Get to know one of the Earth’s most powerful witches!
[Photo Credit: Marvel]
Agatha Harkness surely is a tiger and she knows it!
The powerful witch has been a part of the Marvel universe for over 50 years.
Ahead of the release of her own spinoff Agatha: Coven of Chaos, we’ll explore Agatha’s backstory, her powers and what’s next for the Marvel witch!
(This article contains spoilers about Agatha Harkness, so if you haven’t read Marvel comics with her or watched the WandaVision series, we highly recommend you do so, you won’t regret it!)
Agatha Harkness In Comic Books
Agatha Harkness is a powerful witch that first appeared in Fantastic Four #94 in 1970.
Her character was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby.
Agatha was introduced as the governess of young Franklin Richards — the son of Reed and Sue Richards of Fantastic Four.
Of course, Franklin’s parents had no idea Agatha was a witch, but luckily for them, she was a good one.
When the Frightful Four — a group of villains — tried to kidnap Franklin, Agatha saved the child and used her magic to ward off the attackers.
She admitted to the Fantastic Four that she, indeed, was a witch and started helping them battle the bad guys.
Some other comic book issues tell us that Agatha has been around for much longer than several centuries. In fact, it turns out that she was alive 500 years before Atlantis sank, meaning that she’s thousands of years old!
Although Agatha was introduced as a good witch, not everyone in her family was as kind as her.
We’ve learned that her son — Nicholas Scratch — is a supervillain that often battled the Fantastic Four.
His name is a combo of slang terms for the Devil — Old Nick and Old Scratch — and his actions definitely justify the name he was given.
Scratch became the leader of New Salem, Colorado — a secret community of witches and other magic users.
Does Salem ring any bells?
Yep, it’s the place where the Salem witch trials took place between 1692 and 1693.
Agatha left New Salem because she wanted to live among the “regular” people. That’s when she became a nanny to Franklin, so Scratch took over the role of a leader.
With Agatha gone, Scratch convinced the residents of New Salem that his mother betrayed them and spilled their secrets to the Fantastic Four.
Everyone was enraged, so they kidnaped Agatha (and Franklin) and wanted to execute her.
The Fantastic Four jumped to Agatha’s rescue and revealed that it was Scratch who made them aware of New Salem — not his mother.
The community turned against Scratch and banished him to the Dark Realm, which exists outside of time.
Of course, that wasn’t the end of the story for Scratch.
From the Dark Realm, he continued to cause chaos by instructing his seven children (known as Salem’s Seven) to take over New Salem. He attempted to mentally control the Fantastic Four and use them to conquer the world, but Agatha stopped him and kept him away in the Dark Realm.
Talk about a turbulent mother-son relationship, huh?
At one point, Salem’s Seven managed to murder Agatha by burning her at the stake, but she came back alive and well after some time.
For most comic book fans, the most interesting part of Agatha’s journey has been her relationship with Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a., Scarlet Witch.
When Agatha met the young heroine, she realized how powerful Wanda was and wanted to help her better control her abilities and improve her witchcraft skills. The two formed a close bond, but in WandaVision, their relationship is a little bit different than in the comics.
Agatha Harkness In WandaVision
The portrayal of Agatha Harkness in WandaVision significantly differs from that in comic books.
If you watched the show without reading the comics first, you’re probably wondering if we’re talking about the same character.
While Agatha in the comics and in the series share a lot of similarities, there are some notable differences between the two.
The most obvious one regards her motivations.
In the comics, Agatha is someone who helps superheroes, including Scarlet Witch. She trains Wanda in magic use and helps her unleash her true powers. But in the series, Agatha’s nothing like that.
In WandaVision, Agatha initially introduces herself to Wanda as her nosy neighbor Agnes.
As time passes, we learn that Agatha is an antagonist who wants to make use of Wanda’s powers for her personal gain and grow her own magical abilities.
Agatha understands that Wanda’s powers are far greater than she herself realizes, so she manipulates Wanda into telling her how she created the Westview alternate reality and revealing how powerful she truly is.
Agatha eventually reveals her true nature in a song called Agatha All Along, telling the world that she’s the one who manipulated the events behind the scenes.
In the end, we see an epic fight between the two witches, in which Scarlet Witch fully embraces her powers and defeats Agatha!
Agatha’s Powers And Abilities
Agatha is one of the most powerful witches in the Marvel universe with a wide range of abilities.
Her most notable powers include:
- Sorcery: Agatha knows magic! She can manipulate magic however she pleases to change reality and achieve her goals. For example, she can shape dimensions, teleport herself and others, prevent her enemies from moving and fire blasts at them, nullify spells, and protect herself and her mind from her enemies’ attacks.
- Element manipulation: Agatha has the power to manipulate all crucial elements and use them to her advantage. She can manipulate:
- air (aerokinesis)
- water (hydrokinesis)
- electricity (electrokinesis)
- fire (pyrokinesis)
- objects (telekinesis)
- Illusion casting: Agatha can cast illusions to achieve her goals. She can create illusions that affect her personally or affect her enemies.
- Mind reading: This is another power of Agatha’s — she can read the thoughts of others.
- Hypnosis: Yep, Agatha can hypnotize her enemies and make them follow her orders.
- Telepathy: Because of course Agatha can communicate telepathically with others.
- Transmutation: The powerful witch can turn others into anything she pleases.
- Time manipulation: As if other powers don’t make her fearsome enough, Agatha can control time and use it to her advantage.
- Immortality: Agatha is virtually immortal. She’s been around for thousands of years and she isn’t going anywhere. Oh, and if she does die, she simply revives herself.
- Precognition: Agatha can predict the future and tell what’s going to happen next.
Agatha: Coven of Chaos — All We Know So Far
Agatha’s character has become so popular thanks to the WandaVision series that she’ll get her own spin-off show titled Agatha: Coven of Chaos.
The show is expected to come to Disney+ in 2024.
The series is a sequel to WandaVision and it will focus on Agatha Harkness.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we won’t see other familiar faces in the series, since Wanda Maximoff will likely come back:
Elizabeth Olsen on whether Wanda Maximoff is back in the neighborhood on Marvel series ‘Agatha: Coven of Chaos pic.twitter.com/agEEcRxh71
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) March 12, 2023
As for the new characters, we know that Aubrey Plaza will star in the series in an undisclosed role (possibly as a witch in the new Coven of Witches) and that Joe Locke will likely play a gay teen — probably the older Billy Maximoff (one of Wanda’s sons), a.k.a., Wiccan.
Lin January, Locke shared a photo to his Instagram stories in which we can see a chair with Agnes of Westview written on it.
We have no confirmation of the title change, but we’ll keep our eyes wide open.
Regarding the plot, we can presume that Agatha will be freed from Wanda’s spell that trapped her in her Agnes persona, and we can’t wait to find out what will happen next and see what the new characters bring to the show!
A Recap On Agatha Harkness
Agatha Harkness is one of the most powerful witches of all time.
She’s smart, witty, and possesses powers that make her virtually indestructible!
Agatha can cast spells that help her achieve her goals, manipulate elements such as air, fire and water, tell what’s going to happen in the future, control time and even resurrect herself!
Her abilities make her one of the most skilled magic casters in Marvel comics!
In the comics, Agatha plays an important role in the lives of the Fantastic Four and the Scarlet Witch. She has helped these superheroes countless times; but through WandaVision, we got to meet a different Agatha Harkness — an evil and manipulative one!
Thanks to the series’ popularity, her character came out from the shadows and has become a fan favorite.
Agatha: Coven of Chaos can’t come soon enough!