Monday, August 27, 2012

The Scarlet Glitch

Trying to pin down the Scarlet Witch's power often seems like an exercise in futility. Probably because there have been so many attempts to amp up her power over the years that I've lost count. Just off the top of my head, she's been given the ability to divert meteors:

(Jeez, I'm glad it wasn't a bank robber she was trying to stop.)

And she can animate furniture:

(Why "pull up a chair" when Wanda can do it for you?)

And that was just under the tutelage of Agatha Harkness, a "real" witch who took it upon herself to make Wanda's comic book name more fact than "poetry." I've got news for you, Granny--Wanda was bringing movement to inanimate objects long before you came on the scene, and with just one hand (and a lovely pair of eyes):

Those were the days when "hex power" was really cool to look at. What was broken about that power that needed to be fixed? But the tinkering of Wanda's power went on.  And there was one ability that perhaps slipped by the eyes of one or two Marvel editors--an ability that appeared out of nowhere, and was swiftly sent back there.

Which magically brings us to a new

Marvel Trivia Question

What new ability of Wanda's was used for one issue and never again saw the light of day?

(Aside from playing with meteors like they were marbles, that is.)

Why, naturally--the power of flight!

Hey, why not? She's got a cape, doesn't she?

Eleven issues later, Wanda laments that the experimental "flying belt" that she'd once tested for Tony Stark had proven safe--but the footnote attached to that panel points wayyy back to issue #16, where Wanda and Pietro arrive in the States to join the Avengers (i.e., no such test was conducted, nor was there any such device introduced in that issue).  If it's in operation here, it's an accessory that must be wafer-thin, because I sure can't spot the darned thing on that body-tight costume of hers. And writer Gerry Conway makes it clear on the front page that it's Wanda's powers which brought her to this installation she's swooping down on.

At any rate, Wanda was grounded again in subsequent issues, walking to missions like the rest of us average joes. I don't know where she stands (or flies) these days, in terms of her power--during her reality-altering days, she could hover and pretty much do aerial cartwheels at a whim. But don't you miss good old fashioned "hex power"? There are worse things than capturing the Living Laser by having him trip on a pipe.

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