Movies & TV / Columns

Comics 411: Must-Read Vision and Scarlet Witch Stories 

January 13, 2021 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Vision and Scarlet Witch

Welcome back! I’m Steve Gustafson and if you enjoy discussing anything comic book related, you’ve come to the right place. Each week we cover something in the industry and I always enjoy your input in the comment section below.

Previously on…

Last week we asked What is the Most Overrated Comic Book Storyline? Here’s what some of you had to say:

redraptor: “I have never liked Watchmen as it’s overblown and meandering, but Civil War is tops on my list. The whole thing was a huge pile of mischaracterization to make “drama” and have fights. Taken in a vacuum it wasn’t bad, but comics are all set in a continuity. Reading everything leading up to the event, it seems as if many of the characters took stupid pills between issues. Reading Young Avengers, which wraps almost immediately before, then Civil War highlights it nicely as Cap and Iron Man completely switch sides between series. For one person to change their mind due to an event is one thing, but for two people on opposing sides of an argument to switch due to the same event is awful writing. The series doesn’t even feature it’s own climax of Cap getting killed. Cap is shot in his own series, so the ultimate stinger of the series isn’t even in story.”

D-Unit: “I totally agree about the Dark Knight Returns. I am a huge Batman fan, probably my favorite fictional character ever, and I’ve had a TPB of DKR since 1989, and every time I have tried to re-read it, I still don’t get why it is considered so great. I actually enjoyed the animated version that came out a few years ago, but the comic just never did anything for me”

D2Kvirus: “The Saviors in The Walking Dead. Not only was this the third go-round of introducing a new threat by having them kill a couple of important characters not named Rick to show they’re a threat before the big reveal, as they’d done the exact same thing with The Governor and The Hunters before this, but when they revealed Negan his edgelord dialogue made it impossible to get invested due to the amount of cringe it caused

HM: The Whispers in The Walking Dead, who were introduced by killing off some unimportant characters because Kirkman already killed off most of the important characters not named Rick by this point and replaced them with people I had to check the Wiki to remember who the hell they were”

Ken Wood: “I recently read Days of Future’s Past for the first time and I really enjoyed it. I get your points but I disagree with them. People aren’t really good or bad, hero or villain. Actions are good and bad, heroic or villainous. Sometimes people got to do things like time travel to try to make things right. I like the depth it adds to those characters.

I didn’t enjoy the Watchmen. I think the movie and Graphic Novel are both WAY overrated. I don’t get the hype.

I haven’t read Civil War, yet, but I have read Avengers versus X-Men. What garbage.

I’m actually not a huge fan of the Phoenix Saga. I don’t think it’s bad but I didn’t think it was great either. It was alright.

I actually didn’t know about Planet Hulk until after I saw Thor Ragnarok. A friend from work told me how disappointed he was with Thor because Planet Hulk was so much better. I recently watched the Planet Hulk cartoon and thought it was really weird. Ragnarok was definitely superior.

House of M. Not very good. Thankfully it led to tons of great stuff though.”

Cloud Strife: “DKR is up there for me. I sort of hate it, even though that’s controversial to say. Killing Joke is also a bit overrated, or maybe the edgelord Joker fans who worship it have clouded my judgment on it.

Can I also say Herogasm from The Boys, The Slavers from Punisher MAX and really anything by Garth Ennis? I’m just not a fan of his writing at all.”

Benjamin J: “I dunno, I pretty much love all the storylines listed except for Civil War. It’s the epitome of everything I’ve always hated about Mark Millar’s writing.

Aside from that, I’ll throw in Secret Wars 2015 as being a pretty good story in and of itself, but WILDLY overblown and overhyped. It was promoted as a universe breaking, continuity shattering mind fuck of a crossover, but in terms of long term ramifications, it felt like a long, drawn out one-year long contrivance just to get Miles Morales into the main 616 Marvel Universe, and that’s about it.

About50Girls: “I’ve said it a million times, Steve Rogers and Tony Stark should have been switched for Civil War. The second Tony Stark can’t have his way he would have just betrayed the government and done whatever he wanted. If you want the most accurate depiction of why, look up the YouTube video Civil War: How It Should Have Ended.”

Solomon Grundy: “The Born Again Frank Miller/Daredevil stuff is HIGHLY overrated in my humble opinion. It’s a carnival of suffering for a paint by numbers redemption story.

I also couldn’t agree more with All Star Superman, it’s the poster child for the skatterbrain story telling Grant Morrison can sometimes get himself into.”

Go2Sleep: “Crisis on Infinite Earths is considered by most to be a top ten all time storyline, but I found it to be a total mess. It’s not a lot of fun to try to read through.”

prowriter: “As much as I have a warm love of it, a very warm love, the Phoenix Saga is overrated. The fact that is the quintessential, regular timeline X-Men storyline is unfortunate, as it shouldn’t be. The attempts to film a version of it, and the failures thereto, kind of show how much is missing. It’s not just that the films can’t do the cosmic thing well, especially with the lack of access to the rest of the properties, but rather that Claremont went too far so often in ways that make it impossible to film.”

So many great comments! Big thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts!

This week we ask…

Must Read Scarlet Witch and Vision Stories 

Are you ready for Marvel’s WandaVision? Even after all the trailers, I’m not sure what to expect…and that’s a good thing. It feels like something different, something fresh, and I’m all for that. 

The series is set after Avengers: Endgame and finds Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) happily married in the town of Westview. But their marital bliss is interrupted by forces that cause them to cycle through decades amidst television tropes. The best part is happenings on the show are set to have a far-reaching influence on the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only will it help set the stage for the third Spider-Man movie and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness it will explain Vision’s resurrection and Wanda’s expanding powers.

It doesn’t look like WandaVision is a direct adaptation of any one story, one can pick out a few themes and points that look familiar so why not take a spin at some comics that helped shape the couple. 

Vision and the Scarlet Witch 

This was the four-issue miniseries that follows Wanda and Vision’s marriage after they left the Avengers. What’s interesting is the first issues takes place during Halloween, something it shares with the TV show’s trailer. While it’s a series light on impact, it might take on new meaning very soon.

Vision and the Scarlet Witch vol 2

This next chapter ran 12 issues and really took a turn for the weird when Wanda used her powers to become pregnant…with Vision’s kids. At the time it seemed…OK, but on second thought, this was straight weird. Another Halloween setting but reading this while watching the trailer makes you think they’re going to draw on more than a few elements from this series.
Vision Quest: Avengers West Coast No. 42 -52

For me, this storyline was huge. First, I was a huge fan of Avengers West Coast and this pulled me in right from the start. I didn’t realize it at the time but this was a pretty big deal and John Byrne caught a lot of flack for upending Wanda and Vision’s romantic bliss. 

A quick rundown. An agency kidnaps Vision and disassembles him, searching for secrets. He’s eventually put back together but he’s left without his personality and humanity. Oh, and he’s not married to Wanda anymore. 

It’s a long story but Wonder Man won’t give Wanda his brainwaves to help get Vision back to his old self AND, on top of that, those two kids Scarlet Witch and Vision had? They were pieces of Mephisto…so not real. It was pretty wild stuff. 

The Vision

I can’t say enough great things about this series by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, and Michael Walsh. 12 near perfect issues make up this mini series about what happens when Vision moves to Fairfax, Virginia (near me!) with a wife and two kids, that he built. It deals with issues and struggles that only the Vision could have, including his marriage to Wanda. A must read for any comic book fan. 

Scarlet Witch

Hand and hand with The Vision is this series by James Robinson. This book too isn’t your usual comic book and deals with a slightly darker tone and gives a new perspective on Wanda and her place in the Marvel universe. I have a feeling this book will have new importance once the show hits. 

Avengers Disassembled: Avengers No. 500-503 and House of M

I’m torn on this one. It HAS to be read with House of M to get the full brunt and while the TV show looks to put Wanda through the same mental instability these issues did, it’s taking a different path to get there. 

Hence, the importance of these books to the show is negligible. 

So Wanda takes out the Avengers. Vision gets destroyed. Doctor Strange gets involved. We get yet another new reality where Magneto rules the world. Then we get, “No more mutants.”

That’s what I got. No matter what, the show looks interesting and the early word is positive. What stories would you recommend?

That’s all the time I have. See you next week!