Avengers (1st series) #503

Issue Date: 
December 2004
Story Title: 
Chaos, Part 4

Brian Michael Bendis (Writer), David Finch (Penciler), Olivier Coipel (Pencils on pages 2-4, 8), Danny Miki (Inker), Frank D’Armata (Colorist), RS and COMICRAFT’s Albert Deschesne (Letterer), Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers, and Bob Sharen (Additional pages, 33-35), George Pérez, John Byrne, Scott Kolins, Kieron Dwyer, Olivier Copiel, Alan Davis, Michael Golden, Brent Anderson, J.G. Jones and Jack Kirby
(Montage Images), Nicole Wiley and Molly Lazer (Assistant Editors), Andy Schmidt (Associate Editor), Tom Brevoort (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Some time before the latest attack on the Avengers, Scarlet Witch and Wasp relax by a poolside, where Wasp tells Wanda that she almost thought she got pregnant after sleeping with Hawkeye. In her drunkenness, Wasp makes a few remarks about how superheroes should not have children, and how Wanda thought that she could have two. Wanda is confused by what Jan means, and the nervous Jan makes excuses to leave and does so. However, this trouble Wanda and, after other incidents, she confronts her mentor, Agatha Harkness. In a tearful rage, Wanda literally snaps and demands to know where her children are. In the present, almost anyone who has been an Avenger gathers to deal with the current crisis. Doctor Strange arrives and reveals to the crushed team that he believes that the Scarlet Witch is behind this. Many Avengers are not sure about this, though Captain America shows signs that it is the inevitable truth. The heroes discuss this and, in the course of the conversations, Strange learns the fate and origin of the two children he delivered for Wanda and of her new reality warping Chaos Magic powers. Strange is confused, however, as there is no such thing as Chaos Magic. This revelation shocks the Avengers. Iron Man arrives and tries to defend Wanda, but Strange tells them to consider Wanda’s violent, tragic past and figure in how it must feel to have the power to change reality, yet everything ends so tragically and one is never happy. Wanda seems to have lost all control of her and reality, thanks to her powers, which were given to her, not earned through spirituality. With the aid of Doctor Strange, the others track Wanda to the manor of Agatha Harkness. There, Captain America, who has recently fallen in love with Wanda, finds Wanda in an illusionary world, where Vision is her loving husband and Wonder Man and Agatha are her family. Thomas and William are scared to see Captain America but, while one child begs him to leave for his safety, the other wants to kill him. Captain America realizes that Wanda is calling out to him through these children and he tells her that he wants to help, but Wanda has sunk deep into madness and tries to kill Captain America. The Scarlet Witch launches an unbelievable attack on the Avengers and tries to eliminate them all. Doctor Strange arrives and, with the Eye of Agamotto, he puts Wanda into a catatonic state. Captain America wonders what to do with her to help her, but Magneto surprisingly appears and takes his daughter away. With nothing else to do, the Avengers disassemble.

Full Summary: 

It is a beautiful, sunny day in New York City. Taking advantage of their free time, the Scarlet Witch and the Wasp jump into their bikinis and go for a swim. Afterwards, they sunbathe by the pool, relaxing and chatting. On the other side of the pool, Hawkeye practices his marksmanship. As she sips her margarita, Wasp tells Wanda that she needed this time off today. She is crazy in the head today. Wanda asks Janet what’s going on with her. Janet decides that she should confide her secret with Wanda, but first makes her promise not to tell anyone. She had a bit of a scare today. Concerned, Wanda asks her friend if she is all right. Janet shushes Wanda, so Clint cannot hear, and quietly tells her that her period came a little late this month and since she recently slept with Clint she thought she might have been… you know. You thought that you were pregnant, asks the surprised Wanda.

Scared, Janet shushes Wanda again and tells her that she isn’t pregnant. She just thought she was. She was freaked out; because this is the last thing she needs with all the crap in her life now. The world probably doesn’t need a little Clint Barton running around. Janet and Clint make eye contact, so Janet waves. Clint waves back, though he pays much more attention to examining his bow rather than her. Wanda asks Janet if she is still seeing Clint. Janet tells Wanda that a relationship would only work if the two of them actually stopped to have an adult conversation about their feelings, which is obviously neither of their strong suits. She then lets out a sound of disgust and asks Wanda to imagine her with kids. A kid could never grow up normal in this environment. As she stirs her margarita with her straw, Janet casually mentions that superheroes should not have kids. It should be a rule, and to think that Wanda thought that she could have two of them.

Confused, Wanda turns to Jan and asks her to repeat what she just said. Realizing what she just said, the scared Jan pretends as if she doesn’t know what Wanda is referring to. Two of what, asks Wanda. Nothing, replies Jan. She gets up and tells Wanda that she is just a little tipsy. Margaritas and New York sunshine don’t mix very well. She needs to pee. Does Wanda need to pee? She will go pee now.

After finishing babbling, Jan heads off to the bathroom. Wanda watches Jan go off, and then looks away. She sits in her chair for a moment, while Clint continues to practice his marksmanship. Wanda then takes off her sunglasses and closes her eyes, which peer around in suspicion. Her brows then furrows, as she suddenly becomes angry.

It is a horrific, dreary day in New York City. Avengers Mansion lies in ruins and continues to burn after a twin attack: first, the unexpected resurrection of Jack of Hearts, which leads to him exploding, and then the Vision crash landing a Quinjet into the mansion and unleashing a horde of Ultrons as he dies. After She-Hulk mysteriously lost control of herself, Captain Britain and Wasp lie in critical condition in the hospital, with Janet in a coma. Jarvis too has been rushed to the hospital. Worse yet, Iron Man somehow became drunk in seconds and made a fool out of the Avengers in front the United Nations, prompting them to cut all ties with the team and causing Iron Man to leave in anger after his fellow teammates accuse him of drinking. Now the Code White has gone out, the highest Avengers threat level. As many former members gather, as well as some local heroes, what appears to have been an army of Kree soldiers attack, and did not leave until Hawkeye sacrificed his life to end their threat. Now the Avengers are left wondering what is going on an astral image of Doctor Strange appears before them, revealing that the attacks are magic based.

As the many heroes gather around Doctor Strange, Warbird tells him that she does not understand. What is happening to them? Doctor Strange recalls that many of them have met him, but some of them have not. He is Doctor Stephen Strange and he is a practitioner of the mystic arts, achieving the master level. He is speaking to them all from the Astral Plane, a metaphysical dimension layered on top of the one they live in. He has already taken the liberty of casting numerous cloaking spells around the area, in order to temporarily blind the eyes and ears of those who wish to harm the Avengers. They do not have long, however. Clearly, they are in grave danger from an immense magical power.

Strange apologizes for not arriving sooner and stopping this tragedy before it occurred. A great deal of his studies involves intensive meditations, so he was in a place where he could not “see” what was happening until it was too late. However, now he sees that the magics have been molested in an attack against the team. Impatient, someone asks Doctor Strange to please tell them who has done this. Who murdered their teammates? Strange tells the group to think about all the terror that has occurred in this day. Is there anyone the Avengers have ever dealt with who has this level of mystic power? Who do they know that could orchestrate this level of chaos? As he holds Hawkeye’s bow, Captain America begins to cry, as he has already tragically realized who is behind this madness.

The Scarlet Witch, her head covered by her cloak, arrives at the dark manor of her mentor Agatha Harkness. Wanda opens the door and calls out to her mentor. There is no response, so she enters the manor and continues in, where she finds Agatha preparing some tee. Agatha greets Wanda and is surprised to see her. In fact, she gave her a fright. She beckons her former student to come in, as they have not spoken in such a long time. Agatha raises her lantern to shine its light on Wanda’s face. As the light casts itself on the Scarlet Witch, Agatha sees that Wanda is crying. Wanda asks Agatha why people think that she once had two children. Agatha is taken back by this question and spills her tea. Having all the confirmation that she needs, Wanda asks Agatha where her children are. Agatha pulls out a chair and tells Wanda to sit down. They need to talk. Angered and fed up with all these games, a violent Wanda screams at Agatha to tell her where her children are.

The truth dawns upon the Avengers. Wonder Man is in disbelief of such a notion and Jocasta turns to Captain America for some sort of explanation. Warbird speaks up and tells Doctor Strange that Wanda is a good person and is their friend. Falcon adds that Wanda does not have that in her blood. Nick Fury begs to differ, though, and reminds all that she is the daughter of Magneto. Before she was an Avenger she was a mutant terrorist with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. “And she married a robot,” adds Spider-Man. Everyone looks at the web-head, and the Invisible Woman and Photon give him dirty looks. Spider-Man tells the group that he didn’t mean any offense, but the Vision was a robot. He then mutters that if he were dating a robot they would all talk behind his back.

Falcon approaches Spider-Man and tells him that the Vision was just as much of a real man as any of them were. Spider-Man defends himself and claims that Vision told him that he was a robot. Android, corrects Falcon. Spider-Man tells Falcon that he liked Vision so they shouldn’t get all defensive. Tired of him, Falcon asks Spider-Man why he is even there. Spider comments that he was just helping they fight against he alien invasion a second ago.

Not caring about the little fight, Jocasta wonders aloud why Wanda would do this to them. Falcon agrees with this question. She has had a lot of misfortune in her life, but nothing happened to her would warrant this kind of reaction. Even if you include what happened to her children, comments Firestar. Firestar’s comment catches the attention of Doctor Strange, who delivered Wanda’s children. He asks about the welfare of the children, sensing by the conversation that something happened to William and Thomas. Beast steps up and explains that Wanda actually conjured up her children into existence. They were never real. She created them with her hex powers. Apparently she wanted children badly, or at least that is how it was explained to him.

Doctor Strange is shocked to hear this all, but Beast continues on to explains that she tricked herself into giving birth to them, but in the end the children didn’t really exist. Warbird adds that Wanda’ mentor, Agatha Harkness, discovered that he children were not real. She then “erased” the children. Annoyed, Doctor Strange asks the Avengers why they didn’t come to him when this happened. Mr. Fantastic catches the attention of Strange and asks him what he is thinking. Strange asks them all to hear him out as they don’t have much time.

There has always been and uneasy structure to Wanda’s power. As a mutant, she was born with her powers over magic, this “hex” power. It was not earned through spirituality. It was given to her without understanding of its consequence. Falcon suggests the same rules may not apply to her, but the Black Widow interrupts. Recalling something about Wanda in the past, she asks if the woman had trouble controlling her powers before. “Yes,” replies the disheartened Captain America.

Warbird jumps back into the conversation and realizes that if Wanda is behind this and Chaos Magic is involved, then this madness can all be reversed. She then begs Doctor Strange to bring back Hawkeye, Ant-Man, and Vision from the dead. Strange sadly apologizes to Warbird for not being clear. Magic is not an illusion. Today’s events were not a trick. Their friends are dead. He then reflects and adds that he did try once to take Wanda on as a student. However, her obligations to her family and teammates distracted her. He is not sure what level of power she has obtained, but her hexes always seemed too limited to pull off an event like this. Warbird informs Strange that recently Wanda tapped into a power source called Chaos Magic. She can control the probabilities of reality. Strange cuts off Warbird and with a puzzled look he asks her what she is talking about.

Warbird goes back into denial and tells Strange to stop talking. Wanda did not do this, she is sure of it. Falcon comes to Warbird’s side and tries to reason with her. Where is Wanda right now then? She is the only one not here. Behind them, Nick Fury points out that their other mystical Avenger, the Norse god Thor, is not present. Firestar also jumps to the Scarlet Witch’s side and points out that the Avengers have fought Loki before. Someone else adds that Loki is the god of mischief. Warbird becomes adamant to the fact that Wanda did not do this and sternly tells this to Strange. In fact, she is slightly insulted that the doctor would suggest such a thing. Nearby, Hellcat turns to Beast and tells him that she didn’t know Wanda was Magneto’s daughter. Are they truly suggesting that she murdered the Vision, her own husband?

Suddenly, Iron Man descends from the sky and tells Doctor Strange that he is wrong. Wanda was with him at the United Nations today. She was right next to him. She was not the one who did this. Strange turns to Iron Man and explains that Wanda possibly does not know that she is doing this. Iron Man tells Strange that he has an immense amount of respect for him, but they cannot go around accusing one of their most trusted teammates of this kind of terrorism. They need more than just his theory. Offended, Strange tells the group that he is the master of the mystic arts and he will out right tell them one true fact: there is not such thing as Chaos Magic! The Avengers gasp in horror.

Strange tells the team to forget that they are talking about their friend for a moment and instead listen to him tell a story about an orphan mutant who has a horribly violent past, with powers that she did not earn no can she control. These are powers she never understood. Can they imagine the delicate mindset of a person who can control reality? This means reality controls her. Imagination is the ultimate enemy. There is no room for structure. Reality as she knows it begins to slowly slip away. Things such as drama, tragedy, and conflict become excuses to change the world into an image she sees fit. If there is anything that she does not like, this orphan mutant can change it, not matter if it is a person, place, of thing. Everything to her is change.

However, every time she gives in to desire, no matter how noble it may be a little piece of her slips away. She loses herself and her reason. This woman struggles silently to keep herself in check every day. For a person of strong mind and body and of pure spirit, this task of coping with these powers would be all-consuming.

Unfortunately, this is a woman who by her upbringing and chosen occupation is surrounded by chaos. She lived a life with lost love, violence and drama. What is she to do? She decides on day that she deserves happiness and wants to bring something into this world that she can love. So she gives birth to children even though she cannot. She pretended to be a mother to make her feel normal. Unfortunately, this ends tragically as well. If Strange tells the Avengers a story like this, they would tell themselves that his sounds like a person who has lost all control of themselves on a deep psychological level. They would say that this person is a disturbed person. Strange then asks the heroes to consider one question: Does anything he has described not sound like Wanda Maximoff?

Warbird finally gives into reason, though she can still hardly believe it. As she cries into Falcon’s chest, Beast tells Strange that Wanda does not remember what happened to her children. Agatha Harkness took care of that. Maybe she remembered, suggests Wanda’s former lover, Wonder Man. If this is true, replies Beast, why would Wanda attack the Avengers? Doctor Strange admits that he does not know. Angry, Wonder Man tells Strange that he is wrong. The doctor hopes he is, but informs all that he is not.

Iron Man takes charge and tells the group that there is only one way to find out. He then asks Strange if he can help them find the Scarlet Witch. Strange explains that the magics create a sort of map. He can point the Avengers to her. However, he warns them that if he is correct, there is no way for them to prepare for what they will see when they find her.

Elsewhere, the Scarlet Witch happily walks into the all gray dining room of her manor with dinner in her hands. She calls William and Thomas to the table, which is already occupied by the rest of the family: her husband, the Vision, her mentor, Agatha Harkness, and her brother-in-law, Wonder Man. William and Thomas come into the room and are ecstatic to see that their mom has cooked their favorite meal. Wanda asks the two if they played nice today. One of the children laughs at such a silly notion, especially considering what they did to their mother’s teammates today, but the other shushes him. The other boy replies that he wasn’t going to say anything. Smiling, Wanda tells her children to behave and wonders what she is going to do with the little troublemakers.

Suddenly, a familiar voice comes from the doorway and calls out to Wanda. Wanda’s eyes open wide with terror, as Captain America enters the room and pleads to her to let him help her. One of the boys tells Captain America to go away if he wants to help, while the other angrily tells his brother that they should have punished them all. The first boy tells his brother to stop, but the other claims that the Avengers will break up the family again. The more responsible brother tells his selfish brother that Captain America won’t break them apart. He cares about their mother and is one of the good guys. While this is going on, parts of Wanda’ illusion begin to fade away, starting with the Vision.

Captain America takes off his cowl and tells Wanda that none of these images are real. These aren’t her children. She doesn’t have children; none of this is real. The responsible brother tells Captain America not to do this. He doesn’t know the truth. Why is he saying such things? A concerned Captain America ignores the boys and looks straight at Wanda. He tells her that it isn’t the boys who are talking. She is talking. This is her voice. He hears her and wants to help her. The selfish son calls Captain America stupid and tells him to stop telling him what to do. The responsible brother claims that Cap loves Wanda, but the other brother refuses to believe it. Cap again ignores the boys and looks at Wanda. He reminds her that they have grown very close lately. Isn’t that right?

Suddenly, a scarlet shine runs through Wanda’s eyes. The selfish brother smirks and tells his other brother to look to the side. Captain America follows the gaze and sees that Wanda has created the Red Skull and a group of armed Nazis. Without warning, the soldiers begin to shoot at Captain America, who barely gets his shield up in time. He leaps backwards and right out the window. Wanda now has a determined look on her face. One child tells his mother that she can’t let them take them away again. Wanda tells her son that it won’t happen ever again. Scared, the other boy cries that he doesn’t want to go again. Wanda announces that no one will take them away from her again.

Outside the dank and eerie manor of Agatha Harkness, the Scarlet Witch, complete in her cloak, hovers ominously above the downed Captain America, while the rest of the heroes gather at the bottom of the first set of steps. Infuriated, Warbird screams at Wanda if she knows what she has done. She has killed the Vision, her own husband. She killed Scott Lang. One of her best friends, Hawkeye, is dead, while the other, Janet, lies in a coma. Wanda shows no remorse and simply tells the group to stay away from her children. Warbird flies straight at Wanda and tells her that she has destroyed the Avengers. It is all gone. Out of nowhere, the X-Man Rogue flies down and punches Warbird in the face, telling her that she isn’t going anywhere. Wanda’ eyes begin to turn red again as she tells the group that they cannot have her children.

Down below, Wanda’s Chaos Magic runs wild. While Captain America battles the Red Skull and Warbird fights Rogue, the Beast finds himself attacked by a feral Wolverine, Spider-Man is attacked by several clones, Rick Jones is taken down by the Hulk, Ultron attacks Jocasta, and an out of control Tigra attacks Stingray. Up in the air, Wanda lets loose a scarlet wave of Chaos Magic all around her, as she orchestrates the end of her teammates. Below, William and Thomas look on, quite pleased as their mother finishes what they started. Suddenly, William and Thomas spot something else in the sky and become scared.

As Wanda begins to cry, Doctor Strange arrives and tells Wanda that she will stop her madness now. She is hurting her friends and herself. Wanda refuses and once again announces that they cannot take her children from her. Strange and Wanda duel with their magics, but Wanda gains the upper hand and conjures up the demon Dormammu. Wanda wickedly smiles triumphantly as Strange begins to chant in an unknown language. He easily takes down Dormammu, and then conjures up the Eye of Agamotto. A giant blue eye appears behind Strange, surrounded by mysterious letters.

Wanda is blinded by the light, as Strange informs her that the Eye of Agamotto will show her the truth. She will stop, for these magics are not hers to abuse. The Eye of Agamotto is too much for Wanda to bear, as she is overtaken by its power and falls from the sky, simultaneously ending her conjurations.

Captain America spots the falling Wanda and runs to catch her. Strange descends from the sky and tells the group that there was no other way. Warbird looks at the still Wanda and asks if she is breathing. Strange cryptically answers that she is alive, but she is gone. Her mind was in a delicate state to begin with. Sadly, Captain America brings his face to Wanda’s and tries to wake her up.

Inside, Nick Fury leads several agents inside the house of Agatha Harkness. One soldier asks what they are looking for, but Fury tells him that they will know when they find it. He opens a door into a dark room and shines his flashlight, which reveals a rocking chair with an old woman sitting in it. Fury approaches the still woman and shines his flashlight on the horribly decomposing body of Agatha Harkness. The soldier wonders how long the woman has been here. “Long time,” replies Fury.

Outside, Falcon asks Strange if he can wake up the Scarlet Witch. Doctor Strange replies that she is not sleeping. Captain America then asks what they can do for her. At that moment, a strong voice from above tells Captain America that he can give Wanda to him. Everyone looks up to see the master of magnetism himself, Magneto, descend from the sky.

“Give me my daughter,” announces the father of the Scarlet Witch. Without a word, Captain America hands over Wanda to Magneto. Magneto looks sadly at his “sleeping” daughter and mutters quietly to himself that Xavier was right. It was her. He has failed her. Magneto lifts off into the sky and begins to fly away. Fury asks Magneto where he is taking Wanda, but the man does not answer and flies out of sight.

The Avengers wait a few moments to console one another and to reflect on what has happened. Then, those who cannot fly board the Quinjets, while those who can fly head off into the night quietly.

Characters Involved: 

Black Panther, Captain America, Iron Man I, Scarlet Witch (Avengers)

Beast, Black Knight IV, Black Widow, Crystal, Darkhawk, Demolition Man, Firebird, Firestar, Hellcat, Hercules, Jocasta, Justice, Living Lightning, Mantis, Moon Knight, Namor, Photon, Quasar, Quicksilver, Rage, Rick Jones, Sersi, Silverclaw, Spider-Man, Starfox, Stingray, Tigra, Triathlon, USAgent, Warbird, Wonder Man (all former Avengers)
Daredevil, Luke Cage, Nick Fury, Spider Woman I
Human Torch II, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing (Fantastic Four)

Thomas and William (Representations of Wanda’s mind)


Various S.H.I.E.L.D. agents

Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Wasp (Avengers)
Agatha Harkness

Wanda’s Conjurations:
Dormammu, Red Skull, Ultron
Hulk (Avenger)
Rogue, Wolverine (X-Men)
Various Spider-Man clones

Story Notes: 

This storyline is part of Avengers Disassembled, which is an event more so than a traditional crossover. Other titles were affected as well, though the storylines in those books are not needed to read each title. These titles include Captain America and the Falcon #5-7, which takes place right before Avengers #500, Iron Man (3rd Series) #86-89, Thor (2nd Series) #82-85, Captain America (4th Series) #29-32, Spectacular Spider-Man (2nd Series) #17-20, and Fantastic Four (3rd Series) #517-519.

The flashback with Jan and Wanda at the poolside took place off panel between Avengers (3rd Series) #84 and Avengers (1st Series) #500, also known as Avengers (3rd Series) #85.

Wasp and Hawkeye slept together in Avengers (3rd Series) #83.

In a battle against the Salem Seven, the Scarlet Witch found herself having to channel the magic energy of a town comprised only of witches and warlocks. Needing a place to funnel the energy to make sure the Sevens’ goal was not realized, Wanda supercharged herself and in the process was able to impregnate herself, despite being married to an android. [Vision and the Scarlet Witch (2nd Series) #3] In the original story, a mental image of the deceased Agatha Harkness told Wanda to not just funnel the energy but to use it. However, as it seems Wanda has been slowly slipping into madness since her first debut into the superhero scene, this could possibly have been another of her innermost desires unbeknownst to her taking on a physical form. In any case, the children were delivered by Doctor Strange in Vision and the Scarlet Witch (2nd Series) #12.

Some time later, the truth about Thomas and William came out. It came to the attention of “Agatha Harkness” and several nannies that the children would often disappear while the Scarlet Witch would be in battle and would only reappear again when she thought about them; the children were not real and were mental constructs of Wanda’s. Wanda refused to believe this but, before long, the Master Pandemonium struck and reabsorbed Thomas and William into himself. It turns out Wanda did not trick herself into creating life; she stole life, specifically from two shards of the shattered lord Mephisto. Mephisto reclaimed Thomas and William into himself. To protect Wanda from the influences of Mephisto, “Agatha” erased the memory of the children’s existence from her memory in Avengers West Coast #51-52).

A clarification about the ending: It seems that Agatha Harkness has been dead since her original death in Vision and the Scarlet Witch (2nd Series) #3, after being burned at the stake by the Salem Seven. Using her reality warping powers, Wanda made it seem as if she had helped resurrect the late Agatha, but unbeknownst to readers and the Avengers, this was a ruse and “Agatha Harkness” was just another illusion. However, whether this Agatha could exist without Wanda’s constant attention (like how Thomas and William would disappear) is unknown, though “Agatha” did make appearances in other non-Avengers related titles in-between her “resurrection” and her now confirmed death.

There seems to be one major flaw with the reasoning behind Wanda’ mental breakdown. In Avengers West Coast #52, Agatha Harkness blocked Wanda’s memories of her children, but now we know that this was not the real Agatha, but a magical construct of Wanda’s. The next reference to Wanda’s children was in Avengers West Coast #62, where “Agatha Harkness” uses mental images of Thomas and William to snap Wanda out of a trance. After that, the next mentioning of the boys occurred in Avengers West Coast #70, where Hawkeye outright speaks to Wanda about them. Since then Wanda has made several comments about her children, meaning she does remember them. So then, how can this event be based around the idea that Wanda accidentally learns about her children and snaps, when she has known about them for years? There are many possible theories as to how this can be explained, but it could be that Wanda’s mind is far more fractured than readers think.

Scarlet Witch and Vision married in Giant Sized Avengers #4.

Beast is in his leather costume from Grant Morison’s run in New X-Men. Since Scarlet Witch appeared in Uncanny X-Men #442-443 after the fake Magneto’s assault on New York City, Avengers Disassembled must take place in the time gap in which Xavier’s school was rebuilt.

Thor is not present, because he is busy with the end of Asgard as part of Ragnorak in Thor (2nd Series) #81-85, in which he ascends to a higher level of existence, possibly death.

Loki, the god of mischief, is the half-brother of Thor and the one who brought the Avengers together in the first place when he tried framing the Hulk for a crime.

This has not been the first time the Scarlet Witch has gone out of control. In Avengers (1st Series) #185-187 she was possessed by the elder god Chthon, who showed the true power of the Scarlet Witch. Some time later (after humanities criticism about her marriage to the Vision, anti-mutant sentiments, the “death” of her Vision and his coldness towards her, and the loss of her children, as well as the betrayal of her brother), Wanda became catatonic. Just as in Disassembled, Wanda created an illusionary world where everything was perfect, but even this one shattered. [Avengers West Coast #53-54, Avengers (1st Series) #312] Wanda fell into a catatonic state and was taken advantage of by her father Magneto. [Avengers West Coast #55-57] Magneto had the “Dark Scarlet Witch” join his Brotherhood but, thanks to Quicksilver and the fact that Wanda fell into another catatonic state, the Avengers won. However, Wanda fell out of sync with reality and was taken by Immortus to funnel his energies, as she was the nexus of realities. “Agatha Harkness” and the Time Keepers, however, awoke Wanda from her catatonic state and she was able to save the day.

Captain America and Scarlet Witch kissed in Captain America and the Falcon #6-7, though she later pretended it never happened. Whether this was the real Wanda or not is unknown.

Magneto’s appearance at the end is a bit odd, as his imposter recently trashed New York City and was decapitated by Wolverine on television. None of the Avengers seem to have any problems with his reappearance though, or the fact that Captain America gave an imbalanced woman who can do anything to a most wanted terrorist. Could this oddity be Wanda’ doing or is something else happening? In recent issues of Excalibur (2nd Series) several Genoshan survivors haven’t seemed to recognize Magneto either. However, because Beast is present and it is established that these events take place before X-Men Reloaded, one wonders why the X-Men are not concerned.

For more details on Magneto’s retrieval of the Scarlet Witch, check out Excalibur (2nd Series) #8-14, the latter two issues being the prelude to the Scarlet Witch-centric House of M company-wide crossover.

The last three pages were reprinted from Avengers (1st Series) #16, in which the Scarlet Witch joins the Avengers.

The epilogue and aftermath of this storyline can be seen in Avengers Finale.

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