While movie-goers are about to be introduced to Star-Lord and Groot, Marvel is busy preparing their next wave of super-human newbies. You may have already heard of Quicksilver after seeing Evan Peter's portrayal of the erratic speedster in X-Men: Days of Future Past and possibly even heard of his "talented" sister, but the odds are that the names Pietro and Wanda Maximoff are all but unknown to you.
Time to meet the twins...
Pietro discovered going into adolescence that he possessed the ability of superhuman speed. Not only is he fast, but he has been able to break the speed of sound and run for hundreds of miles before getting tired. His talents first came of great need when he was young.
Both he and his sister Wanda were born in the Wundagore Mountain in Europe to gypsy parents. The Maximoffs had it rough early on, and they quickly were low on money. Pietro's father Django had no choice but to start stealing food to feed his starving family. Django's thievery did not go unnoticed, and angry villagers stormed the gypsy camp. Pietro thought first of his sister, and used his speed to escape with her. The siblings were forced to live by themselves for a couple of years before Wanda accidentally used her hex powers to set a house aflame.
While Pietro's abilities are pretty straight forward, Wanda's are significantly more complex. Her power's allow her to tap into mystical energies to produce reality-altering effects, including her trademark "hex spheres". A particularly uncontrollable aspect to her powers is her ability to disrupt molecular fields themselves, causing spontaneous combustion, which was responsible for her whole house-on-fire fiasco.
As you might suspect, the local townspeople were less than thrilled and attacked the twins. They were quickly overwhelmed, but were both miraculously saved by Magneto.
Of course there were strings attached to the rescue and Pietro and Wanda joined the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants at Magneto's insistence. It was then that they became known as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. After clashing with the X-Men several times, Pietro learned of vacancies in the Avengers. Wanting to leave the life of evil, the twins left the Brotherhood and fought alongside Captain America and Hawkeye.
Wanda quickly became smitten with fellow Avenger Vision, which caused a bit of a rift between herself and her brother, who did not approve because Vision was an android. Wanda ignored her brother's objections, and after learning to control her powers more, she eventually married Vision. Pietro overcame his feelings toward Vision with the help of the telepath Moondragon.
Pietro also found love, when he left the Avengers during a clash with the mutant-hunting killer Sentinels. He was wounded in battle, but was healed by the Inhuman known as Crystal. They shortly after became married, and Pietro became reunited with the Avengers when they attended his wedding.
Django Maximoff, wanting his children back, used an amulet to trap Pietro's and Wanda's souls before locking them in a bird cage and running off. The Avengers were able to defeat Django and restore the twins, but out of pity for their father, the twins decided to accompany him back to Wundagore Mountain.
While there, Wanda was possessed by the magical entity Chthon (yeah, I know, that's a weird name) and vanished deep within the mountain. Pietro rushed to try and save her, but was incapacitated by an energy field. After being cared for by the mid-wife Bova, she revealed to him the knowledge of his true father: Magneto.
The Avengers came to Pietro's aid and together with Django, they were able to defeat Chthon at the cost of Django's life. Wanda and Vision then fled together, hoping to spend more time as husband and wife.
Join the Dark Side, Quicksilver
After the whole ordeal at Wundagore, Pietro returned to Crystal and together they bore a baby girl, Luna. Wanda and Magneto (after he was just informed that the twins were his offspring) both came to meet the newest member of their family.
Pietro volunteered as an officer for the Inhumans, although the time apart from his wife caused her to fall into the arms of another man. Furious, Pietro left the Inhumans and turned on the Avengers, accusing them of treason and then attacking. He halted when Vision revealed that his actions would orphan Visoin's and Wanda's newborn sons. Later, when Pietro joined a group of Hungarians to make super-humans with technology, he attempted to capture the Avengers again, but was unsuccessful.
With the help of the U.S. government sponsored X-Factor team, Pietro was returned to the Inhumans, where he discovered that his actions were caused by Maximus the Mad, who had been affecting him since he and Crystal split up.
Scarlet Witch Is Seeing Red
Many events occurred afterwards, including Wanda going insane and joining up with Magneto again. She snapped out of it of course, but went through several more trials after finding out that she is a Nexus Being, and succedded in driving away an invasion of a hostile Nexus Being known as Lore. At one point, when battling the demon Mephisto, her sons were turned into pieces of Mephisto's soul and their existence came to an end.
Pietro and Wanda went through many missions with many different groups, but the pressure of Wanda's magical abilities eventually wore down on her mentally. After she encountered memories of her children, she snapped and accidentally killed Hawkeye, Ant-Man, and her own husband, Vision. She was eventually stopped by Dr. Strange, and went into a coma before being taken away by Magneto for treatment.
The X-Men met with the Avengers to discuss whether to put a permanent end to Wanda, but Pietro wouldn't have any part of it. He hurried to Wanda, who had snapped out of her coma, persuaded her to change reality itself in order to protect her. She did, and in the blink of an eye, everything was changed.
The new reality was run by a mutant empire, with Magneto at the head of everything. A few heroes that still had memories of the previous reality confronted Magneto and the twins. Once Magneto found out that Pietro had been the mastermind behind the new reality, he killed him and a great battle ensued.
Distraught over her brother's death, Wanda ran to him and was able to revive him before restoring the previous reality with one major modification.
Those three words stripped thousands of mutants of their powers, including the twins themselves. Wanda fled to Wundagore once again where she lived powerless but Pietro was less then thrilled with his lack of powers. He acquired the Mists of Terrigan from the Inhumans that not only restored his powers, but amplified them. His could reach speeds so fast that he could actually move in time. He saved some of the Mists for fellow de-powered mutants back on the island of Genosha. He then traveled all over, trying to restore mutants alongside his daughter Luna.
So, Age of Ultron?
Most of you probably know by now that the twins will be major characters in the sequel to Marvel's box-office breaker The Avengers. I for one am very excited to see how they portray Scarlet Witch's (played by Elizabeth Olsen) unpredictable hex powers and how Quicksilver's (played by Aaron Tayler-Johnson) super-speed affects his fighting technique in the inevitable large scale battle in Avengers: Age of Ultron, which hits theaters on May 1st, 2015.