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Why the Avengers are Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Part 3
 
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Posted:  25 Apr 2013 02:59   Last Edited By: Tim
http://superherouniverse.com/pics/articles/avengersquicksilver1.jpg

    The classic Avengers lineup that really defined the team was formed in Avengers #4 with Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Giant-Man, and Wasp. This team had plenty of fun adventures, but it didn't last long before Marvel took a gamble by having four of the team's members leave the group. This put Captain America in a position where he had to recruit a whole new team.

    The new lineup consisted of Cap, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Hawkeye. It lacked raw power, and two of Marvel's biggest money-makers. One might wonder why Marvel would make such a move. What Marvel saw was a problem with their roster. Sure they had a team of great characters, but there was really no chemistry or tension at all. Everyone got along fine, and what Marvel discovered was that it's actually more interesting when the characters have something to disagree about.

    So Marvel decided to bring in three characters from their own books, one from the pages of Iron Man and two from the X-Men. All three were reformed villains. Captain America had to somehow keep the three of them in line. Scarlet Witch wasn't a problem, but Quicksilver and Hawkeye on the other hand both believed that they would one day take over the leadership role from Captain America. The change worked out perfectly.

     Plenty of problems arose from this group of unlikely allies working together. After the days of "Cap's Kooky Quartet" were over, this pattern continued, with the brother-and-sister duo of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch remaining the heart of the conflict.

    Pietro and Wanda Maximoff were the children of the X-Men's most notorious enemy, Magneto. They had been drawn into his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants for a short time but managed to break away from him. Now they were looking to make names for themselves as heroes. 

    Like Hawkeye, Quicksilver had a short fuse and was very overprotective of his sister. He was often at odds with Cap, but didn't usually get his sister's support as she seemed to be the only of the three who had any sense. She saw Cap as their leader when the others didn't and was the glue that held them all together while secretly carrying a torch for the Star-Spangled Avenger.

http://superherouniverse.com/pics/articles/avengersquicksilver2.jpg

    When the Vision joined their ranks in 1969, he drove a wedge between the siblings. Scarlet Witch gradually grew out of her schoolgirl crush on Captain America, and developed real feelings for the Vision, even though he wasn't truly human. Quicksilver was disgusted by her affection for the android. When her relationship with Vision grew stronger, Quicksilver disowned her and left the team. She eventually married Vision.

http://superherouniverse.com/pics/articles/avengersquicksilver3.jpg

    Scarlet Witch remained with the Avengers for several years using her hex power to help the team in various ways. Meanwhile, Quicksilver met and fell in love with the Inhuman, Crystal. Soon they got married and had a child named Luna. Over time he learned to come to terms with his sister's love for Vision but their relationship was never the same. In the days of the Silver Age, they were always together on the same team, but now they were apart.

    Scarlet Witch and Vision had two children together, and were happy for a while until something terrible happened. It was revealed that her children were simply a product of magic. Her powers were so great that she channeled them into existence without realizing it. When her children faded away into nothingness, her sanity was severely affected. This put into motion a major event that would take place years later and threaten the stability of the entire Marvel Universe.

    By the 1990s, the Avengers lineup had shifted dramatically. Scarlet Witch and Vision were on Hawkeye's West Coast Avengers, while Crystal was on Black Widow's Avengers team. This came at a time were Quicksilver and Crystal were separated. Crystal was in love with the Black Knight, who wanted to do the honorable thing by letting Quicksilver try to fix his marriage. During an epic battle with the villain Proctor, Quicksilver was faced with an important decision. He could have let Proctor kill Black Knight, but in the end he didn't let himself fall down that path.

http://superherouniverse.com/pics/articles/avengersquicksilver4.jpg

    During "Avengers Disassembled", Scarlet Witch's mental state deteriorated to the point where she cost the lives of several people, including Vision, Hawkeye, the second Ant-Man, and Jack of Hearts. She also was responsible for the breakup of the Avengers. This event redefined Wanda's role in the Marvel Universe. She had come some far from the innocent young girl trying to make a difference in 1965. Now she was a mentally unstable woman who had made enemies of all her former friends.

     Her brother, Pietro experienced his own fall from grace after Scarlet Witch used her "chaos magic" to depower 98% of the mutant population, including him. Desperate to regain his abilities, he traveled to the home of the Inhumans and exposed himself to the Terrigen Mist without the permission of Black Bolt. He also stole Terrigen crystals but wasn't aware of their affects on non-Inhumans. His actions inadvertely caused several deaths. He was cast out for this, but instead of trying to redeem himself, he took the easy way out. During this time, the Earth had just been invaded by Skrulls, so no one thought it was a stretch when Quicksilver basically said "it wasn't me! It was a Skrull!"

    Quicksilver won back the approval of the Inhumans but his secret came at a price. When he became an instructor at Avengers Academy, a student discovered his deception and manipulated him into teaching her the things he learned when he once worked for Magneto. In exchange, she would keep his secret. His daughter, Luna, figured it out and told him she could no longer respect him. His deception remained a secret for almost a year. The truth was revealed to the Avengers by Magneto who wasn't fooled by Quicksilver's lie.   

    Meanwhile, Scarlet Witch made a return and finally recovered from her mental instability. She reunited with her brother, and had a prominent role in "Avengers vs. X-Men". She was instrumental in the victory over the Phoenix Force. After causing so much destruction, she managed to save the world.

    Currently, Quicksilver is still somewhat active in the Marvel Universe while Scarlet Witch is finally back on a team, the Uncanny Avengers. No matter where these two go, the brother-and-sister pair of Pietro and Wanda Maximoff have always served as a great source of conflict and tension which is a major building block when it comes to telling good stories.
Posted:  25 Apr 2013 03:51
Another great segment. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are definitely full-fledged Avengers.
Posted:  25 Apr 2013 15:38
Awesome article! Makes me wonder how the Scarlet Witch thought she could have children with a robot like the Vision.

The amount of psychological damage to a woman who found out her kids were not even real would definitely be something to worry about, especially someone with power like the Scarlet Witch. Someone with power like her needs a good shrink on hand at all times.


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