We heard rumors for the past year or so that Marvel was going to be downplaying the Fantastic Four and X-Men characters in the near future until they reclaimed the film rights for those characters from Fox, focusing instead on characters they own film rights to. With Marvel axing ‘Fantastic Four’ before the 2015 reboot can come out and introducing The Inhumans on Agents of SHIELD (Marvel reportedly plans to use The Inhumans as substitutes for X-Men characters), it looks like there’s more truth to the rumor than ever before.
But this week in Avengers/X-Men: AXIS #7, it looks like Marvel may have proven how willing they are to give Fox the middle finger: they may have undone decades of continuity and retconned the lineage of Magneto’s children, Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch.
The two characters, debuting in Uncanny X-Men #4 as members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, had a rather abrupt face turn and joined The Avengers. Years later, it was revealed they were the children of Brotherhood leader Magneto, hidden from him just before their birth. Their relationship between the three and half-sister Polaris has been the subject of many stories, and a defining aspect of the characters.
But with Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch set to appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron after their post-credits cameo in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, everyone figured it was only a matter of time before the two characters were somehow distanced from their mutant heritage.
There is, of course, a bit of a Catch 22 here in that Scarlet Witch’s powers have always been unpredictable at best, giving Marvel an easy out to undo the retcon when they’re ready to tie the characters back together.
It’s not entirely clear what happens now with the characters. It’s likely they’ll be somehow tied in to The Inhumans, which won’t necessearily be hard; Quicksilver already has ties and a family with them. There’s also the New Men such as Bova who raised Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. We’ll likely find out in a few months; Marvel already released a teaser for the upcoming Uncanny Avengers #1 which features the two characters under the banner heading “NO MORE MUTANTS”, a reference to when Scarlet Witch removed the X-gene from all but 198 mutants, depowering the majority of the mutant population (including Quicksilver) and disappearing for years. Regardless, it looks like the long history of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver as mutants is, at least for now, done.