Learn More About the Bewitching Agatha Harkness
Feb 23, 2021
By Amanda Sheriff
In Marvel comics, Agatha Harkness is one of the most powerful witches on Earth. She was one of the original witches from the Salem Witch trials, who taught Wanda Maximoff and is the mother of Nicholas Scratch. She is portrayed as a heroine who is willing to use whatever methods – good or morally questionable – to fight evil.
Agatha’s powers include teleportation, energy projection, mesmerism, illusion casting, and she can tap into extradimensional energy through objects or entities from other dimensions. She is also very intelligent and has a deep knowledge of magical history and lore.
A creation of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, she was introduced as Franklin Richards’ governess who saved him from being kidnapped by the Frightful Four. When the Fantastic Four brought Franklin to her home, they were attacked by the villain team and held captive. Agatha transformed her cat into a panther who chased the Wizard away, she turned Sandman’s body into rock, and used magic to manipulate Trapster into thinking that Thing was a demonic creature, causing him to faint.
Her son revealed that she was a member of the unknown New Salem, Colorado colony of witches. He had wrested control of the community and convinced them that Agatha was a betrayer since she’d worked with the Fantastic Four. Agatha and Franklin were abducted and taken to the town to be put on trial. The Fantastic Four came to their aid, facing the Salem’s Seven – Scratch’s children, and therefore, Agatha’s grandchildren. Once they defeated Scratch and his evil plans were revealed, he was banished to another dimension and Agatha became Scarlet Witch’s teacher of magical arts.
Scratch and Salem’s Seven attempted to take over the world, but were stopped again by Agatha. They did regain control of New Salem, then captured Agatha and burned her at the stake. Agatha’s astral form made contact with Scarlet Witch who battled Salem’s Seven when all the energy in the community was funneled to Vertigo. Wanda was able to capture the energy and, upon Agatha’s suggestion, used the energy to become pregnant with Vision’s children.
Agatha returned alive, with no explanation for her resurrection, when Wanda’s infants started disappearing for short periods. Mephisto claimed that the kids were fragments of his soul and reabsorbed them. Agatha wiped Wanda’s memory of her children to save her the pain, though she later restored the memories when Wanda was being used by Immortus.
She returned for All-New, All-Different Marvel as a ghost to fight with Wanda and the spirit of her mother, Natalya Maximoff, against the physical manifestation of Chaos as it attempted to end witchcraft. During the event, Agatha was brought back to life and left to seek her own adventures. She has since been a member of the Daughters of Liberty, where she has taught them magic, and helped the likes of Captain America, Shuri, and Sharon Carter.