Friday, October 28, 2011

WITCH COUNT #3: The Scarlet Witch

I’ve had an adult crush on The Scarlett Witch for a little over 10 years.  I wasn’t focused on her as a kid, but as I grew up, something about her looks and powers attracted me.   It might just be a fantasy about wearing the red spandex.  I’m pretty sure as comic books go, she’s one of the few if not the only mainstream or primary Marvel character that is a good witch.  So why the Scarlet Witch won't be in the new Avenger's movie rather than the Black Widow (boring) is beyond me.

I identify with Wanda Maximoff aka The Scarlet Witch, number 3 in my countdown to Halloween,  because she’s been through so many iterations during her life and career.  I went through many iterations before figuring out who I was, too.  It was like the writers and artists had a hard time settling on the details around what made Wanda special.   Wanda has the ability to manipulate probability, which I think is pretty damn cool.  But they dorked around with the origin of her powers, the breadth of her powers, what kind of magic she wielded, and the level of control she exercised over them the whole time she was in print.  Nobody screwed around with Wonder Woman. She was who she was right from the start, more or less. Nobody dared screw with her mythos either (until recently and WTF? is that about, anyhow).  

I think manipulating probability would be incredibly awesome, not just at a Black Jack table in Vegas, but also in daily life.  All chattering about destiny and synchronicity aside, a significant portion of life seems random to me (being in the right place at the right time and all that), so manipulating probability seems the perfect way to stack the deck just a wee bit more in one’s favor, right?  

Initially, Wanda’s hexes were short rage and limited to her line of sight, which is totally metaphorical.  The ability to affect change in our lives, particularly when we’re younger, might be limited to those things we think we can see clearly or understand.  It also implies a desire to control our lives, particularly when we’ve had rough beginnings and need to heal, like I did.  Wanda’s hexes were unconscious for a time, and now and again they backfired.  This is so me, as well.  As a young adult, many of my reactions were unconscious, and much of what I thought I had under control backfired.  Then I learned how to respond, rather than react all the time, which was life altering.

The writer’s introduced Chaos Magic “a form of magic so dreaded and horrific that all of Earth’s sorcerers made a pact …” … sounds pretty gross, doesn’t it?  The entire world is made of chaos magic, folks.  It’s called CURRENT EVENTS and, man, it’s happening right now.  The Janese earthquake, Joplin tornados, the recent and on-going stock market uncertainty, the latest depression, the mortgage foreclosure crisis, unemployment, cancer, HIV, hunger.  There has got to be some nasty super villain out there fucking everything up!  We need a superhero now more than ever. We Americans don’t call upon Laxmi or Ganesh.  We call upon Superman and Batman to save the day!  Maybe that’s why the current rush of superhero movies is doing so well.  We need “The AVENGERS!”  If that isn’t chaos magic, I don’t know what is.

In the end, the writers decided that Wanda’s powers were a combination of her mutant ability to affect probability and Chaos Magic.  Not too far after that, she became almost omniscient in the ability to utilize endless possibilities.  And so this is where I’d like to leave it … with endless possibilities. 

In this life we are walking through chaos wielding our own form of personal magic, which for me is creativity.  It doesn’t matter if it’s making art or writing.  Creativity is the weapon I have against this changing and often frightening world.  It’s how I keep from being overwhelmed.  It’s how I attempt to stack the deck in my favor.

                Ask yourself if your creations are “powerful enough to alter reality”, “rewrite the entire universe” or “cause multiverse-threatening ripples”. 

                I don’t think we need the power to warp reality.   It’s warped enough already.

                We only need endless possibilities.

                Such is the power of the Scarlet Witch.

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