In Wastelanders: Doom #1, an MCU witch got a taste of her own medicine when her world is twisted by a powerful Marvel villain.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Wastelanders: Doom #1, on sale now from Marvel Comics.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s newest witch (and one of Marvel Comics’ oldest), Agatha Harkness, was a breakout character in the Disney+ series WandaVision. With the character set to return at some point in the near future with her own spin-off, there has been speculation as to how she could be brought back to the MCU, considering her fate at the conclusion of the series. Marvel may have just presented an answer to that question in a new comic book release that spotlights the character.
Wastelanders: Doom #1 (by Torunn Grønbekk, Julius Ohta. Bryan Valenza and VC’s Cory Petit) saw the Fantastic Four nemesis Doctor Doom cross paths with Agatha in his search for the Darkhold. Using his augmented powers, Doctor Strange’s next movie villain, Baron Mordo, brainwashed Agatha and made her knit an endless braid of red yarn that he used to attack any person who attempted to steal the powerful Darkhold from his possession. When Doom realized that Agatha was at the center of Mordo’s powers, he freed the witch from Mordo’s control and took the Darkhold for himself. Agatha escaped into the wastelands where Doom informed her that she was now indebted to him.
While the comic mainly focused around Doom, it also provides clues as to how Agatha’s story could continue in the MCU.
The setting of Wastelanders bears a striking resemblance to that of Wandavision. Both are set in idyllic towns separated from everything surrounding it with a powerful magic user bending the collective wills of the population. While Mordo does it consciously with help from the Darkhold, the Scarlet Witch does it subconsciously on the television series. Doom’s journey in the comic mirrors that of Agatha in WandaVision. In their search for stronger magic, they pierce the idyllic town’s barrier, with their formidable powers allowing them to remain unaffected by the mind controlling magic. In Doom’s case he was searching for the Darkhold, while Agatha searched for the secrets of the Scarlet Witch’s chaos magic.
In WandaVision, Agatha took on the identity of the nosy neighbor Agnes to infiltrate the town and subtly study Scarlet Witch’s powers. At the end of the series, Scarlet Witch forces Agatha to live out her life as the character she had created. Her imprisonment essentially took away Agatha’s powers and locked her in a mental prison.
The Wastelanders issue offers an ironic twist on the witch’s fate. The comic begins with Agatha trapped in the body of a feeble citizen within the town. Doom gazes at her mind using a special looking glass that shows him a screaming and angry woman. But by the end of the issue, she is released from her mental prison and returns to her identity as Agatha. While not chronologically continuous, the two stories are thematically connected, stitching together the story of Harkness regaining both her powers and freedom.
With Kathryn Hahn set to reprise her role in Agatha: House of Harkness, there have been many questions about how she will be able to escape the Scarlet Witch’s imprisonment, and Wastelanders may have just provided an answer that question. WandaVision revealed that Agatha was a centuries old witch with incredible powers, so it is entirely possible for a powerful magician from her past to happen upon her and free her in a way similar to what has just occurred in Marvel Comics.
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