Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Simon Says: Dance!

It wasn't often that we saw the Scarlet Witch let her hair down; perhaps the earliest indication that she knew how to go out and have a good time was when she went mod and stepped out for a little fun on her own. And though writers such as John Byrne and, of all people, Roger Stern decided to turn the clock back on her a little and put the stiffness back in her demeanor, Wanda began to lighten up considerably when Steve Englehart and other writers took their turns with her. For instance, Englehart and artist Don Heck gave us her first dance moves:

Technically, this really doesn't count as Wanda strutting her stuff, since she's being mentally controlled by Magneto--so it becomes a bit creepy that, in hindsight, we know she's really strutting her stuff at the command of her old man. Yecch.

But in the late '90s Avengers run, Wanda flourished under writer Kurt Busiek, who gave her a generous amount of attention and introduced the formative years of her young adulthood to create almost a new character in front of our eyes--a character who, thanks to artist George Perez, felt it was time to look the part.

Busiek at the time was exploring the relationship between Wanda and her ex-husband, the Vision, which up until now writers were tip-toeing around as much as the couple seem to be doing in this awkward conversation--though in terms of the word "awkward," having your ex pop up next to you as a hologram almost takes the word to a new level.

Awkwardness aside, with new duds and a virtually new character came a brand new set of dance moves--this time, of her own volition.  (With a little push from Simon Williams.)

Of course, Wanda still is in the habit of dating... ah, unusual men. For instance, in this case, she owes her lack of inhibition to a man she raised from the dead, someone she's grown much closer to. And how many ex-corpses can you point to who not only become your boyfriend but encourage you to be part of a floor show?

Later, new artist Alan Davis seemed to be dead set against having the Scarlet Witch showing so much leg and, egad!, a navel--so he compromised and returned her old look while keeping the neck band, earrings, chain belt, and bracelets.

Or, to put it in dance lingo:  Two steps forward, one step back for Wanda.


Jared said...

Love Englehart and Heck, but that panel really shows how bland the pre Claremont Magneto was. He pretty much got every supervillain stereotype thrown at him every appearance until Uncanny 150 changed him forever.

Wanda probably has been the most extreme example of a character changing greatly from creator to creator. She has vague powers and a vague origin that has been easy to retcon over and over. She also has been around for a very diverse group of creators who had pretty different overall takes on the Avengers as far as team dynamic and purpose.

While not as extreme, alot of the regulary appearing Avengers without solo titles have also had pretty differing takes. Hank Pym, Hawkeye, and Vision definitely come to mind.

The most disturbing take on Wanda was in the Disassembled story line when Priest made her out to be barely out of her teens (in 2004 for a character who has been around as long as most of the Marvel Universe). And he made her out to be a romantic interest for Captain America. Then a year or so later they finally decided she was crazy and pretty much wrote her out of the Avengers for good.

Comicsfan said...

Jared, I'm right with you on the extremes of Wanda's changes, buddy.

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