The Scarlet Witch, aka Wanda Maximoff, is one of the most powerful and feared characters in the Marvel Universe, with powers rivaling that of the Phoenix Force and even Thanos himself. Her powers initially began as the ability to cast hexes and warp the reality around her, and evolved into tapping into Chaos Magic and the earth’s life force. As she was not always in control of her magic, she would often use it unconsciously, which had detrimental effects on the world and the people around her.
Scarlet Witch and her twin brother, Quicksilver, began their mutant career with The Brotherhood of Evil and eventually switched loyalties and joined the Avengers. However, Scarlet Witch’s life did not become any easier after joining the superheroes, and she experienced much tragedy and metaphysical attacks by villains who wanted to absorb her powers. Many of these upsets damaged Scarlet Witch’s emotional and mental health, which in turn affected her ability to control her magic. The more tenuous Wanda’s grip on reality was, the more often her powers manifested beyond her control. As those powers amplified and grew, it led to some great, and at times completely overpowered, fights against other superheroes. Here are 15 Times Scarlet Witch Beat Other Heroes.
15 The Mutants
In House of M, Charles Xavier and Magneto have whisked Scarlet Witch away to Genosha, to attempt to help her regain her sanity and control of her world-altering powers. However, after several weeks, neither Doctor Strange, Charles, or Magneto can help her control her abilities. The X-Men and the Avengers convene, and Quicksilver overhears them discussing killing the Scarlet Witch because she is too dangerous. Quicksilver leaves them and goes to Genosha, where he convinces the Scarlet Witch to create a reality in which the Homo Superior (mutants) rule over the homo sapiens.
This utopia lasts until it is discovered to be a farce by some of the remaining X-Men. During the battle against the House of M, Magneto unleashes his wrath against Quicksilver for having the Scarlet Witch create this reality. He takes a metal beam and pummels Quicksilver to death. Upset, Scarlet Witch revives her brother, but she blames Magneto for being a mutant overlord instead of the father that they needed. Further blaming the mutants for her current suffering, Scarlet Witch utters three simple words, “No more mutants,” causing ninety percent of the mutant population to lose their mutant abilities.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Wanda Maximoff saves Captain America’s life from a detonating bomb by using her powers to move the bomb into the sky. Unfortunately, the bomb explodes near the top story of an apartment building, killing several civilians. Wanda finds herself spending a lot of her time with Vision at the Avengers Tower. In a misguided attempt to keep Wanda “safe,” Vision and Tony keep her confined to the Avengers Tower until Hawkeye’s rescue.
Hawkeye engages in an ill-matched fight with Vision until Wanda steps in. Much like her comic book counterpart, she knows that she needs to help Hawkeye, but is afraid and conflicted. She opens a ball of energy and makes Vision release Hawkeye and then forces him to the ground. Powerless against Wanda’s ability, Vision is unable to move as Wanda states, “I can not control their fear, only my own,” and uses her energy ball to defeat Vision by sending him to the center of the earth. Though Wanda overpowered Vision quickly by using the element of surprise, watching her gain her confidence both mentally and with her powers to defeat Vision was empowering.
13 The Avengers
In Avengers Disassembled, The Wasp and Scarlet Witch have a falling out over the Wasp making an offensive comment about Scarlet Witch failing as a parent since her children were kidnapped and absorbed by Mephisto. This comment sends the Scarlet Witch into a tailspin, and she begins to have difficulty controlling her powers due to her inability to understand her emotions. Doctor Doom approaches her and promises to bring back both of her dead children if she becomes the host for “The Life Force Entity.” Scarlet Witch, already losing her grip on reality, agrees to Dr. Doom's request. The merger with the Life Force Entity is successful, but Wanda is still not reunited with her children.
Possessed by the Life Force Entity, and still stinging from the loss of her children, Scarlet Witch reanimates the Jack of Hearts and has him detonate in the Avengers mansion, killing Ant-Man. Scarlet Witch continues to alter reality, causing She-Hulk to go into a frenzy and rip Vision in two, and putting several of the remaining Avengers into the hospital. The Avengers, injured and not at full strength, were unable to fight and defeat the Scarlet Witch while she wielded her Chaos Magic against them.
12 Iron Man
Through various alternate realities that have pitted Scarlet Witch and Iron Man against one another, these battles tend never to go the way that Iron Man probably envisions. Though there has not been an Iron Man and Scarlet Witch main fight, there have been at least two events where Iron Man has been a part of a team tasked with taking the Scarlet Witch out. In What If: Avengers Disassembled, the team travels to Genosha to prevent Scarlet Witch and Captain America from harming others. During a fight with Captain America, the Scarlet Witch ends the fight by removing Iron Man’s armor and then using her power to dangle him and the rest of the team from the sky with her magic.
Scarlet Witch and Iron Man met again in Avengers (2010), Issue 3. Brought to Earth-616 by Kang Immortus to fight the Avengers, the Scarlet Witch was physically fused to Famine, a member of the Four Horsemen, but retained all of her powers. Scarlet Witch/Famine blasts Ironman with her Chaos Magic and strips him of his armor while he is in mid-flight. Spider-Man has to catch him before Iron Man splatters into the ground. Even after he's grounded, his armor is not functioning at full capacity as magic always slows down the technology. As far as Iron Man defeats go, both of these instances are fairly humiliating for one of Earth's mightiest heroes.
In Avengers vs. X-Men, Magik is one of five X-Men overtaken by the Phoenix Force. The Phoenix Force consumes Magik, giving her additional abilities of the Phoenix as well as amplifying her magical abilities. As Scarlet Witch approaches her, Magik points her flaming sword at the Scarlet Witch and tells her to prepare to die. With the help of the Phoenix Force, Magik sends a giant wall of flames toward the Scarlet Witch. Wanda blocks the Phoenix Force with her magic but is distracted by Vision, who was attacked and injured. The Phoenix Force overwhelms Scarlet Witch, and she retreats with the rest of the team.
Later, after the Avengers have regrouped, Scarlet Witch uses her Chaos Magic to project herself all over the world and engages with Magik again. In this battle, the Scarlet Witch overpowers Magik long enough for the other Avengers to try to overtake the other members of the Phoenix Force.
The Scarlet Witch was a true asset for the Avengers in Avengers vs. X-Men. Not only was she able to stop Magik, but she also engaged Namor in a battle in Avenger vs. X-Men issue 8. Namor-- who was the King of Atlantis, already amphibian-like, and possessed superhuman speed, agility durability, and a healing factor-- became even more powerful with the Phoenix Force backing him. Filled with its power, Namor goes to Wakanda and kills many innocent people. The Avengers attack Namor in an attempt to prevent him from killing any other civilians. Namor, however, fights them off rather quickly. Scarlet Witch arrives and blocks Namor’s use of the Phoenix Force with her magic.
Namor nearly overwhelms Scarlet Witch as he blasts her with Phoenix fire, but she taps into all of the magic available to her and uses her magic not only to block the fire but as a forcefield to ricochet the fire back at Namor. Namor is consumed by the Phoenix Fire and plummets to the ground. Defeated, depowered, and no longer possessed by the Phoenix force, Namor slinks back to Atlantis until the end of the war.
9 Jean Grey
Scarlet Witch and Jean Grey are no strangers to fighting one another. Originally intended to be a villain, Scarlet Witch was once a part of Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. She faced the X-Men many times and initially used hex powers to fight them. In a small skirmish against the X-Men in Professor X and X-Men, issue 8, Quicksilver and Angel fought, with Angel initially winning. The Scarlet Witch notices that her brother is about to get seriously injured and that none of the Brotherhood were able to help Quicksilver escape. To save her brother, the Scarlet Witch casts a hex on Jean Grey, stripping her of her powers, causing Jean to be unable to move any objects with her mind. Jean is not sure what to do with herself, and this allows the Brotherhood time to flee.
Scarlet Witch faces Jean Grey again in Forever X-Men 2, where they are battling over Wakanda. During this fight, the Scarlet Witch’s powers become unpredictable, and her magic is easily able to overwhelm Jean. As Jean succumbs to the Scarlet Witch’s magic she is taken completely out of the fight, allowing the Scarlet Witch to help her team defeat Clone Storm.
8 Captain America and She-Hulk
Before the events of the West Coast Avengers, “The Ancient Evil,” Wanda has an emotional breakdown and severs all ties with her team, the West Coast Avengers. During this time a group of scientists capture the Scarlet Witch and assimilate her to a primordial evil ooze called The Ancient Evil. Though she had severed ties with her team, the West Coast Avengers are frantically looking for Scarlet Witch and running through every lead they can to rescue her before she hurts someone or is influenced to attack them.
Captain America and She-Hulk track her to the mad scientist’s lair, where they are misdirected and informed that she's no longer at the facility. At this point, the Ancient Evil and Scarlet Witch have integrated, and Scarlet Witch’s mind has now been tainted to reflect the beliefs of mutant superiority. Captain America and She-Hulk stage a rescue, but Scarlet Witch holds her hand up and then uses her magic to bring a wall down on them, knocking them out and capturing them.
Hawkeye and the Scarlet Witch have been teammates and friends since the West Coast Avengers formed. During Hawkeye’s tenure as a West Coast Avenger, he at one point developed unrequited feelings toward Scarlet Witch, but was eventually able to move past his crush, and the team remained intact. However, years later, the Scarlet Witch has a nervous breakdown during the events in Avengers Disassembled and blames the Avengers for the death of her children. She creates a Kree invasion using her reality-warping Chaos Magic, which kills Hawkeye.
Feeling guilty over his death, she resurrected him as a human in the House of M, where mutants were the superior race. However, he was one of the heroes who realized that this reality was not real and was a part of the select team of mutants intent on righting reality. Hawkeye remembers both his feelings for her and that she killed his teammates, and confronts her after he has shot her with an arrow. Unable to cope with the accusations, and angry that he shot her, Wanda has one of her pseudo-children erase Hawkeye from existence, thus killing him a second time.
In Exiles, “With an Iron Fist,” The Exiles are sent to Earth-42777, where Tony Stark has monopolized the world economy and created a war between the mutants and the humans. During this war, Reed Richards built a barrier for the remaining mutants to hide behind so Tony Stark would be unable to touch them. Among those mutants was Scarlet Witch, who was living with two other mutants who held the key to opening the barrier.
The Exiles, who now include Storm, attacks the mutants and the Scarlet Witch at their home. Scarlet Witch, who was enjoying a leisurely swim at the time of their attack, emerges from the ocean. She acknowledges that Storm shouldn’t be attacking them because she was supposed to be dead. Scarlet Witch then uses the full force of her magic, which interestingly, comes from both her eyes and her hands, and blasts Storm out of the sky, successfully taking her out of the fight.
5 Howard the Duck
In Marvel Zombies and The Army of Darkness, the zombie plague has ravaged the Marvel world. The majority of the superheroes, including Howard the Duck, have been mutated into hybrid zombies that are still capable of rational thought, but with the overwhelming desire to eat the living flesh of their friends.
One man, Ash, has been sent through time and taken it upon himself to save the non-infected in the Marvel-verse. He rescues Dazzler from the “deadites" and she takes him to Doctor Strange’s Sanctorum. It is here that Howard the Duck, with blood dripping from his bill, chomps Ash’s head and kills him.
However, there is another Ash from the future who witnesses his own death and goes to rescue Dazzler from being eaten by Howard, by slicing him in half with a chainsaw. He is unsuccessful in his rescue attempt and is almost killed for a second time when Scarlet Witch appears from seemingly nowhere. She already has her magic shield up and curses the pestilence that is plaguing their world. She uses her magic to turn Howard the Duck into a glass pillar, killing him a second and final time, while explaining that Ash is their only hope for survival.
Although Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are twins and Wanda loves her brother, and would do anything within her power to save him, they are often at odds with one another due to differing ideological beliefs. Though their love for each other has saved them from multiple near-deaths, it is also a weakness that has been used against them in battle, regardless of what team they are currently on.
Through the years, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch have been teammates on the Avengers and have also been on opposing teams, due to Quicksilver’s quick temper and Homo Superior beliefs. One such battle occurs in X-Men Forever 2, issue 5, where an evil clone of Storm has taken over Wakanda. Quicksilver is among the heroes who have joined Storm in her battle. He is called to continue fighting after the Scarlet Witch defeated Jean Grey.
Angered that his sister would not side with him and had injured Jean, Quicksilver chases his sister into the palace. He sees that the Scarlet Witch has been injured and is lying in the middle of the palace floor and goes to help her. As he does so, he finds that it is just a ruse that has given Rogue the opportunity to knock him out.
As the Prince of Asgard, Thor is one of the mightiest and more formidable Avengers to date. Though he is a god, he finds a worthy opponent in Scarlet Witch, whose magical ability can withstand his lightning attacks and superior strength in Uncanny Avengers, Issue 4. Scarlet Witch is brought back to the team after she and Rogue discover that Red Skull has lobotomized Professor Xavier to gain the power to eradicate the "mutant menace." During this time, Thor takes it upon himself to resolve the mutant conflict but manages to be possessed by the Red Skull.
The possessed Thor fights Scarlet Witch while the other Avengers continue to battle Red Skull and his minions. Thor sends lightning bolts after Scarlet Witch, who then transmogrifies the energy back at Thor. Undeterred, Thor comes after her with Mjolnir and Wanda channels her magic to throw a semi-truck at him. Thor and Scarlet Witch go back and forth for some time until Wanda finally sinks into a trance and summons the Chaos energy out of the ground and hits Thor with it, causing him to fly through the air and plummet to earth, which loosens the Red Skull’s hold on Thor.
2 Quicksilver and Magneto
In Avengers & X-Men: Axis, Red Skull has taken over Professor Xavier's mind and has placed all of mutantkind in concentration camps. The Avengers and the X-Men have to work together to defeat Red Skull and save the mutants. During the third act of this saga, Scarlet Witch becomes upset with Magneto and Quicksilver for siding with Doctor Doom. Using her magic, she intends to kill Doctor Doom. Knowing that if she succeeds in killing him, she would never forgive herself, Magneto tells Quicksilver to create a vortex to deprive her of oxygen so she would not kill Doctor Doom. Unable to do that, Quicksilver instead runs and saves Doctor Doom from Scarlet Witch. Angered, Scarlet Witch taps into the Chaos Magic around her and dubs herself the “Queen of Chaos.”
She calls out to the Lord of Chaos, announcing that she will be sacrificing “the blood of my blood” to them as she absorbs all the magic around her. She encircles Quicksilver with a magical lasso and kills him by breaking his neck. Distraught and horrified, Magneto hovers over the body of his son and asks Wanda how she could kill her brother, to which she replies that it was Magneto’s fault that Quicksilver betrayed her and then sends the full force of her magic to kill Magneto.
In Fantastic Four, issue 645, the Quiet Man has come to their reality and opened portals around the world. Through these portals, he also brought forth twisted and darker versions of the Avengers. Though these doppelganger Avengers were not as strong or powerful as the original Avengers, they were still powerful foes, which required assistance from the real Avengers. Doppelganger Scarlet Witch is assisting her team with systematically taking out the real Avengers when the real Scarlet Witch arrives.
She announces to her doppelganger that her presence in this world is fracturing the real Scarlet Witch's magic, which means that Scarlet Witch is not at full magical capacity. Which means neither is the doppelganger. Unprepared for the real Scarlet Witch’s attack of a powerful blast of magic, the doppelganger slams into the ground and is knocked out. Unperturbed by the events, Scarlet Witch stands over the doppelganger body, because even when Scarlet Witch fights herself, she is victorious.
Can you think of any other superheroes Scarlet Witch has taken down? Let us know in the comments!