Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #6

Issue Date: 
July 2016
Story Title: 

James Robinson (writer), Marguerite Sauvage (artist), 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 is in Paris, where she prevents a terrorist group called Les Apaches Nouveaux from robbing a bank. A local police inspector thanks Wanda, who explains that she is in Paris on a personal mission, and isn't able to help with the city's other problems. Wanda enquires as to the local heroes, and is told that they are either busy or troubled. This leads her to a rooftop, where she finds the hero Le Peregrine, no longer able to fly, standing on the edge of the roof. He tells the Scarlet Witch that she cannot help him. He reveals his origin to her, and of how he met and fell in love with his wife Adele – and how she died when he was off saving other people and unable to help her. Wanda wants to help Le Peregrine, so casts a spell which brings Adele's spirit to them. Adele speaks to Le Peregrine and tells him that he must live on without her. Of the view there is nothing without her, Le Peregrine leaps from the rooftop as Adele's spirit fades from view. Wanda throws up a force field to prevent him from falling to his doom. She drags him back onto the rooftop and tells him that bringing Adele here has taken more time off of her own life. Adele returns and tells Le Peregrine that this is not the way to happiness. They speak some more, and Adele gives him some words of encouragement so that he might one day fly again, live for them both, until they are reunited. Adele is gone, and Le Peregrine thanks Wanda for what she has done. He asks how he can repay her, to which she tells him do as his wife bade. So Le Peregrine once again takes flight across Paris.

Full Summary: 

Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch casts a hex as she hovers above the ground. She wonders why she is so nervous. Her lips are dry, her hands shake even as she casts the drawing hex. She supposes that it is because of what is at stake – a man's heart. His soul – and the hope that his wings may once again take flight, as nearby, a forlorn man with angel-like wings hangs his head and looks terribly unhappy.

Three Hours Earlier:
Wanda casts a hex as several armed men confront her in Paris. She tells herself that the term “Apache” was coined around 1900 for certain Parisian street gangs – gangs renowned for their savagery, their name taken from the mighty warriors of the American plains – Les Apaches Nouveaux. Wanda reminds herself that they were also apparently quite good dancers, but she has no idea about the footwork of this new cabal who take their name from this city's past. Hostages cower nearby, as Wanda tells herself that she must show these thugs that it takes more than some hi-tech toys and a disregard for the law to make them even a footnote in history. This isn't hard for Wanda. A heka spell of depowering from ancient Egypt is used against them, coupled with a tribal hand sign spell from the American plains Indians to induce sleep. 'There' Wanda announces as the members of Les Apaches Nouveaux fall to the floor. 'Or I suppose I should say...' Wanda thinks to herself as she declares 'C'est fini'.

As local police officers lead the thugs out of the building, a plain-clothed officer approaches the Scarlet Witch and thanks her. 'We are not used to someone of your stature helping us with our problems' he points out. Wanda addresses him as Inspector Joubert and tells him that she knows Paris has its own heroes. 'Please, call me Marc' the Inspector replies. 'Marc... I was here on a mission of my own – advice from one of my colleagues -' Wanda begins. 'An Avenger?' Marc enquires. 'No, a witch. Nothing to do with Les Apaches Nouveaux, though. No, I was merely passing by' Wanda explains. 'As you say, the right place at the right time' Marc comments. 'Or the wrong place and wrong time if you were a member of that gang, I suppose' Wanda smiles.

Marc informs Wanda that the city is light on the super hero front at the moment. He reveals that Les Heroes de Paris have vanished – where, no one knows, and their elite government unit, the Musketeers, is out of the country, while the vigilante swordswoman La Guillotine, he knows for a fact is in Marseille causing mayhem. 'And as for our most well-known hero international -' Marc begins. 'Let me guess, Le Peregrine, right? The one who flies?' Wanda interrupts. 'That isn't grammatically correct, not in France – here he's called Le Faucon Pelerin – and I'm sorry to say that currently... he doesn't fly at all' Marc reveals.

Shortly:'Alain? Alain Racine?' Wanda calls out as she approaches a winged man standing on the edge of a rooftop in the city. 'Oh. Hello. What are you doing here?' the unhappy Le Peregrine asks as he turns and sees the Scarlet Witch walking towards him. Wanda asks him if he knows who she is, and he replies 'Of course. Everyone knows you. You're La Sorciere Ecarlate – the Scarlet Witch'.

Wanda tells him that she is still getting used to being recognized, and adds that she had no idea she was known here. 'Regardless, how  can I help you? I'm busy at the moment' Alain declares. 'Well, if I might beg to differ on that statement... I hope it's I who can help you' Wanda replies, asking Alain if it is true that he has been far from busy. Alain glances downwards, before looking up and revealing that he cannot fly. 'I have not taken to the sky since... without flight what am I? A man – no more or less than anyone No, less. I am nothing' Alain declares.

Wanda moves closer to him and asks him to tell her what happened to make him this way. 'Why do you care?' Alain enquires. 'Because I'm a human being' Wanda responds. Alain looks away from her and hangs his head, before looking back at her and asking how much she knows about him, about who he is and what his powers are.

'I know you're an aerial hero. Your wings give you the power of flight, much like our current Captain America -' Wanda replies, as Alain interrupts her: 'Sam Wilson. Who used to be the Falcon, yes? I suppose we are alike'. Alain explains that the way they are different is that his wings are linked to his brain – specifically his mind and thoughts. He adds that it is not as if he can simply take them off and hand them to someone else, if he ever retired. Alain informs Wanda that his origin is a strange one – that he is a writer by profession, and he was seeking research and went looking for one thing, and found something else entirely...these wings. 'Or they found me, perhaps. I chose to use them for good'. He recalls finding the winged skeleton in the tomb, while Wanda tells him that from what she knows, he has quite the skill as an investigator, one man, him, with light as his only power, has saved his country on countless occasions. 'You're considered France's greatest hero' Wanda declares. 'Yes, I'm the best we could do. I don't know whether to be proud or ashamed' Alain replies, adding that he supposes he has done all right, and that he is sure he has saved Paris from total destruction at least once. 'And yet... when... when she needed me. I couldn't save Adele' Wanda asks who Adele is, and Alain reveals that she was his wife. His beautiful wife. 'I met her – I saw her -' he begins.

Flashback images, narrated in the present:
'- the first time I saw her, she was on the runway... Paris Fashion Week. She was a model, lovely. My heart was hers from that first moment'. Alain recalls, remembering setting his eyes on Adele as she and other models strutted down the catwalk while photographers clicked their cameras at them. 'And she loved me. She told me she too was mine from the moment our eyes met' Alain adds.

'You were there as Le Peregrine?' Wanda enquires. 'That's the thing, it wasn't what you might think – her a model and me a celebrity super hero. No costume or wings to impress her' Alain replies.

Alain was just there, writing a piece on what it's like backstage at a show. There were so many girls back there, so much beauty, and it all faded to nothing when she came into view. Alain remembers that it wasn't the thing about Adele – it was her greater beauty within. How much she cared about politics and the world. Adele loved books. She was always reading, they were always arguing, too – nothing serious, but Adele saw the merits in the works of many writers and he being a jealous writer himself rarely saw the good in any of them. 'We never went to bed angry, though'.

Alain hangs his head as he declares that he loved Adele so much. Wanda asks Alain what happened, how his wife died. 'It happened the day after the attacks here in the city' Alain replies, explaining that there was so much fear, so much confusion, and he was everywhere, trying to be, anyway, as the hunt was on for the rest of the perpetrators. 'I'm sure you know. It was on the news everywhere' Alain tells Wanda.

Flashback images, narrated in the present:
'Adele was driving out of the suburbs to check on a friend. A postal van collided with her car... and I lost her' Alain announces, recalling Adele's body, slumped forward through the car windscreen, blood pouring out of the car.

Wanda tells Alain that she is really sorry, but that she doesn't quite understand how that affects his flying. Alain hangs his head and declares that he should have been there. He tells Wanda that he knows it is ridiculous to think this way, he does. 'I was so busy elsewhere – instead of being with her. Why wasn't I driving? Why wasn't I flying by to swoop down and save her?' he wonders. 'When I've saved so many, why couldn't I have been there for her?' He then explains that he comes up here, to this roof, that roof, all over, and stands and mourns, and tries to take to the air, but his mind won't let him – his wings won't work. 'I feel impotent' Alain announces. Alain reveals that it has crossed his mind more than once to just take a step over the side and visit the pavement – for if there is an afterlife, he will see his sweet Adele, and if there isn't, then he will be free of this torment at least. He wishes that he could see Adele again, tell her how sad and sorry he is that she is gone and that he couldn't be there when she needed him. 'Do you think that would heal you?' Wanda asks. 'Honestly... I have no idea' Alain admits.

'Let me see what I can do' Wanda offers. She raises her hands and pink energies glow around them as she moves her hands about, gracefully casting spells. She thinks to herself that Paris has its many ghosts, so she hopes hers decides to show herself. 'I use a spell of who lived yesterday...I'll call you from my mind to yours! Come back from shadows into the light...and show yourself here!' Wanda calls out as her energies give way, and Alain's eyes suddenly go wide, he gives a smile, 'Adele!' he exclaims.

'Alain...' utters the naked Adele as she appears between the whirling pink energies cast forth by Wanda. 'Adele, my love, I can't believe – I hoped, but -' Alain begins, while Wanda informs him that he doesn't have long. 'My power is only strong enough so that she will remain a moment or two' Wanda adds. Adele looks at Alain and tells him to listen: 'You can't become this – a lost man mourning me. You must go on' she tells him. 'Without you, what's the point?' Alain asks. 'In fact, knowing you're here – a spirit – that there is an existence beyond this one... it shows me the way -!' Alain exclaims as he rushes to the edge of the rooftop. 'No!' Wanda and Adele cry out in unison. 'ALAIN!!!!' Adele screams, as he leaps off the edge, 'You idiot!' Wanda declares.

Wanda casts another spell which creates a forcefield under and in front of Alain, causing him to drop back onto the rooftop, preventing him from leaping to certain doom. 'Do you think I did this as an invitation for you to end your life?' Wanda asks Alain. 'Have you any idea how much a spell like this – summoning your wife's spirit back from the afterlife – has cost me?' Wanda declares. 'Every hex takes time off my life. This... is my life-span. Nice, “oui”?' Wanda reveals, showing an older, haggard, version of herself in an illusion. Adele tells her husband that this isn't the way, not to happiness and not to her heart. Alain tells Wanda that he is sorry, and that that was ungrateful of him. 'It's just that I miss you so much, Adele. Life without you is meaningless' Alain declares. Adele asks Alain what it was that Wanda just called him – an idiot, and tells him that she is right, he is a fool. Adele announces that she isn't going anywhere, and states that there is an expression - “Vous etes un mort depuis longtemps de temps”, and that she will still be waiting for Alain when it is time for him to cross over.

'But until then, you have a destiny... you have to save -' Adele begins, while Wanda utters another spell to keep the portal open, Alain interrupts Adele – 'France? Protect and save? To hell with France – to hell with everyone. I want you, Adele'.

Adele hangs her head and replies that the man she loves would never speak the way – the man she will one day hold in her arms again. 'I'm sorry, my love. And you, Wanda. I'm sorry. As Adele says, I'm not myself' Alain declares as he stands up. 'Well, you are yourself when it comes to interrupting me when I'm saying that regard you haven't changed at all'. Adele then finishes what she was trying to tell Alain before – that he must save the world. Adele points out that heroes' values waxes and wanes, but that for one brief moment, Alain Racine will be Earth's greatest champion – he will encounter a grave thrat to this planet and he will save everyone. 'When?' Alain asks. 'Find out for yourself. I can't do everything for you' Adele replies. 'You minx' Alain smiles. 'You pig' Adele tells Alain as they stare into each others' eyes. 'I adore you...' Adele tells Alain as he takes her hand. 'And I you' Alain responds. Adele starts to merge back into the waves of energy surrounding her, and she tells Alain that they will be together one day, she swears, but until then, as both Alain Racine and Le Faucon Pelerin – he must live for them both.

With that, the spirit of Adele Racine disappears. Alain turns to Wanda and thanks her, assuring her that this moment, seeing his beloved wife, has given him more than he had dared hope. Alain remarks that it is funny how mere moments ago, Wanda stopped him from taking his life, and now he honestly feels as if he is born again. He kisses Wanda's hand and tells her that he will always be in her debt. 'If there's anything I can ever do...anything -' Alain begins, but Wanda smiles and tells him to hush, and that he can repay her by doing as his wife bade him. 'Live... and fly'. With that, Le Peregrine takes to the Paris skies, and Wanda smiles.

Characters Involved: 

Scarlet Witch
Le Peregrine
Adele Racine
Inspector Marc Joubert

Les Apaches Nouveaux
Police officers

In Flashback images:
Alain Racine
Adele Racine


Written By: