Theory Thursday: Salem’s Seven’s Beef with Agatha Harkness in ‘Agatha: Coven of Chaos’

A recent plot summary of Marvel Studios Disney Plus streaming series Agatha: Coven of Chaos indicated that a group of villains ripped from the pages of Marvel Comics will be stirring up trouble for Kathryn Hahn‘s Agatha Harkness and her coven. According to insider Daniel RPK, Salem’s Seven will be headed to Westview to “seek out revenge” on Agatha Harkness…but revenge for what?

In the Comics…

First seen in the pages of Fantastic Four #186, Salem’s Seven were, in their own words, “a supernatural squadron” capable of mutating themselves through magic to take on some pretty horrifying forms. Led by Vertigo, the group was made up of mystics named Brutacus, Gazelle, Hydron, Reptilla, Thornn and Vakume all of whom were the grandchildren of Agatha Harkness. As it turned out, Agatha’s son, the wanton sorcerer Nicholas Scratch, had quite an itch to scratch indeed and spread his seed liberally amongst the potential baby mamas of the quaint magical community of New Salem, a hidden Colorado town founded by the survivors of the Salem Witch Trials.

While each member of the Seven wielded reasonably powerful magic, their transformations made them far more formidable. Brutacus got brutey. Gazelle morphed into a super speedy deer lady. Hydron became a merman with a stump water canon. Reptilla turned into a snake with bitey snake arms. Thornn became a demonic porcupine. Vakume lost his face and could control the wind. And Vertigo…well you can probably guess. It’s best not to overthink these types of things and just accept that they did what they could do because crazy animal sorcerers provided a much more fertile landscape for telling weird witch stories.

And Salem’s Seven found their way into more than one weird witch story, though their primary purpose remained largely the same: get Agatha. Despite their father being one of the most popular characters in the long history of Marvel Comics, the children of the Scratch mostly failed miserably in their attempts to bring harm to their powerful granny. When it’s all said and done, other than looking cool when they mutate, they were mostly cannon fodder.

In the MCU…

In what might be the least mysterious mystery in the history of MCU mystery, the origin of the vengeful Salem’s Seven began in 1693. As seen in Episode 8 of WandaVision, “Previously On”, Agatha’s taste for dark magic put her in a rather precarious predicament as she was put on trial by her own Salem-based coven. Eight witches, including her mother, Evanora, held court as Agatha was accused of a bevy of witchy crimes and sentenced to death by energy beaming. Unfortunately for the coven, Agatha’s reverse energy beaming powers were stronger and she laid those witches low.

Eight dead Salem witches. One of them Agatha’s mother. Seven dead witches whose descendants would have reason to be out to give Agatha some smoke. Salem’s Seven. The math checks out. Drawn to Westview, perhaps, after the incredibly powerful hex cast by Wanda caught the attention of every magic user across the globe, Vertigo and crew would seem to have a leg up on Agatha given that last time she was seen, she didn’t know who she truly was following Wanda’s spell. Maybe a powerful “familiar” can help her find herself.

As in the comics, it sounds like the Seven will be led by Vertigo, who is reportedly being played by Okwui Okpokwasili. The only burning question about Salem’s Seven is whether or not Marvel Studios will bring their funky mutant powers from page to screen. The answer, probably, is yes. Much like Len Wein and George Perez, Jac Schaeffer and crew likely recognize that having funky-looking sorcerers is cooler than having a bunch more who look like people. It’s also likely that they’ll pose little actual threat to Agatha and Billy, though they might be able to take out one of their coven just to keep it interesting. If that’s the case, it begs the question of why Marvel Studios would make the main villains of Agatha: Coven of Chaos so underwhelming. Easy one: because they aren’t the true big bad.

Check back next week as we theorize about what kind of business goes on along the Witches Road…

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