Vanesa R. Del Rey Announced as Artist on First Issue of ‘Scarlet Witch'; David Aja on Covers
When Marvel first announced an ongoing Scarlet Witch series from writer James Robinson, there was a conspicuous lack of an artist attached. On the one hand, it was a bad sign; announcing books without artists tends to devalue the role of artists. On the other hand, it was also a good sign; it spoke to Marvel's efforts to put the right artists on the right books, and perhaps specifically to assign diverse talent to diverse books, like artist Natacha Bustos on Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur, and writer Jose Molina on the Santerians revival.
To that end, a lot of fans were hoping Wanda Maximoff's first solo series would not come from an all-male creative team. The good news is that those fans have got their wish, with Vanesa R. Del Rey now joining Robinson on the title. The bad news is that it's only for one issue.
The announcement came via Newsarama, which also revealed David Aja as the series' cover artist. You can check out the first issue cover above. Kevin Wada previously provided an image that showcases his design for the character's new costume.
Del Rey is a tremendous talent best known for her work on Hit at Boom with writer Bryce Carlson; her previous Marvel credits include a Once Upon A Time special, and covers and pin-ups for titles including Black Widow and Wolverine & The X-Men. She also provided pencils for a recent issue of DC's Constantine: The Hellblazer. Her exquisite linework has an emotional weight that promises fraught times ahead for the Scarlet Witch.
But only for one issue, and then, who knows? Robinson has suggested that the art for Scarlet Witch will change with each story, with the first and perhaps subsequent issues as standalone stories. That's an interesting experiment if every story is written to its artists' strengths, and every artist is of Del Rey's caliber. It'll be a lot less compelling if it becomes The Marvel Cavalcade of Whoever's Available.
If Marvel is smart, all the artists will be women. Maybe that's the plan, but maybe Marvel knows better than to make that promise up front.
In an earlier interview with Newsarama, Robinson suggested that the story of Scarlet Witch would focus on witchcraft, womanhood, and an emerging threat to witches everywhere, with the spectral Agatha Harnkess acting as Jaga to Wanda's Lion-O. (He didn't use those exact words.) A 'witch of the month' approach could make good use of an ever-changing art team.
Even so, such an approach doesn't need to be applied too widely. Artists already have less ownership of the titles they're assigned to at Marvel, with production schedules built around the writers who then become lead or even sole architects of their titles. This is in spite of the fact that Marvel's best titles have almost always been ones with a strong aesthetic tied to a specific artist or art team.