After years of characters openly asking why Wanda Maximoff doesn’t have a superhero codename, she finally officially does. By WandaVision The latest episode revealed that Wanda is indeed the ‘Scarlet Witch’ and the iconic comic book character is now as accomplished on screen as her Avengers counterparts in the vein of Captain America or Thor.
Scarlet Witch’s complicated history in the comics is a huge influence on the series, so it’s a good time to take a look at the origins of the comic and Wanda’s history. Part of it is likely to give an idea of what awaits you in the future of your MCU.
10 She wasn’t scarlet at first
The Scarlet Witch first appeared in Uncanny X-Men # 4 in 1964, co-created by comic book legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Despite its distinctive name, it was not scarlet at all in its first appearance. Wanda actually wore a green version of what would become her final costume.
Most of the design elements were there, including his unique shield, although it was initially closed under his chin. Jack Kirby often refined designs on the fly; it was not until the third issue of Fantastic four that his team’s iconic suits first appeared.
9 I was not a real witch at first
Wanda first appeared as a member of the Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants, directed by Magneto. His mutant power was a ‘hex power’ but not defined as magical in any way. It would be many years, almost two decades, before he began to experiment with the mystical arts.
His initial ability was limited to creating unusual and random events, such as causing his enemies’ weapons to fail. She created bad luck, more or less, the opposite of X-Force member Domino, who creates nothing but good luck for her.
8 Daughter of the Whizzer
Wanda’s parenting in the MCU is pretty straightforward. In the comics it is very complicated. She and her brother, Pietro Maximoff, better known as Quicksilver, were originally introduced as the children of the Golden Age superhero The Whizzer.
The Whizzer first appeared in United States Comics # 1 in August 1941, published by Timely Comics, the forerunner of Marvel. Like his Silver Age son, The Whizzer could run at superhuman speed. This was due in part to genetic manipulation, but also to the strange injection of mongoose blood.
7 Magneto became his father again
In the first Vision and the Scarlet Witch miniseries in 1982, written by Bill Mantlo and drawn by Rick Leonardi, Wanda and Pietro’s parents reunited. Now, it is revealed that Magneto, the mutant leader of the Brotherhood, is his father. This occurred at a time when Magneto was becoming more of an antihero.
There are many theories still pending about WandaVision and a potential Big Bad beyond Agatha Harkness. Magneto is a candidate, although the door seems to close on that. His appearance in the MCU is assured, although it remains to be seen if he will be related to the Maximoff twins.
6 His parents were reunited
Decades later, the twins’ paternity was reviewed again. This was primarily due to corporate policy between Disney, which owns Marvel Studios, and Fox, which owned the rights to the X-Men movie at the time. In an attempt to separate Wanda from the X-Men, Magneto retired from being her father.
Now, she and Pietro obtained their powers from the genetic manipulation of the cosmic being The High Evolutionary. Another result of the friction between Fox and Disney was the attempt to replace the X-Men in the comics and movies with the Inhumans, which failed. It remains to be seen if the comics will change Wanda’s kinship again.
5 Vision isn’t his only Marvel romance
The Vision is the great love of Wanda’s life in the comics and the MCU. But he’s not the only Avenger Wanda has had an interest in. He had a brief flirtation with Hawkeye when he first joined the team, which ultimately went nowhere as he became interested in Vision.
He also had a brief affair with Captain America. The two things rekindled just before Wanda sank into grief and villainy following the reveal that Agatha Harkness, her friend and mentor (in the comics), made her forget that her children ever existed.
4 Become the villain
Wanda suffered immensely in the comics from the late 80s onwards. Her children were revealed to be magical constructs, born from the soul fragments of the Marvel supervillain, Mephisto. The Vision was dismantled and lost its memories, leading to their separation (and it became the White Vision).
She lashed out at her teammates in Avengers disassembled, killing Hawkeye, and then mutants everywhere in House of M, one of the comics that influenced WandaVision.
3 Be nexus
Part of Wanda’s bad deeds in the early 90s was the result of being manipulated by Immortus, one of the incarnations of Kang The Conqueror. He tried to prevent Wanda from having children because she was a ‘nexus being’, a living door between all realities and dimensions. This concept seems to have been alluded to in the Nexus announcement for episode seven.
The ad sells an antidepressant called Nexus that “works to anchor you to your reality, or the reality of your choice.” Wanda is capable of manipulating reality at will as a Nexus Being, which she demonstrated to devastating effect on House of M when Wanda wiped out most of the mutants from existence.
Wanda’s actions had devastating consequences for the entire world. She herself suffered greatly and has spent most of the last ten years in the comics trying to atone for her actions. Some of her grief was eased by the revelation that Young Avengers’ Wiccan and Speed were indeed her children, reincarnated.
She also tried to resurrect Genosha’s dead mutants, with less than desired effects, essentially turning them into zombies that had to be dealt with by Doctor Strange.
1 The great simulator
The mutant population is thriving now and in power on the living island of Krakoa. However, that doesn’t mean things are square with Wanda. In the stream Dawn of x Marvel era, Wanda is ‘The Great Pretender’ and persona non grata among the mutants.
Her children may enter the island, which raises some questions as to why she is not, but the scars are still visible from House of M. Wanda currently still works with the Avengers, but she never really recovered from her actions in the early 2000s.
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