by Brett White
Ever since Joss Whedon announced that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch would be the Avengers' new recruits in 2015's "Avengers: Age of Ultron," fans have wondered how the duo's mutant heritage would be addressed. While Marvel Studios definitely has the rights to the two long-serving Avengers members, Fox has the rights to Marvel's mutants—rights that include the term "mutant."
Things heated up when "X-Men: Days of Future Past" director Bryan Singer announced that Quicksilver would be in his film too, a move that Joss Whedon has said doesn't change his film one bit. In fact, the film has started taking steps towards casting the two roles, with Aaron Taylor-Johnson reportedly up for Quicksilver and Elizabeth Olsen in talks to play Scarlet Witch. But if Marvel can't call Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver mutants, then how will they explain their powers?
We're calling it: they're going to be Inhumans.
Yes, this is speculation, but it's speculation based on an ever-increasing stack of evidence—evidence that's become even more clear thanks to Marvel's latest comic book announcements. Let's run down the evidence to support this theory.
The Inhumans' comic book profile is getting increased. Marvel's slowly started announcing the titles that will make up their All-New Marvel NOW! initiative, and two of them are Inhumans-centric. This might not seem like big news until you consider that the Inhumans have barely been able to support their own mini-series in the past. Now they have "Inhuman" by Matt Fraction and Joe Madureira and "Inhumanity: The Awakening" by Matt Kindt and Paul Davidson launching. Both series will focus on the portion of the human population that suddenly finds themselves with powers thanks to an outbreak of the Inhumans' mutation-causing vapor, the Terrigen Mist. Yes, it certainly seems like Marvel is turning the Inhumans into another form of mutants, a move possibly inspired by the fact that Marvel Studios currently cannot make movies about mutants.
Marvel constantly strives for synergy between their comics and the films they produce. They've pretty much replaced the original Nick Fury with a version that looks a lot like Sam Jackson. They've introduced Agent Coulson, a character introduced in 2008's "Iron Man" film, into the comics. They launched a comic book called "Avengers Assemble" alongside the release of "Marvel's the Avengers" that starred the movie roster squaring off against Thanos (remember his mid-credits cameo in the film?) and worked the Guardians of the Galaxy into the mix as well, just a few months before Marvel announced their film. With the announcement of these two series, it sure seems like Marvel is gearing up the Inhumans for something big.
Quicksilver has comic ties to the Inhumans and the Terrigen Mist. Even though he is a mutant, the super speedster has found himself mixed up in Inhuman business before. He married the Inhuman Crystal and the two have a daughter, Luna. He even tried to use the Terrigen Mist to restart the mutant race in the two mini-series "Son of M" and "Silent War." So yeah, Marvel has even connected the Terrigen Mist to the mutant population in the comics before.
Marvel kinda wants to make an 'Inhumans' movie. A rumor started floating around back in April that Marvel Studios was eyeing the Inhumans for a "Game of Thrones"-style film, one that would possibly make the group Marvel Studios' answer to Fox's X-Men. If Marvel wants to prep an audience for another batch of new characters (like Black Bolt, Medusa, and Lockjaw), planting the seeds early in "Avengers: Age of Ultron" would help.
The Kree are being introduced in "Guardians of the Galaxy." If you're going to randomly introduce a race of super-powered beings on Earth to explain how two characters got their powers, you might also have to explain where the race of super-powered beings came from since you can't use the evolution angle that mutants use. Good thing that the Kree are being introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in "Guardians of the Galaxy" with Lee Pace's Ronan and Djimon Hounsou's Korath. The Kree are an alien race that, in the infancy of the human race, came to our planet and did a whole lot of messing around with human DNA, thus leading to the creation of the Inhumans. Boom, there's your explanation.
Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch need an explanation. They do. They don't need for it to be a big deal, and "Avengers: Age of Ultron" definitely doesn't need to throw in a whole bit about a secret race of genetically altered humans and their royal family if there's a maniacal robot to contend with. This whole mythology could easily crowd the film. But audiences need at least a tiny explanation. Sure, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch's powers are no more hard to believe than the Hulk's or Thor's—but both of those guys have explanations behind them. We were shown Bruce Banner's gamma radiation accident in the opening credits of "Incredible Hulk." We saw Tony Stark build the Iron Man armor. We watched Steve Rogers get pumped up by the American government. We spent a good amount of time in Asgard, seeing Thor in his natural element.
The only Avengers whose origins we didn't see were Black Widow and Hawkeye, and they are both indicative of how this can work and not work. We didn't need to see Black Widow's origin because she's representative of a character type we've all seen before; she's a super spy. Whedon fleshes out her background in little bits, too, with passing references to her defecting from Russia, her sordid past, and her history of brainwashing. It's all there, but it's subtle. Hawkeye, though, got none of that. Sure he's another spy, but he doesn't fit the same gun-toting mold that Black Widow does—he carries a bow and arrow. That's a choice that doesn't fit into the superspy mold and could have used an explanation, even if it's one line saying, "I'm a much better aim with this, Cap." Hawkeye ended up being labeled the useless Avenger by snarkier viewers (not by me, I'm pro-Hawkeye forever) because the film didn't address his weird archery thing. If "Age of Ultron" just plops down two super-powered beings and doesn't explain how they got that way, it will stick out and be a thing viewers nitpick.
We're still a few years out from finding out for sure, but I'm going to guess that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver will be the first of a few Inhumans to pop up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Do you want "Avengers: Age of Ultron" to explain Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch's powers? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter!