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Scarlet Witch #3 Review – “Journey To Sub-Atomica”

After living through a long chaotic period in her life Wanda Maximoff has established a new normal for herself by opened a witchcraft shop called the Emporium. This new business expands Wanda’s scope as she has set herself up a new home and income. But more importantly for Wanda she has used the Emporium and the Last Door in the store to establish her goals as a solo hero that helps individuals in the greatest need. What new adventure will Wanda get into? Let’s find out Scarlet Witch #3.


Writer: Steve Orlando

Artist: Sara Pichelli

Inker: Elisabetta D’Amico

Colorist: Matthew Wilson

Letterer: Cory Petit


Lorna Dane visits Wanda Maximoff and Darcy Lewis to talk about her findings with the Worry Stone (from Scarlet Witch #1) has similar properties to Mysterium (the unique metal from the White Hot Room) but is less refined.

Before they can get into it more The Last Door opens but no one comes through. Using the Eyes of Hodomuria Wanda discovers that there is an extremely tiny presence in the room. Wanda uses a shrinking charm on herself and Lorna.

Scarlet Witch and Polaris shrink down to meet Mardj from Tryfa, a location in Sub-Atomica.  Mardj reveals that all Sub-Atomica is being invaded by the nomadic conquerors known as Nillans and their advanced technology.

Polaris Helps Scarlet Witch
Polaris helps out Scarlet Witch with investigating an unstable ore in Scarlet Witch #3. Credit: Marvel Comics

Mardj says she needs help obtaining The Sword In The Star, a living blade that would help her rally her people. Scarlet Witch and Polaris agree to help Mardj.

Scarlet Witch, Polaris, and Mardj fight their way through various mystical beings including the Lich Duke Yaga Dyara. They eventually reach a chamber with an altar where they find The Sword In The Star.

Scarlet Witch and Polaris then help Mardj battle the Nillans and save Sub-Atomica.

Later on Krakoa, Wanda opens up about not feeling enough for everything she takes on. Lorna tells her sister that she is more than enough.

Wanda then returns to Lotkill only to find the Emporium on fire. Walking out of the fire is the Bacchae known as Scythia, who is carrying Darcy in her arm, challenging the Scarlet Witch. End of issue.


No other comic book is doing a better job at telling one-shot style stories than Scarlet Witch. Steve Orlando and Sara Pichelli once again show that with Scarlet Witch #3. There is a complete story told with Scarlet Witch and Polaris story. Meanwhile, we get a lot of strong character and story development for the long-term storytelling of this series.

The opening for Scarlet Witch #3 sets the tone for the dynamic Wanda Maximoff and Lorna Dane share. They are sisters who help each other out and can naturally go from light-hearted to serious conversations, and vice versa. Having Darcy Lewis as a third party helped to further show this as when she made her comment we saw how Wanda and Lorna continued their banter in reaction to what Darcy said.

This naturally moved into how we see Wanda and Lorna not waste time in figuring out and shrinking down to meet with Mardj. There isn’t a long discussion about them teaming up to find out who came through The Last Door. Wanda found out who it was using the Eyes of Hodomuria and then she and Lorna went into the Sub-Atomica realm. It’s a small detail but just goes to show how different Wanda’s relationship with Lorna is compared to Viv Vision’s interaction in the previous issue.

These types of details help flesh out Wanda’s own superhero history without making a big deal out of it. Orlando and Pichelli are letting even new readers discover the different relationships she has based on how the interactions go down.

We also get to see how Scarlet Witch and Polaris’s superhero experience comes into play as they are able to understand Mardj from Tryfa’s plight and how they can help her. The way it is handled spoke to how Scarlet Witch and Polaris are veteran heroes who have dealt with similar situations that Mardj explains about what is going on in Sub-Atomica. Understanding what is going on and how they take action all made the story flow at a natural pace.

Polaris and Scarlet Witch Mystic Adventure
Scarlet Witch and Polaris help Mardj from Tryfa on her mystical journey in Scarlet Witch #3. Credit: Marvel Comics

This led to the great creative use of how Scarlet Witch and Polaris go on this mystical journey with Mardj to find The Sword In The Star. It was great to see the trust Orlando and Pichelli have in one another as a creative team as they proceed to shift the way the narrative is told. We go from traditional comic book framing to the Sub-Atomica adventure being told in picture book style splash pages. The confidence in shifting how the story is told radiates off the page.

Credit to both Orlando and Pichelli for understanding how to get over this type of narrative storytelling. Orlando gives us exactly the right of information to through the narration on each page. That narration compliments each splash page Pichelli draws, along with the great inking by Elisabetta D’Amico and the coloring of Matthew Wilson. Every page has a great amount of detail that moves you from scene to scene that all tell one complete story. By the end of the adventure in Sub-Atomica, you feel that there was no better art team than Pichelli, D’Amico, and Wilson that could’ve pulled this off.

The Sub-Atomica adventure led in well to the payoff between Wanda and Lorna as they share a supportive moment. With Wanda being so on guard as she is establishing the new direction in her personal and superhero life she hasn’t had many to open up to on a personal level. That changed with Lorna, with who Wanda has a clear strong familial bond and with that she can be open about her own insecurities.

For her part, Lorna shows that what Wanda needed at that moment was the affirmation that she is more than enough. Orlando kept Lorna’s words of support to Wanda simple and to the point that made it a great way to cap off this team-up.

The ending with Scythia works well to build off the sub-plot going on with the mystery around Darcy Lewis. We saw that Scythia was on the hunt for Darcy in the previous issue. Now it seems as though after capturing Darcy that Scythia has her sights set on Wanda for helping Darcy. What this all means for where Wanda’s next adventure and how it develops Darcy’s character will be interesting to see play out.


With each passing issue, Steve Orlando and Sara Pichelli are getting better and better at telling one-shot style stories that build up Wanda Maximoff and the new life she has built for herself. Scarlet Witch #3 is the best issue so far with the Polaris team-up providing us with a fun journey through Sub-Atomica. Along the way, we get great moments between Wanda and Lorna Dane that taps into their relationship as sisters. It all comes together to further establish Scarlet Witch as one of Marvel’s best series right now.

Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10