“The first time I called myself a ‘Witch’ was the most magical moment of my life.”—Margot Adler.
The Scarlet Witch, aka Wanda Maximoff, was one of the first female villains in the entire Marvel franchise. It goes without saying, she’s put her magic fingers in a lot of pots and plots. Before Wanda was a later addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Avengers, Scarlet Witch was better known in the comics for acting against superheroes as a part of Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Alongside her twin brother Quicksilver, aka Pietro Maximoff, Wanda then changed sides and has more firmly worked with the Avengers ever since.
With her cauldron of red-hot powers, and even hotter family drama that could rival any soap opera, is it any wonder Scarlet Witch is one of the more iconic Marvel characters. Power up to these 42 fantastic facts about Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch.
42. You Are Not the Father?
Scarlet Witch and her twin brother Quicksilver are best known in today’s pop culture as the children of X-Men frenemy Magneto. However, this was not always the case; in the Golden Age, Wanda and her brother’s father was generally believed to be the offspring of a superhero with the proud name of Whizzer (AKA Robert Frank).
41. Dad’s Gotta Dash
In her original character origin story, Scarlet Witch’s assumed father, Whizzer, royally whizzed away from his parental duties when confronted with the alleged paternity of the Maximoff twins. Wanda and Pietro were born in sanctuary after their mother fled their biological father, Magneto. Once she, too, fled the twins, a woman named Bova protected the babies by passing them off as the children of Whizzer’s wife, who had recently died in childbirth. Whizzer could not deal and literally super-sped away from his responsibilities. Can you believe they missed being raised by this class act?
40. A Broken Home
To hid them from their biological father, Wanda and her brother were raised by a Romani family, the patriarch of which was named Django Marya Maximoff. This adoptive bliss was not to last; after Django stole bread to feed his poor family, angry townsfolk put their Romani village to the torch. Their adoptive mother died in the fire, and Pietro and Wanda spent the rest of their youth wandering Europe.
39. The Paternal Lottery
Wanda met her biological dad by pure coincidence. She had been using her powers to save a child when an anti-mutant mob besieged the Maximoff twins. Magneto saved the siblings and invited them to join his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. However, no one in this trio would have any idea about their biological connection until much later.
38. Career Change
Wanda and Pietro first joined The Avengers in a comic from 1965. The alliance as formed after Magneto was abducted by a mysterious force known as “Stranger” and the Brotherhood dissolved without his leadership. The Maximoff twins considered their debt “paid” and move onto to other ventures.
37. Clint Makes A Crowd
In the early comics, Scarlet formed an awkward love triangle with Vision and Hawkeye. She had fallen in love with the robot while Hawkeye had fallen in love with Wanda herself. Hawkeye eventually put his feelings aside, and Wanda and Vision were married with everyone’s blessing.
36. Fertility Forecast
Twins run in her family. In the original Avengers comics, the Scarlet Witch and Vision become the proud parents of twin boys named Thomas and William. Wanda used magic to overcome the reproductive barrier of Vision being an inhuman robot.
35. She’s Draws All Kinds
When her husband Vision was dismantled and reassembled as an emotionless robot with no memories of them, Wonder Man refused to give back the brainwaves that would make him whole again. Why? Wonder Man had a crush on Wanda.
34. Legit Wiccan
You might argue that “Scarlet Witch” is not a witch, simply a mutant with metaphysical powers that resemble a witch. But she really is a witch. Not only was Wanda ordained with magical powers as a baby in the Wundagore mountains, she received official magical training under a witch named Agatha Harkness. Wanda has paid her magical dues.
33. Gone Babies Gone
The sons of Scarlet Witch and Vision were secretly soul shards of Mephisto. Tragically, this means they were reabsorbed into his essence. But never fret: the twins eventually reincarnated into the Young Avengers, Wiccan and Speed. Comics are like that.
32. Stick Away From This Icky Canon
Scarlet Witch and her twin brother Quicksilver were heavily implied to be in an incestuous relationship during their time in Marvel’s Ultimates. Although this is never outright stated, the twins are drawn and referenced in poses that are too close for comfort. Marvel’s Ultimates doesn’t count to most as an “official” timeline, but that does little to cleanse the ick-factor.
31. The Walking Wanda
Scarlet Witch was once allied was Ash from The Evil Dead. During a crossover event between Army of Darkness and Marvel Zombies, Wanda shows up to give Ash a helping magical hand against the alive-again terrors. Unfortunately, she is eaten and turned into a zombie herself by the zombie! Punisher.
30. It’s Not a Phase, Dad
Surprising absolutely no one, the WB X-Men: Evolution cartoon series re-imagined the teenage Wanda Maximoff as a troubled punk goth chick.
29. Surrogate Moo-ther
A cow helped Wanda and Pietro’s mom give birth to them. Her name was Bova, who was more of a cow/human crossbreed. She did her best.
28. Who’s Your Daddy?
Could Wolverine be the real father of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver? At least, that’s what is inferred in Marvel’s Ultimates. It’s revealed Wolverine slept with Magneto’s wife, Madga. And the twins were born not long after. As if that weren’t weird enough, Ultimates also implies that Wolverine watched from the bushes as his maybe-lovechildren consummated their incestuous feelings for each other. Why? Because Marvel’s Ultimates, that’s why.
27. Are You Seeing What Steve’s Seeing?
Captain American is the only character in Marvel’s Ultimates who has a real problem with the incestuous Maximoff twins. Everyone else kind of just tells Steve to just get with the times, old man. Oh, Steve Rogers with his 1940s sensibilities about modern love.
26. Art Imitates Art
Before they were cast as the MCU’s Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson played a non-incestuous couple in Godzilla.
25. Can’t Keep a Good Witch in One Canon
Wanda’s backstory was changed due to copyright issues between the MCU and Sony. At the time at least, Disney’s MCU owned the rights to The Avengers while Sony owned X-Men. In the comics, Scarlet Witch was a member of both. To amend this conflict, Age of Ultron erased their convoluted “mutant” origins—Magneto/Wolverine daddy issues and all.
24. The Little Witch
In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Quicksilver is seen with a small girl in a pinkish dress on his lap. The color-coding led fans to speculate that she was Wanda Maximoff. However, the film’s director Bryan Singer has confirmed this was not her.
23. Easter Eggs to Crack
A cut line of dialogue from X-Men: Days of Future Past references the possible existence of the Scarlet Witch in their universe. In this scene, Quicksilver is shown sitting with a little girl wearing pink. Her mother tells the little girl “Go up and bug your sister” to which the little girl responds, “She bugs me!” We never see this other sister, but fans have taken this to be an Easter Egg about the Scarlet Witch.
22. We’ve All Been There
Scarlet Witch once lost all memory of who she was and ended up living in Latveria as Dr. Doom’s bride. Who hasn’t blacked out and been there?
21. Tragical Histories
Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver had a sister who died before their birth. Her name was Anya and she was the firstborn child between Magneto and his wife, Magda. Magneto had told neither his wife and daughter about his mutant powers. One day, an inn-fire had trapped Magda and Anya inside; Magneto used his powers to save Magda, but police restrained him as Anya burned to death. In a rage, Magneto uses his powers to kill the police and the mob outside, effectively chasing away a terrified and pregnant Magda.
20. Morbid Mother
It is generally assumed that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver’s mother is dead. She gave birth on the run from Magneto, and, terrified that their father would find them, left the twins behind. Magda fled into a blizzard and is presumed dead from exposure.
19. Little Big Words
In the “House of M” event, Scarlet Witch grew powerful enough to eliminate the entire mutant race with three simple words: “No more mutants.”
18. She Has Points
Elizabeth Olsen helped choreograph her own finger-dancing as Wanda in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Working with British dancer, Jenny White, Olson learned to isolate specific finger movements that would appear the most “magical.”
17. Ultron the Big Red Dog
Elizabeth Olsen couldn’t look at Ultron’s big red balls. While shooting Age of Ultron, James Spader had to wear antennas with big red balls on his head, so they could later CGI where Ultron’s eyes would be. Actors would need to look at the balls, not Spader’s own peepers. But while filming, Scarlet Witch Olsen keep getting distracted by Spader’s performance and making real eye-contact. Aaron Taylor-Johnson helped Olsen focus by yelling, “Red balls! Look at his balls, Lizzie!”
16. Dubious Citations
For some reason, Joss Whedon based his version of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver on the incestuous Ultimates version of their characters. Thus, Elizabeth Olsen and Samuel Taylor-Johnson read every issue of Ultimates for “research.” How relieved were they to know Whedon did not include everything about their characters?
15. Dressed to Depress
Wanda’s costume in Avengers: Age of Ultron is less a tribute to her comic book outfits, and more to her gothic getups in X-Men: Evolution.
14. The Irish Witch
Future Lady Bird star Saoirse Ronan was briefly considered to play the role of Scarlet Witch in Age of Ultron.
13. Mean Girl Goes Scarlet
Lindsay Lohan auditioned to play Scarlet Witch in Age of Ultron. Unfortunately—or not—scarlet hair alone does not make for a Scarlet Witch.
12. Women, Am I Right?
Scarlet Witch was a member of the “Lady Liberators,” a ‘70s superhero team and series made by Roy Thomas used to mock second-wave feminists. In the series, Valkyrie is revealed to be a secret villain who only assembled the female heroes who were members to manipulate them.
11. A Power Is a Wish Your Writer Makes
Scarlet Witch’s powers have been historically flexible. In Avengers Disassembled, the “chaos magic” element was removed and replaced with general “reality warping.” What an important distinction.
10. Rogue Retcon
In Uncanny Avengers, Wanda was killed by her own teammate, Rogue. No hard feelings—Rogue was being manipulated by the “Apocalypse Twins” and this death was promptly undone when the Unity Squared reset time. It’s almost like death is nearly meaningless in comics or something…
9. Seeing Green
Scarlet Witch’s first cover appearance in X-Men #4 did not leave fans seeing red. In fact, the cover features her in a green suit and wimple. What’s the point of calling her Scarlet?
8. Just Add Powers
Age of Ultron is not the first time that creators decided Wanda was no longer an official “mutant.” When Marvel comics was on the verge of bankruptcy in 1996, Rob Liefeld was brought on to relaunch Avengers. Scarlet Witch was re-brought to the team as an unexpected addition, but she was no longer a mutant. Instead, she was a real sorcerer. In Uncanny Avengers (2012), it’s likewise decided that Wanda got her powers from experiments with the High Evolutionary.
7. Pay the Toll or Get out
Wanda’s got a secret passenger inside her. In some versions, Wanda was ordained as a child to be the vessel of Chton, an Elder god. He tries to purge Wanda of herself, but the Avengers save her with the power of friendship, and probably their fists.
6. Red Rage
When Wanda’s children were integrated into Mephisto, she lost all memory of them. When these memories returned, Wanda’s grief was so great that she unleashed her powers and accidentally killed a few Avengers.
5. If Only They Were All That Easy
Scarlet Witch killed Cyclops’ alter-ego with three little words. After Cyclops killed Professor X, he unleashed into a dark personality named “Dark Phoenix.” Wanda took him down by simply saying, “No Dark Phoenix.” Interestingly, these kind of world-making and -breaking powers are exactly what the Avengers might need to make it through after Infinity War. But how will they unleash them?
4. Take a Hint
Toad in the comics had a crush on the Scarlet Witch. Much like her father, Wanda had a professional disdain for Toad and was turned off by his mannerisms and lack of hygiene. During his solo career, Toad made several attempts to kidnap her, but he always found himself thwarted by Wanda’s brother, her friends, and often the lady herself.
3. I Don’t
In the Earth-616 version of her character, Scarlet Witch accidentally summoned an extra-dimensional force named Arkon. The being then sought to force Wanda to be his bride. Not to be taken out of a job, Toad teamed up with Quicksilver to rescue her.
2. I’m Quitting the Band
Wanda is always going into self-imposed exile. After the events of “House of M,” wherein Pietro dies, and she depowers 90% of mutants, Wanda retires to a life of seclusion in Wundagore. Likewise, she exiles herself to solitude after Dr. Doom almost gets away from stealing her powers in The Children’s Crusader.
1. Driven to Shock
Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) and Paul Bettany (Vision) found out about their Infinity Wars fate inside of a van on the day they were set to actually film the ending.
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