- Who is Marvel’s Agatha Harkness?
- Origin of Agatha
- Powers and Abilities of Agatha
- Agatha Harkness and Wanda Maximoff
- Is Agatha Harkness behind all of this in WandaVision?
- Agatha Harkness on TV
Agatha Harkness: Wanda’s Other Marvel WitchVision Explained
Who is Marvel’s Agatha Harkness?
When Franklin Richards was born, his parents Reed and Sue Richards (aka Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman) sought to keep him away from all manner of prying eyes. The Fantastic Four took the baby to the serene and secluded town of Whisper Hill, the home of their new governess – Agatha Harkness.
Although they didn’t know it at the time, Agatha was a witch of incredible power. She used her abilities not only to keep Franklin safe, but also to control his burgeoning powers. She eventually revealed her magic to save Reed Richards from being trapped in the Negative Zone. The Fantastic Four have come to rely on her as both an ally and a friend. When her own life was in danger, the four heroes did everything to save her.
Agatha later became close to another magical user of the Marvel Universe, the Scarlet Witch, when Wanda and Vision became the unlikely parents of a set of twins. She sought to help Wanda learn to control her reality-distorting magic. Although she eventually encountered her loss at the hands of Wanda, the bond between them was strong even after death.
Origin of Agatha
The Age of the Witch is just one of the many mysteries surrounding Agatha Harkness. Agatha lived in Salem, Massachusetts, until she moved to the city of New Salem, Colorado, in an unknown year. New Salem was a hidden community of spellcasters who had left Salem’s persecution behind. The locals have vowed never to interact with non-magical mortals again. Agatha was their leader until she decided to leave for reasons never really explained.
Only a few other fragments of its long past have since been revealed. She spent time as a member of the Daughters of Liberty in the late 1700s; she also fought a bearer of black magic soon after World War II.
At the end of the 20th century, Agatha and her faithful cat companion, Ebony, were living in a disturbing mansion in Whisper Hill, New York. The house, like Agatha, was old and enigmatic, but provided a safe haven for baby Franklin. “Although I have lived in retirement for years,” said Agatha when she first appeared in the pages of Fantastic Four, “I couldn’t say no to my new charge when I learned the identity of his parents!
Reed and Sue couldn’t have chosen a better housekeeper. The first night she looked at the baby, the Frightful Four entered the house, intending to take revenge on the superhero team. Agatha sent them easily with her magic.
Over time, Agatha became the nanny of another group of unusual children, the twins of Wanda Maximoff and The Vision.
Powers and Abilities of Agatha
Agatha Harkness casts spells that manipulate mystical forces. She uses magic to prolong her life for centuries, travel through space and time, send mental messages to warn of impending danger, erase heartbreaking memories of Wanda Maximoff, and much more.
Her former black cat, Ebony, was no ordinary cat. Ebony transformed into a large growling panther in the face of a threat. Agatha relied on him as both companion and protector.
She was also a patient teacher and mentor as Wanda explored her “hexagonal” magical powers.
Agatha Harkness and Wanda Maximoff
Soon after Wanda and Vision became parents, Agatha appeared on their doorstep. Her visit was quite unexpected, especially since she had been presumed dead. She was there to talk about the kids, she told the surprised couple. It seems babies disappeared when Wanda wasn’t thinking about them. But Wanda refused to hear the truth … Billy and Tommy weren’t real.
When the demon Mephisto revealed their true nature as pieces of his soul and reabsorbed them, Agatha removed their memory of the distraught scarlet witch. “To spare her this pain, I closed that corner of her mind forever,” she said. “For Wanda, it will be like they never have been.”
Over time, however, Wanda remembered her children and Agatha paid the price for her interference. This led to the famous The House of M story that WandaVision is partially based on.
Is Agatha Harkness behind all of this in WandaVision?
We now know where Agatha Harkness fits in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Where do we do it? It definitely looks like Kathryn Hahn’s Agatha pulled the strings in Westview.
The clues started with Agnes and Agatha having similar names. Agnes also has a pet, Senor Scratches, whom she cares about very much (although Scratches is a rabbit rather than a cat). This name also refers to Agatha’s son in the comics, Nicholas Scratch. Putting Agnes in a blue haired witch costume in the same episode as Vision and Wanda wearing their comic book-inspired outfits was a deliberate nod, as was her wicked witch laugh. And, most mysterious of all, unlike most other Westview residents, Agnes did not have a corresponding driver’s license to reveal her real identity.
With the big reveal of Agatha Harkness in her dark and spooky house, it looks like the MCU is presenting the witch as a villain wielding purple magic. But can we believe everything we see in Westview? Hopefully that’s another trick, and Agatha might still be able to be the friend and mentor Wanda Maximoff needs to come out of her grief. Maybe she’s the unwitting servant of another villain who is the real Big Bad of the show.
Maybe even her true appearance has yet to be shown. “There is a character that has not been revealed and it’s very exciting, he’s an actor I’ve dreamed of working with all my life”, Paul Bettany said in an interview recently. Could the real Agatha Harkness come across as a venerable older actress making her MCU debut?
Agatha Harkness on TV
Agatha Harkness has not appeared in any game, and has only made brief appearances in some X-Men and Avengers animated series as a teacher for Wanda Maximoff. WandaVision is obviously his biggest TV role to date … but it should be noted that Doctor Who and Torchwood’s Captain Jack Harkness is named after the venerable witch, as actor John Barrowman revealed in a interview in 2006.
Kelly Knox is a freelance entertainment writer who also contributes to StarWars.com, DCComics.com, Nerdist, and more. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox to talk about Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons and comics.