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Avengers: Vision and the Scarlet Witch - A Year In The Life (Vision and the Scarlet Witch (1985-1986)) by [Steve Englehart, Richard Howell, Al Milgrom]

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Avengers: Vision and the Scarlet Witch - A Year In The Life (Vision and the Scarlet Witch (1985-1986)) Kindle & comiXology

4.6 out of 5 stars 27 ratings

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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01F4D2NE8
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Marvel (June 2, 2016)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ June 2, 2016
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1459382 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Not enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 348 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 27 ratings

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Born in Indianapolis, he went to Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. He studied Psychology because people fascinated him, but in getting his B.A. he learned that psychology didn't describe real people, so he became a writer.

Living the Young Creator's life in New York, he got to be drinking buddies with an editorial assistant at Marvel Comics. One night the e.a. called to say he was going on vacation for six weeks; would Steve like to fill in for him on staff? Steve would, and once in the door at what was then a very small operation, he got a shot at writing a comic. It was a failing series called Captain America -- but six months later it had become Marvel's leading seller, and Steve had all the work he could handle. He became Marvel's lead writer, adding The Hulk, The Avengers, Thor, Dr. Strange, and half a dozen other series. Then he was hired away by DC Comics to be their lead writer and revamp their core characters (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Green Lantern). He did, but also wrote a solo Batman series that readers dubbed the "definitive" version and broke the long-standing barrier between comics readers and the mass market. All comics films since Batman in 1989 stem from that.

After Batman he traveled around Europe for a year and wrote his first novel, The Point Man. Since then he's designed video games for Atari, Activision, Electronic Arts, and others. He's written animation for Street Fighter and G.I. Joe. He's written mid-grade books for Avon, including the DNAgers series, and Countdown to Flight, a biography of the Wright brothers selected by NASA as the basis for their school programs on the invention of the aeroplane. And he's written more comics, like Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer, which led to the San Diego Comic-Con calling him "comics' most successful writer, having had more hits with more characters at more companies than anyone else in comics history." He created The Night Man, which became a live-action television series.

Most recently, The Point Man has engendered a series of novels from Tor, beginning with The Long Man.

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
27 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 11, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Can a synthozoid and a mutant witch find love in suburbia?
By H. Bala on May 11, 2019
Thing is, Vision and the Scarlet Witch apart doesn't intrigue me. It's when they're tossed together - the synthozoid and the mutant girl with the unpredictable hexes - that an irresistible alchemy is achieved, and that is when I am all in.

I think the Vision and the Scarlet Witch 12-issue maxi-series is one of my favorite ever comic book reads. Naysayers lambaste its perceived weak spots. Some disparage Richard Howell's artwork as flat. I call it nostalgic, and the way he draws faces reminds me of how Jack Kirby drew faces. Some sneer that Steve Englehart's writing doesn't hold water to today's more sophisticated style of storytelling. I say Englehart is a legend in the industry. Them critics can go kick rocks.

I was a kid excitedly collecting the individual issues of this series as they came out in 1985. To me, all those years ago, this series represented something fresh, something original. I marveled at the notion of married superheroes trying to make a go at a normal life in the suburbs. And, nope, they're not going at it incognito. Englehart needed to separate Vizh and Wanda from the Avengers so he could focus on their try at domestic bliss. Ergo, the series opens with that government jerk, Gyrich, who, in persisting in interrogating Vision and in validating such browbeat tactics by claiming that Avengers were subject to government control, force our outraged duo to quit the Avengers.

Okay, to give Gyrich some leeway, Vision did just try to take over the world, never mind that he was under the sway of the Eternals' living super-computer (see Avengers #254).

Cue the move to Leonia, a quiet suburb in New Jersey. See Wanda and the Vizh roll up to their rambling new house in their customized scarlet MG-TC sports car. In hindsight, supers moving in probably would sink property values in the neighborhood. So, maybe one shouldn't get too gobsmacked that some of the locals would get so aggro.

This series takes us thru a year in the life. It's a year fraught with the minutiae of mundane living, but, also, since there's no escaping that they're superheroes, bouts of heightened excitement. You have to keep in mind that, back in the 1980s, it was unusual to put out stories in which superheroes did nothing but normal everyday things all day. It's why issues like New Teen Titans #8 ("A Day in the Life"), Tales of the Teen Titans #50, Paul Chadwick's Concrete, and the Vogels' Southern Knights were so game-changing. As well, this series.

Just because Wanda and Vizh are out of the Avengers doesn't mean they don't get to hobnob with other capes and cowls and other assorted strange folk. The roster of guest stars that pops in numbers a Hero for Hire, a certain wallcrawler, a sorcerer supreme, Inhumans, Agatha Harkness, and a hodge-podge of east coast and west coast Avengers. This series also attempts to straighten out Wanda and Vizh's respective serpentine family relations. You may need flash cards to sort out the tortuous dynamics among Vision's "siblings." As for Wanda's peeps, I'll just say that the family Thanksgiving dinner in Leonia may have been one of the most tense holiday get-togethers I'd ever seen, once her estranged father drops by. As Wanda observes: "I think out family trees must be the most convoluted in history, Vision."

By the way, who in heck wears their superhero threads to a Thanksgiving dinner? How much more natural was Tales of the Teen Titans #50 in which Donna Troy gets married and everyone - even the metahuman guests - show up in their civilian clothes?

I liked how Englehart blended action and characterization. When not pitting our duo against the predations of baddies like the Lethal Legion, Samhain and the Salem's Seven, the Enchantress, and the Terrible Toad-King, the plot tackled a number of contemporary social issues such as racism, discrimination, and even adultery. Speaking of baddies, don't be surprised to find that the most hissable fink in this series may turn out to be... Leonia realtor Norm Baker.

Maybe some spoilers.

So, do you like the notion of superheroes putting down roots in the 'burbs and trying to live like normal folks? Do you prefer family relations more tangled than what's in the Bible? Stories that deal more with family life than with supervillain skirmishes? This series had me so invested in Vision and the Scarlet Witch. It did a great job in making me understand how desperately this couple wanted to lead a normal life and their struggle to have their own children. "He's a synthetic man! She's a mutant sorceress! Once they were outcasts, but now they have each other, and a love which can withstand every danger they face!" - it's the opening blurb to most of the issues. How can a synthetic man father a child? Well, you need a very powerful witch who works in probability magic...

Part of what drew me in to this series was the anticipation of Wanda's giving birth. I remember, as a kid, being so happy for Wanda and Vizh when that happened. Englehart was reportedly very salty that what he wrote in this series was wiped away a few years later when Vision was dismanted and recreated as an emotionless android (West Coast Avengers #42-45) and Wanda learned that her twin sons were actually missing shards of Mephisto's soul (Avengers West Coast #52). This would be the start of Wanda's epic nervous breakdown that would ultimately lead to her saying, "No more mutants." You don't see much evidence of it here, but the Scarlet Witch is one of the most powerful - and most tragic - characters in the Marvel universe. It's because of decades of comic book writers messing with her.

It's so weird now, especially given the MCU's Britishly dignified iteration of Vision, to have him call Wanda by an affectionate nickname like "Curlytop," but you have to keep in mind that this was a period in which Vision was very invested in exploring his humanity. This series also allots space for Wanda to dive into her witch background, that is, when she's not fretting/getting excited about her future as a suburban mom and wife.

This series also introduces two minor characters in Ilya and Glynis Zarkov, also residents of Leonia. The Zarkovs are stage magicians whose most impressive sleight-of-hand is that their audience believe they're using sleight-of-hand to achieve their illusions when, really, the Zarkovs are super-powered. Sadly, they don't extend much past this series. They do become good friends to Wanda and Vision.

I have zero clues about what the upcoming WandaVision series will be about when it debuts on Disney+. I'm crossing my fingers that it would mix in elements from this series, especially the theme of Wanda and Vision trying to be a normal couple. It's the best thing about this series.

This graphic novel is sort of like buying twelve donuts at Winchell's and you automatically get a thirteenth donut free. This sucker collects the 12-issue maxi-series from 1985, as well as West Coast Avengers #2. Bonus features include:

- an invaluable "Previously" segment that recounts preceding events leading to this series
- Howell's unused covers for issues #4, 8, 11
- Fred Hembeck's cartoony "Not a Text Page" from issue #3
- a reprint of the cover to Marvel Age #29 and of Englehart's 4-paged interview in that issue
- a reprint of page 17 of Marvel Age Annual #1 that previewed the then upcoming Vision and the Scarlet Witch series
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DVM from Italy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 8, 2015
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