Scarlet Witch has quickly become one of Marvel’s best ongoing comic books right now. Steve Orlando and Sara Pichelli have created something special. Now it is time for Orlando and Pichelli to tackle the biggest mystery around Darla Lewis becoming Wanda Maximoff’s assistant. Why she suddenly appeared and what she is keeping secret has been hanging over Darla’s character since Scarlet Witch #1. Now it looks like we are going to start getting the answer with Scarlet Witch #4. Let’s find out if that happens.
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Sara Pichelli
Inker: Elisabetta D’Amico
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: Cory Petit
Scythia reveals to Scarlet Witch that Darcy Lewis tricked her way into being offered a spot with the Sisters of Enyo, one of the Bacchae groups. When Scythia discovered that Darcy killed one of the Bacchae she swore to take Darcy’s life in retribution as the founder of the Bacchae.
Even after hearing that story Scarlet Witch still decides to defend Darcy and starts fighting Scythia to give Darcy an opening to escape.
After an extended fight, Scythia destroys a building forcing Scarlet Witch to use her magic to save the people inside. This provides Scythia an opening to injure Scarlet Witch with the mysterious Worry Stone.
Fighting through the injury Scarlet Witch teleports Scythia to Lotkill’s border and immediately creates a spell to keep Scythia from getting back into the town.
Afterward, Darcy admits in order to reestablish her journalism career she infiltrated the Sisters of Enyo to do a story on their corruption. When she found out Darcy killed one of the Sisters of Enyo out of self-defense. Wanda buys Darcy’s story and promises to protect her.
Elsewhere, Scythia finds the metal the Worry Stone is made of and creates armor for herself after realizing the metal breaks through Scarlet Witch’s magic. End of issue.
Scarlet Witch #4 accomplished multiple things. One, it begins the first multi-part story arc of Scarlet Witch three one-shot stories to off the series. This is done by going all in on the major sub-plot the first three issues have been building around Darcy Lewis’s mysterious origins. In the process, Steve Orlando and Sara Pichelli establish a major threat that is even tough for Scarlet Witch to overcome.
Starting out the issue with Scythia’s perception of how Darcy’s betrayal of the Bacchae was a smart call. This allowed Orlando and Pichelli to both give us insight into Darcy’s origin and background on how the Bacchae Amazons operate in the Marvel Universe. It is all done in the context of the story told so you aren’t left thinking about how this felt like a big exposition dump. Instead, Orlando used Scythia’s speech to form her voice to make how she battles Scarlet Witch have a greater impact.
Making the opening even stronger is how Darcy admits that what Scythia said was not a complete lie. Obviously, everything she said was based on Scythia’s perception of Darcy and her loyalty to her Bacchae sisters. Admitting that she did kill one of the Sisters of Enyo as Scythia said allowed Orlando to dive into more of the nuance of what happened in Darcy’s past.
Darcy’s dialogue shows us that she was indeed a desperate journalist looking for a story to make her career no matter how dangerous. This does show that there is more of a side of grey to Darcy’s character as she alone placed herself at risk by infiltrating the Bacchae in the way she did. It was definitely dirty with how she paid others to gain the immediate trust of Sisters of Enyo. By building things on a lie she just set herself up for failure. This all going back to her own sense of desperation does give more layers to her character that Darcy was hiding in her deadpan comedy sidekick role.
Wanda accepting Darcy’s story right away further gets into how Wanda is a character who wants to give others chances to redeem themselves. Based on her own experience she knows the importance of getting another chance at redemption after universe-altering personal choices. Hopefully, Orlando keeps Darcy’s situation this simple and there is no other twist. If there is then the risk is there to ruin the one supporting character Wanda has as she is still trying to establish her own solo hero career.
The fight between Scarlet Witch and Scythia that dominated this issue was properly paced. Pichelli did an excellent job at showing how the different fighting styles made Scarlet Witch and Scythia fun opponents for each other. Scarlet Witch was doing her best to not exert all of her power and find quick solutions in stopping Scythia. Meanwhile, Scythia was all about brute force looking to knock out Scarlet Witch with her overwhelming power.
The fight also used some great fight psychology. Because as they were clearly fighting at a standstill Scythia used Scarlet Witch’s own heroic tendencies against her. Putting people in danger in order to create an opening is what you want from an antagonist fighting against a hero. We saw how quickly Scarlet Witch rushed to use her powers to save everyone. In the process, Scythia got the upper hand as she was looking for. It all made for a fight that had great pacing.
The ending of Scarlet Witch #4 did a great job of using everything we saw from the fight to carry us into the next issue. Scythia showed her own prowess as a fighter doesn’t just come from her strength. She is a fighter looking for an opening, that includes how to nullify her opponent’s powers. Scythia recognized that the Worry Stone she picked up and used to break through Scarlet Witch’s magic was a smart call. This now sets up Scythia to be a bigger threat as she not only found but created armor from the Worry Stone’s mysterious metal to create quick armor for herself. In doing so you are left wondering how Scarlet Witch can overcome Scythia’s second assault to kill Darcy.
Scarlet Witch #4 was another home run for Marvel’s best ongoing series. Steve Orlando and Sara Pichelli create a compelling narrative around Darcy Lewis’s origin to begin their first big story arc of the series. In the process, we get another great showcase of Scarlet Witch’s powers in a different type of fight. We also see how Wanda as a person and hero has grown with her actions in this issue. If you haven’t read Scarlet Witch yet make sure to fix that immediately.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10