Jump to navigation
First story: Steve Orlando (writer), Sara Pichelli (artist), Elisabetta D'Amico (inking assistant), Mattew Wilson (colorist)
Second story: Stephanie Williams (writer), Chris Allen (artist), Dee Cunniffe (colorist)
Virtual Calligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer), Anthony Gambino (production designer & illustrator), Russell Dauterman (cover artist), Alex Maleev; Lee Garbett; Ernanda Souza; CF Villa & Jesus Aburtov (variant cover artists), Kaitlyn Lindtvedt (assistant editor), Alana Smith (editor), Wil Moss (senior editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)
Scarlet Witch created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
The Scarlet Witch listens as Vivian Vision recounts several tragic events in her life. Vivian is somewhat cautious of the Scarlet Witch – she doesn't particularly like her. Vivan is being haunted in her dream, so the Scarlet Witch agrees to help the daughter of her ex-husband. They enter Vivian's dreamscape, which is a strange realm. The Scarlet Witch soon discovers who has been feeding off Vivian's trauma – the Dreamqueen, a diabolical villainess. They battle, with the Dreamqueen using the Vision's form against the Scarlet Witch. Eventually, the Scarlet Witch is able to defeat the Dreamqueen by sending her back to her own dimension, Liveworld, and offering her a saramale seasoned with the Scarlet Witch's worst nightmares – the pain of the loss of her sons – which she thinks should sustain the Dreamqueen. But the Scarlet Witch added a trick to the saramale – as the Dreamqueen devours it she is disgusted by the joy that the taste brings her. Vivian has a newfound respect for rthe Scarlet Witch and departs, promising to say hello to the Vision for her. The Scarlet Witch continues to be perplexed by a recent worry stone she was given, and when she raises how Darcy Lewis came to be here with Darcy, once again Darcy tries to avoid the subject, while, at that moment, a woman called Scythia has arrived at the Bar With no Name – attacking criminal villains as she attempts to find Darcy Lewis.
The Scarlet Witch is visited by Storm who arrives at the Emporium to inform her that Magneto has died. The Scarlet Witch senses a strange magic within Storm, but Storm assures her she is no sorceress. Storm agrees with accompany the Scarlet Witch to help her retrieve a special flower that she needs. They battle a grumpy water spirit protecting the flower, and to keep the spirit at bay Storm and the Scarlet Witch combine their powers, leading to the Scarlet Witch once again sensing a magical kinship with Storm. They retrieve the flower and return to the Emporium where they share tea and tell tales.
Lotkill, New York, where inside her curio shop the Emporium, Wanda Maximoff the Scarlet Witch sits opposite a girl called Vivian Vision – the daughter of her ex-husband, the Vision. 'Do you drink tea these days?' Wanda asks. 'I... remain fully functional' Viv replies, while looking to the floor. 'Great! And we're serving it in skulls. Must be a Thursday' Darcy Lewis, Wanda's shop assistant exclaims as she brings two skulls of tea over to the table where Wanda and Viv are seated. Wanda thanks Darcy and tells her that if she doesn't mind, they have a lot to catch up on. 'Can you give us the room?' she asks. Darcy just stares back at Wanda and doesn't respond. Vivian Vision raises one of the skulls to her mouth and begins to drink the tea. 'The aromatics offer relief to my internal systems. It is good...to see you again. Though also strange' Vivian remarks. Wanda smiles from behind her own skull mug: 'Strange? You – the synthezoid daughter of my ex and his second wife? A wife programmed with my brain waves? What's so strange about that? As mothers go... I suppose I'm the prototype' Wanda suggests.
Vivian hangs her head again, before looking back up at Wanda and stating: 'You comforted me after the loss of my mother. You are not her. Wanda tells Viv that she knows, and points out that the Last Door still brought her here, that wherever she was before, she had nowhere else to turn. Vivian informs Wanda that her father has attempted aid, but that for all his analysis, he has failed. 'Vision has a theory for everything. To him, every problem's a logic puzzle. But grief... it isn't always logical' Wanda replies, before remarking that she had heard Vivian was doing better. Vivian glances away as she confirms that she was, but that reckoning with the deaths of her mother and brother was difficult – she wanted her emotions, and yet she also wanted to be rid of them. She reveals that the Champions helped her accept her situation, as friends can, but there were false starts, and backsliding. 'I thought I had found peace. But then... the dreams began' she utters, looking back up at Wanda.
Vivian averts her gaze again, and runs a hand through her green hair as she explains that a form of rebel code has been attacking her mind for weeks, and she could not rest without vivid reminders of her greatest suffering. Wanda stands up and explains to Viv that those aren't dreams – they're nightmares. Vivian admits to being unfamiliar with the difference, and states that her body is failing, her mind even more so. 'If these nightmares do not stop, they will destroy me in time' she adds. Vivian stands up and turns away from Wanda, asking her if she knows what it is like, to be chained to the worst moments in your life. 'I... have a passing familarity' Wanda responds. 'My mother murdered a man. Then killed herself to protect my father...and me. These actions should be simple to condemn. And yet I struggle' Vivian remarks. Wanda tells her that nothing is that simple, and that there is no sacrifice she wouldn't make for her own family. 'It sounds like Virginia loved you' Wanda adds. '...Your words are appreciated' Vivian smiles.
'Your mother was my sister, separated by space and science. I'll help you however I can' Wanda declares. Vivian acknowledges that she is in no position to reject such assistance, and Wanda goes wide-eyed as Vivian tells her 'But naming my mother as your sister is a fanciful gesture. Nothing more. As you say, this would not make us family'. Wanda ignores that comment, and manifests a bed, with four posts and a thatched covering across the bed. Wanda tells Vivian that her dreams are under siege, and through them, her hope. 'Through that, your future. I've known many such threats. If you'll let me...I can root out whatever's hurting you' Wanda adds. She mentions that Darcy will watch their bodies as they enter Vivian's dreamscape. 'The quip woman? And who is she to you?' Vivian asks as she sits on the edge of the bed, while Darcy stands nearby and folds her arms. 'A trusted friend and advisor. Also, my shopkeeper' Wanda responds. 'That is satisfactory' Vivian replies, before she presses a button on her form, which switches her into a sedated mode, as if she was sleeping.
'Conking out too, boss?' Darcy asks. Wanda's eyes begin to close and she looks drowsy as she informs Darcy that she is going direct to Viv's dreamscape. 'No flash sales while I'm gone' Wanda jokes. 'What? I'm selling it all – magic money! Once you're awake, I'll retire... and live the life of my dreams...' Darcy's voice trails off as Wanda falls asleep – and then wakes in Vivian's dreamscape: 'OH!' Wanda gasps.
The Scarlet Witch adjusts to her new surroundings within Vivian Vision's dreamscape – which appears to her as a mass of skyscrapers, images of Vivian's face, and electronic parts which walk about like humanoids. 'Quite the world you've got her, Viv. It's beautiful. Fools look to your father and call him artificial. But witnessing this – who could see him, or you, as anything...but simply alive?' Wanda asks. Wanda acknowledges that every inch of Vivian's mind is a miracle, but she knows that the danger won't be here on the surface. She then tugs at the “ground” and pulls away a covering. 'The rot hides below' Wanda declares as she reveals an old house in place of the sprawling technological city. The house is run-down and has several broken windows. The bright green, yellow and red lights of the earlier dreamscape are replaced by muted browns, grays and whites. 'Here we are. Your home' Wanda calls out. She opens the door, and a flurry of flower petals floats around her. 'Or at least, a cruel reminder of it...and all that happened within' Wanda adds, as she finds the “remains” of Vivian's mother lying on the floor of the house. 'Whatever built this house wanted to hurt you, as deeply as possible' Wanda announces.
'Can you blame me, witch?' a voice calls out as there is a SNAP and a bright beam of light shines down on Wanda, who spins around and sees a woman scantily-clad woman with long green hair and pale white skin stands behind her. 'Show me a creature that doesn't love to play with its good' the woman utters, holding a whip. 'Dreamqueen. Daughter of Nightmare' Wanda remarks, acknowledging the villainess as she moves closer to her. 'Leech Empress of Liveworld. Devourer of human misery' Wanda adds. 'The Scarlet Witch knows my name. I'm flattered' the Dreamqueen responds. 'I know many pests – and how to exterminate them' Wanda responds casually.
The Dreamqueen disguises herself as a damaged version of the Vision, and calls out 'Quaint. Your threats, I mean. In the Dreamscape, the oneiromancer is god'. Wanda looks back at the “Vision” and asks 'What kind of god tortures a child?' Water begins to leak from the “Vision's” eyes and mouth as the Dreamqueen replies 'The hungry kind. Anguish is the sole delicacy on which I subsist. And while human minds break in time, here I've found a feast undying'. But the Scarlet Witch tells her that she is killing Viv, or at least she was until she arrived to help. 'To what, appeal to my better nature? I killed my mother at birth, with no regrets!' the Dreamqueen exclaims, as the “Vision” opens his mouth and a stream of water is hosed at Wanda – but as some of the water gets in Wanda's mouth, Wanda realizes that these are tears. 'The Vision's. Even androids cry – when do you he cried more...when his family died... or when you gutted him in one of your tantrums?' the Dreamqueen asks.
'You're not seeing it, Dreamqueen!' Wanda calls out as she manifests a large lion which rises up from the ground and devours the “Vision”. Wanda then reduces the lion, trapping the Dreamqueen in a small energy ball between her hands. 'Forget my past. My present will make you humble'. But the Dreamqueen tells the Scarlet Witch that out there she could have her on a spit, but that in here, her spells are tissue, and her magic bends to her like anything else. The Dreamqueen transforms Wanda's lion into dozens of bats which screech and flit around the Scarlet Witch. Wanda claps her hands together and the bats transform into a whip. 'You sure, Queen?' Wanda asks as she snaps the whip over her head. 'It's not my first time in the lion's den' Wanda remarks as she cracks the energy around the Dreamqueen with the whip.
The Dreamqueen appears and looks unimpressed: “Lion's den” she quotes, and remarks that the Scarlet Witch is still thinking in human terms. 'How sad. There isn't even air here, but you believe there is – as you'll believe its absence. You want to save Vivian? You can't even save yourself'. The Dremqueen flicks a finger at Wanda, who goes wide-eyed and seems to gasp for breath, before her eyes roll back in her head and she seemingly explodes. 'Tragic to see such power limited by a mortal mind' the Dreamqueen utters, asking Wanda if she thought she would just kneel over and surrender her fatted calf. 'No' a voice calls out. The Dreamqueen is surprised: '...what? Show yourself' she exclaims. 'You know. You did catch me off guard, but now...your choices are closing in' Wanda's voice responds. 'I'll choose to use your offal as kindling!' the Dreamqueen snarls as she realizes she is trapped in a red energy bubble. The Scarlet Witch suggests to the Dreamqueen that she threaten less and do more. 'You left me seconds of air. A few last moments of suffering for you to savor. But seconds are all I need' Wanda explains. 'NO! RELEASE ME!' the Dreamqueen screams. 'And when you aim for the Scarlet Witch...it's best not to miss!' the Scarlet Witch declares as she re-materializes, and begins to shrink the bubble containing the Dreamqueen.
'I heard you – human terms. Such a burden. So I changed the terms. Became light...surrounded you and squeezed. The Dreamscape's not hard to mold, once you get a feel for it' Wanda explains. 'I'll burn you, witch! The scent of your flesh will fill flickering realms!' the Dreamqueen snarls. 'What you'll do is hear my offer. Wrath is easy. I've dealt plenty – but I'm trying to change' Wanda remarks, before instructing the Dreamqueen to free Viv, to cease preying on humanity, and to never return. 'Or don't, and your next attack on Earth's dreamers will be your last'. Wanda threatens the Dreamqueen. 'Exile to my realm...and just how long do you think I'll live without sustenance?' the Dreamqueen asks, pointing out that the Scarlet With's mercy is still a death scentence.
But the Scarlet Witch tells the Dreamqueen that she won't be without sustenance and holds up a small piece of food. 'You wondered about my pain earlier. Wonder no more' the Scarlet Witch smiles as she passes the food through the magic bubble and hands it to the Dreamqueen. 'This saramale is seasoned with my worst nightmare – the loss of my sons. Such pain should sustain you for ages' Wanda utters. 'We'll see, you -' the Dreamqueen begins, before she vanishes. 'Well. That's that' Wanda supposes.
Wanda leaves the house within Viv's dreamscape, and assures Viv that it is safe to come out now. 'She is truly gone?' Vivian asks. 'Really truly, my dear' Wanda assures her. Vivian asks Wanda what she did to the Dreamqueen, what was the spell that cast her out. 'A lie...one interwoven with truth' Wanda responds, revealing that she did send Dreamqueen home with a hearty meal – and one catch. A transformation spell, hidden by the taste of her pain.
The Dreamqueen returns to Liveworld, and places the saramale in her mouth, devouring the agony of Wanda's greatest tragedy. Then, the Dreamqueen changes. Where once she lived off suffering, she'll now have to consume bliss to survive. The Dreamqueen goes wide-eyed and arches backwards in revulsion, as her tastes remain unchanged – the joy she needs now disgusts her.
'Dreamqueen joked that I'd come to appeal to her better nature' Wanda remarks as she sits next to Vivian, and tells her that she thought she would give the Dreamqueen one, knowing it must be agony. 'Your punishment does mirror the crime' Vivian replies, to which Wanda tells her that it is called poetic justice, and to savor it
Back in the Emporium, Vivian suddenly wakes, while Wanda and Darcy watch her. 'Morning, robot girl' Darcy calls out. 'Little time has passed outside the dreamscape. The sunrise still awaits us' Vivian states. 'Ten out of ten, Viv. Keep on making it literal' Darcy mutters. Vivian looks at Wanda and tells her that she was successful, and that she finds no trace of the Dreamqueen in her mnemonic code. 'I pulled a tick off your dreams, Viv. The rest is up to you' Wanda remarks. She points out that healing has no shortcuts, as she has tried them all, but that from now on, Viv's life is her own. 'You'll have a fair shot at closure. And as you search for it...I will be in your corner' Wanda assures Viv, who gives a half-smile in response, admitting that this is a unique confluence of emotions.
Vivian states that it is unusual to be so at peace among those she hardly knows. 'A good unusual, Viv. Family or not – you're always welcome here' Wanda assures the Vivian, who replies 'Eventually. Perhaps. But at the moment... I remain far from home'. Wanda takes Vivian's hands and tells her 'Nonsense' and promises to have her back to the Champions in no time. 'Just tell your father I say “Hello”' Wanda adds. Vivian assures Wanda that she will, and thanks her. 'You are never what I expect' Vivian remarks, and with that, Vivian Vision departs.
'So how'd you debug your ex's daughter?' Darcy enquires as she brings a broom and shovel over to clean up a spill. 'Oh, you know...dredged up my deepest personal failures to defeat an ancient dream parasite. As you said. A Thursday' Wanda responds. 'Sounds bad. Almost as bad as this spell mess' Darcy remarks, referring to the spill on the floor. 'I've never heard of the Ashesof Aarkus described quite like that' Wanda replies. 'Well, your boy Asskiss should learn to sweep up after himself' Darcy suggests as she begins sweeping. She then informs Wanda that the register has been balanced and that it is time for her to be the hero and head out for the night.
Shortly, Wanda is serving an elderly man whom she calls Stanley, and hands him a bottle of milk, instructing him to whisper love to the milk and night and to take it with his morning coffee, and then the memory of his late wife will strengthen with every sip. Wanda then turns to a worry stone sitting on the counter. 'As for you...so much unknown in such a little stone. Not cold iron. Not orichalcum. Not uru'. She notes that none of them could repel her magic, while any spells of inquest simply float around this stone. She wonders if science can examine it, or a spectral analysis. Suddenly, Darcy calls out to her: 'Hey! Tell me you haven't been eyeballing that rock all night!' Darcy exclaims. Wanda remarks that mysteries enthrall her, and asks Darcy if she would prefer that she looked into hers. 'Save the shade, lady – I'm just not ready to talk about it yet' Darcy replies, unamused. 'Trust me, when I tripped through the Last Door all those weeks back... I wasn't just out for a stroll'.
Meanwhile, at the Bar With No Name, in New Jersey, a super-powered criminal is thrown through the wall of the bar. Several other criminals run through the large hole in the wall, including Blackout, Squid, Aquaduct, Walrus and the Brothers Grimm. Standing before them a woman stands in the shadows, she holds a large chain and wears high-heeled boots as she declares: 'Perhaps I was unclear – Darcy Lewis owes blood to the Bacchae. And any who aid in sheltering her... will answer to SCYTHIA!'
On a sunny day, at The Emporium, where Wanda Maximoff the Scarlet Witch sits on a chair as she reads through a spell book. 'Of course, I have everything except...' Wanda begins, when Darcy Lewis, sweeping nearby, exclaims 'A great assistant? Because I'm pretty sure I have that covered'. Suddenly, there is a rumbling, and Wanda and Darcy turn to the door, which opens and reveals Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm, wind whirling around her and rain now pouring down. 'Apologies, Wanda. I wish I were here under better circumstances' Storm calls out. 'I just finished sweeping!' Darcy complains as leaves from the street are blown inside The Emporium. 'Is this about Magneto?' Wanda asks.
Shortly, Darcy resumes sweeping while Wanda sits on a staircase and Storm stands nearby. Storm informs Wanda that after Uranos fell, she held Erik in his last moments, that he spoke of seeing Anya, and she believed Anya greeted him with open arms. 'As do I. Given the irony in his sacrifice, he more than deserves that much' Wanda remarks. Storm tells Wanda that she knows her relationship to Magneto was complicated, but thought she would want to know how he died. 'If you ever need anything, don't hesitate to reach out' the Regent of Planet Arakko offers. Wanda tells Storm that she appreciates that, before reporting that there is something she could use Storm's help with, if she had the time. 'What do you need?' Storm asks.
Wanda explains that she was in the middle of taking inventory, and that she seems to be out of an essential ingredient, after a mix-up with a local delivery recently. 'She should really look into expanding her roster of foragers' Darcty suggests, while cleaning some shelves. 'Anyway...as luck would have it, due to its location, two individuals of magical birthright are required to obtain the ingredient when it is not in bloom' Wanda remarks. Storm smiles and tells Wanda that she is flattered, but points out that she is no practicing sorceress. 'The potency of your birthright dwells in you, nonetheless' Wanda remarks, before asking Storm what she would say to a quick girls' trip. 'I say you should have led with girls' trip' Storm smiles. 'Noted' Wanda replies, before asking Darcy if she can lock up. 'Sure thing' Darcy waves, telling Wanda and Storm to have fun.
Soon, Wanda and Storm hover over some large cliffs which tower over a sea, covered by fog as the moon glows red above them. 'Perfect. We arrived just as the moon is at its highest' Wanda tells Storm, who realizes that there is something down below, covered by the fog. 'Let me clear it' Storm utters as she causally waves her hand, and the fog below parts. 'Ororo, you are very much a part of the sisterhood' Wanda tells her. Storm asks Wanda what she is talking about, to which Wanda points out that Storm sees things others do not, and explains that was no ordinary fog, but a barrier meant to keep this island which has appeared hidden. 'As I mentioned earlier, practicing sorceress or not, your gifts are potent' Wanda adds as they drop down towards the mysterious island which has emerged.
Storm notes that the land is barren, but Wanda tells her to give it a moment. Purple flowers begin to bloom, and Storm remarks that as beautiful as the flowers are, she knows it would be foolish of her to assume things were this easy. 'They never are for people like us' Wanda replies. She adds that Magneto understood that, and that he wore his truth like an impenetrable armor, let few see what he protected so fiercely. Wanda turns to the flowers, before Storm tells her that she doesn't mean to interrupt, and asks Wanda if she feels something. 'I was wondering when he would make his entrance. I'm surprised he didn't when you removed the barrier' Wanda replies, as suddenly, a water spirit, in the form of horse with a serpent's body rises onto the island. 'Who dares to invade my space? You will pay with your lives' the water spirit warns their unexpected visitors.
Wanda and Storm leap for safety as the water spirit fires a beam of water from its horse mouth. 'Who is this? He doesn't appear too happy to see us' Storm remarks. Wanda explains that this is a powerful water spirit and keeper of this island during the hunter's moon. 'He'll destroy the flowers if this goes on for too long!' Wanda warns Storm as she casts a magic lasso around the water spirit. 'Foolish witch. Is this the best you can do?' the water spirit asks. 'Storm, if you don't mind' Wanda calls out. 'With pleasure' Storm responds as she releases a surge of lightning which crackles around the water spirit. 'What mockery is this? Your simple mutant abilities have no place here' the water spirit declares. 'That's where you're wrong!' Wanda exclaims, maintaining control over the magic lasso, she informs the water spirit that Storm's gifts aren't simple, as it graciously put it. 'She was doing you a favor by holding back. But that time is over' Wanda warns the water spirit.
Wanda then tells Storm that she meant what she said about her being part of the sisterhood. 'Tap into that as you summon lightning' Wanda urges. 'Great ancestor Ayesha, I call upon you. Flow through me so that we may obtain what we seek and nothing more' Storm calls out, and as she does so, a magic symbol materializes around her, as does one around the Scarlet Witch, as their abilities combine, wrapping around the water spirit, holding the creature in place. 'Your efforts are a tremendous waste, and yet still you try' the water spirit comments. 'As you continue to try our competency' Wanda remarks, before the water spirit realizes that it is bound. 'This can't be' the creature utters. 'But it is. Now yield' Wanda instructs the creature, who pauses, before telling the Scarlet Witch to take what she needs.
The creature retreats back into the water, and Wanda jokes 'He was cranky'. But Storm doesn't blame him, considering how they showed up unannounced. Wanda begins collecting the flowers, and asks Storm who Ayesha is. 'I believe someone from my mother's side' Storm reveals, and Wanda smiles, suggesting that they should talk over tea.
Soon, sitting around a fireplace back at The Emporium, Wanda thanks Storm again for her help. Both women sip cups of tea, and Storm jokes that had she known Wanda could brew a tea like this, she might not have voted against resurrecting her. 'Very funny' Wanda smiles, before remarking that Storm breezing into her store today was nothing something she saw coming. 'The only plan I had today was making some tea' she adds. Wanda looks at the tea and explains to Storm that she only brews this particular tea when she needs comfort, but that almost did not happen because she didn't have all the ingredients. Storm tells Wanda that it is funny how their most quiet desires are heard when we believe no one is listening. 'Indeed. I believe that goes for both of us' Wanda responds.
Aquaduct, Blackout, Brothers Grimm, Squid, Walrus and other criminals
Unnamed water spirit
Vivian's mother, the Vision's second wife, Virginia, died in Vision (2nd series) #12.
Vivian's brother, Vin, was murdered by Victor Mancha in Vision (2nd series) #9.
The Dreamqueen is one of Alpha Flight's greatest foes, having tormented the Canadian heroes over the course of Alpha Flight (1st series) #56-71. She returned briefly in Alpha Flight (1st series) #109 when Beta Flight was trying to escape Liveworld. She appeared behind-the-scenes in Alpha Flight (1st series) #128-129, and then in #130 where she swore she would return. The Alpha Flight comic was cancelled and she never appeared again until recently, in Jane Foster & the Mighty Thor #1, 4-5.
The Dreamqueen did indeed kill her mother upon her birth, as seen in Alpha Flight (1st series) #67.
Wanda encountered the worry stone last issue.
Magneto died in X-Men Red (2nd series) #7.
The Scarlet Witch was resurrected in X-Men: Trial of Magneto #1.