Unless you are some species of protozoa living among the algae forests in a tide pool, or–even more unlikely—you just didn’t feel like going to that movie, you probably saw Age of Ultron, current holder of the record for Biggest Misrepresentation Of How Much Time An Age Is.
I guess they maybe meant it in terms of how old Ultron is, like he’s being signed up for murderous robot summer camp and there’s a line on the form that says “Age of Camper: _______.” Which I guess, by the end of the movie is… a few days?
But that’s not the important part. The important part of that movie was one Wanda “We-Don’t-Ever-Actually-Say-The-Words-‘Scarlet-Witch’-In-The-Movie” Maximoff.
I make no secret of the fact that Scarlet Witch is one of my all-time favorite characters in comics. She has a non-standard power set, which appeals to the part of me that likes Brandon Sanderson novels. She has that “Beware the Nice Ones” story arc where life just pushes her too far only to find that she’s basically omnipotent, which appeals to the part of me that likes imagining doing very bad things to whoever is cashing my student loan payments. She has a gay son, sort-of, which appeals to the part of me that is a gay. And her character design, over the years, is a case study in how to take one of the most ridiculous costumes Jack Kirby ever drew (which is saying something) and make it look like actual clothes a real person could wear.
And in the wake of her cinematic introduction, Marvel is giving her a solo comic title! Scarlet Witch #1 came out last month (unless you’re reading this in the distant future. If that’s the case, then Scarlet Witch #1 came out in the distant past. But we’ll proceed on the assumption that you’re in fact reading this now).
So it would be easy to chalk up my excitement to your garden variety fanboyism—just being thrilled that MY FAVORITE CHARACTER IS GETTING HER OWN BOOK YOU GUYS OMG!!! But that’s not the real reason I’m excited for Scarlet Witch #2 and presumably #3 and so on.
See, Marvel’s team titles—your Avengers, your X-Mans, your Thunderbolts, your New Avengers, your Mighty Avengerses—they’ve been a mixed bag lately, like a Halloween haul with a few glorious full-size Three Musketeers, a lone disastrous Bit-O-Honey, and mostly just forgettable Sweet Tarts. Hickman’s run on New Avengers was great, Remender’s on Uncanny Avengers was disappointing—it averaged out. And that’s comics as usual, always has been. What isn’t comics as usual is what how Marvel has been giving minor characters solo titles and they have all, so far, been excellent.
After Avengers vs. X-Men came out in 2012 (really? That long ago? Wow, now I feel old), they turned X-Men Legacy into basically a solo title for Professor X’s crazy son, Legion. I had always regarded him as just a Mary-Sue-flavored waste of a character, but it was a really good comic. Then they gave Hawkeye his own book (sort of—there were a couple additional Hawkeyes), and it was ALSO awesome. They put Ryan North on Squirrel Girl, which was probably the best decision anyone has ever made in the history of comics. They gave Loki his own book, and it turned out to be this Sandmanian shell game with an incredible ending. Black Widow, New Thor, New Ms. Marvel: the only low point in the catalog I can think of is Moon Knight, and that’s only a low point in that it was MERELY ‘pretty good.’
I could go on but I don’t want this whole article to turn into an avalanche of pointing and yelling ‘Look everyone! Over there! Good comics!’
So with that track record, I’m not just excited for my Favorite Character Ever to get a turn. I am positively frothing.
A protozoa living in a tide pool would like froth, right?
Sincerely, and Frothily,
-The Guy Who Wrote This