Thursday, October 8, 2015

COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN (Day 8): A Hag Named Harkness

When you are looking for a nanny to take care of your special little one and your special little one happens to be the child of two of the greatest adventurers on the planet, you tend to want a person with experience, who is adept, who can handle any problem that might spring up.

Everyday problems are obvious for regular people, but what if you, your wife and your child have abilities far beyond those of normal people and regularly save the world.  And what if your child's undeveloped abilities could one day destroy the world?  You would at least hope the one caring for your baby would be able to deal with all of that in an emergency--at least until you could get home and handle it.

Or, say, if your former roommate who is obsessed with beating you--a guy who happens to be an iron-fisted dictator who wears a suit of highly-advanced armor and speaks of himself in the third person all the time--were to show up with bad intentions?  You would need that person to know how to handle that situation--or, at the very least, not panic.

Well, when Reed and Sue wanted someone to watch over little Franklin, they chose well...

High on a hilltop in a secluded little town in upstate New York called Whisper Hill sits a large old home of an ancient retired governess.  She's tall and skinny, and at first glance appears frail as a crisp leaf, and yet there's a steeliness in her eye, a confidence of wisdom and power.  It's actually frightening to look at her directly in the eye for long.

Agatha Harkness is her name and she has been on this Earth longer than Atlantis has sat on the ocean floor.  She is a witch and she is to be feared and respected.  She survived the Salem witch trials and went on to live a successful and long life as a governess.  Probably several lives...

Created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee for FANTASTIC FOUR #94, she is probably one of the last creations that the two worked on together.  Kirby only drew her in this issue, but what a debut it is... she not only frightens the fight out of the FRIGHTFUL FOUR, she literally makes Ben Grimm quit quipping and run away from her with one look.  Now that takes some real magic!

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