics. She also lacks a costume, instead sporting red street clothes for most of the film.
In the movie, Wanda and her brother are orphans from the land of Sokovia who lost their parents after a shell manufactured by Stark Industries blew up their apartment. Growing to hate Tony Stark and the Avengers, the two allowed Strucker to experiment on them using Loki's scepter, with the belief that their resulting abilities would allow them to rise up and destroy the heroes. After Strucker and HYDRA are taken down, the two ally themselves with Ultron.
When the three travel to Africa to buy Vibranium from Ulysses Klaue, she uses her mental abilities to incapacitate the Avengers and send the Hulk on a murderous rampage. Wanda later uses her powers to realize that Ultron plans to destroy the entire world, which leads to the twins abandoning him and siding with the Avengers. She plays a key role in the final battle, and destroy's Ultron's prime body after he kills Pietro. At the end of the movie, she is seen as one of the new Avenger and sports a brand new costume.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Elizabeth Olsen reprises her role in Captain America: Civil War as a member of the Avengers. In the year since the events of Age of Ultron, Wanda has been training with the team and learning more about her powers, and has developed a close friendship with Vision. Things take a bad turn during a fight with Crossbones, who detonates a suicide vest in order to kill Captain America. Wanda uses her powers to contain the explosion, but accidentally destroys a building in the process, killing a number of humanitarian workers from Wakanda.
This causes 118 nations of the world draft the Sokovia Accords, which are designed to regulate the Avengers. Wanda is placed under house-arrest by Tony Stark, with Vision preventing her from leaving the New Avengers Compound. She is freed by Hawkeye and joins Captain America's band of Anti-Accords heroes. She is later taken down by War Machine and is imprisoned in the Raft along with the rest of her teammates. At the close of the film, she and the others are freed when Captain America executes a jailbreak.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Elizabeth Olsen reprises her role in Avengers: Infinity War. Two years after the jailbreak, Wanda is living incognito in Europe, where she has secretly started a relationship with Vision. Their peaceful life is interrupted when members of the Black Order attack, seeking to steal the Mind Stone embedded in Vision's forehead so that they can deliver it to Thanos. However, the two are rescued by the other Avengers, and head to Wakanda to try and find a way to help Vision.
The Avengers soon battle Thanos' army of Outriders in order to buy Shuri enough time to remove the Mind Stone, and Scarlet Witch fights alongside Black Widow and Okoye against Proxima Midnight. When Thanos arrives in Wakanda to collect the Mind Stone in person, Vision begs Wanda to destroy him so that Thanos cannot complete the Infinity Gauntlet. Wanda tearfully complies and kills Vision, but her sacrifice proves to be in vain, as Thanos simply uses the Time Stone to recover the Mind Stone. After Thanos activates the Infinity Gauntlet and wipes out half of all sentient life in the universe, Wanda is seen as one of his many victims.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Olson again reprises her role in Avengers: Endgame. After the surviving Avengers successfully travel back in time to steal the Infinity Stones, the Hulk uses the new Infinity Gauntlet to undo Thanos' snap and bring back all of his victims. Scarlet Witch is among the resurrected heroes who arrive at Avengers HQ to fight against Thanos' army. She briefly engages Thanos in one-on-one combat, and angrily blames him for killing Vision (who was not revived, as he died before Thanos completed the Infinity Gauntlet), and nearly overpowers him. She later teams with Valkyrie, Rescue, Shuri, Wasp and other several other female heroes to run interference for Captain Marvel. At the close of the film, she and Clint are shown mourning their Vision and Black Widow together.
X-Men: The Animated Series
Wanda appeared in a few episodes of X-Men: The Animated Series. She was shown levitating and de-powering Magneto, as well as using her powers to cause bad luck while others are using their abilities. She was also revealed to have powers related to the High Evolutionary that can make years go into seconds. Here she is yet again the daughter of Magneto. She is also a member of X-Factor along with her twin brother Quicksilver. She was voiced by Susan Roman.
Scarlet Witch appeared in Iron Man: The Animated Series, sporting her 90's design and a thick Eastern European accent. She was a major character in the first season, as well as Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter) rival for Iron Man's love. During the show's retool during the second season, she and the rest of Force Works (save for War Machine and Spider-Woman) went their separate ways, though she did return in the series finale. She was voiced by Katherine Moffat in season one and by Jennifer Darling in season two.
The Avengers: United They Stand
Wanda was a member of the Avengers in The Avengers: United They Stand, as well as Wonder Man's girlfriend. She later became caught up in a love triangle involving Simon and the Vision. She was voiced by Stavroula Logothettis.
Scarlet Witch joined the cast of X-Men: Evolution starting in the second season. She was locked away in an asylum at a young age by her father, Magneto. Wanda then became a member of the Brotherhood along with Mystique. Magneto commanded Mastermind to change Wanda's memories and let her remember Magneto as a good father even if he wasn't. The Brotherhood then pretended that they were turning into heroes, this caused the X-Men to gain a bad image. Wanda sabotages them while using their powers so that it would turn to misery. During the final battle with Apocalypse, Wanda is the only member who was convinced by Kitty Pryde to join and battle Magneto while under Apocalypse's control as a Horseman. Wanda would repeatedly remind Magneto that she was his daughter, but Apocalypse's control would not let him remember. When she was attacked, the Brotherhood appeared to help them and saved Wanda. She then became a part of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Freedom Force with the other Brotherhood members as foreseen by Professor X. She was voiced by Kelly Sheridan.
Wolverine and the X-Men
Scarlet Witch appears as a recurring character in Wolverine and the X-Men, where she is Magneto's daughter and lives with him and her sister Polaris on Genosha. She introduced Genosha to Nightcrawler. Later on, they develop a good relationship. As Dust warns Kurt about Magneto's real intentions, Kurt becomes an enemy to the Genoshan mutants. Knowing that Kurt will reveal what he has discovered, Wanda attacks him even if she did not want to. However, Kurt was able to teleport away but was then abducted by Mystique and brought back to Genosha's prisons. Scarlet Witch and Nightcrawler were then abducted by Mojo, who forced them into fighting a brainwashed Wolverine. Scarlet Witch was then brought back to Genosha after the fight was over, even though Kurt asked her to come join the X-Men. She declined, stating her place belonged next to her father. When the Sentinels were released on Genosha by Mystique who was impersonating Senator Kelly, Wanda pleaded with her father to save the Genoshan citizens, but he simply told her that if a few must die to save us all then so be it. This changed Wanda's view and when Magneto retreated to Genosha after his defeat by the Stepfords possessed by Phoenix, Wanda and her sister Lorna banished Magneto from Genosha but allows Pietro to return should he wish.
It's been established that Wanda is, in fact, harboring intense feelings for Kurt Wagner, but cannot have him due to familial problems. However, the season ended with Wanda banishing her father off Genosha, which opens the possibility of Wanda and Kurt actually starting a romantic relationship.
She was voiced by Kate Higgins.
Super Hero Squad Show
She was featured in the Super Hero Squad Show episode called "Hexed, Vexed & Perplexed" where her & brother, Quicksilver, accompany their father Magneto into breaking into The Vault & trying to steal the Infinity Sword pieces.
In season two, she became a major character and a friend of the Falcon. She was voiced by Tara Strong.
Marvel Super Heroes
On Thanos' stage which is a shrine to Death, Scarlet Witch appears as one of the frozen statues in the background and can be freed if Thanos is defeated by one of the heroes in the game.
X-Men Legends 2
The Scarlet Witch appears as a playable character in the video game X-Men Legends 2, joining the team in order to aid her father in rescuing Quicksilver. She apparently becomes attracted to the X-Man Colossus, since Mystique says "Scarlet Witch seems to have taken that to heart, she's positively drooling over Colossus." This gets the kind-hearted man of metal into trouble with his girlfriend Shadowcat after the team reaches the ruins of the X-Mansion.
Scarlet Witch's powers in the game include healing herself and the team (heal and revitalize), reality-warping (turning enemies into boxes by chance), hex-bolts (which inflict physical damage to enemies), and probability fields that increase the chance of dodging projectiles. She wears three different costumes in the game: Classic, Age of Apocalypse, and Ultimate. She was voiced by Jennifer Hale.
Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
Wanda along with a whole host of other mystics appears in the Doctor Strange ending of Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
Marvel Heroes Online (2012-Present)
Wanda is a playable hero character in Gazillion's upcoming Free To Play MMO as the Scarlet Witch using both her Mutant and Sorcery abilities in the game. She is one of the five starter heroes which the player can choose to play as in the beginning of the game. Not much is known about the game bar for the fact it is based on Diablo's core gameplay aspects.The MMO's story is being written by Brian Michael Bendis.
Her bio says:
Born to a mutant father, imbued with sorcerous potential by a demon trapped in Wundagore Mountain, and raised by her adoptive gypsy parents, Wanda Maximoff's life was full of intrigue long before she became aware of her powers.
The Scarlet Witch began her career fighting the X-Men as a member of her father Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
But she became disillusioned with villainy, instead joining the Avengers after several of that team's founding members left.
As both a mutant and a sorceress, Wanda's reality-altering powers and devastating hex bolts make her a formidable opponent.
She was released in several costumes. She is voiced by Kate Higgins.
Marvel: Avengers Alliance
The Scarlet Witch appears as an unlockable character in the Marvel: Avengers Alliance video game on Facebook. She is a Blaster Class characters with a variety of powerful attacks and abilities.
Her bio says: An orphan raised with her twin brother Quicksilver, Wanda Maximoff possesses a unique combination of mutant and magical powers. When persecuted for her probability-changing mutant abilities, the twins sought refuge with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, unaware that Magneto was their father. Unhappy at being a villain, Wanda convinced her brother that they should join the Avengers to redeem themselves. Where the Scarlet Witch goes, chaos follows. A second costume, based on her gypsy Transian looks, was released as a reward for completing Season 2, Chapter 5. She got a third variant based on her outfit on the film Avengers: Age of Ultron
Marvel Super Hero Squad Online
She is a playable character in this game voiced by Tara Strong.
Her description says: Scarlet Witch controls the powers of luck, making events happen whenever she wants. She's always having a lucky day!
Marvel: War of Heroes
Scarlet Witch is playable in several cards in this mobile game. Her cards so far are:
- [Chaos Magic] Scarlet Witch
- [Nexus Being] Scarlet Witch
- [World-Shaper] Scarlet Witch
- [Mutant Avenger] Scarlet Witch
- [Valued Asset] Scarlet Witch
- [Finding Her Way] Scarlet Witch
- [M-Day] Scarlet Witch
- [AXIS] Scarlet Witch
- [Fragmented] Scarlet Witch
- [Mighty Chaos] Scarlet Witch
- [Mysterious Bloodline] Scarlet Witch
X-Men: Battle of The Atom
Wanda is featured in the mobile card game "X-Men: Battle of the Atom" based on the comic book story of the same name. Her cards are:
- Scarlet Witch
- [Astonishing XM] Scarlet Witch
- [Onslaught Saga] Scarlet Witch
Marvel: Contest of Champions
Wanda is a playable character in the mobile fighting game. She is a Mystic Class character.
Her bio says: Cast no evil eyes in the direction of Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch — the master of chaos magic. Her powerful hexes influence probability — making the impossible erupt across reality. A former member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, she is a long-time member of the Avengers. Wanda remains close with her twin brother, Quicksilver.
The Ultimate version of Scarlet Witch is a non-Playable Character.
Marvel Puzzle Quest
Scarlet Witch is a playable character in the game.
Her bio in the game says: Scarlet Witch is a sorceress and reformed villain who is now a key member of the Avengers.
Her powers manifested at a young age than anyone realized as for years she was subconsciously manipulating probability around her.
Lego Marvel's Avengers
Scarlet Witch is a playable character in the game. She is voiced by Elizabeth Olsen.
Marvel Future Fight
Scarlet Witch is a playable character in the game. She is a blast type.
Her bio in the game says: Wanda Maximoff is the daughter of Magneto and twin sister of Quicksilver. She is known for her reality-altering powers and along with reality warping, Scalet Witch is able to teleport herself and others over long distances and she is able to manipulate objects with telekinesis. Wanda has expert knowledge of sorcery and is an expert tactician when mentally stable.
The has several uniforms:
- Scarlet Witch - Classic
- Scarket Witch - Avengers: Infinity War
Marvel Avengers Academy
Scarlet Witch is a playable character in the game. She was released during "Infinity War" event. She is voiced by Tamara Fritz.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
Scarlet Witch appears as a playable character in the third Ultimate Alliance game, marking her first appearance in the series. Kate Higgins reprises her role from the Wolverine and the X-Men animated series.
- Scarlet Witch was featured in ToyBiz's Avengers line.
- ToyBiz released an 8-inch Scarlet Witch figure as part of the Marvel Famous Covers line.
- ToyBiz released a Marvel Legends Scarlet Witch figure as part of the Legendary Riders wave.
- A Scarlet Witch figure was released by Hasbro as part of the Marvel Legends Odin Build-a-Figure wave.
- Scarlet Witch was feature
- Hasbro released a few Scarlet Witch figures for the Avengers: Age of Ultron line.
- Hot Toys released two Scarlet Witch figures for Avengers: Age of Ultron, with one featuring Scarlet Witch in her civilian garb, and the other featuring her in her Avengers uniform from the end of the film.
- Lego included Scarlet Witch minifigs in their lines for Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War.
- Funko produced Scarlet Witch POP! bobbleheads for Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War, as well as a figure in their Dorbz line.
- Hasbro produced a Scarlet Witch figure from Captain America: Civil War as part of the Marvel Legends line.
- A repainted Scarlet Witch figure was included as part of a Marvel Legends Avengers: Infinity War box set with Vision.
Awards and Recognition
The Scarlet Witch was ranked 97th in Wizard's 200 Greatest Comic Book Characters of All-Time list, as well as 14th in Comic Buyer's Guide's 100 Sexiest Women in Comics list.