Issue(s): Avengers #183, Avengers #184, Avengers #185, Avengers #186, Avengers #187
While Wanda is away, Ms. Marvel is brought in as her replacement (after some initial bureaucratic troubles).
Meanwhile, Captain America convinces the Falcon to accept the Avengers membership. The Falcon does accept, but isn't happy about the way he was chosen.
All of the government pressure is putting stress on Tony Stark, who makes a reference to wanting a martini, in a nice tie-in with Michelinie's ongoing sub-plot about Stark's alcoholism in Iron Man.
While all of this is going on, the Absorbing Man, who was turned to glass and shattered by the Hulk some time ago, finally gets all his pieces back together and reforms. He grabs a hostage and decides to head for South America, where "they don't have no super heroes". Hawkeye, seeing off the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (and moping about his old flame for her and the fact that he's been kicked off the team) runs into Creel. The rest of the Avengers show up soon after and get into a two issue fight with him (while the hostage develops a quick case of Stockholm Syndrome).
The Absorbing Man is represented as an extremely powerful opponent, and the Avengers never really win the fight. Sick of fighting, the Absorbing Man absorbs water while in the harbor and dissipates. It's depicted as a suicide.
Hawkeye is very bitter about his replacement, especially as Falcon didn't contribute much during the fight against Absorbing Man.
The story changes focus to East Transia in Bulgaria, where Django and his 'children' are. One night, Modred the Mystic shows up in the Scarlet Witch's room (she sleeps naked, of course).
He takes her to the ruins of Wundagore and then attacks her. Quicksilver investigates her disappearance but is repelled from the mountain and knocked out. He is rescued by Bova, in her first actual appearance (we've only seen her in flashback so far).
Bova explains Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch's origin. Bova herself was an evolved cow, the first New Man created by the High Evolutionary. The twins were given to the High Evolutionary by a woman named Magda, whose husband gained strange abilities that sent him 'raving with a desire to rule the world' (this is before the back-ups in Classic X-Men were written, so the audience of the time wouldn't have immediately seen that it was Magneto's wife. I'm fairly certain that there was really no indication at this time that Magda was referring to Magneto, although things get blurry for me due to the Classic X-Men re-edits.). Soon after, the Whizzer and Miss America show up at Wundagore as well (it was a damn popular place at this time; the flashback also shows where Spider-Woman's father fits into the timeline) to seek help for Nuklo, and that's when Miss America gives birth to her twins as well, but both she and her twins actually died due to the radiation exposure that created Nuklo, and Bova tried to swap her kids for Magda's. However, Whizzer was too distraught to take them, and so Bova gave them to Django and his wife, who had also recently lost their twins.
Definitely a little convoluted, but it does the job of backing the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver out of the origin of being the children of the Whizzer and Miss America.
Meanwhile, the Scarlet Witch battles Modred on Wundagore Mountain.
She almost takes him out by dropping the magic for a second and getting physical...
...but he recovers and allows Ch'thon to possess her. Her giant disembodied head appears over Quicksilver and he knows he's got more trouble than he can handle, so he calls in the Avengers. Gyrich tries to throw up some more red tape, but Captain America goes over his head, giving a call to the President.
The Vision, officially on monitor duty, is still prevented from leaving with the rest of the team. Vision expresses his... displeasure with that decision to Gyrich, but Cap convinces him not to put a hole in his head.
Wonder Man takes the place of Iron Man for this trip, since Iron Man has become wrapped up in a scandal where he's killed a diplomatic official (due to Justin Hammer, in his own series).
The Avengers arrive and fight Modred and the Ch'thon-possessed Scarlet Witch, who have already defeated Quicksilver and Django.
The good guys are eventually defeated and captured, whereupon Ch'thon explains the origins of the the Darkhold, which ties into the books of Dr. Strange, Spider-Woman, Mordred's Marvel Chillers, Werewolf By Night, and the backstory of the High Evolutionary.
The team rallies when the Beast, who had been separated from the group, arrives in full Wundagorian armor. Ch'thon had previously been defeated by the Knights of Wundagore, so when she sees the Beast, she panics, giving the rest of the team a chance to escape.
They do so by focusing their willpower on Django's Scarlet Witch doll, pulling Ch'thon's soul into the doll, freeing the Scarlet Witch. They destroy the doll in an avalanche.
The Beast has generally been written in the Avengers to be ineffective, both physically and intellectually. He's been more of the team jester than a participating member. I almost wonder if, when Beast finds and wears the Wundagorian equipment this issue, the writers toyed with the idea of him keeping it permanently.
Django Maximoff dies during the battle, however, and Wanda and Quicksilver don't learn who their real father is.
This arc had a lot of story elements that can be considered the key attributes of the Shooter EIC era. Firstly, it had great characterization by Michelinie. Second, the plots for the most part were relatively straightforward and standard super-heroics, but they were executed in a very professional and competent manner. Third, there was a real emphasis on past continuity and history (due to Gruenwald's hand in the plotting, i'm sure). And fourth, there was more of a "real world" emphasis dealing with the Avengers' relationship with the government. All that, plus John Byrne's wonderful artwork.
The driving force behind this was described in the lettercol for issue #192:
It all began with an attempt to reconcile the mysteries of the origin of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. The earlier version - in which the Whizzer appeared to be their father - didn't account for a number of the puzzle's pieces, not the least of which was why an American named Bob would name his son Pietro. There were other mysterious references: Pietro's vow to his parents (Madeline Joyce died soon after childbirth) that he would care for Wanda, Wanda's comments about being a child during WW2, and Pietro's memories of their father carving marionettes. With a tip-off from John Byrne that a certain well-known Marvel character may have a greater connection to the twins than anyone (including himself) suspected, it was simply a matter then of developing a chronology of explaining why two different men claimed to be the father of Wanda and Pietro while a third man actually was.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Iron Man #124-125 take place concurrently with Avengers #185-186, and therefore Iron Man isn't available to join the Avengers on the mission to Bulgaria to help the Scarlet Witch.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Avengers: Nights of Wundagore
Inbound References (19): show
I read somewhere that the Magneto flashback of Magda in (UX #125 IIRC) happened in the same month as the Bova flashback to Pietro and Wanda's mother in the trailing end of this storyline. It is certainly not too far apart, and leads me to believe it was planned in advance.
Posted by: Luis Olavo Dantas | February 25, 2011 10:06 AM
Yep, the scene where Magneto accidentally triggers an image of Magda and it looks a lot like the Scarlet Witch was in UX 125, which seems to have been timed deliberately to coincide with the end of this Avengers arc (Sep 79 cover date for both). But judging from letters, i think it still wasn't completely clear to fans at the time until it was confirmed in the Vision and the Scarlet Witch mini in 1982.
What i mean when i say above that things are a little muddy for me is, i'm not 100% sure how much Magneto's backstory was known at the time, versus how much has been retconned into the Classic X-Men reprints.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 26, 2011 3:06 PM
The title to #187 refers to the Edvard Grieg composition "In the Hall of the Mountain King".
A text page in Man-Thing V.2 #1(of all places) stated "Why don't we admit that the father of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch is M*gn*t*? Because it's a secret, that's why!" I don't remember who wrote it(but the asterisks were there), so evidently Marvel had decided on Magento's fathership at that time.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 4, 2011 1:53 PM
The Robin Hood movie poster in #181 lists Kurt Wagner, aka Nightcrawler.
Probably due to the all-Canadian art team, #181 has these names listed on spines in bookshelves: Dan Day, David Day(both artists and younger brothers of Gene Day), Sim, and Deni(Dave Sim and Deni Loubert, then married and publishers of Cerebus).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | May 27, 2012 7:48 PM
More Avengers sexiness with Wanda sleeping nude; the following panel (not shown) shows her getting out of bed, with Mordred magically causing her costume to appear on her (think about this - she was in the act of getting out of bed, not only fully nude, but with her legs in an open position, in front of a total stranger who appeared in her room; was her plan to distract him with such a view in order to assess if he were truly friend or foe? Possibly, but somehow I don't think the Vision would approve ;)
Posted by: Joe | August 25, 2012 1:29 AM
According to Byrne, Jim Shooter specifically told him how large the Scarlet Witch's boobs were.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 1, 2012 9:40 PM
Interesting that when Bova relates to Quicksilver the tale of the High Evolutionary placing him and Wanda with the Maximoffs, she mentions the names (Ana and Mateo) of two children the Maximoffs had recently lost. The names seem like unnecessary detail, unless it's just to establish they were twins of different sexes, like Wanda and Pietro.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | May 7, 2013 12:34 AM
Kurt Busiek has a letter in #183.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 25, 2013 6:25 PM
In an issue of Darkhold, Wanda told Agatha Harkness that Modred had violated her. Do you think that maybe Modred raped her at some point in the story?
I wonder how much of Q and SW's origin will be used in the Avengers sequal.
Posted by: Steven Printz | August 5, 2013 7:51 AM
Now here's a question and a half: when do you think Wonder Man formally joined the Avengers ? Some people think it was in #9, but whilst Thor suggests that the team might have found a new member, that does not qualify for a formal enrolment. In #150, Sam Reuther counts Wonder Man as an Avenger, but journalists having their facts right isn't that common. Conway and Shooter can't seem to make up their minds, he's either a full Avenger back from the dead, or a potential one, the comments seem to yo-yo. Personally I think Wondy formally joins in #187. Up until then he has been fighting alongside the team and living in the Mansion, but so did Hercules and Mantis before they formally joined. However, in #187, Wonder Man has been drafted in to replace Iron Man, and as Gyrich has the final say as to who can and can't fight with / as Avengers, then Wondy must now be a proper member, at last. This explains his comment in #194 about being an Avenger again.
Posted by: Mike Teague | December 14, 2013 4:16 AM
It was John Byrne's idea to make Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch the children of Magneto.
It was suppose to be a secret but in one of the Avengers letters forum (some issue in the 190's), it states that Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch are the children of *agn*to with some of the letters of Magneto starred out.
It's discussed here on his forum:
Posted by: A.Lloyd | November 10, 2014 11:20 PM
1 - Fnord, I assume you have this and the Iron Man issues in GN and don't want to slice them up, which is why those aren't interspersed. Although, for the purposes of the site, it does read smoother the way you have it.
2 - I don't care what Marvel has done or eventually will do. As far as I am concerned, this is the origin of Wanda and Pietro.
3 - I agree with Mike that that Wonder Man seems to have officially joined here, though I believe Marvel Universe in the 1986 Expanded Handbook listed him officially joining in #194.
4 - Cap under-cutting Gyrich is just awesome. How often do you get to see Cap smirk?
5 - I agree with Joe - was Wanda trying to district him? But, to the 12 year old in me, it's just awesome.
6 - @ Steven Printz - I would argue that this is a mental and spiritual violation. Nothing seems to indicate rape. But given what he does do her mind, I think "violate" is the correct word.
7 - In regards to Monitor Duty. That had never really been a regular Avengers thing, leaving someone behind. But in JLA, monitor duty was always a big thing. It just seemed like a little thing to keep Vision out of the story.
8 - As hokey as it is, I have always loved that the Avengers need to work as a team to get Chthon into the doll.
9 - In regards to Magneto. This was something that it seemed like Marvel wanted to make clear enough to hardcore fans without actually saying it. They did the same thing later with Cable and drove lots of us nuts who wanted to just yell: "Just say he's Nathan Christopher Summers already!"
10 - All said and done, still one of my top two Avengers storylines ever. I can't imagine how excited I would have been to actually be reading comics in 1979 and have John Byrne on both Avengers and X-Men.
Posted by: Erik Beck | April 15, 2015 8:37 AM
Correct on point #1. In the Considerations for Iron Man #120-128 i detail where Iron Man comes in and out of this story.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 15, 2015 8:56 AM
As we all now know, Wanda and Pietro are no longer the children of Magneto, with their mother now being Natalya Maximoff. So a big question now needs to be asked: Who and where in the blazes are the children that Magda gave birth to? And who is the father? Very curious.
Posted by: Andrew Burke | July 25, 2016 12:59 PM
I'm thinking Magda and Natalya are one in the same, and she is the eldest daughter of Django and Marya Maximoff. This would explain why all three women look almost exactly alike. And Magda and Marya are very similar names. Obviously, Natalya would have changed her name from Magda, for reasons known perhaps only to her. One possibility is that she was hiding from the father. Of course, this would mean that she must have cheated on Magneto with someone else, if we are to keep him out of it. A bit dicey, but possible.
Posted by: Andrew Burke | July 25, 2016 1:06 PM
Well, honestly, the amount of holes you can poke through the retcon they aren't mutant children of Magneto is enormous. I was gonna list some examples but there are genuinely too many.
I doubt they have any intention to ever touch on things like this because it would require admitting their version of events are ill-thought out and have gigantic dangling flaws.
Posted by: AF | July 25, 2016 1:09 PM
Brevoort's attitude is "Listen, you loser comic book reading idiots, it makes sense coz I say so. It makes that one specific bit in a Kirby issue of Thor make sense, so therefore it's obviously right and meant to be. If you don't like it, you are a bigoted bully and PREJUDICE IN ANY FORM MUST BE DESTROYED".
Posted by: AF | July 25, 2016 1:19 PM
I know they wanted to make her more like her movie character, but retconning their origin was foolish in many ways, like you mention, the least of which is the fact that Quicksilver and Magneto look exactly alike and there's no changing that.
I will say that I do like Luminous. Speed powers AND chaos magic rolled into one package. And she looks cool.
Posted by: Andrew Burke | July 25, 2016 1:37 PM
Yeah, I say we just ignore the whole idea that Pietro and Wanda aren't Magneto's children until they get re-retconned into being them again. I'm sure it'll happen sooner or later.
Posted by: Erik Beck | July 25, 2016 5:27 PM
When Marvel Studios gets the X-Men back, Wanda and Pietro will become Magneto's children again. It's not looking sooner, though.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | July 25, 2016 11:53 PM
I don't think that Magda was pregnant when she fled from Magneto, and she never came to Wundagore Mountain. The High Evolutionary either told his loyal servant Bova to lie about Magda coming there, or he implanted false memories in her brain. He wanted to con the Maximoffs and Magneto to believe that they were related.
Posted by: Steven | July 26, 2016 1:01 AM
That's a good point. He did say he was playing some sort of game, although it makes you wonder how the High Evolutionary knew who Magda was and why he chose her, which could still mean Magda was the daughter of Django and Marya, people he already knew about.
Everyone is right about Marvel just likely ignoring this stuff, but I still wonder about this kind of thing, as I am always into unresolved plot points.
Posted by: Andrew Burke | July 26, 2016 9:25 AM
I can't believe that about 35 (or so) years later, nobody has seen fit to close the door on Magda's final years, especially with something as vague as "and she wandered back out into the snow and disappeared from sight" as her final appearance (I could be misremembering the exact words used but the point still stands).
Posted by: D09 | July 30, 2016 9:14 PM
We do eventually see a gravestone for Magda in (I think) an issue of X-Men Unlimited, but that just raises further questions.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | July 31, 2016 1:56 PM
Yeah, it was X-Men Unlimited 2- the explanation was that Magneto put the tombstone up when he learned of his wife's death. There were other weird things going on with the flashback to the grave in that story though, especially since the guy narrating it turned out to be an unreliable narrator.
Posted by: Michael | July 31, 2016 2:03 PM
"Everyone is right about Marvel just likely ignoring this stuff, but I still wonder about this kind of thing, as I am always into unresolved plot points."
Where's Nathan Adler when you need him?
Posted by: George Lochinski | August 4, 2016 2:53 PM
Help. Somebody knows where "Wanda's comments about being a child during WW2" and where "Pietro's memories of their father carving marionettes"? I´ve reading the comics about the parents of the twins and i don´t remeber those things. Thanks.
Posted by: Lord_Pengallan | June 21, 2017 5:54 AM
I´ve founded the second. In Avengers 110 Pietro remembers.
Posted by: Lord_Pengallan | June 21, 2017 5:59 AM
The Avengers issue with the Magda reference and that X-Men issue (125) not only came out the same month, my recollection was that they came out the same week! As a reader, I remember reading the second one and going "Wait, but wasn't that the name of...?" and flipping back over to the Avengers issue I had just read. I am almost certain they were out the same week. Awesome reveal, but not reveal!
Posted by: J.B. | September 16, 2017 6:07 PM
According to mikesamazingworld, X-Men #125 came out June 19, 1979, as did Avengers #187.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | September 17, 2017 3:57 PM
Wanda being a child in WW2? That really doesn't ring any bells. I wonder if they're mixing her up with the Black Widow?
Posted by: Andrew | September 17, 2017 9:14 PM
Of course, Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver had a perfectly good origin. They were Romany Gypsies, who were discovered by Magneto and brought to America to serve in his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Roy Thomas added the extra layer that they were the children of The Whizzer & Miss America. Now, that wasn't great, but it did have the advantage of being fairly straightforward and easy to understand.
This ret-con is an awful mess. The Whizzer is not their father and Django Maximoff is not their father, but there is someone else -who we are not going to name - who is their father. And High Evolutionary is also involved somehow, but then Scarlet Witch gets taken over by Chiffon - does that have anything to do with anything else we are seeing? I honestly don't know.
I would have preferred it, if they had just left well alone.
Posted by: Bernard the Poet | December 2, 2017 10:43 AM
Well (unless I've missed further retcons) I think Django Maximoff is now their father after all, due to the later retcon that they weren't Magneto's children and were merely humans who had been genetically tampered with by the High EVolutionary.
(Presumably this tampering made them close enough to mutants to be recognised as mutants by the Sentinels' scans, & also whatever Magneto's equivalent of Cerebro was.)
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | December 2, 2017 5:37 PM
Unfortunately this is one of the bad side effects of long term continuity in a shared universe. Everyone keeps adding to more and more backstory, and simple concepts become overly complicated over time. For some reason, this always seems to affect mutants more even when they are not in the X-titles!
Posted by: Chris | December 2, 2017 6:29 PM
As of SCARLET WITCH #11-14, Wanda and Pietro are the children of Natalya Maximoff and an unnamed father. Django and Marya are their uncle and aunt. Natalya was murdered by the mystery father, but that plot remains unresolved. Their father may have been the Emerald Warlock.
Posted by: Andrew Burke | December 4, 2017 9:15 AM
I think is pretty stupid to have a super hero on monitor duty. Couldn´t they just have an assistant?
Posted by: Jay Gallardo | December 7, 2017 8:07 PM
fnord, RE your question about whether Michelinie was just scripter or also co-plotter for issues #185-187: In Avengers Masterworks 18, Michelinie says he was busy writing the Marvel paperback The Man Who Stole Tomorrow at the time, so my take-away is that Grant, Gruenwald, and probably Byrne were the actual writers on that arc, with Michelinie just coming in to add word balloons and captions at the end.
Posted by: Andrew | April 20, 2018 9:56 AM
"I think is pretty stupid to have a super hero on monitor duty. Couldn´t they just have an assistant?"
Actually, an assistant may not be authorized to make decisions. In addition, in case of a super-powered problem, there would be a "hero" on call.
Posted by: clyde | April 20, 2018 11:45 AM
For me it's a great "comics!" thing that Pietro & Wanda were midwifed by a giant cow-woman. At the time, the High Evolutionary & his New Men were used a lot more, and seemed like a major part of the Marvel universe, but I feel like they stopped appearing so much, & younger readers will be puzzled by the sheer '70s randomness of Bova appearing in any stories flashing back to Wanda & Pietro's parentage. (I think Bova's involvement is about the only thing that hasn't been retconned in 3 different explanations of who their parents are?)
I think Bova has only appeared once before this, unnamed in a flashback in Giant-Size Avengers #1, and this is the first time the character is fleshed out.
Other than the general lack of interest in Whizzer & Miss America being their parents & some other plotholes from Wanda & Pietro's childhood memories, I wonder if part of the switch to Magneto was a way to avoid sliding timescale problems due to Whizzer & Miss America's WWII links, unaware that Magneto would soon be linked to WWII himself?
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | July 17, 2018 8:06 PM
Comments are now closed.
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