Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #9

Issue Date: 
October 2016
Story Title: 

James Robinson (writer), Joelle Jones (artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (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 is relaxing with some morning yoga, and senses that her brother is on his way. Indeed, Quicksilver arrives on her apartment balcony, and tells her that she is needed, as there is a war going on. Pietro chides Wanda for doing yoga, before Wanda wants to share some information with him. Pietro isn't interested, and tells Wanda that she must know what is going on with the Civil War. Wanda is confused, thinking her brother is talking about the battle between Captain America and Iron Man that happened a while back. Pietro explains that this is between Iron Man and Captain Marvel. He is confused as to why Wanda hasn't been following what has transpired, but as she tries to explain what she has been doing, he interrupts her. Wanda is reminded of the way that Pietro spoke to her as a child, and he speaks to her rudely, telling Wanda that he knows she is slow to grasp things sometimes, but that this is urgent. Wanda tells Pietro that he has treated her like an idiot for too long, and that she is all grown up now and capable of making her own decisions. Quicksilver gives Wanda a brief run down on what has transpired regarding Ulysses, his visions and Captain Marvel's plans to use him. He tells Wanda that War Machine is dead and that She-Hulk is not much better, and since then everyone has picked sides after Iron Man and Captain Marvel had an escalation of their differences. Pietro reveals that he is on Iron Man's side, to which Wanda announces that if she had to pick a side, it would be Captain Marvel's. Wanda starts to explain why, and reminds Pietro that she is a witch. She starts to tell him about the discovery she has made, but he isn't interested. Wanda changes her mind, tired of hero fighting hero, she declares that she is neutral. Wanda reminds her brother of tragic events that have happened to her and because of her, and how it is always she who ends up paying for them. They argue some more, about Wanda's choices in life, before Wanda reveals that she has found their real mother and she is going back to their homeland to uncover the truth about her. She asks Pietro to come with her, but he tells Wanda that it doesn't matter who their parents are, as in the end they are what they have made themselves to be. Pietro announces that he is disappointed and tells Wanda he is sorry he came here. When he makes another cruel comment about Wanda, she lashes out with a hex sphere, knocking him back. Pietro retaliates by speeding around Wanda, trapping her in a funnel, until she fires another blast him, unwilling to beg for him to release her. Pietro apologizes to Wanda, but she tells him that his apology will be shortlived, and then another moment passes and he will go back to his old, arrogant ways. Wanda tells Pietro that she has researched the state of his mental health and has concluded that he is a sociopath and that she never wants to see him again. Pietro frowns before assuring Wanda that she won't. He then speeds away. When he is gone, Wanda sheds a tear for her brother.

Full Summary: 

Manhattan, the sun rises over the towering concrete jungle as Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch performs yoga on the balcony of her high-rise apartment. She moves effortlessly from one pose to another, when suddenly, her eyes open. 'He's coming. I think – no. I'm sure of it. He'll be here soon' Wanda tells herself as a pair of white boots swiftly carry someone towards her. 'It's not my powers – not a magical premonition. No, even as children, before our abilities manifested... I always knew when my brother, Pietro, was on his way to see me' Wanda tells herself as she drops into another pose. Leaning back, she extends her arm overhead, to touch her toes which are curled up behind her head.

Her brother, Pietro a.k.a. Quicksilver speeds through the city. 'From the other side of the woods growing up...or the other side of the world today' Wanda concludes as she moves into another pose, and Pietro speeds up the side of her apartment building.

'Wanda! Sister! What in God's name are you doing?' he demands as he leaps over the balcony.

'Well, not to sound overly smug or sarcastic, but I'd say that was obvious. Yoga' Wanda replies, explaining that it is how she greets the day, for the last couple of years anyway, before grabbing her robe and placing it around herself. 'Yes, and I'm sure that's wonderful for lazy housewives with too much time on their hands, but you're an Avenger, you're needed – we all are' Pietro declares. 'Lazy housewives? What year is this? 1952?' Wanda asks, before explaining that it helps her relax, helps her rein in her darker thoughts, which is a good thing. She recommends to Pietro that he takes it up, if he would ever stand still long enough. 'As to me being an Avenger – not so much. Not lately, anyway' she points out, before telling Pietro to give her a hug, and the twins embrace.

Wanda pulls away from her brother, announcing that she has exciting news to share, but Pietro interrupts her, telling her that there is no time. He adds that he doesn't want her to think he is not happy to see her, but that in this instance, pleasantries and tenderness are a luxury they cannot afford.

Quicksilver asks Wanda if she knows what is going on. 'You must' he tells her. 'I've been... preoccupied' Wanda replies. 'The civil war' Quicksilver declares. Wanda looks out over Manhattan and asks her brother what he is talking about. 'The thing between Steve and Tony that happened a while back?' 'Steve? No, this is between Tony and Captain Marvel – Carol Danvers' Pietro explains. He tells Wanda that it began after they stopped the invasion of the Celestial destruction. 'You were there, I saw you... yes, Stephen Strange, you and all the other magical types fashioned some kind of epic spell as part of Earth's defense' Quicksilver reminds Wanda. A memory flashes through his mind of Strange and Wanda casting the spell alongside Shaman, Wiccan, Magik, Doctor Voodoo and Daimon Hellstrom.

Quicksilver continues, and tells Wanda that he wanted to say something to her then, but he was caught up in his own part of the event. 'Anyway, it was later – God, Wanda haven't you been following all that happened in the aftermath?'

Wanda explains that she has been busy. 'In fact, I've made a fantastic discovery that we both -' Wanda begins, but Pietro interrupts her, telling her that they have to go, as they need her powers to win, to end it before more blood is spilled. Wanda doesn't answer him, and her mind wanders back to a time when they were children, when Pietro told her to shut up and to do as he tells her. 'No. I'm not going anywhere' Wanda decides.

Quicksilver confesses to Wanda that he is at a loss and asks how much more clearly he needs to explain this. 'I know you're slow to grasp things sometimes, but I would have thought my urgency alone -' he begins, but Wanda turns to him: “slow to grasp”? She quotes him. 'You arrogant ass! I swear, sometimes, Pietro – Wanda begins, 'Yes? Sometimes what?' Pietro asks. Wanda gets angry: 'The way you talk to me – if you weren't my brother I'd kick you off the balcony'. She tells him that she has let him treat her like an idiot for too long now. 'There was a time when I was young, sure. I was nervous of my powers – our powers – and how we'd fare in the world. But that was long ago'. Wanda reminds her brother that she is a grown woman now, all grown up, and more than capable of making her own decisions.

Quicksilver holds his hands up and tells Wanda that she is right, of course, and admits that sometimes he forgets. 'You will always be my little sister' he declares. 'By a space of thirteen minutes' Wanda reminds Pietro, telling him that doesn't give him the excuse to treat her like she has a learning difficulty.

Wanda walks into the apartment and Pietro tells her that she is right again – he is rude by nature and he knows it. 'Know it? You delight in it!' Wanda declares. Quicksilver suggests that perhaps it was his explaining, as rushed as everything else about him, that didn't make clear the urgency. He informs Wanda that the Inhumans have a seer among them, a young fellow named Ulysses, and it was his power to foretell that allowed them to preempt the invasion. Quicksilver informs Wanda that they discovered later that Carol was taken with the notion to employ Ulysses as an “asset” - to end crimes before they were committed. Quicksilver explains that Tony Stark quite rightly saw this as a slippery slope – at what point does “prevention” become its own unique form of fascist policing where people are punished for things they haven't done yet. 'And that was that... each of them going off with their diametrically opposite ideologies'.

Pietro informs Wanda that Carol got her hands on Ulysses and had him tell her where Thanos was going to appear next, so she took a team including War Machine, Medusa, the Human Torch, Dazzler, She-Hulk and America Chavez to fight Thanos – a fight they lost, as Jim Rhodes is now dead and She-Hulk is broken. 'In the aftermath, Tony and Carol had an escalation of their differences, It's spilled over everywhere. Everyone has taken a side'.

Wanda listens to her brother, before asking him what side he is on. 'Why do you even ask that?' Pietro replies, telling Wanda that he is on Tony' side, obviously. 'We have enough on our hands already stopping all the crimes and global calamities without chasing after “what might be”.' Quicksilver tells Wanda that she knows better than anyone that everything has an effect – cause and effect. 'Make one crime stillborn, who's to say you're not sowing the seeds of something worse in its place?' Pietro asks.

'Well... then we have a problem' Wanda tells her brother. She reveals that if it comes to choosing sides, then she sides with Carol. 'What are you saying? No. You didn't listen, you couldn't have -' Quicksilver exclaims, grabbing his sister's arm. Wanda quickly tells him that she will say this just once more – she is not a child. She pulls away from Pietro, declaring that she understands everything he has said, and furthermore, was there at the start, so she does know how this all began. 'Yes, how it began, perhaps. What about how it ended... for James Rhodes? Were you aware of that, too?' Pietro asks. Wanda closes her eyes and admits that she wasn't, and that the news saddens her – Jim and Jennifer both. 'But... I'm a witch, brother. A fact that I've recently learned isn't merely due to the power given me by the High Evolutionary and the skills I later acquired by learning from Agatha' Wanda announces, informing Pietro that it is hers by birthright – her heritage, their heritage – from their mother. 'If you'd just listen -' Wanda begins, but Quicksilver interrupts her again: 'Later' he tells her. 'All that can wait until later. Now, just trust me, I'm right and my point of view -' he begins, putting his arms on Wanda's shoulders?; 'Is wrong' Wanda tells him.

Wanda pulls away from her brother once more, and continues: ''As I was saying... I am a witch. Witches have employed seers and oracles and future sight for centuries. As for what happened to Jim and Jen – I'd say what the heroes need is instruction in how to interpret these prophecies'. She states that if that is what is required of her, then she will get her coat. 'Otherwise -' Wanda trails off. 'Otherwise what, sister?' Pietro asks. 'What'll it take for you to follow me? More blood spilled? Is that it?' he enquires. “Blindly” Wanda remarks. 'You forgot to add that word. “Follow you blindly,” in your preferred world without seers or prophets' Wanda declares, asking if she hasn't been doing that already – it's what she has done their whole lives. She tells Quicksilver to think of the missteps they both might not have taken with some forewarning. 'And now, again, you expect me to simply jump at the sound of your voice?' she asks. 'For what? Hero fighting hero... how often must that dreary dance be played?' Wanda laments, telling her brother that if he wants her help in “hexing” her friends into compliance, then she refuses. 'No, if this is a “war” as you say... then consider me Switzerland'.

'W... Wanda' Quicksilver calls out to his sister, before hanging his head. He then looks back up at her and tells her that she talks about how she has matured – but she is still the silly girl she has always been and that she hasn't listened to a word he has told her.

'Maybe that's the problem, Pietro... you're always “telling” me' Wanda declares, throwing her arms into the air. 'People are dying, sister. Our friends' Quicksilver reminds her. 'Fighting and dying, I bet they are. And my presence has never stopped that before now. Why do you think this will be any different? Remember Force Works? That was Tony and me' Wanda exclaims. Pietro suggests to Wanda that she could make them stop – she has the power. Furious, the wide-eyed Wanda declares 'First “no more mutants.” Now what? “No more fighting”? “No more dying”? How about simply... “no more” ' Wanda suggests. She puts a hand to her head and closes her eyes, telling her brother that she loves him, but is through being his “easy out”.

Wanda informs Pietro that she is still not right from all that happened before, and asks him if he realizes that. 'I'm troubled in my head. Sometimes I cry for no reason. Sometimes I sleep all day' she explains, before telling Pietro that a lot of the reason comes down to things he encouraged her to do – and it is she who ended up paying for them. 'What has happened with you is my fault now?' Quicksilver asks, pinching the bridge of his nose. 'I only told you what to do to save you from yourself, don't you see? The instability in you -' Quicksilver begins, but Wanda interrupts him: 'That's you being polite, for once. Say what you mean, brother - “insanity”' Wanda declares. Pietro replies that he wouldn't actually use that word, but tells Wanda that for as long as he can remember, he has known that she needed guidance. 'I mean, look at your romantic life – the one place I couldn't get involved to tell you who to love' Quicksilver adds. 'You had a good try, though' Wanda reminds her brother. 'You married the Vision' Quicksilver declares. 'What about him?' Wanda asks. '“Him”? “He” is a machine. You might as well have wed a microwave' Quicksilver retorts.

'Ah, here's the Pietro I know and detest. Cruel, spiteful, judgmental' Wanda exclaims. 'And here's the Wanda I know, too. I see it in your eyes – flickering and uncertain. Chasing phantoms – literally – a new, dead mother, no less! Instead of what really matters in the world' Quicksilver tells his sister, who tells him that she can't believe he can be so flippant about this. 'Pietro, I found our real mother Natalya Maximoff, yes, same second name – perhaps related somehow to the couple we thought were our parents'. Wanda then announces that she is going back to their homeland, as she wants to uncover the truth about her, and tells her brother that she thinks he should go with her.

'Magneto and Magda Lehnsherr. Django and Marya Maximoff. The Whizzer and Miss America. Does it even matter who our parents are anymore? In the end, we are what we've made ourselves to be' Pietro replies. He then tells Wanda that he is disappointed, and that he expected more from her. 'Oh, I could say the same about you' Wanda tells him. 'I'm sorry I came here' Pietro declares, and Wanda agrees.

As Wanda turns away from Quicksilver, he tells her that he misses the little girl she used to be – the meek little follower. 'Well, she's gone and never coming back. And if you're so sorry to see me, then you should go, too. Go on!' Wanda snaps back, to which Quicksilver announces that he will go when he is ready. 'I was never as good at following directions as you were' he remarks. 'This is my home... get out!' Wanda shouts as she spins around and casts a hex which knocks Quicksilver backwards. 'Oh, sister... you'll pay for that' Quicksilver warns Wanda. As he speeds forward, he reminds her that she has always needed looking after. 'So let me take care of you!' he exclaims as he races around and around her, trapping Wanda in a vacuum. 'Can't breathe... Pietro... brother, plea-' Wanda begins to beg, but suddenly, 'No! I don't want your mercy!' she realizes, and shouts 'I DON'T NEED IT!' as she casts another hex, striking Pietro and stopping him from racing around her.

The sun has started to set by now, and Wanda stands over Pietro as he lies on the flower after crashing into Wanda's record collection. Wanda tells him that he can leave of his own volition, or she can throw him off the balcony like she said she would earlier. Pietro tells Wanda that he is sorry. 'For what? Almost killing me just now? Or for everything you've ever done to me?' Wanda asks. 'I wasn't – I would never really hurt you -' Quicksilver claims. 'Oh, then I guess it's okay. And you say you're sorry? I'm sure you are... in the moment. But another moment passes and you're back to your old, arrogant ways' Wanda tells her brother, asking him if he knows what that kind of persistent behavior is a sign of, revealing that she has researched the state of his mental health as well as her own. 'You're a sociopath. And I realize now... you're no good for me. And... I... I never want to see you again' Wanda tells her brother, looking him directly in the face.

Quicksilver frowns and narrows his eyes, before telling Wanda not to worry, as she won't. He then speeds away. Wanda walks out onto the balcony and leans over the railing, before hanging her head and holding herself as she cries for her brother.

Characters Involved: 

Scarlet Witch

In flashback image
Dr. Strange, Doctor Voodoo, Hellstorm, Magik, Scarlet Witch, Shaman, Wiccan

In flashback image
Wanda and Pietro as children

In illustrative image
Captain Marvel VI, Dazzler, Human Torch II, Medusa, Ms America Chavez, She-Hulk, War Machine

Story Notes: 

This issue ties into the Civil War II event.

The battle against the Celestial Destructor took place in Civil War II #1.

Force Works was formed after the Avengers West Coast folded in Avengers West Coast #102. It's core roster consisted of the Scarlet Witch, Iron Man, USAgent and Spider-Woman II. Not unlike Ulysses Cain's visions, the premise behind Force Works was to be a proactive team, rather than a reactive. They were capable of this by using technology from the Works HQ in Ventura, combined with the Scarlet Witch's hex power.


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