One of my favourite things about comics is the wealth of art that’s produced on a regular basis. Cover art is an essential part of a comic that can often be overlooked, which is why I write a feature called Comic Cover Corner that puts the spotlight on a single issue. The cover I’m looking at today is Scarlet Witch #10, drawn by David Aja. The art depicts the Scarlet Witch in Japan and there’s so much to appreciate about the colours, mood and the story that it tells.
As part of an ongoing series, Wanda Maximoff had been traversing the globe in order to fix broken witchcraft, with her investigations leading to Japan. The cover immediately captures the beauty of the country, showing a Japanese temple in winter. Wanda is walking nearby with her back turned, snow blowing around her. As beautiful as the scene is, it gives off a melancholy feeling because of how small Wanda looks compared to the temple. To me, it signifies the weight of her journey and the responsibility she’s decided to take on alone. There’s a sense of her being a woman on a mission.
Aja’s use of colour is impressive, mixing red, black and white together to achieve a variety of effects. The red and black matches the Scarlet Witch’s costume, creating a sense of continuity. I love how the white space in the background is used to create the snowy environment. Aja has gone for a minimalist approach, as seen from the red trees that fade into the whiteness. This causes the temple to stand out even more. The white dots on the roof give off the impression of snow building up gradually.
The Japanese kanji that runs down the cover is a nice touch as well. It makes me think of a flashing neon sign in Tokyo, highlighting the divide between nature and civilisation. The snow fall is a reminder of how even the most impressive monuments can vanish in the blink of an eye.
Aja has done a great job of tapping into Japanese tradition, as the image of the temple can be associated with themes of honour. It feeds into Wanda’s desire to regain her honour and self-worth by making up for the mistakes of the past. As the character has a history of mental health issues, this is an empowering position for her to be in.
Scarlet Witch #10 is a stunning cover that combines traditional Japanese scenery with a woman’s pursuit for inner peace. It’s a relatable journey that showcases how powerful comic covers are.