I urm Quiksilvur! Urm dur furstest murn urlive! #quicksilver #marvel #pietromaximoff #avengers #ThisIsACoverNotJustPanelArt #christ #waituntilmyfatherhearsofthis
There has been a lot of talk recently about Quicksilver. His casting in X-men Days of Future Past, and his announcement as a new member of The Avengers along with his sister The Scarlet Witch in Avengers 2 has made him unique amongst the Marvel characters included in either of those movies, he’s the first to bridge the gap and be in both franchises. Normally this would be a promising sign of a unified MCU, but alas that is not the case. The rift still exists. But, talk of Quicksilver is at it’s highest I have ever personally seen. Not since X-men Evolution has Quicksilver been so focal. Wolverine and the X-men doesn’t count since it was canceled after only a singe
amazing season. This recent upsurge of Quicksilver discussion has me wondering though.
How many of you are fans of Quicksilver?
I feel like everyone knows who he is, but I don’t get a sense that many people actually particularly like him. Not so far as to say dislike, because that would imply they know more about him than just the bare minimum. It seems like he is rather overlooked and feelings neutral when it comes to him. Only with the casting of an “OMG-so-hawt” actor will he likely win any fans in these coming years.
Which is fine but I feel that’s kind of a shame.
Pietro is such an interesting character!
We all know he is the son of Magneto (Max Eisenhardt AKA Erik Magnus Lehnsherr) and the twin brother of Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) and half-brother of Polaris (Lorna Dane). We all know he started off as a member of The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in X-men #4 in 1964. He was a bad-guy who along with his sister Wanda turned good and joined the Avengers in 1965 Avengers #16 to try and make up for their past. He married an Inhuman named Crystal, had a daughter named Luna, and over the course of the Marvel run he, as Tigra put it, “Changes sides more often than a tennis player." He is a bit of a megalomaniac (he’s Magneto’s son for crying out loud) and arrogant, impatient, and tempestuous. Those are all pretty much the reasons for those who don’t like him, not to like him. Fair enough. But he is MY cup of tea.
See, Pietro is more than a lame villain turned lame hero. He wasn’t the best villain, he isn’t the best hero, he is so much more than that. It was never a measure of how good or how bad he could be, otherwise we all would have been disappointed from the get-go. Yes, that one time the freaking Mole Man was able to capture him and he needed to be rescued by The Avengers (Sometimes I swear the writers just hate him and make him out to be a fool for their own cruel pleasure) but that isn’t all there is to him. His character, his personal life and choices, those are what make him interesting, not just how fast he can run.
He is complex.
First of all, he is a boy with daddy issues. He isn’t the only one in Marvel616 with said issues, but he’s certainly held accountable for more crap he has done than others who have comparable pasts. Its a pretty big issue with him, and apparently to others as will. Pretty much something he will never live down, people will always compare them for better or worse, and despite his refusal to call him “father” as a means of distancing himself from the man, he will be forever likened to him. It doesn’t help he looks like a nearly identical younger version of his dad. That’s a lot to deal with while looking in the mirror. Quicksilver anecdotally admits that his own father would higher assassins to try and kill him in his sleep as a form of training. That’s messed up. Yes, at that stage of their relationship it wasn’t known by either party that they were actually related, but that will still screw up a teen to have the man looking after you treating you as such. And once it IS known they are family, it’s as though Magneto’s expectations for and disappointment of Pietro, and his harsh treatment only rose. It’s never easy living with a boss or parent who never thinks you are good enough. When your father is a megalomaniac terrorist dictator, it’s difficult to be your own person. I call this the Draco-Malfoy-Effect. You are raised to be something horrible by your father, and while you turn out to not quite live up to their dark expectations, you still turn out to be a pretty impressive dickhead. Pietro isn’t a bad person, but he IS a dick, and that should never be forgotten.
Then there is the matter of his powers and how they exacerbate his predisposition towards being a dick. I’m not making excuses. He is a dick. BUT, Avengers Academy makes a nice point of what it means to be a Speedster, and as we saw with Tommy Shepherd (Pietro’s nephew) in Young Avengers Vol2 #6, being a Speedster is kind of torturous. Avengers Academy sums it up perfectly, however. “Dr. Samson attained special insight into what it’s like to be the fastest man on earth. Samson explains: ‘Imagine there’s a long line at the post office, so you go to use their automated machine. But the person in front of you can’t figure out how it works. They’re pressing all the wrong buttons…reading the instructions out loud to themselves…hitting Cancel and starting all over again. While you know you could complete both their transaction and yours in under thirty seconds. That’s what every moment of every day is like for Quicksilver. It’s to his credit that he makes any effort to put up with us at all’.” To spend a lifetime waiting for everyone around you to get on the same page as you is beyond aggravating, it’s stress inducing. Quicksilver’s powers of speed are not just that he runs fast. Every part of his physiology is adapted to not only survive high-speeds, but work at a pace that can keep up with his actions. He can process information a hundred times faster than a human because he needs to be able to take in, analyze, and react to his surroundings as he speeds through them at 800+ miles an hour. This makes him inherently more perceptive than those around him. By the time everyone else notices something, he has had time to realize it and react. Like Kid Omega who has ‘a thousand brilliant ideas a second’, Quicksilver can think so quickly he can come up with a hundred different solutions before Captain America has a chance to finish shouting Avengers Assemble! Some good, some not so good, but his impatience is his downfall. While he is smart and certainly capable of coming up with a brilliant game-plan, the best idea he comes up with is inevitably buried under all his more rashful impulses before he is given the opportunity to act on it. In the end, frustrated by waiting for everyone else to catch up, waiting for the team leader to make the call, he settles on running up and punching it. Its just the pitfall of being so fast, it’s too easy to fall back on his constant state of annoyance and lash out.
His powers have as much control over him as he has over them. Could you imagine waking up in the morning and even your meant-to-be-relaxing morning shower is infuriating because your natural rate of movement means you are trying to clean yourself with water that is pretty much falling in slow-motion. Impatiently glaring at the shower-head, waiting for more slow-motion droplets of water to fall out so you can carry on. Think about how waiting for your coffee to brew, and your toast to pop can lead to a surly mood before the day has properly begun. You have been awake for 20 minutes, it has already felt like a day, and you have another 18 hours to go. Have you ever had a conversation with a slow-talker? Someone who takes so long to spit out what they are trying to say you are ready to straddle them and beat the story out of them before you even have enough information to grasp the topic? That is his life. That is him talking to his team. Could you imagine having to slow down everything you say so that it feels like you are only saying one word a minutes, just so the people you are talking to can understand you? Pietro is snippy and condescending and a dickhead. But wouldn’t anyone? I’m pretty sure taking any normal person and making the world work so slowly around them would drive them crazy, and Pietro isn’t a normal person. He has issues to start with.
What;s important to remember is Quicksilver has shown that he has a good heart, but seems incurably devious. Good intentions, bad decisions. (That would be the title of his autobiography) He has this idea that the means justifies the end, but in the end he usually doesn’t fix a horror of his past as much as compound it with more crap he did in trying to cover it up, and he has been swiftly digging a hole for himself that only someone with super speed could ever accomplish in such a short time. He was a junior-terrorist, tried to make amends with that by being an Avenger. He waffles back and forth between The Brotherhood and The Avengers for a while, and with the identity crisis of discovering he is the son of a Mutant Terrorist, there is a lot he feels he has to atone for simply by association. He is presumed guilty simply because of who his dad is, and he will never be able to live that down, and his attempts to live it down have done little to sway most from the idea that he is in fact just like his father. The House of M disaster is pretty much the exact moment anyone who says they don’t like Quicksilver (or Wanda) decided it. That’s not entirely fair. The man (who is young still, by the way) had a crappy life but for one constant, his sister, and they were inseparable. He was bullishly protective of her, but because she was the most important person in his life to him. Twins have an incredible bond, and twins who had been through so much together would cling desperately. His actions were to make everyone happy. Their father who never loved them, the Avengers, the X-men. And of course himself. He asked Wanda to give everyone what they wanted most. A Utopian society. He could have used it to punish people, to be petty, to hurt them for considering killing his sister, and he didn’t. Sure the outcome put him on top, the adored son of Magneto, the ruler of House of M, but is it so wrong for your deepest desire to be for your father to love you and be proud of you? People were angry over House of M and chose to see him as being selfish and power hungry, instead of being desperate and reeking of daddy issues. With that event leading to Magneto not only disowning Pietro but KILLING him, and the stripping of 99% of the world’s population of their mutant powers including his own, Pietro is brought back to life but left without a father, without a sister, without his powers, and without a single friend. All because his sister went crazy but he couldn’t let his friends euthanize her. Talk about getting the short end of the stick. Left broke, powerless, friendless, and the leaper of the superhero community, he has a complete and total mental breakdown, and in that state makes some of his worst decisions. Suicidal and feeling there is nothing left to lose, he is desperate to fix the world he unintentionally threw off balance with the removal of mutants, he seeks to cure former-mutants with stolen Terrigen crystals and again makes things worse by the treatments killing them instead. He destroys his relationship with his former wife, his daughter, still the pariah of the superhero community, still unable to find his sister, and though seemingly having his powers reinstated, unable to prove himself a better man because no one in their right mind would give him a chance. Pretty much a man that leaps without looking, and moves so fast that by the time things catch up with him, it’s shit is out of control. But is it really fair to hate him for it? The guy just has the shittiest family, luck, and friends. Couple that with being impulsive and bitter and you have the recipe for a very interesting character. No need to hate.
Pietro gets his shit together in the end with some lies (Magneto’s son, hello), and tentatively wins back a spot amongst his former teammates, But he (along with this sister) is forever tarnished with the ghosts of his pasts. You have to understand though, he is only in his 30s.
It’s difficult to say how old he is because comic books are a strange place where facts don’t apply and time doesn’t matter. Magneto is forever tied to the events of WWII and it makes his family a bit tricky to age. Magneto was born in 1928. That would make him 85. He has been killed and reborn, de-aged by the High Evolutionary, and any number of other wacky antics the writers at Marvel have put him through, so he is a soft 60 at best these days and we all just kind of accept that. The twins, however, are sort of a head scratch. If Magneto had them at 20, they would have been born in 1948 and would have been 16 years old when they debuted in 1964. That would make them 65 now. Clearly they are not. Comics, as we all know, do not run linear with our time. Monthly issues will spend 12 months telling the story of what happened to the Avengers in a weeks time, so right there it throws everything out of alignment. Luna has been 7 for a couple decades now. Spider-man has been 15 to late 20s since the 60s, and we all just accept it. So how old is Pietro? It is not addressed, because in comic books we just plug our ears and go la-la-la when it comes to addressing the age of anyone. But early 30s is the best answer. Old enough that he and Wanda being mother and uncle to some 16-year-olds isn’t freaky, but young enough that they have a life time ahead of them still. Which was the point of this train of thought here. They are young, and have a lot of potential time to either go good, or go bad, or both, and that is what is so fascinating about him. Pietro is full of potential. Also angst. He is full of angst.
Plenty of characters have done horrible things and been allowed to atone. Lots of reformed villains are now iconic heroes. Even Magneto has somehow managed to get people to cut him a break and trust him (don’t ever trust him. Just don’t.) But for Quicksilver and his sister, it feels almost like they are blacklisted, and not only their actions and mistakes are held against them, but their father’s as well, and it puts them in a very self-piteous position. While Wanda wallows in self loathing (PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS! … Itty-bitty self-esteem) Pietro just does what he has always done, be a dick. He is kind of sick of everyone’s shit at this point, and is willing to accept that some people just don’t like him, and carries on, because he needs something to keep him from simply dying of boredom. I hope that one day the twins will be given a true redemption story, or just be allowed to go bad and be good at it. No more of this ambiguous waffling.
Pietro is one of my all time favorite characters (in my top 5) because of his depth of character and potential. He is a brat, euro-trash (thanks Hawkeye for that one!) and a prick. He is a good guy with a moral compass that hasn’t pointed north ever, and will lie, steal, and cheat to get ahead, and unlike others who have those same traits (Gambit) who seem to be LIKED for it, Pietro is the jerk. But we like the jerks. We like Gambit, and Wolverine, and Tony Stark, because of/despite being assholes. The real world has assholes, comics have assholes. It’s OK to like someone for being a good asshole. Pietro doesn’t need a pity party, let him be a dick. Just love him. Love that dick. (Wow, I just said that.)
I opened this up with talk of the films. there is a reason for that. I want Pietro in the movies (in one or both live action incarnations) to stay true to this amazing character. I WANT him to be a snob, a dick, and arrogant. I want him to have a slight hint of moral ambiguity. I want him to challenge Captain America’s authority, or make a snide remark towards Magneto. I don’t want him buffed smooth and made into a pretty movie package. I really hope the writers can look at all that he is, and boil that down into something that has some semblance to this character that I love so much.
Do Not disappoint me, MCU.
Green suit or GTFO.
Here is Pietro AKA Quicksilver yelling at you. Because I have Quicksilver feels lately and need more of this guy. #quicksilver #xmen #avengers #marvel #comics #greencostumeorgohome
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even if you’re not a fan, maybe you hate him, message me? lets talk!
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