Warning: There will be some Age of Ultron spoilers in here. There might also be a tiny rant about how I truly believe not having the Young Avengers in the MCU is a tragedy and a big mistake. Carry on.
Wanda Maximoff, born in Sokovia, Russia was not always the Scarlet Witch. At ten years old a Stark mortar shell hits the apartment her family lives in, killing her mother and father. She and her twin brother Pietro survive, living as orphans in a war stricken Sokovia vowing to avenge their parents and destroy Tony Stark. As they grow older and Tony Stark becomes bigger in the media with the help of the Avengers, they protest alongside the rest of shattered Sokovia.
Due to the propaganda of their protesting, the twins were on the radar of Shield/Hydra. This is how the twins are recruited by List, a Hydra scientist working for Strucker. After much speculation, on Wanda’s behalf Pietro eventually convinces her to agree to the tests, truly believing that they were going to save their country.
Their powers come from Loki’s scepter; they are the few who survived the exposure to it. Her first appearance is in Captain America: The Winter Soldier in a post-credits scene. Her big appearance is in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
“Her thing is neuro-electric interfacing, telekinesis, and mental manipulation.” – Maria Hill to Steve Rogers, Age of Ultron.
Wanda Maximoff and her brother Pietro were born at Mount Wundagore, Transia to Magento’s estranged wife Magda. But in fear of what will become of her children, Magda flees and eventually dies. From there on, the twins were raised by Django and Marya Maximoff.
Growing up in poverty and in fear for their lives as mutants,they run away from the village mob when Wanda accidentally kills her adoptive mother. From there on out, Wanda and Pietro are on their own. As young adults, they are recruited into Magneto’s Brotherhood. Magneto revealed himself as their father in a later retcon.
In a 2015 retcon it turns out that he just misled them so they’d join his evil Mutant group. Her first official Marvel comics appearance was in The X-Men #4 (1964). “I won’t leave without my brother, I can’t desert Pietro!” – Wanda Maximoff, Marvel Super-heroes Volume 1 #25
A Witch called Wanda
During the Ultron events, the twins are recruited to work for him. Wanda uses her powers to mess with the minds of Avengers and once realizes Ultron’s true motives, her and her brother switch sides. Wanda also really likes the Vision. Pietro and Wanda are inseparable. During the battle with Ultron, she gets very scared and Hawkeye gives her the world’s greatest pep talk:
“The city is flying, we’re fighting an army of robots and I have a bow and arrow. None of that makes sense.” – Clint Barton (Hawkeye) to Wanda.
When Pietro sacrifices himself to save Clint and a little boy, Wanda claims a part of her has also died
AND THEN SHE RIPS ULTRON’S FRICKIN ROBOT HEART RIGHT OUT OF HIS STILL BEATING ROBOT CHEST ON A SUBWAY AND IT HONESTLY CHANGED MY LIFE. At the end of the Age of Ultron she shows up for training in a super cool costume looking super cool, prepared to avenge her brother.
Because we’ve only seen Wanda in one film, not counting her mind-blowingly awesome five seconds in a post-credit scene of the best Marvel film, The Winter Soldier, there really isn’t too much else to say. In the comics, Wanda and Pietro break away from their apparent father’s Brotherhood and join the Avengers. Yes, they are mutants, but they feel more at home with the Avengers than the X-Men or other mutant teams.
Wanda falls in love with the Vision (an android created by Ultron as revenge against Hank Pym. Vision eventually breaks away from Ultron and becomes his own entity, like he does in the movies) and the two get married. Which might seem weird but it’s actually kinda sweet and has a very good moral lesson; love people for their souls, not their physical appearances. Things get tricky when they want kids, naturally, but Wanda works up enough magic to produce two babies. Twins, Billy and Tommy, who ironically have the same powers as Wanda and Pietro. However, it’s later revealed that this power comes not from Wanda but from the baddie Mephisto, who takes the boys away. This puts a strain on the Vision and Wanda’s marriage.
In House of M, the Wasp mentions Wanda’s children and how they were taken from her, causing Wanda to have a severe breakdown–ultimately killing a few of her teammates. Magneto takes her to Professor X to help her, but there’s not much Professor X can do. From there, it’s discussed whether or not Wanda should be executed. Pietro is outraged and tells Wanda to do something.
This is where things get really crazy: Wanda warps reality. In this warped reality, she has her sons back. Eventually, she puts time back as it was after resurrecting Pietro when Magento kills him. Complicated family! This is what causes M-Day. In the Children’s Crusade #1, Wanda goes into hiding for a long time, unaware that her sons have been reincarnated. The boys, Billy and Tommy, go looking for her with their team of Young Avengers to see if she is really their mom. They find her in Latveria, engaged to and in a trance by Victor von Doom. Billy tells her that he and Tommy are her reincarnated sons, and it’s a happy moment for a little while… that is until Wolverine comes and tries to kill her.
This assassination is stopped by Iron Lad, who miraculously transports Wanda and the team into the Time Stream, where she finally reunites with her sons.
What are the ultimates, you ask? Everything is different in the ultimates, especially Wanda’s background. That’s a story for another day.
There are many similarities between Wanda in the movies and Wanda in the main line of comics; her bond with Pietro, love for Vision, and her tragic childhood. There’s also a lot of differences; in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), Marvel can’t quite call the Maximoff’s mutants due to licensing agreements between Fox and Marvel. They’re called Miracles, instead. The twins are mutants in the comics, but still more Avengers than they are X-Men (which has a whole lot to do with their “dad” being Magento).
Sokovia: not a real place in Russia. No parts of Russia were actually lifted into the sky by an evil robot, I’ve done the research.
Stark mortar shell: a bomb made by Stark Industries.
Pietro: Wanda’s twin brother, twelve minutes older than her. RIP baby.
Tony Stark: You know who he is (Iron Man).
Strucker: Hydra scientist, killed by Ultron.
Loki: Thor’s adopted brother. He caused the Battle of New York. He had the scepter that controlled people (ie. Hawkeye).
Magneto’s Brotherhood: Magneto is a certified baddie mutant. The Brotherhood is his team of other certified baddies like Mystique.
Vision: Remember Tony Stark’s AI butler? Yeah well this is his cool voice in a body. He’s not even Jarvis anymore, he’s his own separate entity. He’s not metal, by the way- he was put in Dr. Helen Cho’s rad skin growing machine. He was in one of Thor’s visions, Vision is worthy of the Thor’s hammer and he’s also a total babe.
M-Day: Wanda erases all the mutants’ powers.
Iron Lad: Nathaniel Richards, who is actually Kang the Conqueror in the future. When he learns who he is, he goes to the Avengers- who at this time have all disbanded. He uses his old armor and Tony Stark’s to make himself the Iron Lad, as well as downloading his own memories into the remains of the Vision. He recruits Eli Bradley, Teddy Altman and Billy Kaplan for a new wave of Avenging.
Young Avengers (Children’s Crusade era): Billy and Tommy, Wanda’s sons are a part of this super cool teenage group of superheroes. Billy has powers like Wanda, Tommy has powers like Pietro. The team is also made up of Iron Lad after Iron Man, Kate Bishop who is the younger Hawkeye, Cassie Lang who is literally Ant-Man’s daughter, and Eli Bradley who modeled himself after his grandfather (who was Captain America for a little while) and Teddy Altman, who is a shapeshifter! Honestly, where are they in the MCU? I mean, we have Cassie but she’s like six! I can’t wait that long to see Kate Bishop scold Bucky Barnes. It’s kinda like having the ingredients to make cookies but wasting your time eating kale- Everyone can be worked in there! Where they at, Marvel. Love you, Meg.
Time Stream: a limbo experienced when passing through time.
Uncanny X-Men #526
Avengers:The Children’s Crusade #1- #9