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STEVE ORLANDO
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DF Interview: Steve Orlando reignites the solo series of the Scarlet Witch

 

By Byron Brewer

 

The Scarlet Witch has carved out a haven for herself in upstate New York, but it's all about to go up in flames. Wanda's newfound peace has drawn the wrath of a primal force unlike anything she's ever faced before, and it won't stop until it razes Wanda's world to the ground. It's a clash of titans as Wanda and her allies fight for all she holds dear! What happens when an unstoppable force meets the end of all things? When pure chaos meets pure destruction? Wanda's about to find out – if she survives long enough.

 

Artist Jacopo Camagni (X-Men: Red, Nomen Omen) joins writer Steve Orlando for an explosive chapter of the Scarlet Witch's story in this new volume. All I needed to hop on board was see the name of my friend, Steve Orlando. No surprise then that I discussed in detail the coming comic of everyone’s favorite Avenger with the scribe.

 

Byron Brewer: Steve, John Byrne once said following his first stint as an artist on The Avengers that the Scarlet Witch was his “favorite and desired character to handle” (everyone thought it was the Vision). As it returns in June, why is writing Wanda’s solo title (AND the anniversary limited series with Pietro) a “dream job” for you? What is it about this character who is so powerful yet her life (like her powers) are always in chaos?

 

Steve Orlando: Working on Scarlet Witch is always going to be a dream—just for the reasons you say! Wanda has immense power—yet for all that power, she’s grounded in the same humanistic fallibility we all are. She’s the most like us of any superhero I’ve worked on, making mistakes, backsliding, starting and stopping, yet always pushing forward and never giving up. Is the scale of her problems and mistakes different than ours? Yes. But the heart of them is the same, and the heart of the character is one that makes her one of the most relatable comics characters there is. Her life is chaos, but how different is that from mine, yours, or anyone’s? That is to be human.

 

Byron: Can you tell devoted readers of the solo Wanda mags if there will be any continuing story threads from the previous volume, also written by you, OR from your Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver LS?

 

Steve Orlando: There will! Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver picked up right from our previous solo, albeit after taking a breath. And this return to the solo will do the same. That said, if you’re just coming in, you’ll get everything you need to know in our first issue. If you’ve been following along, even better! You’ll have enhanced context on the past, but everyone’s welcome. And everyone will get all they need to dive in, or dive back in, to Wanda’s world.

 

Byron: Everybody for decades has been taking apart and rewriting Wanda’s origin story and the cause/source of her powers, most recently in the MCU. If you could, is there a change or two that you would make to the character’s past that would be out of the question today?

 

Steve Orlando: Honestly? Nothing is ever out of the question, if the story supporting it is strong enough. That said, sweeping changes become harder and harder as they become layered atop each other, and crafting a story that’s strong enough and still inclusive to new readers while also gelling what’s come before becomes harder as the history becomes more complicated. This is one of the reasons Scarlet Witch has, from the get-go, been about turning the page and looking ahead—that’s where the new ideas are waiting.

 

Byron: Speaking of… Tell readers what you can about what awaits the Scarlet Witch in the first arc of her return to her own book. I hear Lore, Wanda’s demonic counterpart from 1994’s Scarlet Witch limited series, will be returning?

 

Steve Orlando: Lore is returning, yes! She did recently pop up in Marvel Unlimited, so folks should definitely check that out—BUT if you don’t, her appearance in Scarlet Witch will still be an easy way into her character. She’s set up in a new role within the Marvel Universe, one she’ll be able to function in for a long time going forward. And that’s not all! The bigger question is HOW Wanda comes to Lore’s doorstep, or to her feet. The answer to that kicks off in issue one, as Wanda faces off with perhaps her ultimate enemy…in a conceptual, if not literal, sense.

 

Byron: I know there is a lot of excitement and enthusiasm for Lore’s coming combat with Wanda, but I have a feeling there is a known entity out there who is out for the Scarlet Witch… and may be pulling some BTS strings. Can you hint of such a being… or at least tell me if that hypothesis is correct?

 

Steve Orlando: If the hypothesis is that there is someone else out there pulling the strings, it’s absolutely correct! We’ve seen hints to that end in Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver, as well as Timeless. It’s a known entity, and if you’re watching the covers to our books in solicits, it’s not the only known being of immense power who’ll be entering the field.

 

Byron: I would really love to see Wanda deal with some well-worn but much-missed Dr. Strange beings, rulers of other dimensions and perhaps even equals or superiors in magical might. Any of those down the path for our auburn-haired hero?

 

Steve Orlando: Well, we’ve got some equals or superiors in general coming up in the solo, as you’ve sniffed out above! As for other dimensional characters or magical characters, we saw a fair bit of that in the first solo—issues 4 and 5, issue 7, issue 8, and especially issue 9 saw Wanda face off against just these kind of threats. And if she can survive the first arc of her book, there’ll be more on the way!

 

Byron: Talk about the awesome art of Jacopo Camagni.

 

Steve Orlando: Jacopo’s work is gorgeous and unique! It fits in the world established by Sara Pichelli, by Lorenzo Tammetta and Carlos Nieto. But it’s also got a fantasy influence all its own! There’s a whimsy and wonder to Jacopo’s work that’s truly special—and it’ll be on display big time in our first arc as Wanda explores realms beyond that of physical being.

 

Byron: Steve, tell readers what you can about other upcoming projects in which you are involved.

 

Steve Orlando: So many! Of course, I’m on Scarlet Witch, but you’ll see another book from me and Marvel…assembling…soon. X-Men Unlimited is running along the big Krakoan finale as we speak, and Annihilation 2099 hits this summer with 2099 versions of Nova, Star-Lord, Silver Surfer and Red Hulk debuting, alongside much more! Gatchaman is kicking off from Mad Cave very soon, and my first-ever YA OGN, Silver Vessels, is out from them now! Scale Trade covers the dirty underbelly of the illegal dragon meat trade in one of Magma Comix’s debut line! And coming soon from BOOM! Studios is Hello Darkness, where I’ll be telling a horror short along with Al Kaplan that’s part Cronenberg and part Gogol.

 

Dynamic Forces would like to thank Steve Orlando for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Scarlet Witch #1 from Marvel Comics is slated to be on sale June 12!

  



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