Kathryn Hahn’s appearance in the WandaVision trailer was a bit of a surprise, to say the least. We’ve known she was going to be in the show for some time now, but the trailer seemed to give away the game on who she was, and her character is really bad news for Wanda, if the speculation is true. Hahn appears to be playing Agatha Harkness.
Harkness has a somewhat complicated history, par for the course for anyone mentoring a reality manipulator. But reality warpers are something of a specialty for her – her first appearance in the comics wasn’t as part of the Scarlet Witch’s supporting cast. No, she was originally Franklin Richards’ (the son of the Fantastic Four‘s Reed Richards and Sue Storm) governess. Richards, the canonical culprit behind Marvel Time, was a newborn when she was brought in to care for him, and she did so effectively, saving the boy (and his family) from more than one bit of trouble while she was responsible for him.
Marvel’s first family eventually learned more about her origins: she was an extremely old member of a colony of witches that started in Salem, then migrated to Colorado after their persecution at the hands of a gang of vicious Massholes. Her estranged son, Nicholas Scratch, eventually outed her to the Fantastic Four by kidnapping her and Franklin and bringing them to the colony. He was defeated and banished, but not before the Four and a group of her grandkids called the Salem’s Seven threw down.
That was when she left the service of the Richardses and became Wanda’s mentor. Agatha taught Wanda how to use her powers more effectively and showed her that her natural probability altering skills were actually magical in nature. Wanda and Vision eventually settled down to start a family (and by “start a family,” I mean “use magic so she can procreate with a robot”), but the spell she cast to allow herself to become pregnant with Vision’s child also siphoned off a portion of Satan analogue Mephisto’s soul.
Wanda was pretty mad when Mephisto showed up and absorbed her babies into himself. So Agatha did what any good mentor would do: she erased Wanda’s memories of her kids. Wanda was not especially thrilled by this development when she discovered it, so she ended up straight up murdering Agatha as Avengers: Disassembled rolled through.
Agatha’s history with Scarlet Witch and Vision is an ominous one, made even moreso by the uncomfortable shifting realities in the trailer, and if we’re being honest, all the baby appearances too. If Hahn is indeed playing Agatha, she’s almost guaranteed to be a negative presence in the happy (?) couple’s idyllic life.
We’ll learn more when WandaVision arrives on Disney+ in December.