Vision and the Scarlet Witch #9
Issue(s): Vision and the Scarlet Witch #9
While they're there, the Enchantress shows up and seduces the Vision.
You can chalk it up to differences in their powers, but it's worth noting that back in Avengers #105, the Vision was shown to be immune to the charms of Loreli (the Savage Land mutate, not the Enchantress' sister). So getting mystically seduced by the Enchantress could be considered progress for him.
Meanwhile, we learn that Glamor and Illusion are actually thieves, who rob a jewel from a safe in the middle of their performance.
This has the beneficial side-effect of helping the Vision break out of the Enchantress' spell, since she ordered him to steal the same gem (note that Glamor is actually naked in the scenes below, so avert your eyes, you naughty people).
After the Vision breaks free of the Enchantress' charm, the Scarlet Witch shows up and gets into a mini-battle with her.
But the Enchantress leaves of her own accord when the Vision assures her that she's every bit as sexy as her younger sister.
The Scarlet Witch, of course, doesn't exactly agree that the Vision's ability to get seduced is progress.
But he does manage to convince her that despite what happened, he still loves her.
If you buy into the argument that the Scarlet Witch fell in love with the Vision because she has emotional problems and could only feel safe with an emotionless machine, this issue presents an interesting challenge for her.
Even though the Vision was ultimately a victim of the Enchantress, his admission that he kinda liked it shows that he is actually as physically human as a flesh and blood being. And while Wanda's initial angry realization that Vision is capable of lusty feelings is pretty funny in that context, the fact that she ultimately accepts his assurances that he really loves her, as opposed to, say, breaking up with him or retreating into a fantasy land, either shows growth for her and/or puts that type of theory to rest.
Wanda and the Viz don't learn anything about Glamor and Illusion's involvement regarding the gem.
Meanwhile, Crystal and Norm Webster have also been loving each other, but that comes to an abrupt end when Crystal OD's on her anti-pollution solution.
This series was definitely an interesting challenge since it tackles romance and family life topics much more than a typical Marvel universe book. The Vision and the Scarlet Witch have a much different relationship than, say, Peter Parker and Mary Jane. They are married, and for the most part happily so. So the soap opera drama that makes Spider-Man at its best an interesting book even outside of the superheroics isn't applicable here. And even though he's clearly trying, Englehart hasn't successfully replaced that with anything else. Wanda doesn't really have any old boyfriends, and the Toad didn't really work well as a substitute, and so Englehart didn't really have anything to work with there and the character's appearances have instead felt more like bad super-villain stories instead of being related to the married couple theme. On the other hand, using the Enchantress in this context is the equivalent of using the character D'Spayre when a character is sad. And i actually think Englehart used the Enchantress pretty well here. But it wasn't really enough drama for a full issue even if it's potentially an interesting turning point for the characters. Glamor and Illusion are of course wholly uninteresting. And the marital trouble that Englehart has introduced for Crystal and Quicksilver has happened almost entirely off panel. Turning Quicksilver into some kind of obsessed militant and neglectful father is something that deserved to be actually shown if it was going to be a topic of this book. Instead we just have Crystal talking about it in an expository way while romancing with Norm (whose name rivals D'Spayre's for symbolism). Englehart doesn't have a natural enough scripting style to do character work well and at the same time the book doesn't work well when it tries to make up for it with super hero stuff. And Richard Howell's art isn't helping in either context, either. So the book has set out a very narrow path for itself and it's stumbling along it.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Vision & the Scarlet Witch issues continue to be a month apart. Even though this issue ends with Crystal's medical emergency, next issue begins a month later. This issue is also Mardi Gras, but i'm ignoring that for placement purposes. In the Marvel universe, it's always Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showCrystal, Enchantress, Glamor, Illusion, Norm Webster, Scarlet Witch, Vision
In that first panel are Zatanna and Hawkman(both hidden behind the title and credits), Barnabus Collins from Dark Shadows, and what I think are two characters from DC 1950s Western comics.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 21, 2013 9:00 PM
I'm curious at to what you think about Crystal's sleeping with Norm Webster. You've complained about what Englehart did to Tigra but Crystal really got a reputation as a "slut" after what Englehart did to her. Of course, her complaints about Pietro negelecting Luna are shown to be hypocritical in the next issue when she considers dying and leaving Luna without a mother because she can't stand the scandal.
Posted by: Michael | December 21, 2013 10:54 PM
Michael, i'll expand on this in the entry for next issue, but the short of it is that i think it's entirely wrong for Crystal to be labeled a "slut" for what's going on here. And i think Englehart's major sin in his treatment of her is what i say in this entry: the underdevelopment of the storyline. You're right about the hypocrisy; even in this issue as she's complaining about Quicksilver neglecting Luna she's using it to justify her trips to Earth without her. But i think hypocrisy and using the baby as a moral weapon during marital strife is normal and realistic, if developed properly.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 21, 2013 11:53 PM
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