Marvel Just Hinted at a Major X-Men Origin Story Retcon

In the new series Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, Marvel plays with readers' expectations about the heroes' relationship to Magneto.

Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver #1
Photo: Marvel Comics

This post contains spoilers for Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver #1.

Who are Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch? Most would say that they are Marvel superheroes, twin members of the Avengers and, sometimes, the X-Men. And while those answers aren’t wrong, the truth has always been a bit more complicated when it comes to these two. And the new series Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver #1 — by writer Steve Orlando, artist Lorenzo Tammetta, colorist Frank William, and letterer Ariana Maher — only makes it more complicated.

Since their first appearance in 1964’s X-Men #4, the twins have gone from heroes to villains and back again. Moreover, their parentage has changed time and again, going from the kids of Romani villagers Django and Marya Maximoff to the children of Golden Age heroes Miss America and the Whizzer (yes, that is his name and yes, he wears a yellow costume). In the most popular and most long-running explanation, Magneto has been presented as the true father of Pietro and Wanda.

Over the years, fans have embraced Magneto as the real parent of the duo, so much so that when Marvel retconned the retcon of a retcon in Uncanny Avengers # 4 (2015) by revealing that Django and Marya Maximoff were Wanda and Pietro’s parents all along, readers got mad. Because the storyline revealed that the twins aren’t mutants at all, but rather the result of experiments by the High Evolutionary, fans speculated that the change was motivated by money.

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Because Disney didn’t have movie rights to the X-Men at the time, Marvel had been moving them to the background while pushing similar, but much less interesting, characters such as the Inhumans, which they did own the screen rights to. But a lot has changed since then. With the purchase of 20th Century Fox, the MCU can now include mutants. Now that the X-Men is getting a big push from Marvel, fans have expected the company to reverse this retcon and restore Magneto’s paterfamilias status.

Marvel finally acknowledges that expectation in Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver #1. Early in the issue, Wanda’s friend Darcy Lewis (the Kat Dennings character from the movies, now canonized in the comics) finds a mysterious locked package sent to Wanda and Pietro. After discerning that the package comes from Magneto, currently dead in Marvel Comics continuity, Quicksilver disregards the item. “Magneto is dead, Wanda,” he proclaims before running away. “I’ve no need for his absentee opinions.”

Orlando and Tammetta devote half a page to three, almost silent panels of Wanda reading the letter inside the package, with depth added by the purple radiant that William injects into the scene. But the contemplation breaks when Darcy pops up from behind Wanda in the final panel to answer the question we’re all thinking. “Any big reveals?” she inquires. “Is Mags really your bio dad after all?”

Even though Wanda dismisses the idea — “No Darcy. It has nothing to do with that.” — she doesn’t explain what the letter does say. She only suggests that the information will hurt Pietro, and she commits to hiding it from her brother.

For sure, that mystery will drive the story in Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. But one cannot help but feel that Marvel’s drawing attention to the series by teasing fans with the retcon that we all want to see.

All of that said, the actual parentage of Magneto isn’t the important thing. The important thing is that we get a good, compelling story out of the mystery. And as Orlando and Tammetta have shown in previous Scarlet Witch series, we will probably get that and more.

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Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver #1 is out now. Issue #2 is out on March 20.