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Who's been messing up everything? WandaVision's Agatha Harkness explained
She's been messing up everything and pulling every evil string. Ladies and gentlemen...
**SPOILER WARNING: This story contains spoilers for WandaVision Episode 7, "Breaking the Fourth Wall.**
... introducing Agatha Harkness!
Yes, last week's episode of WandaVision confirmed a major fan theory that's been floating around since the very beginning. Nosy neighbor Agnes (played by Kathryn Hahn) is, in reality, another magic-user known as Agatha Harkness. She's behind a good chunk of the strange goings-on within Westview — including Pietro's Evan Peters-y arrival and all the mistakes going on inside the Hex — and what's worse: She killed poor Sparky!
She seems like a real nasty piece of work, but what do we really know about her, aside from that earworm-y and Munsters-inspired theme song? We know next to nothing about the character's MCU iteration, who feels more like a flat-out antagonist rather than the mysterious and wizened figure she is in Marvel's comics. Whether she will turn out to be a friend, foe, or something in between for Wanda, WandaVision's final episodes are undoubtedly going to be wild.
Just who the heck is Agatha Harkness? Well, Before Episode 8 drops onto Disney+ this Friday (Feb. 26), let's take a look at Agatha's magical history, shall we?
She dates all the way back to the early 1960s
Like many classic Marvel heroes and villains, Agatha Harkness — a very old and very powerful witch — can trace her roots back to the Silver Age of comics when she was first conceived by the dynamic duo of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
The character made her print debut in 1961's Fantastic Four #94 along with her trademark black cat, Ebony. Within the pages of this issue, Agatha becomes the babysitter/nanny for young Franklin Richards, the son of Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) and Sue Storm (The Invisible Woman). She seems like a helpless and kind old lady... until she and Ebony (who can transform into a terrifying feline monster) protect the newborn baby from an attack by the Frightful Four.
She's been alive for a looooooong time
It's unclear how old Agatha really is, but according to this bio, she was purportedly alive for several centuries before Atlantis sank into the ocean. When Europeans started founding colonies in the New World, Agatha found herself living in Massachusetts and fell subject to the Salem Witch Trials. Tired of persecution, she and her coven broke away and founded their own colony known as New Salem in the area that would become known as Colorado. Putting down roots in North America, Agatha lived through and took part in such historical events as the American Revolution and World War II.
She mentored Wanda Maximoff in the magical arts
Not only did Agatha train Scarlet Witch, but she was also killed at the hands of her extremely powerful pupil. WandaVision could be setting up a similar story arc, in which Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) is swayed to the dark side before eventually seeing the light and turning on her teacher. Is Hahn's Harkness the Palpatine to Wanda's Anakin?
She revealed the horrible truth about Wanda and Vision's sons
In 1985's West Coast Avengers #51-52, Agatha seemingly comes back from the dead after being burned at the stake (that was her first time dying). She surprises Wanda and explains that her two sons, Tommy and Billy, are not real. Since Wanda could not conceive offspring with Vision, the hex-casting Avenger altered reality via a combination of her mutant powers and the magic taught to her by Harkness. Due to an unexplained imbalance, the boys disappear whenever Scarlet Witch isn't thinking about them.
Agatha describes Tommy and Billy as "manifestations of Wanda's will. One small step beyond illusion." The truth is that the boys were integral parts of Mephisto (basically Marvel's version of Satan); two pieces of the villain's very being that Wanda unconsciously used to create the children out of nothing. Mephisto later reabsorbed the pieces back into himself, but with some quick thinking of her own, Agatha erased the kids from Wanda's memory, creating a temporary shock to Mephisto's system that kept the villain temporarily at bay. Agatha laments the action but notes that it was the lesser of two evils and states that Wanda is like a daughter to her.
Years later, in 1998's Avengers #503, Wanda confronts Agatha about the ruse and goes mad with grief and despair, once again willing her family back into existence. Scarlet Witch's fragmentary mental state, which has led to several deaths among the Avengers, prompts Doctor Strange to finally act. The two do battle and the Sorcerer Supreme comes out victorious as Wanda's mind is completely shattered by the Eye of Agamotto's truth-revealing power. Not long after, Nick Fury discovers the rotting corpse of Agatha Harkness.
We know that WandaVision connects to the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, especially since Episode 7 basically confirmed Wanda as the "nexus" of all possible realities. However, fans are still wondering if Mephisto will make an appearance. The most popular theory states that he is Agnes/Agatha's unseen husband, Ralph.