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During the epic battle in Captain America: Civil War, we see

Scarlet Witch use forcefields and telekinesis, but not mind control

even though in one of the previous movies,

She was able to take down the entire Avengers team by messing with their heads.

What happened to this ability? Was there any in-movie reason given for the character not using it? It seems as though

it could have been really useful to make Tony think everyone had died (again), or make Spider-Man think Aunt May had learned his secret, for example.

And yet no reference to it was made. Any explanation?

  • 7
    I don't think we've seen her actually impose her will on anyone via telepathy. We have seen her read minds and induce fear - and the last time she did that on the Avengers, it ended up in a wrecked city. I'm pretty certain she doesn't want to do that again. – phantom42 May 9 '16 at 12:30
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    There is a big difference between throwing something at someone and removing any and all free will that they had and making them relive their greatest fears. At the end of the day, these people are still friends; I really doubt that Wanda wants to put them all through living hell. – Dr R Dizzle May 9 '16 at 12:40
  • I think it's worth noting that in the movie, she says the line I may not be able to control other people's fear, but I can control my own. – Auxesis May 13 '16 at 19:22
  • It's considered bad manners to bring mind control to a fist fight. – xDaizu Jun 26 '17 at 14:37
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First off, I'm not 100% sure that's a power she actually has.

We've certainly seen telepathic abilities from Wanda, but they've been in reading minds, and inducing fear. Whether or not she can actually control minds is unclear.

(Note: she may have some amount of control over The Vision, but that is likely due to her connection to the Mind Stone)

Joss Whedon explains her powers here:

She has telekinesis. She can move things, and she can get inside your head so that all your worst fears or doubts come to the fore.

So why not use her fear-inducing powers?

Because that's part of what got the Avengers into this mess to begin with.

The last time she used her fear-inducing abilities on the Avengers, it resulted in the Hulk and Iron-Man destroying a city in Africa. Add in the explosion in Lagos, and Wanda is going to do everything she can to avoid collateral damage like that.

To that end, direct physical attacks to stop the other Avengers is one thing, but setting them up as uncontrolled and unaimed weapons via her fear-powers is something she's specifically going to avoid doing.

  • Perhaps "mind control" isn't quite the right term for what she did to the Avengers in Age of Ultron. But she definitely induced more than just fear. She caused all of them to have visions. She caused Black Widow to relive some of her childhood trauma; she caused Tony to see all the Avengers dead on the ground; she caused Thor to see himself in Asgard at a party; caused Cap to see a vision of himself dancing with Peggy in the past; and who can say what she caused the Hulk to see, that caused him to go more insane than usual. – Paul L May 9 '16 at 13:27
  • To your main point, though, you definitely have something there. I can see that as a definite reason to hold back. I guess I just would have expected there to be some explicit mention of it in the movie. – Paul L May 9 '16 at 13:29
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    See my updated answer with Whedon's explanation of her powers. – phantom42 May 9 '16 at 13:41
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    On a similar vein, it's worth noting that she does very little in the way of actually attacking anyone; most of her fighting in the big battle on the tarmac consists of boosting her teammates or deflecting stuff that might be endangering them. – Mason Wheeler May 9 '16 at 14:03
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    "going to do everything she can to avoid collateral damage" other than throwing like 20 perfectly good cars at people for no apparent reason. – DCShannon May 9 '16 at 22:07

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