Origins of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver explained
Entertainment Weekly’s Summer Movie Preview issue is out this week, and it will feature four Avengers: Age of Ultron covers that you can collect and connect (R.I.P. DC Universe Classics). Together, they form a group shot of the Avengers and Ultron that is highly reminiscent of the collected covers of X-Men #1 from back in 1991. The second cover reveals Vision in his / its entirety. His design is markedly different from the two Vision action figures we know are coming in Marvel Legends.
Vision’s origin in the comics is a known quantity, but since we know there’s no Hank Pym in Avengers: AOU, we know that Ultron’s origin is different. Perhaps we’ll be surprised how Vision comes to be. The teaser for the EW issue also clarifies the origins of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Previous speculation tied them to the Inhumans as revealed in Agents of SHIELD. This helps Marvel steer clear of the licensing issues with Fox and X-Men / mutants. But they’ll actually be more closely tied to events that played out in the first Avengers movie.
Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury is struggling to hold together the superhero team he assembled as they face Ultron (James Spader) and a set of troubled twins: Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch and Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver. These new characters are the products of Baron Wolfgang von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann), a new villain from HYDRA, which infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. long ago and raided its most powerful technologies.
Strucker has been using Loki’s scepter for human experimentation, which bestowed the siblings with powers of magic (Scarlet Witch) and speed (Quicksilver).
The article offers more details about the origins of Ultron and the Vision, Tony Stark’s role in those events, and romance between an unlikely pair of Avengers. This is all stuff that astute viewers of the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailers may have already gathered. But steer clear of it (and the Summer Movie Preview issue itself) if you want to stay as spoiler-free as possible before the movie opens on May 1 (you can pre-order Avengers: Age of Ultron tickets at Fandango.)
For me, the parallels between past and present are more interesting than the movie spoilers. X-Men #1 remains the best-selling comic of all time, with around 7 millions issues sold. But it also served as a marker of the start of the excesses in the comic book industry. With publishers trying to match the success of that issue, there were a glut of imitators – lots of gimmicks, but not so much talent or quality. Consequently, the industry imploded pretty quickly, leading to Marvel’s bankruptcy in 1996.
With Marvel Studios’ success, I am wondering if we’re at a similar inflection point in the comic book movie business. There are certainly no shortage of comic book movies on the horizon. Marvel, Fox, Sony, and Warner Bros / DC have all published their crowded comic book movie slates for the next several years. I’m hoping that the quality stays high. I don’t want to see the bottom drop out, because better movies means more toys.