Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #11

Issue Date: 
December 2016
Story Title: 

James Robinson (writer), Leila Del Duca (artist), Felipe Sobreiro (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer), David Aja (cover artist), Christina Harrington (assistant editor), Emily Shaw (editor), Mark Paniccia (senior editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
Scarlet Witch created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

The Scarlet Witch arrives at a church in Serbia, where she locates Father Drobnjak. She informs him that she is trying to find a community of Romany travelers, and the last record she has of them was in this town. Father Drobnjak claims that there have been many travelers here, and during so much wartime, it was hard to keep track of everyone. Wanda tells him that there was one war that she is sure he would remember – when the Knights of Wundagore attacked. The old man is reluctant to answer, so Wanda uses her power to destroy his church, demonstrating how serious she is about finding answers – and reveals to him that her research led her directly to him. The old man reveals that he gave information to the High Evolutionary about a woman who had given birth, as he thought they might be the sort of infants he was looking for. Wanda appears angry that he gave away information about these children to the High Evolutionary, but the old man tells her they were children of a witch. The old man claims that after that, the Knights left this town in peace. Wanda tells him that she knows her mother went looking for her children, and wants to know what happened after that. He claims that he has no idea. Wanda uses her power to restore the church, and starts to leave. As she goes, the old man tells her to speak with Dasha Koralov, and old woman now, but that she used to know Wanda's mother. Wanda finds the old woman, who instantly recognizes Wanda as Natalya's girl. This seems to please Wanda, who bonds with the old woman, who, as it turns out, used to be Natalya's sidekick. She reveals some brief history about the sorts of foes they faced, before explaining that Natalya went to Transia in search of her children, where she went down fighting against the Knights. So, when the High Evolutionary was done with her twin children, he returned them, leaving them with relatives of Natalya's. Wanda wonders why Marya and Django never told her the truth, before asking Dasha if she knows who her father is. The old woman explains that Natalya never told her, and suggests she ask Marya. Wanda is shocked – Marya is supposed to be dead. But Dasha points out that just because Marya was burned in the fire, doesn't mean she died. They drive to a forest, where Wanda finds Marya sitting outside a caravan....

Full Summary: 

Novi Pazar, Serbia, where Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch walks towards a church. She thinks that it is funny – or sad – she isn't sure, because she has long sago stopped knowing which. Now, she is trying to forget so much of her past, and yet there's even more about it that she is trying remember. Walking towards the alter, which is bathed in sunlight that streams through a large window, Wanda asks 'Father Drobnjak?'

An elderly man looks up and asks 'Yes? How can I help you, my dear?' Wide-eyed, Wanda responds that she seeks answers. 'Yes, so many who enter here do' the father replies. Wanda reveals that she is trying to locate a community of Romany travelers, and the last record she managed to uncover was here, this town – and then nothing.

The old man grins and remarks 'Ah, the Roma. Their path is never easy. Harder still back then'. He adds that this country, like so many around it, has been with unrest and war – religion was involved, of course. 'When isn't it, to some degree?' he asks, adding that with the Romany, either Orthodox or Muslim, that would certainly put them right in the middle of everything. Father Drobnjak asks Wanda if these particular Roma were her people. 'I think so – at least as far as I can tell' Wanda replies, to which the old man asks her how long ago was the last record of them. 'Twenty-five years ago, as close as' Wanda reveals. 'Well, goodness, my dear, in that time, who knows where they may have gone to?' Father Drobnjak points out. 'Yes, that's the problem' Wanda agrees.

Father Drobnjak suggests that the stress of being a traveler in wartime, perhaps they simply settled somewhere, or scattered – it happens. Wanda tells Father Drobnjak that she is thinking of him mentioning war and fighting, and asks him if this town was ever attacked back around the time she is trying to learn about. 'Which army do you mean? They all start to look alike' the old man replies. Wanda smiles as she tells him that the one she is thinking of would stick in his memory if he saw them – the Knights of Wundagore! The old man almost hesitates as he replies 'No – I – what is that? It sounds like some kind of fraternal order'.

Wanda looks unimpressed and tells the old man that normally she would play along, see where his charade was going – but she has neither the time nor the inclination. 'You know who the Knights are. You're also more than aware of their leader and creator... the High Evolutionary! Come on, speak up!' she tells the old man, who shrinks backwards.

'I -' the old man hesitates, when suddenly, Wanda proves she means business as the entire church around them explodes outwards. The old man drops to his knees and covers his head. When the hex sphere fades away, Wanda tells the old man that she couldn't hear him over the noise, while the church lies in ruins around them. 'When I said the trail led me here – I meant the trail led me to you' Wanda declares.

The old man is on his knees before Wanda, hands clasped, a similar pose he held many years ago, bowing before the High Evolutionary who stood over him. Wanda tells Father Drobnjak that she knows he met with the High Evolutionary in the past, knows he made a deal. 'You have to understand what it was like back then – we'd been under attack from bordering countries, but never from neighboring Transia before – and nothing was like these Knights!' the old man explains, recalling a lion-like Knight of Wundagore. Father Drobnjak reveals that he learned the attacks here in Serbia were because the High Evolutionary sought children – babies – ones that might hold latent potential he could augment – and there was one such pair – twins – the offspring of a witch who abided in the area.

Father Drobnjak stands up as he informs the Wanda that this witch had given her newborn children to a relative, one of her people, a Roma like herself, to raise as their own and keep safe from the perils that her own life saw all too often. 'Marya' Wanda remarks. 'Was that her name? I didn't know – all I knew was her location, hers and that witch's children' the Father explains. 'So you gave it away to the High Evolutionary?' Wanda asks. The old man tells her that she has no idea what it was like here. 'Yes, you said that already' Wanda reminds him, coldly. Father Drobnjak remarks that these Knights may have walked the Earth as they do, but they weren't human – ferocious beasts, raiding and attacking, as the High Evolutionary sought the perfect children for his work – first in his own country, Transia, before going forth into neighboring countries, abducting newborns and infants – like something out of the Bible. He recalls the Knights on their flying steeds, swarming the land, attacking soldiers.

'I reasoned that the witch's children might be special -' Father Drobnjak begins, Wanda interrupts him: 'A sacrifice, yes. The Bible's full of those, too'. The old man tells Wanda that she has no idea what it was like at that time, to which she tells him that he has no idea how tired she is of hearing him say that. 'So you gave away her children' Wanda declares, narrowing her eyes. 'Their location, that's all' the old man assures her. 'Gave them away, as good as' Wanda remarks. 'She was a witch – unholy, not good – a damned witch!' the Father shouts. 'She was my mother' Wanda snaps, casting a hex projection of her mother, Natalya Maximoff. 'And after seeing my power – unles you're an even bigger fool than I already take you for – I'd be careful not to besmirch witches' Wanda warns him, before asking him what happened after that.

'The High Evolutionary left us in peace' Father Drobjnak explains. 'That's not all though, and you know it...' Wanda begins. '”The Witch” - and say her name, her full name – Natalya Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch – she went to get her children – my brother and me – she went after the High Evolutionary' Wanda declares, to which Father Drobjnak announces that was the last anyone saw of her. Wanda points at the old man and asks him what that means. 'Tell me what happened' she declares, but the old man claims that he has no idea. Wanda narrows her eyes, as the old man shrinks backwards from her, wide-eyed he exclaims 'Really! You have to believe me. I know as much or as little as you or anyone. She went away'. Wanda widens her eyes, then looks to the ground. 'As will I' she announces.

A short time later, Wanda uses her powers: 'Here. I return this mockery of a church' she announces as the church appears over them once again. Wanda turns from the old man and strides away. 'I will pray for you' he calls out after her. 'Pray for yourself. I don't need it' Wanda snaps. The old man looks away, before calling out 'Speak with Dasha'. Wanda stops and turns back to Father Drobjnak. 'Who?' she enquires. 'Dasha Koralov' the old man tells her, explaining that she is Roma, an older woman now and a bit lost in the head, but that in her younger, brighter times, he thinks that she knew Wanda's mother. 'Don't thank me. I don't deserve it' Father Drobjnak tells Wanda as she turns away from him. 'I wasn't going to' Wanda replies.

As Wanda makes her way through Novi Pazar, she notes that it is not a place of destitution by any means, but that like anywhere, some areas are worse than others. Walking through a junk yard, piled high with cars, that is where Wanda finds her. 'Yeah? You see something in the yard takes yer fancy?' the old man calls out from where she sits in a shack in the yard. 'Dasha? Dasha Koralov? I hope I'm not bothering you. My name is -' Wanda smiles, as the old woman interrupts: 'I know who you are. Y' got the same eyes as 'er. Yer Natalya's girl'. Wanda smiles at this comment, before Dasha adds 'Wondered when you'd be by. Wondered, Wanda, ha!' Dasha laughs, adding that she is glad it was before she called it quits and all.

Wanda tells Dasha that she is sorry, and that she would have come to see her before now – years ago, if she had known about her. Smoking a pipe, Dasha tells Wanda that it wasn't like she was sitting her twiddling her thumbs. 'At least yer here now' she adds, before Wanda states 'You were friends with my mother'. 'Best friends, aye' Dahsa smiles. 'Back then...back then, I had her back. Ha. What'chu call me – name they have for what I wuz. Oh yeah, that's it...I was her sidekick' Dasha reveals, remembering how she looked in her younger days. Wanda kneels beside the old woman and asks 'When she fought evil, you were there – criminals and such?' Wanda asks. Dasha explains that it wasn't so much crooks and robbers, as Natalya left that to the authorities. 'No, more the unseen and the untold' she reveals, recalling Natalya Maximoff – the Scarlet Witch – battling all sorts of demons and creatures.

'Heard the time when she was about called the Age of Monsters. Not 'ere. Eastern Europe, it was more an Age of Horrors. Vampires and werewolves. Couldn't throw a rock back then n' not hit a mad scientist. Oh, and witches of course. Lots of bad witches' Dasha reveals, informing Wanda that her mother fought them all. They take a walk through the junk yard, as Wanda reveals that she saw her mother recently – met her for the first time. 'Met her, you say? Can't imagine that's likely' Dasha replies. Wanda explains that she means her mother's spirit – she was young, from a time before her death. Wanda adds that she wanted to ask her mother so much, but she was gone before she had the chance. 'She loved you – you and your brother, both. Cost her her life, n' she gave it gladly' Dasha remarks. 'Tell me – tell me how' Wanda asks. Dasha tells Wanda that she wasn't there for most of it, as Natalya told her to sit it out. 'Guessing she knew it wouldn't end well – when that crazy Evolution fella come n' took you both to his country' Dasha announces.

'Transia' Wanda declares. 'Yeah. Transia – blasted place. She went after you – all the way to Wundagore Mountain where he had you both kept' Dasha reveals. Dasha tells Wanda how Natalya fought all of the Knights of Wundagore, beat them all, but the mountain affected her powers, she was not the mighty witch she would have been anywhere else. But that didn't stop her, as she loved her children too much – and she went down fighting. Dasha doesn't know for sure, but she thinks that impressed the High Evolutionary – touched his heart, if he had one, so when he was done with Wanda and Pietro he returned them to the world. He could have dropped them anywhere, but he took the time to find blood relatives of their mother's – Django and Marya Maximoff.

Wanda tells Dasha that she thought there would be a blood link somewhere when she heard her mother say her name. 'Your aunt n' uncle, they were' Dasha remarks, adding that they would have raised her as their own too, except the mob got riled by Django and they took the fire to him and his wife. Wanda hangs her head and looks sad as she replies that she remembers – almost – it is a blur. She adds that when Django re-entered her life, she was there when he died. Wanda tells Dasha that she doesn't understand why Django and Marya didn't explain who they were back then. 'No telling why people do things or don't' Dasha points out. 'Yes and that's the reason I've always been so close and so forgiving of my brother Pietro's errant ways...until recently anyway. He's all I have' Wanda announces, adding 'Though that does beg the question... if you know my mother then perhaps you know... who was my father?' Wanda asks.

'Not a clue. Yer mam never said. But you know who might have an idea...y' tried asking Marya?' Dasha asks. 'Wait! I thought she was dead – you said -' Wanda exclaims, grabbing the old woman by her shoulders. 'Said they burned her... never said she died from it' Dasha replies, causing Wanda to go wide-eyed.

Soon, Wanda and Dasha are in an old car, and drivve past an onion field on the way out of town. It puts Wanda's past in mind – how when each layer peels away, like an onion, she finds some new secret or truth. They continue driving, towards another revelation...and Wanda is both excited and fearful to this encounter.

Night falls as they arrive in a forest. Wanda and Dasha walk down a path, and eventually come to a caravan, where an old woman sits beside a fire outside the caravan. 'Marya... Aunt Marya?' Wanda calls out, and Marya Maximoff, her face burned, looks up, before turning back to her fire as Wanda stands over her and introduces herself....

Characters Involved: 

Scarlet Witch

Marya Maximoff
Father Drobnjak
Dasha Kolarov

In illustrative images:
High Evolutionary
Knights of Wundagore

Father Drobnjak

Natalya Maximoff
Ghosts, demons, vampires, werewolves

Wanda & Pietro as infants
Django & Marya Maximoff

Story Notes: 

Marya Maximoff was believed to have died in the fire that was seen in flashbacks in Avengers (1st series) #185-186.

Wanda terminated her relationship with her brother in Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #9.

Written By: