Scarlet Witch had one of her biggest solo fights with Scythia, formerly known as Hippolyta, of the Bacchae, Marvel’s version of the Amazons. While Scarlet Witch won she didn’t leave the fight unscathed. It was those injuries caused when Scythia struck Scarlet Witch with the mysterious anti-magic stone that set up a round two between them. Because now Scythia is returning for a rematch wearing armor made out of the mysterious metal of the stone Scarlet Witch has been investigating. How will the rematch go down? Let’s find out with Scarlet Witch #5.
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Russell Dauterman
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: Cory Petit
Scythia returns and easily dominates Scarlet Witch thanks to her anti-magic armor.
Not giving up Scarlet Witch changes to fighting using hand-to-hand combat. As the fight goes on Scarlet Witch lets herself get stabbed in order to get close enough to threaten Scythia with a possible magic attack striking her exposed chin.
This gives Scarlet Witch, who shows she could’ve recovered from her injuries at any time thanks to her magic, a chance to convince Scythia to lead it the Bacchae to change for the better.
Darcy Lewis thanks Wanda for all her help and they agree to continue working together.
Elsewhere two drunk teens are struck in the face and arm by a mysterious ninja star. The ninja star goes into a cave where somehow a young Magneto has returned. End of issue.
When it comes to a comic book that consistently delivers high-level writing and artwork Scarlet Witch has been setting the standard. And Scarlet Witch #5 is possibly the best issue of this young series with the excellent writing from Steve Orlando and masterful artwork by Russell Dauterman. This has everything you want from a superhero comic book.
What has been consistently the strength of this series is Orlando’s pacing for each issue. Scarlet Witch #5 opening sets the stage for what we get in this issue. Specifically with the type of mentality that Wanda Maximoff and Scythia were entering their rematch with. For Scythia she was channeling her rage in her heighten confidence thanks to having created anti-magic armor. Meanwhile, Wanda spent her time rebuilding her store and still investigating the mysterious anti-magic stone rather than fully patching herself up.
This set up how both Wanda and Scythia approached their fight completely differently. Scythia was looking to purely dominate and show Wanda that she is not to be messed with. Wanda on the other hand quickly realized with how Scythia came prepared and was not holding back her punches she couldn’t just barrel ahead.
Switching up her fighting style to fight hand-to-hand ended up getting her the advantage because Scythia believed a magic user like Scarlet Witch stood no shot in a straight-up fight. In the process Orlando utilized Wanda’s history of being a hero and Avenger who has fought alongside the likes of Captain America and Black Panther that she has of course learned how to fight hand-to-hand. Using that combat training along with knowing that Scythia would be overconfident in a fight gave Wanda more of an even playing field.
This was a great set-up for how Wanda led Scythia into stabbing her so she could get close enough to show that the Bacchae leaving her chin exposed was all Scarlet Witch needed. From there Wanda maximized her time to get Scythia to understand why the Bacchae’s approach has been wrong. Orlando did a great job showing Wanda empathy is one of her strengths. Using her own experiences made the impact of her words hit harder as Scythia understood how true Wanda’s words of wisdom were. Adding in how Wanda could’ve quickly healed all her injuries at any point in the fight was a nice touch to also highlight Wanda’s toughness.
The resolution also helped to get Wanda and Darcy Lewis’s friendship to really get a start. Now that we know about what Darcy’s origins were and how Wanda has helped move past things it is time to move forward. This allows Orlando to continue to focus on building out Wanda’s cast as Darcy becomes a key supporting cast member, a much-needed part of any good comic book.
The ending of Scarlet Witch #5 was a big surprise. After Magneto’s death during A.X.E.: Judgment Day it seemed like it would be a while before we saw the Master of Magnetism back. Especially in the young form that Magneto appears to be in. Though given the tease of Agatha returning to Wanda’s life this tease of a Magneto return is likely not what it appears. Still, there is potential with whichever route Orlando goes to challenge Wanda in a different way than the past five issues of this series.
For as strong as Orlando’s writing was it was Russell Dauterman’s artwork that made Scarlet Witch #5 the excellent comic book it was. Dauterman is on another level as an artist and this fight of Scarlet Witch vs Scythia. Whether it was the splash pages or multi-panel pages, the action was choreographed well to tell a whole story of how Scarlet Witch and Scythia were approaching the fight in the two rounds they had in this issue. While it wasn’t showcased as much as in other issues Dauterman still made sure to spotlight how strong of a magic user Scarlet Witch is.
Scarlet Witch #5 is yet another example of why this is Marvel’s best comic book series right now. Steve Orlando showcased how Wanda Maximoff’s strength as a character goes beyond her magic powers. Add in the masterful artwork by Russell Dauterman this is a must-have comic book.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 10 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9.5 Night Girls out of 10