Follow TV Tropes

Following

Comic Book / Wiccan

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wiccan.jpg

"See, I'm the child of a witch and an android. I'm their wish come true. Bigger than magic, living information, retro-reincarnated in human form. Now, my brother? He'd give you a physical fight. He'd warp time and space to punch you fifty times a second. But when I warp time and space... I use my words. And I say I'm a bigger deal in this reality than you are."
Advertisement:

Billy Kaplan, better known as Wiccan, is a Marvel Comics character created by Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung, first appearing in Young Avengers #1 (dated April 2005).

Along with his twin brother Tommy Shepherd —AKA Speed— Wiccan is the son of Scarlet Witch and The Vision. Kind of. Born separately to different parents, Billy (and Tommy) are actually the reincarnated souls of twin boys Wanda once believed she'd given birth to years earlier. So while they're not technically Wanda and Vision's biological children, they're their children in spirit... literally.

Billy's dubious parentage also makes the source of his powers —namely, reality warping like Wanda's— a mystery. He's not a mutant like she is (or was, anyway note ), nor is he an android like Vision. The best theory anybody seems to have is that he's, simply, a pure magic being with natural sensitivity to the arcane.

Advertisement:

Origin aside, Wiccan is most associated with the Young Avengers, where he met his boyfriend Teddy Altman, better known as the shapeshifting alien Hulkling. They're especially notable for being some of the first openly gay characters in all of superhero comics, and one of the first same-sex couples to share an on-panel kiss. Rarely apart from one another for too long, they eventually joined Sunspot's Avengers Idea Mechanics together, and Billy even lead a splinter faction of them during the assault on Pleasant Hill.

In many possible timelines, Billy is shown to replace Doctor Stephen Strange as Sorcerer Supreme, as well as being married (with children) to Teddy. He also has fated dalliances with some of the Marvel Universe's most nefarious threats, like the omnipotent entity known as Demiurge, and the parasitic wizard Moridun. He prefers not to think of them.

Advertisement:

Compare Hulkling, Kate Bishop, America Chavez.


Wiccan appears in:

Comic Books

Video Games


Wiccan provides examples of:

  • Ascended Fanboy: He was a big fan of the Avengers before he started superheroing. He's also a big Norse Mythology geek.
  • Atrocious Alias: He changed his codename to 'Wiccan' when it was pointed out to him what the media would do with a gay superhero named 'Asgardian.' This is Loki's opinion of 'Wiccan', too. And now, in New Avengers (2015), Power Man once again calls attention to this, saying that Wiccan calling himself thus without actually being one is a misrepresentation of actual Wiccans. Not long after, he decides to change his name to something he knows he will become in the future, namely a "Demiurge", thanks to a case of demonic possession. Afterward, he dumps the name and goes back to Wiccan after discussing it with his mother (a dedicated magick practioner) and deciding to study Wicca.
  • Badass Cape: All three of his outfits. His fondness for capes has reached memetic level in fandom.
  • Battle Couple: He's dating fellow superhero teammate Hulkling.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: He expels Moridun rather handily when directly confronting him in his mind. This is because all Moridun has are rather shallow Straw Nihilist speeches about the suffering and futility of living, which to Billy is old hat since he's been living with anxiety and depression for some time now, and he's hurting the one he loves.
  • Badass Gay: A powerful reality warper and magic user, also, to quote him, "very, very gay."
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: He idolized Scarlet Witch even before finding out about his heritage because she once cheered him up after being bullied.
  • Berserk Button: Don't loot Asgardian relics, especially in a disaster area. He will literally smite you.
  • Blessed with Suck: Being a Reality Warper means his mistakes can spin out of control and spell doom for everyone. It also draws attention, from forces that seek to destroy, manipulate, or control him or just plain steal his powers.
  • Cute Witch: He's an attractive magic user, as stated by Loki multiple times. It's a good bet that Teddy agrees, considering.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He can be.
    Eli: You got a better idea?
    Billy: Gee, let me check my superhero manual. Oh, wait, it's in my other tights.
  • Demonic Possession: Briefly, during New Avengers, he's taken over by Moridun of the Fifth Cosmos.
  • The Determinator: Not always in a good way. Once an idea gets into his head, he can stubbornly go with it regardless of common sense.
  • Distressed Dude: He has been whisked away or locked up quite a few time. Doesn't help that he's helpless when his magic goes haywire for one reason or another.
  • Driven to Suicide: In volume 2, his unresolved guilt and self-esteem issues escalate into this. Being told his death would undo the disaster he unintentionally caused doesn't help. Thankfully, he gets talked out of it.
  • Emo Teen: Invoked in his introduction in the recap page of vol.2 ("Angsty chaos magic user"). Averted in the story as he has reasons to despair.
  • Fatal Flaw: His tendency to act without thinking, which can be disastrous when coupled with his powers.
  • Future Badass: While already plenty badass by himself, we're shown three universes note  in which he becomes the next Sorcerer Supreme. And then there's the Demiurge, a reality warper so powerful he'll be able to create entire universes, and rewrite the laws of reality so comprehensively even Doctor Doom can't find a way around them.
  • A God Am I: He is called a "demiurge" (a creative/destructive force) in vol. 2. The After Party reveals that he is the one who creates America's homeworld and thus is considered a god there.
  • Glass Cannon: Has devastating power, but is just as vulnerable to physical and psychic attacks as any normal guy.
  • Happily Adopted: Sort of. Technically his "adopted" parents are his biological parents. However, he is the reincarnation of one of the Scarlet Witch's twin sons, and she also takes some maternal interest in him.
  • In-Series Nickname: Billy is short for William.
  • Interspecies Romance: With Hulkling, who's revealed to be half-Kree half-Skrull.
  • Innocently Insensitive: So wrapped up in his own angst that he forgets that Teddy had to watch the only mother he had ever known be incinerated right in front of him. When Teddy finally cracks and lambasts Billy for his ongoing It's All About Me behavior, during which Teddy had been completely supportive, Billy is so shocked and ashamed that he goes and does something really stupid...
  • It's All My Fault: He blames himself for kickstarting the whole Children's Crusade disaster. And again for inviting a interdimensional parasite into his world.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Billy makes no secret that he really looks up to the Avengers, the first time he meets most of them. He's one of the few people aware of Jessica Jones' former identity of Knightress, and freaked out quite a bit the first time he met Scarlet Witch (before he knew she was his mom-sorta, and before his powers even manifested).
  • Jewish and Nerdy: Billy's family are Reform Jews per Word of God. He's very geeky and often quotes pop culture. For example, he refers to fighting Laufey as looking more fun in The Lord of the Rings.
  • Junior Counterpart: Patterns himself after Thor at first, but later embraces being the Junior Counterpart to his sort-of mom, the Scarlet Witch. Given his rapidly burgeoning power, some stories have him in line for the Sorcerer Supreme mantle as well.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: He's the magic user of the team and his power keeps getting stronger to the point it makes the adults nervous. Lightning to magic to potentially world ending reality warping.
  • Momma's Boy:
    • He's pretty attached to his (technically biological, functionally adoptive) family, at least, as seen when Steve Rogers announces he is one of the heroes necessary to maintain the safety of the world at the start of Heroic Age. His response:
      Billy: Uh... I might have to ask my mom.
    • Towards Scarlet Witch as well, as demonstrated by all he goes through in Children's Crusade.
  • Nice Jewish Boy: Billy is mostly very caring and considerate.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: You would think that after all that had happened with Iron Lad/Kang, Billy would know better than to try to go and change history, even with the best of intentions. Instead he attempts to bring back Teddy's mother and ends up summoning an Eldritch Abomination instead, although it's suggested Loki put the idea into his head.
  • Not So Different: He can be just as willful and rebellious as Tommy and to an extent Pietro. As Pietro puts it:
    Quicksilver: I thought I'd have more in common with your brother, the speedster, but here you are, disobeying my father the moment he turns his back. I'm impressed.
  • Openminded Parent: The Kaplans are extremely understanding and openminded. When Billy attempts to come out as a superhero, they misinterpret and affirm their support of his homosexuality, and they take it pretty well when Captain America informs them anyway. They even let Teddy and Tommy move in when they show troubled home lives. They're so understanding that apparently Tommy got fed up with them and left.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Because of his powers. The Avengers are now understandably wary of the idea that he could take out an entire team of bad guys in an instant without even meaning to.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Gains points for referencing Project Runway, loses them for The Sound of Music.
  • Red Is Heroic: A red cape features predominantly in both his costumes, and he's an idealistic good guy.
  • Refusal of the Call: After the end of Children's Crusade, he gives up being a superhero. His mistake at the beginning of the 2013 run forces him to don the costume once again.
  • Secret Legacy: The long-lost son of Scarlet Witch.
  • The Smart Guy: How straight he plays this Trope depends on the people/team he's in/around. He's not actually intellectually smart or tech savvy, but usually comes off as the more level-headed and person with the most common-sense, one's again, subject to who he's with. That is, when he isn't busy being stubborn or self indulgent with his worries and problems.
  • Sorry, I'm Gay: His response to Enchantress coming on to him in Dark Reign.
    Billy:"Very, very gay!"
  • Star-Spangled Spandex: Present in his third costume, where his arms and the sides of his legs and torso are covered in realistic stars. He starts wearing it around the time he really unlocks his Reality Warper powers.
  • Straight Gay: He was at first, but he was revealed to have a few more feminine interests than originally let on.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: When Billy manages to temporarily access his Demiurge potential, he becomes capable of Breaking the Fourth Wall and actually stepping out onto the pages of the comic to change/rearrange panels (i.e. reality), effectively making himself almost as all-powerful as the artists, writers and editors.
  • Squishy Wizard: The most powerful guy on the team — provided he can get out the words for his spells. Just saying the spells won't work, either — he has to hear himself say it; hence his power is practically useless if he's rendered effectively deaf.
  • Superpower Lottery: Definite winner. He has an impressive powerset, which borderlines Story-Breaker Power.
    • Healing Hands: He can use his magic to heal people, as seen when he heals Teddy after the Super-Skrull attack, though it can be rather erratic. It also tends to depend on whether or not he actually wants the person to heal, as seen when trying to heal the Super Skrull at Teddy's request after Kl'rt murdered Teddy's mother. When Teddy notes that it isn't working, Billy says flatly, "Probably because I don't want him to heal."
    • Invisibility: He can also use his magic for this.
    • Mass Teleportation: His powers can teleport the entire team places.
    • Reality Warper: At his most dangerous. Loki even heavily implies to Hulkling that their meeting and relationship is a product of a subconscious use of his powers to give him his "dashing prince". On the other hand, this is Loki suggesting this, and he later admitted to manipulating everyone, so take it with a grain of salt.
    • Shock and Awe: His powers first manifested as blue lightning (that almost killed a bully) and initially the only power he's willing to admit to the Avengers, because it would remind them of Thor.
  • Tangled Family Tree: He's one of the sons of Scarlet Witch, reborn into a new biological family. This means he can count Tommy, aka 'Speed' as his twin brother, and Magneto and Quicksilver as his grandfather and uncle, respectively. And don't start on all the people he could conceivably call 'father'...
  • Too Powerful to Live: Wolverine's opinion of him in The Children's Crusade, to the point that Wolverine actually tries to murder Billy in front of the Young Avengers, The Avengers, and Magneto. While Wolverine's main focus in that arc is killing Scarlet Witch, he flat-out says that if the Avengers were smart, they'd get rid of Wiccan, too. The Avengers don't do much to protest this opinion.
  • Tranquil Fury: When he gets angry or upset enough to blow things up, he's quiet and cold.
  • "Uh-Oh" Eyes: His eyes glow blue when he does big spells.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: He has immense power, but to quote Loki, he needs more finesse.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His well meaning but ill thought out bit of magic at the beginning of the 2013 run.
  • Words Can Break My Bones: When he moves on from lightning to spellcasting he does it by chanting what he wants to happen. He says he picked this up as a visualization technique from a self help book. After really coming into his power he only needs to speak what he wants to happen once, as if ordering reality around.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report