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Steve Orlando (writer), Lorenzo Tammetta & Sara Pichelli (artists), Frank William (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Sabino (letterer), Anthony Gambino (production designer & illustrator), Russell Dauterman (cover artist), Peach Momoko; Betsy Cola; Lucas Werneck (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
On a far away planet, the last survivor of a group of warriors is under attack by a trio of Kree Pursuers. During the battle, she falls through the mysterious Last Door, and appears on Earth, in front of the Scarlet Witch. The alien warrior is called Ganymede and is somewhat distrusting of the Scarlet Witch, despite Wanda using her powers to heal her, and provide her with some food. Ganymede tells her story to Wanda, and explains that she thinks her sisters of the Archsisterhood were murdered in their sleep by the Skrull Empire. This concerns Wanda given her son-in-law is the Emperor of the Kree-Skrull Alliance, and so agrees to take Ganymede to see her son and son-in-law, Wiccan and Hulkling. But the royal couple view Ganymede as someone who caused harm to the Kree Pursuers, and when Wiccan attempts to apprehend her, Wanda steps between her son and Ganymede. After much discussion, Wanda eventually convinces Hulkling and Wiccan that there must be a better way, and suggests that they investigate Ganymede's story. Wanda joins Hulkling and Wiccan as they explore the Unified Kree/Skrull Archives, where they locate confirmation that a dangerous offshoot of the Skrulls called the Blood Skrulls carried out the murders of the Archsisterhood. To enable Ganymede to have her vengeance, and to show that the Empire values justice, Hulkling provides Wanda with his Star-Sword and allows Wanda and Ganymede to confront the Blood Skrulls. They do so, and battle the Blood Skrulls, until Ganymede kills their leader, enacting her revenge. Wanda renders the others unconscious, and she and Ganymede part as allies. Wanda later spends some time with Wiccan, before returning to The Emporium, where Darcy Lewis claims to have been doing some investigation into the mysterious necklace – when a man resembling Magneto arrives, shocking Wanda.
The planet called Pettoco, where a woman with yellowish skin and green markings on her face wears a short pink jacket with a cowl that covers her head as she battles three warriors known as the Pursuer Corps. 'You limp fascists would defend a massacre!' the woman shouts as she slams her weapon into the face of Korath the Pursuer. 'Enough, Spinster! You've assaulted imperials – you're now property of the Pursuer Corps!' the warrior called Inndig-O the Accuser calls out as she hurls her hammer at the woman, knocking her backwards. 'You can pursue me to Hell, you -' the woman under attack begins, before she notices a red door suddenly appear. 'Another Kree triiiiccccckkk...' the woman exclaims as she opens the door as she slams into the door, and then seemingly vanishes. 'D'ast – she's gone! Scan the hangar! Give me thermal and biospectral – now!' Inndig-O orders. The third warrior, Cadmi-M the Pursuer, walks over and reports that there is nothing, no teleportation residue. 'And the door...was it not red an instant ago?' she asks.
The mysterious red door opens elsewhere, and the alien warrior falls through it. She is still on fire from the weapons blast. 'Weaponized teleportation... an efficient ploy, but know this... if you seek my death, if this is some Pursuer trap...I will not make it east!' she calls out as she regains her composure, only to look up and see Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch standing nearby. 'Your death? Whoever you are – this isn't a trap' Wanda announces. 'Just what a Pursuer would say. Blackjack O'Hare once tried the same con' the alien declares. 'Mercenary rabbits are not to be trusted' Wanda remarks about Blackjack, before assuring her new arrival that this is no trick. Wanda then casts a quick hex which heals the mysterious woman's wounds. The warrior decides that this is a strange way for the Scarlet Witch to maintain her advantage. 'Because I'm not interested in having one' Wanda remarks, before introducing herself, and then motioning to a table and chairs as she welcomes the alien to her home, and suggests that she has a seat.
'Don't insult me. A monk of the Archsisterhood does not take seats' the alien snaps, before Wanda asks her if they eat. 'Lunch Legion makes the hottest chips on the planet' Wanda claims as she manifests a packet of the chips. The alien holds up the chips and looks at them. 'A warrior's meal. They do appear infernally toothsome' she decides. Wanda tells her guest to enjoy the chips, and explains to her that the door, The Last Door, it beings those with nowhere to turn here, to her. 'You're not in danger. You're in need – why?' Wanda asks. The alien slams her weapon, a golden staff, on the ground, causing the floor to chip. 'I have told my take endlessly. Why not once more?' she mutters.
As the alien woman eats the chips, she introduces herself as Ganymede, the last survivor of the Archsisterhood, an ancient order and enemy to the most primal of urges – oppression. She states that for billions of years, they fought foes who called them the Spinsterhood, a mockery of their vows – humility, abstinence and confidence. Ganymede reveals that after they defeated a great tyrant, they rested, scattered in cryo-sleep, and her sisters died in stasis. Ganymede explains that she believed this was a tragic accident, but that a few cycles ago, a routine interrogation revealed that her people's death was intended. 'A hidden genocide by a conquering empire fearing our rebuke. The Skrull Empire' Ganymede claims. As she brings another chip to her mouth, Ganymede notes that the Skrull Empire is stronger than ever as the Kree/Skrull Alliance, under Dorrek-Vell, but declares that her sisters must be avenged – only she fears that avenging them is all but hopeless.
Somewhat nervously, Wanda informs Ganymede that the Kree/Skrull Emperor is married to her son. A chip snaps between Ganymede's lips as she responds 'Then your son has inherited responsibility for the deaths of thousands', before holding the bag of chips upside down – it's empty. 'Unfortunate my hunger was mightier than your hell crisps' Ganymede remarks. 'So much for humility' Wanda responds. 'The vow is more an aspiration than a rule' Ganymede claims. Wanda announces that Billy and Teddy only just took regency of the Alliance, and decides that they need to know what has happened. 'And you deserve the whole truth. I'll secure an audience for us both' Wanda assures Ganymede, before she materializes more “hell chips” and assures Ganymede that they will be here when she returns. 'You will plead my case to one of the most powerful rulers in the known galaxy? You? A conjurer and peddler of trifles?' Ganymede asks, surprised. 'Don't judge until you've seen my work clothes' Wanda smiles as she conjures up her costume, before asking if they should go petition her son-in-law.
Shortly, within Throneworld II, formerly Hala, rebuilt and rechristened Capital of the KreeSkrull Alliance. 'Wanda Maximoff. Krakoan Redeemer, Empress of Magik, Queen of Chaos and Scarlet Witch. You stand before Dorrek-Vell, the Uniter, Child of Impossible Prophecy and King of Space. I am Wiccan, Prince Consort and Court Wizard. Before you speak, I would just like to say...hi, Mom!' Billy Kaplan-Altman a.k.a. Wiccan smiles at his mother as he stands beside his husband, Teddy Kaplan-Altman a.k.a. Emperor Hulkling, who sits on his throne, a large sword at his side. Wanda doesn't get a chance to respond to Billy when Ganymede suddenly calls out 'This scum hides a slaughterer! I'll waste not time with family pleasantries -' to which Wanda frowns at her: 'You will, Ganymede. Family is the only reason we could walk in here' Wanda explains. 'Right, Wanda. It's not every day my mother-in-law brings a fugitive to the Capital...' Teddy points out.
Wiccan informs his mother that Ganymede assaulted their Pursuers, who are still in traction. 'Some family, Witch! If your pup wishes me in chains -' Ganymede begins, swinging her weapon about, she creates some energy, which Wiccan deflects with energy of his own. 'Ganymede, no!' Wanda exclaims, as Ganymede continues: '- he can join his agents on the slab!' Wiccan turns to Hulkling, 'She tried to blow us away. Okay. Gloves off!' he exclaims as he releases more energy towards Ganymede as he points out that she fights her way here, accuses them of slaughter with no proof and refuses to back this up. 'You're spilling blood for a theory!' he declares. 'The death of my sisters, the murders of thousands... is not theory, wizard!' Ganymede snaps. 'Neither are the people that you hurt. I've got to take you in!' Wiccan responds as he increases his energy towards Ganymede, when suddenly, 'In disagree' Wanda announces as she steps between her son and Ganymede, blocking Wiccan's attack.
Wanda looks at Wiccan as she tells him that he disagrees, too. 'Our family has always had power. You're no different – when you believe in your actions' Wanda tells him. 'This isn't the solution you want, Billy. It weakens your spells' Wanda adds, as Billy falls backwards. 'Ouch. I want to fight, okay? Or I didn't, until she shot at my husband' Billy frowns. He adds that they can't let Ganymede go, and people here don't want to dig into the past. Wanda turns to Teddy and reminds him that he leads two empires. 'Guide them. Working with us isn't weakness' she assures him. 'Ignoring history because it frightens you is. So help us. Ganymede has cause' Wanda remarks. 'Of course. Just as I have cause to kill this so-called Uniter on his throne. But if he does not force the issue...neither will I. Again' Ganymede responds. Wanda states that Ganymede carries the weight of her people, just like Hulkling does, and she needs truth – and so does the Alliance. Hulkling finally speaks: '...the would-be assassin stays here. As a royal guest. For now'.
Soon, within the unified Kree/Skrull Archives, Wanda floats behind Hulking, with Wiccan at her side, as they move through the tunnel-like structure, books completely surrounding them. 'What an incredible design. It's beautiful' Wanda smiles. Hulkling explains that the tunnel is chronological, which was Billy's idea – a physical and mental journey through their past. Hulkling eventually locates a Skrull file on the Archsisterhood, and notes that it is for ruling eyes only. 'Not a huge shock...since it's something we'd all rather not know' Hulkling adds. Wanda remarks that the entry speaks of the Archsisterhood's culling, to which Wiccan asks if the Skrulls really eradicated them. Hulkling confirms that Ganymede's people were killed in stasis – by Blood Skrulls, who are essentialists that rejected the science that gave Super-Skrulls to them.
Hulkling brings up the file on the Blood Skrulls and an image of one of them appears. Hulkling announces that only a strict set of traits signify true Skrulls, and the rest are imperfect, according to the Blood Skrulls. 'Bet they'd love that I'm half Skrull' he jokes. Hulking reveals that years ago, after assassinating Skrull scientists, the Blood Skrulls were exiled to the prison world Klaar, but one of them, A'kro, led a revolt, and he now rules Klaar. Hulkling realizes that his predecessors had proof, but they hit it – the Blood Skrulls were out of sight, out of mind. Hulking continues, informing his husband and mother-in-law that A'Kro elevated Blood Skrulls with the highest alien body count – and one of his troops killed the Archsisterhood as they slept – for a promotion. He calls them terrorists and states that Ganymede's anger isn't unjustified.
'A'kro's order left thousands dead. But I'm on the throne. I... I hate this. I hate it. I wasn't here to save these people. Now... I don't know what to do' Hulkling utters. Wanda tells him not to close his eyes and salt old wounds, and suggests he accepts this, sanction the Blood Skrulls, but not before a bold gesture toward healing. 'So, what? I should go to Klaar and arrest them myself?' Teddy asks. 'In time' Wanda suggests. 'First, show that the throne favors justice. Allow Ganymede her satisfaction' Wanda adds. 'A gesture, right? Well, this should cover it' Hulkling decides as he hands Wanda his sword, noting that the Star-Sword symbolizes the Alliance, anwers only to him and those he permits, so by passing it to Wanda and to Ganymede, well, if that doesn't show good faith, he doesn't know what will. 'See? He's a genius, right? And speaking of gifts...' Wiccan begins, before quietly whispering a spell to his mother.
Shortly, on Klaar, the former Skrull prison world, current stronghold of the Blood Skrulls, where the Scarlet Witch and Ganymede are surrounded by Blood Skrulls, who all wear pink cloaks similar to Ganymede's, stolen from her dead sisters. 'Admit it, good witch – you're enjoying the battle!' Ganymede exclaims. Clasping the Star-Sword, Wanda turns to Ganymede and asks 'Are you? The Blood Skrulls have stolen your sisters' faces' Wanda points out. 'Stolen, but aren't. I care little if they won't show their true forms to outsiders... when they break so easily!' Ganymede exclaims as she swings her staff, which slices one of the Blood Skrulls through his waist, and causes him to revert to his true form, revealing a red colored appearance. 'Filthy hardforms! You soil our world just by touching it!' one of the Blood Skrulls cries in their native Skrullkrov. 'Such warm words almost make me regret my linguistic enchantment' Wanda utters.
Ganymede challenges one of the Blood Skrulls, blocking their large mace with her staff, she identifies him as A'Kro and tells him that he may hide behind a false face, but that she knows who he is. 'Your spinster littermates were nothing! But you have heart – it is respectable' A'Kro remarks. 'If this is Blood Skrull hospitality – it's lacking!' Wanda calls out as she uses the Star-Sword to keep several of the Blood Skrulls at bay. 'I'll take your head for a latrine!' A'Kro shouts as he knocks Ganymede backwards with his mace. Wanda sees this and calls out to Ganymede: 'Eyes up!' she shouts as she throws the Star-Sword towards Ganymede. 'Bad news, A'Kro...I'll be keeping my head. But I'll gladly hand you yours' Ganymede smriks as she takes hold of the Star-Sword and warns A'Kro that she will first carve his true face free. 'You don't deserve the sight of it' A'Kro responds.
Wanda smirks at the Blood Skrulls who gather behind her, as one of them warns her that her weapons are spent, and that her flesh is frozen and weak. 'You're defenseless' the Blood Skrull adds. 'You seek vengeance, spinster. But there is no crime to avenge!' A'Kro calls out as he swings his mace again, which Ganymede easily dodges, leaping up into the air, as A'Kro boasts that Blood Skrulls cull the imperfect by right. 'I'll let you bare your neck, you rank Sch'mag' Ganymede retorts. Wanda smiles at the Blood Skrulls closing in around her, and announces that she has one question for them, which she will ask in their tongue: 'Because you've all shown such confidence...do I look defenseless?' With that, Wanda hovers in the air and releases a hex which shatters the Blood Skrulls' illusions, reverting them to their true forms. 'No! The wizardess remolds our flesh! But you, spinster? Your eyes will not defile my true form!' A'kro boasts as he raises his mace, while a wide-eyed Ganymede gasps 'Wanda... she's revealed them'.
'Let go! Your gaze insults us!' one of the Blood Skrulls calls out. 'Right, because Blood Skrulls are perfect where all else is not. Even other Skrulls' Wanda responds. 'They are not our people! We need no engineering, no hybridization' the Blood Skrull exclaims. 'Is that it? Or is it that you call anything you simply don't like imperfect?' Wanda asks. A'Kro turns and runs from Ganymede, declaring that he will not be seen, not by her – he would rather die. 'Why not both?' Ganymede asks as she suddenly brings the Star-Sword down, through A'Kro's head, slicing down through his body, splitting him in two. 'I see you, A'Kro' Ganymede exclaims. Wanda turns, concerned as A'Kro's head lands at Ganymede's feet. 'And you're right where you belong' Ganymede declares.
'This is our home! You don't know us – you loathe our culture! Now you force our true forms out? We'll skin you alive!' one of the other Blood Skrulls boasts. 'You really won't' Wanda remarks as she unleashes a surge of lightning which knocks all of the Blood Skrulls out. 'Quite the spell' Wanda whispers to herself, while thanking Ororo, whom she acquired the spell from. Ganymede approaches Wanda and finally concedes that her door was not a trap. 'The filth who ordered my people's slaughter is dead. His sheep await sanction' Ganymede adds. Wanda and Ganymede press their heads together, as Ganymede states that she is in Wanda's debt, and notices that there is a certain strength about her. 'Might you become my squire?' Ganymede asks. 'If only, but no' Wanda responds, before announcing that she does have someone she wants Ganymede to meet.
Later, back on Throneworld II, Wanda sits at a table as Wiccan brings her some food. 'Here we go. I think it's done. No magic. No shortcuts' Wiccan announces. He calls them many-angled cakes with T'manja berry jam – part Skrull and part Kree. He adds that he is trying for fusion food. 'Maybe it's stupid but people commune over meals' Wiccan notes, suggesting that a united food culture could help unite “culture culture”. 'Wonderful' Wanda replies, before telling Billy that she has never been much of a cook, and nor has his uncle, as it involves patience. 'My Mom was. Is. My Bio-Mom, I mean. I could tell she was cooking brisket three states away' Billy jokes. Looking at the food, Wanda tells Billy that Rebecca would be proud to see how far he has come. 'I certainly am' Wanda assures him.
Wanda then thanks Billy for the breakfast, and the trueflesh spell, informing him that the Blood Skrulls did not love it. Billy tells his mother that he is glad it worked, noting that he didn't save the Alliance – she did. But Wanda explains that she simply helped them forward. 'To the Blood Skrulls, Teddy has personally delivered justice. And to Ganymede – both clemency and revenge. His reign is better for it' Wanda points out. Billy tells his mother that the reigning thing comes easy enough, and that it is what next that is harder. 'How do we leave this thing better than we found it?' he asks. Wanda smiles at her son and tells him that she cannot answer that, but she has no doubt that her sons are up to the task.
Back on Earth, at Lotkill in New York, Wanda has returned to her Emporium, where her assistant, Darcy Lewis calls out 'Boss! No worries, I opened up and donated your weird mountain of chips'. Darcy comments that it has been quiet, so she looked into the mysterious necklace. 'The magic-proof one, not the one Bob the cat man gave you. That one I threw out' Darcy adds, before explaining that there are reports of this weird rock going way back. She interrupts herself, and asks Wanda where she has been. 'Visiting my son at his intergalactic empire, Darcy. Fighting alien fascists with a monk warrior'. Wanda remarks that Ganymede was testy, she she took her to Scythia, she is sure they will get along famously. 'Right, cool. Love Scythia. Had some laughs, me and her' Darcy responds sarcastically, before telling Wanda that the rocks have been around for decades, but Mysterium is brand new. 'How do you get a derivative of something before it exists? Then this fox comes in. I'm talking silver here. But he's totally got a way with -' Darcy begins, when suddenly, the mysterious necklace she is hold is yanked from her hands: '- Metal' a new arrival remarks as he grabs the rock. Standing in the shadows, the man with white hair is dressed in black, while Wanda goes wide-eyed: 'It – it can't be... Magneto? Father?' Wanda gasps.
Scarlet WitchHulkling & Wiccan
Cadmi-M the Pursuer, Inndig-O the Accuser, Korath the Pursuer (all Pursuer Corps)A'Kro and other Blood Skrulls
Ganymede is an obscure cosmic character who has previously appeared in Silver Surfer (1st series) #80-82, Silver Surfer Annual #6, Cosmic Powers #1-6 and Cosmic Powers Unlimited #3, which was her last appearance before this issue.
Inndig-O and Cadmi-M previously appeared in Marvel Team-Up (4th series) #5-6.
Korath the Pursuer was believed dead in Annihilation: Conquest #1.
Blackjack O'Hare is a mercenary rabbit who first appeared alongside Rocket Raccoon in Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #271.
Wanda refers to the Lunch Legion, who were a group of food-related villains who appeared in What The-? #11.
First appearance of the Blood Skrulls.
The prison world Klaar has previously appeared in Avengers Annual (1st series) #14.
Joseph made a surprise return in Scarlet Witch (3rd series) #5.