Agatha Harkness takes on the Marvel Universe in Contest of Chaos this summer

Scarlet Witch Annual #1 cover art
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

As it turns out, in the case of Marvel's recently teased Contest of Chaos event, it was Agatha all along!

The publisher has now revealed that Contest of Chaos will unfold over a number of annuals this summer, all of which feature Agatha Harkness facing off with characters from around the Marvel Universe on her quest to assemble a new incarnation of the cursed magical tome known as the Darkhold.

Appropriately, Agatha's first step on her Contest of Chaos journey will take place in Scarlet Witch Annual #1, pitting Agatha against her former student Wanda Maximoff in a story from series writer Steve Orlando and rising star Marvel artist Carlos Nieto that acts as a prelude to the larger Contest of Chaos event.

The Scarlet Witch annual will constitute the first meeting between Wanda and Agatha since Agatha was rejuvenated into a more youthful form last year - and since Wanda absorbed the power of the chaos demon Chthon, seemingly defeating him once and for all.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)
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That meeting will lead into the rest of the Contest of Chaos series of annuals, which is led by Stephanie Phillips, who will be joined by "a host of all-star creators."

"The Contest of Chaos annuals will center around Agatha’s quest to bring Chaos magic to the forefront so she can take her rightful place as one of the universe’s greatest sorcerers," reads Marvel's official description of Contest of Chaos. 

"In order to do so, she’ll orchestrate a mystically-charged challenge involving your favorite heroes. Watch as Wolverine, Spider-Man, Venom, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Cyclops, Storm, Moon Knight, Ghost Rider, Human Torch, Taegukgi, Ghost-Spider, White Fox, and Deadpool are corrupted by chaos and pitted against each other in a thunderous tournament!"

That means that the similarity between the title Contest of Chaos and the 1980 Marvel story Contest of Champions isn't a coincidence, as both stories involve heroes and villains pulled into a tournament at the whims of the greater powers of the Marvel Universe.

"Contest of Chaos is the kind of story I would absolutely sprint to the comic store to buy as a reader,” Phillips states in the announcement. “There's action, mystery, magic, and my favorite characters from all over the Marvel Universe. To be spearheading the storyline is just incredibly cool for me as a creator. It's going to be big with ramifications for the larger universe… See you this summer - THWIP!"

And it's probably no coincidence either that the title Contest of Chaos also partially invokes Agatha Harkness' planned MCU streaming series Agatha: Coven of Chaos.

Scarlet Witch Annual #1 goes on sale June 21 with a cover from Russell Dauterman, seen here.

Check out the best Scarlet Witch stories of all time.

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)