Agatha All Along First Look Image Reveals Deep Cut Marvel Characters

The WandaVision spinoff Agatha All Along teases some rich Marvel magic in its first look image.

WandaVision: Kathryn Hahn as Agatha Harkness.
Photo: Disney+

The big reveal at the end of WandaVision wasn’t just a shock to TV watchers. Of course, Kathryn Hahn’s character Agatha stole the screen from stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany because, well, she’s Kathryn Hahn. But not even Marvel Zombies expected that it was Agatha all along.

That’s partially because the Agatha Harkness of Marvel Comics has little to do with the spitfire played by Hahn. The comics Agatha is an elderly woman who splits her time training Wanda and serving as nanny for the Fantastic Four, not a trickster villain.

The willingness to change up canon that WandaVision creator Jac Schaeffer showed makes the first look at Agatha All Along something of a surprise. As presented by Empire, the image shows Agatha with her own coven, consisting of some witches drawn from deep Marvel lore. Joining her is Broadway legend Patti LuPone as Lilia Calderu, Saturday Night Live alum Sasheer Zamata as Jennifer Kale, Orange is the New Black cast member Ali Ahn as Alice Gulliver, and Debra Jo Rupp as Sharon Davis, a character created for WandaVision, reprising her role.

With a few rare exceptions, MCU viewers and Marvel readers alike will be meeting Lilia, Jennifer, and Alice for the first time when they check out Agatha All Along. Of that trio, Jennifer Kale has to most substantial history. Created by Steve Gerber and Rich Buckler for 1972’s Fear #11, Kale succeeded her father as the head of a cult worshiping the ancient Atlantean sorceress Zhered-Na. Kale has interacted with many Marvel heroes over the years, playing key roles during the Initiative and Dark Reign eras that followed the superhero Civil War.

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Kale was last seen in the pages of the third volume of Scarlet Witch, where she was joined by the Wu aka Alice Gulliver. Gulliver debuted in Doctor Strange: Last Days of Magic #1 (2016), written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Leonardo Romero. Daughter of a sorceress called the August Wu of the Coral Shore, Gulliver worked as a detective in Hong Kong while using her powers to hunt down her parents’ killers. Alice has only appeared in a handful of comics, mostly with the Scarlet Witch.

LuPone’s character Lilia Calderu has also been in just a few comics, just not so recently. Calderu both first appeared and promptly died in Marvel Premiere #12 from 1973, written by Steve Englehart and Mike Friedrich and penciled by Frank Brunner. Calderu is the niece/lover (yeah…) of Doctor Strange’s arch-enemy Baron Mordo (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor in the MCU), whose control of the Book of Cagliostro offered Wanda understanding about herself.

What does this mean for Agatha All Along? Potentially nothing. If Schaeffer changed up a well-established character like Agatha Harkness, she’ll certainly have no problem changing very obscure characters from the comics.

However, it could also point to something always teased in the MCU, but never really built upon. Agatha All Along might finally build out the world of magic introduced in the first Doctor Strange movie. By giving us magic users who aren’t Doctor Strange or Wong (or Ganke for dumb plot reasons), Agatha All Along can explore the deep and varied powers underneath the powers, making the MCU that much more strange and wonderful.

Because if there’s anyone who can show viewers how little they understand about the world, it’s Agatha Harkness.

Agatha All Along will premiere its first two episodes Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2024 on Disney+.

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