If there’s one thing that I think the Marvel Cinematic Universe does really well, it’s taking the best aspects and ideas from certain comics and combining them to make something greater, sometimes improving upon the source material. If you’ve been enjoying WandaVision and want to know more about Vision and Scarlet Witch’s long histories – or you just like to point at the screen when “that thing I know from that other thing” happens – these comics are all good jumping on points.
This is the 12-issue series from 1985, not to be confused with the the four-issue miniseries from 1982 (although that’s worth a read too). If you want to go back to the very beginning of Vision and the Scarlet Witch’s relationship after watching WandaVision, these comics are a good place to start.
Set after their wedding the series opens with Vision and the Scarlet Witch leaving the Avengers and moving into their own place in New Jersey. Artist Richard Howell does some solid work, combining the superhero aesthetic with the soft feel of older romance comics.
The couple tries to settle into a normal domestic life, but they’re constantly interrupted because, y’know, superhero stuff. The first issue has them looking for a house, only to be attacked by zombies.
Steve Englehart is great at writing character driven stories, and his work really shines in the non-superhero aspects. There’s an issue where the couple host a Thanksgiving dinner with some friends and Avengers, only for things to get awkward when Magneto drops in from a last-minute invite. It’s the classic “estranged father seeks forgiveness and tries to make good” story, but in bright spandex.
If you want to see the Scarlet Witch and Vision interacting with a team and doing actual Avengers tuff, this is one of the defining arcs for the couple. In it, they join the West Coast chapter of the Avengers, and things instantly go wrong for them. Vision is completely dismantled and has his memory wiped, turning him into an emotionless husk of his former self.
From there the drama ramps up, with a love-triangle forming between Wanda and Wonder Man, whose brain patterns were originally used to give Vision human emotions (that’s comics, baby).
Vision Quest was written and drawn by John Bryne, who’d stay on West Coast Avengers for a few more issues, with his run building to a controversial turn in Wanda’s character that would go on to greatly influence her breakdown in the Avengers: Disassembled and House of M storylines. One of my biggest questions with WandaVision is whether we’ll see a similar turn inspired by these comics.
If you want to experience maximum heartbreak, read the Vision and the Scarlet Witch series before jumping into Vision Quest.
For better or worse, House of M is the defining moment for Scarlet Witch. After suffering an immense mental breakdown, Wanda uses her powers to warp reality, making it so that mutants are now the dominant species on Earth, while humans are seen as inferior.
While Wanda plays an important role in House of M, the series is mainly focused around Wolverine and a group of heroes trying to figure what the hell has happened, and how they can fix it.
I’d recommend reading Avengers: Disassembled first before jumping into House of M. I think that story does a much better job of exploring Scarlet Witch’s fractured psyche, while also giving more context for her deteriorating mental state and how it leads to her losing control of her powers and killing a bunch of Avengers.
If you’re after comics that focuses solely on the Scarlet Witch, this is the one you’re looking for. Writer James Robinson sorts through the Wanda’s complex history, trying to make sense of her character. Who is the Scarlet Witch? Is she a mutant? Where do her magic power comes from? What is her connection to Marvel’s supernatural side?
Each issue is drawn by a different artist, which helps to emphasise the irregular nature of Wanda’s history. You also get some stunning work from illustrators like Vanesa R. Del Rey, Marco Rudy, Steve Dillon, Marguerite Sauvage, and Joëlle Jones.
The series does rush the ending a bit and Robinson isn’t able to wrap up everything he bring to the table, but this is probably the best overall exploration of Scarlet Witch as a character.
Vision is a series about a bright, happy suburbia where a darker side is slowly bubbling to the surface. A study of superheroes trying to control the world around them, but despite their best effort, can’t stop it from slipping through their fingers. Sound familiar?
Written by Tom King with art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta, the comic series follows Vision, who has built himself a wife and two kids, moved to the suburbs and is now trying to live normal, human lives. Spoiler alert: Things don’t go well. They’re a family desperately trying to be normal, despite the immutable fact that they’re anything but.
If you’ve been paying attention to comics over the past few years, Tom King’s name is probably familiar to you. He’s become one of the hottest writers out there, and after reading Vision you can understand why. He does a solid job of juggling social satire (synthezoids? Not in my neighbourhood!), suburban ennui, and a murder mystery – all while probing what it means to be human.
All of this is enhanced by Walta’s art, whose depiction of Vision’s family shows how out of place they are in this normal setting. There’s something unsettling in the way he draws their blank, emotionless facial expressions.
If WandaVision inspires you to pick up any comics, make sure The Vision in on the top of your list.
This article originally appeared on Kotaku.