Just as we all suspected, it was Agatha all along! While many of us were jumping up from our couches to proclaim, “I knew it! I knew it was Agatha this whole time!” at the conclusion to episode seven of WandaVision, I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of folks were jumping up from their couches and screaming;
“I knew it! I knew it was….” Record scratch. “Wait, Agatha Harkness? I thought her name was Agnes.”
So who is Agatha Harkness? Well gather ‘round and I’ll tell you a bit about one of Marvel Comics pure magical users. We’ll also learn her history on the printed page and what her presence in the MCU might mean from here on out.
Wanda, Can I Give You a Bit of Friendly Advice
Debuting all the way back in 1970, Agatha Harkness was the creation of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Her first appearance was with The Fantastic Four. Agatha was a retired tutor hired as a nanny to Sue Storm and Reed Richard’s baby, Franklin. During their stay at her mansion, the rather pathetic Frightful Four showed up to duke it out with the First Family of Marvel. After defeating their foes, the Fantastic Four found Franklin safe and sound with Agatha who had decimated the supervillains with her witchy ways.
After proving herself to Reed and Sue, Agatha became Franklin’s long-time nanny and an integral part of their lives both domestic and in service to saving the world. It was later revealed that she was part of the Salem, Witch Trials in the late 17th century. Prior to that, she had lived several hundred years before the destruction and sinking of Atlantis.
Agatha’s Recent History
In more recent times, she has become an ally of Wanda and even a teacher. When Wanda’s twins were captured by Mephisto, Agatha helped Wanda. She wiped the Scarlet Witch’s memory of her twin sons rather than help her to find and free them when their energy became absorbed by Mephisto and they ceased to exist. Mephisto is pretty much the Marvel version of Satan—he wields incredible powers, lives in a Hell-like realm, meddles in the lives of others, and loves wearing garish, red outfits.
Like any good witch, Agatha has a familiar—in the comics, this comes in the form of a black cat named Ebony who can transform into a massive panther-like beast when called upon. Agatha also has a villainous son named Scratch who is pretty nasty towards his mother and has had her killed; just one of her many deaths. Overall, Agatha is less a villain and more of a mystical, magical aid to many in the world of Marvel Comics.
And I Killed Sparky Too
Let’s be honest, we can’t say that Agatha is the big, bad villain of WandaVision just yet. After all, like Wanda, Agatha may be under the influence of someone or something much more powerful and sinister. That killer (literally) theme song aside, we don’t fully know what the MCU version of this character is truly up to. Has she been playing us the audience as much as she has been playing Wanda and Vision and the rest of the residents of poor Westview? What is with that book in her super-spooky basement too? While the Earth-199999 version of Agatha is younger and has a bunny for a familiar instead of a transforming cat and evil son, she may very well be the key to where the next phase of the MCU is heading.
If you’ve seen Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse then you should be familiar with the idea of the Multiverse. In the Marvel comics, all the main characters and events happen in a universe known as Earth-616. There are endless other worlds and universes all connected to the main Marvel universe through a place called the Nexus of All Realities. But, there are also characters in the comics who themselves are living connections to the Nexus and Scarlett Witch (Wanda) is one of those beings.
And What About That Damn Book?
There is also a book in the comics, a book that actually made its MCU debut a few season back on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that contains powerful magic; the Darkhold. In the comics, the Darkhold is the source of some spooky stuff—it’s where the first vampire comes from which is rather convenient since Blade the vampire hunter is coming to the MCU soon. In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the book was connected with the Spirit of Vengeance itself, Ghost Rider. While the book in Agatha’s basement looks different than what we saw on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., there is a good possibility that this could be the same magical tome.
Whether the book is the Darkhold or not and whether Agatha is a villain or not is for the time being, neither here nor there. As of right now, Agatha has become one of the most unique windows into the worlds beyond worlds outside of Doctor Strange and her presence and actions in Westview will have much wider and more impactful effect on the MCU in the end; especially since we know that the next Spider-Man and Doctor Strange films are tied directly to WandaVision and the Multiverse.
There’s a lot about the show we still don’t know. We don’t know if Agatha conjured up the Peter (not Pietro) version of Quicksilver or if she was simply manipulating him. We don’t know what she did with Wanda and Vision’s twin boys. Finally, we don’t know if she might be working for someone as powerful and sinister as Mephisto, someone who may end up being the big-bad in the MCU now that Thanos is gone. All we know so far is that it’s been her all along and that Agatha did, in fact, kill poor Sparky.
I Better Get Going! That Macrame’s Not Gonna Hitch Itself
One last little tidbit, outside of her connections to the Marvel Comics, Agatha’s alias of Agnes is a lovely little nod to the late, great Agnes Moorehead who played Endora, a rival witch to Samantha on the classic 1960s sitcom Bewitched.
That being said, roll that Munsters-like tune one more time…