|Vision and the Scarlet Witch (2nd series) # 4|| || |
Issue Date: January 1986
Story Title: Mutant Romance Tales
Staff: Steve Englehart (Writer), Richard Howell (Penciller), Jim Mooney (Inker), Joe Rosen (Letterer), Janet Jackson (Colorist), Jim Salicrup (Editor), Jim Shooter (Editor in Chief)
Wanda visits Dr. Strange, who confirms that she is indeed pregnant. Wanda explains that she used magic to impregnate herself with the love of the Vision. Meanwhile, Norm Webster, the realtor who sold Wanda and the Vision their new house, is threatened by Spector and his friends, who are unhappy that the Scarlet Witch and the Vision are once more living in Leonia, even though they burned their last house down. Spector and his cronies plan something, which is overheard by Glamor and Illusion, who start to keep tabs on Spector. Wanda informs the Vision that she is pregnant, and he is overjoyed. Spector tells his friends that he knows someone who works for the electric company who could turn off the power, making the alarm on Wanda and the Vision’s new house pointless, then they can attack them again. Vision and Wanda begin to unpack some of their belongings, while at the Magic Mansion, Glamor and Illusion have someone stand in for them, as they are out following Spector and his friends. The Vision goes for a fly through the town to make sure that there is no one around who would threaten him, Wanda and their new home, while Spector and his cronies make their way to Wanda’s home - only to be attacked by the forest they are walking through, which is under the control of Glamor and Illusion. Wanda takes a trip into town and goes to the library, and Agatha appears to her again, warning her to take care, as Halloween approaches. The Vision comes across Glamor and Illusion outside his home and thinks they are enemies, so a battle ensues, with Glamor and Illusion trapping him, so they can explain they are on his side, and also moved to Leonia for the peace, and thought they could help the Vision and Wanda as they understand what they are going through. On her way home, Wanda is grabbed by Spector and his friends, only for her to inform them that she is having a baby, and gives a impassioned speech about the meaning of family, before suggesting that they get home to their own families, and the men wonder how they could hate a pregnant woman.
Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch, wearing not her pink and red super hero outfit, but a classy skirt and blouse, looks in a mirror as Dr. Stephen Strange smiles at her and remarks that it has been a long time since he has acted as this kind of a doctor, but that it couldn’t please him more to be the one who gets to tell her this - ‘You’re going to be a mother!’ Strange congratulate Wanda, who spins around and hugs her former mentor, exclaiming that he cannot know what this means for her, what this means for her and the Vision.
Strange replies that he can imagine, before retracting that comment. A gleeful Wanda exclaims ‘A baby! A little baby!’, and that nobody ever thought she and the Vision could have one, and they never even considered it - very much. Calming down, Wanda exclaims that magic was the key all the time, but they always let the fact that the Vision is a synthezoid stop them - but Wanda knows that with her hex power, she should be the last person to balk at things called “impossible”. Wanda wonders why it took so long, before deciding that she must go and tell her husband.
Dr. Strange agrees, before asking Wanda to phone him tomorrow, as he is going to act like a real doctor and set up an appointment schedule with a friend of his who specializes in babies. Worried, Wanda asks her good friend if there is something wrong, to which Stephen replies that there is nothing wrong at all, but explains to Wanda that he is only prescribing normal natal care, so is turning to Josie because he cannot guarantee that he will always be available, though he will be involved every time he can.
Wanda asks about her having used magic to make the pregnancy happen. Dr. Strange replies that magic is nothing but directed energy, and reminds Wanda it was she who directed it. He points out that he is a better magician than physician these days, but nevertheless, he is not worried, and tells Wanda once again that the baby will be fine, before adding that she should tell her husband he said so. As Wanda takes her leave, Dr. Strange calls out to her to tell the Vision not to plan any bowling nights in the second week of May. Looking out the window of his Sanctum Sanctorum in Greenwich Village, Dr. Strange thinks to himself that what others call “miracles” are commonplace to him, however, the creation of new life really is a miracle.
Meanwhile, not far away lies the quaint town of Leonia, the home of two former members of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers - the mighty Scarlet Witch and the android Vision. But this is a fact that not everyone feels compelled to celebrate. A red-headed man laughs and exclaims ‘So, Norm, if we handle our condos through you, we all stand to be rich men!’ Addressing him as Mr. Spector, Norm Webster replies ‘Correction - I’d be rich and you’d be richer!’ Spector remarks that he supposes that would be right, ‘But after a while, who counts, huh?’, before declaring that he only sees one thing that could screw it up at this point - ‘And that’s the android and the mutant moving back in!’
Spector takes a stern tone of voice as he reveals that he understands Norm is also the broker on their house. Annoyed, Norm replies ‘Gee, Mr. Spector - I’ll have to correct you again! I’m not their broker - because the deal is already closed!’, before revealing that the Scarlet Witch and the Vision are moving in this afternoon. Spector mutters that he heard that news, before suggesting that papers can get misfiled, and delays can sometimes go on forever. Norm tells Spector to cut the code, and informs him that he and his company can help him and the other men on the condos, ‘But if you’re leaning on me, you’re wasting your time! I don’t do business that way!’
‘You might not do much business at all!’ Spector threatens, to which Norm replies ‘Que sera sera! That’s what they said back in the time you’re living in, isn’t it?!’ Norm adds that while liberalism may be out these days, one doesn’t have to be a liberal to think that discrimination stinks. He tells Spector to go ahead and pull the condo deal if he so desires, ‘I can get money lots of places, but not self-respect!’ Norm adds. Spector exclaims ‘You’ll regret this’ before motioning to Charlie and his other friends to come along.
Norm follows Spector and the other men out of his place of business and tells Spector that ‘Speaking of code’ in case he runs into anybody who knows anything about the burning of the Scarlet Witch and Vision’s last house, he should let them know that Norm himself oversaw the installation of a state-of-the-art security system on this home. ‘I don’t appreciate that kind of innuendo, Webster! You will regret this!’
Spector and the other men begin striding down the street, with one of them telling Spector that he said the condo deal would get Webster, so what do they do now? ‘I don’t want a mutie living in Leonia!’ another of the men exclaims cruelly. ‘Or a robot! We’ll burn their house again, security or no security!’ Bernie boasts, until Spector orders him to shut up.
Nearby, behind a tree, a strangely dressed couple overheard Spector and the other men. ‘It does not seem to have gone well for them!’ the man remarks, to which the woman suggests that they must watch them very closely tonight.
Wanda steps off a bus nearby her new home, and her husband the android Vision sees her, so marches down from the porch where he is waiting to greet her. Rushing to each other, they embrace, and the Vision informs Wanda that Norm dropped off the keys three hours ago, so they can go inside anytime they want, though he wanted to wait for her. Wearing civilian clothing, something he does rarely, the Vision tells Wanda that he doesn’t know why she had to go to the city today. Wanda smiles, before whispering something in the Vision’s ear. Shocked, the Vision steps back from Wanda, then falls to the ground, ‘I’m a father…a father!’ he exclaims happily.
Getting back to his feet, the Vision asks if it was the magic, the force that got away from the witches of New Salem that Wanda channeled through herself. Wanda replies that she thinks so, and reveals to the Vision that as it was happening she made a little wish and felt it would work. However, Wanda tells the Vision that there was more involved, because he was holding her, and she felt his love all around her. They hug again, and the Vision exclaims that they did it together, that in their own crazy way, they made this child together. Suddenly, a car on the street outside Wanda and the Vision’s new home begins tooting at them. More cars toot also, and the Vision and Wanda turn to them in fear - only to see the people in the cars waving at them. Wanda waves back as the Vision picks her up, and carries her up the stairs to their new home.
Round at Spector’s house, he is cooking something on a barbeque with his three friends, and exclaims that this is a “bedroom community”, that they have no industry and no office space, only the people who live here - friends and townspeople, ‘And I don’t want a mutant and a robot as part of that!’ A fat man jokes that there is no industry in Leonia, ‘So that lets the robot out right there!’ The other men laugh, before one of them remarking that it is creepy running into ‘the witch’ at the co-op, as you never know what to do or to say, and in fact it ruined his whole weekend last time.
Spector reminds his friends what they did about it last time, and the fat man declares that he is ready to do it again. Another of the men reminds his friends of the new alarm system that is in place, to which Spector announces that he has an idea, but before he can reveal it, his wife Doris comes up behind him and tells him to put the swordfish on the grill now. Spector agrees, when his son calls to him, ‘Head’s up!’ he exclaims as he throws a football at his father. Spector catches it, before tossing it back at his son, Billy, ‘Can’t put one over on your old man!’ Spector remarks. With his wife and son out of the way, Spector returns to the subject of the alarm system, and informs his friends that he has a contact over at the electric company….
Watching from the safety of a tree nearby are the intriguing couple once again. The man tells his female companion to call the club, as they will be occupied tonight.
Later, Wanda is wearing a pink nightgown and the Vision is in a yellow robe as they sit down in the lounge. Wanda exclaims that she is still amazed at how perfect this house is for them, ‘It is definitely us - the three of us!’ she adds. The Vision decides that they will set up the second bedroom as the baby’s room, and he can set up his hermitage back by the library. The Vision adds that since they have to replace most of the furniture anyway, it is easy enough to add a crib and a changing table to the list.
Wanda remarks that they are still a long way from needing a change table, thank goodness, before suggesting that they see what they did salvage from the last house. Wanda smiles as she opens one box and unwraps something from it - ‘Ha! Wouldn’t you know? First things out of the box are the Idols of Zor!’ The Vision smiles as he says ‘We won’t let him teethe on them!’, to which Wanda turns to him and asks what happens if it is not a “him”, what if it’s a little girl. ‘She still can’t teethe on green dragons!’ the Vision jokes. Wanda exclaims that is not what she means, to which the Vision replies he knows that, and assures “Curly Top” as he calls Wanda, that he will love this child whatever it is - ‘Even if it’s a toaster!’
‘Where was this sense of humor before you decided you were human?’ Wanda asks. The Vision smiles and exclaims that he was never this happy before he became human, which reminds him, that he must call his mother and brother and let them no. Before he can get to the phone, Wanda tells him to wait, as she wants to keep this a secret just for a while, as they have a new house and a new baby on the way - they should be private for a while. The Vision sits back down and remarks that he can see Wanda will be undergoing a few changes in the coming months herself, and asks her how soon until she starts eating pickles and ice cream. ‘You’re just jealous because you don’t need to eat anything!’ Wanda jokes as she leans into her husband. The Vision thinks to himself that Wanda might be right, for although he has become human inside his head, no male can do what Wanda is about to do inside her body.
Later that night at the electric company, Spector’s friend Kevin declares that he isn’t sure about this, for if he is caught, then his job is on the line. Spector tells Kevin that if he ever needs a job, then he should come to him, as he has got contacts everywhere. Kevin hesitates, before asking Spector if he only wants the power off for five minutes. Spector confirms that and explains to Kevin that he and his pals will do what they have to do and be long gone before Kevin’s superiors have had time to check the switches, and assures him that by the time his superiors call him, everything will be back to normal, so no one can blame him.
Kevin agrees to do it - but only for five hundred dollars. ‘The offer was two hundred!’ Spector replies. ‘The acceptance is five!’ Kevin retorts, before pointing out that they aren’t really talking about a “practical joke” anymore. Spector claims that he is only talking about a practical joke, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about’ he tells Kevin, before handing him five hundred dollars cash and telling Kevin to make sure he hit’s the switch at 9.30 precisely.
Meanwhile, ‘Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the Magic Mansion - New York City’s center for the fantastic and the bizarre!’ exclaims the Magic Mansion’s Master of Ceremonies. He announces that on this stage they present the very best in presti-digitation for their pleasure, and while it was his intent to present tonight the owners of the Magic Mansion - Glamor and Illusion - they are unable to make it, so he takes a great pride in introducing the Great Santini! The audience all claps when a man magically appears on stage in a puff of smoke.
Elsewhere, the strange couple that have been spying on Spector and his pals watch as Spector and his friends drive off. The woman addresses the man as Ilya and informs him that everything is arranged. Ilya remarks that Santini has been begging for the dinner show anyway, before calling his companion Glynis and telling her to come along, as these fools have left them little time.
Inside Wanda and the Vision’s new home, Wanda asks her husband if anything is wrong. The Vision replies that nothing is, and getting into his costume explains that he feels like getting some fresh air - even if he doesn’t actually need air, so he is going to take a walk through the town. Becoming intangible so he can simply walk through the wall of his home, Vision then takes off into the air, thinking that he doesn’t want to upset Wanda, but as this is their first night back in Leonia, so if those who burned them out last time plan on anything new, he wants to make certain they fail.
High above the town buildings, the Vision is thankful that he didn’t have to lie to Wanda, and so, as insubstantial as a shadow, the Vision begins his reconnaissance as only he can - by phasing into the first home he comes across, walking like a ghost past a man and woman watching television. Then he moves onwards through other homes and buildings in the town - through a man locking his shop up, past two lovers making out on a couch - but the Vision has an entire town to cover, and other things have delayed him - perhaps too long….
Walking through some woods are Spector and his cronies. Fred exclaims that it is cold, like someone walked over his grave, and reminds everyone that these are the woods where the zombies were. Bernie reminds Fred that is the reason they are doing this - to put an end to that sort of stuff in Leonia, and Spector declares that this is for their families, and rattles off the names of the men’s wives and children, ‘That’s what this is for!’ he exclaims. Bernie declares that he knows, and asks someone to pass him the bottle of Jack Daniels so he can keep warm, exclaiming that it is half an hour to 9.30.
Spector declares that then they will get their action, and fat Charlie goes over the plan - that the power goes off, they rush in from four sides and toss fire bombs, then run away like - ‘ARRRH!’ he shouts as one of the branches of the tree next he is standing next to suddenly hits him hard. ‘What’s going on?’ exclaims a surprised Spector, while one of the other men declares that the branch moved for no reason. Suddenly, Rocks bounce up from the ground and hit Spector, while a gust of leaves sweeps angrily up at another of the men.
An owl swoops down on another of the men, who exclaims that it is witchcraft - so the Scarlet Witch must be onto them. Spector tells his mates to hold on, for if the Scarlet Witch were onto them, he guarantees that she would be doing a lot more than turning the woods against them. ‘You don’t think this is enough?’ someone Bernie asks. Fred suggests that it must be the robot then, turned invisible, but Spector declares that is crazy, for why would he use all these tricks. ‘Cause he can’t fight us like a man!’ one of the exclaims. ‘You may be right!’ Spector replies, before telling everyone to run for it, and following his friends as they flee the forest.
‘Marvelous, darling! Simply marvelous!’ exclaims the yellow-clad woman as she comes into view, ‘I was rather good, wasn’t I?’ Ilya exclaims smiling, before suggesting to Glynis that they wait until 9.30 to be certain that the men do not return.
Wanda has put on her scarlet costume and thinks to herself that everything she and the Vision own is in this place, before deciding that she wants to go for a walk. Heading down to the pavement, Wanda thinks that most people here like her and the Vision, or at least accept them, which is why it was so horrible for them when somebody struck the peace that they had here. Wanda decides that her husband is right, that they can get the peace back if they show that they are not quitters.
As she strides gracefully along, Wanda thinks that it is funny how people know that they are Avengers, and even “Evil Mutants” in her case, but still they thought they would flee from a taste of their cruelty. Wanda realizes that she and the Vision have something more than themselves to fight for now - a baby! Wanda smiles to herself and thinks that she sounds so silly going on and on about this. ‘You were an Avenger - you’re Magneto’s daughter! But now I know what a woman like that feels! I never did before!’
Wanda knew that as a woman she had the potential for having babies, but now she is moving into this wholly new realm - a secret realm reserved just for mothers! Wanda passes a woman pushing a stroller with a child in it, and the mother says ‘Look, Sandy! Look at the pretty lady!’ Wanda smiles at the child, knowing soon that she is going to have one of those.
Wanda enters a library, where a young woman informs her that they will be closing in fifteen minutes. Wanda replies that she will be quick, and heading down one of the aisles, thinks to herself that she must read everything there is about this. Suddenly, a strange voice calls out her name. Wanda turns in the direction of the voice, where she sees an astral form of Agatha Harkness’ head floating before her, illuminated in green light. Wanda thinks to herself that she didn’t really dream about Agatha in New Salem, that she really is alive.
Agatha replies ‘Would that I were, darling girl’ before revealing that she is truly dead, burned at the stake by her own flesh and blood. However, The aged witch reminds Wanda that next month is All Hallows’ Eve, the night when the veils between the real world and the world of the dead are thinnest. ‘Beware and prepare’ Agatha says ominously, before vanishing. Wanda takes some books up to the counter while wondering what this means. She thinks to herself that she is a mutant with witch-like powers, not a real witch! Wanda knows that Agatha taught her a lot, but she doesn’t know anything about communicating from the grave. Being watched intently by the blonde librarian, Wanda takes her leave, and wonders if it is just that she wants to think about life right now instead of death?
The Vision floats over the forest thinking that there has been no sign of any unusual activity, and wondering if perhaps the arsonists were not part of the local residents after all. If that is indeed the case, he is glad, for he wants to live here, but even so, he will defend his family against any threat, and seeing the costumed couple Glynis and Ilya in the woods below, he wonders if he spoke to soon, for he assumes them to be costumed criminals, and are now lurking behind his property. The Vision also notes that all the power in the neighborhood has shut down.
Dropping swiftly to the ground, the Vision fires beams of energy from his eyes as the mysterious couple, ordering them to stand away, while thinking to himself that he doesn’t recognize them, but cannot afford to take any chances. Ilya looks up and asks the Vision why he attacks them, while Glynis exclaims that the ground is being blasted out right from under them. Ilya calls the Vision a fool and boasts that he will not stand for that. The Vision sees Ilya grabbing some rocks, and decides he can become intangible before his foe throws them, only to be taken aback as Ilya doesn’t throw the rocks, but commands them with his powers, hurling them at the Vision.
‘You should never have hurt my wife, Vision!’ Ilya exclaims, explaining that the stones are under his total control, and brings them back around, though this time the Vision is not caught unprepared, and becomes intangible, thus protected - until Glynis reveals that she can control her own molecules, and kicks the Vision hard in his lower back. Glynis introduces she and her husband to the Vision by their stage names - ‘Illusion controls anything he touches, but Glamor controls herself!’ she exclaims as she faces off against the Vision.
The Vision struggles against Glamor, while thinking to himself that those names sound familiar, though someone who can grapple with him while he is in this form is not, so he decides to turn solid again and escapes Glamor’s intangible hands, but as he leaps up into a tree, the tree’s branches wrap around the Vision, controlled by Illusion. Though he has never been one for curses, the Vision finds that the impulse is strong tonight, and tells Glamor and Illusion that this will not hold him.
Illusion declares that he knows that, before telling the Vision that perhaps now he is ready to listen, and revealing that they are only here to help him. Free from the tree’s grasp, the Vision drops to the ground and asks ‘Help me? Against what?’ Illusion replies ‘Against those who fear extraordinary powers - such as we also possess!’ He explains that he is able to control molecules of anything he touches for one minute afterwards, no matter what happens to it in that minute.
Glamor exclaims that she can control the molecules of her body, before Illusion tells the Vision that he may have heard of them before as “Glamor and Illusion”, and introduces them by their true names - Glynis and Ilya Zarkov. He informs the Vision that they are stage magicians and own the Magic Mountain in Manhattan, adding that like all stage magicians, they use deception in their acts. Glynis reveals to the Vision that in their case, the deception is the idea that they do everything with sleight-of-hand, which has led to great success - success which would be undermined if the audience knew they actually possess and use paranormal powers.
Illusion informs the Vision that he and Glamor also live in Leonia for reasons very similar to the Vision’s - peace and quiet. He reveals that when some fools began to mount a campaign against the Vision and Wanda, they felt that they might involve the two of them as well, so they decided to protect the Vision and Wanda, thereby protecting themselves also. The Vision replies that he understands, and thanks the Zarkov’s. He remarks that he and Wanda can use neighbors who understand their situation, adding that they certainly understand the Zarkov’s. ‘To friendship, Vision! To friendship!’ Glynis exclaims as they shake hands.
Nearby, Wanda walks back towards her home, thinking to herself that most people do accept us here, and she doubts that there will be any further violence. Wanda’s thoughts drift to what Agatha Harkness said to her, and she wonders what she meant by “prepare”. Suddenly, ‘Get in here, witch!’ one of Spector’s cronies exclaims as he grabs Wanda and pulls her into the shrubbery. Fred holds Wanda still as Spector declares that they were going to warn her, but now the robot has made them made. ‘Now we’re gonna pay you back a little’
Wanda exclaims ‘Listen, you - don’t make me MAD!’ with that, she uses her hex power to lift all four men into the air, dropping them down high in one of the trees. One of the men asks her to get them down, while another exclaims that he told them she was dangerous. Another declares that he is going to be sick, while the final one warns Wanda that they are going to get her for this. Wanda tells them all to shut up, and informs them that up until now this has been the happiest day of her life, ‘And you four are not going to ruin it!’
Wanda reveals to the men that she just found out she is going to have a baby, and suggests that they add that fact to their list of stupid fears, or that they can accept the Vision and she for what they are - ‘People like yourselves!’ Wanda points out that they are old enough to have children and tells them that they must know what it is like. She states that she may have mutant powers, and the Vision may live inside a synthetic shell, but they are all part of the same club - parents.
Wanda points out that they all want the same thing - a quiet and secure place to raise their families, ‘That’s what I wish for you, and that’s what I want from you!’ She tells the men that she feels so good tonight, that they should give everyone a break, and end this kind of fear - at least in one little town. ‘Boys?’ Spector asks. One of them replies that he cannot argue with that, as the whole reason he did this was that he loves his kids. Fat Charlie mutters that he still doesn’t like having witches here, but admits that nevertheless, she is right - you cannot hate a pregnant woman.
Spector tells Wanda that they agree, so Wanda smiles and uses her powers to bring the men down from the trees, telling them to hurry on home, as their wives are probably wondering where they are. Suddenly, the Vision runs by and asks Wanda what is going on here. Wanda picks up her books and assures him that nothing is going on - nothing that can destroy their day. The Vision remarks that it looks like she was in a fight, and tells Wanda that she shouldn’t be exerting herself like that.
Wanda replies that a few hexes is hardly exertion, and adds that is one advantage she is going to have over normal mothers - she can always protect herself, even when she looks like a blimp! ‘Happy thought!’ jokes the Vision, to which Wanda smiles and tells him to get used to it - because there is no going back now!
Scarlet Witch & Vision
Glamor & Illusion / Glynis & Ilya Zarkov
Mr. Spector, Charlie, Bernie, Doris, Billy, Fred and other residents of Leonia
Kevin from the electric company
Master of Ceremonies at the Magic Mansion
The Great Santini
The Scarlet Witch and Vision’s first house in Leonia was burned in Avengers (1st series) #252. With the help of Norm Webster, they found their new house in Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #1.
The Scarlet Witch channeled the power of the Salem Seven and the New Salemites in Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #3.
The Idols of Zor appeared in Power Man & Iron Fist #102.
The brother and mother that the Vision refers to are of course Simon Williams a.k.a. Wonder Man and his mother Martha Williams.
First appearance of Glamor & Illusion.
Zombies attacked the Scarlet Witch and the Vision in the forest near their new home in Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #1.
The names of Spector’s friends seem to be in error, used interchangeably with each other, so it is at times hard to pin down who is who.
First appearance of Holly Ladonna, although she is not named this issue, she is the librarian at the bookstore Wanda goes to.
Agatha Harkness was burned at the stake by her grandchildren, Salem’s Seven, as seen in Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #3.
Issue Summary written by: Daytripper (Steven Bishop)