Quicksilver is a Marvel Comics superhero created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. He first appeared in X-Men vol. 1 #4 (March, 1964). The son of a Romani woman named Magda and the supervillain Magneto, Pietro Maximoff and his twin sister Wanda were born on Wundergore Mountain in the fictional country of Transia. Marvel's resident speedster, Quicksilver has been a prominent member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, The Avengers, and X-Factor.
Making his debut in as a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants along with his twin sister, Wanda, Pietro Maximoff quickly discovers that a life of crime is not for him. When Magneto, the Brotherhood's leader and father of the Maximoff twins, is abducted by the Stranger, Pietro and Wanda quit the Brotherhood and return home to Transia. Reformation on their mind, the pair learn that The Avengers are looking for new members and are subsequently recruited by Iron Man after Pietro talks Wanda into moving to the United States.
Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and former criminal Hawkeye become the second generation of Avengers along with team leader Captain America. Dubbed "Cap's Kooky Quartet", the new Avengers have difficulty measuring up to the original heroes until battles against Kang the Conqueror and Doctor Doom give the team much-needed credibility. Unfortunately the team chemistry is shaken after the Scarlet Witch is wounded in battle with Magneto at a UN assembly, which, combined with Pietro's general distrust of humanity, prompts the twins to leave the Avengers and rejoin the Brotherhood.
It was revealed that this was a ploy by Magneto, using his powers to control the American soldier's gun's at the assembly and graze Wanda's temple, not only causing Quicksilver to rejoin Magneto, but for Wanda to have temporary memory loss, thus preventing her from talking her brother out of it. Eventually, one thing led to another, and soon, after a battle between the Brotherhood, and the X-Men & Avengers, Pietro and Wanda were forced to leave Magneto to his seeming death. Long story short, both Pietro and Wanda eventually rejoined the Avengers...
...And eventually, Pietro left the team again. After he was saved from a Sentinel attack by Crystal of the The Inhumans, The Avengers, and Fantastic Four, Crystal brought him back to the home of the Inhumans to rest and recuperate, and they eventually got married, and even had a baby. (Though the two eventually got divorced.) Since then, Pietro as Quicksilver has rejoined the Avengers on and off (along with a stint in X-Factor). Due to the generally derided Avengers Disassembled storyline, Wanda had caused mass chaos and and was seen as a threat. To sum up, it was decided by Xavier and the X-Men to kill her. Pietro, overhearing this, pleaded Wanda to take immediate action. And so... she ended up warping reality, causing the whole House of M event.
After losing his powers, gaining a set of new ones, (time travel related) going crazy, losing his new powers, regaining his old ones, and becoming sane again, Quicksilver is now a hero once more. After serving with the now defunct Mighty Avengers team, Pietro was an instructor at the Avengers academy, teaching a new generation of heroes. He then led the Serval Industries X-Factor team for a while. Post-Secret Wars, he joined the Avengers Unity Squad.
His name derived from the archaic word "quicksilver," which meant mercury (in the sense of the metallic element Hg that's liquid at room temperature). This name, in turn, derives from the fact that mercury looks silvery but moves as though it's alive ("quick").
Two unrelated movie franchises see differing interpretations of Quicksilver. Evan Peters (of American Horror Story fame) appears as Peter Maximoff in the X-Men Film Series, debuting in Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past and reprising the role in X-Men: Apocalypse. The Marvel Cinematic Universe saw Aaron Johnson take on the role in Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron after appearing in The Stinger of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. A complication in Marvel Studios' movie rights agreements means that Quicksilver cannot be referred to as a mutant in the MCU, while he cannot be an Avenger in the X-Men flicks. With Disney's impending buyout of 20th Century Fox, it's unknown how this situation will be resolved.
- The Avengers
- Age of Apocalypse
- DC vs. Marvel
- Marvel Zombies
- House of M
- Son of M
- Silent War
- Uncanny Avengers
- Quicksilver: No Surrender
- Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- X-Men Film Series:
- Captain America and the Avengers: An Assist Character, Quicksilver gives the player character health items when summoned.
- X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse: Non-playable, Quicksilver is one of four mutants kidnapped by Apocalypse in his attempt to gain ultimate power.
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2: Quicksilver is a boss character on the PS2, PSP and Wii versions of the game.
- Marvel Super Hero Squad Online: The Infinity Gauntlet: Quicksilver is a playable character in Episodes 6, 9, and 11.
- X-Men: Destiny
- Marvel: Avengers Alliance: Quicksilver is one of the playable heroes.
- Marvel Future Fight: appears as a World Boss boss battle and unlockable playable character.
Tropes seen in this series include:
- Action Dad: he has a daughter named Luna from his ex-wife, Crystal.
- Adaptational Villainy: Bordering on Never Live It Down, but if Pietro appears outside comics, he will almost undoubtedly be portrayed as an X-Men villain, sometimes an Anti-Villain if he's lucky. Arguably the worst case of this is X-Men: Evolution, where he's the most villainous member of the Brotherhood (who're a bunch of Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain types here), and his behaviour sometimes borders on making him The Sociopath. Lampshaded in X-Men: Destiny, where your character has the option of asking about why he's following Magneto despite being a good guy.
- Averted in Avengers: Age of Ultron. While he starts out as manipulated by the villains, Pietro and his sister quickly join the Avengers, with Pietro especially sacrificing himself to save Hawkeye and a civilian boy from a hail of bullets.
- Also averted in X-Men: Apocalypse. While in X-Men: Days of Future Past he was basically a super-powered slacker who briefly helped the heroes for the lulz, in the sequel, he's a straight-up hero, apparently inspired by the example of Mystique. If not for his heroism, in fact, every single student at Xavier's would've died when the mansion exploded and Apocalypse would've been unopposed.
- Always Someone Better
- The Flash fulfills this role in Marvel/DC crossovers. Head-to-head, Quicksilver is simply no match for any Speed Force user. To illustrate the point, at one point The Flash is outrunning Quicksilver while running backward. Though Quicksilver is quite delighted when the Flash steps into the Marvelverse where there is no Speed Force, and thus, no Super Speed for him.(while chasing the Flash, who had just snatched the Cosmic Cube from Ms. Marvel's hands) Hello. You're on my Earth now, and you're already starting to slow down. So let me just say... It's nothing personal. Oh, no. Not at all.\\(shoves the Flash aside, snatching the Cosmic Cube from him)
Hah! I'm faster! Faster! Speed Force be damned!
- In-universe, his own nephew (sort of) Thomas Shepherd aka Speed fulfills this role. He taunted Quicksilver while running backwards. And then there's Northstar, one of the few Marvel-Speedsters who can go Lightspeed.
- The Flash fulfills this role in Marvel/DC crossovers. Head-to-head, Quicksilver is simply no match for any Speed Force user. To illustrate the point, at one point The Flash is outrunning Quicksilver while running backward. Though Quicksilver is quite delighted when the Flash steps into the Marvelverse where there is no Speed Force, and thus, no Super Speed for him.
- Anti-Hero: Generally a Type II, but recently downgraded to type IV, and briefly even type V, since most American writers don't like stereotypical "Euro Trash" characters.
- Arch-Enemy: Fabian Cortez and Exodus both serve this role to him, being both mutants who have embraced Magneto's legacy of Super Supremacy. Cortez was the first of them to hit the scene and tried to play the Evil Mentor to Pietro for a little while (he wouldn't have any of it) but it was Exodus and his threatening of Luna during the Blood Ties event that earned Pietro's hatred. Ironically, the two are friends and allies in the Age of Apocalypse.
- Arrow Catch: He's more than capable of this, much to Hawkeye's chagrin.
- Badass Family: Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and brother-in-law Vision as part of the Avengers. There's also Polaris, his half-sister and fellow member of X-Factor. And of course there is his on-again off-again father Magneto.
- Don't forget his nephews (kind of), Billy and Tommy (Wiccan and Speed).
- Big Brother Instinct: Hurting Wanda, even accidentally, brings out the bad side of Pietro. He is insanely protective of his sister, despite her pointing out she is capable of looking after herself.
- He also starts developing the instinct for Lorna Dane (Polaris). Some time before the establishment of Serval Industries' X-Factor, he found her drinking in a bar due to some stress. He tried to snap her out of it, but she attacked him in a drunken rage. The fight between the siblings ensued in the bar. He eventually subdued her and intended to bring her into Avengers, but she's taken into custody by law enforcement for causing chaos in the bar. Later, after Polaris is freed by Harrison Snow and becomes leader of Harrison's X-Factor, Quicksilver joins the team to keep an eye on her.
- Blackmail: Quicksilver beat up and threatened a blackmailer who showed him pictures of Crystal with another man.
- Blessed with Suck: Super speed isn't always a blessing, especially during dinner with the in-laws. Trying to pace himself to avoid embarrassment, Pietro still managed to eat his entire meal so fast that the entire Inhuman royal family could do nothing but stare in awe. It's also a big part of the reason why he's such a douche; when you perceive everything so much faster to the point where it feels as if the rest of the world is moving in slow-motion, your patience will run out very quick. At one point he compares it to being perpetually stuck in line at the bank behind someone who's trying to count $100 worth of pennies by hand.
- Blow You Away: He can use his speed to create cyclonic wind gusts strong enough to knock people off their feet.
- Boxing Lessons for Superman: He's been trained in martial arts by Captain America.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: During his limited issues series the Inhuman scientist Maximus used his hidden Psychic Powers to manipulate Quicksilver's mind, subtly encouraging him to turn against the Avengers.
- BrotherSister Incest: He and his sister Wanda in the Ultimate Marvel universe.
- Brother-Sister Team: Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.
- Brought Down to Normal: He thought he had it bad when life moved in slo-mo, but after losing his powers, everything seemed so... fast. He went crazy, stole mutating mists from his in-laws, and used them to get time travel powers.
- Cannot Spit It Out: In the third Uncanny Avengers volume, Pietro develops an attraction to his teammate Synapse, but is unable to tell her how he feels, one of many things the Red Skull mocks him for while controlling him.Red Skull: Synapse makes your heart sing, and you can't even talk to her.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Has a few to his name, but his most spectacular one involved Mr. X, whose shtick was reading his opponent's mind to determine what they were going to do before they even did it. He tried this with Pietro and learned that Pietro was going to beat him half to death with a metal pipe. The only problem was that Pietro was moving far too fast for Mr. X to affect the outcome of this in the slightest, meaning that yes, he did get his ass thoroughly beat. Oh, and the kicker? X was in possession of the Spear of Odin at the time.
Wolverine: That never gets old.
- Wolverine has beaten him several times simply by waiting for Pietro to accidentally run into his fist.
- Deadly Dodging: When fighting a Big Bad and his Mooks most usually.
- Deadpan Snarker: Like his father before him.
- De-Power: Quicksilver was one of the mutants who lost their powers after the events of House of M.
- Dodge the Bullet: He's done this too many times to count. One wonders why gunmen even bother trying.
- Does Not Like Magic: Admits as much during Uncanny Avengers when Doctor Voodoo invokes mystical creatures to repair Avengers Mansion. When Wanda responds to this by pointing out that she uses magic, he is quick to remind her of how much pain it's brought her, ending his talk with a simple "magic sucks!"
- Driven to Suicide: Already depressed after losing his powers, Pietro jumps off a roof in Son of M #1 after a humiliating encounter with Spider-Man.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: Quicksilver can create whirlwinds by running around his opponent at top speed. These whirlwinds are powerful enough to overpower the Human Torch while in flight.
- The Family That Slays Together: Quicksilver's time in the Brotherhood of Mutants had the Maximoff twins performing crimes with their father, though they didn't know it at the time.
- Flash Step: He often does this in scenes where he's using his powers for some Mundane Utility or another.
- Fragile Speedster: Mildly subverted, as his flesh and bones are endowed with the requisite durability for him to survive using his abilities, but he's by no means Nigh Invulnerable.
- Freudian Excuse: He's not exactly a bad guy, just an impulsive dick. Having a rocky relationship with his father and sister doesn't help, however, and he outright tells a shrink that his main reason for being an impetuous, self-centered prick is the fact that the speed of the world around him is agonizingly slow to him. Picture having to wait in a slow-moving line for hours for something mundane. That's what every single second is like for him.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Pietro's jealousy is one of the reasons Crystal refuses to start their relationship anew. This revelation came just minutes after Pietro slugged Jolen of the Inhumans for placing a flower in Crystal's hair.
- It doesn't help that said jealousy isn't unfounded due to Crystal's adulterous behavior. See Your Cheating Heart below.
- HeelFace Brainwashing: Pietro was originally against Wanda's marriage to the Vision, simply because his brother-in-law was a machine. It took fellow Avenger Moondragon erasing those prejudiced thoughts from his mind for Pietro to change his tune.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Quicksilver had a habit of this early in his career, bouncing between the Avengers and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
- Hot-Blooded: In most depictions, his temper is as quick as everything else about him.
- Hyperactive Metabolism: Quicksilver's metabolism is so efficient that he produces very little waste. Canonically, it's fifteen times more efficient than a normal human being's metabolism.
- Hypocrite: He greatly detested Vision for marrying his sister, simply because he was a machine. It doesn't speak well for Pietro, considering his long-held disgust for humanity over their persecution against mutants.
- I Am Not My Father: Pietro purposely took on a teaching role at the Avengers Academy to distance himself from his father.
- In the Blood: The bouts of insanity seem to be a familiar trait.
- Incest Subtext: His relationship with Wanda is sometimes a little too close. And in the Ultimate Marvel version, it quite disturbingly goes beyond just subtext.
- Inertia Is a Cruel Mistress: During his Heel periods he's often been defeated this way; indeed, his very first appearance had him defeated by Angel tricking him into running into a wall. Amusingly, he once used this to his advantage when fighting a Sentinel that had absorbed his powers.
- It's All About Me: During the third Uncanny Avengers volume, he attempted to claim superiority over the team, stating that he had been an Avenger longer than any of them. The Wasp (a founding member) is quick to call him out on this.
- Jerkass: Quicksilver has been a good guy, bad guy, and in-between, but never stops being an arrogant, self-centered dick. This extends to his other incarnations, such as his apperances on the different cartoons and Ultimate X-Men.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Depending on the Writer, Pietro is usually, beneath his jerkassery, a good guy who does anything for his friends.
- For all his flaws, Pietro really does enjoy being a superhero and helping out others although this is something he will not admit openly. Aside from his sister, he also greatly cares about The New Men and sees them as an extended family.
- Even with both of them currently divorced, he still holds high regard for his ex-brother-in-law Vision to the point where he still sees him as family.
- Karma Houdini: Made a statement on the news that his kidnapping of Luna was a work of a Skrull imposter after the Secret Invasion crossover. However, Luna knows the truth, and while she'll keep his secret because she loves him, she makes it very clear that she has lost all respect for him.
- And then when Fatale calls him out on this on live TV, he admits the whole truth, which causes Luna to regain her respect for him, making him a slightly different type of karma Houdini.
- Leeroy Jenkins: His arrogance and impatience often lead him to rush into battle without thinking (which can backfire on him spectacularly).
- Lightning Bruiser: Of the "hard-hitting speedster" variety. His enhanced physiology makes him far more durable than he appears, and he can very easily beat someone half to death before they can even react.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: He's gone through this three times and counting. First he and Wanda learned that the elderly superhero The Whizzer was their father. Then they found out that a mysterious old wizard was their long-lost Romani adoptive father. Then they learned that their true father was not the Whizzer but their hated ex-boss Magneto. Then came AXIS with yet another Retcon that their true father wasn't Magneto after all, but that last one's been more or less ignored since then.
- Made of Iron: One of the Required Secondary Powers that prevents Pietro from vibrating himself into jelly every time he uses his powers.
- Magic Compass: A living version, as his powers allow him to sense magnetic vibrational patterns and always tell which direction is north.
- Me's a Crowd: In Son of M, Quicksilver could use his temporary time traveling powers to create multiple copies of himself by jumping into the future in 30 second intervals.
- Mistaken for Gay: When trying to explain to Crystal that he's seeing a psychiatrist.
- Mundane Utility: Pietro uses his super speed to read books, solve jigsaw puzzles, go shopping, type, and prep salads.
- My Future Self and Me: Quicksilver gained limited Time Travel powers after exposing himself to the Terrigen Mists, which he only learned about after meeting his future self.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: to Scarlet Witch.
- Never My Fault: Another of his major faults. After a poorly-thought out attempt of his to stop the Juggernaut results in Synapse being gravely injured, he ends up blaming everyone else for it. Wanda is quick to point out Synapse was injured because of him, angrily calling him out on letting his Pride blind him to the truth, and telling him that he will not be welcome on the team again until he admits to his mistake.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: House of M and Son Of M. First his attempt to help his sister results in mass depowering of the mutant population. Then his attempts to fix it cause a war to break out between The Inhumans and US military. Also, it turns out that re-powering of mutants with terrigen crystals has horrible side effects.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Magneto received one from half a dozen Quicksilvers in Son of M, many of whom had words for "their" father after the fight.Quicksilver #3: All I ever wanted to do was please him.
Quicksilver #2: He barely acknowledged my existence.
Quicksilver #1: Have you noticed me now?!
- Parental Substitute: Pietro often sees the High Evolutionary as more of a father figure to him than Magneto ever was, and depending on how evil he is that day the Evolutionary either reciprocates those feelings or manipulates those feelings for his own ends.
- Personality Powers: Well, except the most prominent part of Pietro's personality is how he's a total Jerk Ass because life moves in slow motion for him.
- Pet the Dog: On occasion, which he'll usually balance out by being like a complete jerk again seconds later.
- Pretty Boy: Depending on the art, Quicksilver is usually not a pretty boy except for X-Men Evolution cartoon. However, in one X-Factor issue, he was called 'Pretty Boy' by his inmates when he was put in prison for vagrancy.
- Punch-Clock Villain: He and Wanda were only in Magneto's Brotherhood because he saved their lives; they refused to kill anyone, used their powers against Magneto to stop him from killing, and joined the Avengers as soon as they were free of him.
- Required Secondary Powers: As noted in the page quote, Pietro's mutation didn't simply grant him speed; it also strengthed his bones and tendons, and provided him with phenomenal reaction time.
- The Rival: The Black Knight became this to him during the period when they were in competition for the affections of Crystal.
- Romani: Pietro and Wanda's mother, Magda, was Romani, and they were adopted by a Romani family when she died.
- Depending on the Writer their father, Magneto, is either Romani as well or Jewish.
- Rubik's Cube International Genius Symbol: Pietro can solve one in 0.0000034 seconds.
- Run On Water: He's run across the Atlantic Ocean and back more than once.
- Sanity Slippage: Went insane without his powers.
- The Sociopath: During 2016's Civil War II event his sister stated that he is a "textbook sociopath" who disrupts "through manipulation or force" all his relationships. Seeing as how Wanda doesn't exactly have room in her glass house to throw stones, take from that what you will.
- Smug Super: Quicksilver is the "fastest man on Earth" and he'll never let you forget it.
- Speed Blitz: He's fond of combining this with Criss-Cross Attack to dismantle his foes.
- Super Reflexes: His reflexes are canonically stated to be better than those of the finest human athletes. Even in early appearances he was capable of feats such as dodging close range optic blasts courtesy of Cyclops, and he's only gotten faster on the ball since then.
- Super Intelligence: Of the learning quickly variety. Pietro learned how to play Beethoveen's Moonlight Sonata from memory and by ear in ten seconds, never having played piano before and only knowing where the 'C' key is. As any musician knows, Moonlight Sonata isn't exactly a beginner's piece. He is also an accomplished sculptor.
- Ultimate Quicksilver isn't as smart as Reed Richards but can still work out his math by super speed rote.
- Super Speed: Up to Mach 4 but possibly higher.
- During the Mighty Avengers era, he was outrunning radio waves, putting him at translight speeds, vibrating so fast when he got angry that he was creating wind shear and his equivalent of a nervous twitch was zipping from Tibet to Indonesia and back in a second or two at most. While this was debunked by Marvel editor Tom Breevort, the statement Breevort gave indicated that he had not actually read the comic. Whether he retains this level of speed is up for debate.
- Super-Speed Reading: Does this frequently to stave off boredom.
- Super Supremacist: A mild version to be sure, but Pietro's natural arrogance and sense of superiority leads him to often view ordinary humans with disdain. He doesn't go full villain about it like his father or other mutant baddies, but sometimes he's toed the line (such as when he joined his father's cabinet during his stint as Genosha's dictator).
- Super Toughness: Pietro's body is immensely durable thanks to the Required Secondary Powers needed to keep him from tearing himself apart, which has the side effect of making him incredibly difficult to seriously hurt.
- Time Stands Still: Quicksilver once explained his angry personality by asking his psychologist to imagine living in a world consisting entirely of the slowest queue at the checkout.
- Took a Level in Badass: During the "Siege of Wundagore" storyline his Super Speed was amped up to pre-Crisis Superman levels by the High Evolutionary's Isotope E, allowing him to defeat Exodus (who ironically is a Superman-level mutant, and leagues more powerful than Quicksilver normally).
- Took a Level in Jerkass: He was always arrogant and hard to get along with, but in The Bronze Age of Comic Books, writer Steve Englehart made him an out-and-out bigot who broke off his relationship with his sister over her relationship with the Vision. His Ultimate X-Men incarnation also took several levels following the Ultimatum event.
- Touched by Vorlons: After decades of being a mutant, the most recent (as of 2019) interpretation of Pietro is that he is in fact an ordinary human being who was empowered as a baby by the High Evolutionary.
- Turn Out Like His Father: With his father being who he is, this is a concern for several characters. Despite their antipathy for each other, Pietro and his father share a mutual arrogance, and some villains such as Fabian Cortez have even attempted to exploit this by tempting him to take a more active role in mutant affairs.
- The Un-Favourite: Magneto's relationship with his kids is very screwed up, but he and Pietro cannot get along with each other.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: His portrayal in various adaptations, such as Marvel 1602, X-Men: Evolution and Wolverine and the X-Men, where he is usually aware about his parentage from the start. Eventually it leaked into the main continuity as well (see quote above), which was a 180 degree turn from his original relationship with Magneto.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Zig-zagged, Quicksilver goes back and forth on the villain front, but even at his best he's still quite a jerk.
- Your Cheating Heart: Crystal, Pietro's ex-wife. She had an affair with Norman Webster, a real estate agent, and harbored feelings for the Avenger Black Knight. This issue became apparent after Crystal returned from her experience on Counter Earth after battling Onslaught.