Grumpy Bird Reviews: Scarlet Witch #01

 I’ve been a fan of James Robinson for a while now and as disappointed when his Invaders series was canceled last year. But recently he has had two new series launch. I read his take on Squadron Supreme and just found it okay. Not bad, but it didn’t move me enough either way to write about it. Next is his Scarlet Witch. I’m writing about it. Is that a good sign? Read on.Scarlet Witch #01

img_1923Writer: James Robinson

Artist: Vanesa Del Ray

Colorist: Jordie Bellaire

Publisher: Marvel

Quick Review: I really wanted to like this book. A character I think deserves good treatment. A writer I respect. I wanted it to be good. But, instead, it was dull. With chunky exposition. And an overused plot hook. A bad character redesign. And art that didn’t do the book any favors. But the colors were pretty. Except on faces.

Analysis: That really is the big sin of this book. It just struck me as exceedingly dull. There might be a good story in there but it seems buried in meandering exposition. At no point is this clearer than when Wanda and a New York detective are chatting about dead cats in a murder scene. I was torn between wanting to yell “get to the point” or “a cop reacting this way does not feel realistic even in a comic book.”

That really is the full problem. At no point did I really feel my interest being tickled. Especially not by another “magic is sick” story. Aren’t they doing that over in Doctor Strange? I should look into that… To be fair, this could be partly my fault. I’m reading this after a long day of work and just want to relax. Maybe I am short of patience for this sort of narrative. Maybe if I were to read it under different circumstances it would work better. It’s possible. Or, I just find it boring and want to get through it faster than the issue would let me. Because there is another problem.

I did not like the art. Especially not the figure work. Bodies felt badly proportioned. Arms and legs too long. Everything felt flat and stepped on. Even faces, which also somehow came across as pointy at the same time as being flat. I just did not like it and that does not help a slow story if I want to get the art off my screen as quick as possible. But, again to be fair, while I did not like Del Ray’s figures her backgrounds were very nice. The cityscape splash page made me stop and admire the craftsmanship and the colors.

Wrap Up: This series is not off to a strong start. I was hoping to sing Robison’s praises but instead just want to warn people to keep moving. Nothing to see here.

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