- “Ultron can't see the difference between saving the world and destroying it. Where do you think he gets that from?”
- ―Scarlet Witch[src]
Wanda Maximoff (also known as Scarlet Witch) is a character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe who first appears as one of the two secondary antagonists-turned-major protagonists (alongside Quicksilver) of Disney/Marvel's 2015 film Avengers: Age of Ultron after making a mid-credits scene cameo appearance in 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier. She later serves as one of the tritagonists in Captain America: Civil War, and one of the main protagonists of Avengers: Infinity War, and returns in Avengers: Endgame as one of the tritagonists. She is the twin sister of Pietro Maximoff, alias Quicksilver. She started out as a vengeful lackey to the evil Ultron, before redeeming herself and joining the Avengers following the death of her brother, who would have done likewise if he had lived.
Wanda was born in the country of Sokovia alongside her older twin brother Pietro. They became orphans when a mortar shell hit their house while they were having dinner. Years later, Sokovia became a warzone. She and her brother participated in different riots in a attempt drive the foreign forces out of their country. However, all these riots were planned by HYDRA, who had taken up residence in Sokovia and used the riots as cover in their illegal experiments.
One day, List, a HYDRA scientist approached them to offer the opportunity to get enough power to drive war out of Sokovia. Wanda was skeptical but was finally convinced by Pietro. As results of these experiments, she won numerous mental powers as telekinesis, hypnosis, and energy projection; while Pietro achieved superhuman speed.
Wanda is a serious and introverted individual with emotional fragility due to her upbringing. At her core however, Wanda has a caring personality devoted to protecting innocents, and a willingness to fight for what she feels is right. While she is very passionate about her beliefs and quite direct about how she feels, this has proven to be a deadly flaw, as it makes her prone to impulsiveness and error. Included was siding with Ultron, an impact that deeply influences much of her actions thereafter.
Although capable of acknowledging her mistakes and learning from them as well, Wanda feels the burden of guilt and remorse for her actions, which has led to times of inaction. Before turning to the Avengers, Wanda was vengeful toward her enemies, as she was willing to psychologically torture the Avengers and wanted to personally hunt down towards Ultron for Pietro's death. Wanda's hostility has toned down since, but she is still prone to a powerful anger.
Powers and Abilities
- Quantum Magic: Wanda is able to harness magical energies from other dimensions. It appears that her magic is often connected to her emotions.
- Reality Alteration: Wanda can manipulate molecular polarity, which gives her the potential to alter reality.
- Telekinesis: Scarlet Witch has the power to move, levitate, and even immobilize objects and people without touching them.
- Energy Blasts: Scarlet Witch has the power to generate a unique reddish energy from her hands, and can harness it to create energy blasts. She can project energy blasts, orbs, waves, and bolts by projecting her own psionic and kinetic energy, or gathering particles, molecules, and physical forces into a contained space, allowing her to either blow, destroy, push/pull or direct her hits at her enemies.
- Levitation: Scarlet Witch is able to use this power to move herself through the air and simulate flight.
- Energy Shield: Scarlet Witch can create a durable shield and a barrier of psionic energy to protect herself and others or deflect attacks.
- Telepathy: Scarlet Witch has the power to read minds of other sentient beings.
- Mental Manipulation: Scarlet Witch has the power to deploy a form of mental inertness through a form of hypnosis upon others by making them see their greatest fear, at the same time she is able to see into the minds of other sentient beings.
- Multilingual: Scarlet Witch is capable of fluently speaking English and Sokovian.
- Hand-to-hand combat: Wanda is able to fight off enemies up-close.
Marvel Animated Universe
Scarlet Witch can be seen on Fury's wall of Skrull suspects in the episode "Infiltration".
Scarlet Witch makes a cameo in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Flight of the Iron Spider".
Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver appear in a mid-credits scene, where she and her twin brother were confirmed to have not been present at SHIELD's headquarters at the time HYDRA was defeated there and Operation Insight was shut down due to Baron Strucker's actions. Strucker also revealed he intended to use them for an unspecified purpose.
When the Avengers attacked the HYDRA Research Base, List asked Strucker to send the Maximoff twins to fight against the Avengers, Strucker replied that not yet because they had not reached its full potential. However, she and her brothers managed to escape and went to the battlefield to confront the Earth's mightiest heroes. When Tony Stark found out Strucker's secret lab, Scarlet Witch used her powers against Stark, causing him a vision that would change his way of seeing the world. However, Stark took Loki's Scepter; her brother, Pietro asked why she let him take the scepter, in which she simply smiled in response.
The next day, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were summoned by Ultron, who wanted them to be part of his team. During the meeting, she prevented Pietro from telling him the story of how their parents died. Ultron requested them to please tell him. Quicksilver told Ultron how they spent several days waiting to die for Stark's fault. Ultron promised them that they would tear the Avengers from inside. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver accompanied Ultron to Salvage Yard to buy Vibranium from Ulysses Klaw for his new body. When Klaw saw Wanda and her brother, he recognized them as Strucker's experiments. He warned them that if they used their powers against him, he would know that they were not in charge and told them that the man in charge should appear. The man in charge turned out to be Ultron.
Suddenly, the Avengers arrived, which led to a fight between the Avengers, Ultron, the Maximoff twins, and Klaw's men. While Ultron and Iron Man were fighting, Scarlet Witch managed to defeat almost all the Avengers by hallucinations. After attacking the beautiful Black Widow, she was attacked by Hawkeye, who told her that he was not a fan of mind control. Using his speed, Quicksilver took Scarlet Witch away from the danger. While recovering, Scarlet Witch saw Bruce Banner alone, she then decided to use her powers against him in order to take revenge on the Avengers.
She, Quicksilver, and Ultron arrived in Seoul, South Korea and attacked Helen Cho's laboratories. Ultron asked Doctor Cho if she could create a new body for him, but when she refused this request, he used Loki's scepter on her. As the synthetic body was ready, Ultron proceeded to upload himself into his new body. This allowed Scarlet Witch read Ultron's mind and found out that he sought to eliminate the human race. She asked Ultron his reasons, he replied in order that humanity could improve. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver abandoned Ultron but not before releasing Helen Cho from Ultron's mind control. Ultron then attacked them, only to apologize afterward. Later, she and her brother helped Captain America, who was fighting against Ultron. During the battle, a train went off the rails, she using her powers managed to stop it. She and her brother accompanied Captain America to Avengers Tower to stop Tony Stark, who sought to use the synthetic body to fix everything that he caused. However, they could not prevent the birth of the Vision.
Scarlet Witch along with Quicksilver, Vision, and the Avengers, traveled to Sokovia to stop Ultron and thwart his plans of global extinction. Before the battle, she used her powers on civilians to evacuate and go to a safe place. When the battle began, she was very scared. But when Hawkeye encouraged her, she left her hiding to fight and prove that she was an Avenger. She later offered to guard the key from Ultron, despite the doubts of her brother. When her brother was killed, she quickly felt the loss of her brother at the hands of Ultron, causing a great explosion of energy. As Ultron was badly wounded, she approached him and ripped off his metal heart to show him how she felt when Pietro died.
However, an Ultron drone managed to activate the doomsday machine, sending Sokovia directly to crash into Earth. When it seemed that everything was lost to her, the Vision arrived and saved her from an imminent death. After Ultron's defeat, she was recruited along with War Machine, the Falcon, and the Vision as new members of the Avengers.
Scarlet Witch, now a new member of the Avengers, is working undercover as one of Captain America's spies; looking for Rumlow, who now goes by the alias; Crossbones since his last encounter with Captain America and who plans to steal a biological weapon from a laboratory in Lagos. She helps Captain America enter the building where the lab is located by removing all the poisonous gas Crossbones threw in to kill some people, infiltrate the lab, and steal the weapon; using her powers. After Captain America manages to capture Crossbones after a long chase, whom he unmasks to notice his burnt and scarred face since their last encounter, while his other team members: Black Widow and Falcon subdue his men, Crossbones tries to commit suicide by blowing himself up along with Captain America but when Scarlet Witch tries to displace the blast into the sky, it destroys a nearby building, killing a number of Wakandan humanitarian workers.
Back at the team's headquarters, in her room, Scarlet Witch feels guilt, regret, fear, and remorse as she watches the latest news that happened back in Lagos; blaming herself for those people's deaths. Just then, Captain America and Vision come into her room to comfort her. But that isn't enough to cheer her up as U.S. Secretary of State Ross arrives and informs the Avengers that the United Nations is preparing to pass the Sokovia Accords, which will establish an international governing body to oversee and control the Avengers. Thus, the team is divided. Scarlet Witch decides to stay on Captain America's side along with Falcon since Captain America has more faith in his own judgment than the government's while the rest of the team stay on Iron Man's side, who agree to sign the Accords since Iron Man feels responsible for Ultron's creation and Sokovia's destruction.
She is then placed under house arrest at the Avengers' headquarters with the Vision overlooking her (and cooking for her), who has sided with Iron Man because he wants the world to see Wanda as the kind-hearted woman he sees her as. Eventually, Hawkeye arrives under Captain America's orders to break her out. When he's overpowered by Vision, Hawkeye reminds Wanda that she has the ability to beat him and she uses her powers to send Vision through multiple stories of the building all the way down. During the Avengers battle, her powers, along with Black Widow's double agent act, prove essential in helping Winter Soldier and Captain America escape to find Helmut Zemo, who destroyed a nearby building in Vienna, where a conference was being held, that killed more people including T'Chaka, king of Wakanda and framed the Winter Soldier as the culprit for it. She is then arrested alongside her other teammates and placed in holding cells in the Raft until they are freed by Captain America at the very end.
She is last seen reunited with Vision, who has adopted a human disguise, living peacefully in Europe.
Wanda, seeing that their forces are struggling against the Outrider onslaught, leaps into battle and saves Black Widow and Okoye from a tank, which she throws at several Outriders. She is then caught off balance when Proxima Midnight threatens her, only for her to throw her in the path of another tank when Black Widow and Okeye appear. She returns to Vision's side until Thanos arrives, telling her she cannot destroy the stone until he himself dies. Vision urges her that this is the right course of action. Relenting at last, she unleashes a stream of energy into the stone while Thanos fights the Avengers and wins. She blows up the stone, killing Vision, much to her horror, and throwing her to the ground. Thanos tries sympathizing with her, but she bitterly calls him ignorant. She is forced to watch as Thanos tries and succeeds in extracting the Time Stone from Vision's corpse. This completes Thanos' collection of Infinity Stones.
Wanda is killed when Thanos unleashes his power, exterminating half of the galactic population and numbering her among the fatalities.
Wanda is resurrected when Hulk/Bruce Banner uses the Infinity Gauntlet to undo the snap and bring everyone back to life. She joins the battle against Thanos and his army of Chitauri, Outriders and the Black Order.
- After 50 years of appearing in various Marvel publications, Scarlet Witch's cameo in the 2014 film Captain America: The Winter Soldier marked her first ever theatrical live-action appearance.
- In the comics, Scarlet Witch was married to the Vision at one point.
- On top of that, in the reality created by her during the House of M event; she had twin sons with Vision, who eventually disappear alongside their fake reality, but then get reincarnated into two teenage boys that would become the superheroes Wiccan and Speed.
- Kevin Feige later revealed that Scarlet Witch is an actual sorceress, with her powers being magical in nature, and that she in fact involuntarily casting several different spells.
- Lindsay Lohan, Sasha Pieterse, and Saoirse Ronan were considered for the role of Scarlet Witch before Elizabeth Olsen was cast.
- Due to Wanda herself not realizing that she is a sorceress, Wanda is not part of the Masters of the Mystic Arts. This is in part due to her gaining her magical powers through external means (the rest of the Masters are born with the innate ability of using magic). Another factor is that Wanda uses Quantum Magic, while the Masters use Eldritch Magic.