Jean, 39, lover of sci-fi, horror and fantasy, reader of comic books, conqueror of genre fiction.
Wanda Maximoff is a character that's been done wrong by Marvel. Actually one of my favorite characters from the Silver Age, the writers just went all out in trashing her in the 90's and early 2000's, her actions, frankly, unconscionable. And, as has become alarmingly more common than it ought to be in the Marvel universe, her shitty behavior was ultimately explained with mental illness.
There had to be a new start. Not completely. The comic had to address her actions, had to make her responsible, but also work in a way where it wasn't excusing in a damaging way said shitty behavior. And Witches' Road did an amazing job with not rebooting the character, but taking her to a relatable place.
As the story arc for Witches' Road begins, Wanda is back on solid ground, but always wary of how easily magic could press her back into madness. She wants to make amends, wants to do it on her own, not simply to be seen in a better light, but because she truly knows it's the right thing to do.
And she has work to do. Witchcraft is broken. Wanda can feel it, Agatha Harkness, Wanda's dead mentor and once victim, can feel it. What follows are four issues as the two travel the globe and try to track down the source of the wrongness, ending on the spiritual Witches' Road and a confrontation with Wanda's new, and first, nemesis.
The fifth issue, tellingly, is a standalone story taking place in Spain about a young girl, twisted by anger, who is inadvertently keeping the souls of not only her enemies but also her friends captive and in torment, haunting a convent. The journey to exorcise them is as cathartic for Wanda as it is for the freed souls.
The artwork is wonderful, changing from issue to issue, the styles varied, lush. The writing strong. A great comic, and a return to greatness for a character who went to the brink of hatefulness, and who I had doubted could ever come back again.