SCARLET WITCH: Page 6 of 12


After the encounter with Immortus, Wanda was given a clean bill of health, but her own natural powers were gone. Nobody knew if they would regenerate over time and, though she was physically weakened,  her will was stronger than it had been in months. She began to accept that her family was gone and kept hanging around Avengers Compound, pondering what to do with her life. Simon and Wanda tentatively reconciled during this time, and they began seeing each other socially. Several weeks later, when Ultron transformed some of the team, including her brother, Quicksilver, into robots, Wanda managed to create a hex sphere that changed probabilities for helping Iron Man find the right frequency of ultra-violet light that would return them to normal, showing her powers were recovering, bit by bit. [Avengers West Coast #65, 67-68]

About the time her powers were fully restored, the Avengers were coming under U.N. sanction and new regulations. The Scarlet Witch was among the heroes to receive the most votes and, as such, she remained active with the Avengers West Coast. On the same day, she backed out of her relationship with Wonder Man - it was simply too difficult dating a man who was so much like the one she had just lost, as his mind had been the template for that of the Vision. Though Simon was deeply hurt by the rejection, he eventually came to accept that they were "just friends" once again. [Avengers West Coast #69-70] Wanda continued to heal, physically and emotionally, during this time period. She mentioned her twins a few times, showing regret but acceptance over their fates. It seemed the spell Agatha cast on her memories was removed once her mind was more stable. [Avengers West Coast #72, Annual #7]

Of course, the Avengers wouldn’t be the Avengers if soon members would quit and others joined, but for all line-up changes, Wanda was a mainstay of the group. Occasionally, something or someone, like Spider-Woman and her daughter, Rachel, would accidentally remind her of the tragedies in her past, but she had come to accept her new life as a single person. The Avengers West Coast continued to have adventures and, when Hawkeye stepped down as chairman, citing his impartial treatment of his newly-returned bride, Mockingbird, as making him unfit to command, the position was turned over to Wanda, the most senior member at the time. [Avengers West Coast #98-100]

Unfortunately, her leadership stint started with a death among the ranks. During an encounter with the Lethal Legion, Mockingbird was kidnapped by Mephisto and, though the Avengers followed and freed her, she was killed on the way back from Mephisto’s Nether-Realm. Several other bad events and inefficiencies caused the East Coast branch to ponder closing down the spin-off California group. It felt rather personal and insulting when the Vision led the East Coast team's inquiry into the West Coast's viability. The constant attacks on the West Coast compound had incurred so many costs that it seemed too expensive to keep both groups running, and, with Wanda’s team being down to four members, two of them rather hotheaded (USAgent and War Machine), the choice seemed logical. The end result was a vote that disbanded the West Coast group and its members being offered trainee status with the East Coast branch. Furious, Wanda and the others quit the Avengers, seemingly forever. [Avengers West Coast #102]

Iron Man returned at this time after a hiatus from the group and offered Wanda, Simon and a few others a place in his new rival super-team: Force Works. They accepted and moved into Stark Enterprises' Works HQ base in Ventura, California. Wanda was named field leader and Force Works adopted a unique, pro-active approach to crime fighting - a massive probability-calculating computer (aided by Wanda's power)  would predict potential hotspots around the globe and the team would assemble there to keep the problem from growing too large. Unfortunately, the team seemed almost destined to fail from the start, when Wonder Man was killed on their very first mission. The Scarlet Witch tried to keep the group functioning and running smoothly, but with so many personal problems, combined with Iron Man's dominating attitude and resistance to Wanda's authority, things were anything but smooth. [Force Works #1-3]

Everything came apart during the incidents referred to as The Crossing, as Iron Man was revealed to be a long-standing pawn of the Avengers' time-jumping foe, Kang. Driven insane by the mental influence he was under, Iron Man betrayed both the Avengers and Force Works, outright murdering or crippling a number of former members or support stuff for the two groups. Stark briefly regained his composure long enough to sacrifice his life and "save the day" but the damage was done. Force Works could not long survive without their founder and financial backer, so the group went its separate ways. [Avengers: The Crossing, Force Works #22]

Along with Hawkeye, Wanda returned to the Avengers, which currently housed both her brother and the Vision as well. While the reunion with Pietro was a happy one, meeting the Vision was troubling her. The synthezoid had recently recovered his emotions and now truly felt what they had lost. Wanda, however, was not willing to fully talk about it and proclaimed that their marriage was long past. Likewise, the Vision then assured her that, even though his capacity for emotions had returned, he was still a different man than he had been before his deconstruction and had no interest in renewing their relationship. [Avengers (1st series) #397-399]

Shortly after this, the Avengers were called into battle with Onslaught and his legion of Sentinels and other minions.  Onslaught was nearly unbeatable, especially when he transformed into an entity consisting of pure energy. The heroes realized that in order to defeat him, they had to give Onslaught physical substance that could be attacked. Several heroes volunteered to be that substance and entered Onslaught’s psionic state. The only heroes not able to make this sacrifice were mutants, because their mutant energies would have increased Onslaught’s mind. However, the Scarlet Witch’s probability altering powers intercepted these effects, allowing her to join the other Avengers and the Fantastic Four in their final hour. They all willingly sacrificed their lives to help end the threat of Onslaught, and the attempt was successful, but the heroes were believed dead by the world for nearly a year. [Onslaught crossover]

In actuality, they had been transported by Franklin Richards' god-like powers into a pocket universe he had subconsciously created to save the heroes. They were crafted with new memories and their histories were "rebooted". Without Magneto and Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch had no real family or origin in this reality. Instead, Wanda was raised by Agatha Harkness and trained in her powers. She joined the Avengers when Agatha believed she was ready, and slowly but surely found herself attracted to the synthezoid called the Vision. She also became a pawn in a complicated scheme hatched by Loki and the Enchantress. Manipulated into believing herself to be the Enchantress‘ daughter, Wanda briefly fought her own teammates. Luckily, Wanda’s stay in this twisted reality was brief, as the Celestials intervened, them not allowing there to be two universes in the spot of one. Shortly after they learned the truth, the heroes returned home to their own universe. [Avengers (2nd series) #1-13, Heroes Reborn: The Return #1-4]