Thursday, December 10, 2009
1982 - Vison and the Scarlet Witch
Vison and the Scarlet Witch
Written by Bill Mantlo
Illustrated by Rick Leonardi (penciler) and Ian Akin/Brian Garvey (inkers)
Bill Mantlo deals with a lot of subplots which were not getting the coverage they deserved within the pages of the Avengers. His script and plot are well done, particularly the non-linearity of issue #2. Rick Leonardi’s pencils are sketchy and I’m not normally fond of them. However, Akin and Garvey’s inks add a softness and texture to the penciled art which I really enjoyed. The colorist, Bob Sharen, also does a wonderful job. And all-around good and consistent production for all four issues.
In issue #1, “Trick or Treat”, The Vision and the Scarlet Witch have stepped down from their duties as Avengers and move into their new home in Leonia, New Jersey. Jarvis gives the Scarlet Witch an ancient spell-book (recovered by Captain America #256), and unfortunately, as it is Halloween, Samhain, the eternal embodiment of all Hallows Eve attempts to free himself from the book. The Vision is kept busy battling some transformed trick-or-treaters, while the Scarlet Witch destroys the book ending Samhain’s threat.
Issue #2, “Faith of our Fathers”, has Robert (Whizzer) Frank asks the Scarlet Witch, who he believes is his daughter (see Avengers #185-187 where we learnt he wasn’t), to help him obtain custody of his son, the mutant-powerhouse Nuklo. The Vision accompanies them to the lab where Nuklo’s powers are regulated and they meet the scientist who is attempting to cure Nuklo. The scientist, however, turns out to be one of the Whizzer’s old enemies, Isbisa, and attacks them using powers that have been siphoned from Nuklo. With Nuklo’s help, they defeat Isbisa, but Robert Frank suffers a fatal heart attack.
Wonder Man guest-stars in issue #3, “Blood Brothers!”, to provide Vision with an energy transfusion to pull him out of a coma caused by the injuries he sustained last issue. Mantlo’s coma sequences are wonderful pulling in the Vision’s past, which included Ultron and the original Human Torch (whose body the Vision now occupies with brain patterns based on Wonder Man). The Grim Reaper (Wonder Man’s brother, and therefore the Vision’s as well) attacks eager to kill both the Vision and Wonder Man to satisfy his crazed lust for revenge. Wonder Man helps the Vision out of his coma and they defeat the Grim Reaper.
Magneto discovers, in issue #4 “Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself...!”, that he is the father of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. Magneto tracks his children to the moon, where the Scarlet Witch and the Vision are visiting Quicksilver and Crystal, who have just had their first child Luna. During the battle, Magneto reveals himself as their father and the battle comes to an end when it begins to threaten his granddaughter. Mantlo does a good job handling these characters considering they all are strong, distinguishable characters, such as Magneto, a powerful mutant striking back against humanity for their ill-treatment of him, or Quicksilver, the hot-tempered misunderstood mutant who has to settle into the role of father.
Mantlo demonstrates his strengths as a writer in this limited series. Perhaps most famous for his long run on the Incredible Hulk, Mantlo works each character effortless and lets them tell their story.