Since his debut in the mid-60s, Quicksilver has been an important part of the Marvel Universe. The speedster began as a member of Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, going on to become one of the earliest members of the Avengers. Over the years, he’s been a part of the Inhumans, had joined numerous X-teams, has even been a mentor to the Avengers Academy, and had his parentage has been retconned various times over.
He’s never really been the most popular character in the Marvel Universe, but due to a few legal complications, he went on to become the main point between two rival film studios. It was those complications that made his appearance in WandaVision such a big deal.
As hard as it might be to believe it now, way back in the ‘90s, Marvel was on the verge of bankruptcy. A way to get the money together was to sell the movie rights of its various characters to any studio that was willing to pay. After all, shared cinematic universes weren’t really a thing back then.
Not every movie got made obviously. There were some instances of studios sitting on these rights and not really doing anything about it for so long that they had to give them up. For example, New Line Cinema had the rights for a Venom film, albeit it should be a film where they couldn’t reference Spider-Man directly in any given way. An idea like this was worth a laugh in the ‘90s, but Sony actually pulled it off 20 years later.
By the time Marvel made the decision to get into the film-making business themselves and start the MCU concept, the field had already settled. Sony had the rights for a Spider-Man franchise and had just finished Sam Raimi’s initial trilogy, preparing for a fourth film that didn’t work out and ultimately got replaced by a reboot. Universal had a complicated hold on the Hulk that lent itself to a unique partnership with Marvel. Fox was able to make the X-Men a successful franchise, but had less success with two attempts at the Fantastic Four franchise.
Essentially, the entire Marvel Universe had to be categorized into different properties. A lot of these were pretty easy. Doc Ock? He was clearly part of Spider-Man’s corner and could only be used in Spider-Man movies. Dr. Doom gets around as a villain in the comics and fights just about everyone, but at the end of the day, he’s grouped in with the Fantastic Four and could only be handled by Fox. But it wasn’t as simple for other characters.
The one really big complication was what to do with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Which corner of the Marvel Universe did they really belong to? They were under the X-Men umbrella as the mutant children of Magneto. Quicksilver himself was a major member of X-Factor.
However, the two were Avengers longer than the likes of Black Widow and Hulk. Scarlet Witch was also at the center of important Avengers storylines of the early 21st century.
Apart from a hilarious cameo in Deadpool 2, the Fox version of Quicksilver made an appearance in 2019’s Dark Phoenix, which also happened to be the final film in the X-Men franchise. While Quicksilver only got a screen time of about two and a half minutes. Halfway into the film, he makes a really slow-motion run at Jean Grey, losing his footing and tumbling, and is forgotten about for the rest of the film. And his connection to Magneto? Never even mentioned.
In the MCU, Pietro remained just a memory, one more trauma stacked upon trauma in the life of Wanda Maximoff. There was already the death of her parents and the horrible experimentation. After that, there was some trauma of the innocent blood on Wanda’s hands, her role in the death of Vision, and her incarceration. It wasn’t until the third episode of WandaVision that Wanda mentioned her long-lost brother.
Wanda could puppet Vision’s android corpse and surround herself with people forced to be friendly to her, but the horrible loss of her brother was something she couldn’t undo. Or it was something she refused to undo. While we don’t get the reason behind what’s really up, the Evan Peters version of Quicksilver coming into Westview, NJ to see his long-lost sister.
This was truly a special moment. The Evan Peters Quicksilver not only finally has a super-powered relative who seems to give a damn about him, but as the first link to the X-Men in the MCU (big or small, we’ll see), he finally gets the spotlight he deserves.