The Scarlet Witch

Powers: Probability Manipulation

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What!?: She “hexes” people. She also does magic.

Origins: Wanda Maximoff, or The Scarlet Witch, is the daughter of Magneto and a gypsy woman named Magda, who left him due to his mutant powers and increasingly wrathful demeanor. The infant Wanda and her twin brother Pietro were briefly taken to Mount Wundagore for safekeeping, where Wanda was given her magical abilities by the Elder God Chthon. When Magda died, the twins were given to a gypsy family. As teenagers, the twins were forced to leave the gypsy camp after Wanda accidentally used her mutant powers during an attack on their encampment. This led to the death of their adopted mother, causing the twins to forget about their childhood. When Wanda uses her powers again, she and her brother are saved from a violent mob by Magneto, and decide to join his Brotherhood of Mutants out of gratitude.

Wanda and Pietro fight with the Brotherhood against the original X-Men until Magneto is forced offworld. Seeking to reform, the twins join the second generations of Avengers, alongside Captain America and Hawkeye. Thanks to her time in the Avengers, Wanda met the android Vision, whom she fell in love with and married.  It was not long after this that Wanda learns that Magneto is her father. Wanda decides to take a time off from the team, and uses her powers to conceive twin boys with her husband Vision. Shortly after this, the Vision is destroyed and rebuild, but his new body lack any of his previous emotions. To make matters worse, it is revealed that Wanda’s children are actually part of the demon Mephisto’s soul, which he reabsorbs.

Wanda’s mentor, Agatha Harkness, chooses to erase Wanda’s memory in order to ease her pain. We then learn that the villain Immortus had been manipulating Wanda’s life in order to drain her powers. Her encounter with Immorus restored Wanda’s memories. She later becomes leader of the West Coast Avengers, but the team dissolves due to internal disputes. She then attempts to lead a splinter group called Freedom Works, but is discouraged when Wonder Man dies in their fist mission. Wanda later learns that she can channel “chaos magic,” meaning that she can manipulate reality itself. She uses this ability to revive Wonder Man, though her new gifts ultimately prove to be disastrous.

After an callous remark by the Wasp over Wanda’s lost children, Wanda suffers a mental breakdown, losing control of her abilities and devastating the Avengers. She is finally subdued due to the combined efforts of the Avengers and Doctor Strange, and handed over the Magneto. Her father took her to his longtime friend/enemy Professor X, who had to keep her in a comatose state as Wanda attempted to rewrite reality whenever awake. Due to her instability and immense powers, the Avengers and X-Men were seriously considering killing Wanda, leading her brother to convince her to change reality, creating a new mutant ruled world called House of M. When this world too crumbles, Wanda lashes out against her father, blaming him for her terrible life, and utters the words “No More Mutants,” depowering almost every mutant in the world.

It is eventually revealed that Wanda is living in Latvaria, depowered and with no memory of her previous life. She is found by the Young Avengers Wiccan and Speed, who turn out be her resurrected children. Her return causes a brief fight between the X-Men and the Avengers, as the former wish to punish her for her magical genocide. It is later revealed that her mental breakdown was partly caused by Doctor Doom, who had tried to enhance her powers in order to resurrect her children. After this is resolved, the Young Avengers convince the X-Men to leave Wanda alone, which they agree to.

The Scarlet Witch resurfaces when the Avengers and X-Men learn that the Phoenix Force is returning to Earth to bond with Hope Summers. The Avengers manage to hurt the Phoenix, which then bonds with five of the X-Men. After a fight with a Phoenix-powered Cyclops, it is discovered that Wanda’s choas magic has the ability to hurt the Phoenix. Through the combined effort of Wanda and Hope Summers, a Dark Phoenix fueled Cyclops is defeated, and the Phoenix Force is seemingly destroyed, with the resulting aftershock restoring the mutant population. Having undone her mistake, Wanda then joins the Uncanny Avengers, a team made up of former Avengers and X-Men. She is killed during a mission by Rogue, who mistakenly thought she had betrayed the team.

Her Deal: The Scarlet Witch is a long time Avenger, and one of Marvel’s longest running mutants. She is one of the few powers in the universe that can hurt the Phoenix Force. She is the daughter of Magneto, and was first introduced as a member of the Brotherhood of Evil mutants. She is often associated with her twin brother Quicksilver. Most recently, she has become infamous for the worlds “No More Mutants,” which depowered nearly every mutant in the world. This influenced nearly an entire decade of X-Men comics, which includes: the closing of the Charles Xavier Institute, the All-New X-Men, the X-Men moving to San Francisco, the founding of Utopia, Layla Miller, Bishop betraying the X-men, the battle for Hope Summers, the X-Men Schism, the opening of the Jean Grey School for Gifted Youngsters, and the ultimate fall of Cyclops. One the Avengers side, she is also the killer of the Vision, Hawkeye, and the Ant-Man (Scott Lang). She had been the romantic interest of many Avengers, including Hawkeye, Captain America, Wonder Man, and of course, her ex-husband the Vision.

Personality: Like her brother Quicksilver and father Magneto, the Scarlet Witch is very protective of family. A great part of her life has been spent trying to reunite with her children, even to the point of rewriting reality. She is also prone to depression and emotion fueled decisions, as shown by her propensity for mental breakdowns. Though the Scarlet Witch had proven time and time again to be a very competent hero and leader, many events in her life have strained her psyche. The discrimination and prejudice she faced as both a gypsy and mutant have greatly affected her adult decisions. She had never actually joined an all-mutant team, most likely wishing to distance herself from any cause where she would be “hated and feared.” She finds little pride in actually being a mutant.  She does, however, deeply regret the damage she cause to the X-Men and Avengers, and is all too eager to erase these errors and move on with her life. She hates the fact that in the eyes of many in the mutant community, she will always be remembered as a monster.

Fun Fact: The Scarlet Witch is technically directly and indirectly responsible for the death of hundreds, perhaps thousands, or depowered mutants, including at least one bus load of teenagers.

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First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #4 (1964)

Death: The Scarlet Witch was killed by Rouge

Greatest Crime: Depowering nearly every mutant on Earth, setting back the mutant cause for decades

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