Marvel’s new Scarlet Witch series sets Wanda Maximoff on a path of redemption – but can her past sins really be forgiven?
The following article contains spoilers for Scarlet Witch #1, on sale now from Marvel Comics.
The Scarlet Witch’s past has been a long journey of her losing control over her powers and the disaster following, so much so that many readers want to see Wanda redeem herself in the eyes of the public. But there is still some doubt whether she is worthy of forgiveness for her past transgressions.
The Scarlet Witch has been a contentious and unstable character in Marvel Comics since her introduction in 1964. Wanda holds a vast amount of power unlike due to her ability to bend reality with chaos magic. However, the devastation she caused over the years leaves one to wonder whether the character will always come up short. Her recent solo comic book title explores the question of whether Wanda may ever truly be forgiven by those around her, and especially herself.
Scarlet Witch Has a Horrifying History of Death and Destruction
One of the most notable atrocities Wanda committed came in the era defining Avengers #500 (by Brian Michael Bendis and David Finch). She killed and injured more than half of the then current Avengers roster. For instance, Wanda resurrected Jack of Hearts and used him to cause a massive explosion at Avengers Mansion. The situation only gets worse from this point forward. Ant-Man dies in the resulting blast and She-Hulk goes through a mindless rage. She-Hulk’s loss of control results grievously injured Captain America and tore the Vision in half. The events caused the Avengers to disband and left a major void in the Marvel Universe.
Subsequently, Scarlet Witch’s brother Quicksilver influenced her to create a reality where mutants became the dominant subspecies over humans in House of M #7 (by Bendis and Olivier Coipel). Scarlet Witch is further motivated by her rage towards her father, Magneto. In an emotional outburst fueled by her vast hex powerset, the Scarlet Witch eradicated a vast majority of the mutant population, an act that still resonates into the present day.
Wanda’s Path to Redemption Will Not Be Easy
In Scarlet Witch #1 (by Steve Orlando, Sara Pichelli, Elisabetta D’Amico, and Matthew Wilson), she acknowledged her need to atone for her previous misdeeds and finally do some good with her vast abilities. Wanda is trying to help a woman named Jarnette, who seems to be the only one in her town not affected by a form of mind manipulation spell. The spell caster, Jackson Day, claims to control people’s worst impulses and that everyone likes to be told what to do. Throughout this experience, Wanda comes face to face with a situation readers have seen her put through others in the past. Day tries to convince Wanda that helping people won’t ever excuse what she’s done in the past.
Day has a point given Scarlet Witch’s past history. Since her introduction to the Marvel Universe, Wanda’s volatile emotions always controlled her magic. In fact, many figures believed it would be safer if she was contained, killed, or stripped of her powers. However, redemption is not about excusing or ignoring the Scarlet Witch’s past. Rather, she promises to do better and be a steady influence for the Marvel Universe. Wanda has the potential to be redeemed throughout the course of her solo series, but readers will need to see more of her in control of her emotions. The Scarlet Witch’s complicated past already is impacting her new venture