Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #12

Issue Date: 
January 2017
Story Title: 

James Robinson (writer), Annapaola Martello (artist), Matt Yackey (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer), David Aja (cover artist), Emily Shaw & Christina Harrington (editors), 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: 

Reunited with Marya Maximoff, who Wanda now knows is her aunt, Wanda learns how Marya survived the fire that she was told Marya died in. Marya reveals that Django's sister was Wanda's mother, and Wanda announces that she knows Natalya was the Scarlet Witch before her. The woman embrace during their reunion. Marya talks about Django and his wooden puppets, and  asks whether he died a good death after Wanda tells her she was there when he died. Wanda recalls how Django captured she and Quicksilver, and reveals this torture to Marya. Wanda discusses how powers are inherited and how witches often associate a color with their codename. Wanda informs Marya that the High Evolutionary told her that she was her mother when she learned Magneto was not her father, but Marya tells Wanda that the High Evolutionary is insane. She starts to tells Marya how she recently encountered her mother's spirit, when a demon possessing Marya reveals itself and attacks Wanda. The old woman Dasha wants to help, but she, too is possessed by a demon. They are only low, common demons, and Agatha Harkness' ghost appears, assisting Wanda to defeat the demons and free the women. Natalya's spirit appears to take hold of Marya, and she thanks her old friend Dasha for reuniting Wanda and Marya. Natalya tells her daughter that there are those seeking to stop Wanda from curing the sickness affecting witchcraft and reveals that she has to return to the Witches' Road. Natalya soon vanishes, but uses her abilities to restore Marya's appearance, healing her. Marya then leaves with Dasha, while Wanda and Agatha's spirit prepare to walk the Witches' Road once again.

Full Summary: 

Their wagon was old – rickety and rotted out, possibly thanks to the wood wasp. Locals who formed a mob stood around as the wagon went up in flames. Marya Maximoff was able to escape the flaming caravan – and thanks to one person in the mob who took pity on the burning woman, Marya survived.

Seven miles outside Novi Pazar, Marya Maximoff sits on a chair in front of her current caravan, a fire burning outside. She looks up at Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch. 'Aunt Marya - “Aunt” - even that sounds wrong. All those years when I thought you were my mother. You were my mother. To me and Pietro. I'm so – I – honestly I'm at a loss for words. I thought you were dead' Wanda tells her. 'Better you did, than see me this way' the disfigured woman replies. Wanda admits that she has blacked out so much of that day, and all she really recalls is running with Marya's screams behind her. 'I'm so sorry' Wanda utters. 'Why? You weren't the one with the matches' Marya points out. 'I should have checked after – later – it never occurred to me you might still be alive' Wanda explains. Marya tells Wanda that there is a certain finality in flames and screams, so she doesn't blame her.

'I can't imagine how I must look' Marya remarks. Wanda assures her that she looks like the woman who raised her from a baby as if she was her daughter. Marya tells Wanda that she missed her so much. Wanda smiles warmly and tells Marya that in so many ways she was, and still is – and always will be – her mother. 'No, let's call things what they are and who they are: I'm not your mam, I'm your aunty and Django was your uncle. His sister, Natalya... she was your real mother' Marya declares. 'And also... she was the Scarlet Witch before me' Wanda adds. 'That's right, brave girl, that she was' Marya remarks. Wanda adds that she came looking for her mother, and found Marya.

Wanda motions to the elderly woman Dasha Koralov who is standing beside a tree, and remarks that she couldn't believe it when Dasha told her Marya was still alive. Dasha tells Wanda that she is glad she could bring the two of them together. 'Must be a disappointment, me being alive n'her gone. You knew she was dead, right?' Marya asks. Wanda confirms that she did, and tells Marya not to do that to herself - “disappointment” is utter nonsense, and declares that this is the greatest thing ever to know that she is still alive. Marya thanks Wanda, and tears fall down her face. 'For what? Part of who I am – the good part, not the bad and mad, the good – that's because of you and the childhood I had' Wanda points out. 'It's me who should be saying thanks' she adds as Wanda leans down and hugs Marya.

Marya wipes her tears away: 'Enough tears. Don't know what got to me' she remarks, before telling Wanda that she bets she wants to know about her mam. 'I'm happy to just sit here and be with you, but -' Wanda begins, to which Marya points out that if she knows things, then she might as well tell them. 'Your mam was a witch, but your uncle Django... he had a touch of the craft, too. His dolls... he claimed hwat made them special was the wood he carved them from was from Wundagore, but I always suspected there was more to it' Marya reveals, remembering her husband. Wanda frowns, and informs Marya that she was there when Django died. Marya tells Wanda that Django couldn't handle this – her face – that in some way, he let it happen, or at least didn't have the power to stop it, so it was easier for him to convince himself that she had died that day.

Marya then asks Wanda how Django died, and whether it was a good death. 'Is any death good?' Wanda asks, revealing that Django wanted to reclaim her and Pietro and used his “magical” dolls to possess them. She remembers being trapped in a cage as the doll, and hangs her head: 'No, not so good a death' Wanda frowns.

'It's funny. I feel nothing for the man who ran away. I'll always love who he was before that bad day when everything changed' Marya announces, adding that she is surprised to discover how much a witch's craft can be inherited – even with Django and his dolls. 'Of course, there's skill involved, hexes and spells memorized -' Marya adds. Wanda tells her that at the same time, witch's blood is a hell of a thing. Wanda remembers a witch she met in Hong Kong – the Wu – who inherited her powers from her mother, too, and in Japan, a warlock was murdered because conversely he didn't have any blood heirs to inherit his power.

Wanda continues, announcing that she has just realized, and that it can't be a coincidence – how witches identify themselves with a color, but that it is never a basic one. 'I'm not the Red Witch, I'm the Scarlet Witch. The Emerald Warlock, not Green. Then there's the August Wu of the Coral Shore – although I admit calling yourself the “Pink Witch” is ridiculous. And even the Aoi Master – Aoi means a blue-green' Wanda explains, adding that she assumed the Scarlet Witch because real, true red is considered unlucky to the Roma. 'Babaxt, aye. But that wasn't the reason for the name, not with your mam. Came with the magic, when she got it from her dad, just like you got it from her' Marya reveals. 'Grandfather?' Wanda asks, admitting that she never thought to take this even further back. 'There was a Scarlet Warlock?' she asks. Marya tells Wanda to look in the history books of the area – he's there if you ready between the pages.

Marya remembers his sister-in-law and tells Wanda that her mam liked the name and weren't about to change it – she liked that it suggested “bad luck”, not bad for her – but rather for whoever crossed her. 'Although it seems that philosophy didn't extend to the High Evolutionary' Wanda points out, and Marya agrees. Wanda remembers how the High Evolutionary recently told her that Marya and Django were her real parents – when he revealed that Magneto was not. Marya recalls how the High Evolutionary found her and Django, and he gave the infant twins to her. 'Oh, he knew who we were, I'm sure. Even though he had us thinking it was blind, merry chance'. Marya suggests that the High Evolutionary is clearly as unfamiliar with truth as he is his own sanity.

Wanda informs Marya that she summoned a spirit recently, for a hero in France – his wife, who had died, and explains how, since then, she has tried to summon her mother, too, but that her spirit has been elusive. Marya hangs her head, then looks up at Wanda and tells her: 'You'll never see your mother'. 'Marya? Why would you say that? How can you be so certain?' Wanda asks. 'Why? Because... I'm going to stop you!' shouts a horrid, blob-like demon that takes over Marya's form and extends tendrils with jagged teeth that lunge to grab Wanda. The Scarlet Witch fires a hex at one of the tendrils, but then falls to the ground. 'Where's Marya? What have you done with her?' Wanda calls out as she readies another hex. The blob-like demon licks its lips and explains 'I possess this one's mortal shell, but I am more – I, Kalinq!'

It starts to run towards Wanda, who holds her hex sphere ready. Marya's face can be seen in the demon's form, and Wanda tells the demon 'Fancy name for what you are – a common witch-demon – I know your kind'. Dasha steps towards Wanda, asking her to let her help. 'What can I -' the old woman begins, but Wanda tells her to get away – too late though, as another demon emerges from a nearby tree. 'Before what? Before a second demon possesses this mortal, too?' the equally horrid second demon asks. Wanda creates another hex to keep the second demon at bay. Wanda knows that she can use a spell of exorcism, as that worked in New York with the detective – but she is scared to do more, as she risks hurting the bodies and souls of Marya and Dasha still somewhere in the demon's corporeal forms. Both demons lunge at Wanda, 'This is – I'm -' she thinks to herself, when: 'Oh, Wanda... what mess have you gotten yourself into now?' the ghost of Agatha Harkness asks as she appears above the Scarlet Witch. 'Agatha!' Wanda exclaims.

Agatha's ghost drops down beside Wanda, and asks her if she cares to let an old ghost lend her her energy. 'I think together we can beat them' Agatha smiles. 'How did you know I needed help?' Wanda asks. 'My dear girl, dead or alive... I'm still Agatha Harkness!' the old woman's ghost declares, as she unites with Wanda, who release a powerful surge of energy, destroying the demons, and leaving Marya and and Dasha lying on the ground. Wanda calls out to the woman, as Agatha's ghost rises up over her. 'I... I... I'm alive. That's all I can say for certain at the moment' Dasha replies, while Wanda calls out to Marya, asking her if she is hurt. A ghost rises from Marya's body and announces 'She isn't here yet, daughter. I'm sure she won't bedgrudge me borrowing her so we can share a moment'. Wanda looks surprised and rushes over to the ghost: 'Mother, is that you? Natalya?' she asks.

'Yes, I'm here, but only for a moment' Natalya responds. Dasha sees her old friend, and calls out to her. Possessing the body of her sister-in-law, Natalya goes over to Dasha and helps her to stand up. 'Hello, my old friend. Thank you for reuniting my daughter and her aunt' Natalya tells her. Natalya looks back at her daughter and reveals that she was trying to possess Marya so that she could put Wanda on the right path, when those demons interceded. She informs her daughter that there are forces abroad that would seek to stop her fixing witchcraft – curing it – those who feast on the rotten meat of the craft's sickness. 'Who are they? Are they on Earth? I will find them wherever they are, there'll be no hiding from me!'

Natalya smiles and tells her daughter to calm down, and informs her that the answers she seeks are to be found in the place they first met. 'When I said “put you on the path” I meant it literally' Natalya reveals. 'The Witches' Road' Wanda frowns. Natalya tells Wanda that she must walk it further than any witch – further than anyone, and when she gets to the end, she will learn what is needed of her. 'But I need to know who or what I'm fighting' Wanda replies. Natalya tells her that she will – when she gets there, but for now, it is all about the journey. 'Go. My time draws to a close. I must return' Natalya announces. Wanda folds her arms and asks her mother's ghost if she will see her again, as there is still so much she doesn't know. 'Later' Natalya replies, before she fades away, leaving Wanda with a gift – not for her, but for her aunt – long and deserved – and Maray Maximoff's appearance is suddenly healed of all her burns.

'...Wanda?' Marya asks. Dasha goes over to Marya, 'Heavens, look at yourself' she utters. 'no, I never do, it's – what happened? The last thing I recall -' Marya replies, before Dasha explains that Natalya healed her, and that she is beautiful. Leading Marya away from the campsite and away from Wanda, Dasha tells Marya that she has a mirror in the car.

'So, the Witches' Road?' Agatha's ghost asks, hovering nearby. 'Indeed' Wanda agrees, before asking Agatha if she is coming with her. 'Goodness, are you joking? Try keeping me away' Agatha replies. Wanda looks thoughtful, and Agatha asks her 'What is it?' Wanda tells her that she was just thinking – all the experiences she has encountered lately, the different battles, different countries and foes – she feels like they were training for what lies ahead. 'Are you certain?' Agatha aska as Wanda creates a hex sphere. 'No, but I intend to take them with me, nonetheless' Wanda replies as the hex sphere transforms into a portal which Wanda steps through, reaching back out to Agatha's ghost, she tells her to come on, and they can walk the Witches' Road once more – one step at a time....

Characters Involved: 

Scarlet Witch
Agatha Harkness

Marya Maximoff
Natalya Maximoff
Dasha Kolarov

Kalinq and another demon

In Flashback:
Marya Maximoff


In illustrative images:
Natayla Maximoff
Django Maximoff
Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver

In Wanda's memory:
The Wu
Emerald Warlock
High Evolutionary

In Marya Maximoff's memory:
Wanda & Pietro as infants
Django & Marya Maximoff
High Evolutionary

Story Notes: 

Django Maximoff died in Avengers (1st series) #187.

The High Evolutionary told Wanda that the Maximoffs were her real parents in Uncanny Avengers (2nd series).

Written By: