Agatha Harkness’ Past Could Destroy the World


The following contains major spoilers for midnight suns #2, available now from Marvel Comics.

When a horrific vision of the future gripped the eyes of every mystical-inclined figure across the world, a new team of heroes came together as the Midnight Suns to tackle the threat. While the likes of Magik and Blade aren’t particularly surprising, Agatha Harkness finding a prominent role in these proceedings was certainly unexpected. Even more shocking than Agatha becoming the heroine of this story, however, is the fact that she is also the reason she is told in the first place.

After finding herself at the center of Marvel’s latest global premonition, Zoe Laveau was immediately beset by all manner of mystical threats. Fortunately, Agatha came to her rescue just as quickly. As seen on the pages of midnight suns #2 (by VC’s Ethan Sacks, Luigi Zagaria, Antonio Fabela, Carlos Lao, and Joe Sabino), Agatha has not only led the fledgling Master of the Mystic Arts to a safe haven, but one inextricably tied to prophecy. as they are. It turns out that hundreds of years ago and half a world away, the same prophecy that poses a threat today was born, and Agatha was there to help make it come true.

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Agatha Harkness’s past makes her a reluctant antihero

As Agatha explains, it was a rogue member of her former coven who turned a ritual that should have protected them into a murderous living nightmare. Summoning the demon Valtorr to keep them safe from those who would violently pursue them, Agatha and her fellow witches unleashed an evil that has now returned to threaten the world once again. Considering how little fans knew about Agatha’s past, this new insight into her origin goes a long way to explaining how she came to be the Master of the Mystic Arts. She also helps explain why she has always seemed like such an unlikely hero.

From its introduction until 1969 Fantastic four #94 (by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby), Agatha has been a sinister if ultimately kind figure. As the then-new nanny of Marvel’s First Family, Agatha cared for the infant Franklin Richards as her own, all while fending off the Wizard’s Frightening Four. In the years since then, Agatha has also played a prominent role in the lives of several other heroes and Avengers, most notably the Scarlet Witch, but her benevolence frequently comes at some kind of cost. Though she may seem minor for all the good she’s done, Agatha’s steadfast dedication to the big picture has already shown that she’s willing to go to unsettling lengths if it means avoiding a serious threat.

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Agatha’s intentions are finally good

For starters, by seeing how Valtorr came into our realm, readers have had the opportunity to learn everything there is to know about why Agatha is precisely who she is. Despite presenting herself in such wildly different ways to different people, Agatha has long been a powerful force for justice, even if she has left room for interpretation from time to time. Efforts like holding Captain Marvel captive for a mystical trial might have seemed villainous on the surface, but they were always undermined by a genuine desire to prevent harm before it could occur.

Of course, the ethics of such preventative measures could easily be called into question, but Agatha simply doesn’t have the time or desire to explore such nuances when she’s seen firsthand what losing focus can lead to. Instead of letting the ghosts of her past embitter her, she turns them into grim reminders of why what she does is so important. Her methods may be drastic, but that’s probably the same word Agatha would use to describe her entire life, especially now that the darkest chapter has returned to terrorize her.

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