A superhero’s life is never simple, but when your robot ex-husband’s daughter arrives, worried that her dreams are going to kill her? Even by Wanda’s standards, that’s a whopper. Your Major Spoilers review of The Scarlet Witch #2 from Marvel Comics awaits!
THE SCARLET WITCH #2
Writer: Steve Orlando/Stephanie Williams
Artist: Sara Pichelli/Elisabetta D’Amico/Chris Allen
Colorist: Matthew Wilson/Dee Cunniffe
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Alanna Smith
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: February 1, 2023
Previously in The Scarlet Witch: Wanda Maximoff is no stranger to grief, so when Viv Vision stumbles through Wanda’s door, exhausted and terrified of the nightmares playing her mother’s death on repeat, Wanda dives into Viv’s dreams to find the cause of the android’s suffering. And it turns out Viv isn’t alone in her mind?
The Scarlet Witch is about to face… The Dreamqueen!
THE STEP-MOTHER’S DILEMMA
Wanda Maximoff has led an interesting life, leading her to be the keeper of The Last Door. After the appearance of Viv Vision in her shop, she feels responsible for helping the girl who is, essentially, family. For her part, Viv logically refuses to consider the woman upon whose programming the robot who posed as Viv’s own mother as any sort of family, but agrees to let the Scarlet Witch help her. Upon entering the synthezoid’s dreamscape, Wanda finds that the android’s complex dreamscape is practically human, allowing the daughter of Nightmare to infest her mind. Unfortunately, Dreamqueen is much more adept at manipulating the pieces of reality, forcing Wanda to… get creative. In our backup tale, X-Man Storm arrives for a visit, bringing news of the death of Magneto. Though Wanda no longer believes him to be her father, she still feels a connection to the late Magnus, leading her to invite Storm along on a journey to make some tea.
AND ALSO, MAGNETO DIED?
After such a strong debut issue, I had high hopes for this one, and on most fronts it delivered. The art in both features is very expressive, and Pichelli’s rendition of the minor Alpha Flight villain is perhaps the best looking take on her in Marvel history. That said, for a story taking place inside someone’s mind, the visuals feel unexpectedly straightforward, especially given the crazy magic in play. Stephanie Williams’ layouts in the second story are actually more dreamlike, even as they take place in reality. That’s not to say that both artists aren’t doing good work, but I feel like my expectations worked against the issue a little bit. I’m fine with Wanda’s godlike abilities making the magical shenanigans less of a stumbling block for her, and I appreciate her getting another couple of big wins under her belt in these pages, but the expectations set by the solicitation copy are different enough from the end product that there’s a faint sense of disappointment in “what might have been.”
BOTTOM LINE: ANOTHER FINE ISSUE
Orlando’s work is entirely my jam, and the triumph of The Scarlet Witch #2 comes in the complex turnings of the Marvel Universe, with mutant Wanda still not an X-Men, dealing with the daughter she never had, the father she thought she knew, and the sons whose existence was negated, with two different types of well-done art pulling together for a well-done 4 out of 5 stars overall. I will say this to fans of this iteration of The Scarlet Witch: If you’re enjoying it as much as I am, buy it and savor it, because it probably isn’t going to appeal to broader audiences. In short, get it while the gettin’s good, and let’s hope we get Darcy’s secret before Marvel editorial pulls the plug.
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THE SCARLET WITCH #2
When your biggest complaint is that the first issue was great and this one is only very good, you've still got an entertaining read on your hands.