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Monday, October 28, 2019

The Making of a Witch

Though her "hex power" could defy the laws of physics, there was nothing inherently supernatural about the Scarlet Witch or her mutant ability to alter probability. At least not at first.

That changed in Avengers #128 when renowned witch Agatha Harkness offered to help Scarlet Witch better control her power through the study of witchcraft.

Having recently been the target of a mystical attack, Miss Harkness (as Scarlet Witch called her) recited this magical verse for privacy and protection within her new guest room inside Avengers Mansion.

Storm-clouds above us
And hellfire below--
May we here between you
Serenity know!
Dark powers of midnight--
Dark powers of day--
Envelop this chamber
And seal us away!

A moment later, the evil Necrodamus materialized within the room. A servant of the Undying Ones from Defenders #1-3, Necrodamus mystically stunned Agatha Harkness and her cat, Ebony. Alone against the intruder, Scarlet Witch used her hex power to open a magic box in Necrodamus' hands, unleashing a maelstrom of evil spirits that subsumed him.

Agatha Harkness trained Scarlet Witch until Giant-Size Avengers #4 (June 1975). The element of witchcraft gave more creative license to the character's unpredictable mutant power.

Avengers. Vol. 1. No. 128. October 1974. "Betwitched, Bothered, and Dead!" Steve Englehart (story & color), Sal Buscema (art), Joe Staton (embellishment), Tom Orzechowski (lettering), Roy Thomas (editor).