Since the success of WandaVision nearly 2 years ago, Marvel Comics had completely stunned me with one thing – the lack of a Scarlet Witch ongoing comic run. Marvel Comics had done a good enough job of having a comic title that correlated with one of their boisterous Marvel Studios productions. Whether it was having a new Moon Knight, She-Hulk, Eternals, Hawkeye (and many more) books on the shelf when a show or movie was available, Marvel had finally found the balance of using their media properties to promote their books. But that was lacking with one of the most popular, and loudest, fan bases of their hit Disney+ show WandaVision. So, nearly 2 years after the release of the show, the Scarlet Witch is the titled star of a monthly comic.
The Setup for Wanda’s Return
Over the past few years, Wanda had found herself completing her redemption. Ever since her infamous moments in “House of M” that led her to say “no more mutants,” the Scarlet Witch’s road has been anything but easy. Even after assisting with the resurrection of the mutant population in “Avengers vs X-Men,” there had always been a dark cloud over Wanda. She went on a journey to restore witchcraft (“Scarlet Witch: 2017”), overcame her biggest foe in Chthon (“Darkhold: 2021”) and, most importantly, redeemed herself to the mutants by doing the impossible and bringing back lives many thought were gone forever (“Trial of Magneto: 2021”). So with Wanda’s past settled and accepted, it is time for her to turn over a new leaf.
Written by Steve Orlando, art by Sara Pichelli, inks and colors from Elisabetta D’Amico and Matthew Wilson, Cory Petit on letters and Russell Dauterman handling covers – the next chapter of Wanda Maximoff is in very good hands.
Scarlet Witch #1
Wanda opens up a shop, called The Emporium, in the town of Lotkill, New York. Selling charms, trinkets, books and tea, Wanda’s goal is to now help as many people at once with the assistance of her new store employee Darcy Lewis. That’s right, Darcy Lewis! The standout character in the Marvel Studios’ Thor franchise and WandaVision is making her first comic appearance in this issue!
In this store lies a special door that holds a spell that only those at their lowest points can open. This is how those in the most need can seek the help of the Scarlet Witch. I really enjoy the base of Wanda’s new concept, with every new “case of the month” arc seeing of a new soul seek the Scarlet Witch’s assistance. It reminds me of some Doctor Strange stories when Stephen went around assisting the everyday people near Greenwich Village. The stories can be small enough to tell the intrapersonal stories of the characters in need, but staying big enough for the problems to need the assistance of Wanda.
The standout in this first issue is easily Sara Pichelli’s art. Wanda, Pietro, and Darcy are drawn beautifully. The Scarlet Witch’s design–heavily inspired from Dauterman’s Hellfire Gala attire in 2022–is one of my favorites that Marvel has put out over the years.
It goes to note that the standout here is that Wanda Maximoff finally looks Romani. Credit here should also go to D’Amico and Wilson. It has been a source of contention over the years that Wanda has looked too whitewashed. And it is true. Even in stories from the last few years, Wanda was paler than she should’ve been. The Scarlet Witch was not drawn with her Romani heritage in mind.
The hair, the color palette of Wanda’s skin, and her facial details can make many Scarlet Witch fans relax with a sigh of relief. Finally, Wanda is done right.
This issue did exactly what a first issue needs to do. Wanda’s in a new setting that we haven’t seen her in before. She has a supporting cast to work with. She quickly accepted the past while dealing with the future. And long-term friction has been revealed that will eventually come back to bite Wanda in later issues.
The art from Pichelli is top-notch, and with Dauterman on the covers, this will surely catch the eyes of many–month in and month out.
Agent Damon’s Rating: 4.5/5
Check out Agent Damon’s top comics of 2022 here!