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Quote1 Calm yourself Mr. Grimm-- Ebony was just being affectionate. Quote2
Agatha Harkness[src]

History

Ancient Times[]

Agatha Harkness was old enough to remember 500 years before Atlantis sank to the bottom of the sea. Back then, she had contact with the cosmic being Scrier, who had promised her that he would return when needed.[11]

Witch Hunts[]

At some point, Harkness became interested in witchcraft. In the early 15th century, Harkness was stationed in Transia, near the Wundagore Mountain, where she was part of coven that also included Corina, Jacquette Laveau, Minoru, and Zoric. One time, the group gathered to try to put an end to the witch hunts happening across Europe, and Jacquette sacrificed Corina (who she deemed the weakest) to invoke the powers of Valtorr, much to the shock of everyone else.[10]

Agatha Harkness (Earth-616) from Midnight Suns Vol 1 4 001

Demanding Corina's release

For years, Harkness tried to rescue Corina from the Dominion of Valtorr, but was never powerful enough to do it.[12]

By the late 17th century, Harkness had settled in the English colony of Salem, Massachusetts. She formed her own coven of witches hoping to freely practice magic in the New World, but her group was persecuted during what became known as the Salem Witch Trials. In 1692, she encountered the mutant hero Firestar after she was accidentally sent back in time. Believing Firestar to be a witch, the people of Salem tried to burn her at the stake, however, she fought back and was later contacted by Harkness via telepathy. Harkness revealed that she approved of the trials, believing them necessary for the magical people to grow stronger and be prepared for a war against mankind; she even sent some of her coven to cull the weak.[9]

She asked Firestar to join her but she refused, and a fight ensued. After Firestar showed she was more than a match to Harkness, she freed some of Harkness's own people and begged Harkness to let them live away from mankind. Finally admitting warfare wasn't the only solution,[13] Harkness decided to acquiesce to their desires and led them to the mountains of what would become Colorado.[2]

Low profile[]

Agatha Harkness and the witches that accompanied her built the city of New Salem, where they prospered away from the troubles of mankind. Harkness married and gave birth to a son, Nicholas Scratch, but eventually decided to leave the city.[8][2]

At the end of the 18th century during the American Revolutionary War, Harkness joined the Daughters of Liberty, a group of women fighting for justice in the new world. She used her centuries of knowledge to train them in the mystical arts.[14]

Agatha Harkness (Earth-616) from Uncanny Avengers Annual Vol 2 1 001

Shortly after WWII

At the end of World War II, she was recruited by U.S. Army Major Alan Dakor, alongside The Ghost Dancer and Emerald Warlock, to join the Department of the Uncanny and help stop the threat of Hilda von Hate.[15]

Franklin's Nanny[]

At some point, having settled in the US, Agatha Harkness became a governess, teaching children in need, before retiring. However, when the Fantastic Four reached out to her to care for their newborn, Franklin Richards, she agreed immediately, once she considered who his parents were.[16]

When the heroes first brought Franklin to her house atop Whisper Hill, she invited them in to spend the night, as it was too late and too stormy for them to return home. Though once The Thing and the Human Torch had settled down, the Thing fell through a swiveling painting in his room, and straight into the clutches of the Frightful Four. The evil four soon captured the rest of the Fantastic Four, but they soon faced Agatha Harkness, whom they underestimated. She warned them that her cat Ebony's hackles were up, but the Wizard ignored her warning and attacked. The cat transformed into a massive panther and soon sent him fleeing out of the window, where he smashed into a tree and was knocked unconscious. The Sandman and Trapster attacked moments later, but Agatha turned the Sandman's body into rock and used her magic to convince the Trapster that the newly-freed Thing was a monstrous, demonic creature, wherein he fainted dead away in fright.[16]

Ebony (Earth-616) and Agatha Harkness (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 94 001

With Ebony, defending her house

The rest of the Fantastic Four soon recovered, as the Frightful Four's weapons crumbled to dust minutes before, thanks to Agatha. They rushed to locate the baby, and found him in Agatha's care, sleeping soundly. Before they also went to sleep at her behest, Ben Grimm spied a book entitled Tales of Old Salem on an end table. Agatha taunted him with the possibility that she was a witch, which sent him running down the hall to his own room.[16]

Agatha became Franklin's permanent governess afterward. She took Sue and Franklin into her home when the Atlanteans attacked New York.[17] When Sue tried to surprise Franklin by trying to sneak up on him while invisible he was somehow able to see her. She told Agatha, but she dismissed it, leaving her to suspect her of keeping some kind of secret from her.[18] Agatha later contacted Sue during the middle of a fight to come to help her son.[19] Agatha then revealed her mystical powers to save Reed Richards.[20] Reed and Sue thanked Agatha for saving him from the Negative Zone and Sue and Franklin returned to Whisper Hill.[21] Sue left Franklin again with Agatha's care as she went to help Reed again.[22] Agatha contacted the team to warn them of the danger of the Overmind.[23] She then helped them contacted the watcher at his Citadel.[24] She then told them to contact Doctor Doom for help.[25] She warned them again of danger with the arrival of Air-Walker.[26] Reed asked Agatha to help link minds with the President of the United States to convince the threat of Galactus was over.[27] Agatha went on a secret trip and returned Franklin to his parents.[28] Agatha soon tried to help Franklin when his powers started to emerge.[29] Agatha then used Franklin's powers to destroy Ultron.[30]

Scarlet Witch[]

After meeting Wanda Maximoff (the Scarlet Witch), she sensed her desire to better control her powers and offered to become her new tutor, claiming her task with little Franklin was complete and Susan should be the one taking care of him now. Wanda was thrilled with the prospect of improving her witchcraft skills and thus accepted the offer.[31]

Agatha Harkness (Earth-616) and Avengers (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 1 128 001

Offering her services to Wanda

She trained Wanda until her marriage with the synthezoid Vision, at which point she told Wanda she's done her part and Wanda would have to keep learning on her own.[32]

Back in New Salem, Harkness's son had fathered seven children, who had received tremendous power and started calling themselves the Salem's Seven.[33] With their help, Nicholas Scratch took control of the town and persuaded its inhabitants that Harkness had betrayed the community's secrets by working for the Fantastic Four. She was forcefully brought back to the community along with Franklin so that she might be put on trial. The Fantastic Four followed and came into conflict with Salem's Seven, successfully defeating them and freeing Agatha. In the process, the community of New Salem was shown the evil of Scratch and he was banished to another dimension.[8]

Eventually, Salem's Seven took over the New Salem community. They captured their grandmother and killed her by burning her at the stake. In an ensuing battle between the Scarlet Witch and Salem's Seven, the entire community's energies were drawn into Vertigo of the Seven, who lost control of them. Wanda managed to capture some of the energy and funnel it away, but the entire town was still decimated. Wanda channeled the remaining energy to set in motion her becoming pregnant with her Vision's children.[34]

Wanda Maximoff (Earth-616), Vision (Earth-616) and Agatha Harkness (Earth-616) from Avengers West Coast Vol 1 51 001

Return

Later, Harkness resurfaced, avoiding explanations for her return. When Mephisto revealed he had absorbed Scarlet Witch's children, which had been fragments of his soul all along, Harkness wiped Wanda's memory of her children to help her cope with the loss.[35]

Harkness ultimately died a second time, after Wanda confronted her about her children. Later, Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. found Agatha's corpse in her home, as Scarlet Witch had murdered her teacher in cold blood.[36]

Sometime later, a partially amnesiac Wanda told Clint Barton (who had tracked Wanda to a small village near Wundagore Mountain) that she was under the care of her "Aunt Agatha" in a small apartment. While Wanda was sleeping, Hawkeye, curious about this Aunt's true identity, tried to turn the doorknob to her room, but the knob appeared to slip from his hand, similar to Wanda's past subtle probability manipulations.[37] Wanda also mentioned this Aunt to Beast, saying she was stuck out there for purposes of looking after an "elderly relative" who would worry if she got home late.[38]

Return[]

Agatha was resurrected when Wanda's mother Natalya sacrificed her soul to revive the Goddess of Witchcraft.[6] With this new lease on life she returned to living on Wundagore Mountain. After killing Ebony as part of a ritual to see the future using the Wundagore Everbloom, she had a vision in which the Vision was covered in blood standing above his dead allies.[39] She warned the Avengers about it,[40] and they sent Victor Mancha to spy on Vision, which ultimately led to the exact thing Harkness was trying to prevent: when the Vision's son Vin found out about Mancha, Mancha accidentally killed him to shut him up, leading Vision to fight all his allies so he could get to Mancha and kill him in retaliation.[41]

The truth, however, was that the Vision's wife Virginia was actually behind the whole thing, as she had tempered with the Vision's brain so he would turn on his allies. However, Virginia accidentally ended up experiencing the future as well and realized Vision would no longer be the hero he'd fought his whole life to be. Not willing to let that happen, she rushed his side and killed Mancha before he could, committing suicide shortly after.[42]

Strange Academy (Location) from Strange Academy Vol 1 8 003

At Strange Academy

After a brief stint back with the Daughters of Liberty,[14] Agatha Harkness was invited to teach a few classes at the new Strange Academy,[1][7] which she deemed an interesting opportunity when she learned Nico Minoru and Zoe Laveau, descendants of her old coven colleagues, would be there as well.[3] Around this time, Ebony also returned to the land of the living through mysterious ways.[14]

In the meantime, Corina, still trapped in the Dominion of Valtorr, finally managed to defeat her captor and take control of the Dominion. Driven by a desire for revenge, Corina, now calling herself Korrosion, planned to bring the end of the world, but Harkness attacked her with a magic dagger that could siphon her power, while Zoe and Nico destroyed the Black Mirror that acted as the link to the Dominion of Korrosion. With the energy unleashed, a huge explosion followed and, in the end, neither Corina nor Harkness were anywhere to be found. In reality, Corina had been sent back to her dominion, while Agatha Harkness had gone into hiding after being returned to her youth.[43]

Contest of Chaos[]

Going on a personal quest to create a new Darkhold, Harkness tricked the Scarlet Witch into letting her inside her body in which she ripped Chthon's heart.[44] She soon began abducting various heroes and pitting them against each to see which one was worthy to be imbued with the Chaos Magic. From these battles, Wolverine,[45] Storm,[46] Human Torch,[47] Taegukgi,[48] White Fox,[49] Venom, and Cyclops came victorious,[50] causing Harkness to take control of them through Chaos Magic.[51]

Agatha and her mind controlled heroes went to an abandoned ship in the Bermuda Triangle and had them fight the demons that arrived to stop her from creating the new Darkhold.[48] Clea began investigating the abductions of the heroes, eventually encountering Harkness in the Astral Plane.[49] The two women battled, but the fight was cut short as Harkness was pushed back to her body.[50] Learning that Harkness was trying to create a new Darkhold, Clea and the Avengers tracked her to the Bermuda Triangle and went to prevent her from reaching her goal as it could end in catastrophe. Harkness had the mind controlled heroes protect her as she began performing the ritual to create the Darkhold. Despite this, the Avengers managed to thwart the ritual which ended in an explosion. Harkness washed ashore where she was approached by a young boy. She questioned him where his parents were, but the child told her he didn't have any and revealed to her that he was the Darkhold she was attempting to create in human form.[52]

Attributes

Power Grid[74]
:Category:Power Grid/Fighting Skills/Poor:Category:Power Grid/Energy Projection/Multiple Types:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Weak:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Warp:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Below Normal:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Weak:Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Gifted

Powers

  • Witchcraft: The ability to tap into this universe's infinite store of ambient magical energy and manipulate these to a variety of effects. A skill derived from three major sources: personal powers of the mind/soul/body, powers gained by tapping the universe's ambient magical energy and employing it for specific effects and finally, powers gained through the tapping of extra-dimensional energy by invoking entities or objects of power existing in mystical dimensions tangential to her own. The latter means of power is usually gained by the recitation of incantations.
    • Spells and Phrases: Agatha has a vast knowledge of mystical spells and incantations invoking names and aspects of various extra-dimensional objects and beings of power. Through these incantations, the magi are able to call upon these extra-dimensional power sources for very specific effects without taxing the personal abilities.[53]
      • Binding: Agatha is able to use her magic to bind her targets from moving, like she did against Master Pandemonium.[54]
      • Dimensional Manipulation: Agatha is capable of shaping and manipulating dimensions. She is capable of shifting the town of New Salem into the Earth's dimension.[55]
      • Energy Projection: Harkness is able to fire mystical blasts to attack her enemies.[6]
      • Elemental Control: Agatha Harkness has shown to be able to magically control and manipulate the elements.
      • Experience Manipulation: Agatha can manipulate the experience of herself and others. She has casted a spell that allows Steve Rogers to experience half a millennia of events from the past in an instant.[14]
      • Flight: As a witch, Agatha can engage in self-propelled flight.[6]
      • Force Field: Agatha is capable of creating force fields in a certain area. She has created a barrier that contains a virus that was killing the Silver Surfer from spreading through the planet.[11]
      • Fusionism: Harkness can merge herself and others into one, though she needs to make a mystic circle and uses incantations.[24]
      • Illusion Casting: Agatha Harkness has the ability to cast illusions for many purposes. She has used an illusion to disguise herself as a young beautiful woman.[58] Not only that, she can also use this ability to attack her targets[59] or to defense herself and others at the same time.[60]
      • Advanced Longevity: Agatha lives much longer than a normal human.
      • Magical Awareness: Agatha Harkness is able to sense magic and to be aware of anything that affects her and her surroundings.[61][62][63] At one point, she has even sensed Reed Richard's car alarm going off before it even happened.[64]
      • Magic Negation: Agatha has the power to negate magic and nullify spells. She has depowered the Salem Seven and nullified all the spells they casted in New York.[55]
      • Magic Reflection: She also has the ability to reflect and deflect magical attacks back at the user, as she did against Necrodamus.[56]
      • Mystical Invulnerability: Agatha Harkness has resistance against mystical attacks.[65][56]
      • Purification: Agatha is able to purify and clean away objects or magic from evil and sins like she did after she has channeled all of the magic from the Town of New Salem.[55]
      • Scrying: By using her crystal ball she can view and observe people's location. She has done it to observe Reed Richard's location.[22]
      • Sealing: Harkness can seal or imprison a person or object within another person or object as she pleases. She was able to seal a room inside Avengers Mansion that prevents Scarlet Witch and the Avengers from entering/leaving.[56]
      • Soul Manipulation: Agatha has demonstrated the power to animate inanimate object such as War Machine's helmet.[54] She also has resurrected herself from the dead[5] and is capable to project her astral form.[66]
      • Telekinesis: Agatha can use her magic to move, destroy, and manipulate objects. For example, she was capable to break metal restraints with a gesture.[54]
      • Telepathy: Harkness has displayed the power to manipulate, interact, and control the mind of others. She was able to mentally communicate with other person in a long distance[9] and capable to paralyze her targets completely.[16] Agatha has shown capable to read mind a large group of people in an instant while in the astral form.[66] She also has proven to be able to manipulate the memory of others on a global scale,[55], she can put anyone to sleep[67] and she can protect her mind as well as her allies from psychic force.[11]
      • Teleportation: Agatha has proven to be able to transport herself and others from one place to another.[68] She was able to teleport several people from another dimension at once to her location[69] and teleport away person or object from her location.[4] She was also able to open portal so that she can travel and transport from one dimension to another different dimension.[66] If it's needed, she could travel as a streak of flame.[54]
      • Transmutation: Harkness can transmute and turn anything into anything else. She has transmuted Sandman into stone.[16]
      • Voice Manipulation: Agatha Harkness has displayed the ability to manipulate voice. She has projected Reed Richard's voice across the entire planet in every language.[70]
      • Witch Sight: As one of the most powerful witch on the planet, Harkness can see things beyond what normal humans can such as the aimless ones.[6]

Abilities

  • Magical Knowledge: Agatha has a vast knowledge of magic, spells, and magical items. She has been practicing magic for thousands of years and has been stated to be the most powerful witch in all of New Salem. With centuries of experience, she was able to train Scarlet Witch in sorcery, helping her to master her powers and abilities. She is currently teaching at the Strange Academy where she teaches about Illusions of Ikonn.[7]

Weaknesses

  • Agatha has no known fighting skills. Her old age reduces her ability to perform strenuous tasks.[71]

Paraphernalia

Equipment

  • Familiar: Her familiar, a cat named Ebony, is in reality a powerful extra-dimensional creature. Harkness is in psychic rapport with the cat, and she occasionally uses it to run errands for her. At will, it can revert to a more intimidating form with monstrously powerful claws, and increased strength and speed. The creature regenerates damage at a fantastically accelerated rate and cannot be killed by means less extreme than dispersing its atoms throughout a considerable area.[72]

Notes

Agatha Harkness (Earth-616) and Alicia Masters (Earth-616) from Silver Surfer Vol 1 135 001

Young Agatha from Silver Surfer (Vol. 3) #135

See Also

Links and References

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Strange Academy #2
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #5
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Midnight Suns #5
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Vision and the Scarlet Witch (Vol. 2) #3
  5. 5.0 5.1 Avengers West Coast #51
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Scarlet Witch (Vol. 2) #14
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Strange Academy #8
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Fantastic Four #186
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Nova (Vol. 2) #6
  10. 10.0 10.1 Midnight Suns #2
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Silver Surfer (Vol. 3) #135
  12. Midnight Suns #4
  13. Nova (Vol. 2) #7
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Captain America (Vol. 9) #19
  15. Uncanny Avengers Annual (Vol. 2) #1
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Fantastic Four #94
  17. Fantastic Four #103
  18. Fantastic Four #107
  19. Fantastic Four #109
  20. Fantastic Four #110
  21. Fantastic Four #111
  22. 22.0 22.1 Fantastic Four #112
  23. Fantastic Four #113
  24. 24.0 24.1 Fantastic Four #114
  25. Fantastic Four #116117
  26. Fantastic Four #120
  27. Fantastic Four #123127
  28. Fantastic Four #129
  29. Fantastic Four #140141
  30. Fantastic Four #150
  31. Avengers #127128
  32. Giant-Size Avengers #4
  33. 4 #2526
  34. Vision and the Scarlet Witch (Vol. 2) #34
  35. Avengers West Coast #5152
  36. Avengers #503
  37. New Avengers #26
  38. X-Men (Vol. 2) #204
  39. Vision (Vol. 2) #3
  40. Vision (Vol. 2) #6
  41. Vision (Vol. 2) #811
  42. Vision (Vol. 2) #12
  43. Midnight Suns #45
  44. Scarlet Witch #1
  45. Spider-Man Annual (Vol. 4) #1
  46. Iron Man Annual (Vol. 4) #1
  47. Fantastic Four Annual (Vol. 3) #1
  48. 48.0 48.1 Moon Knight Annual (Vol. 4) #1
  49. 49.0 49.1 Spider-Gwen Annual (Vol. 2) #1
  50. 50.0 50.1 Venom Annual (Vol. 3) #1
  51. X-Men Annual (Vol. 5) #1
  52. Avengers Annual (Vol. 5) #1
  53. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (Vol. 2) #4
  54. 54.0 54.1 54.2 54.3 54.4 Scarlet Witch #3
  55. 55.0 55.1 55.2 55.3 55.4 Fantastic Four Annual #14
  56. 56.0 56.1 56.2 56.3 Avengers #128
  57. Fantastic Four #182
  58. Darkhold: Pages from the Book of Sins #6
  59. Fantastic Four #95
  60. Fantastic Four #185
  61. Avengers #313
  62. Fantastic Four #416
  63. Fantastic Four #368
  64. Fantastic Four #127
  65. West Coast Avengers (Vol. 2) #5
  66. 66.0 66.1 66.2 Avengers West Coast #62
  67. Fantastic Four #374
  68. Fantastic Four #140
  69. Avengers West Coast #52
  70. Fantastic Four #123
  71. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (Vol. 2) #17
  72. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition #1
  73. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #5
  74. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol 1 5
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