With the teaser trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron being released last week and the epic #MarvelEvent yesterday, we've finally gotten our first real looks at the brand-new Avengers Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. At least, what they look like when they're not both locked up in a cage of crazy in some sketchy Hydra lab.
And while we've not seen much, it's so far, so good. At the very least, we can breathe a sigh of relief they're steering well clear of the beyond creepy twincest thing the pair had going on in The Ultimates arc, which, yeah, nope. No Flowers in the Attic angle here, just what appears to be a redemption arc.
From the little we know, the Twins (love how that's naturally become a capitalized term for the pair) start off as bonkers before being jailbroken by what appears to be Ultron, eventually reforming themselves to help the Avengers. The postcredits scene of [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](movie:254973) heavily implies that the whole "bonkers" part is due to having evidently been experimented on by Hydra in their facility.
Which makes sense, as, just like with others of their kind, the experiments have messed with the wiring of their brain, an unfortunate side-effect that always seems to happen when experiments are conducted on mu--I'm sorry. I almost said the "m word." I mean "miracles," of course.
No, but seriously, I meant "mutants" - please don't sue me, Fox.
Threats of litigation aside, we know that, as the children of Magneto, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff are mutants through and through. Except...what if they're not?
Comicbook.com relit a fire that had already died down a few months ago with a clever bit of speculation: What if Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are not mutants in [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035) after all, but Inhumans?
That was a rumor that had spread like wildfire earlier this year until Our Lord and Savior Kevin Feige squashed it with an emphatic "No." But he may have reopened that possibility during yesterday's event when he said we'd be learning of how [The Inhumans](movie:910490) fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe well before their own standalone movie hits theaters.
Where [The Inhumans] fit into the universe, you will find out sooner than you expect.
So, where would we expect them to? For starters, in their own movie, of course. The problem is, that's not hitting theaters until November 2nd, 2018, and 4 years is far too long a time to wait to introduce characters who are going to be an integral part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as Feige also revealed yesterday:
And it's possible they make their first appearance in [Doctor Strange](movie:559685), but that is also two years in the future - still too long.
So that leaves us with Age of Ultron. Could the Twins actually be Inhumans? If you think about it, it makes sense. From a timing perspective, it's more likely we'll get our first introduction to the Inhumans in the Avengers sequel than in any movie that comes later, and that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will be it.
First off, there's this:
Yes, those are the Inhumans standing on the bodies of the All-New Avengers and current X-Men. As you can see from the image above, Marvel is planning on launching the series next summer. And if we know one thing about Marvel continuity across its various mediums, it's that they rarely, if ever, reboot or relaunch a comic book series if those characters aren't on the way fairly soon in the MCU, whether it be in a movie or on TV.
Plus, if you've been paying attention to this season of [Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.](series:722469), the series has basically gone all-in on an Inhumans storyline. To the point that if there were a way to double-emphasize words using italics, I'd have done it just then.
First, there's the whole "What is Skye, exactly?" storyline that's been one of the many elephants in the room since Season 1, with the leading fan theory being that she is, in fact, an Inhuman. At least, we know her parents aren't of this world, and even S.H.I.E.L.D. tended to get all "WTF?" when trying to figure them out.
Then there's Coulson's newly-discovered ability to write in a cryptic alien language, like so:
As CBR pointed out, it looks an awful lot like some of the symbols used in certain issues of Inhumans comics, doesn't it?
And then...then there's the whole Terrigen Bomb thing.
Terrigen Bomb thing?, you might be wondering, What's the 'Terrigen Bomb thing'?
For those of you unfamiliar with the comics, Terrigen Mist is a substance discovered by the Inhumans thousands of years ago that acts as a mutagen to those who are exposed to it, along with the Terrigen Crystals from which the mist arises. For a long time, the full effects of the Terrigen Mist weren't entirely known.
Still with me? Good, because this is where Quicksilver comes into play. After the House of M storyline, where his twin sister loses her shit completely as only Scarlet Witch can and alters reality so that most of the mutants of the world, including Quicksilver, lose their powers and mutant abilities.
After that, a desperate Quicksilver goes rogue and exposes himself to the Terrigen Mist (and also sticks some of the Crystal into his body) without the express permission of the Inhumans. As a result, he doesn't regain his original powers, but he does gain the ability to jump in and out of time streams and summon multiple versions of himself at different points in time - yeah, just go with it. And try not to think about time travel paradoxes too much.
He also discovered a few, shall we say, rather negative side-effects: He could imbue newly-powerless mutants with hyped-up versions of their previous powers, but, well, they usually died after being exposed. Likewise, it had a toxic effect on any regular humans. And then the U.S. Government jacked his goods, confiscating the Terrigen Crystals he dropped, prompting Black Bolt, leader of the Inhumans, into declaring war on the U.S. Good job, Pietro.
BUT BACK TO AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.!
It's pretty clear early on that the MacGuffin for Season 2 is going to be the mysterious, alien "obelisk". Everybody wants it. Seriously, everybody: Hydra, Skye's dad, S.H.I.E.L.D.
Interestingly, it shares some very similar properties to Terrigen Crystals, namely that it slowly kills anyone who touches it or is exposed to it, just as the Crystals did in the comics. It's also covered in the same weird alien script that Coulson has been scribbling, and Skye's alien dad seems to know what it is and how it works.
We've already seen that when the obelisk effect is recreated, as Hydra tried to, its effects are uncertain. It kills some, but not others. But we also know that Hydra is planning on mass-producing the substance, which would kill thousands, if not millions. And what's more Hydra-like than eventually turning it into a bomb to detonate?
Plus, well...this just happened in the comics. A Terrigen Bomb was detonated, creating a ton of newly-activated Inhumans whose powers were dormant until being hit with the Terrigen Mist from the fallout. And again, we know that Marvel does love its parallels.
So while Feige may very well have been talking about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. when hinting we'd see the Inhumans much sooner than expected, it's not too far-fetched to believe that the events of the TV universe will reverberate in the cinematic one, as we've already seen with the vice-versa.
And it just makes sense. Marvel can't use mutants, period. Eventually, the combo of Tony Stark's abilities and Super Soldier serum as reasons for superheroes having their powers will wear thin and Marvel knows it. There needs to be another reason, one far more cosmic in scope, and the Terrigen Bomb - and hence, Inhumans - is it. Feige has stated that the Inhumans are NOT a stand-in for mutants, but with their backstory, it sure seems like it. The Inhumans are coming, and soon. Whether they're meant to replace mutants is largely irrelevant.
And there's no better place to start than with Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in Age of Ultron. The two have as firm a foothold in both the mutant world, Avengers world, and Inhumans/cosmic world as any characters we've seen yet in the MCU. Will that Inhuman identity be revealed in Age of Ultron? We'll have to wait and see. But it makes about as much sense as anything else that's happened, no?