Scarlet Witch #3
When Polaris’ visit to her sister’s new magic shop is interrupted by a microscopic warrior desperate for aid, Polaris and the Scarlet Witch put their own mystery on hold to help on a fantastic journey through Sub-Atomica! Meanwhile, the dark past of Wanda’s enigmatic shop clerk, Darcy Lewis, comes back…with a vengeance.
It is now the third issue of Steve Orlando and Sara Pichelli’s Scarlet Witch book, and we’re off to another adventure. This time we have Lorna Dane, the mistress of magnetism and sister to the Scarlet WitchC Polaris! The two meet at Wanda’s new shop to discuss the mystical, mysterious rock she received from Jarnette, the woman who walked through the Last Door in the first issue, seeking aid from the Corruptor who had taken over her entire city in Rome. The Last Door opens up as the two sisters catch up, with apparently no one. Sensing the guest, Wanda magics them to subatomic heights, where they meet the newest person who needs Wanda’s help, Mardj, from Tryfa. So let’s get to it.
Orlando and Pichelli are a killer team for Wanda, and I couldn’t be happier having them as this book’s creative team. They seem to have made a connection, like previous superstar teams Chris Claremont and John Byrne, or George Perez and Marv Wolfman, or George Perez and Kurt Busiek (what can I say, George was the absolute master), so it’s nice to see a team that brings out the best in each other. Wanda is sure and self-confident in her abilities, herself, and this new place she’s carving out for herself in the world. You can see this not only in the dialogue but also in the way she appears. She’s not sheepish or demure. She’s the god-#%^* Scarlet Witch, and you better recognize who you’re dealing with.
Another moment that caught my attention was how Wanda helped Mardj here. Wanda let Mardj be the savior to her people; she was just a tool to assist Mardj and her people to save themselves. Wanda can fix all of these problems that the people coming to her from the Last Door, but she realizes some things need to be accomplished by those who seek aid. One can appreciate this kind of growth from a hero with Wanda’s powers.
It’s not just Wanda getting that much-needed character growth; we’re also getting a feel for Darcy. If you’ve watched the movies, you’ll know she’s a sarcastic and comical character, full of witty zingers, and you’ll get that here, but there’s something more than what’s beneath the surface, and that could lead to something exciting and new to Wanda’s life. I could have done with some more Wanda and Lorna interaction because they are becoming closer and forming a relationship that can cross franchises. At least see them develop a relationship like Pietro has with Lorna. I also noted the “technology is evil” theme that’s migrated over to this book, so it’s a nice, connective thread I wasn’t expecting to see. Polaris’s presence was an enjoyable addition for X-fans because she’s not been featured in any of the other ongoings since the new team debuted, so we’ve had to survive off of the few morsels from the current Revenge of the Brood storyline over in Captain Marvel’s book (on stands and your favorite digital platforms right now!). Polaris has quickly become one of my favorite mutants, not only from her time on Howard’s X-Factor but also during the first year in Duggan’s X-Men book, and it’s become unbearable since her departure from that book. Marvel, if you’re reading, this put Polaris on a book stat!
Something else that stood out was Orlando using the term probability. Wanda has, from the beginning of her creation, been a probability manipulator who was always adept at magic due to her ties to Mount Wundagore and Ch’Thon touching her as she was born and held in suspended animation for years by the High Evolutionary, so seeing Orlando using it here set off a red flag. Why is this such a red flag, you might ask, and the answer is pretty simple: the No More Mutants ending to House of M that would later strip Wanda and Pietro of not only their statuses as mutants but also as the children of Magneto. There are two camps here: you love the retcon, and you don’t want it to be changed again, or you hate it, and you want it reversed. I’m firmly in the last column and would love to see how Orlando will approach this issue.
Unfortunately, not everything was a home run for this issue. First was the character, Mardj. I have an intense love for most of Marvel’s mythology, and reading my older cousins’ matters of the Bill Mantlo and Michael Golden run on The Micronauts is one of those bits of nostalgia that tickles my nerd. Still, with Mardj, the book was just unable to get there, and the issue seems to be the one-in-done format that these teams are doing. If they could have a couple of topics to let readers connect with them and let the book breathe, this book could become magical (no pun intended). I feel like we’re also getting let down by the big battles. The little we get has been breathtakingly beautiful, and the way Orlando narrates them is sublime, but there’s not enough there in these first three issues.
Another thing that seems odd is the cast’s lack of Pietro. He was in the first issue for a minute, but that was just a taste, and people need their thirsts quenched. Fortunately, these missteps aren’t enough to bring the series down, and Orlando and Pichelli seem to be the correct shepherds for this fledgling book.
Orlando’s showing a real mastery when it comes to handling Wanda. She’s self-confident in her abilities, as well as those around here. While there are some things, like the truncated fight scenes, and the lack of exploration of Wanda’s feelings towards Magneto’s death that are the standouts, the character work here is second to none. Hopefully with time, and less one and done’s, these issues will be addressed.
Scarlet Witch #3: Do You Know The Way To Subatomica? La, La, La, Laaa, La, La
- Writing - 9.75/109.8/10
- Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10