Book Review: Vision & the Scarlet Witch: The Saga of Wanda and Vision

Tying in with Disney+’s WandaVision, Marvel has repackaged some of the duo’s adventures in Vision & the Scarlet Witch: The Saga of Wanda and Vision, which has cover artwork by Alex Ross. The book collects Giant-Size Avengers #4 (1963), Vision and the Scarlet Witch (1982) #1-4, Vision and the Scarlet Witch (1985) #1-12, and West Coast Avengers # 2, the story of which falls between the first two issues of the 1985 limited series.

Written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Don Heck (pencils) and John Tartag (inks), Giant-Size Avengers #4 is the end of a storyline about the search for the Celestial Madonna, who will marry the Eldest Cotati and to give birth the Celestial Messiah according to prophecy. She is either Mantis or Moondragoon, both raised by priests to develop a perfect human woman to bond with the alien race. It feels like the reader has missed quite a bit.

Interspersed is a subplot about Vision rescuing Wanda from the sorcerer Dorammu, driven by heroism as well as love. The Vision reminds readers of his origin involving the original Human Torch’s android body and the brain patterns of the deceased (for now) Wonder Man (Simon Williams). This issue is included is because Vision and Scarlet Witch get married

Written by Bill Mantlo and drawn by Rick Leonardi (pencils) and Ian Akin & Brian Garvey (inks), Vision and the Scarlet Witch (1982) finds the pair recently retired from the Avengers and making a go of domestic life in New Jersey. Most of the miniseries deals with family and expands the characters’ identities. Issue #2 sees Robert Frank (Whizzer), who still believes he’s Wanda’s father though she now knows that’s not true, come to ask her for help in with his son Nuklo, a mutant who emits radiation. In Issue #3, Grim Reaper (Eric Williams) seeks revenge against Vision and Wonder Man (who hadn’t been dead but dormant all those years) because they make a mockery of his brother Simon’s life. Issue #4 presents a major revelation to readers as well as Wanda and her brother Pietro about who their father is. It’s a good surprise because it is so believable.

A page of text explains what has happened before the start of the 1985 miniseries, including how Vision was rewired and now has a more human personality.  He no longer deals with a conflict between logic and emotion, similar to Spock from Star Trek. This change is reflected in his dialogue and the way it appears graphically.

Steve Englehart wrote Vision and the Scarlet Witch (1985) #1-12, drawn by Richard Howell (pencils) and various inkers, and West Coast Avengers #2, drawn by Al Milgrom (breakdowns) and Kim DeMulder (finisher). While this run has traditional superhero stories with Vision and Wonder Man dealing with Grim Reaper again, the Enchantress casting Vision under a spell, and brokenhearted Toad wreaking havoc, what makes this miniseries stand out are the stories where our married couple and those close to them deal with normal things, such as xenophobic neighbors, infidelity, awkward Thanksgiving dinner with family, and pregnancy.

Okay, Wanda’s pregnancy isn’t “normal” since it was conceived with magick, and Dr Strange is her OB/GYN but she dealing with it is much more normal than fighting demons alongside Power Man, which she also does. The series is chock full of guest stars throughout its run, including the Inhumans, Spider-Man, and Agatha Harkness.

While readers may feel a tad confused during Giant-Size Avengers #4, the two limited series from the 1980s are what make the book worth owning, especially the latter one which expands the characters of Wanda and Vision into more authentic people.

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Gordon S. Miller

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of this site.

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