Characters Appearing: Crystal, Holly Ladonna, Jarvis, Luke Cage, Luna, Norm Webster, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Vision
Vision and the Scarlet Witch #8
Issue(s): Vision and the Scarlet Witch #8
Luke Cage is attacked by the demon from that story...
...and he takes his fight to the Vision and Scarlet Witch's house, where Crystal and Quicksilver are visiting.
Before we go further with the plot, here's Scarlet Witch talking about feeling her bab(ies) kicking for the first time. "Just for me now! Just a little present for me!" It's supposed to sound like a first time mommy being excited, but you can sure see why later writers wrote Wanda as a crazy person.
Speaking of crazy people, here's Wanda's student Holly freaking out over the fact that she saw Crystal making out with Norm Webster last issue.
Finally, when Cage arrives, he mentions that it was supposed to be his day off. Because it's Martin Luther King's day.
Quicksilver is ok with the holiday. Why, some of his best friends are dusky!
But he's against the idea of a day off, ever. Because he's crazy too.
Back to the demon. Wanda implies that she's hidden the Idols of Zor at the top of the World Trade Center, so she leads Vision, Quicksilver, and Power Man on a quest. They fly to Avengers mansion in Quicksilver's ship and then fight their way through mystical traps created by the demon to get to the WTC.
Englehart designs a few nice power tricks along the way, like having the Vision use his super-density to operate the elevator at the Towers.
And then the Scarlet Witch, who had been deliberately holding back and letting the others fight against the demon's lackeys and traps, has a nice showing at the end.
It also turns out that this was all a distraction; Crystal had been off destroying the Idols while the others led the demon here.
Quicksilver is unfortunately written like a complete ass the entire issue. Whether that's to justify Crystal's dalliance with Norm or it's just his reading of the character, it's clunkily done and really annoying.
Luke Cage - who Englehart wrote during his solo book days in the 70s - also seems to regress, dropping a "Shee-oot" and "We goin' downtown!"
I had read Christopher Priest's complaint about the "numbingly patronizing 'We got us our own holiday'" speech in this issue before ever actually reading the issue, but when i got to the scene about i thought it was awkward and terrible but not quite as bad as i was expecting. Then i got to the ending.
Quicksilver's earlier "dusky" comment is dumb because it misses the point of Marvel's mutants as metaphors for minorities struggling against discrimination. As mutants that were members of Magneto's Brotherhood that subsequently integrated into the Avengers, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were uniquely situated to comment on the new Martin Luther King holiday. Vision and the Scarlet Witch have also faced discrimination as a robot/mutant inter-"racial" couple. But neither Vision nor the Scarlet Witch provide any commentary on the holiday, and Quicksilver has to play the role of idiot for the purposes of this story. So that just leaves Luke Cage to offer an opinion, and yes, it is patronizing. The inclusion of this topic at all is pretty bewildering; it doesn't fit very well in a story where the heroes fight a demon for a magic Macguffin. If the idea is that a disparate group of mutants, a robot, and, erm, a black person can work together, and that's a realization of MLK's dream, it's pretty weak.
If you ignore that aspect of the story, it's a fun dumb adventure story, albeit with stiff art and dialogue. With the MLK theme, it's just weird.
Speaking of "just weird", here's Holly again. Ok, Snoopy McSnooper, the first time you ran into Crystal and Norm kissing, it was an accident. But you are deep into peeping tom territory at this point. Mind your own business!
On a more technical concern, Quicksilver says that he has super-healing thanks to his super-speed. I'm chalking that up to a generic "mutant physiology" like we've seen used with other mutants (and Spider-Man), and not something specific to Quicksilver.
The problem with this series is that the creators just aren't good enough to pull off what Englehart is trying to do. A series about a couple having their first baby is a tricky subject for a super-hero universe, and between Englehart's script and Howell's art, it all just comes off poorly. The same thing applies to Martin Luther King commentary or Crystal's marital problems or anything else. I have no doubt a different creative team could have tackled this stuff and made it work. There's nothing inherently wrong with these topics. And i'd like to see a more soap opera oriented story about a super-hero couple starting a family work well. But unfortunately that wasn't the case here.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: Iron Fist is said to be holed up in his townhouse meditating. Cage complains that he's gotten weird. The MCP places this between Power Man & Iron Fist #122-123.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Quicksilver was right- it made no sense for Wanda not to tell the guys about the plan. If the bad guy couldn't monitor Wanda's conversation with Crystal, then he couldn't monitor Wanda's conversation with the guys.
Posted by: Michael | December 1, 2013 6:51 PM
The gimmick of this series is that each issue takes place one month later on a different holiday, right? I guess Englehart thought New Year's Day was too close to the last issue, and MLK Day was the only other January holiday?
Posted by: S | December 1, 2013 11:01 PM
This series could have been so much fun. Look at all the Marvel history you have to play with: Magneto, Inhumans, Ultron, X-Men etc.
Yet, it's boring.
Englehart seems to have lost his mojo.
Posted by: A.Lloyd | March 4, 2014 4:49 PM
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