Written By James Robinson
Art by Marguerite Sauvage
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 4, 2016

The pain of loss casts a dark shroud over the City of Light.

On the latest leg of Wanda’s globe-trotting adventure, she scales the rooftops of Paris to help France’s greatest hero, Le Peregrine, Alain Racine. He finds that he cannot fly and that no matter how he tries he won’t go, ensnared by the grief of losing his one and only love, Adele. With powerful and life-threatening magic, Wanda creates a bridge between worlds so the two loves can discuss their sweetest devotion to each other and have a final tete-a-tete, helping Alain turn the tables of his sadness.

So, first, I’m just going to let you know I made a lot of Adele jokes reading this issue.

That revelation aside, Scarlet Witch #6 is poetic, depicting not only a deeply emotional story but art that evokes a range of complex emotions. I’ll admit that I’m still trying to ascertain how this issue fits in with a larger arc, yet #6 feels like a wonderfully executed one-shot. I continue to be awed by Wanda’s displays of power and how they manifest as they contrast Wanda’s history in the Marvel universe.

James Robinson seems to try a different hat when writing this chapter of Wanda’s story, diving much more deeply into an emotional story of two lovers. Wanda is a major catalyst for the story, but she doesn’t seem to be the focus, and that’s okay. Robinson’s writing grabs a firm hold on your heart by exploring a grief that leads someone to contemplate suicide. That scene in particular has so much within it I’d need a novel to fully explore its power, context, and meaning. Adele’s dialogue contributes to this raw and surprising moment with a direct, somewhat harsh, but ultimately loving and compassionate speech to Alain, and providing a remedy to his dilemma. Robinson’s framing of the story, use of shocking developments, and the emotional exploration allow Scarlet Witch #6 to stand out as a piece of art that looks deeply into the misery of grief and longing.

Let’s talk about Marguerite Sauvage. Rumor had it that she was joining the team for this issue, and I was super pumped about another artist I thoroughly enjoy being on Scarlet Witch, a series which I find to be that much more evocative due to a slew of talented artists working on separate issues. Sauvage blew me away with the dark and eerie yet wispy tone that ran throughout the issue. The muted purples and grays create a somber atmosphere that feels encompassing as you read the story. Alain himself is an important artistic element, as his grief is encapsulated by the colors that mark much of the story, so much that he rolls into the deep of the immersive background. With her red cloak, Wanda stands out as a point of contrast, a solitary element in a world that seems swept away by Alain’s sadness.

The story’s tone suddenly shifts as Wanda summons the ghost of Adele, whose ethereal presence could make any reader feel as though they’re a daydreamer. The colors that surround her are soft, incredibly bright pastels that puncture the fog of Alain’s pain. Adele blends into the serenity of the afterlife represented by Wanda’s magic as Alain had melded with the dense depression surrounding him. Sauvage’s use of contrast creates wonderful parallels throughout the issue, from the shadows of a dejected Alain’s present world to the clarity of his memories of Adele, and in many other instances which enhance the mood of this installment.

I could seriously spend days unpacking Scarlet Witch #6. It is rife with emotion, a journey into the image of what it is like to love in the darkness of pain. The writing and art are nearly impeccable and this issue is one that I will forever keep in my collection. The story is grounded in a realistic though sorrowful examination of grief and could be vital in helping people explore one of the most confusing and painful experiences that humans can. I can’t make you love this series, but if you read issue #6, you just might anyway.

The Verdict: 9.5/10


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