SCARLET WITCH #11
Story by James Robinson
Art by Leila Del Duca
This issue digs right into the first installment of the new origin of the Scarlet Witch (and Quicksilver). Basically, Wanda arrives in Serbia and questions a priest involved in her past. In fact, said priest was the guy who gave her and Pietro away to the High Evolutionary when they were infants. While this happened, there was a war between the Knights of Wundagore and the Serbian army. The High Evolutionary was searching for newborn infants he planned to use in his genetic experiments, so the priest gave him the twins to try and stave him off. Wanda isn't pleased with the role the priest had and she lets him know it throughout their conversation. She doesn't even care that the priest is regretful about it. She soon gets the information she wanted to hear when he tells her to see Dasha, a woman who was an apprentice to Natalya Maximoff, Wanda's mother.
And so, Wanda pays Dasha a visit. Dasha, of course, is an old woman now, but she still has the answers Wanda seeks. We discover that Natalya Maximoff gave birth to Wanda and Pietro, and then gave them to her sister, Marya, and Marya's husband Django to raise for her, as she was dealing with her duties as a fighter of werewolves, vampires, and other such supernatural creatures of the night. When she learned the previously mentioned priest had given her children to the High Evolutionary, Natalya invaded Wundagore and defeated all of the Knights of Wundagore. It is mentioned that Natalya's powers were not quite at their peak while at Wundagore, but astute readers should know the reason why. The High Evolutionary returned the chldren to Django and Marya, but he had already done his work on them.
Next, Wanda asks about who her father was. Dasha says that Natalya never told her, but there is one person who knows...Marya. Wanda is stunned to learn her aunt/adopted mother is still alive, for it was thought she had perished in a fire when Wanda was a child. So Wanda tracks down Marya and confronts her in the forest at the woman's campsite...
So far, Robinson has hit a home run here. Everything new about Wanda's origin seems to not really negate anything that came before this. So far. These answers can be integrated with her previous origin without too much damage. The Maximoffs, Django and Marya, are still Wanda and Pietro's adoptive parents, but now we discover they are their actual uncle and aunt, with Natalya as Marya's sister. The scene with the High Evolutionary giving the infant children back to the Maximoffs matches a similar scene in the original origin story, although in that story, he was giving the infants to them after their birth, not after he genetically altered them. Nice nod there, I think.
A major plot point that still needs to be addressed, along with a few other ones, of course, is the role the Elder God Chthon played in Wanda's past. Originally, Chthon sent a part of his essence into Wanda as she was being born, but this cannot be the case now, as Wanda was born prior to her being taken to Wundagore in this new origin story. However, he may have placed his essence inside of her while she was there being experimented upon by the Evolutionary. But I have a theory that may very well turn out to be the case: Chthon is Wanda and Pietro's father. I propose he took human form and became involved with Natalya, a powerful Scarlet Witch, and after she found out the truth is when she gave her children to her sister and brother-in-law to raise, to perhaps hide them. Or perhaps, after she gave them to her family, Natalya went on to challenge Chthon and was instrumental in his imprisonment under Wundagore.
As always, the artwork matched the kind of story being told. Lelia Del Duca's art had a European flair to it that worked, and the way she handled the flashback panels was very nice. And the way the story ended in this issue was a good way to hand off the art to the next story's illustrator, as it will delve into another portion of Wanda's mysterious, complicated history.
I look forward to reading the next installment of Robinson's exploration of Wanda's new heritage.