Monday, July 14, 2014

Comic Book Origins: The Case of Pietro Maximoff in Marvel Comics and Movies

By Snow Drift

Origins in comic books have always been one of the biggest and most important aspects that characters have in this medium. Publishers will make one or more comic book issues explaining the origins of characters, announcing the publications of these with much enthusiasm and promotion. In these issues, the readers witness the development of their favorite characters from birth to their present state of self.

In the movie X-Men: Days of Future Past, viewers witness various mutant characters, one of them being Peter Maximoff, or as he is known in the Marvel comics, Quicksilver. However, this version of him is vastly different from his comic book counterpart. In the comics, Pietro Maximoff is the son of Magneto and a Romani woman named Magda, who fell in love with each other and escaped the Auschwitz concentration camp during the Holocaust. After escaping and living in peace for a short while, Magda ran away from Magneto when he killed a mob of Ukrainians. She eventually gave birth to twins, Pietro and Wanda, before she died. Thus, this makes the twins Jewish-Romani in terms of ethnicity. They wandered throughout Eastern Europe for years, having only each other for love and comfort. This is them living in a communist environment, running away because of their powers or because of discrimination every so often, and having been raised by an adoptive Romani couple.

However, to change that to a white, American boy with an Anglo-Saxon version of his name, living in a capitalist country, with a white American mother and a little sister instead of a twin, changes a lot of his character. Although the Jewish heritage is still intact because of Magneto, the Romani side has been erased, along with Magda, her experiences, and the twins’ life in Eastern Europe. When personalities and identities are important, taking away essential aspects of Pietro affects them. Growing up as a Jewish-Romani mutant in Europe with a twin sister leads a character down a certain path in life. The circumstances of living in a society where the twins were not only hated for being mutants, but also because of their ethnicity, affects how they view the world and how the world views them. The development of a character is based upon specific experiences and their perception of them.

With this in mind, I have to wonder what will happen to Pietro in the movie Avengers: Age of Ultron. The Walt Disney Company does not have the contractual right to associate any Marvel character with the X-Men or any concept of mutants. Thus, the movie has to change Pietro and Wanda’s origin and experiences, HYDRA holding them captive for who knows how many years. Not much is known yet, but it will not be surprising if the twins’ parenthood will be changed too. This personally worries me, for there is a possibility that the twins in the movie will be characters that will just happen to have the same powers and name as their counterparts, but not their identity as Pietro and Wanda Maximoff.

Of course, this is all speculation, but the possibilities are worrying for this particular comic book fan.

No comments:

Post a Comment