Character Assassination: The Scarlet Witch

*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.


There is a certain faction of characters that are highly revered, extremely popular, and continuously raked through the coals. Writers love to torture, twist, and, sometimes, even kill theses characters. What is it about them? Why are they so fun to torture? What makes writers so eager to be their personal tour guide through hell? I guess it has something to do with building character. As Kelly Clarkson sings, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger . . . " But, damn.

Take for example The Scarlet Witch . . . Mutant-born Wanda Maximoff was raised by a Cow Woman hybrid named "Bova," alongside her twin brother Peitro (a.k.a. super speedster Quicksilver). Wanda developed mutant "hex" powers that confusingly altered the course of reality in majorly unpredictable ways - how handy! The siblings were rescued as teens by Magneto and forced to join his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. (Suffering succotash!) Luckily, they escaped his grasp and joined The Avengers. (I guess they were more forging back in the day?)

Given a new lease on life, Wanda decided to fall in love with and marry an android (Techno Fever, anyone?) All's well that ends well. Just like all half mutant/half appliance couples, they eventually have twins! All's well that ends?!? Not so fast, those twins are a manifestation of your reality-altering powers, and just like your barely-there sanity, they gonna go "buh, bye!" If that ain't enough to make you wanna witch slap someone . . . Wait, there's more!

So, after losing her twins, Wanda goes darker than scarlet with what was left of her mind and tortures her teammates, doing something particularly odd to Wonder Man's genitals. (Google it!) 'Nuff said? I don't think so!

Wanda went off the deep end where no one wanted to go and screamed the now infamous, "No more mutants!" wiping out the meaningless part of the mutant population and taking care of the commercial problem that if everyone is a mutant, they really aren't the oppressed minority cash cow. But, I digress. So, Wanda lost her mind and was whisked away by Dad-neto at the end of House of M. Then, of course, we didn't hear from her for a while. You have to go away after genocide for a bit after all; your Q rating goes way down. But, alas, Wanda would return, albeit in the Ultimate Universe in an incestuous relationship with her twin brother Quicksilver. Ewww! Fret not (SPOILER), she gets murdered fairly early on.

Meanwhile, back in the regular Marvel Universe, Wanda returns just in time to have it revealed that Magneto, master of magnetism and evil mutant extraordinaire, is, indeed, not her and Quicksilver's father after all. Now, ain't that a kick in the teeth? Many a fan speculate it was done in order to divorce the characters from the mutant franchise, as Fox seems to have some unrelenting chokehold over the rights of certain Marvel characters. Be that as it may, I see it as undoing one of the things that made one of my favorite characters so interesting.

Ah well, used and abused, tortured, and tormented, the Scarlet Witch is easily one of the most popular Avengers. If Joss Whedon stays true to his talent of breathing legend into female heroines, perhaps this character's assassination has been averted - if only temporarily. Then again, he did kill Buffy, didn't he?

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