Scarlet Witch #9 Writer: James Robinson Artist: Joelle Jones Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg Letterer: Cory Petit Cover: David Aja Publisher: Marvel
This has been one of my personal favorite series to come out of Marvel post Secret Wars(2015). Writer James Robinson has really allowed these one shot stories to focus on Wanda as a person, developed her and progressed her into an assertive woman. And that assertiveness comes into satisfying fruition in this issue.
In the previous issue, the Scarlet Witch showed off her savviness and some methodical detective skills by out smarting a psychiatrist. Who was using his position to hypnotize people into conducting thefts of fine jewelry for him. And earlier Wanda met a Romany woman named Natalya Maximoff who also calls herself the Scarlet Witch. Yes, she’s found her biological mother. So after all that, it was a real disappointment to see that this issue was going to be tied to Secret Wars II. Especially considering that not only the event had become even more meaningless than when it was first announced, but the tie-ins have been tremendously lackluster. However Robinson brilliantly uses this as an opportunity to showcase Wanda’s development, as well as point out some major problems with the event comic’s main series.
The comic opens with Wanda performing yoga, as she does every morning to help her relax. As you’ve probably guessed by just looking at the cover, her brother Pietro, Quicksilver shows up. No surprise, he’s a dick to her as he talks down to Wanda as if she can’t think for herself and has to hold her hand for every step in life. He brings her up to date as to what has happened involving the confrontation between Tony Stark and Carol Danvers. About Ulysses abilities, the death of James Rhodes, and Jennifer Walter’s severe injuries. Pietro then expresses how he’s on Tony’s side and that he needs her powers to stop Carol.
Wanda however isn’t having any of it as she tells off her twin-brother and informs him, after hearing the situation, that she’s taking a neutral stance by calling herself “Switzerland” in a time of war. Scarlet Witch does reveal though that she has a leniency towards Carol’s side. The comic closes with dramatic outcome between the siblings and this series future looks bright. That is until its unfortunate cancellation thanks to Marvel NOW 2.0.
There are a numerous reasons to like about this issue. Wanda expressing that if she had to choose between the two sides, she’d choose Carol’s makes sense when she explains it. How she’s a witch, who have histories of fortune-telling. But what Robinson ads is what has been desperately missing in the Civil War II main series…..nuances. Scarlet Witch tells her brother that she’d recommend training from magic users so that they can interpret Ulysses visions more accurately. Wanda isn’t doing what the character in the Bendis series is doing, going all in and treating this as a black and white situation. Robinson has portrayed Wanda as an strategic character who can intelligently assess a dilemma. Making her an even stronger hero than she was before.
Another moment that is beyond pleasing, is when Wanda finally puts Pietro in his place. Since their creation in the pages of 60’s X-Men books, Pietro has been overprotective of his sister. Always trying to dictate her actions. Not only that, he’s always talk down to her in an arrogant and condescending way. To see Wanda stand up to herself and realize that her brother has done more harm to her than good, is refreshing. Especially when she challenges Pietro and makes it clear that she is not to be pressured or unduly influenced to feed his ego. Building another strong character moment in this series.
The rotation of different artist on this book has been one of the attractions and this issue brought-in a superb team. Joelle Jones’ line work is really able to capture and balance the fantastical within the mundane. When a scene calls for emotion from characters within a conversation, she grabs it. When the script transitions to Wanda using her hex powers, Jones takes advantage of it and really captures the movement from panel to panel. If there was one gripe with the artwork though, it’ll be the appearances of Quicksilver. Yes it has the terrible costume but that was established in the Uncanny Avengers series. The problem is that Pietro looks decades older than his twin-sister. It’s not just his white hair, his face looks that of an old man and they don’t even look close in age. It’s not too distracting though and doesn’t take away from the high points. Colorist Rachelle Rosenberg really comes through with her performance. Her use of warm colors in the backdrop help set the mood and tone of this issue. Building the emotion of the dramatic break-up between brother and sister, creating more impact to the outcome.
James Robinson continues to impress in this series. He’s impressively taken the development of Scarlet Witch throughout this series to create the best Civil War II tie-in yet. Wanda’s growth as a character is used to give the long-awaited confrontation between her and Pietro, and it’s also used to point out the problems with the main players in the tiresome event. It makes it all the more disappointing that this book is being cancelled in order to make way for all the new #1’s coming this fall. Hopefully another series can take advantage of what Robinson has done with Wanda here.
Score: 5 out of 5
Review by Eric Bradach
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