REVIEW: Scarlet Witch #1 “About The Death Of Many Cats”

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Written By: James Robinson

Cover Artist: David Aja

Art By: Vanesa Del Rey

Colors By: Jordie Bellaire

Lettered By: VC’s Cory Petit

Release Date: 12/9/15

Price Tag: $3.99

Scarlet Witch is back in her long overdue solo series in the All-New, All-Different Marvel lineup. For the first solo series in years, it’s off to slow start but with Del Rey’s unique artist style I have hope for a more engaging storyline from James Robinson for Wanda Maximoff.

Plot: Wanda Maximoff is ready to atone for her sins in upper East side Manhattan, New York. She wants to be more than the sum of her mistakes and to ‘right the wrongs when magic – witchcraft – is involved’.

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Maximoff describes an imbalance in witchcraft that she can sense and raises her concerns to the ghost of Agatha. She heads out to meet with a Detective Erikson who shows her a brutal crime scene where the killer claims to have no recollection of his actions. Wanda then begins to explain her concerns that this may tie in with a sonneillon – magical embodiment of envy and hate – that can spread from one to the next. Detective Erikson being the next victim to succumb to the evil possession. Wanda successfully exorcises the demon inside Erikson and fears afterwards with Agatha that this is just the beginning.

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Story: The scale of Maximoff’s abilities is frightening and she knows how powerful she is. I have no complaints with the characterization from Robinson because this Scarlet Witch evokes confidence and strength but I have complaints of the slow start he gave the character. One can argue that it was necessary if they are sticking to this redemption arc for her. Did the first issue feel like a murder mystery? A little bit but Wanda Maximoff wouldn’t step herself down to work a murder case if it wasn’t for good reason.

I don’t think people should read too much into this slow start of the series. Robinson seems to be writing in a redemption arc for Wanda and a journey of rediscovery. I’m hoping that this period of self-reflection for Wanda isn’t going to be boring or lackluster and grows into something much larger. She did hint that witchcraft is being tampered with and senses that. I loved it after she exorcises Detective Erikson and defeated the demon because we know this is child’s play for Wanda.

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What I found really intriguing with the first issue was Wanda’s history lesson before the exorcism. While surveying the crime scene, Maximoff implies that the French Revolution was caused by a taigheirm, the killing of cats, in order to summon a sonneillon. Prior to them meeting we do see a few dead cats on the streets and remember the issue is called, “About The Deaths Of Many Cats”.

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Something important to mention is Agatha and for those of you who has never read a Scarlet Witch comic beforehand then there just might be one thing you’re wondering, who is she? In the All-New, All-Different lineup this is the first time Agatha Harkness is seen, although just a ghost, we know her as a powerful witch that once trained Scarlet Witch, and now is she Wanda’s ghostly mentor? I’m sure we will find that out and exactly why Agatha claims that Wanda was the one who killed her.

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Art: The saving grace of the issue and what makes me think that Robinson might have more to give us in the series is the artist style of Vanesa Del Rey because the issue is gorgeous. Del Rey’s re-imagining of Scarlet Witch is unique and caters to the character. I definitely think she pays homage to how Scarlet Witch is individualist.

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Verdict: Don’t let the slow start fool you, there is still hope for the first Scarlet Witch solo series in the All-New, All-Different Marvel lineup. I loved the portrayal of Wanda Maximoff along with the artist style of Del Rey. I did not enjoy the opening scene to the series but understand its stance. Scarlet Witch is anew, seeking redemption, and I’m ready to see where she’s headed.

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