Agatha Harkness was old enough to remember 500 years before Atlantis sank to the bottom of the sea.
As a young blonde she wandered into a community of centuries-old witches and joined them. She became the most powerful sorceress in the New England village of New Salem, and later its grande dame or leader.
Agatha was involved in turning over various sorcerers to the witch-killing authorities, on the grounds that she was strengthening the witch community by ridding it of those who could not defend themselves. The fact that New Salemites refered to outsiders as mortals may indicate that they had longer life spans than human beings.
The identity of her husband was unknown and it was not even known whether Harkness was her late husband's last name or her maiden name. Agatha and her husband had only one child together, the warlock known as Nicholas Scratch (which was perhaps his assumed name).
Agatha Harkness became a governess, tutoring children in need, though she eventually retired. But when the Fantastic Four contacted her to ask her to watch their newborn baby, Franklin Richards, she agreed immediately, once she considered who his parents were.
Through the actions of Nicholas Scratch, she was revealed as a member of the previously unknown New Salem colony of witches. Scratch had taken control of the town and had persuaded its inhabitants that Agatha had betrayed the communities' secrets by working for the Fantastic Four. She was abducted back to the community along with Franklin so that she might be put on trial. The Fantastic Four followed and came into conflict with Salem's Seven, who were Agatha's grandchildren through Scratch. The Fantastic Four eventually won out and freed Agatha. In the process, the community of New Salem was shown the evil of Scratch and he was banished to another dimension. Scratch tried to escape multiple times to get his revenge on the Fantastic Four. Each time they were assisted by Agatha, who eventually disowned Scratch.
When the heroes first brought Franklin to her house atop Whisper Hill, she invited them in to spend the night, as it was too late and too stormy for them to return home. Though once the Thing and the Human Torch had settled down, the Thing fell through a swiveling painting in his room, and straight into the clutches of the Frightful Four. The evil four soon captured the rest of the Fantastic Four, but they soon faced Agatha Harkness, whom they underestimated. She warned them that her cat Ebony’s hackles were up, but the Wizard ignored her warning and attacked. The cat transformed into a massive panther and soon sent him fleeing out of the window, where he smashed into a tree and was knocked unconscious. The Sandman and Trapster attacked moments later, but Agatha turned the Sandman’s body into rock and used her magic to convince the Trapster that the newly-freed Thing was a monstrous, demonic creature, wherein he fainted dead away in fright.
The rest of the Fantastic Four soon recovered, as the Frightful Four’s weapons crumbled to dust minutes before, thanks to Agatha. They rushed to locate the baby, and found him in Agatha’s care, sleeping soundly. Before they also went to sleep at her behest, Ben Grimm spied a book entitled Tales of Old Salem on an end table. Agatha taunted him with the possibility that she was a witch, which sent him running down the hall to his own room.
Agatha became Franklin’s permanent governess afterwards.
The Scarlet Witch
Eventually Salem's Seven took over the New Salem community again. They captured Agatha and killed her by burning her at the stake. In an ensuing battle between the Scarlet Witch and Salem's Seven, the entire community's energies were drawn into Vertigo of the Seven, who lost control of them. Wanda managed to capture some of the energy and funnel it away, but the entire town was still decimated. Wanda channeled the remaining energy to set in motion her becoming pregnant with her synthezoid husband's children.
Later, Agatha resurfaced, avoiding explanations for her return. She claimed that Scarlet Witch's children were actually fragments of the soul of Mephisto and mindwiped Wanda's memory of her children rather than fight to free the two from Mephisto when he reabsorbed the two.
She went on to aid other mystics in a number of crisis situations, and trained Wanda further in the use of her powers, claiming that her mutant ability was actually to use "chaos magic" and helped fully resurrect the Avenger Wonder Man.
Harkness ultimately died a second death, this time for good. Wanda confronted Agatha about her children. Later, Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. found Agatha's corpse in her home, as Scarlet Witch had murdered her teacher in cold blood.
Some time later, a partially amnesiac Wanda told Clint Barton (who had tracked Wanda to a small village near Wundagore Mountain) that she was under the care of her "Aunt Agatha" in a small apartment. While Wanda was sleeping, Hawkeye, curious of this Aunt's true identity, tried to turn the doorknob to her room. The knob appeared to slip from his hand, similar to Wanda's past subtle probability manipulations. Wanda also mentioned this Aunt to Beast, saying she was stuck out there for purposes of looking after an "elderly relative" who would worry is she got home late.
Whether this is actually Harkness resurrected remains to be seen.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Sorcery: The ability to tap this universe's infinite store of ambient magical energy and manipulate these to a variety of effects. A skill derived from three major sources: personal powers of the mind/soul/body, powers gained by tapping the universe's ambient magical energy and employing it for specific effects and finally, powers gained through the tapping of extra-dimensional energy by invoking entities or objects of power existing in mystical dimensions tangential to her own. The latter means of power is usually gained by the recitation of incantations.
Some of these effects include forming magical energy bolts with a high degree of potency and control. Erect energy shields or screens with a high degree of imperviousness to both physical and magical damage, create illusions, teleportation across the face of the Earth or into a mystical dimension, thought-casting over short or vast distances in a manner virtually identical with telepathy, levitation and astral projection.
Agatha has a vast knowledge of sorcerous spells and incantations invoking names and aspects of various extra-dimensional objects and beings of power. Through these incantations the magi is able to call upon these extra-dimensional power sources for very specific effects without taxing the personal abilities.
|Power Grid |
Agatha has no known fighting skills. Her old age reduces her ability to perform strenuous tasks. She is obviously (near) immortal and has an extensive knowledge of mystical lore.
Familiar: Her familiar, a cat named Ebony, is in reality a powerful extradimensional creature. Harkness is in psychic rapport with the cat, and she occasionally sues it to run errands for her. At will, it can revert to a more intimidating form with monstrously powerful claws, and increased strength and speed. The creature regenerates damage at a fantastically accelerated rate and cannot be killed by means less extreme than dispersing its atoms throughout a considerable area.
- Agatha is a citizen of United States with no criminal record. However, she has been condemned by the populace of the community of New Salem, Colorado, which considers itself an independent nation.
- Agatha Harkness was first introduced as Franklin Richards' nanny.
- Married, but it is unknown whether she is divorced, separated, or widowed.
- The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (2006) notes in her profile that she has passed away and returned before, thus potentially reemerging in the future.
- 115 Appearances of Agatha Harkness (Earth-616)
- 10 Images featuring Agatha Harkness (Earth-616)
- 1 Quotations by or about Agatha Harkness (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Agatha Harkness (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Agatha Harkness (Earth-616)
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