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Scarlet Witch

Real name: Wanda Maximoff
Former aliases: Wanda Frank
Identity: Publicly known
Occupation: (current) Adventurer, (former) terrorist
Legal status: Former citizen of Transia, naturalized citizen of the United States with no criminal record
Place of birth: Wundagore Mountain, Transia, Europe
Marital status: Married
Known relatives: Vision (husband), Pietro Maximoff (brother, alias Quicksilver), Magneto (father), Magda (mother), Django Maximoff (adoptive father, deceased), Marya Maximoff (adoptive mother, deceased)
Base of operations: Leonia, New Jersey
Group affiliation: (current) Avengers, (former) Brotherhood of Evil Mutants
First appearance: X-Men (first series) #4

History: Wanda Maximoff was the daughter of the mutant called Magnus and a gypsy woman named Magda. Just prior to her birth, her mother fled from her father, terrified of the bizarre powers he suddenly manifested and his intentions of world domination. Seeking refuge in the scientific citadel of Wundagore in the Balkan mountains of the tiny nation of Transia, Magda was taken in by Bova, a woman evolved from a cow by the master of genetic acceleration, the High Evolutionary. Magda gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, with Bova as her midwife. Still afraid that her husband might find her and learn of the children, Magda left Bova a note explaining her fears, and walked into the frozen mountain wilderness to perish. Feeling that it was not right to raise two seemingly normal babies in the environment of the evolved animal-men of Wundagore, Bova was relieved when several nights later, an American couple vacationing in Europe, Robert and Madeline Frank, also came to Wundagore seeking natal assistance. Bova intended to award the couple the days-old twins to raise along with their own newborn. Unfortunately, the couple's child was stillborn and Madeline died from complications in childbirth. Bova presented Robert Frank with the twins, representing them as his own natural children, in the hope it would assuage his grief. (Years later, Frank and the children would believe that he was their natural father.) Bova then presented the twins to her master, the High Evolutionary, who agreed to find human foster parents for them.

The High Evolutionary did find such parents for them in the persons of Django and Marya Maximoff, a gypsy couple camped nearby who had lost their own two children, Ana and Mateo, during World War II. The Maximoffs accepted the strange gifts from the High Evolutionary and were told their names were Wanda and Pietro, the names their natural mother had given them at birth. The Maximoffs cared for the children as if they were their own. (Years later, Django would believe that Wanda and Pietro were his natural children Ana and Mateo.) As adolescents, Wanda and Pietro discovered that they had peculiar talents. With a particular gesture while she was in a certain frame of mind, Wanda found that she could cause unusual phenomena to occur. When Django began to steal food to feed his starving family, enraged villagers attacked the gypsy camp. Using his phenomenal speed, Pietro fled from the camp with his sister. The traumatic circumstances of the separation from their family were so severe that not until well into adulthood could they remember anything but the barest details of their childhood. The next few years, Wanda and Pietro wandered central Europe, living off the land.

One day, Wanda accidentally caused a house to burst into flames with her uncontrollable hex powers, and was chased by superstitious townspeople. Despite Pietro's attempt to defend her, they were soon overpowered and about to become victims of mob violence when Magneto came to their rescue. Unaware that he was their natural father, Magneto pressed them into service in his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, costumed them, and named them the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. For months they served Magneto out of a sense of obligation and fear of his reprisal. When the extraterrestrial Stranger transported Magneto from Earth, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver left the Brotherhood and petitioned for membership in the Avengers. They were inducted along with Hawkeye to take the place of the charter members, who wished a leave of absence.

At one point during her career as an Avenger, the Scarlet Witch underwent training in sorcery under the tutelage of a true witch named Agatha Harkness. The mental discipline of sorcery aided the Scarlet Witch's powers of concentration, enabling her to exercise much greater control over her mutant hexes than ever before. While an active member of the Avengers, the Scarlet Witch met, became romantically involved with, and married the synthetic man called the Vision. For a few years after their marriage, the two lived in Avengers Mansion, saving their Avenger' salaries. Eventually, the couple bought a house in Leonia, New Jersey, and retired from active membership. They returned to active duty when the Baxter Building was threatened by Annihilus' null-field. The Vision assumed chairmanship when most of the Avengers disappeared while fighting the first Secret War. After a several week stint, the Vision stepped down as leader and the couple returned to Leonia. By warping probabilities, Wanda managed to be impregnated by the artificial Vision. They have since had twin sons named Thomas and William.

Height: 5 ft. 7 in.
Weight: 130 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Auburn

Strength: The Scarlet Witch possesses the normal human strength of a woman of her age, height, and build who engages in moderate regular exercise.

Known superhuman powers: The Scarlet Witch possesses the mutant power of affecting probability fields. By a combination of gestures and mental concentration, she creates a hex-sphere, a finite pocket of reality-disrupting quasi-psionic force, which upon reaching its intended target, causes disturbance in the molecular-level probability field surrounding the target. Thus, unlikely phenomena will occur. Among the many phenomena she is able to cause are: the sudden melting of gun barrels, the spontaneous combustion of any flammable object, the rapid rust or decay of various organic and inorganic materials, the poltergeist-like deflection of an object in flight, the sudden evacuation of air from a given volume, the disruption of energy transmissions and fields, and so on. These phenomena occur practically instantaneously after the completion of her hex. Her range of hex-casting is limited by her line of sight. (She cannot watch a live television broadcast and cause a hex-phenomenon to occur at its point of origin.)

Scarlet Witch's hex-casting ability still has a 20% unreliability factor. Her sorcerous training has not given her a set of powers separate from her mutant abilities, but only honed her control over her existing abilities. She has, however, a special affinity for the natural elements and materials that true witches utilize in their spells: the four alchemical elements, wood, organic substances, etc. The reliability factor of her hex-casting ability is also limited by her physical condition: when well rested, in good health, and mentally and emotionally alert, Scarlet Witch can cast numerous hex-spheres in rapid succession and attain desirable results for almost an hour.

Contrary to certain accounts, the Scarlet Witch cannot levitate, shoot magical energy concussive blasts, or transmute elements.

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