The effects of “Civil War II” spill over into James Robinson and Joelle Jones’ “Scarlet Witch” #9 when Wanda’s twin brother Pietro visits her Manhattan home and takes the conflict to a personal level. Readers will likely be so accustomed to “Civil War II” titles featuring multiple characters that Robinson and Jones offers a welcome alternative in this issue, which features just two. In fact, with its single setting (Wanda’s home) and simple cast (one male lead and one female lead), the issue is composed like a play and the dialogue could just as easily be performed by pairs in an acting class.
Wanda’s efforts to master herself and her abilities have been at the forefront of this title, and — while previous issues have offered the Scarlet Witch a new mission and challenges from without — Robinson’s compact and empowering script for issue #9 uses the vehicle of “Civil War II” to present a test of her conviction from within her own family. It’s a uniquely personal perspective on the concept of a civil war that harkens back to the United States Civil War, where the selection of North versus South divided families.
Wanda is unaware of the events of “Civil War II” until Pietro arrives to enlist her to Tony’s side. Once upon a time, Wanda might have interpreted his unshaken confidence in his opinion as a call to action; however, as Pietro is about to learn, he is standing in front of a whole new Scarlet Witch. Through her efforts to heal the broken pieces of herself, she has found a new level of self-acceptance and self-confidence. Acknowledging that her efforts at healing are an ongoing process, Wanda recognizes Pietro’s insistence that she mindlessly comply with his instructions as the same bullying tactics he has employed since they were children — and she’s not having any of it. The Scarlet Witch has arrived and will be making her own decisions, thankyouverymuch! At this point, readers will just want to cheer for her. High-fives or fist-bumps would also be appropriate, because this is a major breakthrough.
But it’s probably Joelle Jones who deserves the high-fives for this issue. Perspective is everything. As Robinson gradually alters Wanda’s perspective about Pietro, Jones subtly alters the narrative’s perspective throughout the issue, which physically transforms Wanda to great effect. Beginning with Wanda at peace during a yoga session, Jones presents a straight-on view. After Pietro arrives, more panels feature angles where Wanda is looking up or the readers are looking down on her. When Wanda decides to not involve herself in the conflict, the perspective switches back to straight-on, and –when the siblings fight (it’s a brief but juicy donnybrook where she ultimately kicks his ass because she finally realizes that she can) — the perspective changes yet again so that Pietro has to look up to her.
“Scarlet Witch” #9 contains some powerful stuff. Wanda remains her own person on her own terms at the cost of her relationship with Pietro, and it proves that emotional casualties will be some of the worst consequences of “Civil War II.”