In the giant wave of new books announced as part of "All-New All-Different Marvel," among them was a first -- the first ongoing series for the Scarlet Witch. And now series writer James Robinson is pulling back the curtain on the series, and how it will expand on the character as more than just a member of the Avengers but as her own woman.
"If you ask most people to describe the personality of any of the main Marvel heroes, any of them—Captain America, the Vision, Hawkeye, The Wasp—fans of those characters can give you, ‘Oh, he’s this or that. He’s this or that,’” Robinson said. “She-Hulk, Starfox, you name it, no matter how obscure you go, you can describe them. People can describe the personality of D-Man, for God’s sake. But when you get to Wanda, well, what is her personality? She’s kind of aloof and quiet?”
Robinson said that while fans can point to her marriage, her children, and her membership in the Avengers and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, when it comes to her personality she's been overlooked.
"And to a lot of people her personality is her back story. Who she is as a person, it’s all about her back story. There’s nothing current about her. There’s nothing about her as a human being, as a woman, living in the world, interacting in the world," said the writer. "And I think now that her father’s no longer Magneto, I think that it’s the perfect time to showcase her as an independent character, as a witch, and give her adventures that are unique to her, that could only be adventures that she would have.”
In this series, Scarlet Witch will go out to save witches like herself, and the broader thing that ties them together: witchcraft.
“She wants to fix it, because it’s important to her as a witch,” said Robinson. “But [she] also [needs to] discover how it was broken, and if someone broke it, who that was. Also, she suffered from periods of mental instability, and she wants to know if that’s something that she needs to treat herself with the established ways that you treat mental illness, or if the practice of witchcraft is affecting her mentally as well. She has a personal stake, as well as a sense of wanting to fix it in the big picture.”
Although for some witchcraft might be synonymous with magic and the domain of Doctor Strange (who's also getting a solo series this fall), Robinson said that in the Marvel Universe witchcraft and magic are distinctly different.
“I’ve been talking to [Doctor Strange writer] Jason Aaron about making sure that she isn’t just a female Doctor Strange,” said Robinson. “There [are] differences even between her and Doctor Strange so that her magic is different; I’m really making a point of stressing that there’s a female energy that connects with a certain kind of magic. As a sort of shorthand, I'm calling it ‘witchcraft,’ but there are literally areas of dimensions that she can go to that Doctor Strange wouldn’t be able to go to, because he’s a man.”
One of the longtime Marvel characters joining Wanda on this book is the ghost of Agatha Harkness, whom Robinson describes as a "sort of her spirital Alfred."
While no interior artist has been announced for the series, Robinson said that Scarlet Witch will feature standalone stories with different artists each issue. Kevin Wada, however, designed Wanda's new costume, and contributed a variant cover for the first issue.
When asked about expanding Wanda's horizon, Robinson said that that the character is getting away from her Avengers roots.
“I'm going to give her her own villains, her own supporting cast and her own place in the world,” promised Robinson. “She has realized that as much as there’s a part of her that will always be an Avenger, she’s been sort of living under that umbrella for so long it’s become her identity, and she wants her own place in the world.”
Although not in any solicitations up through November 2015, Marvel has said the Scarlet Witch series would debut in the fall.