Marvel Decade: Scarlet Witch Was Right

A column article, Comics Bulletin Soapbox by: Shawn Hill
The Marvel Decade: Scarlet Witch Was Right

"No more mutants." Was it the last mad utterance of a desperately ill woman? Or a positive program for addressing imbalance in the Marvel Universe?

Sure, several mutants died when their powers suddenly failed, but none of the cool ones! No more mutants instead seemed to mean "a lot fewer mutants." It was a big gesture, but it hasn't stuck on the major members of the House of M (Magneto, Quicksilver and Polaris have all been repowered, though they took grave steps to get there) most noticeably, or on most of the core casts that still fill the ranks of the major x-teams.

The only member of the larger X-family I can think of where Wanda's wish hit and stuck is Rictor, over in X-factor, but that's a crew of dark and moody weirdos anyway. Furthermore, it's helped him find other strengths in his character and he's even found love with the gender opportunistic Shatterstar.

Sure, Quicksilver's been through hell and back since Wanda's spell, trying to help mutants get their powers back and altering his own a few times. Pietro may just be the most complicated member of the House of M. An Avenger, an Inhuman, an Evil Mutant and a member of X-factor, he's played every side at once for some time now. His crime against the Inhumans was part of the reason they went on the assertive rampage that brought the former victims of Kree science to war with Initiative-era America and ultimately to the throne of the Kree Empire.

Quicksilver is every bit as clever as his sister. While she wipes out all the mutants that don't matter to anyone, he blames all his mistakes on a Skrull imposter, even though he never actually was impersonated and in reality committed all the crimes himself. The genius of the House of M keeps evolving to world leader levels of spin doctoring.

Of course, his daughter Luna knows the truth, and she's also part of the House of M. Thomas and William may have some inkling, too, but they've wisely stayed away from their mother, who's also stayed away from them. Because what logic would there be to actually finding the two children she feels everyone else has kept from her? What comfort could Wiccan and Speed offer their bereft (possible) mother, who would then have to face the bare fact that her murderous rampage was unwarranted? She's so much better off keeping herself apart from everyone, except maybe Hawkeye, and the Beast.

Those are the two men who may have benefited most from "no more mutants." Henry's quest for more information, for any sort of solution to the (artificial) peril of his race took him down routes that were perilously close to those chosen by his Earth-295 analog, Dark Beast. He's been left more invested in his scientific pursuits than ever.

And then there's Hawkeye, I mean Ronin. Has he gone as crazy as Hank Pym with all his identity switches? Maybe crazier, because who else has been unmade and reformed twice by the Scarlet Witch at her most whimsical? A star-crossed life of sometime-villainy can't get more cursed than to be ended at capricious intervals by a former lover. He's become a devil-may-care risk-taker, a cynical hard-ass, at least until he also had his lost love returned to him. Then it was Mockingbird's turn to be cynical.

There's also the legacy of Vulcan, who was awoken from his tomb in space by the literal energetic pulse of "no more mutants," and Michael Pointer/Weapon Omega/the Collective, who used all that might to wipe out Alpha Flight before he came to his senses. Sort of. His story is about as simple to follow as Stryfe's was back in an earlier multi-creator continuity tangle.

But since Vulcan is now a dirty secret the Shi'ar would rather forget, and Weapon Omega is making a name for himself as comic relief, it's more evidence that all that excess mutant energy (the conservation of mass in the form of a genetic time bomb?) was never up to any good anyway.

Dark Beast? Now that's a somewhat bigger question mark. A footnote from a previous crossover, he's persisted longer than the other villains from the Age of Apocalypse, becoming even more of a steady presence than Apocalypse himself. Even longer than the subtly-named Holocaust (who had an inferno for a head), or the starlet Blink who emerged briefly as a sensation from Earth-295, mostly due to her complimentary color scheme.

Dark Beast finds steady employ as a sadistic mastermind, while Wanda buys fruit and tends to … someone. Why is it that a manipulative mad scientist still has stories to tell, but a misunderstood mutant witch who alters probability on a whim does not? Probably because one of those two characters is actually frightening.

It's past time for Wanda to return, and continue the great work she started! There are so many more things to fix! Since there's no limit on her powers, why not:

"No more Loki!"

"No more anti-heroes!"

"No more Big Events!"

"No more Ultimate Jeph Loeb!?"

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