Since her first appearance in 1964’s ‘X-Men’ #4, Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch, has been classified as a mutant, someone whose powers are derived from a genetic anomaly. Heck, she first appeared as a member of the Brotherhood of Evil MUTANTS! But in 2015, it was “revealed” that Wanda and her brother Pietro, a.k.a. Quicksilver, were not mutants at all, but had gained their abilities due to the experiments of the High Evolutionary. In reality, this was a political move on the part of Marvel to diminish the importance of the X-Men and mutants in general in the pages of their comics. (I’ll get to deeper into that in a sec.)
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But now, with Disney having bought 20th Century Fox, things may have changed. A Reddit user BluRayHiDef posted a photo of a page from the ‘Marvel Studios Visual Dictionary’ and/or ‘Character Encyclopedia’ that recaps Wanda’s origin, which hints that her backstory may have shifted closer to the classic comic origin.
“She may be called Scarlet Witch, but Wanda’s powers aren’t derived from the occult. Whether it altered her or merely unlocked something latent inside Wanda, the Infinity Stone in Loki’s scepter bestowed incredible powers of the mind. Wanda’s internal neuro-electric interface allows her to conjure blasts of red telekinetic energy. She can also use this energy to create barriers, levitate, and move objects; to communicate and read thoughts by telepathy and even to manipulate minds of others.”
(No, those aren’t her powers in the comics, but just roll with it.)
I recently bought Marvel Studios’ Visual Dictionary and Character Encyclopedia from Amazon. I bought them because the former’s entry for Wanda Maximoff seems to retcon her origin; it states that the Mind Stone may have awakened her abilities rather than state that the Mind Stone definitely created them and instilled them in her. So, I figured that perhaps the Visual Dictionary and even the Encyclopedia may contain other potential retcons or obscure information.
As this user points out, previous volumes of this publication stated that Wanda’s powers were created by the Space Stone (not the Mind). By implying that her abilities might have been inherent, that shifts the possibility back to her being a mutant.
Around 2015, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige wanted ALL of Marvel’s properties back under one banner, under his control. Fox had the rights to the ‘X-Men’ and ‘Fantastic Four’, and as long as they made movies with these properties every so often, they were allowed to keep those rights, along with any money generated by licensing.
Since Disney, Marvel Studios and Marvel Comics weren’t benefiting from the ‘X-Men’ movie franchise, it was decided that the mutants (and the Fantastic Four) were no longer important and their visibility in the comics and merchandising was diminished. Marvel Comics essentially wiped out mutants and replaced them with Inhumans, humans who gained mutant-like powers from exposure to the Terrigen Mist.
It was at this point that it was “revealed” that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were not mutants after all and never had been!
While this Encyclopedia entry doesn’t use the word “mutant,” this small alteration teases that Wanda may be a mutant, setting the stage for the introduction of the X-Men and other mutants into the MCU.
Would you like to see Wanda classified as a mutant again?