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With Dark Phoenix coming out there has been a lot of discussion and debate over which overpowered hero is the strongest: Scarlet Witch or Dark Phoenix? Well, for the correct answer we shall once again turn to comic book interactions, and displays of power.
Whenever this debate comes up, I simply say, “No more Phoenix,” which everyone seems to think is a reference to House of M. And although the House of M storyline is a brilliant display of the range and intensity of Scarlet Witch’s power (she creates her own universe, resurrects the dead and wipes out 70 percent of the mutant population) it is not what I am referring to. “No more Phoenix” is a direct line from the Avengers vs X-Men storyline where Scarlet Witch, with the help of Hope Summers, uses Wanda’s already proven power of reality manipulation to rid the world of the Phoenix Force.
Though it is true that Hope Summers was the one inhibited by the Phoenix Force, in this storyline it does not diminish the vastness of Scarlet Witch’s power (we can really track the Phoenix Force’s storylines through Jean Grey’s genetics). This storyline also gives us Hope telling the Avengers that the X-Men fear Scarlet Witch. Let’s think about that for a minute, the X-Men a team of mutants, superhumans with powers, are scared of The Scarlet Witch. This is also after House of M, so that would make sense—the last time the X-Men really encountered Scarlet Witch, she set up a universe where the mutants not only outnumbered humans, but ruled over them, then she wiped out most of their population. Another reason behind the fear could easily be contributed to her mental instability. The only other being they’ve seen with this much power, and this much mental instability was Jean Grey, who has also wreaked havoc on a massive scale.
Now if Phoenix Force is more powerful than Dark Phoenix, is there really still a question as to who is more powerful? We can do an objective analysis of powers of which Dark Phoenix’s are admittedly more consistent, however their telepathic abilities are very similar in both range and ability. Phoenix (both Dark and Force) have the ability to rearrange their molecular structure, and fly at hypersonic speeds—a power that Wanda does not possess, however Wanda has the ability to not only manipulate, but create reality (House of M). Their encounters with death have been very different, but can be seen as equally powerful, Jean “dies,” and the Phoenix brings her back, whereas Wanda can resurrect the dead herself (Quicksilver in House of M).
Let's talk about Jean Grey’s Dark Phoenix for a second (I mean i'm the one writing this, so it's still a little bit about Scarlet Witch); Jean, upon finding out that the Phoenix Force was coming for her, tried to avoid the damage she would knowingly cause by not only consulting its other hosts, but by consulting the most powerful beings she knew, among those being Scarlet Witch.
The similarities between Jean and Wanda’s powers and abilities are actually numerous telepathy (and every way that it can be used—telepathic defense, and manipulation) being the most obvious similarity. However I think the most important similarity between the two most overpowered women in the Marvel universe is the intensity of their power seems to be tied to their mental health. These women who have been through so much have both been depicted through the years as emotionally unstable, especially when triggered by a loved one's death, or extreme fear for their own lives. And as their mental stability started to falter, their powers grew more unpredictable, more uncontrollable, and more vast and intense.
Comic book events support Wanda as the more powerful superhero, however both women, in any form of their powers, are lethal, and they're among the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe.