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The Worst Things That Scarlet Witch Has Done In The MCU

Few characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) have gone on as complex a journey as Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen). First introduced properly in "Avengers: Age of Ultron" after a brief post-credits cameo in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," Wanda starts out as a freedom fighter who gets manipulated by the villainous group HYDRA into working against the Avengers in the battle against Ultron (James Spader) and his army of robots. 

After the death of her brother, Pietro aka Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), Wanda realizes she needs to be a hero instead of a renegade, and she joins the Avengers. But this happy state of events does not last long. Wanda finds herself at the center of a controversy that tears the Avengers apart, leaving the group vulnerable to a defeat at the hands of the mad titan Thanos (Josh Brolin). Wanda is also wracked with grief over losing her lover, Vision (Paul Bettany), in the fight against Thanos.

She survives all that only to find herself slipping further into darkness while trying to put her past behind her. The second instance of losing Vision, this time along with their children, leads Wanda to become a full-fledged villain as the legendary "Scarlet Witch." Soon her actions threaten the fate of not just one universe, but the entire multiverse. Let us take a look at some of the worst things Wanda has done in her journey through the MCU so far.

Brainwashing the Avengers

When she first appears in the MCU, Wanda hates Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) — and by extension, the Avengers — because her home was destroyed when she was very young by a bomb manufactured by Stark Industries. So when Wanda crosses paths with the Avengers for the first time, she is working with their enemy organization, HYDRA, to bring down the group of superheroes. 

Wanda sets about her task by using one of her mysterious powers described in "Age of Ultron" as "neuroelectric interfacing." Basically, Wanda messes with the minds of the Avengers, forcing them to become mentally overwhelmed by dreadful visions of the past and personal nightmares. All except Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), who had already been mind-controlled by Loki (Tom Hiddleston) before and had learned to guard against such an assault. 

While Wanda's attack is only meant to distract the Avengers, it ends up causing much greater damage because Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) loses control of his Hulk persona. As a result, the Hulk goes on a destructive rampage, and even more destruction is caused when Iron Man is forced to don special Hulkbuster armor to fight the Hulk in the middle of a city packed with innocent people.

Working with Ultron

Despite seeing the effects of her actions after the Hulk goes on a rampage, Wanda does not show much remorse and continues plotting with her brother Pietro to take down the Avengers. Their animosity toward Stark and company leads them to team up with Ultron in his quest to create a new body for himself as a preliminary to taking on the Avengers. But unknown to Wanda, Ultron also has a larger goal of wiping out all of humanity. It takes a long time for Wanda to finally understand that Ultron is not looking out for humanity but seeking to destroy it. 

Naturally, Wanda and Pietro are horrified, but by then their actions had nearly helped Ultron reach his goal. At last, Wanda and her brother defect from HYDRA and Ultron's side and join the Avengers in taking down the evil AI. Still, the fallout of Wanda's assistance to Ultron is the destruction of the capital city of the nation of Sokovia where she grew up, Novi Grad, and the death of her brother Pietro at the hands of Ultron.

Blowing up a building

Despite enduring a great deal of trauma in "Age of Ultron," Wanda's next appearance in the MCU starts off on an optimistic note in "Captain America: Civil War." She has become an official member of the Avengers and is helping them on their missions while being mentored by Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Captain America (Chris Evans).

But this happy state of affairs does not last long. In the middle of a mission, Wanda tries to help her team by containing the explosion from a bomb within a magical containment sphere and propelling it to the top of a building — out of, she hopes, harm's way. Unfortunately, the sphere explodes near the top of a building, destroying the structure and causing the deaths of the people inside it. Wanda is understandably horrified, but the damage has already been done.

The rest of the movie deals with the fallout from Wanda's mistake, as well as all the other collateral damage the Avengers had caused in their brief time in operation. The team gets divided along the lines of the Sokovia Accords, created as a direct result of Wanda's actions. The accident with the building Wanda blew up also means that public opinion begins to turn against the Avengers. The trust and support that the team of heroes had earned in the past nearly completely vanishes thanks to a single error on Wanda's part.

Fighting her former teammates

After the disastrous mission that ended with her accidentally destroying a building, Wanda retreats within herself and takes refuge in the Avengers headquarters. There, she is kept company by the android Vision, who shows sympathy and support for Wanda's plight despite acting as her jailer and keeping her confined to the HQ on Tony Stark's orders. 

Wanda accepts her imprisonment, but not for long. Soon Hawkeye comes calling and manages to convince Wanda to join Captain America's team in a battle against Team Iron Man regarding the Sokovia Accords. Filled with new resolve, Wanda directly attacks Vision when he tries to stop her and puts him several stories below the ground before leaving Avengers headquarters. And she doesn't stop there.

During the battle at the airport, Cap's team faces off against Tony's team. While the other Avengers remember their old friendships and consequently don't go too far while attacking each other, Wanda has no such qualms. She brutally lashes out at her former friends, throwing cars at Iron Man and sending Black Widow smashing hard into a box of crates. It's nowhere near the damage she causes as she gets a better handle on her powers in later adventures, but in that moment, Wanda proves that a certain ruthlessness is at the core of her nature that does not differentiate between friends and enemies if they get in her way.

Destroying Vision

After the events of "Civil War," Wanda is declared an international criminal and goes on the run with Captain America and his allies. In this time, Wanda and Vision solidify their relationship as a couple, only to discover that Vision is in the crosshairs of Thanos and his army due to the mind stone attached to Vision's forehead.

Thus "Avengers: Infinity War" becomes about keeping Vision away from Thanos at all costs, even as the mad titan launches a full-scale assault against Earth in search of the mind stone. Wanda and the rest of the Avengers race against time to find a way to disconnect Vision from the infinity stone, but their efforts are in vain as Thanos finally arrives on Earth.

Faced with an impossible choice, Wanda once again reaches down deep within herself to tap into ruthlessness in the face of danger. Summoning all her strength, she personally destroys Vision and the mind stone along with him. The act takes a great deal of strength on Wanda's part, and it is the most difficult thing she has ever done. Only for Thanos to reverse the effects of Wanda's efforts moments later by turning back time, taking the stone and killing Vision.

Enslaving a town

After years of being a side character in the movies, Wanda finally takes center stage in her own Disney+ series, "WandaVision." The show starts with Wanda and Vision seemingly living a life of complete bliss in the town of Westview. With each new episode, the curtain draws back on the true events taking place in the idyllic town.

As the audience learns along with the government organization, SWORD, that is keeping track of the events within Westview, the reality of the town has been dramatically altered by Wanda's powers in a never-before-seen fashion. Filled with grief over the loss of Vision, Wanda had constructed a false reality in which she lives the life she had always wanted with Vision and their two boys.

To make her dream a reality, Wanda enslaves the people of Westview. They are fully conscious but unable to do anything while Wanda uses their bodies like her playthings. At the end of the series, Wanda finally realizes the pain she is putting the residents of the town through and gives them back control over their bodies. Unfortunately, that was far from the last time Wanda would act like a full-fledged villain.

Lying to Vision

The main driving force for Wanda throughout her life has been her desperate need to find someone to love and call her own. After losing her parents at a young age, Wanda holds on to her brother Pietro for dear life. But she loses him at the end of "Age of Ultron" and feels more alone than ever with the death of her last surviving family member.

Fortunately, Wanda soon finds herself growing closer to Vision. Together the unlikely couple begins a surprisingly tender love story that comes into full effect with "WandaVision." And yet, despite imagining her perfect reality as one in which she is happily married to Vision with their own children, Wanda carries out her plans without taking Vision into her confidence.

This means that for most of "WandaVision," Wanda's husband remains in a state of constant confusion and disorientation, filled with the horrible feeling that something is very wrong. Despite seeing how upset and unhappy Vision is, Wanda tries to keep up the illusion of Westview as long as possible. In the end, Vision is forced to angrily confront the woman he loves, and the series ends with Wanda once again tearfully having to destroy her version of Vision. 

Using the Darkhold

While "WandaVision" tells a standalone story about Wanda Maximoff, it is also a piece of the puzzle connecting Wanda and Vision's personal journey to the larger events taking place in the MCU. A big part of the puzzle is revealed near the end of the show in the form of the Darkhold, an ancient book of magic used by the villain Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn).

The Darkhold comes from mysterious origins and can grant its user unlimited power in the form of forbidden spells. After claiming her title as the legendary "Scarlet Witch" and taking the Darkhold from Agatha, Wanda should have hidden it away or passed it over to the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth. Instead, Wanda decides to use the Darkhold herself to find her children despite being fully aware of its evil power.

It is Wanda's extensive use of the Darkhold that turns her into a full-on villain in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." At this point, it is unclear how many of Wanda's misdeeds in the movie are her own choice and how many are the results of the Darkhold's influence corrupting her. But no matter what percentage of the blame Wanda deserves, it is clear that her actions as the newly minted Scarlet Witch can no longer be excused by audiences.

Hunting America Chavez

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" sees Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) coming across a young woman named America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez). Chavez is being chased across different universes by a monstrous creature. After a long, hard-fought battle, Strange manages to defeat the creature and save Chavez.

Strange then travels to where he knows Wanda is living in retirement to ask for her help. Aware of her new status as the Scarlet Witch, Strange hopes that Wanda will prove an ally in the fight to keep Chavez safe. But it is then revealed that Wanda herself is the one who has been hunting Chavez and sending monsters after her because she wants to use Chavez's universe-hopping ability herself.

In the past, Wanda has done plenty of messed-up stuff. But this is the first time she sets out to actively hurt a child — which is, for a character driven by her love for her children, clearly a step too far. Wanda nevertheless remains remorseless in her pursuit of Chavez, obliterating anyone who gets in her way and invoking forbidden powers in the process that wreak havoc upon the rest of the multiverse. At this point, it is difficult to remember this is the same Wanda who helped protect the world against Ultron and Thanos.

Blackmailing Stephen Strange

While Wanda's actions in "Multiverse of Madness" are horrific, they can be somewhat excused if you consider that the Darkhold might have been corrupting her spirit. But watching the movie's opening closely, it becomes painfully clear in the scene when Wanda and Strange have their first meeting that she is fully in control of her senses.

At the start, Wanda lays a trap for Strange by pretending she is living in some idyllic rural area. But once Strange smells something fishy, Wanda drops the act and reveals that she is now living in a hellish version of reality created by the Darkhold. Wanda proceeds to directly and bluntly threaten Strange to give America Chavez to her to save the rest of the world from Wanda's wrath.

While blackmailing Strange, Wanda gives no indication that she is being mind-controlled by the Darkhold. Instead, she gives clear reasons why Strange should hand Chavez over. "You break the rules and become a hero," Wanda tells Strange. "I do it and become the enemy. That doesn't seem fair." But Wanda ignores the fact that Strange broke rules to save the world multiple times, while her own rule-breaking has been for purely selfish reasons with potentially world-annihilating consequences.

Destroying Kamar-Taj

Despite her threats, Dr. Strange refuses to hand America Chavez over to Wanda. Instead, Strange unites with the rest of the sorcerers at their magical headquarters in Kamar-Taj to take a stand against the Scarlet Witch. Aware of her power, Strange's ally and current Sorcerer Supreme Wong (Benedict Wong) calls in reinforcements from all over the world to prepare for the fight.

But none of that proves to be enough. When Wanda arrives at Kamar-Taj, she is in no mood to hold back. A fight begins between Wanda and the entire might of Strange's magical order. The army of sorcerers throws everything it has at Wanda, only to slowly realize that its combined might is no match for the power of the Scarlet Witch.

In just a few minutes, Wanda destroys large parts of Kamar-Taj and brutally kills many sorcerers. Despite being ex-allies with Strange, Wong, and the sorcerers, Wanda feels no hesitation in trying to kill anyone who could stop her getting to America Chavez. It is still not known exactly how much damage Wanda inflicted on Kamar-Taj that day, but it's unlikely she could count on the support of the sorcerers in any future emergency. 

Mind-controlling another Wanda

After invading Kamar-Taj and laying waste to the army of sorcerers in her way, Wanda thinks she is inches away from getting her hands on America Chavez. Fortunately, some quick thinking by Dr. Strange and Chavez allows them to escape from Kamar-Taj into another dimension. This baffles Wanda, at least temporarily.

But after realizing she cannot cross universes yet, Wanda plays a different gambit. She uses black magic learned from the Darkhold to find a version of herself in the universe where Strange is hiding along with Chavez. Wanda then proceeds to mind-control the alternate universe version of herself, who had been living a peaceful life with her children up to that point.

Controlled by evil Wanda like a helpless puppet, the alternate Wanda has no choice but to go on a murderous rampage while tracking down Strange and Chavez. Over time, we see alternate Wanda's body breaking down as she is forced to fight wave after wave of enemies using dark magic that her body is not used to. But the evil Wanda feels no remorse over hurting a different version of her own self in her demented quest to claim Chavez's power as her own.

Destroying the Illuminati

Before "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" was ever released, the biggest buzz surrounding the movie was regarding the possible introduction of the Illuminati. In Marvel Comics, the Illuminati are composed of the most intelligent members of different realities, who secretly control the multiverse and maintain order across dimensions.

Strange and Chavez come across a version of the Illuminati while hiding from Wanda in a different universe. This Illuminati contains an impressive list of members, including Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Mr. Fantastic (John Krasinski), Black Bolt (Anson Mount), Captain Britain (Hayley Atwell), Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch), and Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Unfortunately, the potential of such a lineup of interesting characters goes up in smoke the moment Wanda arrives in her pursuit of Strange and Chavez.

The Illuminati is pretty cocky about their chances against Wanda. Until Wanda fuses Black Bolt's mouth shut and blows up his brain from the inside. She then spaghettifies Mr. Fantastic, mind-murders Professor X, cuts Captain Britain in half, and drops a statue on top of Captain Marvel. Once again, there is no trace of mercy or compassion in Wanda's actions despite knowing she is fighting against a group of heroes.

Terrifying her children

At the end of "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," Wanda finally succeeds in cornering America Chavez. With Dr. Strange temporarily incapacitated and no other help in sight, Chavez plays her final gambit by transporting Wanda into her house in a different reality where her sons Tommy and Billy (Julian Hilliard and Jett Klyne) are still alive and well. 

Since Wanda had done everything up to that point to reunite with her children, she feels overwhelmed to finally have them within arm's reach again. But Tommy and Billy do not feel the same way. They are terrified of the woman who looks like their mother but gives off a strongly evil vibe. Wanda's kids yell and run away from her, throwing things at her to make her leave. 

Wanda feels outraged and yells at them to stop, which terrifies them even more. In that moment, Wanda seems to realize how far she has fallen. Watching her own children cowering from her in fear appears to snap Wanda out of her madness, and she finally ends her rampage. It now remains to be seen if this is the last of evil Wanda or if future movies will see her turning once again down a dark path.