Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #3

Issue Date: 
April 2016
Story Title: 

James Robinson (writer), Steve Dillon (artist, Ireland), Frank Martin (colorist, Ireland), Chris Visions (artist & colorist, Witches' Road), Virtual Calligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer), David Aja (cover artist), Siya Oum (variant cover artist), 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: 

In Nigeria, the Emerald Warlock kills a young man called Douglas Sotinwa, apparently the last in a line of wizards that wronged him back in 600 BC. He now plans to exact revenge on the place where it all happened, in Ireland. There, Wanda arrives and decides that Dublin is not what she imagined. Agatha Harkness' ghost is with her, as Wanda has come to discover why Ireland is apparently dying – fields, animals, minerals – everything is withering all at once. They discuss Ireland and its links to magic, unaware that the Emerald Warlock is keeping a watch on them. They arrive in County Wexford and examine the ruined land. Wanda sees visions of a battle fought here long ago, and they continue on, to a tavern, where the barman is not interested in Wanda’s offer to help. She tries to explain to him that this is the location where all of Ireland's ills are emanating from. A local comes to Wanda's defense and suggests to the barman that he let her do her thing. The warriors of long ago – ghosts called the Slugah, “Irish Sinners” - approach the bar, closer and closer, until they burst through it. Wanda casts another spell, and the land begins to regrow, as the Slugah start to vanish. But in the process, the pub is destroyed. Wanda tells Agatha that she detects someone else was at work here, someone with an agenda of punishing the land. Wanda realizes the only way to find out who is to walk the Witches' Road. She opens a portal and steps onto the Witches' Road, where she is confronted by someone claiming to be the Scarlet Witch!

Full Summary: 

Lagos, Nigeria, where a man in a green suit, with a strip of green in his hair, raises an arm, which levitates a young man into the air. 'Please!' the frightened young man exclaims. 'This is all a misunderstanding! I swear to you, I'm not whoever you think I am!'

The man in the green suit tells him that he is the man – and a right special one, to boot. He reveals that he has been looking for the descendants of those who wronged him – the Tuatha De Denann – and he has been wiping them all off the face of the planet, too. The man in the green suit explains that when the wrong happened back in 600 BC, those Irish wizards – 'Your forefather n'his pals – well, y'can imagine – lot of multiplication over all'a years'.

The man suspended in the air looks frightened, while the man in green introduces himself as the Emerald Warlock and explains that this was long before he called himself that. 'Honestly I've lost track of how many'a ya's I've sent to the great beyond. Tens of thousands. And all o'ya the same - “not me”, “I'm innocent”! Yeah, I heard it all!' the Emerald Warlock declares.

The Emerald Warlock tells his captive that he is paying for the past, for what his ancestors did to him and his mother and brothers. 'Not that I cared so much about m'brothers, If I'm perfectly honest' the Emerald Warlock muses.

'PLEASE!' the young man pleads. The Emerald Warlock tells him not to cheapen himself and to die like a man, and be thankful he hasn't a family for him to kill along with him. 'I'm by no means a kind man, but killing babies – it's na' something I do with any joy. Tho' I've done it enough' the Emerald Warlock reveals, before telling the young man that he is the last, the very last, which is what makes him special. 'I'm done hunting. I've wiped the bloodlines of every wayward fella crossed me back then' the Emerald Warlock explains. He calls his  captive Douglas Sotinwa and tells him that he knows a bit about him, that he has done his homework. 'You're a young laddie full of hope for the guture. Gotb y'eye on being a pilot. You like the wild blue yonder, I'm thinking' the Emerald Warlock remarks.

The Emerald Warlock tells Douglas Sotinwa that he will give him that as a last wish. But he is guessing that his wish at this moment is to not die at all. 'But that ain't in the cards, no'. The Emerald Warlock announces that this is the best he can offer. 'Bye now' he calls out as he raises Douglas higher and higher into the air. The frightened young man cries, wide-eyed he is raised higher and higher. The Emerald Warlock looks up and tells himself that it is done, and now all he has left for himself is to exact revenge on the place where it all happened – Ireland.

'Dublin.. .is not what I imagined' Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch remarks as she walks through the international airport, pulling her suitcase behind her. Passengers in the terminal look at her. A man smiles, while the woman next to him frowns. Wanda adds that this is all based on her first impression, anyway, and remarks that the airport is all very modern. She supposes that it is the tourism industry wanting everyone to think it is still like that old John Wayne film, “The Quiet Man”. 'All green fields, drunken poets and old ladies in shawls' Wanda adds, deciding that if these surroundings are anything to go by, the Ireland of Yeats and Joyce are long ago and far away.

'Good to know' a voice replies – the voice belongs to the ghost of Agatha Harkness, who hovers alongside Wanda. 'Now, not that I don't adore your musings and introspective sound bites... but can you tell me why we are here again?' 'Well, I can tell you why I'm here, Agatha, but what I'm not so clear about... is why are you here?' Wanda replies.

As Wanda stands on a moving pathway that carries her through part of the terminal, Agatha hovers alongside her still and asks 'What was I going to do otherwise, float around your apartment and terrorize the cleaner?'

'Poor Rosita. It really isn't funny what you put her through' Wanda replies. 'I'm a ghost, remember? Thanks to you. My pleasures are few' Agatha declares. Agatha then tells Wanda that the main reason she is with her is that she sensed she should be, and at the moment, that id all she knows. 'Fine' Wanda replies, before thanking Agatha, adding 'In answer to your question – which I'm surprised you need answered at all – it's not like it hasn't been all over the news... Ireland is dying' Wanda declares. She informs Agatha that Ireland is dying, and tells Agatha that suddenly, every aspect of Ireland's economy that's derived from the land is failing. She reveals that fields all over the country have gone fallow, and mines – aluminum, zinc and lead – are suddenly full of lethal gases no pumps can clear. Cattle are dying, no meat or milk exports. 'All at once and all of a sudden'.

They are off the moving walkway now, and Agatha asks Wanda if she suspects witchcraft. 'I know it. Broken witchcraft, bad witchcraft. All that I've sworn to cure'. Wanda adds that even here, this modern airport, she feels the old ways. Wanda remarks that the country has always been rife with magic, at least in terms of story and legend. She adds that she wonders what they would say, people here, if they knew so many of their myths had a good amount of reality to them. 'Probably just nod their heads and order another pint, the lot of them' Agatha suggests. They arrive outside and as they approach a taxi, Agatha remarks that it doesn't feel very magical here. 'Agatha Harkness? For shame. When did you become such a grumpy old hag?' Wanda enquires. Wanda declares that Dublin is full of the art, light and dark both – she can feel the energy flowing through her – she could from the moment she got off the plane. 'Hmph' Agatha grumbles. 'That's all you've got?' Wanda asks, glancing at her former mentor. Wanda then tells her that this isn't where they need to be, and suggests they see what the countryside has to offer. 'Oh. You know where you are going?' Agatha enquires. 'No. But I know where the magic is leading me' Wanda replies.

As they leave in the taxi, the Emerald Warlock steps out of the terminal, 'An' darlin'... where you’re led, I'll follow along' he declares.

Two hours south of Dublin, in County Wexford. Wanda and Agatha stand near a brick fence and examine the dry, desolate landscape around them, while the taxi driver waits nearby. 'Actually, thinking about it, this would have been the Ireland you envisaged, Wanda. Green. Bucolic' Agatha declares. 'But looking at it now -' Wanda begins. 'Now? You weren't exaggerating – looks like a plague's swept through it' Agatha points out. Agatha reminds Wanda that she asked her earlier why they are here, and that Wanda answered. 'But I'll ask you again. Why here? This road, this field...where there's nothing but desolation?' Agatha asks. Wanda sees visions of battle and tells Agatha that is not true, as there are memories of a battle fought. She suggests they keep driving, not much further though, as they are close.

'I don't care what's going on, girly... you're not having my bar!' a bartender exclaims as he wipes a glass from behind the bar. Wanda stands at the bar, while a patron sitting at the bar watches her, as do other men who are in the bar drinking. The bar is called the Fallen Woman. 'Sir, I assure you, I have no designs on your establishment. I just need to be on this site for a short time so I can address the spell that ails the land. My name is -' Wanda begins, as the bartender scowls and exclaims 'I know who y'are. Red Witch. Scarlet Witch. N'I know what'cha done in the past – y'evil, so y'are'.

Wanda frowns and tells the bartender that she would like the past to stay there, if it is all the same to him. She assures him that she is here to help him and those around him, near and far away – the whole of Ireland. The bartender just leers at Wanda as he tells her that she will get into some magical barny and level his pub in the process. 'I watch the news, I seen it happen with me own eyes'. While a vision appears in her mind of one of those caught up in the battle, Wanda announces that this is the location where whatever is hurting the country is emanating from. She adds that the devastation has his root here, on this spot.

But the bartender declares that his place has been nothing to no one for as long as it has stood there. 'No, something happened here – a battle back centuries past that's somehow tied to what's going on all over Ireland now' Wanda explains. 'Even the name of your pub - “the Fallen Woman” -' Wanda begins, before the bartender interrupts her, announcing that it is named after a lady of the evening who perhaps took a drink or a fella here herself back in the day. 'Is that what you think? I guess I would, too. No... I believe she fell in battle' Wanda announces, as a vision of the horrific battle appears in her mind. 'Well, I don't care where she fell – in a fight or down the steps – I'll not have you in here, doing whatever it is you've a mind ta' the bartender declares, pointing a finger at the Scarlet Witch.

Suddenly, an older man who was sitting at the bar addresses the bartender as Finn and tells him not to be such an old tosspot. 'She's an Avenger, ain't she? She's going to do what she's going to do n'matter what ye say, so show her some grace, why don'cha?' he suggests to the bartender, who just grunts and turns away. Wanda thanks the older man, who introduces himself as Sean, adding that most people call him Sully. 'You o'course need no introduction' he adds. 'Ms. Maximoff' Sully grins.

As the vision in Wanda's head appears again – rabid men riding equally rabid horses – Wanda tells Sully that she has to undo the plague. She adds that the good thing about plague spells is that there is a flow to them, back and forth like a tide. Wanda states that she will plant a strong enough healing hex, and then this country will bounce back as quickly as it fell to whatever is hurting it. Sull declares that he will have himself a wee dram and watch Wanda do it, if it's all the same. 'Watch m'property is all I ask' Finn scowls. Sully tells Wanda not to listen to the bartender and to go ahead with her witchy ways. 'Just be mindful o' the glasses n' chairs' the bartender asks. 'You can do it, Wanda' Agatha's ghost utters as she hovers next to Wanda. 'Just close your eyes' she tells her. Wanda does so, and thinks that this spell could be her ennd – and every spell taking days and years from her. The bigger, the worse it is, and this hex is a mighty hex indeed. Wanda starts to raise her arms, and starts to utter the spell. She begins to shape the triquetra with her gestures, and tries not to think of her own peril, while nearby, the horrid beings edge closer to the Fallen Woman.

'I am a witch. A good witch! And this, the world will know... even at the cost of my own life' Wanda declares, moving her arms in front of her, crimson energy glows, while Agatha looks at a wall of the tavern which is knocked down.

'Cosaint!' Wanda exclaims as the horrors arrive in the tavern. 'Wanda, your healing spell -' Agatha calls out. 'M'bar! God, woman! Look what'chuv done!' Finn exclaims. 'Never mind that! Stay with me, I'll shield -' Wanda begins, before telling the others not to worry, as she has this. 'Spell and defense – both – I can do bo-' Wanda exclaims, when one of the horrors strikes out, firing a blast of energy towards Wanda, who raises a shield just in time. 'Wanda!' Agatha exclaims. 'Wanda! Are ye -' Sully begins to ask. Wanda declares that she is fine. Agatha watches the intruding spirits and informs Wanda that she recognizes them as the Slugah - “Irish Sinners”, as they were known, and they ride in the night. 'Well, they can keep on riding' Wanda responds through gritted teeth.

Wanda casts another hex, and the Slugah suddenly look confused, stopping in their tracks. Outside, grass suddenly grows, as do plants, and cows appear in fields, while the Slugah start to dissolve, shocked expressions across their angry faces. But when the spell is over, and the Slugah have vanished completely, Wanda, Agatha and the locals stand amongst the ruins of the Fallen Woman. 'My pub. I bleedin' knew you'd -' Finn begins. 'That's my girl' Agatha tells Wanda. 'I did it' Wanda declares. 'Aye, so you did' Sully remarks. Wanda closes her eyes, before opening them, and announcing 'No. I didn't'. Sully and Finn gather around her, as Wanda explains that she lifted the curse from Ireland, and they will know for sure when the sun rises. 'Still...' Wanda's voice trails off. 'Yes, Wanda? What?' Agatha asks. Wanda reveals that Slugah are known for acts of malice, sure, but she feels there was someone at work here. 'Who's she talking to?' Finn asks Sully. 'Not a blessed clue' the older man replies.

Wanda declares that someone is at work, controlling these entities, someone with the agenda to punish this land for a past wrong. Wanda wonders how the battle long ago – the woman who fought in it – who was lost or fell fits into Ireland now, she isn't sure. 'Yes, who's behind this?' Agatha asks. Wanda points out that that is the question. She is certain it is a witch, so can think of only one place to find the answer. 'The Witches' Road!' Agatha exclaims. 'Exactly' Wanda replies. She adds that if this is the dark work of a fellow witch, then the road will lead them to her. 'Better than my following a trail of energy around the world like a hound who caught the scent of a fox' Wanda decides. Agatha explains that she has not been able to go there alone since her death, but that if Wanda opens the doorway to the path, she can follow her. 'Then step lively, old woman... and let's see where this takes us' Wanda declares as she opens the portal, and steps into a strange, twisted realm.

Wanda feels queasy as she enters the Witches' Road. 'I suppose that way I rarely -' she thinks to herself, before a voice calls out to her: ' I know you? You look familiar' this other person asks as she appears before Wanda. Wanda trudges through the muck-like ground, 'I'm not sure, it does seem as if – I'm Wanda' Wanda calls out, while the other woman comes into the light, and announces that she is known by many names, although most notably – the Scarlet Witch!

Characters Involved: 

Scarlet Witch

Agatha Harkness


Emerald Warlock


Douglas Sotinwa




Bar patrons


Taxi driver

The Slugah


In flashback images


Story Notes: 

The Emerald Warlock first appeared in uncanny Avengers annual #1.

Cosaint: Irish for ‘protection’

‘The Quiet Man’: A 1952 comedy drama taking place in Ireland starring John Wayne.

William Butler Yeats is a famous Irish Poet and James Joyce is probably the most famous Irish author.

Written By: