Monday, July 11, 2016

Scarlet Witch #8 Review - Marvel Mondays

And How Does That Make You Feel?

Written by: James Robinson
Art by: Tula Lotay and Travis Lanham
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 6, 2016
Publisher: Marvel
Review by: Josh Vermillion 

Let’s start with a disclaimer: This is the first issue of Scarlet Witch I’ve ever read. Coming into this issue, basically all I knew about Wanda Maximoff was that she can control chaos magic, she has the power to alter all of reality, and Elizabeth Olsen is a very attractive lady. All I want out of a Scarlet Witch book is to see her use her powers to take down other magical characters. Personally, I don’t think that’s too much to ask for. So, did my wish come true?

In a word, no. Instead of seeing Scarlet Witch casting spells and taking down bad guys, we open up the issue and see… her going to therapy? Even before the reveal at the end, it was pretty obvious this psychiatrist isn’t on the up-and-up. The way he demanded the payment before even letting Wanda talk threw me off.

Once she gets to talk, Wanda basically starts recounting her history as a character, which was ok for me considering a lot of it was new information to me. She talks about her origin, her mother, and her ghost friend. Wanda feels like everyone is always trying to protect her and she just wants to be trusted as a hero, and a person, on her own.

She’s really opening up, until “Dr. Grand” interrupts her. He starts throwing her past mistakes in her face and berating her for not doing enough to atone for those mistakes in the present. Yes, it does seem to get a reaction out of her, but as a senior psychology major, I’m pretty sure that’s not an effective method for talking to patients.

We get a pretty emotional moment with Wanda talking about her children, Wiccan and Speed. James Robinson does a good job here of trying to simplify a confusing back-story involving demons and reincarnation. Wanda even starts crying when she says she loves them but she doesn’t even know them. It’s one of those moments that makes this character with the ability to depower millions of mutants with a single phrase seem relatively human, but Dr. Grand is such a dick about the whole thing that it gets thrown off.

After getting interrupted yet again, Wanda leaves and walks around New York City, despite supposedly being on a long quest to save Witchcraft. She goes and sees her children, then is back at Dr. Grand’s office a week after the first visit. This time she’s in charge of the conversation, and she heavy-handedly explains that she’s known for a long time that Dr. Grand was actually the villain The Ringmaster. Maynard Tiboldt is a master of hypnotism, but Wanda was able to sense his manipulations and defend herself against them.

The next part is the best part of the book to me. Wanda has already told The Ringmaster she knows who he is, but they keep up the ruse for a little bit as Wanda tells him that the sessions have actually helped her and she is ready to get to work and not be afraid of her past anymore. My favorite part is when Wanda tells him that it’s all thanks to him and he says, “If that truly is the case… I’m glad.” It was a great character moment for both Wanda and Maynard, which is something I wasn’t expecting in a standalone story like this.

The ending leaves me hoping to see more magic and adventure out of Wanda. Like I said earlier, all I want is Scarlet Witch being witchy and using magic, and it looks like we might get more of that in the coming issues.

I didn’t love Tula Lotay’s art on my first read. The action shots involving magic are great, but it seemed like at times she got bored drawing the same two people sitting in a psychiatrist’s office over and over. She did vary the angles, which helps, but overall I wasn’t impressed at first.

But, with each subsequent read-through I notice more of the subtleties involved in the art and it keeps growing on me. In the book, Wanda mentioned that The Ringmaster was using his hypnotism on her every time she was in his office, and Lotay showed that with spirals dispersed throughout the panels. Whether it was the big spiral on the floor or the transparent spirals overtop of The Ringmaster when he was the only one seen, Lotay did an awesome job of keeping the spirals subtle.

Bits and Pieces:

On my first read, I wasn’t a fan of this book, but I like it more the more I read it. It’s not a perfect issue by any means, but it humanizes a super powerful character and sets up what seems like more action and story progression moving forward.


No comments:

Post a Comment