Scarlet Witch #3 review

Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, invites mistress of magnetism Polaris, aka Lorna Dane, to her new magic shop to check out a mystery stone. The rock repels magic and, having a doctorate in geophysics and decades in the superhero business, Lorna has more chance than most of working out what’s going on.

That’s the Last Door, ‘a portal that appears only to those with nowhere else to turn’. Through it comes a woman. A tiny woman, so tiny that it takes a spell from Wanda for communication to be possible.

Meet Mardj. She’s from the microverse called Sub-Atomica, and her world has been invaded. The last survivor of her city, Mardj wants to find a fabled magical sword to inspire the lackadaisical populace to follow her to victory. Luckily, Wanda and Lorna do love a quest…

Well, that’s a new slant on the always pretty art of Sara Pichelli. Steve Orlando’s words are fine, too. But ten pages of storybook questing does not a dynamic comic make… I was aching for this sequence to end.

I was excited to see Polaris guest starring – thanks to her long run with X-Factor she’s one of my favourite Marvel women. Not being a devotee of the current X-Men line, I’d lost track of her – when did she turn into sneaky super-spy Abigail Brand? Slick hair, sarcastic attitude, sunglasses… it really is a case of spot-the-difference. Also, how are Wanda and Lorna loving sisters? I realise they were both believed to be daughters of Magneto (different mothers) but even before their origins were rewritten, they had barely ever met.

And while Lorna’s magnetic powers are second only to those of Magneto, there’s no pop to them here, with their use confined mostly to the silent storybook pages. I suppose Orlando is trying to lend a mythic quality to the women’s quest, but the narration, despite telling us what Wanda is feeling in the always awkward second person, distances us from the other characters.

Also, Mardj? Bwaa-ha and indeed, ha!

Mind, she has a great design, very Seventies. And that’s pretty appropriate as the Sword in the Star for which she searches stems from a strip in that decade’s Marvel Preview black and white magazine (the second instalment saw the debut of a certain talking raccoon). I do like that, as was the case with his DC work, Orlando mines old properties and plot points. I don’t like that, as I’ve said previously, Wanda’s undefined powers make things a little too easy for her – she has a spell or hand wave for every occasion. Back in the positive category, it’s great that a writer remembers Lorna’s long-ago geology studies.

It’s not just the full-pagers that are great, Pichelli – aided by inking assistant Elisabetta D’amico – nails the pages of panels too, with some nice facial expressions as Lorna and shop assistant Darcy verbally spar for no obvious reason. Matthew Wilson’s colours add even more dramatic weight, while letterer Cory Petit more than earns his wage packet with this awfully wordy work.

Russell Dauterman’s lush cover reflects the insides nicely, that’s a great shot of Abigail Brand.

I enjoyed this comic, but not as much as the previous two issues. Let’s see what the fourth chapter brings – a cliffhanger promises much.

4 thoughts on “Scarlet Witch #3 review

  1. I didn’t even read the text on the splash pages. I agree too that Lorna and Wanda have been very distant on panel up until now. I do like that they developed a healthy relationship off panel and now that it’s been shown I don’t want it to go away. Both are so effed up of course they should have bonded!

    Orlando has indeed leaned way too heavily into handwavium as Wanda’s power. I’d prefer if he cribbed Levitz’s White Witch use of magic and threw in some of Wanda’s actual innate power set.

    I find I’m liking this series more than any of Orlando’s work since he did Midnighter. I just wish each issue didn’t feel like a standalone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I admit, I loved Orlando’s Midnighter and then felt disappointed in some of the work he took on afterward, but this series has restored my faith. If Marvel is really planning a solo movie for Wanda, they should take their cues from here. Wanda, feeling that she lost her way, trying hard to make amends by helping people who are at the end of their ropes. Something that isn’t cosmos changing, cosmos ending, or her facing off with a god power entity. Something very much toned down, letting her get in touch with the reality of the every-man even though she is one of the most powerful of all Avengers.

    Wanda coming to the realization that she went mad and by the end seeking real help from a professional who can help her handle disappointment and loss in a healthy way.

    I love how charming Wanda is in this series, and how her friendship with Darcy becomes something that grounds her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What an excellent idea, I’d watch a Wanda show taking its cue from this. Mind, I’d watch pretty much any version of the Scarlet Witch this side of ‘what the heck is she doing to Simon?’


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.