Tuesday, July 20, 2010

1985 - The Vision and Scarlet Witch

The Vision and Scarlet Witch
Writer: Steve Englehart
Artist: Richard Howell
12 issue miniseries

Written by veteran Avengers scribe, Steve Englehart and drawn by Richard Howell, this miniseries draws from the rich history both characters have.

From SteveEnglehart.com:
“Richard Howell was the artist here. He had the same deep affection for Vizh and Wanda that I did, and we loved doing this book. Since Vizh and Wanda had gotten married in Giant-Size Avengers #4, the next logical step for them was to have a child. Of course, he's only an android, but she has magick... Once Wanda gets pregnant in issue 3, the following nine issues take place in real time - the first time that had ever been done. And I went one step farther by tying each story to a prominent holiday of the month.”

I found the run of 12 issues to be a bit much and felt like it dragged on. It’s interesting now looking at it a bit differently now with the information in the above quote about these single-issue, theme-based plots. Most of the overall story’s tension comes from family issues, be it the Quicksilver, or Magneto and their relationship with the family of Avengers.

Englehart succeeds at weaving the back story of these characters in with flow of the story. It’s also fun to watch as we walk along with the Vision and the Scarlet Witch during their pregnancy and child birth.

I do have to point out though that the Toad, no matter how powerful he's made, can't be anything but an underling. Englehart tries to make him more than he can ever be. Having Toad as the principle villain in one issue was bad enough, but in three issues was just over the top.

Howell’s art excel at conveying beautiful emotional scenes, but his overall sense of action and dynamic storytelling falls short. So in short, his art works as this series depends on those key emotional scenes and you can look past the weaknesses of the action scenes.

The series was groundbreaking and daring not only in its portrayal of the evolution of the relationship between the Vision and the Scarlet Witch, but in the collapse of Crystal and Quicksilver’s marriage as well as Crystal’s affair (issues that were rarely dealt with in comic books in the 1980s).

This miniseries was recently reprinted in trade paperback format, Avengers Vision and Scarlet Witch - A Year in the Life. Here’s the promo blurb:

“In a world full of heroes, villains, and monsters, there are few stranger phenomenons than the marriage of a mutant witch to a heroic synthozoid! As this unlikely couple settles into their home in Leonia, New Jersey, they find themselves at odds with the members of their complex families, including Ultron, the Grim Reaper, Quicksilver, and Magneto! And when Wanda uses the power of a village of witches to make herself pregnant, the happy twosome becomes a happy foursome when twin sons William and Thomas are born, the future Wiccan and Speed of the Young Avengers! Plus, the dissolution of Crystal and Quicksilver's marriage! This title features the threats of the Lethal Legion, Salem's Seven, Samhain, the Toad, the demons of Zor, the Enchantress, and the Grim Reaper! And guest-starring Dr. Strange, Power Man, Spider-Man, and the Avengers! It collects Vision and the Scarlet Witch (1985) #1-12, and West Coast Avengers (1985) #2.”

1 comment:

  1. For Englehart, any re-used plot element becomes a theme. The Toad as unexpected mastermind started in Avengers #138 (my 1st Avengers comic book).



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