Written by: James Robinson
Art by: Kei Zama, Ian Herring and Cory Petit
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 14, 2016
Review by: Josh Vermillion
Now that we’re done with the Civil War II tie-in, it’s time to get back to the real story of Scarlet Witch. That involves our titular hero traveling the world trying to fix witchcraft. I haven’t been a huge fan of this series thus far, and part of that is the constantly changing artists and the fact that the story really hasn’t advanced that much from where we started. That said, I was hoping to see this issue pick up and move forward more than the others. Read ahead to see what Wanda was up to this month.
Even before the title page, we get an intriguing start to this story as we get a pretty cool Japanese haiku and a fox followed by a scene of an old warlock getting killed by a mysterious “SSKKSS” creature. Right away I could tell that artist Kei Zama was going to provide some of my favorite art of the series so far. It’s anime-style art, which makes sense for a story set in Japan.
Moving ahead to when Wanda comes into the book, we find out the warlock killed was Hiroshi Tanaka, the Aoi Master. Now, I don’t have the slightest idea what that is, but it sounds cool as hell. As she’s wandering around Kyoto, we see the fox from the opening page watching her. It turns out this fox is the new life of the Aoi Master, reborn after being killed. He’s trying to help Wanda figure out what happened to him.
Wanda goes back through some of Hiroshi Tanaka’s colleagues, starting with his only friend, Maki Hokkaido. Maki informs Wanda that Hiroshi had no enemies left. He had made peace with all of his old foes. Next, she visits the Aoi Master’s former lover, Noriko Furuya. After a curse was put on Noriko, Hiroshi was forced to leave her to save her life. It’s actually a pretty touching moment to show you that the Aoi Master was a good, caring guy.
Next on Wanda’s list of people to visit: Jun Yamada, his old nemesis. Even he tells Wanda that everyone admired the Aoi Master. Then she tells her to seek out Miles Benchley. She tracks Benchley down and confronts him about the murder. Benchley killed Aoi Master to take his power, and to do it he had to make a pact with a Japanese demon called and Oni.
Magic ensues. Fighting with magic is always fun, and Zama’s art looks pretty cool here. The Oni is pretty disgusting looking, but I guess that’s what she was going for with that. The battle looks pretty awesome, and naturally Wanda eventually finds a way to win. I’m not a big fan of the whole explaining exactly what you did to win thing, but I guess it’s okay when it comes to magic.
After the battle, Scarlet Witch is ready to leave and get back to investigating her homeland… again. I feel like almost every issue ends with her wanting to go find out more about her heritage, but we never really get much of that. That being said, I did really enjoy this issue and the side story it dealt with. From start to finish it looked great, which sucks because I just know that it’ll be a new artist next issue. I guess I can only hope that I like that art as much as I liked it this month.
Bits and Pieces:
This issue is a big step up from last month. The art and story go together perfectly and it’s pretty entertaining. I still want more progression with the actual story that’s going on, but this was fun. I’m hoping this is a good sign for the series moving forward.