With Kevin Feige confirming the MCU return of Kathryn Hahn’s Agatha Harkness, why is the witch coming back now? And what is she coming back for?
WandaVision‘s Agatha Harkness is ready to cast her spell over the MCU all over again, but what’s the motivation behind Kathryn Hahn’s grand return? After making her Marvel debut in WandaVision as “Agnes,” it didn’t take Kathryn Hahn long to become a fan favorite. Agnes’ enthusiastic next-door neighbor act proved a hilariously sinister addition to Wanda Maximoff‘s sitcom world, and once the villain’s true identity was unveiled, her transformation into Agatha Harkness unleashed a whole new persona full of dark charm and sparkling evil wit.
Though attentions have since shifted to Gods of Mischief and the Sacred Timelines, questions of Agatha Harkness’ return have barely ceased since WandaVision‘s final episode aired. Predictably, Hahn has toed the company line, expressing interest in a return but refusing to confirm where or when that might happen. Fortunately, Kevin Feige has been more forthcoming, recently claiming that Agatha Harkness’ next MCU gig “can’t come soon enough.” Such a definitive statement from the Marvel Studios camp is rare indeed, which gives some idea of how highly Agatha is thought of among the MCU’s creative team.
WandaVision‘s finale deliberately left the door ajar for Agatha Harkness‘ story to continue, with Scarlet Witch locking her within the mental prison of “Agnes.” Of course, the real Harkness is still bubbling beneath the surface, suggesting Marvel had half an eye on Hahn’s long-term prospects from the start (all along, if you will). Minds were surely made up after audiences reacted so positively to the character. Where Agnes was pure tongue-in-cheek fun, Agatha Harkness is even better – a true comic book villain, exaggerated in her mannerisms but without erring into campy cartoonish territory. Agatha had already been crowned WandaVision‘s Queen of Memes by episode 2, but it was the devilishly catchy “Agatha All Along” that cemented her beloved status. With such a major breakthrough character on his hands, it’s no surprise that Kevin Feige is keen to revisit Harkness. The MCU didn’t become a financial and critical juggernaut by ignoring red-hot characters, and this is why Agatha Harkness is getting an MCU reprisal and Falcon & The Winter Soldier‘s Flag-Smashers, for instance, are not.
As you’d expect, Marvel isn’t simply trying to shoehorn Agatha Harkness back into the franchise without a proper plan, and Hahn’s return actually serves a much larger Phase 4 narrative. It’s rapidly becoming apparent that a supervillain team à la the Dark Avengers or Thunderbolts is coming. Falcon & The Winter Soldier introduced Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine (Val to her pals) as the evil Nick Fury, recruiting various sketchy baddies for some unknown project. Her first recruit was unhinged Captain America knockoff John Walker, otherwise known as US Agent, and the series also brought Baron Zemo back into the fold. Shang-Chi & The Legend of the Ten Rings confirmed Abomination’s return after a long spell in the wilderness, and Val makes another star signing in Black Widow. Many of these supervillains serve as direct mirrors to established Avengers members (Hulk/Abomination, Captain America/US Agent, etc.), so it makes perfect sense for Agatha Harkness to reemerge as the evil mirror of Scarlet Witch.
Another important factor behind Kathryn Hahn’s return is the recent announcement confirming WandaVision will not receive a second season. Being forcibly trapped within Agnes served as a fitting fate after Agatha meddled in Wanda’s affairs, but is hardly a satisfying place to end her MCU story permanently. Without WandaVision season 2 to continue Agatha’s tale, it became inevitable that Harkness would cross into the wider MCU, not just to enact sweet revenge upon Scarlet Witch, but also to please fans who can’t wait to have that tune stuck in their heads all over again.
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
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