How Scarlet Witch's Costume Evolved in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Scarlet Witch Costume header

In the original Marvel Universe, Scarlet Witch has one of the most distinctive costumes of any Avenger. She's worn variations of similar outfit sover the years, tweaking her distinctive headdress and cape while always featuring crimson colors.

However, that costume was never going to make the transition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Naturally, those original looks still played a role in inspiring the look of her film counterpart, especially as time went on. Now, CBR is taking a look back at her original costume, and how it influenced and changed her look in the movies.

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Scarlet Witch's Comic Book Costumes

Scarlet Witch first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #4, where she was introduced by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. She initially served as a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants before moving over to the cast of the Avengers, and she carried over most of the character designs from her first appearance to the Avengers. The biggest change came in the design of her headpiece, which became more angular and less boxy.

The costume was updated over the years, but it never really deviating too far from the original. It eventually led the leotard being replaced with a more form-fitting leather look. However, almost every version of her costume included a red color scheme and a billowing cape. Although variations on the costume tweaked small elements like her footwear, headdress and blouse, they general elements were consistent across decades.

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Scarlet Witch's Costume in Avengers: Age of Ultron

Scarlet Witch Avengers Age of Ultron

While none of the Marvel superheroes reallykept their original costumes when they made the jump to the big screen, both Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver got largely redesigned costumes when they debuted in Avengers: Age of Ultron. While Pietro was given a modern runners outfit, Wanda was reimagined with a modern fashionable, goth-inspired look. It's more of a civilian costume instead of a full-blown superhero outfit. If anything, it has more in common with the version of Wanda who appeared as a member of The Ultimates.

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This was a deliberate decision by the producers of the film, according to director Joss Whedon and star Elizabeth Olson. Olson even said that the costume "respects and involves the comic book character but it’s different, more rooted. It’s for someone today… Well, if someone walked around wearing what she wore in the comics, people would stop and say, 'What the hell … she thinks she’s a superhero!'"

The costume reflected her original design by keeping the red color scheme, and it isn't even the first instance of the character receiving a more gothic civilian appearance. That distinction goes to the animated series X-Men Evolution, which leaned even harder into the gothic design.

Scarlet Witch's Avengers Costume

Avengers Infinity War Scarlet Witch

After officially joining the Avengers at the climax of Age of Ultron, Wanda had her film costume tweaked once more. Her general costume design became more colorful and outright superheroic, and its design embraced the color red more fully. One abandoned concept idea for a new costume even paid direct homage to her headdress that typically appears with the character in the comics. Although another element of her original costume started to appear by the time of Captain America: Civil War, she was given a long jacket that replicated the effect of her original cape.

The semi-realism that has defined many of the MCU films meant that we were never going to to get a pure comics accurate take on the Scarlet Witch costume. It's just too bombastic for the tone of this franchise, but the Scarlet Witch's actual on-screen costumes have evolved over time to become more openly inspired by her comic counterpart. As the Marvel Cinematic Universe grows increasingly bold, there's no telling how the Scarlet Witch's costume could continue to evolve.

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