Friday

OMU: Scarlet Witch -- Part Four

The Scarlet Witch finally finds some stability over the next twelve months of her life, serving as a core member of the Avengers the entire time. She also accepts that her romantic feelings for the Vision are real, despite him being an artificial man created in a laboratory, and pursues a relationship with him. The Vision, for his part, is reluctant to acknowledge that he is capable of human intimacy, but Wanda refuses to be pushed away. Her relationship with her twin brother, Quicksilver, however, slowly dissolves before he finally quits the team and promptly disappears. Adding to Wanda’s troubles is her teammate Hawkeye (a.k.a. Goliath), who subjects her to routine sexual harassment. Given the asinine behavior of the two flesh-and-blood men closest to her, it’s no wonder that the Scarlet Witch finds the android Vision’s reserved demeanor so appealing.

Note: The following timeline depicts the Original Marvel Universe (anchored to November 1961 as the first appearance of the Fantastic Four and proceeding forward from there. See previous posts for a detailed explanation of my rationale.) Some information presented on the timeline is speculative and some is based on historical accounts. See the Notes section at the end for clarifications.


Here, then, is the fourth installment of… The True History of the Scarlet Witch!


January 1965 – The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are summoned to a meeting of the Avengers by Captain America and his new partner, the Falcon. The Vision, Goliath, Thor, Iron Man, and the Black Panther also attend. Cap reports that a childhood friend of the Falcon had been kidnapped by a voodoo cult in New Orleans, and when he was rescued, he kept muttering a set of coordinates in the Pacific Ocean. The team agrees to help investigate, though the Black Panther announces that he must return to Wakanda now that his regent has died. Pietro reminds the others that he, Wanda, and the Vision will need to remain behind on monitor duty as a favor to Mister Fantastic, who asked them to keep watch over the Baxter Building while the Fantastic Four are vacationing in Las Vegas. After the Black Panther has left, Captain America, the Falcon, Goliath, Thor, and Iron Man board a Quinjet and take off. Several hours later, the five heroes return, but none of them can remember what happened to them or where they left their aircraft. Wanda finds it all to be very mysterious.

A few days later, Wanda is reading in bed a little after midnight when the Vision calls her and Pietro to action. The Fantastic Four have been arrested as public menaces and are spending the night in jail, and someone has broken into the Baxter Building and set off the intruder alarms. The three Avengers race to the scene and find the Kree-born superhero Captain Marvel opening the portal to the Negative Zone. Before they can stop him, Captain Marvel pulls Rick Jones out of the other dimension, but he is followed close behind by Annihilus, who is intent on conquering the earth. Annihilus shrugs off Wanda and Pietro’s attacks, but the Vision manages to drive him back into the Negative Zone. The Avengers seal the portal, only to find that Captain Marvel has stolen their Quinjet and fled. The Vision realizes that Captain Marvel has absorbed dangerous levels of Negative Zone radiation, so the three Avengers take Rick and set off in pursuit. After picking up another Quinjet at Avengers Mansion, the quartet flies to Miami, Florida, as Rick believes Mar-Vell will attempt to hijack a spaceship at Cape Kennedy. They are able to apprehend Mar-Vell and take him to the base hospital there, where an old associate of Hank Pym’s is able to siphon off the deadly radiation with help from the Vision. The process causes the synthezoid to lose consciousness for a few hours, and Wanda worries about him until he revives shortly after dawn.

Suddenly, Kree Sentry 459 crashes through the wall, announcing that Ronan the Accuser has ordered him to execute Mar-Vell as a traitor to the Kree. Wanda casts a hex that makes the infirmary ceiling collapse onto the large robot, but to no effect. The Sentry overcomes both Quicksilver and the Vision and grabs Mar-Vell, informing the earthlings that “Plan Atavus” will soon deal with them, then teleports away with his prisoner. The base security chief, Carol Danvers, then arrives on the scene and demands to know what’s going on. After the Avengers explain, Danvers reveals that Captain Marvel has saved her life in the past and she hopes the Avengers will be able to rescue him. Thus, the three heroes take Rick back to Avengers Mansion to begin the search. During the flight, Rick tells the others what he knows of Captain Marvel’s history and of how he sided with the human race against his own warlike people. When the Quinjet lands at their headquarters, though, they find a pre-recorded message from Goliath saying he’s gone to Alaska to help Yellowjacket and the Wasp deal with an emergency there. With no time to lose, the quartet returns to their Quinjet and flies to Alaska, where they rendezvous with the Wasp on an ice-breaker ship in the Arctic Ocean.

The Wasp informs her erstwhile teammates that they’ve discovered a tall tower on the ice, surrounded by a circle of primeval jungle. An energy beam emitted from the top of the tower sweeps around, increasing the size of the jungle with each rotation. Both Yellowjacket and Goliath have disappeared into the jungle, so the four Avengers go in to investigate, accompanied by Rick. They are soon attacked by Sentry 459 and a hypnotized Goliath, and in the course of the battle, both the Scarlet Witch and the Vision are knocked out and captured. Wanda regains consciousness inside the tower, finding herself bound with energy shackles that neutralize her mutant powers. The Vision is likewise held captive next to her, and as he revives, Wanda, overcome with emotion, leans over to kiss him. However, he turns away at the last moment, asserting that he’s merely an artificial copy of a man. Wanda is devastated, more by the Vision’s negative self-image than by his rejection of her affection, but their captor, Ronan the Accuser, merely laughs at them. Ronan turns his attention back to his other prisoner, Captain Marvel, and explains that his devolution ray has already turned Yellowjacket into a caveman and will eventually revert all life on earth to amoebas. Ronan is about to turn his ray on the Scarlet Witch when Quicksilver and Rick come to the rescue. Freed from their bonds, Wanda, Vision, and Mar-Vell are ready to fight, but Ronan, learning the Skrulls have launched a full-scale attack on the Kree Empire, teleports away. With Plan Atavus abandoned, the tower begins to collapse, but Sentry 459, lacking explicit instructions, can only remain at his post while the Avengers evacuate. The jungle quickly succumbs to the Arctic environment as Yellowjacket and three technicians from a nearby government research outpost revert to their normal forms. After the tower breaks through the ice and disappears into the ocean, Yellowjacket tenders his formal resignation from the Avengers, feeling that he’s of little use to the team. The Wasp reluctantly resigns as well, so the Avengers fly them and the technicians back to their main research base. Not wanting to cause a general panic, the Avengers swear the technicians to secrecy before returning to New York.

Back at Avengers Mansion, Wanda and the Vision do not speak of their near-kiss, as she realizes that he is not ready to move forward with their relationship. She decides to take things slowly and to try to help the Vision come to see himself as a worthwhile person in his own right. Despite the synthezoid’s self-doubts, Wanda sees how easily he has assumed a leadership role in their recent adventures, even being elected to serve as team chairman, and is determined to draw the Vision out of his shell. Some days later, they are watching television news coverage of a racially-charged crisis in San Francisco when Thor interrupts to announce that he must deal with the situation alone. Quicksilver, Cap, and Goliath agree with Wanda and the Vision to let the thunder god handle it, even though he refuses to fully explain himself.

Following the inauguration of President Morris N. Richardson, the government forms an Alien Activities Commission, headed by conservative politician H. Warren Craddock, after the three technicians from Alaska go public with the Kree plot to conquer the earth. The Avengers are shocked when Craddock announces that public hearings will be held on the matter, and that he has an extensive list of known alien spies at large in America—even implying that Captain Marvel may be one of them. Mar-Vell and Rick then arrive at the mansion to consult with the Avengers as to the best course of action. All too familiar with persecution, Wanda and Pietro advise Mar-Vell not to turn himself in, and the Vision concurs that this could be the start of a witch hunt that will grow to encompass mutants and androids as well. They notice that a crowd of protestors is gathering outside the mansion, demanding that the Avengers turn over Captain Marvel to the authorities, but their attention is drawn to a helicopter plummeting toward the roof. Realizing that the pilot is Carol Danvers, Mar-Vell tries to rescue her but fails. The Vision manages to catch the helicopter as it crashes, minimizing the damage, and Wanda and Pietro help pull Danvers from the wreckage. Wanda fears the Vision has been hurt, but he phases out of the burning wreck and coldly insists that he’s fine. Wanda is upset by his brusque manner, but he merely tells her she’s being too emotional and goes inside. Pietro confronts the Vision about his treatment of Wanda, but the synthezoid ignores him. Wanda makes excuses for the Vision, but, frustrated and heartbroken, she is preoccupied the rest of the day as Mar-Vell and Danvers go to hide out at an upstate farm and the team receives a summons to appear before Craddock’s commission in the morning.

The next day, the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Vision, Goliath, and Rick Jones head to the New York County Courthouse to testify before the Alien Activities Commission. The streets are lined with protestors accusing the Avengers of selling out the human race to the Kree invaders, and Wanda is disturbed and frightened by the atmosphere of paranoia. In the courtroom, they see the Fantastic Four have also been called to testify. Craddock’s opening statement plays up the lurking threat of alien infiltration, increasing Wanda’s anxiety. After the three technicians have described their ordeal in Alaska at the hands of Ronan, Mister Fantastic is called to the stand to discuss his team’s recent encounters with the Kree, which he does in dry, scientific terms. The Thing testifies next and proves himself unwilling to give Wanda and the other new Avengers the benefit of the doubt since they helped Captain Marvel evade capture by S.H.I.E.L.D. Having considered the Fantastic Four to be friends and allies, Wanda is stung by their lack of support. Her spirits lift when the Vision addresses the committee and makes an impassioned plea for justice, but Craddock dismisses his sentiments as the empty words of a pre-programmed robot. Wanda is furious, but then Rick suddenly bolts from the room, causing a ruckus. Craddock abruptly adjourns the hearing until tomorrow, so the Avengers return to their headquarters, again harassed by protestors on the way.

When they arrive, the four heroes are shocked to find Avengers Mansion has been ransacked by an angry mob. The butler, Edwin Jarvis, reports that a couple of agitators stirred the crowd into a frenzy, and when they stormed the building, he felt it necessary to deactivate the security devices to prevent anyone from getting hurt. Seeing the damage done to her home, Wanda is irritated with the servant, feeling he’s failed in his duty to protect their sanctuary. However, Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man suddenly appear and castigate the new Avengers for shielding Captain Marvel from government investigation. Accusing the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Vision, and Goliath of disgracing the name of the Avengers, Captain America disbands the team. Wanda is stunned, and her heart sinks when the Vision insists that, under the team’s by-laws, they have no recourse. After the senior members have left, the disgraced quartet decides to rendezvous with Mar-Vell and Danvers at the upstate farm. Wanda uses her credit card to pay for a car rental and they soon arrive at the property, located outside the small town of King’s Crossing, NY.

On their way up to the farmhouse, the four heroes are attacked by a trio of cows that suddenly transform into doppelgängers of Mister Fantastic, the Thing, and the Human Torch. Quicksilver is knocked out when “the Thing” weirdly stretches his arm to punch him. Wanda casts a hex that ruptures a water main, thus extinguishing the flames of “the Human Torch,” but “Mister Fantastic” wraps her up in his elongated arms and squeezes. Within a few seconds, the Scarlet Witch lapses into unconsciousness.

February 1965 – When she comes to, Wanda finds herself imprisoned in a stasis tube alongside Pietro and Mar-Vell on what appears to be a Skrull spaceship. Unable to speak or move, she remembers her similar plight on Ixar’s starship a little over a year ago and is filled with dread. The Super-Skrull is ranting at Captain Marvel, revealing that the Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man who disbanded the Avengers were Skrull impostors, which at least gives Wanda hope that her teammates will come to their rescue. However, the Super-Skrull decides that the mutant twins have outlived their usefulness, and he is about to kill them when he is summoned to the bridge. Wanda experiences strange sensations as the ship jumps through hyperspace and comes in for a rough landing on the Skrull Throneworld in the Andromeda Galaxy. The three prisoners are soon transported to the palace of Emperor Dorrek, supreme leader of the Skrulls. Seeing that the emperor’s daughter, Princess Anelle, wants their prisoners treated mercifully, Wanda is inspired to echo Mar-Vell’s spirit of resistance. Unfortunately, Dorrek believes that while the terms of the “Convention of Fornax” prevent him from torturing a man of the Kree, its protections do not extend to savages from Earth. Thus, Wanda and Pietro are dumped into an enclosed gladiatorial arena to face a large, hungry monster.

Using teamwork, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver quickly put the monster on the defensive. However, Pietro’s speeding around generates wind gusts that send four small, pink-furred critters flying around the enclosure. Whenever they strike a hard surface, the critters spawn full-sized duplicates of themselves, quickly filling up the available space and threatening to smother Wanda and Pietro. Amused, Emperor Dorrek releases them from the arena, and Princess Anelle informs the twins that Mar-Vell has saved them by agreeing to give the Skrulls the secret of “omni-wave” technology. Wanda despairs, thinking they may now be responsible for the deaths of millions of the Skrulls’ enemies. Intending to keep them as hostages, Dorrek has Wanda and Pietro placed back into stasis tubes and rendered unconscious.

Sometime later, Wanda and Pietro are revived and released from their stasis tubes as Captain Marvel battles the Skrulls. He informs the twins that the Avengers are on their way to rescue them, and Wanda’s spirits soar. She and Pietro join in the fight, taking on a horde of Dorrek’s palace guards, but soon find themselves hopelessly outnumbered. Having attempted to use the omni-wave projector he was building to contact Rick Jones and the Avengers, Mar-Vell destroys it, declaring it is too dangerous to fall into the wrong hands. Wanda and Pietro brace themselves for the next wave of enemy troops, when suddenly a coruscating light emerges from Mar-Vell’s head and sweeps through the palace, rendering him and all the Skrulls immobile and insensate. Though unnerved by the eerie silence, Wanda and Pietro deduce that Mar-Vell is somehow a conduit for the mysterious energy rather than its source, but they are confused as to why they are unaffected by it. Without warning, Wanda, Pietro, and Mar-Vell are teleported to the planet Hala in the Kree Galaxy, where they are reunited with the Vision, Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man. Wanda is relieved, but worries when she spots Rick unconscious on the floor of the vast chamber, in which Ronan the Accuser and numerous Kree soldiers stand frozen in place. Then, on a large viewscreen she sees a mammoth, gelatinous head with tentacles sprouting from its scalp. The weird visage introduces itself as the Supreme Intelligence, ruler of the Kree Empire. It explains that Rick has stopped the Kree-Skrull War by awakening his latent psychic powers, but now needs Captain Marvel to merge with him to keep him from dying. Mar-Vell agrees to lend Rick his life-force and, to Wanda’s astonishment, phases into Rick’s body. The boy awakens, groggy and confused, his psychic powers suppressed once more. The Supreme Intelligence then teleports the Avengers back to Earth, assuring them that the crisis has ended.

The Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, the Vision, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and Rick Jones materialize outside Avengers Mansion, where Nick Fury is waiting for them with H. Warren Craddock, now a broken man. Fury explains that the “Craddock” who hounded them was a Skrull in disguise—the fourth member of the squad that impersonated the Fantastic Four three years ago—but the alien reverted to its true form while giving a speech and was beaten to death by an angry mob. S.H.I.E.L.D. soon located the real Craddock, who has cleared the Avengers of any wrongdoing and disbanded the Alien Activities Commission. Rick confirms that the “Carol Danvers” who came to Avengers Mansion was actually the Super-Skrull; the real Danvers is still in Florida. Fury then notices that Goliath has not materialized with the rest of the team, and the Avengers fear he was lost in the Andromeda Galaxy during their battle with the Skrull Imperial Armada. Later, after dinner, the Vision informs Wanda that he had phased inside the Super-Skrull’s ship after it launched with her and Pietro on board, but he was powerless to rescue them. He chose to exit the ship to report back to the Avengers before it left the earth’s atmosphere. Wanda assures him that he made the right decision, and takes his anxiety about having made such a choice as clear evidence that he cares about what she thinks of him.

A week later, the Avengers meet to continue discussing strategies for discovering the fate of Goliath. Thor announces that he will return to Asgard and consult with his father, Odin. Iron Man adds that he will see what he can find using the resources at Stark Industries. The Vision adjourns the meeting, and the Avengers go their separate ways. Wanting to catch up on the news, Captain America turns on the television. Wanda is disturbed by a report about a gang of rabble-rousers called the Warhawks, who have incited a crowd to violence against a Chinese delegation staying at a hotel in Midtown Manhattan. Thus, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver join Cap in going to investigate, and Rick decides to tag along. When they arrive, the heroes try to protect the hotel from the mob, but as soon as the Warhawks’ hooded pipers start to play their martial tunes, Wanda blacks out. When she regains her senses, Wanda is confused, with only a vague awareness of having been fighting Thor on behalf of the Warhawks. Thor explains that the leader of the Warhawks was really Ares, the Greek god of war, and his pipers were satyrs whose music overwhelmed the Avengers with a lust for death and destruction. Wanda finds the thought chilling, but is distracted when Hawkeye turns up, having abandoned the Goliath identity and returned to archery. Deferring questions about how he made it back to Earth, Hawkeye reveals that he has found Hercules suffering from amnesia and prophesying about the end of the world.

Back at Avengers Mansion, Hawkeye explains that he was teleported home to Earth at the same time as his teammates, but his one-man fighter-craft crash-landed in Yugoslavia. Having used up all of Hank Pym’s growth serum, he fell in with the traveling carnival where he discovered the amnesiac Hercules, and it took them about a week to make it back to the United States. While her teammates attempt to restore Hercules’ memories, Wanda decides to go lie down, but Hawkeye follows her and makes clumsier-than-usual sexual advances. Feeling overtired, Wanda snaps at him for being too self-absorbed, but he doesn’t get the message. She is further frustrated when the Vision comes along and clearly misinterprets the nature of their intimate conversation. Before she can explain, though, Pietro intercepts Wanda and confronts her about her feelings for their synthezoid teammate. He suspects that she has fallen in love with the artificial man and feels duty-bound as her brother to put a stop to such foolishness. He reminds her of the vow he once made to their parents that he would always protect her. Wanda admits that Pietro’s suspicions are correct, but before they can pursue the matter, two of Ares’ henchmen appear in a cloud of smoke, intent on kidnapping Hercules. The immortal warriors, Kratos and Bia, quickly take out Quicksilver, Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man and shrug off Wanda’s hex spheres. She is knocked out for a few minutes and awakens in the Vision’s arms to learn that their foes succeeded in abducting Hercules. Hawkeye blames the Vision for their failure, and Rick Jones concurs. Wanda is infuriated, but becomes even angrier when the Vision admits he dropped out of the fight to be with her even though he knew she was not seriously injured. Embarrassed, Wanda moves away from the Vision and goes to stand by her brother while the team decides what to do next.

The next day, receiving an urgent summons from the Black Knight, the Avengers race to meet him at Garrett Castle in England. Still angry with the Vision, Wanda elects to fly with the Black Panther and Hawkeye in their Quinjet. When they arrive, they join Quicksilver, the Vision, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man, and the Wasp. Wanda is startled when the Hulk shows up and Cap persuades the green goliath to stay and help out. The Black Knight then escorts the team into the depths of the castle, where he lights a ceremonial brazier. Suddenly, the ghost of the original Black Knight, Sir Percy of Scandia, appears and reveals how Ares came to possess the Ebony Blade and team up with the Enchantress to conquer three worlds: Earth, Olympus, and Asgard. Suddenly, the Swordsman swings down from the rafters, claiming his Avengers membership and demanding to help stop Ares. Wanda is not inclined to trust their old adversary, but Thor accepts him into their ranks for this mission. Choosing Iron Man, Hulk, Black Knight, and the Vision to accompany him, Thor spins his enchanted hammer, generating a space-time vortex to carry them to Olympus. The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver join the others in investigating a series of anomalous atmospheric disturbances in London, where they find a horde of demons pouring through a dimensional portal—the first wave of Ares’ shock troops. After a fierce battle, the Avengers manage to drive the demons back through their portal, and then Thor and his squad emerge, having rescued Hercules and defeated the villains. Thor and Hercules then seal the portal by destabilizing its energy matrix, causing it to collapse, though it requires Hercules to remain in Olympus on the other side. As Thor deals with an exasperated police constable, Wanda notices that Captain America allows the Swordsman to slip away into the crowd—his reward for meritorious service during the fight. The Avengers then return to New York, but Wanda’s relationship with the Vision remains strained as she tries to work out her feelings under Pietro’s disapproving eye.

March 1965 – Wanda and Pietro celebrate their fifteenth birthday with a party at the mansion. They continue to claim they’ve lost track of how old they are, not wanting the Avengers to think of them as children. Having seen how the older members treat Rick Jones, who is nearly 20, Wanda is determined to be taken seriously after everything she has experienced over the last three years. She is glad her teammates are content to call the twins teenagers and leave it at that. Later in the month, Wanda becomes depressed and anxious, though she can’t account for it. A subtle aura of doom and gloom seems to settle over Avengers Mansion for a few weeks, and she notices her teammates are similarly affected. Only talking with the Vision makes her feel better, and Wanda soon forgives him for his poor judgement last month.

April–August 1965 – The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver spend the next several months training in the mansion’s combat-simulation facilities and attending routine team meetings. And unlike Pietro, who has no patience for such things, Wanda continues to pursue a general education. She also carefully manages her Avengers stipend income, remembering the difficult time she and Pietro had last summer when they were living with the Toad as fugitives. Still, she does occasionally indulge her taste for nice clothes and the performing arts, and does what she can to spend time with the Vision without drawing her brother’s ire. She notices as Pietro becomes increasingly misanthropic, especially in response to the anti-mutant rhetoric coming from President Richardson’s White House. Pietro speaks often of returning to Europe, though Wanda refuses to consider it, insisting that their place is with the Avengers.

September 1965 – Wanda is delighted when Thor brings several fellow Asgardians to stay at Avengers Mansion after being banished from Asgard for arguing with Odin. She is amused by the Warriors Three—the dashing swordsman Fandral, whom she recognizes as a roguish ladies’ man; the taciturn Hogun the Grim, the epitome of the strong, silent type; and the amazingly obese Volstagg, whose opinion of himself could not be higher. She is impressed by the intimidating shieldmaiden Hildegarde and dazzled by Balder the Brave, the most beautiful man she’s ever met. Wanda is especially happy to meet Thor’s lover, Sif, whom she can’t help but admire immediately. As Sif has come to Earth without a change of clothes, Wanda offers to lend her some outfits, though Sif is considerably taller than she is. Thor also brings two alien friends: Tana Nile, a Rigellian colonizer with a stiff, imperious attitude, and Silas Grant, the last survivor of the planet Blackworld who dresses like an old sea captain. Wanda greatly enjoys listening to the Asgardians’ colorful tales of their legendary realm, though she worries about Thor, who seems disheartened by his exile.

October 1965 – The Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Captain America, and Hawkeye join the Vision, Thor, and Iron Man at Stark Industries for the unveiling of an advanced computer system called Nimrod. The company is hosting a media event where the computer challenges a garrulous Soviet chess champion. However, the chess-master, Comrade Sporadnik, collapses during the tournament and is rushed to the hospital, where Dr. Donald Blake determines that he has been poisoned. The Avengers track down the assassin—a balding middle-aged man—but he escapes by phasing through the floor. Suddenly, the heroes receive a vision that reveals that the assassin is an ordinary accountant named Leonard Tippit, who was recently granted superhuman powers by the omnipotent alien known as the Watcher. Tippit was charged with preventing a future nuclear holocaust by murdering five innocent people whose yet-unborn children would be responsible for the catastrophe. As the images fade, Thor assures his teammates that the Watcher is, in fact, real. Even so, the Avengers are unwilling to stand by while people are murdered. They split up, and the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver speed to England, hoping to protect a middle-aged woman named Eliza Willis. When Tippit materializes, he quickly defeats Pietro and hits Willis with an energy blast that puts her in a coma. However, as Tippit starts to teleport away, Wanda casts a hex sphere around him. Tippit’s powers go haywire and the feedback knocks him out, allowing the two Avengers to load him into their Quinjet. After dropping Willis off at the nearest hospital, the twins rendezvous with their teammates at Stark Industries. Still unconscious, Tippit is strapped into the machine Iron Man has built to siphon off their foe’s superhuman energies. As the device is activated, Tippit revives. Suddenly, the Watcher materializes in the room and reveals that it was Tippit, not his victims, who was a threat to the earth, and the murder scheme was just a ruse to force Tippit to travel the world and exhaust himself. The Avengers are angry at having been manipulated, but Tippit agrees to sacrifice himself to save the world. Before disappearing again, the Watcher assures the Avengers that the five victims will awaken tomorrow with no memory of their ordeal.

The Avengers head immediately to the New York County Courthouse, where the Hulk is being put on trial. The Hulk’s lawyer, Matt Murdock, calls Iron Man to the stand, but most of his testimony is stricken after the prosecutor objects to the Avengers’ presence. The judge agrees that the Avengers’ testimony has no bearing on the case. As such, the team returns to their headquarters. Some hours later, they learn that Mister Fantastic inadvertently enabled the Hulk to escape while trying to change him back into Bruce Banner. Wanda is surprised that Reed Richards could be so careless.

The next day, Wanda goes to the team’s communications room to relieve Hawkeye on monitor duty. She is fed up with his sexual harassment, so when he forces a kiss on her after insisting that he wants to be the father of her children, Wanda finally admits that she has fallen in love with the Vision. Hawkeye is thunderstruck by this revelation and walks off without any of his customary snide remarks. She goes to talk to the Vision about it, but he seems more distant and formal than ever. Confused and frustrated, Wanda decides to turn up the heat on her android teammate during the Avengers’ meeting later that evening. After doing her hair up in an elaborate style, Wanda dons a slinky red mini-dress with tall leather boots and a fur-trimmed jacket. Joining the others, she announces her intent to skip the meeting and take a moonlit stroll through Central Park instead. Pietro objects, but Wanda dismisses his concerns and leaves the building. Crossing the street into the park, she is annoyed that Hawkeye, Thor, and Iron Man were clearly titillated by her sexy outfit but the Vision seemed oblivious to her charms. Lost in thought, she is caught unawares when one of the mutant-hunting robots called Sentinels suddenly appears and grabs her. Wanda’s hex spheres prove useless, as the Sentinels are already familiar with her mutant powers and have devised countermeasures. The Vision and Quicksilver lead the other Avengers into the park to rescue her, but they are unable to prevent the robot from carrying her through a space-warp to its secret base. Though Wanda makes a valiant effort to fight off her captors and escape, the Sentinels overwhelm her. She is collared and shackled to a large device in a windowless laboratory.

Several hours later, the robots’ partially melted leader, Number 2, enters the laboratory and outlines their plan to siphon off Wanda’s mutant energies to power a weapon that will cause solar flares to sterilize the earth—their final solution to the mutant problem. Wanda is horrified, but hope is rekindled when an intruder alarm heralds the arrival of the Avengers. After Number 2 has left to deal with the intruders, Wanda struggles to free herself but to no avail. Finally, the Vision phases into the laboratory and releases her from her shackles. They race through the installation to rejoin their teammates, only to find Number 2 blasting Captain America, Hawkeye, Thor, and Iron Man with death rays. Wanda casts a hex sphere that disables the robot’s armaments. Suddenly, Larry Trask, the son of the man who created the Sentinels, appears with a mutant-detecting device that is causing him, Wanda, and Number 2 to glow. Registering their leader as a mutant, the other Sentinels open fire on Number 2, melting him down into slag. The robots then power down, and one of them falls over and crushes Trask to death. As they leave the complex, Wanda informs her teammates who the dead man was and asks whether Quicksilver is with them. They reveal that her brother angrily quit the team after her abduction, saying he would rescue her on his own. However, they haven’t heard from him since. After making sure that no one else is in the Sentinels’ underground base, Thor and Iron Man seal it up like a tomb. Wanda is surprised to find they are in the Australian Outback. With their Quinjet destroyed by the Sentinels, it takes the Avengers a couple of days to get home to New York.

The Scarlet Witch then goes to the home of Judge Robert Chalmers, whom the twins met a year ago, to inform him of Larry Trask’s death. Chalmers reveals that it was Quicksilver who took Trask to Australia in hopes of rescuing Wanda, and she realizes her brother has disappeared without a trace. Beside herself with worry, Wanda camps out in the Avengers’ communications room, searching for any possible clues to Pietro’s whereabouts. Growing concerned about her obsessive behavior, Hawkeye and Iron Man try to convince Wanda to get some rest, but she responds with a temper tantrum. Returning to the monitors, Wanda soon comes across a report from Tierra del Fuego about three Chilean scientists being kidnapped by a group of “strange men” who appeared out of nowhere and vanished without a trace. She convinces the Vision, Hawkeye, Iron Man, the Black Panther, Thor, and Sif to help her check it out as a possible lead. The Avengers’ investigation leads them to the Savage Land, where they are attacked by the Savage Land Mutates—Amphibius, Barbarus, Brainchild, Equilibrius, Gaza, Lorelei, and Lupo—former Swamp Men who were artificially mutated by Magneto. During the fight, the Avengers are nearly defeated when Hawkeye, Thor, Iron Man, and the Black Panther become entranced by Lorelei’s siren song, but the Vision proves to be immune to the effect and knocks her out, freeing the others. Rather than feeling triumphant, though, the Vision takes it as evidence that he is not truly capable of sexual arousal and is merely a machine in the form of a man. Wanda is heartbroken and withdraws into herself as the team frees the Chilean scientists and hikes out of the Savage Land. Magneto’s mutates are turned over to the Chilean authorities to face kidnapping charges, but Wanda is no closer to finding her lost brother.

When the team arrives back at Avengers Mansion, Jarvis informs Wanda that he recorded a news broadcast for her about a man who mysteriously disappeared. While she is watching it, Thor and Sif depart to take care of some personal business. Wanda decides to investigate this latest lead immediately, even though they just got back, and Hawkeye, Iron Man, and the Black Panther agree to join her. The Vision, however, is off brooding about something and ignores them. Irritated, Wanda leads the others into the communications room to show them the report, but the console shorts out as soon as she cues up the tape. Iron Man checks the system and is baffled to see that it appears to have been extensively rewired. Fandral, who has been hanging out there the whole time, insists that he saw no one sabotage the console. After Iron Man completes his repairs, the four Avengers leave to check out the disappearance, but it proves to be another dead end. Later, Thor reports that he and Spider-Man rewired the console while battling a group of Asgardian Trolls who had stopped time with a magic crystal.

A couple of days later, the Avengers receive a call from the United Nations requesting help guarding a “mermaid” who caused an international incident between the United States and the Soviet Union. Thor agrees to attend to the matter. Then, the Falcon comes to the mansion to report that a Captain America impostor is on the loose and he needs to borrow a Quinjet to reach the real Cap, who is vacationing in the Bahamas. However, the impostor has already infiltrated the mansion and fooled the Vision into giving him access to the communications room. Having thus learned the real Cap’s location, the impostor leaves before the Avengers can apprehend him. The Falcon sets off at once in one of the Quinjets. He returns it a day or two later, saying Captain America defeated the impostor after a pitched battle in Miami, Florida. Later, Thor’s alien friends, Tana Nile and Silas Grant, move out of Avengers Mansion and get a small apartment together. Despite these distractions, the Scarlet Witch continues to search for clues to Quicksilver’s disappearance, without success.

On Halloween, Wanda leads Hawkeye, Iron Man, and the Black Panther to Manhattan’s East Village to investigate yet another mysterious disappearance. However, they are tricked into fighting each other by the Space Phantom, whom Wanda remembers reading about in the Avengers’ files. While the Avengers are distracted by the Space Phantom’s boasting about his elaborate revenge scheme, the Grim Reaper sneaks up and hits them with a paralysis beam. The four heroes are taken back to the villains’ lair and imprisoned in an anti-gravity field. Wanda is shocked when the Grim Reaper suggests that the Vision is working with them against the Avengers. She struggles to free herself from the anti-gravity trap, but to no avail.

November 1965 – Some hours later, the Vision and Captain America enter the chamber and free the four trapped Avengers. The team then goes on the offensive against the Space Phantom and a horde of HYDRA agents under his command. The Grim Reaper turns on his partners-in-crime when the Space Phantom orders the death of the Vision along with the other heroes. Then, realizing the Avengers are likely to be recaptured by the Space Phantom’s alien technology, the Vision sends the Scarlet With back to their headquarters to alert Rick Jones that Captain Marvel may be needed to rescue them. She hurries back to the mansion and passes on the message, then runs around the block so that when the Space Phantom’s airship arrives to recapture her, the villains will think her mission failed. Wanda, Rick, and Jarvis are quickly taken prisoner and delivered to the Space Phantom’s lair. However, as the Vision had anticipated, when the Space Phantom attempts to assume Rick’s form, the lad’s dual-existence with Captain Marvel causes the villain’s powers to go haywire, stranding him in the Limbo dimension where he resides. The Avengers make short work of the leaderless HYDRA goons, prompting the Grim Reaper to surrender when his electronic scythe runs out of power. The Avengers then turn their foes over to the police and head home.

Back at Avengers Mansion, the team finds Thor, who had returned from Rutland, Vermont, that morning and was concerned about their abrupt disappearance. Wanda is offended by the others’ lighthearted banter, though, and reminds them angrily that Quicksilver is still missing. The Vision goes to comfort her, inadvertently revealing to their teammates that they have fallen in love with each other. Startled, the rest of the Avengers withdraw to give the couple some privacy. The Vision then explains that he was never really in league with the villains; the Grim Reaper had approached him three weeks ago with an offer to use the Space Phantom’s technology to transfer the synthezoid’s mind into Captain America’s body, enabling him to become fully human. Intrigued that the Grim Reaper considered him a brother because his brain patterns were based on the villain’s actual brother, the late Simon Williams, the Vision decided to play along until he could devise a plan to foil the evil scheme. Wanda is glad to have her faith in the Vision reaffirmed, and he pledges to focus his efforts on locating her missing brother.

For the rest of the month, the Scarlet Witch and the Vision search for clues to Quicksilver’s disappearance and follow up every possible lead. During the search, Wanda is horrified to learn that Hank and Janet Pym have apparently died in a fire at their home in Southampton. To her great relief, they turn up alive and well the next day. The Avengers offer to reinstate the Pyms as active members, but they decline, saying they prefer their private life in the suburbs. Wanda begins to wonder if she and the Vision could ever enjoy such domestic bliss.

December 1965 – At Avengers Mansion, Wanda and the Vision chat with Iron Man about their unusual romance. Though Wanda had suggested he adopt the name “Simon,” the Vision insists that it is unnecessary, since he has finally come to terms with his identity issues. Iron Man notes that the Vision’s attitude has brightened considerably since their encounter with Lorelei in the Savage Land, and Wanda admits that her relationship with the Vision has made all the difference in her dealing with her brother’s disappearance. However, Hawkeye continues to act like a jerk around Wanda and the Vision, apparently feeling jilted. He finally storms out in a huff and disappears. A couple of days later, the Avengers receive an oddly worded letter from Hawkeye informing them that he has accepted a business opportunity with a corporate tycoon known as Champion. Her teammates take the letter at face value, but Wanda feels there’s something not quite right about it.

Over the next couple of weeks, things quiet down around Avengers Mansion, especially after Thor and his friends all return to Asgard. As such, the team’s Fourth Annual Christmas Charity Benefit is smaller than usual, with the Scarlet Witch and the Vision joined only by Captain America, Iron Man, and the Black Panther.

A few days later, Thor returns as Wanda calls a late-night emergency meeting to explain why she thinks Hawkeye’s letter is a forgery. They agree to investigate and track their erstwhile teammate to a remote location in the Mojave Desert, where they find Hawkeye has been tied to a large bomb by Champion, who intends to destroy California with a series of earthquakes. The Avengers overcome Champion’s force-field-generating armor and his squad of masked henchmen to free Hawkeye, who then saves the day with an act of astonishing marksmanship. As the Vision and Iron Man set about dismantling Champion’s string of bombs, though, Hawkeye insists that he’s determined to make it on his own and officially resigns from the team. Having tired of Hawkeye’s abrasive personality and inappropriate comments, Wanda is not sorry to leave him behind when the Avengers board their Quinjet and fly back to New York. Instead, she renews her determination to find out what happened to Quicksilver and to rescue or avenge him if necessary.


Notes:

January 1965 – The Scarlet Witch’s adventures continue in Avengers #88 and following. Her teammates’ memories of their mission to the Pacific Ocean are erased by the insectoid creature Psyklop when he teleports them back to New York City. Thor interrupts the Avengers’ viewing of the national news in the Inhumans story in Amazing Adventures #8. For more on President Morris N. Richardson, see OMU: POTUS – Part Three. The town of King’s Crossing, NY, is identified in Fantastic Four Annual #17.

February 1965 – Avengers #99 contains the first direct reference to Wanda and Pietro’s parents, when Pietro mentions having made an oath to them to always take care of Wanda. In this case, he means their adoptive parents, Django and Marya Maximoff.

March 1965 – Towards the end of the month, the Scarlet Witch finds herself dealing with the end of the world—along with everyone else on the disintegrating planet—during Thor #185–188, but luckily Odin erases those events from the timestream, so they never happened. Still, I feel there would be some kind of psychic aftermath that someone like Wanda, attuned to magical energies since birth, would be sensitive to.

September 1965 – Thor brings his entourage to stay at Avengers Mansion in Thor #205, though Wanda remains behind the scenes.

October 1965 – The Avengers make an appearance at the Hulk’s trial in Hulk #153. Quicksilver disappears when he is mortally wounded fighting the Sentinels and is rescued by Crystal and Lockjaw and teleported to the Great Refuge of the Inhumans, as revealed in Fantastic Four #131. Though his recovery is admittedly slow, still Pietro makes no effort to contact his twin sister until next January. Wanda’s meeting with Judge Chalmers happens behind the scenes shortly before Avengers #105. Wanda then has a cameo appearance during the “negative time” effect in Marvel Team-Up #7. She is behind the scenes when the United Nations requests the Avengers’ help with the alien Tamara of the Sisterhood in Sub-Mariner #59, but we see her when the Falcon drops by the mansion to request help in Captain America #154.

November 1965 – The Scarlet Witch stays behind the scenes during the travails of Ant-Man and the Wasp in Marvel Feature #6–10.

December 1965 – This brings us up to Avengers #109.


Jump Back: Secrets of the Scarlet Witch – Part Three

Next Issue: 1966!


2 comments:

  1. Hi!

    My name's Davide and I'm a Marvel fan from Italy. First of all, thank you for your work so far, which is amazing. I really hope you'll manage to finish your project.

    Second: do you have any plan to add a Nick Fury chronology to all the ones you've already done? Up until now, we only have the "Whence comes... SHIELD" entry (http://originalmarveluniverse.blogspot.it/2008/05/whence-comes-shield.html) but that's more of a general, non-detailed introduction to SHIELD than a "real" chronology for Nick Fury. He is, I think, the most important 1960s Marvel character you've left out so far. Do you plan to add his chronology any time soon?

    Thanks again!

    Davide

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Davide! Thanks for reading. I agree that Nick Fury is one of the most important characters of '60s Marvel, and I have been thinking about doing a Nick Fury chronology for a while now. I haven't done it yet because I only recently acquired all the early S.H.I.E.L.D. stories in the big Omnibus edition. (I'd read them several years ago, but they weren't in my collection.) Since S.H.I.E.L.D. had their hands in practically everything, it will be a huge undertaking. But first, I have to figure out the answer to a big question: What did Nick Fury know and when did he know it? Once I feel confident on that score, I can start writing up a chronology. So, I do hope to get to Nick Fury eventually, and when I do, it should be a lot of fun.

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