Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Discuss: Quicksilver

Doug: He was featured in our recent reviews of the "Kree/Skrull War"; we did a piecemeal evaluation then. Let's get those thoughts all in one place today.


J.A. Morris said...

I don't care much for him, his costume sucks and he has an unhealthy, overprotective relationship with his sister.

The only "Quicksilver" story I can deal with was the Wundagore stuff with Modred the Mystic in the Avengers in 1979.

Edo Bosnar said...

Hmmm, interesting that J.A. doesn't like his costume; personally, I think it's probably the best of the speedster costumes (both the green and blue variants). But that's really about the only thing I like about him. He's usually portrayed as such a jerk. And yes, he has that borderline creepy attitude toward his sister. I also find it silly that in all of those older appearances in the Avengers, he often rolls himself up into a ball when attacking an adversary. Looks really comical, and rather painful...

Steve Does Comics said...

Like everyone else, I've never liked him.

But what's always most disappointed me was the discovery that he can only run at the speed of sound. If his only super-power's speed, he should be able to go way faster than that.

david_b said...

Y'know, J.A., I didn't really know how to comment on ol' Pietro, since we've covered his character, slow derangement, shortcomings, fighting style, etc already a few times here, both under his marriage and the Kree saga among previous columns.

I liked the sense of kinetic energy he brought to the Kooky Quartet and other issues like the Zodiac story back in ish 82 and probably that Modred story you mentioned; besides those, I don't recall him significantly contributing or decisively altering any Avengers adventures as a hero.

I have mixed feelings about his turn as villain for that one WCA Annual with both teams; the story was fine, but Pietro was a weak villain when I look back.

Inkstained Wretch said...

I didn't much care for him either because, as others have noted, he was generally portrayed as a jerk.

This was mainly Roy Thomas' doing -- He may have written more stories featuring the character than anyone else -- although I don't think it was intentional.

Roy just needed a foil for the Vision/Scarlet Witch romance storyline and Quicksilver was the natural choice. Nobosdy looks good when they are standing in the way of true love.

I didn't help that Quicksilver never seemed to save the day either. He always seemed to get knocked out early on.

P.S. I disagree with J.A. on the costume. I think it works very well, matching his name and powers.

Doug said...

I think the silver/blue costume is pretty sharp and appropriate given Quicksilver's moniker, but it does tend to look washed out on a page full of brightly-colored characters. But for some reason I always think of him in his greens first.

It is sometimes painful to read the first several issues of the Kooky Quartet, as Pietro and Hawkeye were both merciless toward Cap. Why the ol' warhorse didn't just mop the floor with both of them to show 'em who was boss, I don't know. Pietro did seem to be a bit more noble than Clint, but was still all-too-often portrayed as the jerk (as many have already said).

As to his relationship with Wanda, it was never more putrid than as portrayed in the pages of The Ultimates. Yuck...


Anonymous said...

I always disliked him too, but .....errrmm....weren’t we supposed to dislike him? He was a baddie who flipped sides (and flipped back again pretty easily in Avengers #47 – 49. Hey Doug....how about the cover of Avengers #49 ? *).

His relationship to Wanda certainly did make ya wonder. When you find yourself HOPING that someone is merely an overprotective, self-centred misogynist, it’s not a happy train of thought. I always thought he must have made a death-bed pledge to a dying parent to protect her or similar, but as we found out that night on Wungadore Mountain, he had no more memory of their cleverly ret-conned childhood than did she.

Also, in the kooky quartet days, they outright say that Wanda obeys him because he is her older brother, but he always seemed way younger to me.

You’ve got to hand it to Crystal...she spent years dating one immature hothead, and then dumped him for probably the only character who was worse !

His attitude to the Vision, given all the prejudice he had suffered himself, I thought was a bit implausible. I get that Roy was trying to build up some tension and bring the prejudice outside the mansion inside its walls, but there must be some limit to even Pietro’s hypocrisy.

In his defence, I guess it was a bit unfair that Wanda got all that character development and power development (she went from pointing her finger and spilling water on people to being Agatha Harkness’s apprentice), while Pietro stayed a shouty, prematurely aged idiot who ran quick.

I disagree with Steve about his powers. I always thought the Flash’s abilities....to not merely move but to THINK and READ at super-speed, vibrate through walls, travel through time, make other things move at a million miles an hour and even resist telepathy by the power super-speedy thinking....were just absolutely &*@#ing ridiculous.


*Doug is now shuddering with illicit pleasure at the mere thought of this.

Dougie said...

Anyone ever read Pietro's 90s series, when he hung around with the New Men? Did it redeem him (if temporarily?.

Rip Jagger said...

I like Quicksilver!

There! I said it!

Actually I've always found Pietro to be a fascinating character. He is protective of his sister and some folks find that icky, but I've never seen anything that crossed the line. They are two against the world, and it's hard to for him to see her make decisions he doesn't like. That's overprotective for sure, but not necessarily creepy.

As for his bigotry against the Vision, I think that was played a bit too hard at the time. Later they wrote some of that extreme stuff off to various bits of mind control, especially his super-villain stint in Avengers West Coast.

I like his look and I think he's a fun if prickly character. He always made my favorite Avengers squad, a speedster is just too important. When it was him and Clint as Goliath, I thought they made a great duo.

Rip Off

Vintage Bob said...

Quicksilver has always been one of my favorite Marvel characters. First, I love the costume. More the blue and white version than his original green one, but something about it just seems neat to me. Simple and elegant and yet for me it suggests some sort of ancient design or feel.

I also like the idea of a hero who is arrogant, cocky, brash, opinionated, and over-protective. He's UNIQUE, and that alone makes him cool!

I also prefer him to DC's overpowered Flash. Technically, Flash can never lose...he'd simply run faster than light, go backwards in time, and then change the outcome of any losing battle he was in (ie retroactively miss the villain's trap, etc). Quicksilver is a LOT more fun! One of my all time favorite Avengers!

Fred W. Hill said...

I agree with Vintage in that the fact that Pietro is generally portrayed as an arrogant jerk but not typically an outright villain, not even when he was a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, makes him among the more interesting of Marvel's lower-ranking heroes. Sure, he's hard to really like, but aside from his powers, his personality is all too real -- if he comes off as a hypocrite, well, there are a lot of hypocrites in real life, including well-known candidates for the highest political office in the U.S. And I'm glad Stan & Jack, etc., avoided making Quicksilver too much like the Flash, keeping his power fairly modest in comparison. He'll never be the star of a long-lasting solo series, but he still makes for an intriguing supporting or team character.

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