Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) is one of the most feared super-beings on the planet. With her twin brother Quicksilver, they share the rare honor of being able to cross-over effortlessly from X-Men to the Avengers. She has married the Vision, her father was once believed to be Magneto, she’s wiped out entire realities, and she’s been a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Her history is one of the most diverse of any publication, DC or Marvel. Her list of powers is just as diverse, and as a new member of the Avengers in the MCU, she will be taking center-stage in Captain America: Civil War.
This list will cover some things that the general public might not know about the mystical magician. So, without further ado, here are 12 Things You Didn't Know About Scarlet Witch.
We’ll start off with a well-known fact to comic book fans. Scarlet Witch was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Both comic book legends have been responsible for some of the most successful franchises in comic book history. Those characters include Thor, X-Men, Hulk, Iron Man, and Fantastic Four.
Stan Lee once said about Scarlet Witch and her twin Quicksilver, “I remember that I liked (Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch) very much and I thought it would be fun to have villains who aren’t really bad deep down,” Lee told Comics Creators On X-Men. “We already had a reluctant hero with Spider-Man so I thought it would be fun to create a pair of reluctant villains.”
“I had big plans for Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. I wanted them to eventually give up being villains and become heroes. That’s why I used them in Avengers after I left X-Men.”
Anyone who’s a fan of Scarlet Witch knows that she generally doesn’t connect with other humans. Despite that, she’s been able to play with others. Over her long and storied history, Wanda Maximoff has joined numerous groups other than the Avengers. She was initially a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. She then joined the Avengers and years later joined teams such as the Lady Liberators, the West Coast Avengers, the Defenders, the Secret Defenders and Force Works, where she served as a leader.
Since she has historically been known as a mutant, it’s curious that she’s never joined the X-men. The reason for that is her membership in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants left her and her twin with a bad taste for mutant team-ups. Since then, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver never wanted constant reminders that they were mutants. They wanted to be judged by their actions not by how they were born. For those reasons, the Avengers represented the best fit.
Scarlet Witch is a popular superhero, but what many fans don’t know is that she and her twin both were once mutant super-villains. They premiered in X-Men #4 in 1964. They were reluctant members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants who were led by X-Men nemesis Magneto.
The reason for her alliance with Magneto stemmed from an event in Scarlet Witch's youth where Magneto saved her from a crazed mob of villagers. They were trying to burn her as a witch, and he rescued her. Since he gave her safe haven, she felt an obligation to support him on his missions. She felt a deep-seated anger toward humanity, but Magneto’s lack of compassion for innocent life ended up becoming much to bare. Soon enough they crossed paths when she joined the Avengers a year later.
Over the years, her unstable emotional state and volatile powers have led her to bounce between protagonist and antagonist.
Many assume that Scarlet Witch was born with all of her abilities, but actually, she was taught witchcraft. Her natural powers come from her ability to create "hex-spheres," which are reality-disrupting quasi-psionic energy projections. She can change molecular substances or affect the probability field for an environment or target. In other words, she can make combustible objects explode, melt, crack, rust and decay, or telekinetically deflect objects.
As an infant, she was enchanted with magic by a dark sorcerer named Chthon. When she became older she was taught vast witchcraft techniques from a sorceress named Agatha Harkness. Agatha taught Wanda how to heighten her concentration, mental projection powers, cause coincidences and develop more control over her mutant hexes. Despite her training, Wanda still lacks the skill needed to channel what she has learned.
In recent years, the scope of her power has expanded to the point where she’s capable of flying, changing reality at will and shooting energy blasts from her hands.
If you thought Wanda’s backstory couldn’t get any more confusing, there’s this. Long ago, a rogue super-advanced geneticist named the High Evolutionary spliced human and animal DNA together. He did so to create an anamorphic race of intelligent creatures called the New Men. One such creature was a mutagenetically evolved cow-woman named Bova who served as nursemaid and caretaker for the new society. As one version of the story goes, Bova served as midwife to the birth of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. She also took care of the twins when their mother Magda Lehnsherr (Magneto’s wife) ran away and abandoned them. Bova repeatedly tried to find suitable caretakers for the children, who were eventually adopted by the Maximoffs who lived down the mountain.
The story surrounding their birth and youthful years have been a source of much mystery and speculation, as we will revisit later in the listings...
In the comic books, Wanda is recognized by her sensual costume and signature headgear. Many folks have thought that what she wears on her head was a helmet, crown, or a faceplate, but it’s actually a wimple. A wimple is a garment worn around the neck and the chin, a style brought from the Middle East that caught on during the crusades and was thereupon worn by married women in Medieval Europe. In the 15th century, Italian women redesigned and wore them as an elaborate status ornament. Today, Muslim women and some nuns wear them occasionally as an expression of modesty.
For Scarlet Witch, The wimple visually communicates the many layers of her character. A balance of spirituality and the struggle for balance that is elegantly reflected by this simple piece of fabric through her otherwise alluring red costume. Even visually, Scarlet Witch personifies the elaborate and involved nature of the spiritualist.
“No More Mutants.” Then all goes white. Just three words illustrated how powerful her character became in the Marvel Universe. It follows the crossover event called “House of M” where Wanda decides to reshape Earth using her reality-warping powers to make mutants the dominant race and homo sapiens second class citizens. The scope of her preeminence became such a concern that the X-Men and the Avengers debated whether they should kill her to save the planet from any future catastrophe.
A battle occurs which leads to her to renounce Magneto’s philosophy once and for all. To put an end to all the fighting, she uttered just three words and reshaped existence once again to how it originally was. The difference being that 90% of mutants on the planet lose their abilities. Her spell was so great, complex and binding that not even Dr. Strange himself would dare attempt to undo it.
There were many storylines which were developed as a direct fallout from with some of those being Decimation, Deadly Genesis, Onslaught, and an especially noteworthy one in Marvel’s Civil War.
Wanda’s reality-altering capabilities alienate her from others, which is why she found companionship with the synthezoid everyone knows as the Vision. Wanda and the Vision have had a long-running romance in the comic books. They even received their own comic book series called The Vision and Scarlet Witch. They also had children together. They were twins named Tommy and Billy. Wanda used her magical powers to conceive the children. It seemed like a modern fairy tale ending, but her actions had dramatic repercussions. Little did she know that the sorcery she used to direct energy into her womb had the essence of a disseminated Faustian demon named Mephisto.
Mephisto, through his agent Master Pandemonium, concocted a scheme to destabilize Scarlet Witch’s grip on her children. His first focus was to take aim at the Vision by having him abducted and dismantled. The Vision was recreated without his emotions, which broke down Scarlet Witch emotionally. Ultimately, Pandemonium claimed the children’s souls. The Vision and Scarlet Witch’s relationship would never be the same again. These tragedies made her much more unstable which consequently led to some major Marvel storylines.
When Wanda and her twin brother Pietro (Quicksilver) were newborns, an ancient Demonic Sorcerer named Chthon sent part of his essence into Wanda. By his "blessing," her ability to manipulate chaos and probability and later manipulate all of reality itself was manifest at her birth.
Chthon is itself a part of the essence of a God called the Demiurge. For most of her life she had that being in her waiting to take over and utilize her as an earthly vessel to gain dominion over the planet. With the help of the Avengers, her twin, and their "adoptive" father Django Maximoff, they defeated the being and freed Scarlet from him. Eliminating the being from her body didn’t do anything to take away her powers as she has been already infused with enough chaos magic to make her an omega-level reality manipulator. Though it is known that she’s still intrinsically connected to the being.
It was once a known fact that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver was the children of Magneto. For a time, there was also the possibility that the a golden age superhero named The Whizzer was their father. The Whizzer was a speedster very much like Quicksilver. He was a member of the golden age superhero team named the Invaders. But recently it’s been revealed that Magneto is NOT the father of the twins. So, if that’s the case then WHO is their daddy? Turns out their parents are Marya and Django Maximoff after all. Until further notice.
There are so many various stories about where Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver received their powers and who their real parents were. We may never know for sure who their parents were. As of right now, the Maximoffs are it. Which leads us to the next list entry...
It has recently been revealed that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were never mutants. Their origins have been one deception after another by either Magneto, the High Evolutionary, or someone else.
What the twins discover after the Marvel crossover event Axis, is that they were born normal children after all. Unbeknownst to their real parents, Django and Marya Maximoff, they were kidnapped by the High Evolutionary. The High Evolutionary tells them that he used them for his genetic experiments and manipulated their chromosomes to develop the powers they currently possess. But, after experimenting with them, he failed to reach his objective and returned them to the Maximoffs.
Later, as they were growing up, their powers manifested themselves and people in the small town they lived in assumed they were mutants, which led to their persecution. It’s safe to assume that after the High Evolutionary changed their chromosomes to give them these abilities, that the dark sorcerer Chthon projected his spell toward Wanda, amplifying her powers.
Wanda Maximoff may just be the most powerful Marvel character there is. It took the combined might of Dr. Strange and Professor X to shut down her mind. Even then, her catatonic state didn’t last. Her gifts are rooted in the Earth’s life force and she’s able to affect multiple dimensions at the same time even subconsciously. She’s even resurrected long time Avenger Wonder-Man back from the dead, seemingly drawing him from another plane of existence.
As mentioned before, she depowered most of the mutant population by erasing the existence of a Mutant Genome created by an ancient race of omnipotent beings called the Celestials. She did so on a multiversal level. Dr. Strange said that her spell is so powerful and complex that trying to undo it would destroy the fabric of reality itself.
It is learned that she’s destined to serve as a “Nexus-Being” of the central universe of Earth-616 (Marvel’s Prime Dimension). She’s the personifying character and focal anchor of the spectrum of 616’s existence. This puts her on par with other nexus beings such as Odin, Jean Grey/Phoenix, Franklin Richards, Kang the Conqueror and a few others.
And there you have it! Do you agree with the list? Are there any that you think should have been listed? Share your thoughts in the comments section.