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Exiles #61

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Vision and the Scarlet Witch (2nd series) # 8

Issue Date: May 1986

Story Title: Sweet Sister

Staff: Steve Englehart (Writer), Richard Howell (Penciller), Frank Springer (Inker), Bill Oakley (Letterer), Adam Philips (Colorist), Jim Salicrup (Editor), Jim Shooter (Editor in Chief)

Brief Description:
The Scarlet Witch and Vision receive unexpected guests in the form of Quicksilver and Crystal, who both had plans on Earth and ask Wanda to look after Luna for them. Wanda obliges as she is only having a lesson with Holly Ladonna - who is rather perplexed as to what to do with the knowledge she has about Crystal and Norm Webster - when suddenly, Luke “Power Man” Cage is thrown through their front window, attacked by the High Priest of Zor. Wanda and the Vision remember the High Priest whom they previously fought with Power Man, and Luke explains that he has come for the Idols, which Wanda has hidden. Crystal remains at Wanda and the Vision’s home while Wanda, the Vision, Quicksilver and Power Man, who is annoyed at having to “work” on Martin Luther King Day, travel to New York to get the Idols. The High Priest of Zor casts all sorts of illusions to distract the heroes on their quest, but eventually they arrive at the World Trade Center where Wanda had hidden the Idols, and the final part of her plan is set into motion - enabling Crystal to use her elemental powers to destroy the Idols back in Leonia. The High Priest of Zor is annoyed by this, and returns to his dimension, but most annoyed it Quicksilver that neither his sister nor his wife let him in on this which they had planned back in Leonia before the group left for New York. Power Man realizes that spending Martin Luther King Day with his fellow heroes after all, while one more Holly Ladonna catches Crystal and Norm Webster together….

Full Synopsis:
The Scarlet Witch and the Vision have moved to New Jersey to escape the cloistered hustle of New York City…but no one really escapes New York. Luke Cage a.k.a. Power Man loves New York. Right now, he has smashed a strange looking creature through a wall, and going through the hole he has just created, Cage realizes that this is the demon that tried to fight he and Iron Fist last year with the Vision and Scarlet Witch. The yellow-skinned demon tries to blast Power Man, who recalls that the demon wanted some idols or something, but the Scarlet Witch ended up with them.

Luke wonders what that demon wants with him, and when he asks the creature, whom he calls “fat boy”, the demon snarls that he wants revenge, ‘Take a number! Half the city wants my butt, but I’m still here!’ Luke exclaims, knowing he has to keep the demon off-balance so his blasts don’t touch him. ‘He’s for the power…but he’s fighting Power Man!’ Luke slams his fist into the demons face, resulting in some green-like substance, presumably blood, begin to ooze from the demon’s head. The demon wipes some of it away, muttering that he should have known not to attack Power Man directly, ‘Your density is disgusting!’

The demon warns Power Man that he hasn’t seen the last of him, and boasts that he will have the Idols of Zor before the day is ended - ‘And your immortal souls!’ With that, the demon fades away, with Luke shouting back ‘I’ll see ya and raise ya, ya lard-ball!’ Cage thinks that it is a good thing Iron Fist is holed up in his townhouse meditating, although he also thinks that is quite weird of his crime-fighting partner, before deciding that he better warn the Scarlet Witch and the Vision, ‘Yeah, warn them and then get the Witch to do some hocus-pocus against that guy herself - we’re gonna need her!’

But Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. the mighty Scarlet Witch is currently busy with her new pupil, Holly Ladonna, on a snowy day in Leonia. Wanda sits on the porch, while Holly stands in the snow and asks Wanda if she is sure that it is not too cold for her, as they can go inside. Wanda replies that she and the baby are both enjoying the fresh air, before pointing out that she is not an invalid, and that this is actually a pretty good time for her, very comfortable. Wanda adds that it is good to see Holly controlling the snowfall so well. ‘You call that “well”?’ Holly asks, remarking that she has been pushing with her mid the way that Wanda said, but that there is almost no difference between this side of the path and the other. Wanda smiles and tells Holly that “Almost no difference” means “A difference”, before asking her what she expected after only two months of training.

Wanda is about to tell Holly that she will make a witch in no time, when suddenly a look of terror spreads across her face. Concerned, Holly asks Wanda what is going on. Wanda smiles and reveals that the baby moved. The two young women go inside Wanda’s house and Holly asks what it felt like. Wanda approaches the Vision as she explains that it felt like a fish, it was slippery and sliding, but with a feathery feeling. The Vision greets his wife, who throws off her coat and tells her android husband to come closer, as the baby just moved.

The Vision is surprised, but upon placing his hand on Wanda’s stomach, he replies that he doesn’t feel anything. Wanda exclaims that it is just for her now, a little present just for her. A voice from behind the two former members of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes the Avengers assures the Vision that he will feel it soon enough. Turning, Wanda is faced with her brother Pietro a.k.a. Quicksilver, his wife Crystalia “Crystal” Amaquelin Maximoff and their infant daughter, Luna. Wanda greets Crystal and Luna, to which Pietro asks why she does not greet him. Wanda goes over to Luna and tells her brother that she will talk to him in a minute. Luna smiles at the appearance of her aunt.

However, Holly does not smile at the appearance of Crystal, and recalls how she saw Crystal kissing Norm Webster at Christmas. Holly had decided not to tell Wanda, as she couldn’t hurt her like that, and she had almost put the incident out of her mind - but now Crystal is back again, and with her poor husband! Crystal smiles and tells Wanda that it is so good of her to watch Luna while she goes shopping today, Wanda replies that she wants to, while Pietro tells his sister not to sound too eager, or else Crystal will provide her with as much child care as she can withstand, despite having to take her special drugs to survive Earth’s pollution, she has been talking about getting back to Earth more, Quicksilver reveals. ‘Ohhh…’ Holly thinks to herself.

Wanda tells her family not to worry about a thing while they are gone, as she is planning to have a very quiet day at home - when suddenly, Luke Cage crashes through the window ‘You motherless slime buckets!’ he shouts. Looking up at his four fellow super heroes, he motions out the window and tells them to check it out, as they are under attack for the Idols of Zor! Power Man tells the Scarlet Witch that she should do something, to which Wanda replies ‘What does it look like, Luke?’ as she uses her powers to blast the demons outside of her window.

Power Man gets to his feet and asks if she is a real witch or if it is just her mutant powers. Wanda smiles and asks Luke why he thinks there is a difference. From outside, the yellow demon calls out ‘Your hex bolts are still…painful, Scarlet Witch! And I am still rotund and waddly - but so, increasingly - are you!’ he exclaims making comment about Wanda’s pregnant status. The demon reveals that he is the High Priest of Zor, so the Idols must be returned along with the souls of those who dare oppose him. Before the High Priest and the other demons vanish, he declares that they cannot escape his attacks forever and that one by one, if need be, he will have them all.

Holly Ladonna exclaims ‘Wanda! I never realized what you can do!’ while Crystal remarks that this does not bode well for baby-sitting. Quicksilver exclaims that the last battle he entered into was at Thanksgiving - but quickly corrects himself, ‘Uh, that is, several months ago’ for he and the Vision promised Magneto that they would not tell Wanda of this battle. The Vision jokes that if only all of their lives were so quiet, as he just had his left hand rebuilt after another recent battle, once again, with the Toad, though he does not mention that out loud. ‘And this was supposed to be my day off!’ Luke Cage exclaims.

Wanda seems momentarily perplexed, before realizing it is the new holiday. Luke smiles, ‘You got it, Witch - Martin Luther King’s birthday!’ Quicksilver exclaims that he has nothing against Martin Luther King - ‘Some of the best Inhumans have dusky skins after all’ - but taking “days off” when crime never sleeps leads to a weakening of moral fiber - in his opinion of course. Wanda takes charge, telling Crystal to remain here with her daughter and takes her to the alarm systems. Holly is about to say something, but Wanda exclaims ‘Not now, Holly! Your lesson just got over-ridden!’

Luke exclaims that the Scarlet Witch is talking like they are all going after those demons, even though it might just lead “Fat Boy” to the Idols, so suggests they just stay put. The Vision points out that Wanda doesn’t think like that, to which Cage exclaims ‘But she’s pregnant!’ ‘Exactly!’ exclaims Wanda re-entering the room, explaining that she does not intend to go through the rest of her pregnancy waiting for that monster to strike without warning. The Vision agrees, and points out that surely he, Wanda and Power Man can defeat him. Luke reminds his allies that last time they have Iron Fist too, to which Quicksilver declares that he is coming along also.

Wanda is glad, and tells the men to listen up as she explains that the High Priest was right - they cannot capture him because he can slip away into the Dimension of Zor, but on the other hand, the Idols cannot do that, as they can only exist here as permanent links between that dimension and this one, so she suggests they go to the place where she hid them and make use of their power to trap the Priest in this dimension, and clearly, he will be easy to capture.

Quicksilver suggests they should take his ship, and shortly, the quartet fly high above New York City. The Vision remarks that the more human he becomes, the more he does human things, and explains that he forgot they cannot land at Avengers Mansion anymore, that they have to set down on some new base in the Atlantic. ‘Nonsense!’ exclaims Quicksilver, pointing out that he has always landed on the Mansion and does not propose to stop now. ‘Right on, man! We might as well have taken the bus if we fly out to sea now!’ Power Man exclaims. Wanda agrees and tells her brother to take them down.

Moments later, the quartet enter Avengers Mansion, where Edwin Jarvis, the Avenger’s butler exclaims ‘Oh, my goodness! Agent Gyrich won’t like this!’ Wanda informs Jarvis that Agent Gyrich has no control over any of them, which he will no doubt remember. The heroes rush past Jarvis, with the Vision telling Jarvis that he hopes this will not cause the Avengers too much trouble, ‘But, well - like sister, like brother!’ Wanda turns to her husband and tells him to come along, as any real trouble will come from the Priest of Zor and they do not want to involve the Avengers in that.

Soon, the heroes leave Avengers Mansion and Luke asks Wanda where they are going. Wanda reveals that they are going downtown as she picked a special place to hide the idols. Quicksilver suggests that he could run ahead and get them at super speed, as he would be back before they missed him. Wanda explains that no one who is not versed in magic can see them. Power Man stands by his belief that this plan is dangerous, when suddenly, a strange forest grows up around them out of the snow.

Quicksilver asks what is happening, to which the Vision informs him that last time they fought the Priest’s sorcery created an entire castle where none existed. Wanda explains that this time it appears that the High Priest has changed the city around them to confuse them. ‘Well change it back!’ Luke exclaims, but Wanda replies that she cannot, explaining to him that she changes probabilities, not illusions. Luke exclaims then in that case, everyone should stick with him, because no matter how it gets tricked out, he knows New York like the back of his own hand.

‘You wanna go downtown…we goin’ downtown!’ he exclaims, smashing the trees out of the way, while thinking that it is weird, not like wood at all, and although it is thick, it is like last weeks beans. He thinks that if it doesn’t make him blow breakfast, then there is three hundred pounds of punch to pull them through. Suddenly though, from deep amongst the tangled branches, more demons rush towards the super heroes. ‘Oh boy!’ mutters Power Man, but Pietro tells him to relax, ‘This is no problem for Quicksilver - the fastest man alive!’

With that, Pietro races towards the demons, and his abilities do not stop with fleet feet, for he also has the power of swift reaction and the ability to withstand the tremendous g-force his maneuvers entail. Almost forgotten from his time on the faraway moon, he remains an amazing mutant hero - requiring amazing magic methods in combat. A pair of flying demons swoop down towards Pietro, but Wanda calls to him, urging him to go to the North, he does so, only for the demons to follow him. Pietro realizes that they are like hunter missiles and thinks that the Priest is marshalling his troops better, so perhaps he is a worthy opponent after all.

Suddenly, the demons grab Pietro and pull him up into the air. Vision floats over announcing that he will get Quicksilver, while Wanda exclaims ‘And I’ll get them!’ blasting the demons with a hex. Though they may be twins, their powers differ widely, but the wills of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver differ not at all. Suddenly, the High Priest appears on a branch above the heroes, informing them that he originally conjured these speed demons to combat the agility of Iron Fist, but it now seems that fortune has begun to smile on him at last. He boasts that he has many more surprises for them this time, and tells Wanda to spare them all the blood and thunder by telling him where the Idols are.

Tending to her brother, Wanda replies ‘You’ll see today is thud and blunder, Priest - yours!’ before declaring that no one harms her family, such is the oath from the Scarlet Witch. Pietro assures Wanda that the Priest has not harmed him, for the damage done has healed at eccentric speeds. Power Man, still smashing away at the forest, announces that he can see the edge of this overgrown thicket, and that only a couple more punches and they should be out of here. Wanda whispers to the Vision, asking him to stay close beside her, for though she is not too unwieldy, she isn’t able to dodge and weave the way she used to.

In a moment, the heroes exit what was Central Park, and arrive at Midtown - or at least that is what Luke thinks it should be, instead there is a mighty castle in its place. Making their way through the castle, Quicksilver mutters that he is thrust into a battle where the foe has already taken Power Man[‘s measure. ‘Yours and your absent comrades, Cage! Another “Hero for Hire” who has taken his “day off” it seems’ Quicksilver exclaims, declaring that this is Iron Fists’ fault he was caught like that. Power Man is about to give his reply, when the Vision comes up behind him and asks him to restrain himself.

Luke turns to the Vision and asks where Quicksilver gets off dragging Iron Fist into this. ‘That guy’s as mean as the punks who get their speed outta needles!’ The Vision states that he is not saying “no”, but that Wanda is Quicksilver’s sister, and she feels his misplaced anger even more keenly than he could. ‘Well…her I like…okay!’ Power Man mutters, before Quicksilver motions to what he assumes to be the subway entrance. Wanda tells everyone that the illusions around it are so strange, to which Cage exclaims ‘What, strange? It’s the “E” train!’

The heroes walk towards the train when suddenly the doors begin to close on it. ‘Not for me!’ Quicksilver exclaims racing towards it and holding the doors open, allowing the others to get in. Standing in the gloomy train, Power Man asks Wanda if she is sure she wants to do this, for if they get into any trouble down here, they aren’t going to have much room to move. At that moment, more demons stride towards them, while Wanda exclaims that she won’t dare use any more of her powers until they get where they are going. Quicksilver announces that he then will deal with this horde, but as he races towards them and prepares to punch one of them, he finds that the glow surrounding the demons repels his touch, and no matter how fast he moves, he cannot penetrate it.

‘Then, let me try!’ the Vision exclaims as he plunges his intangible hand past the demon’s force field. Power Man congratulates the Vision, who is reminded of their last encounter with this foe in which he learned a few lessons - so he will rematerialize his fist inside the glow rather than reach inside the demon as he did last time, for reaching inside a zombie causes him great pain, and he expects a similar fate awaits him if he tries it in these creatures. ‘It’s only logical!’ he exclaims before punching the demon inside its own force field.

The train screeches along, and Quicksilver asks his sister how much farther. As the train stops, Wanda announces that they are finally here ‘Or rather, we are once we reach those heights!’ she exclaims motioning to the tall buildings ahead of them. ‘You hid them on the tops of the World Trade Center towers?!’ Luke exclaims, before telling Wanda ‘That’s hot! What a place for twin Idols!’ Suddenly, the heroes witness as all of the lights in the World Trade Center go off, and Luke exclaims that it looks like the Priest is going to fight them all the way. Rushing towards the Trade Center, Cage also asks without electricity how is the elevator going to run.

Quicksilver points out that it hardly matters for he can run up the side of the building. Wanda points out that he cannot do it carrying her, and she is the one who needs to conduct the conjuration on the roof. Luke informs Wanda that he could carry her, but they would need to take the stairs, and that would take forever. The Vision announces that he has the solution and tells everyone to get into the nearest elevator, before he floats off, not answering Wanda’s question of where he is going. Luke rips open the doors to an elevator shaft and tells his companions to get in, while he holds the doors for them, this time.

Meanwhile, the Vision floats up the side of the World Trade Center while the snow wafts down. Upon reaching the top, he passes through the wall, where inside, he takes hold of the cables that drop 1350 feet to the lobby, and changing at a thought from gossamer nothingness to something over two solid tons - then the Vision begins to drop 1350 feet, pulling the mighty Scarlet Witch, the speedster Quicksilver and Luke Cage the Power Man up in his place.

The trio arrive on the roof of the World Trade Center, and Luke exclaims that it was some ride, though motioning to all the snow he exclaims that he wishes they could close the doors again. Wanda announces that the Idols are here, to which her brother exclaims that he doesn’t see anything. The Vision arrives, explaining that none of them could see the Idols as Wanda has rendered them invisible, when suddenly the High Priest of Zor appears, followed by more demons he exclaims that now that he knows where they are, he can mount his most ferocious attack with the most fearsome demi-demons.

The Priest explains that each of the four demons has been selected to counter one of the heroes particular powers, as Wanda suspected, before explaining that as she let the others carry the burden of the battle tonight, she has been planning for this, and Wanda gestures, a fraction too slow perhaps, since she has to turn her body a bit to make it, but not that slow, and the laws of probability which surround all begin to pull apart around Wanda. Wanda knows that she only has the strength to do this once, while the High Priest exclaims that the storm has become a hurricane.

Power Man grabs Wanda and Quicksilver so they are not blown away in the storm, for suddenly sweeping gusts pick up the four demons, while the High Priest attempts to run away, exclaiming that he will not be beaten again, even if it takes every last ounce of his strength, he will persevere. Suddenly though, the storm is gone, and the Priest asks the Scarlet Witch what she has done with the Idols. Slyly, Wanda replies ‘Oh - did I say they were here…?’

Back in Leonia, Crystal kneels in the snow. Hers are the powers which rule the ancient elements - air, water, earth…and fire! She is the elemental Inhuman, and can reach psionically into the ionic bonds of molecules and change them, so if molecules change, elements change at her will, and the Idols go up in a burst of flames. But Crystal can do more than that. She can reach inside herself…and change her life! Crystal is helped up off the ground by Norm Webster, they both smile at each other, then walk along with their arms around each other - unaware that once again Holly Ladonna has spotted them, and is watching from behind a tree.

As the High Priest vanishes, Luke asks Wanda id she means that the Idols were never here, that they just did all that fighting to lead the demon away from their home. Wanda explains that Crystal didn’t know how long it would take her to devise a fire which destroy magic Idols, adding that she and the Vision had certainly failed to find a way in the months that they had them, but Crystalia was sure she could do it. Pietro mutters that his wife wasn’t nearly fast enough, and he would have expected a much better performance from her. Pietro adds that Crystal was in the wrong for not telling him, her husband what was going on, and for that matter so is Wanda, his sister.

Pietro turns to Luke and exclaims ‘And you, “Hero for Hire” if you ever grab me like that again, I’ll -’ Wanda suddenly cuts her brother off, assuring him that if the hurricane had touched them then they would have surely needed Luke for an anchor. Wanda suggests they all talk for a bit, and the Vision tells Luke that he is sorry he didn’t get to celebrate Martin Luther King Day like he had planned. Power Man smiles and tells the Vision that it was no problem, and in fact, he thinks he did after all. ‘You did?’ the Vision asks.

Luke smiles and exclaims that he is very proud African-Americans have finally got a holiday of their own and all, but to him, what it really means is that they are finally certified as part of this society, just the way they all fell into working together today. Luke remarks that King Day ‘doesn’t say we’re different from white folks, it says we’re equal! We ain’t better…and brother, we ain’t not worse!’ But despite Power Man’s nice sentiments, Quicksilver’s pained expression shows that his is still angry with both his sister and his wife!

Characters:
Scarlet Witch & Vision
Quicksilver & Crystal
Luna Maximoff

Holly Ladonna
Norm Webster

Power Man

Jarvis

High Priest of Zor and other demons

Notes:
Wanda, the Vision, Power Man and Iron Fist teamed up in Power Man / Iron Fist #102.

Crystal and Norm Webster kissed in Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #7. They first met in Vision & Scarlet Witch #6, where they both displayed an interest in each other at Thanksgiving.

The Vision and Quicksilver teamed up with Magneto to fight the Toad and his re-created Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #6, and the Vision fought the Toad once more in Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #7, resulting in his hand getting destroyed, though it was repaired off-panel.

Who could forget the way Wanda spoke to Gyrich when she and the Vision resigned from the Avengers in Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #1.

The Vision experience with solidifying his hand inside a zombie occurred in Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #1.

Issue Summary written by: Daytripper (Steven Bishop)


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