Since the announcement that the character Quicksilver and his sister, mutant children of X-Men villain Magneto, would appear in both X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Avengers: Age of Ultron, there’s been a question as to how Ultron director Joss Whedon would deal with the matter of the twins’ genetic heritage. At issue is the fact that X-Men and the Avengers do not inhabit the same movie universes: 20th Century Fox owns the film rights to the X-folks while Marvel Studios hold the movie rights to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. However, Quicksilver and his sister Scarlett Witch are characters that exist in a grey area as far film rights are concerned, which gives both studios the chance to use them in their stories. Still, Fox owns the movie rights to the term “mutant.” So, if they can’t be called mutants, how will Whedon explain Quicksilver and his sister the Scarlet Witch’s origins in Ultron? Comments by Marvel Studios suggests that the explanation will still be not quite human.
During Marvel Studios’ rollout announcement of nine Marvel films that will debut between 2016 and 2019, one of the features promised is a movie starring the Inhumans. The very short version of their story is that they are a group of beings who have fantastic powers as a result of genetic manipulation by aliens, and chemicals known as the Terrigen Mists activate those powers. The Inhumans are chiefly an isolationist society, although they have been known to become involved in superhero affairs from time to time. During the rollout announcement, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige had this to say about when we might see an appearance of those character.
Where [The Inhumans] fit into the universe, you will find out sooner than you expect.
It’s quite possible that Feige was referring to next year in Ultron. ComicBook.com suggests that the Inhumans might just be the save Marvel Studios needs to skirt this whole “can’t call them mutants” hullabaloo. At the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Count Baron Von Strucker colloquially referred to an imprisoned Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch as “miracles,” but they could very well be Inhumans. In the comic book tales of the Inhumans of late, some Inhumans have lived in human society, unaware of their genetic heritage until they had their powers triggered by a weaponized version of the Terrigen Mists. It’s not a stretch to see Joss Whedon and Marvel to modify this story to more similarly mirror the twins’ comic book origins, just without using the term “mutant” and operating under the Inhumans mythos, if somewhat loosely.
I’m not sure what I think about this. If this is the way Marvel Studios is going with Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, it feels more like an effort to tie everything together nicely than let the story be organic and fluid. Calling the twins Inhumans would skate around the whole mutant thing, but there’s also an air huckster to it. “If you like Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, be sure to see where they came from in Inhumans!” Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just maybe a little forced.
But really, we won’t know anything until The Avengers: Age of Ultron debuts next May, so maybe we should just do what Quicksilver himself would probably consider an impossibility: wait and see.