With the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron flick you may have heard about, we’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding who these characters are. You may recall we did a brief overview of The Vision but for these two we’re going to have to dig a little deeper and get into some politics.
But first, what’s up with their powers? Well, Quicksilver is plainly, a super speedster. He doesn’t get as fancy as the Flash, but moving between the ticks of a second gets things done. Scarlet Witch’s powers have gone around the bend a few times. Ostensibly she uses “hex bolts” that bend probability to make things happen in a particular way. But her powers were also increased to perform magic-like feats including [House of M spoiler alert] rewriting the entire universe and subsequently all but erasing the mutant genome (No More Mutants). But there are going to be some serious changes to their origins for the movie. To know why we have to dig into some history and then the dreaded politics.
Back in 1964 Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver appeared for the first time in Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, a group put together to destroy the X-Men. In 1965 they joined the Avengers and after finding loved ones and getting married and having kids, in 1983 it was revealed that Magneto was actually their father. But in the past few months it was retconned that Magneto is actually not their biological father. 32 years is a long time for a retcon like that. But the timing couldn’t be more telling.
Fans had been wondering for some time how a few of the Marvel properties were going to work considering Fox and Sony held sway over certain IP while Marvel retained the rest. What about the properties that blur the lines? Magneto is clearly an X-Men villain so he belongs in Fox’s X-Men movies, but his children are in the Avengers and have been for 50 years. Where does that leave us? In some confusing places. You may recall that in last year’s hit X-Men: Days of Future Past there was a silver-haired mutant speedster who was hinted to be Magneto’s son. But in the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier we clearly see our blonde speedster in Baron Strucker’s grasp. The same character played by separate actors and with different origins.
In order to further differentiate the Fox X-Men films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel has decided to change the comic book origin. Magneto is no longer their father.
By the way, this is not the first time their story has been retold in a sordid fashion. In the Ultimates series launched in 2002 they had a relationship a lot closer to that of Jaime and Cersei Lannister… Anyways, moving on, what’s their story now for the upcoming film?
Instead of being mutants, we’ve been told (in the Avengers: Age of Ultron Prelude: This Scepter’d Isle) that between movies Baron Strucker had Hydra agents steal Loki’s staff from S.H.I.E.L.D. storage and used its energy to mutate regular humans. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are the result. Quicksilver is again a super speedster and Scarlet Witch has hex bolts that are both energy blasts and likely have something to do with Hulk’s red eyes and fight against the Hulkbuster armor.
So now that we’ve changed the origins of these characters, can we assume any of the rest of the comic book backstory will hit the big screen? In the comics, Scarlet Witch and the Vision fall in love and kinda-sorta have children (they were magical hallucinations brought on by her insanity, don’t ask). The Vision appears for the first time in this film. Are we going to see any hint of a budding romance? Quicksilver in the comics has a kid with an Inhuman named Crystal. Are we going to see any links to the upcoming Inhumans film?
With all that said, I hope you’ve left this article with more answers than questions. With all comic book movies there is a lot of historical baggage to deal with and thus far Marvel has been doing a great job bringing to the forefront only the important pieces. I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to Age of Ultron.
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