REVIEW: Scarlet Witch #11 – “Journey to the Past”

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SCARLET WITCH #11
Writer: James Robinson
Penciler: Leila Del Duca
Colorist: Felipe Sobreiro 
Letterer: VC’S Cory Petit
Release Date: 10/05/16
Price: $3.99

SCARLET WITCH

Wanda’s journey brings her to figures from her Mother’s past. A meeting with Dasha,  her Mother’s sidekick, is bringing Wanda closer and closer to the truth she so desperately seeks.

PlotWanda’s journey takes her to Serbia. There she encounters a priest, Father Drobnjak, whom she confronts about the Knights of Wundagore and the High Evolutionary. Surprisingly Father Drobnjak had a hand in Wanda’s tragic childhood – giving the twins away to the High Evolutionary. Wanda is not letting it slide, she is cold and unforgiving to the Father. Through all this he manages to be of use to Wanda as he tells her where she could find someone who knew her Mother. Wanda travels to meet Dasha Kolarov her Mother’s best friend and sidekick. Dasha tells her that Marya Maximoff, her Aunt, is still alive. Wanda’s journey through her past continues….hopefully bringing her to her future.

StoryJames Robinson allows Wanda to be as cold as she needs to be in issue #11. She doesn’t let Father Drobnjak have the time of day. He continuously “mansplains” to Wanda how hard his decisions were, how difficult of a choice he made in giving up the twins and Wanda simply says no. She will not allow him to get her sympathy, this is a man who ruined her life, who took he family and tore it apart. Wanda will NOT allow him to have anything from her.

wanda

Even when Father Drobnjak gives Wanda information that helps her, she remains cold. Wanda will not  forgive him for his past mistakes or be grateful for the information he brings.

In effect, Robinson is also able to highlight the contrast between the relationship of Wanda/Father Drobnjak and Wanda/Dasha. When Wanda is with Dasha she is warm and kind-hearted. She is so grateful to have met someone from her Mother’s past, and this is seen clearly in her face.  So often comic writers are afraid to let their characters be ugly with their feelings. However, Robinson allows Wanda to be human with her emotions and this is what makes him a great writer.

ArtGuest artist Leila Del Duca brings a classic European touch to the art. The colors of the present day are dark while the past with the High Evolutionary are extremely bright.

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The scenes with Father Drobnjak and Wanda recalling the past showcase Del Duca’s talent. Del Duca was made to have art in a Scarlet Witch comic. It fits perfectly with Wanda as a character and with her deep, deep European history.

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The single panel that shows young Dasha showcases Del Duca’s talent exceptionally. The dim coloring of Dasha against the bright backdrop, as well as her facial expression which clearly displays who she was as a person. The style of her clothing and hair also amplify her roots. It’ll be a shame to see Serbia and its inhabitants drawn by someone else in other issues.

VerdictIn summary, the previous issue of Scarlet Witch felt like extreme filler, good for fans of the character but nothing insightful otherwise. Then there is this month’s issue #11 – an issue that puts Wanda front and center. Ultimately, readers are able to learn of her past and begin to put more pieces together of the complicated puzzle that is Wanda Maximoff. Robinson lets Wanda be as human as she needs as Del Duca lets Wanda’s ancestry shine through the art. A definite good read for Wanda fans or anyone.

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