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James Revilla
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Posted: 02 October 2010 at 1:31am | IP Logged | 1  

Where you the first person to bring up Wanda and Peter being Magneto's kids or was it something kicking around that you moved on? Also, before this was there even a mention that Magneto might have children? Thanks in advance.

Edited by James Revilla on 02 October 2010 at 1:37am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 October 2010 at 5:19am | IP Logged | 2  

The relationship was a classic example of what we used to call "Marvel serendipity". Those little things that turned up from time to time that had not been planned all along, but once they were put in place, really seemed like they had.

I suggested that Magneto be Wanda and Pietro's father, and once the idea was out there, there seemed to be a lot of "evidence" to support it.

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James Revilla
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Posted: 02 October 2010 at 5:22am | IP Logged | 3  

Thanks JB, always nice to hear the back story.
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Tony Midyett
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Posted: 02 October 2010 at 5:23am | IP Logged | 4  

Interesting!  I never knew that you were the one who started that ball rolling, JB.
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Gary Olson
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Posted: 06 October 2010 at 10:47pm | IP Logged | 5  

I remember how Steve Englehart, the Avengers scribe in 1974, was royally pissed off when editor Roy Thomas decided to step in and write a Giant Sized Avengers that established the Whizzer and Miss America as Wanda and Pietro's parents("In the middle of my[Englehart's] ongoing continuity"), and gave Wanda a live-in Dad staying upstairs.

Heck, I was taken aback because we didn't get GSA #1(?) here in Australia, and the first I knew of it, the above, was when the Whizzer was shown watching Pietro's marriage to Crystal in an FF issue, from his bedchamber in Avengers Mansion.. I thought, "What the- ?!"

I never knew the Magneto connection was JB's idea; it's a classic case of serendipity, as he puts it... and a good idea.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 07 October 2010 at 6:50am | IP Logged | 6  

I remember how Steve Englehart, the Avengers scribe in 1974, was royally pissed off when editor Roy Thomas decided to step in and write a Giant Sized Avengers that established the Whizzer and Miss America as Wanda and Pietro's parents("In the middle of my[Englehart's] ongoing continuity"), and gave Wanda a live-in Dad staying upstairs.

••

Unfortunately, that kind of thing happened quite often during the writer/editor days. Roger Stern used to refer to the writer/editor position as a "license to steal", and very often it was. Not in this particular instance, obviously, but there were occasions when writers would use ideas other writers had mentioned an intent to use, and nobody knew it was happening because there was no editorial oversight.

Dark times, at the House of Ideas! Fortunately, without the internet there was no way the o-so-important casual readers would ever be aware of it!

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Flavio Sapha
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Posted: 07 October 2010 at 8:27am | IP Logged | 7  

I vaguely remember this story about the Whizzer being father of Pietro and Wanda...sounded kinda corny to me.

I love Thomas΄s work...whenever he can keep nostalgia at bay.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 07 October 2010 at 8:36am | IP Logged | 8  

The biggest problem with the Whizzer being the father of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch was that it meant Pietro was not a mutant! The Whizzer's power had "bred true", producing something closer to speciation than mutation, at least by the loosey-goosey definitions in the Marvel Universe.

That was a problem in and of itself -- there was just enough wiggle room in the definition that some writers had gotten sloppy, and it was increasingly difficult to know who or what really constituted a mutant. This led to much confusion in the readers, too, as witnessed in the letter I received during my FF days, in which the writer referred to the team as his "favorite mutants".

"Mutant" had become interchangable with "superhero". Which was a shame, since Roy had given us the nicely pseudoscientific term "non-mutant variant" to describe folk like the FF, or Spider-Man.

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Carmen Bernardo
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Posted: 07 October 2010 at 10:28am | IP Logged | 9  

     My recollections of Wanda and Pietro started with the Whizzer being their "dad", too.  By the time John was working with Chris Claremont on the X-Men, they started bringing on the heavy hints of Magneto's relationship.  That relationship was made "official" in the Vision and Scarlet Witch mini a few years later.

     I also remember when being a mutant became something of a "cool" thing, as well.  One of the characters whose "revelation" during the late 1980s as one was the Falcon, which made me go "WTF?"  This was in the days before Wolverine really started showing up in both X-books, his own solo series, and every other comicbook selling that month.

     I should've noticed a trend there...

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John Byrne
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Posted: 07 October 2010 at 12:01pm | IP Logged | 10  

My recollections of Wanda and Pietro started with the Whizzer being their "dad", too. By the time John was working with Chris Claremont on the X-Men, they started bringing on the heavy hints of Magneto's relationship.

••

Not quite. The one big "hint" that I put out there happened not in X-MEN, but in an issue of THE AVENGERS. We saw Magneto recuperating on Asteroid M and reviewing some old data files, when an image of his former wife popped up -- and she looked very much like Wanda.

That was as far as I took it, and even with that it came as a complete surprise to Chris. When he asked what the heck was going on, I said "I figured someone like Galactus needed a herald," invoking the way Jack had "sprung" the Silver Surfer on an unknowing Stan. Of course, my advantage here was that X-MEN and AVENGERS had the same editor back then -- Roger Stern. And Rog was totally on board for the Magneto-as-their-Dad retcon.

He was also on board for keeping it one of those "Marvel Secrets" that everybody knows, but is never actually stated in the books in so many words. Later writers decided to just state it outright. An early example of the bleeding obvious becoming a staple of storytelling at Marvel.

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Tshombe K. Hamilton
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Posted: 07 October 2010 at 12:13pm | IP Logged | 11  

Not quite. The one big "hint" that I put out there happened not in X-MEN, but in an issue of THE AVENGERS. We saw Magneto recuperating on Asteroid M and reviewing some old data files, when an image of his former wife popped up -- and she looked very much like Wanda.
......
JB it was in the  pages of the X-Men...#125 I believe...right before the Proteus Saga. That was a shock to me as well
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Adam Hutchinson
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Posted: 07 October 2010 at 12:36pm | IP Logged | 12  


 QUOTE:
The biggest problem with the Whizzer being the father of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch was that it meant Pietro was not a mutant! The Whizzer's power had "bred true", producing something closer to speciation than mutation, at least by the loosey-goosey definitions in the Marvel Universe

That's a neat point. How would you deal with mutants in the Marvel universe having children? (Whizzer wasn't a mutant was he? He's the one who got his powers from Mongoose blood right?)

Would those children be more likely to be mutants? Would they be guranteed to be mutants but with random powers? Or would they be normal humans? Would mutants be sterile like mules?

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Brandon Carter
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Posted: 07 October 2010 at 1:28pm | IP Logged | 13  

This installment of Comic Book Legends Revealed tells about what led up to the reveal of Magneto being the father of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.  It's the second of three items in the column.

 

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2010/05/13/comic-bo ok-legends-revealed-260/

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John Byrne
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Posted: 07 October 2010 at 1:43pm | IP Logged | 14  

The biggest problem with the Whizzer being the father of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch was that it meant Pietro was not a mutant! The Whizzer's power had "bred true", producing something closer to speciation than mutation, at least by the loosey-goosey definitions in the Marvel Universe

===

That's a neat point. How would you deal with mutants in the Marvel universe having children? (Whizzer wasn't a mutant was he? He's the one who got his powers from Mongoose blood right?)

Would those children be more likely to be mutants? Would they be guranteed to be mutants but with random powers? Or would they be normal humans? Would mutants be sterile like mules?

••

When Stan and Jack created the X-Men the premise was very simple: mutants were people who were born with a kink in their DNA which eventually (around puberty) manifested itself in strange and usually most inconvenient powers -- eye beams, wings, enormous hands and feet, etc.

This made mutants different from the FF, or Spider-Man, who had been exposed to some extraordinary set of circumstances which had created a kink in their DNA.

So it was really simple: born that way (or at least with the potential) = mutant. Picked it up along the way somewhere = non-mutant variant.

The question of mutants breeding and whether this would create other mutants should be equally simple. As a way of explaining why the Sentinels had trouble identifying Wolverine as a mutant, I suggested (and Chris and I were working toward revealing) that Sabretooth was Logan's father, and that HIS mutation had bred true. Wolverine was not a mutant, he was a whole new species.

People have often asked what it is that makes Namor a "mutant". He is a HYBRID, they say, possessing abilities from both his parents. Ah, but neither of his parents had wings on their heels, did they? THAT is what makes him a mutant!

Franklin Richards is a mutant, because the set of powers he got are derived from neither parent (except to the extent that they were both zapped by cosmic rays and became, themselves, non-mutant variants.)

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John Byrne
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Posted: 07 October 2010 at 1:44pm | IP Logged | 15  

Not quite. The one big "hint" that I put out there happened not in X-MEN, but in an issue of THE AVENGERS. We saw Magneto recuperating on Asteroid M and reviewing some old data files, when an image of his former wife popped up -- and she looked very much like Wanda.

++

JB it was in the pages of the X-Men...#125 I believe...right before the Proteus Saga. That was a shock to me as well

••

You are correct! Roger and I thought about doing it in THE AVENGERS, but decided instead to add a pages to an X-MEN tale. Either way, tho, that was all there was -- and all that was ever intended!

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Peter Martin
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Posted: 07 October 2010 at 3:34pm | IP Logged | 16  

I'm completely on board with the mutant definitions above -- that;s the way I'd always understood things to be. But, then again, I glow in the dark.
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 07 October 2010 at 5:18pm | IP Logged | 17  

I'm completely on board with the mutant definitions above...
---
As am I. I also prefer the days when mutants had simple
abilities/characteristics like the ones JB mentioned - eye beams, wings,
enormous hands and feet, etc.
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Bill Catellier
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Posted: 07 October 2010 at 10:37pm | IP Logged | 18  

JB-  regarding Namor's mutation involving his wings-- is the reason the other such hybrid (Namorita) has the same wings, features etc due to sharing DNA with Namor?  Would we see something different from a mating that didn't involve someone from Namor's bloodline?
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James Revilla
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Posted: 08 October 2010 at 12:06am | IP Logged | 19  

Am curious JB, would that mean either Reed or Sue has latent mutant genes to make Franklin or would the cosmic rays be the sourse of his mutation?
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 08 October 2010 at 2:30pm | IP Logged | 20  

Wasn't there an idea floating around Marvel back when that anybody who had gotten superpowers was pretty much a latent mutant that exposure to some trauma had brought about? Something unique in the body chemistry, as it were?

Like, how that spider bite or gamma bomb explosion would have killed anyone else but not Peter Parker or Bruce Banner?  Or even the drug experiment that killed all other kids except Cloak and Dagger, because they were latent mutants.

I'm not sure where I picked up this idea, but it seems it was implied in at least a couple of books back in the late 80's/early 90's.

 

 

 

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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 08 October 2010 at 2:43pm | IP Logged | 21  

Yes, I recall the term "latent mutant" being thrown around quite a bit in OHOTMU.
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Stephen Robinson
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Posted: 08 October 2010 at 2:44pm | IP Logged | 22  

Wasn't there an idea floating around Marvel back when that anybody who had gotten superpowers was pretty much a latent mutant that exposure to some trauma had brought about? Something unique in the body chemistry, as it were?

********

SER: The beginning of the end, I think. As a I kid, I believed that being bitten by a radioactive spider would give you spider powers. I believed that being caught in a gamma blast would turn you into the Hulk. I didn't need pseudo-science to explain what is obviously fantasy.
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Brandon Scott Berthelot
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Posted: 08 October 2010 at 5:14pm | IP Logged | 23  

That was a big part of Earth X.  Basically humanity was destined to be a race of beings with superpowers, with mutants being the first ones to manifest them.  Others had the mutant gene activated by outside stimuli.  

A race of beings with superpowers was the first step in the evolution.  Then came where all beings manifested the same power, control over their body, ala the Skrulls.  Then came where everyone had immense, but undefined power and were defined by other races that saw them (Thor, Loki, and the other Norse gods of the Marvel Universe were aliens who reached this step, and humanity saw them as gods from their legends, so the aliens became these beings).
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Tony Midyett
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Posted: 10 October 2010 at 9:10pm | IP Logged | 24  

I kind of like the idea that mutant parents are more likely to have super-powered kids than non-mutant parents.  It has a sort of ominous feel to it, like, "Will they one day replace us?".  Fuels anti-mutant hysteria a bit, doesn't it?

Here's a question for everyone---Rachel has time-manipulation abilities, in addition to her Jean Grey powers, so Rachel's a mutant.  But doesn't Cable have the same powers as Jean, too, but without the time-manipulation power?  What's Cable's mutant power?
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Mike Norris
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Posted: 10 October 2010 at 9:30pm | IP Logged | 25  

Lifting absurdly large weapons?

Edited by Mike Norris on 10 October 2010 at 9:31pm
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