Rating: 5/5 – My Favorite Take on Scarlet Witch To Date!
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.
I’ve always been partial to Wanda Maximoff as an Avenger, she was a key member of the Avengers when I first started reading the book and I loved her romance with and marriage to the Vision during the era of the Celestial Madonna storyline back in 1975 (Wow, a LONG time ago!) That said, even though I’ve been reading comics for over 40 years I don’t think all the best stories were told back in the ‘olden days’. There was definitely good stuff back then that I fondly remember, but there are stellar comics being produced today that I love as much as anything I’ve ever read. Case in point: Scarlet Witch #1 by James Robinson and Vanesa del Rey.
James Robinson blew me away on the recent Airboy mini-series over at Image and he’s doing it again here at Marvel on Scarlet Witch. He’s taken elements from many eras of Wanda’s career and synthesized them into the story delivered here. We get nods to her past as an Avenger, the ‘chaos magic’ aspect of her mutant ability that over the years turned into ‘actual’ arcane magic, we even get to see Agatha Harkness with references to her time as a key supporting cast member of the Fantastic Four. What I liked about all of this is that Robinson weaves these elements into the story as Easter eggs for people who have been reading the comics a long time to get an Ah-Ha moment but they work just as well in the context of the story for new readers because they seem to be explained sufficiently in the pages of this issue for anyone to follow along with what’s going on even though they may miss a layer of meaning that is cool but non-essential to the story at hand.
Vanesa del Rey is stellar on art. Her style (reminiscent of Michael Gaydos’ art to my eye, which is a good thing) meshed perfectly for me in the telling of this tale. Her depiction of the spectral Agatha Harness was wonderful, her re-design of Wanda’s costume superb, and her page layouts and panel compositions gripped me on every page. And before I forget, color artist Jordie Bellaire does her usual outstanding job with a moody color pallet rich in red tones and with a fabulous use of darks and lights.
Wanda Maximoff is back in action and seems to have been added to Marvel’s street-level group of heroes, with an arcane slant. Interfacing with the NYPD and working on a crime with a mystical element I’m seeing a side of her that I’ve not seen explored much in the past. Typically she has been seen with the Avengers or X-Men facing much larger scale menaces, I’m really enjoying this take on her character where she gets the spotlight to herself and is facing threats that are much more in her wheelhouse as one of the preeminent magic users of the Marvel Universe. Art, writing, and color came together in this debut issue to make it comic book perfection to my eyes. I’m looking forward to more from this team, Scarlet Witch is a winner for me.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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