Hi! Sorry to bother you... I love Carol and Wanda, but I'm relatively new to Marvel comics, and I was wondering if you had a rec list for comics that feature both of them?
Hi! It’s no bother at all – there’s nothing I love more than talking about Carol and Wanda. And I’m in the perfect mood for it, because I just arrived in Chicago for C2E2. If any other Carol/Wanda fans are here and want to meet up at the convention, let me know!
Okay, so first of all, Carol and Wanda don’t actually interact all that much. But when they do, it tends to be amazingly affectionate or heartbreakingly sad. They’re obviously close friends, but most of their friendship happens off-panel, where the reader can’t see it. The moments we do get are rare, but are great at showing a close relationship.
Ms. Marvel #16 (1978) Carol and Wanda first meet
If you don’t mind comics from the 70’s, this is a great place to start. Or you could read all of the original Ms. Marvel run. It only has a couple appearances by Wanda, but Carol is amazing in it. It’s dated, sure, but it’s still a lot of fun. Anyway, in this issue, Carol bursts into Avengers mansion looking for help for a rescue mission, and ends up in a fight with Beast. Wanda intervenes. It’s beautiful.
Avengers #171 (1978) Carol and Wanda fight Ultron
I love this issue so much. I might do a full post on the joys of this issue. But for now, all you need to know is that Carol saves Wanda from physical and psychological torture, and then Wanda destroys Ultron. Also, a random fashion shop employee tries to hire both Wanda and Carol as models.
The worst storyline ever Avengers #200 (1980), Avengers Annual #10 (1981)
Reading “The Rape of Ms. Marvel” is mandatory before reading these issues. There are very good reasons to skip reading these issues altogether. That said, there are deeply emotional moments between Carol and Wanda here. In issue 200, Wanda comforts a scared Carol, and Carol reveals her real identity to Wanda for the first time. In Annual 10, Carol specifically calls out Wanda when accusing the Avengers of betraying her, and Wanda cries when she realizes how deeply she hurt Carol.
The best Avengers comics ever written, Avengers vol 3 #01 - #56 (1998)
Comics were weird in the 90s. Tony was a teenager, the Wasp was an actual wasp, and Wanda had her worst costume and haircut. Then in 1998, The Avengers started over at issue 0 for the third time, making this run of comics “Avengers volume 3”, and things got good. Kurt Busiek is the writer, and he cares so much about nuanced characterizations and complex relationships. Wanda gets the spotlight in many ways, as she deals with her separation from Vision, a new relationship with Wonder Man, and of course her friendship with Carol. Carol comes and goes as she deals with the loss of her “Binary” powers, alcoholism, and recovery. There are missteps, sure, but overall it’s stellar storytelling and Carol and Wanda love each other so much. If you need physical copies, you can find the whole run collected in five enormous books. Search “Avengers” and “Kurt Busiek”.
World Trust, Avengers #57 - 61 (2002)
This storyline is…okay? Honestly it might end up giving you Hank/Jan feels whether you want it to or not. But Wanda gets briefly possessed (what’s new?) and Carol subdues her, all while they’re wearing revealing nightgowns. So there’s that.
Red Zone, Avengers #65 - 70 (2003)
The morals of this story are heavy-handed as all hell, but I love the creepy atmosphere of the red cloud of death into which the Avengers venture, and it’s got the AMAZING mouth-to-mouth scene between Steve and Tony, so that’s worth the price of admission alone. Carol comes to Wanda’s rescue in one scene, and later they go off alone together to use Wanda’s magic to contain the deadly cloud. Wanda ends up naked. Fan fiction speculating what happens next has been written.
Avengers Disassembled, Avengers #who even knows, they switched back to volume 1 numbering. (2004)
I don’t like Disassembled because it erases the part where Wanda grieved and healed over the loss of her children. But Carol’s reaction to Wanda’s terrible acts in this storyline are so revealing of how much Carol loves Wanda. Plus there’s the part where Pietro says to Carol, “My sister loved you.”
Read House of M (2005). I kind of wish it had never happened, but it’s compelling and the art is gorgeous.
Ms. Marvel: Binary (2007) and Ms. Marvel: Storyteller (2009)
After House of M, Carol thinks a lot about how she was the most beloved hero in that reality, so Wanda is kind of spiritually there, in the background, even if she isn’t mentioned all that much. When Carol meets a young boy named Gavin with reality warping powers, however, Carol talks about Wanda to him. Although the issues themselves aren’t spectacular, the idea of Carol trying to save Gavin where she couldn’t save Wanda is heartbreaking and good.
Avengers Vs. X-Men #0 (2013)
Kind of a prequel to AvX, this single issue has the only significant interaction between Carol and Wanda I’ve seen since Wanda’s return. But what amazing interaction it is!
I hope that helps! Feel free to ask any more questions.