Now that Avengers: Age of Ultron has revealed Joss Whedon’s take on the mouthy Marvel Speedster, Quicksilver, fans can finally put on their boxing gloves and debate: Was Age of Ultron’s Quicksilver better than last year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past's?
For those who may not know, two versions of Quicksilver inhabit in the world of cinema, despite only one Quicksilver existing in the Marvel Comics Universe. The split famously came a few years back, thanks a tricky loophole in Marvel and FOX studios’ licensing deal for the X-Men franchise. According to the deal, FOX has exclusive rights to all X-Men-related properties. Quicksilver (along with Scarlet Witch) debuted in the Marvel Universe as evil mutants to combat the X-Men, placing them under FOX’s purview. However, Quicksilver also spent many years in the comics as a member of the Avengers, giving Marvel Studios equal claim to the character—just so long as they severed all ties to mutant-dom and the X-Men. That’s why Age of Ultron’s Quicksilver gets his powers from genetic experimentation, and not the mutant X-gene.
Now that everyone’s caught up, let’s look at what really separates each Pietro Maximoff from the other.
X-Men: Days of Future Past’s Quicksilver
Many fans can agree that their favorite segments of Bryan Singer’s time-hopping X-adventure featured Quicksilver. With a wit to match his speed, punk attitude, and scene-chewing sense of humor, Quicksilver was Days of Future Past’s breakout character. His role in the now-iconic Pentagon breakout ranks as one of the most beautifully composed—and just plain awesome—scenes in all of comic book movie history. Quite appropriately, every moment with Quicksilver felt like a roller coaster ride, with actor Evan Peters making Pietro’s (or Peter’s) cockiness actually feel somewhat endearing. Sure, he was an impatient Twit, but at least he was an entertaining one.
But for all the flash (excuse us) this Quicksilver had, there was no substance beneath it. Perhaps honoring the character’s power-set, Days of Future Past whisked Quicksilver out of the story as quickly as it introduced him. There character lacked and true motivation, other than wanting to be rebel without a cause, which made it difficult to invest much in him. One could argue that he was just an entertaining plot device who, once he served his purpose, had little to offer to the overall story. But taking this Quicksilver for what he is, Bryan Singer and his team handled him well.
Avengers: Age of Ultron’s Quicksilver
In comparison to FOX's Bryan Singer's Quicksilver, Marvel’s rendition of the super speedster is surprisingly sober. While Joss Whedon’s take still included that trade-mark cockiness, it felt much more abrasive and unwelcoming. That’s not to say he was a snooze-fest. Aaron Taylor-Johnson injected a bit of humor into his Quicksilver, but it was far darker than Peters’. This actually makes a fair deal of sense, given the grim backstory Marvel Studios concocted for Quicksilver. To side-step around that tricky mutant issue, Marvel reimagined Quicksilver as an orphan in a war-torn nation. Wanting revenge on the forces responsible for his parent’s death—Stark Industries—Pietro volunteers for a horrific and painful set of experiments that grant him his powers. That’s bound to snuff the sunshine out almost anyone.
But in that darkness, comes a depth that Days of Future Past’s Quicksilver never reached. The Avenger’s Quicksilver is a fully-fleshed character with a clear arc. His motivations are sympathetic, and there's a greater meaning behind his actions. And in paying respect to his Avengers roots, this Quicksilver actually becomes a hero. Whereas the Days of Future Past’s Quicksilver cared for little more than himself, Age of Ultron’s put all other life before him. That selflessness would eventually fuel one of the most pivital moments, making Quicksilver an integral part of the overall story. While he may not be the best guy to bring to a party, he served a far greater purpose.
As you can see, each Quicksilver differs quite drastically from the other. They certainly exist within leagues of their own, but since fandom decrees that there must be a “best” of everything, we now turn it to you. Which Quicksilver did you like better: Avengers: Age of Ultron’s, or X-Men: Days of Future Past’s? Cast your vote in the poll, and debate like it’s AvX all over again in the comments!