Due to the magic of contract law, The Scarlet Witch may be appearing in both the Avengers and X-Men film franchises over the next few years. But what do you know about her backstory?
Since being introduced in X-Men #4, Wanda Maximoff has lived through nearly fifty years of adventures, some of them well thought out and others written by John Byrne. Together, let’s review the official Marvel canon of Wanda’s life:
In the years following the second World War, Max Eisenhardt, aka Magnus Magnussen, aka Erik Lehnsherr, aka Magneto, is living with his gypsy wife Magda, in the Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia, when a mob, suspecting Magneto of being a mutant, burns down his house. Magneto teaches them not to fear mutants by killing the mob and destroying most of the city. Magda, terrified of her husband and pregnant with twins, flees to the fictional country of Transia, and ends up giving birth to Wanda and Pietro in the mountain fortress of an immortal scientist who surrounds himself with talking animals.
After an Elder God named Chthon attempts to possess the infant Wanda, leaving the newborn girl with magic powers in the process, Magda walks out into the wilderness and promptly dies. The twins are then taken in by Bova, a hyper-evolved cow woman who is also serving as midwife for a WWII-era superheroine named Miss America. Miss America dies giving birth to a stillborn child, so Bova instead presents the two children she has found to Miss America’s husband, The Whizzer, telling him that he is now the father of twins. He uses his super speed to run away as fast as he can.
The twins are then given to a a gypsy couple named Django and Marya Maximoff, who raise the children as if they were their own. Until Wanda accidentally sets her mother on fire. The twins then wander Eastern Europe for a while, spending their teenage years fleeing mobs, until eventually being rescued by their father, Magneto, although neither he nor they realize that they are related. Wanda and Pietro join Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and battle the X-Men repeatedly, before eventually quitting the Brotherhood after their father is kidnapped by an enormous space man named The Stranger.
Abandoned by the father they don’t know they have, Wanda and Pietro are recruited by Iron Man to join the Avengers. Along with Hawkeye and Captain America, the twins earn their place as heroes on the team, and have begun to turn their lives around when Magneto returns and shoots Wanda in the head. While recovering from her wounds, Wanda is then kidnapped, taken to another dimension, and rescued by the Avengers, who have added a new member during her time away: The previously-evil robot known as Vision. Wanda and Vision fall in love and are quickly married.
After The Whizzer suddenly re-enters their lives after super-quickly abandoning them as infants, Wanda and Pietro finally discover that Magneto is their real father. Shocked by this information, and wanting to explore their relationship, Wanda and Vision quit the Avengers and move to New Jersey, where Wanda becomes pregnant with Vision’s children. She eventually gives birth to twin boys, and the couple moves to California after Vision goes crazy and takes over every computer in the world.
Simon Williams, a man made of ionized energy whose brain waves had been used to make Vision “human,” decides this is his chance and moves in on Wanda. Desperate, Wanda goes to a university in Texas to consult with their Department of Robotics. She is then kidnapped by the Dean of Robotics, who tries to use her to create a race of super people. During this time, Vision is disassembled and then re-assembled as an albino.
During these adventures, Wanda and Vision keep returning home to find their babysitters going insane and rambling about the twin boys disappearing. Wanda fires each babysitter, refusing to investigate her disappearing/reappearing children, until they are abducted by a former film company executive, who uses the twins to replace his hands.
With the help of the Avengers, Wanda discovers that the children she had conceived with a robot were actually magical creations of her own imagination. To help Wanda deal with the situation, a witch erases her memory of ever having children. Then Wanda is captured by the serpent god Set and mind controlled into marrying him.
Finally overcome by the recent developments in her life, Wanda begins to drift in and out of catatonia, and is then nominated as leader of the West Coast Avengers. The team is dissolved shortly after. After spending a year in a parallel universe she was sent to by a child, Wanda returns and accidentally resurrects Simon Williams, who had been disintegrated in an explosion. The two become romantically involved for a time, until Wanda breaks up with Simon to be with Vision, the robot based on Simon’s brain waves.
While sunbathing by the pool one day, Wasp accidentally reminds Wanda about the twins. Wanda suddenly regains her memory of having children, and uses her reality shaping powers to kill Hawkeye in a spaceship explosion, blow up Avengers Mansion, and force She Hulk to rip Vision in half.
Ant Man is apparently killed, but it turns out he was teleported into the future just before he died, by another version of Wanda from the future. Doctor Strange then forces Wanda to go to sleep. Afraid that the Avengers will kill Wanda, Pietro convinces her to use her powers to create a new reality where Magneto is king, and Peitro and Wanda can live in peace. After he discovers what Pietro had done, Magneto kills his son, but Wanda brings her brother back to life and decides the best course of action is to remove the powers of almost every mutant on the planet.
Wanda also resurrects Hawkeye, who immediately tracks down and sleeps with what he thinks is Wanda but is actually a robot built by Dr. Doom. Or possibly the Norse god Loki in disguise. The real Wanda, engaged to be married to Dr. Doom, escapes and travels back in time and then becomes depressed and suicidal. Also, her children are alive now.
And that’s where we stand today. With a history so rich and well developed, however, who knows what tomorrow may bring. Perhaps next month, Wanda will turn her children into feet for an enormous record company executive who will then turn out to be her real father.