Written by: James Robinson
Art by: Joelle Jones
Colored by: Rachelle Rosenberg
Lettered by: VC’s Cory Petit
Release Date: 8/10/16
Price Tag: $3.99
To start it’s important to note that while this is hailed as a Civil War II tie in it barely focuses on that. This is an issue about abuse. While abuse is definitely a common occurrence in the comic world it’s very rare for it to be handled as it was handled in this issue. Abuse is commonly a plot device, characters go through abuse, it changes them and it’s talked about. However, Robinson created an issue that not only talks about abuse but also has his character confront their abuse. Wanda finally stands up for herself and the treatment she’s received from Pietro throughout her life. Their relationship is pivotal to the Marvel world so it’s interesting to look back and see just how controlling Pietro has been of his sister’s life. From her relationship with the Vision to House of M – Pietro is always there making sure she follows what he wants her to follow
The entirety of this issue focuses on Pietro and Wanda in one room. They are literally confined within walls but also confined to each other. Pietro comes to tell Wanda of the happenings of Civil War – of Jenn’s injury, Rhodey’s death and Ulyessus. Pietro tells Wanda she must follow him on Tony’s side but Wanda sides with Carol and the power of sight. She is tired of not accepting her birthright. She is not a human. She is a witch. Wanda must side with those who understand her and the burden she carries. Obviously, this upsets Pietro. He cannot fathom how she could not side with him on this. Pietro continues to fight for control – of the situation and of Wanda herself. There is a brief panel where they are children – their present merely mirrors the past.
There is no doubt that the Maximoff twins love each other but it’s important for Wanda to confront the abuse she’s faced from someone she loves. Are they responsible for where they are today? Can they forever blame their confusing upbringing and parental figures? No. It’s clear Wanda what Wanda must do.
She becomes Switzerland. She is her own person and will control her role in the Civil War – even if that means she doesn’t play a role. Even if the decision means Pietro is no longer a part of Wanda’s life.
Within this run of Scarlet Witch this is the first time a significant character is seen. This story of Wanda is what made her who she is. Pietro played a huge, huge part in that. Being controlled by someone you love is tricky – you never know if what they’re doing is truly coming from a place of love. Yet, control is never love. Control is control and Wanda has finally come to terms with this.
For the first time Wanda is denying Pietro his role in her life. Her life has been controlled by him for so long. Pietro has been the puppet master behind countless decisions Wanda has faced. And finally, finally Wanda is ready to take her life into her own hands. The issue ends with Wanda cutting Pietro out of her life. For good? No one can say, but it’ll be interesting to see where this takes Wanda in this journey.
The only downfall of this issue is the art. What has been incredible about this run is that the art has been so unique and non conventional. Colours have been erratic, scenery fantastical and nothing very realistic. The constant change between artist each issue also mirrors the constant change within Wanda’s life. Yet, for the first time with Jones and Rosenberg the art is conventional. Wanda looks like the bombshell she has countlessly appeared to be and Pietro the handsome man he is. This does not necessarily mean it is bad, it simply means that they reverted to something easy. Wanda Maximoff has never been easy and it’s a shame that throughout history she has been subjected to the role of the bombshell. Here’s hoping next issue brings back the weird, surreal art of the past few issues.
If you’re reading Civil War and looking for a continuation of the story from Wanda’s perspective – that’s not what you’ll get here. However, if you’re a fan of the Maximoff twins then this comic is essential reading. It takes years of unresolved conflict and brings it to fruition. It continues Wanda’s story in a much needed way. She is finally coming to terms with abuse and realizing she is her own person; she is NOT Pietro’s. It’s a incredible story that handles abuse in a very respectful way.