"No More Daddies!"
Less than 24 hours after Marvel introduced the Inhumans in earnest into the Marvel Cinematic Universe courtesy of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel Comics may have made a major change in the comic book universe to better reflect their movie-verse plans. That’s what appears to have happened in this week’s Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #7 by Rick Remender and Adam Kubert.
In AXIS #7, Scarlet Witch casts a spell intended to assault her brother Quicksilver and her father Magneto, after she finds them working with Doctor Doom, who once manipulated her powers to the great detriment of the world. The central conceit of AXIS is that a group of Marvel characters has been “inverted”, flipping their alignments from good to evil, and vice-versa. Scarlet Witch and Magneto were among those inverted, heading Wanda Maximoff down a villainous bent (and revealing Magneto’s more heroic intentions) – a road she’s traveled before, coincidentally – that culminates with her lashing out at Magneto and her twin with a morbid-sounding spell.
The spell she casts says, simply, “Find perch within the blood of my blood. Crush their bones! Boil their blood dry in their veins! Rupture their souls! END THE LINE--! Strike my family down!”
And with that… only Quicksilver falls. Magneto yet stands, unaffected by the spell.
“It’s a lie! Your life, all of this – a Lie! …You have no family, Magnus. You are truly alone. What sweet irony,” Scarlet Witch intones. “You can’t know how liberating it is to know there is no blood connection between us.”
Assuming the spell worked as intended (always merely an assumption with chaos magic in the Marvel Universe), it had an unintended effect: it may have revealed that Magneto is not in fact the blood father of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, something that has been Marvel canon for decades.
It’s expected the full results of this will be told in the two remaining issues of AXIS and the to-be-relaunched Uncanny Avengers which features Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver prominently on the covers (and the tagline “No More Mutants”). But what does it mean?
If Wanda’s spell, intended to affect her family (but did not affect Magneto) worked properly, it would fall in line with previous conjectures by industry watchers that Marvel would seek to distance Magneto’s two children from him – and by extension, mutantkind and the X-Men – in light of their roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as teased in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and in full bloom in May 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. A retcon that they’re not Magneto’s children at all would be a leap in that direction. It would also open up the possibility that if they’re not Magneto’s kids, a prominent mutant, maybe their powers aren’t actually mutant in origin.
Looking at the characters’ established origins within the comics, Scarlet Witch has always been a dubious, confused character – her powers are considered both mutant and magical. As for Quicksilver, while he lost his powers when she cast her original “No More Mutants” spell implying mutancy, the Terrigen crystals used to power Inhumans did work on him, albeit with some twists to his abilities. The pair also have a significant past with the High Evolutionary, a character known to tweak humans and animals alike in service of helping evolution along. In other words, there is a lot in both characters past that would allow, albeit in a slightly confusing fashion, for their mutant ties to be severed entirely.
Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver fall in a precarious place in terms of movie rights that, due to undisclosed contracts between Fox and Marvel, are available for use by both companies as seen in the X-Men and Avengers movies, respectively. It’s assumed that while Fox can use the duo in X-Men movies thanks to their lineage and mutancy, they can’t refer to their Avengers ties; and on the Marvel Cinematic Universe side, Marvel movies can’t refer to Magneto as their father or have a hint of being mutants – a classification controlled, in movies, by Fox. Hence Quicksilver appeared as a named character in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, but will also appear (played by a different actor and in different context) in Age of Ultron.
This action in AXIS #7 could conveniently change the comic book facts for Marvel Studios in advance of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver’s feature appearance in next summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. And although it’s a bit of a leap of logic at present time, the fall finale’s reveal of the movie-verse Inhumans in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. could prove to be an ideal landing spot for the siblings (something Newsarama and others have been guessingfor quite some time), and add additional interest to the Inhumans as Marvel continues its long-term goal to pay it all off with a feature film in November 2018.
For now, the only fact is that Scarlet Witch’s spell seemed to reveal a familial connection to Quicksilver, but no bloodline shared with Magneto. The “No More Mutants” teaser featuring the twins serves as a variant cover for Uncanny Avengers #1 in January, 2015, so we shouldn’t have too long to find out more about where they now fall within the Marvel Comics universe.