First Appearance: Fantastic Four
Place of Birth: New Salem, Colorado
Residential area: Adirondack Mountains, New York
Known relatives: Abby Harkness(?), Bluestreak
Marital Status: Widowed
Team Membership Status: Associate
Team affiliations: Avengers, Fantastic Four
Agatha Harkness is a talented sorceress. By tapping the ambient
magical energy of the universe, she can enhance the physical and
mental powers of herself and others, create specific effects upon
objects and people and through incantations utilise magical objects
and entities from this dimension or other dimensions that exist
alongside her own.
Using these abilities she is able to create and control powerful
bolts and shields composed of magical energy, create illusions,
teleport through or between dimensions, 'thoughtcast' in a similar
way to telepaths and also astrally project her form. She can also
levitate herself and other objects.
While normally these abilites require a certain amount of physical
and mental exertion, when using a magical object through
incantation, she feels no such strain. Moreover, in these situations
the only limit to her power is that of the object she is using.
As she is physically weak, Agatha often uses her familiar, Ebony, to
run errands for her. While Ebony appears most of the time as a black
cat, she is in fact a powerful extra-dimensional entity who can, at
will, revert to a ferocious monster with powerful claws, greatly
enhanced strength and a strong healing factor. Ebony appears to be
at least partially sentient and shares a psychic raapport with her
Agatha can use many types of magical object, and has a high degree
of knowledge of magical practices and artifacts.
Little is known of Agatha Harkness' past, other than that she
appears to go back a long way in history. 18,500 years ago, she
stumbled upon the hidden witches community of New Salem in Colorado.
Over the millenia, she rose to prominence and power in the village,
becoming the most powerful witch there. She claims to remember the
sinking of Atlantis.
In the days of the witch hunters she handed over several witches to
the authorities, claiming that she was strengthening the community
by ridding it of those too weak to defend themsleves. It is around
this time that she married an unknown man (Harkness maybe her
married or maiden name) and had a son, Nicholas Scratch (which may
be an assumed name). She may also be related to, or even be a woman
called Abby Harkness who at some point fled New Salem with future
Hellfire Club member Hiram Shaw.
By the mid 20th century she had moved into the outside world to
associate with the mortals there. She moved into a mansion in the
Adirondack Mountains in New York State. It was here that her
association with Earth's heroes began when she was visited by Reed
and Sue Richards aka Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman of the
Fantastic Four. The two heroes had recently had a son, Franklin, who
needed a super-human protector when they were away on missions.
Learning of Agatha's powerful witchcraft they asked her to act as
the child's babysitter, which she agreed to.
Unfortunately, Agatha and her charge were abducted soon afterwards
by the children of Nicholas Scratch, the team called Salem's Seven.
Scratch had duped his sons and daughters into believeing that
Harkness had betrayed the village by revealing its location to the
Fantastic Four. Harkness was put on trial and found guilty.
The Fantastic Four traced the abductees to New Salem where they were
over-powered by Salem's Seven and imprisoned. They escaped and
managed to halt Agatha's execution long enough to explain that if it
were not for the abduction, New Salem's exisitence would still be a
mystery. Realising that it was Scratch who had betrayed them, the
New Salemites imprisoned him in another dimension.
Agatha, Franklin and the Fantastic Four later returned to New Salem
to find that Scratch had taken control of all the villagers.
Although defeated by Salem's Seven, Franklin (who had since
developed psionic mutant powers) freed the village from Scratch's
However the battle was not yet won. The Fantastic Four, Salem's
Seven, Franklin and Agatha were all transported to New York where
Salem's Seven intended to free Scratch from his dimensional prison.
Scratch took control of the Fantastic Four but Franklin used his
mutant powers to free them, while Harkness stripped her
grand-children of their magical powers and returned them home. She
then cast a new spell to more totally imprison Scratch. However,
Salem's Seven leader, Vertigo, succeeded in turning the other New
Salemites against Agatha. Regaining their powers, the Seven captured
and burnt Agatha at the stake.
Harkness' disembodied spirit then apparently influenced Wanda
Maximoff, the Avenger known as the Scarlet Witch to find New Salem.
Journeying to New Salem with her husband the Vision, they were
captured by Salem's Seven. Vertigo had become very powerful, now
wielding the combined magical might of all 666 New Salemites.
Despite this the Vision succeeded in defeating her. With the defeat,
Vertigo lost all control of her powers. In an attempt to save New
Salem, the Scarlet Witch began to channel the wild magical energy
into a nearby mountain. Encouraged and told how to control the power
by the spirit of Agatha Harkness, Wanda succeeded and the mountain
exploded. With the magical energy gone, New Salem had been saved and
Agatha's spirit disappeared.
Several months later, while working with the Avengers West Coast,
Wanda began to encounter problems with her twin children, Thomas and
William. Harkness appeared to her again, only now she was alive and
mysteriously unharmed. She offered her services to Wanda as a nanny
again, looking after and protecting her children.
While in this role, harkness realised the true nature of the
children. Because Wanda was unable to concieve with her sythezoid
husband she had used her own magical probability altering powers to
create children that would take after both her and her artificial
husband. As magical constructs of probability, the children only
existed when their mother was thinking about them. To make matters
worse, the children were also constructed out of missing shards of
the demonic Mephisto's soul and were kidnapped by his servant Master
Agatha immediately sent the Avengers West Coast to rescue the
children with Ebony to accompany them. She also sent the recently
revived original Human Torch to retrieve the remaining shards of
Mephisto's soul. When all of the shards had been assembled, Mephisto
appeared to the Avengers, threatening them. By causing Wanda to
temporarily forget about her children, Agatha was able to stop parts
of Mephisto's soul from existing, thereby defeating him. The victory
however was not without cost. As the shards were now part of
Mephisto again, Wanda had lost her children.
Agatha stayed on at the Avengers' West Coast Compound, helping wanda
deal with the traumas that had been dealt her, and also helping
Avenger Tigra regain her humanity after being transformed into an
even more cat-like creature after her associations with the demonic
Outside the Avengers West Coast she was one of the Earth-bound
mystics during the Infinity War, helped the Darkhold Redeemers in
their work with the Book of Sins and helped ressurect the Silver
Surfer, finally revealing how old she really was.
Leaving the Avengers West Coast, she returned to her home on Whisper
Hill. Here she began to encourage and tutor the Scarlet Witch in the
full use of her chaos magic. The Avenger returned to Whisper Hill to
see Agatha again when she was both puzzled and disturbed by her
apparent ability to bring the deceased hero Wonder Man back from the
dead. With Agatha's help, Wanda was able to fully restore Wonder man
and remove him from the mental control of his mad brother the Grim
Reaper. Agatha also opened Wanda's mind to her ture potential as a
wielder of chaos magic.
Agatha was pressed into the service of Earth by Wanda once more in a
failed attempt to stop the spore of Ego the Living Planet from
consuming Earth when he was banished there by the Galactic Council.
Copyright Avi Green. All rights