Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #5

Issue Date: 
June 2016
Story Title: 
SHHH, a Whisper

James Robinson (writer), Javier Pulido (artist), Munsta Vicente (colorist),  Virtual Calligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer), David Aja (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: 

The Scarlet Witch arrives in Spain, where she is to assist a priest and a nun with some troubles involving possession. The nun recounts the cloister’s history, much of it involving well-chronicled witch-hunts and inquisitions, and how nuns at the church were believed to be witches and were either burned alive, or imprisoned in a tomb beneath the church, which had been unlocked by some vineyard workers. The nuns had made a vow of silence, so Wanda makes her own vow as she enters the church and locates the tomb. She has visions of some of the atrocities committed against the nuns. She battle ancient spirits, all in silence, and uses her power to cut through the wicked inquisitors, freeing the nuns of their turmoil. Her mission accomplished, Wanda returns to the nun, and they discuss the troubles. Wanda explains that these troubles have brought to mind her mother, and her people, the Roma, and how they have been treated, before leaving to take a walk in the countryside.

Full Summary: 

Logrono, Spain, specifically at the La Miel Madura Vineyard, due north of the city, where Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch stands outside a large church that sits among the lush green landscape. 'I hope you're not offended, Ms Maximoff... when I say how unsettling it is to ask for help from a pagan' a priest remarks. Stoically, Wanda addresses him as Father Gabaldon, and tells him that she is used to insults. 'Oh dear, I didn't mean – it's just – well... you are a witch' the priest smiles. 'And it seems that's what this is about, after all... men of God and witches. Sorginaks as the Basques called us – your distrust and hatred of my kind' Wanda replies.

'Yes, Ms Maximoff, you're absolutely right' a voice calls out, and a smiling nun appears. 'Sorginaks and their craft were feared and persecuted back during the inquisition and it looks like we're paying for that here today' the nun explains. She introduces herself as Sister Lorenz, and explains that she was sent here to liaise with the Scarlet Witch due to her studies into the history of this region. Wanda and Sister Lorenz shake hands, and the Scarlet Witch tells her to call her Wanda.

'I'll handle things from here, Father' Sister Lorenz tells Father Gabaldon. 'But – I – this was my –' the priest starts to interject, but Sister Lorenz just thanks him and tells him he may go. He storms off, and Wanda tells Sister Lorenz that she is sorry if her being a witch upsets him. 'You're a woman, Wanda. And you have power in the world. You're known. That's more than enough to upset a man like Father Gabaldon, even before you start casting spells' Sister Lorenz explains.

'You, on the other hand, sister... my being a witch doesn't bother you?' Wanda asks. Sister Lorenz replies that she is very much a bride of Christ, but like her savior, she keeps an open mind on all things.

Wanda suggests they deal with this situation and informs Sister Lorenz that she did some research on the vineyard before coming out here, but she would love to hear the sister's thoughts. Wanda adds that the summons she got said something about “possession”. 'Well, let me start by saying there are aspects of this that fascinate me... and others that absolutely terrify me' Sister Lorenz replies. 'I'm all ears' Wanda tells her.

Flashback images, narrated in the present:

Sister Lorenz begins by telling Wanda that, as she may be aware, back in 1609, Logrono was the site for the inquisition tribunal of the Basque witch trials. She adds that the inquisition is a stain on the history of the Spanish Catholic Church, and that stain gets no less red by what occurred here at the time. Wanda remarks that the vineyard was a nunnery then, and there were accusations of witchcraft – she learned that much. 'Yes, that's right. This rioja vineyard was at one time an ancient nunnery... and recently, in looking for more underground cellar space, the owners unearthed a crypt deep underground'. Sister Lorenz reveals that now, anyone who enters the building – any of the vineyard workers, if they speak, even a single word, they become possessed. 'Truly a fearful madness' she declares, informing Wanda that the church was summoned and an exorcism was performed. 'And how did that go?' Wanda asks. Sister Lorenz hangs her head as she reveals that the priests and sisters at the rite all become possessed, too. Wanda announces that she has a few ideas on the matter already, before asking Sister Lorenz why she thinks her abilities as a witch will fix what the church is unable to.


Sister Lorenz informs Wanda that her records show this nunnery's order took a solemn vow of silence, their vow, hindering communication with the outside world – and their use of herbs for rudimentary homeopathy – caused some distrust with some people – men, mostly. She adds that this attracted the attention of the tribunal, which was right here in the city, and the fact that these women were right under the noses of the tribunal made it even worse for them. 'They were branded witches. Some were burned, some simply vanished' Sister Lorenz reveals.

Wanda and Sister Lorenz walk towards the old building, as Sister Lorenz explains that she believes their spirits, angry at what was done to them, have been awakened. 'The spirits of “angry witches”... yes, that sounds like a job for me' Wanda remarks. She adds that it is pretty obvious it is the vow of silence being broken by anyone who enters the vineyard that is causing the possessions. 'Yes, I thought so too' Sister Lorenz agrees. Wanda strides onwards, announcing that she will get to work. 'What are you doing to do?' Sister Lorenz asks. 'After everything you've told me? Make my own vow of silence' Wanda replies as she casts a hex which opens the doors.

Wanda walks through the ancient building, down past many barrels of wine. As she walks into another area, many glowing red eyes peer out through the darkness at her. Wanda steps into the recently uncovered tomb, where she finds many human skeleton bones scattered about. A vision flashes before her, of the witches – the nuns – being burned at the stake, and angry villagers revelling in their torture.

Suddenly, the villagers turn and see Wanda. They run towards her, waving their flaming sticks about. Wanda stands her ground, and releases a surge of energy, which washes over them, knocking them backwards. Wanda is suddenly struck over the head, and she collapses, as the witches / nuns go up in flames. Wanda fires a hex which knocks her attacker back, before casting another spell which creates a rainstorm that puts out the flaming witches.

Teary-eyed, Wanda finds herself in a chamber where several nuns stand before the inquisition panel. An old man points accusingly at the nuns. Wanda glares at him, and creates a hex wall which slices off his hand. The wall then becomes a ribbon, which slices through the heads of all the old men on the inquisition panel. The old man who was pointing at the nuns only  has half a head – then collapses.

Wanda turns to the nuns, whose clothing drops as green, smiling spirits rise from them. Wanda smiles back as she watches the spirits rise upwards, then finds herself standing over more skeleton bones. She suddenly frowns as she detects glowing red eyes behind her, as more of the ghoulish villagers race towards her, weapons ready to strike. Wanda is ready for them, and throws up a hex field which knocks the first attacker back. The next strikes the field and shatters it, causing Wanda to duck as he brings a club-like weapon down towards her. Wanda casts another hex which sends one of the weapons moving upwards, then creates a dagger-like hex which she shoves through the chest of one of her attackers.

Wanda strikes another attacker in the head, and as another two rush towards her, she forms a long spike which she shoves through them both. Her attackers vanish, and Wanda finds her landscape changed once more, as she looks upon several silent nuns, hands pressed together in prayer. As Wanda strides past them, more green, smiling spirits rise from the clothing of the nuns, which drops to the floor. Wanda continues onwards, out into a field where more nuns are hacking away at what appears to be wheat, and more smiling green spirits rise as Wanda passes each of the nuns. When the last of the spirits have been set free, Wanda declares 'That's it, go... go with God' and she finds herself back in the darkened room she initially stepped into, skeletons at her feet.

Sister Lorenz and Wanda walk away from the old building, as Wanda explains that one of the nuns was a young novice, barely a month into her service, her anger at what was done to her is what caused all of this. 'She was interred with many of the others, all of whom – from what she can tell – were innocent of everything. Wanda continues, explaining that they were all true to their vows, to their faith in God. They didn't speak, not even to defend themselves. Wanda adds that some burned for it, some died in chains in the crypt, and reveals that she was shown the terrible history along the way to setting the girl's spirits free.

Sister Lorenz asks if, apart from the girl's rage, whether there was nothing malevolent in the crypt. Wanda informs Sister Lorenz that the girl's curse somehow kept the spirits of many inquisitors down there, too, so no. 'I wouldn't say my journey was without some peril'. Wanda declares that it is done now, they are gone, the girl, her fellow nuns and the inquisitors – for good or bad.

Wanda remarks that she can't help thinking how like her that girl was in some ways. 'There are many who hate me for who I am – some I'm sure who'd love to see me burn' Wanda explains. 'And you're innocent too, I'm sure' Sister Lorenz responds. Wanda hangs her head and closes her eyes, before looking upwards and announcing that she isn't completely, but that she is doing all she can to atone. 'And she brought my mother to mind, too. My people – the Roma – how they've been treated' Wanda remarks, adding that she needs to clear her head. Wanda then tells Sister Lorenz that it has been a long time since she has taken a walk through the countryside, and turns to walk through the vineyard.


Characters Involved: 

Scarlet Witch


Father Gabaldon

Sister Lorenz


in ancient flashback images:


Church leaders

in modern flashback images:

Vineyard workers

Priests and nuns

in visions:





Written By: