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Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Subj: Scarlet Witch #3 - A Green And Pleasant Land.
Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 at 08:45:11 am EST (Viewed 513 times)

"Dublin... Is Not What I Imagined." - Wanda Maximoff.

With all the hallmarks of being seen and accepted a limited series rather than an ongoing Marvel Comics do little to dissuade such a view, as in these now three issues we are served three seperate, and distinctly different, artistic visions of what the Scarlet Witch as a book is intended to be.
Perhaps though given the series sees Wanda Maximoff setting off on a global tour to track down wild magic the idea is to link artists to the settings in question? The suggestion carries some weight,as with this issue UK based artist steve Dillon brings his own clean lines to realise Wanda's arrival in Ireland, a task he is more than able to rise to. And full credit to James Robinson as while the cruel Emerald Warlock has one foot firmly in caricature, his depiction of Ireland in the 21st century is determined to be at least semi-convincing. Being British born Robinson's knowledge and awareness of the real Ireland gives him an obvious advantage over American writers who's only frame of reference tends to be the cliche's and sterotypical tropes that the entertainment media use to realise the fair land, something Robinson winks at in his own script as Wanda is surprised to find a thoroughly modern airport upon her arrival and not the presumed land of merry drunks, sheep, and old ladies in shawls... the unspoken irony of this thinking of course is that Wanda herself comes from just such a world of sterotypical gypsies, all horsedrawn caravans, frocks, with violining and dancing by the fires, but the irony of it all goes unmentioned.

A Witch visiting Ireland. Appropriate. Wanda is here to investigate the latest thread of her search for the cause of a taint affecting magic in the world, and Ireland has very noticably suddenly taken ill. A crashing economy coupled with an unknown contagion that is killing the greenery and general livestock. This inspection of the resultant affection gives Steve Dillon the opportunity to show off his splendid ability to conjure a majestic panoramic shot of the lands ailing green fields, a picture postcard view of Ireland's hills complete with ancient gnarled tree and farmhouse in the distance. For an artist who is surely aware of what Ireland really looks like Dillon's choices in architecture are still rooted in the traditional olde worlde, all drystone cottages and detached two floor houses. But this is largely the result of Robinson's script directions leaving little room for the prevailant reality. Dillon counterbalances this though by showing a convincing modern surrounding street of street-lighting and parked cars. As Wanda arrives at a small Public House she believes is central to the problem Dillon's aptitude for detail delivers a fine shot of the exterior and street the house is set in and we can see something of a real world here as the road dissapears around a corner with more small houses in the distance. With its lighting and starry sky adding to the effect Dillon ensures we are still very much in a real world and not some american fantasy ideal.
Engaging with the landlord of the House a bemused set of drinkers look on at this red dressed exotic woman who rambles on about magic and curses, it does make one pause to consider how Wanda's accent might be interpreted in this context, not fully American she likely does still have a detectable european twang to her voice, this aspect is not something I can personally recall being commented on in her appearances that I have read, but it is interesting to ponder in this context.

At its heart Scarlet Witch #3 is a fair, but rather disposable installment of the series. Wanda is here purely on buisiness to inspect and see if she can lift the fatigue from Ireland that she senses is Mystically sourced and connected to events played out on this land centuries ago. Events concerning a warrior woman who fell in battle on the site of this Public House that is tellingly titled The Fallen Woman. All of this is a very straitforward plot, which Wanda goes on to resolve with a quick exorcism again well rendered by Dillon. Robinson's plot is marking time at this point, we the reader know enough to see what Wanda is only now piecing together, and this does leave the story feeling rather slow at this point as we know from the books opening pages that the Emerald Warlock is the one who is manipulating events and Wanda is reacting purely to the effects of these unknown actions. After two issues of Wanda resolving the results of his unkown plan it does feel stale and repetitive at this point, so with an ending that sees Wanda walk off the page and onto the Witch's Road it is to be hoped the story starts progressing in a more meaningful manner. As while perfectly inoffensive as a read this issue does feel rather flat and slim compared to last time...

Finding a way to realise accents from the United Kingdom has been a perrenial problem in comics, from London being a city manned by nothing but jovial Cockneys to more recent attempts at a realistic tone such as Grant Morrison's Scottish Mirror Master. Mirror Master is a well meaning attempt at trying to write down a broad scottish dialect, but it proved arduous to interpret to many readers and to be fair a distraction. James Robinson's worthy attempts at writing down an convincing Irish diallect then appears to suffer a similar problem if you take the Emerald Warlock at face value. His is the first Irish voice we are exposed to for this issues story and certainly the most cliched it must be said, though the question must be whether it is intended to be cliche'. This is not the first time James Robinson has broached Irish inflection, see Starman, and as we follow this issue we see a much more engaging and accurate attempt at accent as Wanda arrives at The Fallen Woman and attempts to gain the Landlord's support. It must be taken then that the Warlock is intentionaly so depicted, hos very name indicative of a larger than life sterotype. It is in the normal folk seen this issue that we receive a fair success at a convincing Irish inflection and therefore a rather satisfying departure from the comics norm. The one dark mark of Wanda's visit however is to be her prescence leading to the utter destruction of this poor obliging Landlord's property and livlihood, and her subsequent dismissal of any responsibility over the matter. One would think perhaps The Avengers might carry some form of insurance for such circumstances as this one...? After all Wanda had to persuade the reluctant Landlord into allowing her to carry out her Hex, and therefore she does carry some of the responsibility for his loss.