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Review: Scarlet Witch #1

Scarlet_Witch_1_CoverWitchcraft is broken. And the Scarlet Witch is the only one who can fix it. Writer James Robinson is taking Wanda Maximoff on a globetrotting quest to repair the magical forces across the Marvel Universe. That quest begins right here with Scarlet Witch #1 and the issue is a bit mixed.

Wanda has had an interesting place in the Marvel Universe being the center of quite a few major events such as House of M, Avengers Disassembled, and more. She’s been an Avenger and committed crimes such as genocide that still have yet to be fully answered for.

This first issue touches on a lot of those bast deeds, good and bad, though doesn’t go in too much detail, sweeping the more egregious under the rug for now. For new readers unaware of such events, there’ll be no problem with this debut, but for those of us reading for quite some time, there may be. And that’s why this first issue is a bit mixed for me.

Taking off in her own series, the plot feels more connected to Doctor Strange, in fact at times it just straight up feels like a female Doctor Strange, than it does connected to her Avengers past. The plot relies heavily on the witch part of her history. Disconnected from that history, the comic is pretty good. It has an interesting concept of Wanda trying to figure out who has broken witchcraft and that’s done with a bit of action and a lot of moody set-up. That mood is set by artist Vanessa Del Rey whose style has a “dirty” aspect to it that reminds me more of the style you might see with the Marvel MAX line.

But, even with that new direction I’m still left wondering how much this issue really stands out. Seriously, you could have just transplanted Doctor Strange and the entire plot would have worked just as well, in fact he’s dealing with a similar issue and the two character intertwining more was evident in his first issue which featured Wanda. What stands out to me are those demons in her actions and her mental state (which is mentioned often).

In other words, this is a lot of set-up.

As a first issue, standing on its own, the comic is decent and between the story and the art, folks may find more than enough to see what happens next. What is cool is the comic can be read as a one-shot and you’re good. Though it sets up a lot, there’s not a cliffhanger for the next issue where you don’t know what happens. All that’s left is who’s damaging witchcraft?

The first issue is ok, and I enjoyed reading it, but for me, the key is to see where it goes and how it differentiates itself from other series, embracing the character’s complicated past, while forging its individual path.

Story: James Robinson Art: Vanessa Del Rey
Story: 7.7 Art: 8.1 Overall: 7.85 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review