Scarlet Witch is easily one of the most overpowered members of The Avengers. If you are only familiar with her on-screen iteration, as depicted by Elizabeth Olson, you get a glimpse of some of that huge power, especially in the latest movie. During Infinity War not only does she manage to keep Thanos at bay with one hand, she also manages to destroy an Infinity Stone, something I didn’t even think could be done. I mean, we see Thor attempt to do it in The Dark World and if Mjolnir isn’t capable of doing it, what is? The answer is obviously Wanda Maximoff, who’s power set is so vaguely defined that she often acts as a Deus Ex Machina. Part mutant, part sorcerer, when the chips are down and she feels like doing something, there is hardly a force on Earth that can stop her.
So if you only know her from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or if you only have a passing knowledge of her power set from the comics, let us walk you through the dizzying array of stuff that she can do with her seemingly endless Chaos Magic. Also, keep in mind that her powers will fluctuate wildly depending on the circumstance, or more accurately, the writer of the story, so sometimes she will seem weaker than you are used to, and other times, you’ll just laugh at her strength. Comic books can be pretty inconsistent.
One of Scarlet Witch’s defining personality traits in the comics is that she is beautifully unbalanced. She routinely loses complete control of her mind and powers, which can result in a few interesting things. Sometimes she causes a mass extinction, other times she just zaps whoever happens to be standing within thirty feet of her.
In one such case, she attempts to keep the heroes of her new universe happy by granting them what they want most. Of course, this doesn’t work, but it was a nice attempt while it lasted.
So when you want to appease the most powerful people in the world in an effort to lull them into complacency, the first thing you do is look after the world’s most powerful psychic.
What makes this so incredibly impressive is that the best minds in the Marvel universe said it was impossible. This diagnosis came from trusted sources like Reed Richards, Hank Pym and even the mystical Doctor Strange.
The Phoenix Force is a powerful entity that is usually contained inside Jean Grey, although it isn’t limited to that form. Whenever kicked out of one host, it will usually just hop into the next closest person, preferably one with already existing powers.
A surprising twist came when the Phoenix Force jumped from Scott Summers into Hope Summers (don’t ask). With Hope exerting more control than Scott ever could, she combined might with Wanda and the collectively banished the Phoenix Force from the world with the worse “No More Phoenix Force.”
Most people vaguely familiar with the comic book version of Scarlet Witch would assume her immense power comes from her parent, Magneto. When your Dad is one of the world’s most feared and powerful mutants, you’d assume that you’re going to inherit some bomb powers. But then why isn’t Quicksilver just as powerful?
Wanda’s lineage gets pretty muddled at times, so it is never clear if she is even Magneto’s daughter. What is clear is that she has been marked since birth by the demon Chthon to be a vessel for his vast and terrible Chaos Magic.
Due to her power stemming from Chthon and his Chaos Magic, and not strictly from her Mutant Genetics, it takes a twofold attack to depower her. If you were to ever cure her Mutant gene, she would still be a massively accomplished sorcerer with the aid of an evil demon.
And if you were ever to take away her magic (it can be done, apparently) then she would still be the daughter of Magneto (probably). This means that her natural ability to wield hexes wouldn't dissipate. Good luck trying to depower that.
The Eye of Agamotto is an incredibly powerful relic even outside of the MCU. While it isn't quite the Time Stone in the comics, the Eye is an immense source of wisdom, able to see through space, time, illusions, as well as manipulate minds. It's Doctor Strange's go to gadget whenever he's bitten off more than he can chew.
In one classic showdown, Strange attempt to shut down Wanda's powers by shutting down her brain. He noticed that even with her mind blank, her body still emanated massive amount of Chaos Magic.
I'll be honest with you, I had to look up who the heck Agatha Harkness is. Apparently, she's just a wicked old woman with a lot of magic skill. She is also a onetime mentor to the Scarlet Witch, training her in the ways of the mystic arts.
So coupling that with her training under Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange, it would seem that even without the gifts of being a mutant, and being touched by Chthon, she would still be a very formidable spell caster.
In the comics, Ultron is made entirely of Adamantium, which means he is completely invulnerable to harm. It's the stuff that Wolverine's bones are made of, so you know, completely unbreakable. Which means that most foes have a hard time even inflicting a single iota of damage to him.
But as usual, robots are vulnerable to magic.
Much like when Kitty Pride phases through technology to disrupt their circuitry, Wanda is able to pretty much shut off any technological equipment, which includes invulnerable robots like Ultron.
A reoccurring joke in the Marvel Universe is that nobody can properly verbalize what Wanda's powers are. Is she magic or a mutant? Does she move stuff, summon stuff, blast stuff? An awesome combination of the three? What we do know is that her most commonly used move is the Hex Bolt, and she mostly uses it to blast people.
They function a lot like Cyclops' eye beams, in that they are a concentration of energy to produce a concussive blast. This can range anywhere from a light push to blowing a hole in a mountain.
For the most part, Scarlet Witch's Hex Bolts have been mostly used as the before mentioned energy blasts. That's when she is putting in her bare minimum effort and concentration. When she really focuses on the kind of magic she is hurling at someone or something, the effects have a pretty wide spectrum.
The Bolts have been seen with the ability to light things on fire from afar, which makes sense. They can also do wackier stuff, like take all the air away from an area in order to suffocate someone.
As we mentioned before, sometimes Scarlet Witch gets totally sapped of all her powers. Sometimes this is because Chthon is having an off day, sometimes it's for far sillier reasons. Whatever the cause, multiple comics have seen Wanda reduced to a regular old normal gal.
Luckily for her, she isn't completely defenseless. As a powerhouse member of The Avengers, Wanda has had lots of time to get some serious training from some of Earth greatest fighters. Most of her martial arts training comes from Hawkeye, who is no slouch when it comes to fisticuffs.
In the MCU we repeatedly see Scarlet Witch catch stuff with her glowy... stuff, and we assume she is just exerting her magic on whatever. But at what point do we differentiate between her Hex Bolts and telekinesis. I mean, energy blasts are completely different from lifting things, if you ask me.
This is a lot like Invisible Woman's power, where she can both hit things hard but also lift things up, which to me, should count as two separate powers. Especially when you are doing them with your mind.
So in the MCU Wanda goes from being relatively grounded to being able to fly. In the comics. she can pretty much fly as soon as she is introduced. Later comics say that she has some sweet telekinesis abilities, but those were added in after.
When she first shows up, she is only capable of throwing around Hex bolts and naturally occurring magic. It is never once explained why she is able to lift herself off the ground and fly around. I'm not complaining, she always looks cool doing it.
I didn't even know this before researching this article, but apparently, Wanda Maximoff totally has the ability to teleport. I guess when you can make and unmake all of reality, bending space to your will would be a cakewalk. Still, you hardly ever see her utilize this.
Maybe if she had of known about this power in the MCU she wouldn't have spent so much of the fight just hanging out in Vision's surgery room. Which might have resulted in a victory. Doubtful though.
Any comic book fan knew this entry was coming. After remaking reality and being confronted for it, Wanda freaks out and sets things back the way they were with one new caveat: she erases 90% of the mutant population.
This is known as the worst day in mutant history.
M-Day saw the obliteration of millions of lives in an instant, and without warning. The same power she used to ward off the Phoenix Force, she used on a huge chunk of an unsuspecting population.
It goes without saying that after an impressive display like destroying a whole group of people worldwide, affecting one of them shouldn't be a big deal. Still, unless you know she has this power, it can come out of nowhere. With the right kind of Hex, Scarlet Witch can take away the very powers that make a hero or villain super.
Obviously, this has limitations, not just on the individual she is trying to destabilize but also on her own current power level. Some writers make her way more powerful than others.
Most people are also familiar with Wanda's abilities to cast force fields, since that's what lands her and the entire Avengers in hot water during the events of Civil War. Even so, on first glance, you wouldn't think that the person who is able to cast spells is also able to create a wall of repulsing energy, right?
At this point, Scarlet Witch is just trying to make Invisible Woman redundant. Everything she can do, Wanda does better, just short of, you know, actually turning invisible. Or maybe she can go transparent, I don't know.
When Scarlet Witch stated first showing powers as a child, some comics depict this as her showing the ability to alter probabilities. This sound a lot like another Mutant? We will talk more about that other luck manipulating little minx in a moment.
This means that in the middle of a battle, Scarlet Witch could simply give you a tremendous boost of luck, making your every wild haymaker land exactly where it needs to. Nice to see that not all Mutants hoard their good luck to themselves.
I'm sure you could have guessed that I was going to bring up Domino next. You're such a clever reader. So since Witch can add good or bad luck to other people, if she adds bad luck to Domino, she can totally nullify Domino's good luck powers. That's pretty handy if you ask me, because if Deadpool 2 taught me anything, it's that Domino is way OP.
This ability to nullify luck powers also extends to Longshot, but honestly, who really cares about Longshot? How many luck based heroes do we need?
Most people chalk up Scarlet Witch as a heavy hitter of sorts. Usually, Captain America or Iron Man will direct her as to where she should blast or manipulate luck. Or, if she happens to be on the other side of the law, it’s usually her sometimes father Magneto telling her how to best hurt humans.
Sometimes, though, she gets to call her own shots, like when she made her own Avengers. These rare instances show that when she isn’t taking orders or losing her mind completely, she actually makes for a fairly skilled tactician.
This one totally caught me off guard when she executed it in the movies. Apparently she can get inside the minds of people and make them see what they fear most. I wasn’t even aware she could see into people’s minds like that, which makes me feel like she has a form of telepathy.
This is basically Scarecrow’s power (from Batman, because everything relates back to Batman.) Unfortunately it only seems to work when she sneaks up on someone, which might be hard to do a second time, once Black Widow snaps out of it.
Loki is a pretty tough customer when it comes to spells, which is how he earned the title of Trickster God. So you would think that up against a mortal like Wanda, he shouldn’t have any trouble dealing with a simple sorceress. But as always, there is a hierarchy as to how this kind of power works.
Scarlet Witch gains her powers from an Elder God, while Loki technically counts as a minor God. I know, for all those Loki fans out there, it can be tough to hear, but he isn’t always the most magical man in the room.
As someone intensely in tune with the magical ins and outs of the universe, Doctor Strange has enlisted the help of the Scarlet Witch on more than one occasion. There are worse ideas than pairing someone with the powers of an Elder God up against another, more evil God, right?
So there have been occasions where Wanda has been in the Dark Dimension, home of Dormammu, where his magic rules supreme, While there, she has even resisted his almighty power, which is something that Strange can barely do.
When in massive battles against other super powered folk (mostly heroes in this case) Wanda has shown the incredible ability to summon vast armies to fight at her side. These numbers seem to be plucked from alternate dimensions, simple there to do her bidding.
Other times, she can summon people from beyond the grave. Her on again, off again boyfriend, Wonder Man (who’s brain is the template for Vision, which is weird) had a bad case of not being alive. Scarlet Witch did what any of us would do and simply brought him back to life.
There is an important, and frankly entirely stupid, plotline that reveals that Mutants on Earth, with all their powers, are the result of Celestial tampering. Celestials are giant jerks who pretty much make the whole galaxy awful. Ego the Living Planet is a Celestial, if you need a frame of reference.
Wanda Maximoff is able to undo Celestial work.
By erasing the Mutant genome in human DNA, she is obviously able to erase their meddling, which puts her on a power scale all her own.