Vision and the Scarlet Witch (1st series) #1

Issue Date: 
November 1982
Story Title: 
Trick or Treat

Bill Mantlo (Writer), Rick Leonardi (Penciller), Ian Akin & Brian Garvey (Inkers), Joe Rosen (Letterer), Bob Sharen (Colorist), Mark Gruenwald (Editor), Jim Shooter (Editor in Chief)

Brief Description: 

On Halloween, the Scarlet Witch and Vision return to their new home in Leonia, while trick-or-treaters look on in awe at the fact that two former Avengers are living in their neighborhood. The distinguished Avengers are greeted by Edwin Jarvis, who has come to help them unpack and Jarvis gives Wanda a book from Captain America which he thought she would like. Wanda briefly examines the book, which is written in Druid runes, and they make out, unaware that something sinister is occurring on this All Hallow’s Eve. The couple part as they know they have much work to do in their home, and get lost in their own thoughts for a while. Three teenager trick-or-treaters decide to pay them a visit when they become possessed by a strange power that escaped from Wanda’s book. The three teenagers attack the Vision, while Wanda is greeted by a mysterious being that appears from the old book. Taking Wanda on a trek through time, the being reveals himself as Samhain. Wanda puts up a decent fight against him, but the ancient one is very powerful. Jarvis does his best to help the Vision, who has managed to return two of the youths to normal, while the other one goes to assist his master in stopping the Scarlet Witch. The Vision battles with the final youth while Wanda uses her powers to cast the book into the fireplace, which sucks Samhain in with it, as Wanda knew he was bound to the book. In the aftermath, the children have all returned to normal, but Wanda seems to have changed somewhat. Their doorbell rings, and Wanda answers it, shocked to see Robert Frank - her father!

Full Summary: 

Leonia, New Jersey, just fifteen minutes from the George Washington Bridge, is known as a haven for New York executives, doctors and professional people. It is not yet know as the home of the strangest couple in the world - an android and a mutant! Walking down a quaint street on this All Hallows Eve are Wanda Maximoff, otherwise known as the powerful mutant Avenger the Scarlet Witch, and her husband, another Avenger, the android Vision. ‘Mommy, I thought only kids wore costumes on Halloween - but that man’s face is red!’ exclaims a little boy wearing a Spider-Man costume as he points to the famous Avengers on the other side of the street.

For weeks, Leonia has buzzed with word of the newcomers, but no one has dared confront them…until now. ‘Trick or treat!’ exclaims a group of older children trick or treating, dressed as a ghost, a goblin and a jack o’ lantern respectfully. ‘Well, darling?’ the beautiful Scarlet Witch asks her husband as she motions to the youth’s loot bags. The Vision replies that it appears he has no choice but to treat these “apparitions”, but reaching into his pocket he remarks that it also appears that he has no treats, therefore, he states that his only offering shall have to be a trick, and rearranging his molecular density, he phases his hand through one of the youths’ bags.

‘Darling, for a synthezoid, you have a remarkable sense of humor’ Wanda remarks. ‘I believe someone once said that even an android can laugh, Wanda’. The couple take their leave from the youths, and Wanda asks the Vision who it was that said that. ‘I did, my wife, just now’ he replies. ‘It’s true! It was them!’ one of the youths whispers to his friends. ‘Two Avengers - the Vision and his wife the Scarlet Witch - have moved to Leonia!’ ‘Two ex-Avengers, you mean’ someone else points out. ‘Wow! They’re the first super heroes I’ve ever seen!’

Walking up the path of their home, Vision points out that they are home, and Wanda tells him that it is the first - and only home they have had which they can truly call their own. Raising her hand to the “For Sale” sign several feet away on the lawn, Wanda merely flicks her hand, and the sign floats over to the garbage cans on the sidewalk. ‘Look at what she did with just a gesture!’ one of the youths exclaims.

Taking off their coats as they walk down their hallway, the Vision points out that Avengers Mansion was not the worst of places to have lived, and Wanda agrees, but remarks that they are not Avengers anymore, that chapter in their lives is over, they are on their own now. She reminds him that they used their accrued Avengers salary to purchase this house, so they should now learn to live in it, as normal human beings. The Vision reminds Wanda that they are neither normal nor human, for she is a mutant and he is a synthezoid.

Wanda senses someone in their library and alerts her husband. They both stiffen, for danger has been a part of their lives for so man years - but there is no danger here, and opening the door to the library they are met by an old friend, Edwin Jarvis. The Avengers’ housekeeper and butler greets the android Vision and the mighty Scarlet Witch and informs them that he new they would be moving into their new home today, so he thought they might like a hand unpacking.

Although the old man is a link with a past from which they have made a break, the couple bears no animosity towards him, and Jarvis is made welcome. Handing Wanda a book, Jarvis informs her that Captain America asked him to give it to her and explains that Captain America procured it on a visit to England and thought she might like it, before asking them if they are hungry, he has taken the liberty of preparing a light repast. Wanda tells Jarvis that he makes them long for their old friends so much.

But not enough to go back, for too many years the Scarlet Witch and the Vision knew no other life outside the Avengers, serving alongside the likes of Captain America, Iron Man and Thor. It was there that they met, fell in love, and eventually married. Now, they just wish to be alone for awhile. Standing by a lit fireplace in their library, Wanda is reading her new book, and the Vision asks her what manner of book it is that Captain America gifted to her, for the script is so strange. Wanda explains that it is a spell book, very ancient and written in Druidic Runes.

The Vision asks Wanda if she can read the runes, to which Wanda replies that if she is given time she might be able to, but that she can think of other things she would rather do on their first night in their new home. ‘Come to me, my love!’ she exclaims, putting the book down on a table, before the young couple embrace, and passionately kiss in the fire-light of their library. But as they make out, neither android nor witch notice that touched by the heat of the fireplace, the pages of the mysterious book seem to turn by themselves.

Later, the Vision tells Wanda that they are forgetting Jarvis’ presence, and of the unpacking that still needs to be done. Wanda points out that Jarvis also said something about supper, before sighing and supposing that they can postpone their love-making until later tonight. Vision floats out of his civilian clothing, revealing his standard yellow and green costume underneath as he floats up through the ceiling, informing Wanda that he will get the upstairs in order. Wanda replies that she will tend to the library, before asking her husband to take his street clothes with him. But the android has already become intangible and passed through the ceiling to the second floor of their home.

Suddenly, Wanda is left with memories which belong exclusively to her - beginning with her days as the distaff member of the original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, then of being asked to join the Avengers along with her brother, Quicksilver, and of learning how to control her own mutant power under the tutelage of the powerful witch Agatha Harkness. Wanda’s memories end as her eyes glance down on the mysterious book, and she think it strange, as she closed the book when she put it down, though she admits to herself that she was distracted by the Vision, and distracted again, Wanda looks out the window, and at the same time, as if signaled by the moonlight slanted through the library windows, the Druid tome begins to shimmer and glow….

Upstairs, the Vision stands alone in the darkening hall and ponders his own past. He is not a human being, but an extremely life-like synthezoid, molded at the hands of the adamantium monstrosity Ultron. Upon the blank-slate of his brain were imprinted the mind patterns of Simon Williams a.k.a. Wonder Man - mind patterns he shares with resurrected Wonder Man. The Visions’ body once belonged long ago to the original Human Torch, one of the Invaders, but from these disparate beginnings, the Vision has fused an identity, formed a life and found love in the arms of the mutant Scarlet Witch.

Outside, the youths are still hanging around outside the ex-Avengers’ home. ‘Super heroes in the neighborhood! I still can’t get over it!’ ‘I wish we could get another look at them!’ exclaims the ghost. The goblin suggests that they should, after all, it is Halloween!

Indeed, it is All Hallows Eve, and as Wanda busies herself in the library, she does not see the Druid Tome get blown to the floor when the window blows open. As Wanda closes the window, she also does not see that which rises from the Tome’s pages, leaps from the library, and begins to circle her grand home - seeking as servants those in tune with the current events of the evening…unfortunately for the three trick-or-treating youths, it happens to find them. It makes the youths its own, possessing them as the walk up the porch to the home of Wanda and Vision.

Wanda wonders if it was the wind that blew the window open or something else, for she has a strange feeling that something is wrong - something she cannot quite put her finger on. She has a fear of soul-numbing, over-whelming dread, but recalls that her mystical sensitivity is always acute on Halloween. Suddenly, the doorbell rings, and while it may only be the ringing of a doorbell, for the mighty Scarlet Witch, it augurs terror.

The Vision walks down the stairs to the doorway and sees Jarvis at the door, so asks him if he has got the door already. The old man replies that he was just about to, and opening it he informs the Vision that there are three teenagers in costumes, before noticing their eyes, when he is suddenly tossed back into the house, past the startled Vision. Suddenly, the three possessed youths barge into the house. ’Trick or treat, inhuman scum!’ the Goblin shouts. ’Prepare to perish on this night of power!’ exclaims the Jack O’ Lantern’ while the Ghost tells the Vision to surrender his bride to them.

The Vision is confused, as were these not the children with whom he conversed earlier this evening? ’We are no longer children, but servants of “He Who Would Live”!’ exclaims the Jack O’ Lantern as beans of mystic might spill forth from his eyes, striking the Vision as the former Avengers alters his atoms, becoming as dense as a diamond. The Vision tells the intruders that they cannot hurt him, and adds that he will not harm them either, before declaring that he must know from whence their power comes now it is that they are no longer human - not to mention why they utter threats against his beloved wife.

While Jarvis watches on in shock, the Ghost informs the Vision that the power of “He Who Would Live” has touched the three of them with the spirit of All Hallows Eve. Lunging at the Vision, the Ghost declares that they must do the bidding of “He Who Would Live” - and he bids them to force the Scarlet Witch to use her power to set him free. ‘You, Vision, are merely in the way!’ With that, the Ghost plunges his hand into the Vision’s body. And although, time and time again, the Vision has altered his atomic density to the point of intangibility, in that state, he has passed his atoms through the atoms of others, immobilizing them in an instant of agony, a moment of pain - but now the tables are turned, and the Vision screams.

In the library, Wanda hears her husband scream, but before she can go to aid him, a frightening figure materializes from the Druid Tome. Wanda does not know who this being is, and with a scythe in his hand, the horned creature asks Wanda if she really doesn’t know who he is, before using his scythe to slice through the veils of time and space, letting reality rupture so that the Scarlet Witch may know him as mankind has known him down through the eons. Suddenly, Wanda is caught in a mystical flux field and she feels herself falling backwards through time…

Wanda and the strange being arrive in prehistoric time, where thunder crashes and lightening flashes, mankind seeks to placate his fears by giving them front. ‘I was born here, in mankind’s terror!’ the being claims.

There is another slash of the scythe and Wanda finds herself in Ancient Egypt - the land of the Pharaohs. Motioning to the ritual taking place before them, the strange being tells Wanda that here mankind dispatched their dead with rich offerings of food and sustenance - ‘For the first time in history, I feasted well!’

The scythe slices the stars and the Scarlet Witch and her mysterious guide through the ages find themselves in Roman Britain, where legionnaires are currently slaying Druid priests. ‘They worshipped me, begged me for salvation! I rewarded them with death!’

Again, time changes, and the odd duo appear at the Notre Dame Cathedral in the Middle Ages. ‘All Hallows Eve, when men in their madness, embrace the dark forces of night!’ exclaims the enigmatic being.

Back in her library, Wanda bears witness to the being as he declares ‘I was there! I am madness, witch! I am the fear and the irrational! I am Samhain, eternal embodiment of All Hallows Eve!’ Wanda gets to her feet and remarks that Samhain was a Druid deity, Agatha Harkness taught her that, before adding that the 20th Century has no use for so ancient an evil. Samhain tells Wanda that it does, and that someone with a soul as black as night sought the Druid Tome, and freed it from its stony prison within the walls of Graymoor Castle.

Samhain explains that his spirit was trapped in the Tome, and the Tome was brought here, where he sensed Wanda’s power and knew that magic lived in this age as well. As power begins to ebb around him, Samhain declares that he knows not why Wanda failed to open the Tome, to recite the Druid runes and summon him forth, but he knew that if he waited patiently, All Hallows Eve would see him strong enough to set himself free. ‘Aye! Magic lives in this age - and were magic lives, there lives Samhain!’ he exclaims.

Samhain laughs and creates a maelstrom of ebon energy that sweeps the confines of the library. Wanda is suddenly battered by locusts and lizards, she summons her hex-power and fights back as best she is able. Wanda begins to wonder why the Vision has not rushed to her aid, before she suddenly remembers that he himself had not long ago let out a scream.

Back downstairs, Jarvis comes too and remarks that her has never heard any sound so horrible. Looking up, Jarvis sees that the Vision is caught between two perils. Indeed, for though the Vision is intangible, the Ghost is still able to disrupt him, while the Jack O’ Lantern and the Goblin wait to batter him should be become solid again. Jack O’ Lantern calls to the Ghost and asks him if he heard the summons, to which the Ghost replies that he did, and “He Who Would Live” bids him to come.

The Ghost begins to fly off, while the Vision warns Jarvis that Wanda is within the library. Jarvis replies that he will not allow the apparition to pass. Firing beams from his eyes, Vision tells Jarvis that he will not be able to stop the Ghost, but he will try to once he is free of his companions. As the beams from the Vision do their job, the pumpkin shell head of the Jack O’ Lantern shatters, and the teenage boy inside is released from the servitude of the sorcerer.

The Vision curses however it is who has forced him to choose between hurting the child and saving his wife, but knows that as the choice is made, his path is clear, and tells the Goblin to step aside lest he suffers a similar fate. The Goblin replies by telling the Vision that to obey him would be to disobey “He Who Would Live”, and he cannot do that. The Vision advances on the Goblin, while the Ghost advances upon a defiant Jarvis, who is holding up a silver serving tray, and telling the apparition that he will not pass by.

Jarvis attempts to use the try as a shield, but it is not enough, and the Ghost calls Jarvis a fool as he passes through him. The Goblin informs the Vision that his wife if defiling “He Who Would Live”, so the Ghost is going to change her defiance into submission. Jarvis realizes that Wanda is in danger and knows that the Vision is the only person that can save her, yet he must first get past the Goblin. ‘I’m no Captain America’ Jarvis thinks to himself, ‘But perhaps a small distraction can be of some service!’ Slung like a certain star-spangled shield, Jarvis’ serving tray succeeds in driving the Goblin forward, into the intangible arm of the Vision.

The Goblin has returned to his true form now, and Vision thanks Jarvis for his assistance, but Jarvis just tells him to go and save the Scarlet Witch. ‘YES!’ exclaims the Vision and using his eye-beams, he bursts through the wall, where Wanda is still in the library, waging a desperate battle against Samhain, so she is unaware of the danger in the form of the Ghost approaching her from behind. The Vision calls to his wife who looks at him with relief, but she also sees the Ghost, and asks what it is.

The Vision shoves his intangible hand into the Ghost, informing Wanda that it was once a child, yet now it causes greater pain than any he has ever known. ‘Though I would bear it again to keep you from harm!’ he adds as he and the Ghost struggle upwards to the ceiling, and this time, they both scream as they are locked in the intangible embrace, passing through the upper floors of the old house and out into the night. Outside, in the glow of the moon, their screams seem like a dagger aimed at the heart of the stars.

Back in the library, the Scarlet Witch realizes that she must face Samhain on her own, for the Vision may or may not be able to return to help her. The mighty Scarlet Witch does not hesitate, and casts her powers at the ancient one, who slashes his scythe at her, telling her not to fight him, but join him! Wanda is not impressed that Samhain shrugged her hex aside with a simple sweep of his scythe and knows she has to think this through, not waste her energy on futile attacks. Wanda knows that her hex power stems from her mutant physiology, that it disrupts the probability field around her, creating poltergeist effects.

However, on the other hand, the true magic she was taught affects organic matter. She wonders which would avail here, but decides that her only hope is to combine the two and see what happens! So she does, and as if sensing danger, Samhain strikes with his scythe, but too late, for the Scarlet Witch’s spell - chosen from thousands taught to her by Agatha Harkness - asserts mystic mastery over the leather binding and paper pages of the Druid Tome, even as her mutant hex power sweeps the old book into the flames of the library fire.

‘Accursed witch! What have you done!’ shouts Samhain as he is sucked into the fire, which for a moment, seems to burn brighter than the sun - only to go instantaneously cold. Addressing the pile of ashes that remain in front of her, Wanda realizes that Samhain never moved from the Druid Tome, for some magic greater than his own bound him to it, so he needed her magic to escape it. ‘Well, you’re free now!’ she exclaims.

Back outside, the Vision and the Ghost continue to scream in each other’s intangible embrace, until with the passing of Samhain’s spirit from this plane, their struggle and their screaming stops. Vision holds in his arms the Ghost who has returned to her true form of a child and knows that whatever enchantment made her otherwise has now passed. The Vision phases himself and the girl back into his home where Jarvis is tending to the other youths. Vision asks if they have recovered, to which Jarvis replies that they have and yet they remember nothing. The Vision asks after Wanda, to which Jarvis replies he does not know.

The Vision soars towards the library, and while those who do not know him imagine the Vision as incapable of feeling, devoid of emotion, they cannot imagine him able to love. But kneeling down beside Wanda as she sits beside the fire place, the people who do not know him have never seen him race to Wanda’s side after a battle, never seen him kneel tenderly alongside her. Looking up at her husband, the Scarlet Witch’s eyes flash in the same way Samhain’s did, and those who do not know the Vision do not hear the catch in his throat as he gazes into his wife’s eyes and sees what the battle has done to her.

And, they have never witnessed the outpouring of emotion as the two lovers embrace amidst the ruins. Those who have seen such things speak the truth when they say: “Even a synthezoid can cry!”.

Later, Wanda and the Vision join Jarvis downstairs, and Wanda asks of the children. Jarvis informs her that they have gone home, all none the wiser and none the worse for wear. ‘All they know is the thrill of being invited into the home of two ex-Avengers’. The Vision points out that they should hope that what these children have forgotten does not return to haunt their dreams.

Suddenly, the “ding-dong” of the doorbell sounds. ‘Merciful Heaven! Not again!’ Jarvis exclaims. Before he can get to the door, Wanda strides forwards gracefully, telling the men to stay behind her, as she will get it this time, with all her magic ready. Hex powers ready, there turns out to be no need for the Scarlet Witch to summon forth her mystical might, for this All Hallows Eve visitor is known to her.

‘Robert Frank!’ Wanda exclaims in awe. The elderly man stands before Wanda and tells her that the look in her eyes is as if she was ready to kill whoever happened to step through her door. The man once known as the hero Whizzer holds out his arms, and asks Wanda if that is any way to great…her father!

Characters Involved: 

Scarlet Witch


Edwin Jarvis

Bob Frank / The Whizzer

Ghost, Goblin, Jack O’ Lantern (Trick or Treaters)

Young Children

Child’s Mother


In Illustrative Image:

Captain America, Iron Man, Thor (all Avengers)

In Scarlet Witch’s Thoughts:

Captain America & Hawkeye (both Avengers)
Magneto & Quicksilver (both Brotherhood of Evil Mutants)

Beast, Cyclops, Iceman (all X-Men)

Agatha Harkness

In Vision’s Thoughts:

Scarlet Witch

Wonder Man

Human Torch I


In Samhain’s Flashback:

Prehistoric men




Captain America

Story Notes: 

Scarlet Witch and Vision left the Avengers in Avengers (1st series) #211.

The Scarlet Witch joined the Avengers in Avengers (1st series) #16, and although she has left the team on various occasions, she has served longer overall then almost every other Avenger. Becoming one of the iconic members of the team along with Captain America, Iron Man and Thor, it took some time for Wanda to truly be recognized, however she has led the team on occasion, was an integral part of the Avengers West Coast, and served as deputy leader under Captain America from Avengers (3rd series) #13.

The Vision joined the Avengers in Avengers (1st series) #58.

The Scarlet Witch and Vision were married, alongside Mantis and the original Swordsman in Giant-Sized Avengers #4.

Though never truly evil, Wanda was a founding member of the original Brotherhood of Mutants, she debuted with them in her first appearance, X-Men (1st series) #4.

Wanda began her training under the tutelage of Agatha Harkness in Avengers (1st series) #128.

The Druid Tome was sought out in Captain America #256.

Robert Frank a.k.a. the Whizzer was a Golden Age hero and member of the Invaders.
The tag-line “Even a synthezoid can cry!” refers to Avengers (1st series) #58, the second appearance of the Vision (which already hinted at his having emotions) titled “Even an android can cry”.

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