Review – Scarlet Witch Vol 1: Witches’ Road
Review – Scarlet Witch Vol 1: Witches’ Road
Writer: James Robinson
Art: Vanesa Del Rey, Marco Rudy, Steve Dillon, Chris Visions, Javier Pulido, Jordie Bellaire, Frank Martin, Vero Gandini, and Muntsa Vicente
Release Dates: 2015 – 2017
Scarlet Witch has taken the world by storm these last few weeks thanks to WandaVision. Fans of her literary and live action appearances are very aware that daughter of Magneto is not perfect. She is one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe. She can rewrite reality with a single thought; however, she cannot control everything or everyone around her. Wanda Maximoff has committed unspeakable acts that changed the world forever. She carries guilt for those acts to this day, but must push it aside to face a looming threat. Enter the Scarlet Witch.
Scarlet Witch Vol:1 Witches’ Road follows Wanda Maximoff’s return to fighting evil. But instead of facing purple-skinned tyrants and her technical father-in-law Ultron, she faces a silent threat. A “broken” magic is surrounding the world. Dark forces are forming at work, and old villains vie to become our hero’s new rival. The world may not want the Scarlet Witch, but she is the best they got.
The five issues together follow Wanda’s trek to confront the witchcraft that permeates the globe. However, each issue can be treated as a stand-alone story as each issue puts Wanda to a completely different location and in touch with completely different people. This is what makes Scarlet Witch Vol: 1’s such a fantastic read; James Robinson gives his readers a story wherein Wanda is constantly confronting herself and the forces working against her. But by approaching the story as a loosely tethered anthology of short stories, Robinson adequately toes the line between lore-building and having fun with Wanda’s character by placing her in ever-changing circumstances.
This philosophy of giving readers short stories with a beginning, middle, and end is descriptive of Scarlet Witch Vol: 1 as a whole. Previous knowledge of the Scarlet is not required. The story provides you everything you need from the get-go, and it is not a lot: Wanda Maximoff is Scarlet Witch; she has a disembodied mentor called Agatha Harkness; Wanda is living with the sins of her past and she is ready to atone for them. Readers who find their way to the end of the volume are invited to continue journeying with Wanda into Volume 2, yet Robinson’s cohesive storytelling also allows readers to stop their journey at the final page, satisfied with what they read.
The absolute best thing about Scarlet Witch Vol: 1 is the art. Every issue contains a different illustrator’s art. Each artist uses light, shadow, color, dimension, shapes, and even panels differently. However, none are bad; in fact, it is very difficult to pick out which is best as this will depend on the reader’s preferences. This shotgun approach of having different illustrators illustrate their own issue of a 5-issue arc serves two accomplishments:
1) First, it resonates with Robinson’s loose-anthology approach to Scarlet Witch Volume: 1 in that each issue can be treated as its own short story. 2) Second, it gives readers of different artistic preferences something to like. If a reader did not like the overuse of darkness in issue #1, that’s fine because more than likely that reader will like the bright colors of issue #5.
Everyone will like something. While this shotgun approach is risky for sacrificing artistic consistency, I believe the risk was well worth it as each illustrator is no doubt talented in their given style.
Scarlet Witch Volume: 1 Witches’ Road is a cohesive, fun story comprised of smaller cohesive, fun stories. Scarlet Witch fans will watch Wanda grow beyond the sins of her past. New fans who only know Wanda from the MCU will be treated to a fun time and may come to respect her comic book counterpart. Come for the Scarlet Witch; stay for the eye-catching artwork.
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