Comics
Published June 15, 2024

What You Need to Know for 'Scarlet Witch' #1

Catch up on Wanda Maximoff's recent adventures before she confronts the end of everything in 'Scarlet Witch' #1 by Steve Orlando and Jacopo Camagni.

The Scarlet Witch is a force of nature. Even her mentor, the centuries-old witch Agatha Harkness, once described Wanda Maximoff as "one for whom creation holds no locked doors." From resurrection to dimension hopping to fundamentally altering reality, this mystical Avenger's list of feats is nearly as long as her tribulations. 

Wanda has been through more than most, even for super hero, but has come out the other side infinitely stronger—thanks in part to her recent absorption of the Darkhold. Now centered and more powerful than ever, Scarlet Witch has taken her larger-than-life healing journey to small town America, setting up shop in upstate New York to help those with nowhere left to turn. 

But even in her new life, Wanda will have to face her biggest challenge yet: the end of all things. Here's everything you need to know for her next adventure in SCARLET WITCH (2024) #1 by Steve Orlando, Jacopo Camagni, Frank William, and VC's Ariana Maher.

WANDA'S FRESH START

After absorbing the Darkhold—a cursed grimoire of ancient spells that form the basis of modern magic—in THE DARKHOLD OMEGA (2022) #1 by Steve Orlando, Cian Tormey, Roberto Poggi, Marc Deering, Walden Wong, Jesus Aburtov, and VC's Clayton Cowles, Scarlet Witch gained unimaginable power by binding the book to her soul, essentially becoming the one true Darkhold. She also gained a prisoner in the dark elder god Chthon, a figure whose shadow has long loomed over Wanda's past in the worst possible way. 

By chaining Chthon to the darkest depths of her soul and turning his spellbook into an unsolvable maze, Wanda finally freed herself from decades of his influence over her life. Taking the opportunity to turn over a new leaf, Wanda left her past—including her misdeeds and mistakes—behind and decided to help others do the same. 

To that end, in SCARLET WITCH (2023) #1 by Orlando, Sara Pichelli, Elisabetta D'Amico, Matthew Wilson, and VC's Cory Petit, Wanda opened a magic shop called the Emporium in the small town of Lotkill and established herself as the friendly neighborhood Scarlet Witch. Now, as the "Avenger next door," no problem is too big or too small for Wanda Maximoff.

THE LAST DOOR

For those outside of Lotkill, or anyone with no one to turn to and nowhere to go, Wanda created the Last Door. Conjured with excess magic siphoned from Chthon, the Last Door appears to those in desperate need, no matter where they are, and opens straight into Emporium. Wanda resolved to help anyone who came through the Last Door, aiming to be there for them in the way she always wished someone was for her. 

Throughout SCARLET WITCH (2023), Emporium patrons from all across the Marvel Universe stumbled through the Last Door, from Viv Vision to Storm to space paladins and sub-atomic freedom fighters, all with problems bigger than themselves. Each found themselves helped and protected by the Scarlet Witch, even as she warded off the witch killer Hexfinder.

ENTER QUICKSILVER

In SCARLET WITCH & QUICKSILVER (2024) #1 by Steve Orlando, Lorenzo Tammetta, Frank William, and VC's Ariana Maher, a problem bigger than Wanda Maximoff finally presented itself in the form of a letter from the recently deceased Magneto. The letter, addressed to Scarlet Witch and her twin brother Quicksilver, arrived mysteriously in a sealed metal box on a day where Pietro happened to be visiting. 

Though it was meant for both of them to see, Wanda burned the letter before her brother could read it in an attempt to spare his feelings, but also partially to spite him for all the times he had done something similar against her wishes. This only drove the two siblings apart, splitting them up just as the letter's actual sender—a villainous scientist called the Wizard—planned.

Although the letter was written by Magneto and delivered by the Wizard, Scarlet Witch divined that the last one to actually touch its sealed box was a much higher being. Just a brief vision of this higher power left Wanda feeling like her every effort as a super hero was meaningless in the face of it. This being—referred to by the Wizard as an emissary of the end, his angel, "Imminence"—sent the Wizard and his Frightful Four Hundred to destroy the Maximoff twins.

A GRAND DESIGN

In SCARLET WITCH & QUICKSILVER (2024) #4, the Wizard's angel was revealed to be an agent of "the grand design," whose mission is to preserve the order of the universe and ensure it meets its preordained fate. This so-called angel sought to destroy the Scarlet Witch for her status as an all-powerful being whose strength is rooted in chaos. Wanda's ability to change the course of the universe as she wishes, combined with her apparently infinite potential, puts her in direct opposition to the grand design—and even the very concept of order. 

For his part, Quicksilver shares his sister's infinite potential, having redefined the idea of superspeed as his abilities grew. His influence over his sister also led the angel seek to kill him. If Wanda is a gun, then Pietro is the trigger, as his pushing frequently led Scarlet Witch to make choices that she wouldn't otherwise—which played out at its most destructive in the HOUSE OF M (2005) saga. 

The angel believed that, together, the Maximoff twins could create untold chaos, overpowering and outrunning the planned end of everything. The stolen letter from Magneto became a ploy to weaken and divide them, so that their chaotic potential would never be reached.

SCARLET WITCH STRIKES BACK

Where the Wizard saw a vision of the end and decided it was inevitable, Scarlet Witch only took it as a challenge. With some help from their own Vision, Wanda and Pietro reconciled just in time to defeat the Wizard and his army. As it turned out, though, Magneto's letter revealed he and the angel held the same belief about the twins. According to him, Quicksilver only brought out Wanda's worst, endangering himself, his sister, mutantkind, and the entire world. 

At the climax of HOUSE OF M, Magneto killed Quicksilver, but he didn't express regret for this action in his letter. Instead, the newly revived Magneto twisted the knife, saying straight to Pietro's face that his adoptive father did not believe he deserved resurrection.

In spite of the trials presented by the Wizard, his angel, and Magneto, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver overcame them, emerging closer than ever on the other side… but timing is everything. The Wizard's defeat has summoned his angel to Earth—and, with her, the end of days. Even the Scarlet Witch might not be enough to overcome the grand design.

Wanda faces the end of days in SCARLET WITCH #1, on sale now!

Want to catch up on Wanda's recent adventures? Join Marvel Unlimited for instant access to 30,000+ comics on the Marvel Unlimited app or on the web, with digital issues spanning Marvel Comics classics to ongoing series!

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