So after a (frankly) negative look at the Scarlet Witch's latter day tenure with the Avengers, I thought it might be useful to examine what once made her a good Avenger, and how she could get back to being a character the others would be proud to call companion.

Do: Contribute To The Team's Victories

The Avengers have faced some incredible foes over the years: Kang the Conqueror, Ultron, and Doctor Doom, just to name a few. In her prime, Wanda Maximoff was a hell of an asset for the team, actively helping them achieve decisive wins. (There's a reason she was on the roster for over three decades.)

Don't: Become The Albatross Around Their Neck

I reviewed her time as an Uncanny Avenger, and it's not good. She's been knocked unconscious more than once, and the only solid hit she's gotten in so far was against her own teammate, Thor, when he was under Honest John's thrall. She needs to get back to using her powers effectively in the good fight... and remaining conscious.

Do: Put The Team First

Wanda threw herself into being an Avenger. So much so that she's fallen in love with at least two of her teammates. First the Vision (with Wonder Man's brain patterns), and later WM himself. After she'd fallen for the robot, Pietro gave her an ultimatum: him or the Vision (and the Avengers). She chose her love, and her team. Pietro left in disgust, and Wanda grew tighter with her family.

Don't: Openly Bicker With Teammates

In the new run, Wanda and Rogue have been staring daggers at each other since day one. They finally got into it during a training exercise, and Wanda had the gall to pull out hypocritical judgments against Cyclops for "changing the entire planet without consultation. An association I'd rather not have people make when they meet me." She conveniently forgot that she's used the same bloody tactic before (and since). Twice. Rogue was furious, and the rift between them became a ravine.

Do: Study Your Craft With A Master

Realizing there might be more to her powers than simple hexes, Wanda sought out Agatha Harkness, an extremely powerful witch. With her help, Wanda learned a great deal about the nature of her powers, her relationship with the universe, and how to deal with the threats she attracted. (Wanda also went crazy and killed her, but let's try to stay positive.) The point is that she became a more effective hero when she had a better understanding about her powers.

Don't: Break Your Teammate's Powers, Accidentally Or Otherwise

... Yeah. If the Scarlet Witch wants to go on as an Avenger, she needs to put a lid on what she should and shouldn't do. She's gotta get that shit under control, or accidentally breaking Rogue's powers will be the least of her problems... these days.

Do: Trust the Team, Stay with the Team

In her heyday, the Scarlet Witch operated with the Avengers as part of a well-oiled machine. They were in sync with each other, and it showed. (How else do you think they beat Ultron?) The Avengers leaned on each other, they relied on each other. Wanda understood once what it meant to be a part of a team.

Don't: Make Bad Situations Worse By Operating In Secret

Wanda Maximoff is a lot of things, but she is not the Avengers' best planner. She pulled a Patty Hearst with the Apocalypse Twins, who managed to turn her plan against her. She's the master of Chaos Magic. She couldn't cast 'Sending' and save the team some heartache? "Got a plan, but not a good one. Come early. Here's coordinates: __________. Tell Rogue we'll hug it out."

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It's my sincere hope that that assuages some of the vitriol hurled my way. Yes, Scarlet Witch was once a great Avenger. No, it hasn't been any time recently. But yes, there's still hope for her career as an honest-to-goodness hero.

~

Casey Jones is the author of All Fall Down, and a voice-over artist besides. You can check out his work at www.caseyjonescaseyjones.com.