Quicksilver: Where Do I Start?

Quicksilver3Speed kills. In more ways than one. And for the Marvel hero Quicksilver, his powers — and his mouth — have gotten him into a lot of trouble. But as the only son to one of the most reviled and feared mutants of all time, Magneto, he’s got a lot of family baggage to deal with in order to become his own man.

Created early on in X-Men by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee alongside his twin sister the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver is Marvel’s preeminent speedster and someone who’s never been able to stand still — literally. Pietro Maximoff has had brief tenures in the X-Men, Avengers, X-Factor and even the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. At one point he was married into the mighty (but aloof) Inhuman Royal Family, but like many things in his life he’s been unable to keep still.

Last month Quicksilver became the belle of the ball when both Marvel and Fox announced they were using the character in their upcoming movies — Avengers 2 and X-Men: Days Of Future Past respectively — so it is with that in mind that we try to catch up with this silver-haired speedster and find out what he’s all about.

Avengers 185Essential Classic X-Men, Vol. 1: This collection of the first twenty four issues of X-Men is the cheapest and easiest place to find the trio of issues in which Quicksilver and his twin sister Scarlet Witch are introduced. It shows how they were duped into joining their father Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and in the span of three issues grow to regret it and make their intentions known to the X-Men. After their father is abducted by an alien, they take that opportunity to quit the team and hide out in Europe. While not a meaty story for Quicksilver or Scarlet Witch, it puts all the pieces into place for many of their stories from here on out.

Avengers #185 – #187: Surprised I don’t have Quicksilver’s recruitment into the Avengers on this list? I opted out on that one in favor of this latter-day trio of issues which clears up the convoluted origins of Pietro and Wanda, all drawn by the then-young John Byrne. It all comes about when a a gypsy named Django Maximoff (wow, what a name!) kidnaps the duo and whisks them off to Mount Wundagore,  their birthplace. With a whirlwind reunion with the people who raised them such as the cow-woman Bova and a fight with the Elder God Chthon, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch learn their true parentage and the whereabouts of their mother. Marvel collected these issues once back in the 90s, but your best bet is tracking down the single issues in back issue bins or through Marvel’s digital store.

E127187_20080507125805_largessential Fantastic Four, Vol. 7: Quicksilver’s life is a bit like a pinball in a pinball machine, bouncing from one place to another. After brief tenures in X-Men and Avengers, the speedster ends up in orbit around Fantastic Four when he’s found injured by the Inhuman known as Crystal, an associate of the FF. Crystal nurses him back to health and the pair delve into a romance that turned into an epic relationship that’s been on-and-off for decades.  This series contains not only their meeting, but all the way through to their marriage in Fantastic Four #150.

Son of M: Quicksilver had a major role in House of M, but in that he was watered down by the huge cast. In this post-House of M series, Quicksilver deals with the aftermath of those events and the realization that he was pivotal in the depowering of mutants across the globe — including him, by accident. In this series, we see Quicksilver down and out, trying to piece together a life and going to great lengths to regain his power — including submitting himself to the Inhumans’ Terrigen Mist, which is potentially fatal to non-Inhumans like himself.

X-Factor: The Quick and the Dead:  As the title hints at, this series shows Quicksilver at his worst after trying to recover his powers in Son of M. Written expertly by Peter David, this pieces together a new life for Pietro and puts him on the road to recover and redemption as a hero. More than any other single issue, this one-shot really boils down just who Quicksilver is and how he fits (or tries to) within the Marvel U.


  1. Cool list, love the art at the top right. Probably the best iteration of his costume that doesn’t look too disco. Quicksilver has been fun in his animated appreances; like “X-Men:Evolution” where he literally spoke faster than everyone and almost never stood still. I liked him in the first 2 Ultimates books, even tho I thought him and Scalet Witch were way too close for siblings.

  2. I believe PAD’s original X-Factor run has been collected in Marvel’s Visionaries series. That’s when I liked Pietro the best. And when he was in Cap’s Kooky Quartet.

    Son of M was surprisingly good as well.

  3. I’m sure he’s been retconned faster but Quicksilver always felt second rate to me because of a panel in an early Avengers comic where he was racing to beat Hawkeye’s arrow. And this was years after Carmine Infantino was drawing the Flash plucking bullets out of the air.

  4. Is he even faster than Northstar?

    • Based on what I’ve seen I’m gonna say yes. I think Quicksilver can go upto Mach 3 whereas Northstar can only go. I don’t know, 2500 kilometers a minute? Someone else probably has the real stats and would probably correct me but I think Quicksilver is faster.

    • I don’t think Marvel has ever had the fascination with “who is faster” that DC has. DC has had some great races between the speedsters. Marvel seems more obsessed with “who is stronger”. I think there was a notable exception though, and what is so great, is that the Flash is the fastest in the Marvel Universe too. 🙂


      Buried Alien = Barry Allen.

    • @bub64882, Marvel has done stats on all their characters outlining their Strength, Intelligence, Energy Projection, and Speed. I’ve never read Northstar’s or Quicksilver’s but based on what I’ve read I think Quicksilver is faster.

      And I’ve heard about that Flash thing in the Marvel U, that’s so funny. Gives me new respect for Barry.

    • Yeah, I love it. Here’s another look at the character.


      It’s just so great that he disappears in Crisis, and pops up here. Creators are comic fans, not “Marvel” fans or “DC” fans, and the fact that the competition had so much respect for a character, that they put in that nod…It’s one of those things that we just won’t be seeing again for a good long while. Not until Disney buys WB, or vice versa.

    • Ha, thats so crazy. I’ve never actually seen the panels, I’ve only heard of them in ‘legend’.

      I don’t think Disney will be buying WB any time soon (Gan I hope not), but I think its also one of those things where there’s not so much compeition y’know? Like there was, but it wasn’t so important to the creators. They could afford to have those inside jokes, probably because they could afford to eat easily enough.

      I think its great how creators will talk about characters from Marvel or DC, have you ever met Mark Waid? Hilarious guy, he’s got a mind like an encyclopedia. I watched him give an interview recently and he wore a Batman t-shirt (to mix things up). He’s really good at switching gears too, I had him sign some of my Flash books once and the next guy came up and started asking him questions on his Cap America run. He didn’t even blink. Well he did, my point was he just started answering the questions right off the bat.

    • Waid is SO AWESOME! I’ve never met him, but I’ve heard interviews with him, and he can rattle off issue numbers from either publisher, and just the breadth of knowledge on the guy…It’s amazing. And he just doesn’t seem to run out of ideas! All that history, and he doesn’t seem bent on recreating or retelling or going back to any well…Just forge ahead with great stories.

      Yeah, the whole competition thing seemed like they played it up, but at the end of the day, they were all friends. That doesn’t seem to be the case now. I mean, Waid is a perfect example. He won’t work for DC anymore, and I’ve heard similar things from Hickman, who has said he would LOVE to do a Legion of Super-Heroes run, but that won’t happen in the current editorial environment at DC. The crossover issues, like Amalgam, X-Men meet Teen Titans, etc, seem to be a thing of the past. I just get the sense that there will need to be a shift of some higher ups to get that comraderie going again. Which is a shame.

  5. That one issue of X-Factor where they are all in therapy (issue 87?) and PAD explains WHY Pietro is always in such a bad move is one of the single greatest issues of any comic book, ever.

  6. Great list. I know Quicksilver is a second or even third tier character to a lot of people but I have always really liked him. He’s a complex character that has been around for a long time but never really had a chance to have the spotlight in the Marvel U.

    The only addition I would make to this list is Silent War. Great mini and also connects to Son of M and The Quick and the Dead.