Warning: this article is full of comic book spoilers from Marvel Comics and the WandaVision series!
The last episode of WandaVision, the seven, brought a revelation long awaited by fans. Everyone already imagined that Wanda and Vision’s “noisy neighbor”, Agnes, would be a version of the famous witch Agatha Harkness from the comics. The behind-the-scenes rumors already said that last year and even the plot unfolded so far pointed to that. And, at the end of the chapter, the character played by Kathryn Hahn reveals her full name and is responsible for manipulating the reality created with the help of the Scarlet Witch.
Although the plot twist was not that shocking to a large part of the public, some elements involving his powers and his own participation as an apparent “main villain” generated big questions. Agatha appears to have “driven” Wanda’s creations to become versions of sitcoms over the decades. But did it also help to create that reality? Was she the one who “manufactured” a Pietro from the version of Evan Peters? Was she working alone or is someone controlling her? And why are the twins Billy and Tommy so important?
After all, who exactly is Agatha Harkness? The answers are below.
Who is Agatha Harkness?
Its first appearance happened in Fantastic Four # 94, January 1970, by the hands of the legendary duo Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. She was initially introduced as a nanny to Franklin Richards, the son of the couple Reed and Sue of the Fantastic Four. Throughout the stories, Harkness manifests some powers in saving Franklin, and gradually we learn more about her past as a witch and about her son, Nicholas Scratch – keep that name, it will be important below.
In the comics, she appears to be much older than her version on TV. And, in fact, it is, because there are records of her having lived in a time before the sinking of Atlantis – which means thousands of years in the past of the Marvel Universe. How did she manage to survive for so long? Here is the answer for which she has motivations considered “dubious” to classify her definitively as an ally of the heroes: Harkness prolonged her presence on Earth through primitive witchcraft and magic often influenced by darkness.
His most recent detailed history dates back to the 1700s in Salem, Massachusetts, in the group that underwent the Salem Witch Trial. The episode is remembered by Harkness as a historic event that, in fact, served as “natural selection” of the strongest members of his clan. Their motivation revolves around maintaining the legacy and creating new witch communities, whatever the cost.
During the American Civil War, she was in charge of a team called Daughters of Liberty, who received high training in the magical arts. Harkness remained very active in his mission for the following decades and was even recruited by the American army to help defeat the Nazi sorcerers in World War II.
Harkness’s husband, who WandaVision he is quoted as an ever absent “Ralph”, not as relevant in the comics as his son, Nicholas Scracth. We’ll talk more about that below. As for other relatives, there is a lot of mystery kept in the character’s past, which was not so explored by Marvel, by the way. The last major connection ever published was a strange connection with the French magical dynasty known as the Clan D’Arqness, who often use their meetings to summon demons.
Regarding their powers, the descriptions can be as vague as those of Wanda, who can manipulate reality from the “chaos magic”. Harkness manages to control countless numbers of spells from the most varied types of witchcraft. And, it seems in WandaVision, Harkness would be using another powerful source along with the energies used by Wanda.
How did Agatha Harkness meet the Scarlet Witch?
Well, as stated earlier, she was Franklin’s governess and, during a Fantastic Four adventure with Wanda and Vision, the plot touched a group of demonic entities, known as The Seven of Salem – that happened in Vision & Scarlet Witch Vol. 2 # 3, 1985. The villains were commanded by Nicholas Scratch, who managed to capture and burn Harkness over a fire.
Her astral form survived and, seeing Wanda Maximoff’s magical potential, Harkness used the chaos deity known as Chthon to return to reality and become a mentor to the Scarlet Witch. To defeat the Seven of Salem, Wanda absorbed much of his teacher’s energy.
Subsequently, Wanda his new powers to raise the children William and Thomas, or Billy and Tommy. Calm down, it gets even more complicated: at the end of the day, we learned that both could only be born because the Scarlet Witch used a soul fragment from the devil Mephisto, who channeled her dark magic through Harkness.
The character was gone for a long time in the 1990s and only returned in mid-2000, when she participated in the saga M Dynasty, again as Wanda’s mentor. And more recently, Harkness was the narrator of the limited series Eyesight, by Tom King and Gabriel Walta, which serves as one of the inspirations for WandaVision – no wonder, she has a role similar to “directing” the sitcom environments seen in the Disney + series.
Agatha Harkness at MCU
The version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) seems to be much more connected to Harkness’s dark profile, which is revealed in chapter seven of WandaVision as a real villain – and not just an antagonist. Harkness would be responsible for much of the changes in the fictional Westview and has a growing interest in Billy and Tommy.
The commercial that appears in the traditional intervals of the attraction addressed the word Nexus, which may be a clue as to what really represents the Harkness basement and the energies connected to a book. This location can be connected to Marvel’s Reality Nexus, a kind of “hub” for the various Marvel Multiverse Lands – the vines look very similar to their representation in the comics.
Nicholas Scratch even had a reference in the name of Wanda’s rabbit, “Mr. Scratchy ”. It is worth mentioning that, in the United States, this is the folk nickname for the Christian devil. Some believe that Scratch was being manipulated to change form, according to Harkness’ plans. Thus, he could be the “Pietro” who arrived in the sixth episode – although many people also relate this Mercury to Mephisto himself. And the Scratchy bug could also be a version of Ebony, your black pet cat that can be turned into a black panther and other shapes.
Well, that should all be explained very soon, because WandaVision it is coming to an end and the last episodes, which will air on the next Fridays, promise a lot of action and responses, in addition to connections with the MCU itself. Keep following with us, that, in the end, we will evaluate how all this was presented and what may come next.
Did you like this article?
Subscribe your email to Canaltech to receive daily updates with the latest news from the world of technology.