Scarlet Witch (3rd series) #5

Issue Date: 
July 2023
Story Title: 

Steve Orlando (writer), Russell Dauterman (artist), Mattew Wilson (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer), Anthony Gambino (production designer & illustrator), Russell Dauterman (cover artist), Dustin Nguyen; Joshhua “Sway” Swaby; Marc Aspinall; Martin Coccolo & Jesus Aburtov (variant cover artists), Kaitlyn Lindtvedt (assistant editor), Alana Smith (editor), Wil Moss (senior editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)
Scarlet Witch created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

While Scythia begins to smash through the protection field that the Scarlet Witch has surrounded Lotkill with, the Scarlet Witch begins rebuilding the Emporium which was destroyed by Scythia. Once the rebuild is complete, Darcy begins to check Wanda's wound, while she and Wanda contemplate the mysterious low form of Mysterium which keeps Wanda's wound from healing. They don't have long to think about it though, as Scythia returns and crashes a helicopter into the Emporium, creating a fire which begins to spread to neighboring buildings. Wanda challenges Scythia once more, but Scythia is physically stronger than Wanda and breaks through every protection spell Wanda uses. But Wanda is defiant, and uses this opportunity to display her own physical combat training as she goes head-to-head with Scythia. Nevertheless, Wanda is badly beaten, and Scythia stabs her with s blade she created from the Mysterium armor she now wears. But Wanda has one final trick left – Scythia did not put any armor on her chin. Faced with the full fury of the Scarlet Witch, Scythia isn't sure that she is in any true danger, but eventually yields, and listens as Wanda explains to her that she can break the cycle of the Bacchae's vengeance against Darcy and change the tradition. Scythia agrees to let Darcy live, but decides that the decision to change must be left to the Bacchae. Scythia then departs Lotkill, leaving the destruction behind her. Wanda and Darcy discuss what just happened, and Wanda asks Darcy to remain with her at the Emporium, before they make their way through the town, repairing all of the damage Scythia caused. Darcy also promises to investigate the Mysterium necklace causing Wanda so many problems. Elsewhere, two drunk men find a cave where they plan to do some more drinking – only they are attacked by someone who wounds them by transforming their beer cans into metal spikes – someone who looks like Magneto!

Full Summary: 

The town line of Lotkill, New York. The town of Lotkill is currently surrounded by a protection field thanks to the Scarlet Witch – but the Warrior Woman called Hippolyta, currently known as Scythia, is smashing her fist repeatedly into the mystical protection field, over and over – until suddenly, it shatters. 'So much for your dome, Maximoff. Scythia's coming' the powerful Warrior Woman grins as she steps back into Lotkill wearing a special armor she has fashioned from a powerful rock.

Wamnda Maximoff a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch frowns on people trying to kill her friends, such as Scythia who is currently trying to kill Darcy Lewis, a young woman working at The Emporium, Wanda's curio store. A store which was destroyed in battle and Wanda is currently bending reality around her to restore her beloved Emporium, while Darcy watches in awe. 'Damn, Wanda. Almost like we didn't have to spend the night in a hotel' Darcy comments. 'Hotel and infirmary, Darcy' Wanda corrects her companion, reminding her that Scythia hurt people. Wanda included. Wanda notes that remaking a shop is easy, while Trust is harder to heal. 'Speaking of -' Darcy begins, before noticing that Wanda's bandaged shoulder is bleeding. 'It's nothing' Wanda responds. 'Like hell, Wanda. Finish the door... then get inside' Darcy exclaims.

Shortly, inside the restored Emporium, Wanda sits on a chair, while Darcy approaches her with a first aid kit. 'Please, it's less than a flesh wound' Wanda remarks, adding that she has fought Thanos. 'I don't know her' Darcy retorts. Wanda points out that a healing charm could mend the wound in seconds, but Darcy frowns and tells Wanda that she can charm herself after she has changed the bandage. 'Darcy, this is hardly -' Wanda begins, but Farcy slams the first aid kid down on a table and tells Wanda that this is necessary. 'It's necessary. Scythia came for me. You're throwing down with the murder princess for me. These arev real stakes for me. So let me help you' Darcy exclaims. Wanda looks sincere as she assures Darcy that she won't argue.

While Darcy changes the bandage, Wanda remarks that the low form of Mysterium keeps repelling her magic. 'It's a dangerous mystery' Wanda adds as she looks at the mysterious worry stone that has been in her possession for some time now. 'Sure. And we'll write one banger of a mineralogy epic if we survive this, but -' Darcy starts to reply, before a voice can be heard shouting 'LOOK OUT! SHE'S NOT STOPPING!' Wanda asks Darcy for a moment, and notes that she needs to step outside. Wanda does so, and sees Scythia piloting a helicopter – straight towards the Emporium. 'That's right, Witch. Your squire owes blood to the Bacchae... and I will yet see it spilled!' Scythia shrieks. 'Not be gentle!' the wide-eyed Wanda realizes as she casts a spell upwards towards the approaching chopper – causing the chopper to explode in a fiery display, and sending Scythia careening out towards the ground, which she skids across upon impact, her armor of Mysterium protecting her.

'Darcy fought back against a Bacchae butcher. You don't want to be doing this don't' Wanda calls out. 'Your pup killed a sworn sect sister. And still you insult me with talk?' Scythia snarls as she runs towards the Scarlet Witch. 'I did try' Wanda responds as she unleashes a powerful surge of energy towards Scythia, bathing her in crimson energy. Wanda hovers in the air, and once the energy fades, Scythia looks up at Wanda and licks her lips. 'Cute. And far more like it' Scythia utters as she leaps into the air and punches Wanda hard in the face: 'Show me your spells, Witch!' Scythia exclaims. Wanda tries to get Scythia to wait, but it's no use, and Scythia tells Wanda to do her worst, that it won't matter. 'Anything you make – I break!' Scythia boasts as she snaps a hex-sword and punches through another hex-weapon that Wanda conjures, even hex-armor, Scythia punches through it, and smacks Wanda in the face once more.

'You've lost your sting. A bauble of this rock drew your blood. Now an armor made from it brings you to your knees' Scythia exclaims as she shoves her knee into Wanda's stomach, finally dropping Wanda to the ground. Scythia stands over Wanda, who asks 'Where could you find so much...' to which Scythia snaps 'You'll never know. And you cannot stop this. Darcy Lewis will die for her crimes' and boasts that Wanda's magic cannot touch her, that she has nothing to hold her back. 'No weapons left' Scythia adds. 'Not quite...I've still got two' Wanda responds as she gets to her feet and holds up her fists, ready to fight Scythia hand-to-hand. 'Yes. Of course you do. The much-feared hands of a spellweaver. I quake' Scythia mocks. Blood splattered across her face, Wanda narrows her eyes and corrects Scythia: 'The fists of an Avenger. Trained by the best'.

'Not our best' Scythia smirks – but as Scythis goes in for a punch, Wanda dodges her, surprising the Warrior Woman. 'You want to break chains, Scythia? Start with your own!' Wanda exclaims as her fist connects with Scythia's face, drawing blood. 'You dare speak of my burden?' Scythia grins, revealing a tooth has been knocked out. 'My obligation to my people!' Scythia declares as she head-butts Wanda. Scythia reminds Wanda gthat Darcy Lewis deceived and cut down one of the Bacchae, and while her sect had long lost its way, she was family – and blood demands blood. 'Says who?' Wanda asks as she grabs Scythia's mouth. 'Centuries of tradition. A code molded by a coven of mothers' Scythia responds, before grabbing Wanda's hair and dragging her behind her as she starts to run. 'Duty trumps desire. Imagine the lives saved if you'd know your place' Scythia suggests. 'What I do here, I do...because I must!' Scythia shouts as she slams Wanda to the ground.

Scythia holds up a blade she has fashioned from the Mysterium as she stands over Wanda and boasts that the Bacchae will survive, that an outraged scribe like Darcy Lewis won't change that – any more than a sad sorceress with a weakness to enchanted ore. Wanda looks up nervously at the blade as Scythia informs her that she made it for her, born of her own two hands. 'It will take your life. No magic can stop that. So one last time...yield Lewis or die' Scythia declares. 'I'll never accept that choice!' Wanda responds as she rolls away from Scythia. 'You have no choices left' Scythia responds as she shoves the blade into Wanda's side. Wanda grins as she remarks that she does have a choice, and that in fact, she just made one. Scythia shoves the blade into Wanda's side, drawing blood and dropping Wanda to her knees. Scythia holds Wanda up and replies 'Oh yes. You've chosen death... when you could've lived'. Through gritted teeth, a determined Wanda replies 'Not yet, Scythia. But almost. And I think you'll see... if death is the path taken...we'll walk it together'.

Scythia goes wide-eyed, blade still in Wanda's side, while Wanda touches Scythia's face, unprotected from the armor, to which Wanda suggests to Scythia that she should have armored her chin. 'No... if you wished me dead, you'd have vaporized me in our first duel' Scythia points out.  Wanda tells Scythia that she was giving her a chance, hoping that Scythia wouldn't push her to this point. 'If you make me choose between our lives and Darcy' won't like the answer' Wanda states, adding that the Bacchae don't need to lose their founder, that there is still time. 'Do you want to die for your duty... or live for your people?' Wanda asks. Scythia closes her eyes, then asks Wanda what it is she suggests.

The women separate, 'Healing, Scythia. I suggest healing' Wanda responds as she casts a spell which washes around herself and Scythia, healing wounds and removing blood. Even the injury on Wanda's shoulder heals. Scythia is shocked, ' could have mended yourself at any time?' she asks. 'And you. The rock repels magic. Our wounds don't' Wanda responds. Wanda explains that she needed Scythia to know that the stakes were real for her. 'Duty dictates you must avenge a Bacchae death, even if your lost sister was unjust. You must kill the killer, even if she is just. You don't want to hunt must' Wanda explains. Wanda reminds Scythia that she said the Bacchae break chains – they liberate. 'I heard you, Scythia. I spent ages doing what I thought I had to do. Finally, I asked... why? So your code worked for thousands of years. Does it work now?' Wanda asks, adding that Scythia founded the Bacchae, and asks her to do what she wishes she had done so much sooner – gather her people, convene a coven of mothers, and if they don't like the tradition, then change it.

Scythia's tense fisted hand suddenly opens, as if she is about to shake Wanda's hand, which is outstretched towards her. '...Perhaps. But if the Bacchae are to change... it will be for them alone to decide' Scythia utters, clenching her fist once more. Scythia turns from Wanda, announcing that there is much to consider, but that she does not answer to her, or these people. 'You all have your lives. That is the same as having my respect' Scythia utters. 'You seem sure I'll let you leave with that low Mysterium on your back' Wanda remarks. Scythia smirks and asks the Scarlet Witch 'Would it frighten you for one such as me to have a check against one such as you?' Scythia begins to remove the Mysterium armor, and tells the Scarlet Witch that they are no longer enemies, and as such she no longer needs the armor. 'If we d battle again, I can at least give you a fair shot... and start from Scratch' Scythia remarks as she turns and walks away, passing several civilians who look on, confused.

'So... it's over? She's really gone? I'm safe?' a nervous Darcy Lewis asks as she emerges from The Emporium. Wanda floats towards Darcy and tells her that she has been safe from the moment she ran through her door, not that they didn't have to work for it a bit. Darcy doesn't know what to say, and remarks that she has been living on stolen time. 'I never expected more. Never thought I'd live past the end of Scythia's blade. I what?' Darcy asks. 'Now you're scared. You're at a low with no idea how to dig yourself out' Wanda responds. 'And all you're sure of is that there's no way back up the light. You're where I've been far to often, Darcy. But there is a way up. And we'll find it – together. does that sound?' Wanda asks Darcy.

'Sounds good, Wanda. Sounds real good' Darcy responds as she throws her arms around Wanda and hugs her. They walk side-by-side and Darcy tells Wanda that there is no need to get emotional, not in front of potential customers. Darcy asks Wanda if she could eat. 'You think I'm honorable, but you've never seen me attack a breakfast sandwich' Darcy exclaims. 'You're...hungry? I've got a town to rebuild!' Wanda remarks. Darcy tells Wanda to wiggle her nose and nod her head. 'Blood feuds wear me out' Darcy grins. 'You just saved my life! You seriously want me to starve to death?' 'Clearly not' Wanda assures Darcy as she continues on down the street, her magics rebuilding the street as they go, to the amazement of the locals.

'And hey, do me a favor? Get that diner up and running first' Darcy asks Wanda 'That's where they forge the egg, the ham and the cheese. Don't worry, I'm buying' Darcy assures Wanda, who reminds Darcy that she pays her. 'Relax! I've been skimming off the top since day one. Which reminds me...does my life need to be in imminent danger to work at your shop?' Darcy asks. Wanda tells Darcy that there is no such requirement, to which Darcy announces that she has been thinking she could stay on. Darcy pulls the low Mysterium worry stone out of her pocket and reminds Wanda that it can hurt her, and that there is more of it. 'I'm no witch, but I'm a hell of a reporter. You took me in, questions asked. So let me ask you some questions. Let me investigate this rock. Deal?' Darcy asks, while Wanda looks nervously at the worry stone.

Wanda hangs her head, before telling Darcy that she is on, and that as for the diner, it will be a moment rebuilding itself. 'Want to take the scenic route?' Wanda smiles. 'Hell yes, lady. Hell yes' Darcy grins, before taking Wanda's hand, as Wanda levitates into the air, magic swirling around her. She is the Scarlet Witch, and she takes joy where it finds her – because something is always lurking.

Elsewhere, two drunk jocks stumble across a hillside, when one of them notices a cave. 'Dude! Is that, like, a cave? You want in?' he asks. 'Hell yeah, son. I'm never not going in!' the other replies. As they enter the cave, they hear a strange tapping sound. 'You hear that?' one of them asks. 'Aren't we, like, alone?' the other responds. Suddenly, a six-pack of beer that one of them is carrying floats up into the air. 'Something's not right, dude! Your six-pack's got opinions, it's -' he begins, before the cans are transformed into jagged weapons which are shoved through both of the jocks – one through the shoulder, the other gets one through his eye. 'Mother of – place's haunted, dude!' the first jock shouts as they turn and run from the cave. 'Haunted?' a voice calls. 'Perhaps it is. Perhaps I'm a ghost. What else do you call those... who refuse to stay dead?' exclaims the man called Joseph, sitting on a makeshift throne, while wearing one of Magneto's old helmets....

Characters Involved: 

Scarlet Witch
Darcy Lewis




Story Notes: 

Darcy quotes the well-known “I don't know her” phrase when Wanda refers to fighting Thanos. In popular culture, this term was first used by Mariah Carey in 2001 when referring to Jennifer Lopez. It's since become a popular meme and way to describe someone who you do in fact know, but don't want to acknowledge.

Darcy's dealings with the Bacchae were briefly chronicled last issue.

Joseph was last seen in Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #16, where he was killed by Kwannon. A scar can be seen on his neck where she decapitated him.

Written By: