Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Scarlet Witch Has Returned

Marvel Solicitations for this upcoming week have been chock full of good stuff.

In Mighty Avengers #21, a title I haven't been very interested in nor planning on giving a try what with the new Hank Pym/Wasp and other uninteresting characters, (it seems) the Scarlet Witch, Wanda Maximoff, has returned. I heard about this a few weeks back at least, and it seemed like a pretty huge thing to sneak into a side-Avengers title. It goes against the Big 2's nature to have epic returns that don't occur during some kind of crossover event.

Therefore I am not entirely convinced of their sincerity in bringing her back. If a fractured fucked-up Wanda made herself disappear after rewriting reality then more-than-decimating the Earth's mutant population, and murdering some fellow Avengers, and was completely unfindable by all the most powerful heroes, why now has she suddenly returned to Pym's new version of the Avengers? Why is she in costume and using her powers? Where is Pietro? Where are the heroes who've sworn vengeance and had once planned on killing her?

You can understand my mistrust in glossing over her return, and perhaps even share it. However, in idly checking through this week's Marvel previews, having gone through the X-titles, I took a look at Mighty #21 and I liked what I saw. Mostly because it opens, and sticks with, the Young Avengers. The Young Avengers kick ass (codename 'Stature' aside) and are sadly underused but I think fairly unanimously enjoyed. Why they don't have their own title I do not know, but seeing them repeatedly in events like Civil War and Secret Invasion shows they've earned some respect.

Now the unveiling of the Scarlet Witch in a smaller Avengers title makes sense to me; pair her with the Young Avengers whose very existence is based upon the fateful day she killed her teammates and destroyed Avengers mansion. (Had that not happened, Iron Lad would never have recruited the young heroes to form a team.) In addition to their origin, there is major emotional baggage, not the least of which is that Billy (my predictable) and Teddy are the twin sons of Wanda Maximoff...the ones she created with her reality warping powers and then lost to Mephisto or uncreated...or something...who were the only ones to truly go searching all over the world for a sign that she was alive. Plus Cassie Lang's father is one of the Avengers who died that day. And the Vision is a new version of the android she married, and then also killed that day. The Young Avengers are steeped in Avengers lore, and most effected by the Witch's history. It only makes sense that they are the first to confront her.

Many questions remain, including whether she is real or some kind of Reed Richards Thor-Bot, mentally stable, an amnesiac, good, evil, turning the Young Avengers into stone or saving the city, etc. But I intend to find out, starting Wednesday. Anything that has the younguns in it, I'll buy (as evidenced by that horrible 5-part What If...? back story.)

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