Warning: spoilers ahead if you’re not up to date with episode eight of WandaVision.
When episode nine of WandaVision is released this Friday on Disney Plus, fans are expecting to witness a mega showdown between Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) to mark the finale of the critically-acclaimed Marvel TV series.
Agatha, who was previously known as nosy neighbour Agnes, has quickly made her mark as one of the most captivating new members of the cast, introducing the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) to realms of magic not seen before in the franchise.
But how was Agatha Harkness introduced in the comics and how does her origin story differ to her background in WandaVision? Here’s what you need to know.
How is Agatha Harkness introduced in the Marvel comics?
Agatha Harkness is first introduced as a character in the Marvel comic books in 1961, in the Fantastic Four #94 issue.
Before meeting Scarlet Witch, Agatha – a witch who lived through the Salem witch trials – makes the acquaintance of the Fantastic Four, babysitting Franklin Richards, the son of Reed Richards and Sue Storm.
After helping to protect the infant from the Frightful Four, she becomes a mentor to Scarlet Witch, teaching her how to harness her incredible power.
She later helps Wanda cope with trauma in the aftermath of an extremely devastating event involving her children, in addition to lending a helping hand to the Avengers.
It may seem odd that the comic book version of Agatha Harkness paints her in a more positive light, given she is depicted as a villain in WandaVision.
But perhaps this means that the character in the TV show is more multifaceted than viewers realise and that another more sinister force is at play?
In the comics, Agatha is also the mother of wizard Nicholas Scratch, who reveals that his mother was the leader of a hidden community in New Salem, Colorado.
There are some WandaVision fans who therefore believe Nicholas could make an appearance in the series or at least in the MCU.
How does Agatha in the comics books compare to WandaVision?
At the end of WandaVision episode seven, it is finally confirmed that Wanda and Vision’s neighbour Agnes is Agatha Harkness after all – a reveal that some fans had strongly suspected from the start.
Episode eight opens with a flashback to Agatha’s former life in Salem, Massachusetts in 1693, when she is put on trial at the stake by her own coven for practising the ‘darkest magic’ and for stealing ‘knowledge above your age and station’.
After initially denying any knowledge of these crimes, Agatha tells them: ‘I did not break your rules. They simply bent to my power.’
As the witches attempt to eliminate Agatha, she appears to absorb their power, killing her entire coven, including her mother.
Stealing her mother’s brooch, an accessory that she has been seen wearing throughout her time in Westview, Agatha flies away, now alone to wreak as much havoc as she would like.
Episode eight sees Agatha try to understand how Wanda created her fake reality, eventually witnessing the moment Wanda that created Vision out of thin air.
Agatha informs Wanda that her ability to create life in this way is a sign of Chaos Magic, meaning that she is none other than the fabled Scarlet Witch.
WandaVision is available to watch on Disney Plus with a new episode being released on Friday.
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