Wanda Maximoff, aka The Scarlet Witch, is an icon of Marvel Comics. She began her history as a member of Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants alongside her twin brother, Quicksilver, although both twins soon switched sides to become members of the Avengers.
As both a mutant and an Avenger, the Scarlet Witch has a stake in two of the most important factions in the Marvel Universe. However, her importance goes beyond even this. In the comics, Wanda is the Nexus being of Earth-616, the main Marvel Universe.
As a Nexus, her reality and probability altering powers mean she can affect the universal time-stream. Any children of hers are also likely to be exceptionally powerful.
Now, with the Marvel Cinematic Universe getting ready to dive into the multiverse in Phase 4, their own version of the Scarlet Witch is set to become a lot more important. The MCU's Wanda, played by Elizabeth Olsen, will soon take centre stage in the upcoming Disney Plus series WandaVision, and if the trailer is anything to go by, her reality-warping powers will be on full display.
To prepare for the mind-bending madness of WandaVision, here's six Scarlet Witch comics everyone should check out before the series hits Disney+ in December.
6. Darker Than Scarlet - West Coast Avengers #51-57
Comic legend John Byrne's run on West Coast Avengers includes the memorable Scarlet Witch centric story Darker Than Scarlet. The story beginning in issue #51 is one of many to deal with the issue of Wanda's mental state affecting the stability of her powers.
Slowly spiralling into madness after the souls of her twin sons were reabsorbed by Mephisto, Scarlet Witch turns on her Avengers teammates, tormenting them until her Father, Magneto, and twin brother Quicksilver, arrive. Magneto manages to talk his son and unstable daughter into reforming the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. The story also temporarily retcons Wanda's marriage to The Vision.
While the story has a strong beginning, with many believing it had the potential to be one of the greats, unfortunately Byrne had a disagreement with the Marvel editorial team, and left before it could be completed.
The next writer had to wrap things up without his input, resulting in an ending that feels sadly rushed, with Magneto simply trapping the Avengers in a metal sphere and taking off with his children. Despite this, Darker Than Scarlet is worth a look to see the evolution in the Scarlet Witch's powers.