Tag Archives: Scarlet Witch

What If Charles Xavier Managed To Kill TWO Generations of X-Men? (Three If You Count the Deadly Genesis Team.)

We begin our tale this week in Scotland where genetic expert and yellow jumpsuit enthusiast (That’s a full club featuring her and 80’s cartoon era April O’Neil.) Moira McTaggart receives an urgent telegram from America. It’s not, as she assumed from her old boyfriend Charles Xavier but it is about him. He’s fallen into a deep depression, possibly due to so many people telling that he is a jerk. Moira leaves for the states at once, stopping only to grab the young and adorably check-dressed Rahne Sinclair before her asshole adopted father can utterly ruin her. It’s sort of like the last scene in Matilda.

Little Rahne is adorable!
Little Rahne is adorable!

“Ye canna take me adopted daughter, Lady Moira. She’s moine ta do wit’ as ah please. An tha’ includes beaten ‘pon her with yon shillelagh.”

“Aye, ‘tis yoor right as her guardian, Father Craig, abusive and awful though ye are. But let me ask ye this: Whut if oi were te donate a huge amoont ‘a money te ye and buy yon child straight out.”

“Wull, that’d prob’ly be just foine.”

So ends Horrible Accent Theater. Until we do another Claremont comic. Anyway, Moira and Rahne travel to America, eventually arriving at the Westchester home of Charles Xavier and apparently Hank McCoy, the Beast. We find Xavier in a deep depression with Hank as his only caretaker. Hank is also weirdly normal looking so the whole scene is pretty much exactly like the beginning of the Days of Future Past movie, minus the flagrant drug use. That I am aware of.

See, what Chuck really needs is a hug but he won't abide it any longer.
See, what Chuck really needs is a hug but he won’t abide it any longer.

It turns out that Hank is indeed still big, blue and beastly, he’s just been wearing a rubber mask to disguise his features, a plan which literally only works in comics. Listen, you met a giant gorilla man wearing a rubber mask to look like a normal person, you would be utterly terrified. That is some Uncanny X-Men Valley shit right there.

Picture a latex replica of Hank's real face pulled over that head. Terrifying. Also Rahne is identifying Hank as grey rather than blue in this scene. She can see his blue fur just fine but Father Craig taught her that identifying colours was sinful.
Picture a latex replica of Hank’s real face pulled over that head. Terrifying. Also Rahne is identifying Hank as grey rather than blue in this scene. She can see his blue fur just fine but Father Craig taught her that identifying colours was sinful.

Xavier is still in a mope, so Hank explains that the original X-Men (minus Hank, who has been off Avenging and occasionally Defending when the mood strikes.) were sent on a mission to Krakoa THE ISLAND THAT WALKS LIKE A MAN AND ALSO FLOATS IN THE OCEAN LIKE AN ISLAND. Krakoa whipped the OG X-Men’s asses and then Cyclops home to get some more chumps. Or Cyclops escapes. It depends on what retcon you’re reading. Anyway, Xavier formed an all-new, all-different team of X-Men. And it turned out that they were also all-ineffective because now they’re all-dead.

Hank’s been taking care of Xavier for a month now, which is really enough of a mourning period after causing the deaths of thirteen people so he contacted Moira to try to snap Chuck out of it. It doesn’t work because nobody on Earth funks like Charles Xavier. Except maybe Spider-Man. Moira agrees to stay on as housekeeper and also because it keeps Rahne away from her piece of shit father. Win win.

What follows are a few quiet weeks, as Hank teaches Rahne about Cerebro and they bond. Everything is going depressingly fine until a worldwide video message appears on the TV from Count Nefaria! Yes, Count Nefaria! He’s not a well known villain but he dresses impeccably. Nefaria proclaims that he has captured NORAD (“Never mind how.”) and will launch America’s missiles at every country on the globe unless they “a ransom from each nation on Earth. The amount determined by each nation’s ability to pay.” Which I always thought was really considerate. Nefaria expects the little shitty countries to do their part but he certainly understands that they can’t all pay American ransoms.

"It's none of your fucking BUSINESS how I took over NORAD, okay? Stop asking."
“It’s none of your fucking BUSINESS how I took over NORAD, okay? Stop asking.”

As a true hero, Beast prepares to spring into action but Xavier is having none of it.

“Let the Fantastic Four and the Avengers handle it. I’m sick of killing people. Except for the seven billion people who will die in nuclear fire since I refuse to help. God, I AM a jerk.”

Beast tries contacting the Avengers and the FF but alas they’re both off planet and the Enterprise is the only ship in the Quadrant so it’s up to him. Hank uses Cerebro to find some new mutants (Not to be confused with the New Mutants, much as I was hoping the rest of them would show up.) to save the day. He’s eventually able to contact the Scarlet Witch on her honeymoon with the Vision, jerk-ass speedster Quicksilver, Namor’s cousin and future New Warrior Namorita, Sean Cassidy’s daughter Siren I mean Banshee II and Thunderbird’s brother New Thunderbird who only wears a loincloth and a headband for the entire book because “Indian.”

Incidentally, pants and no shirt is my favourite Beast Costume.
Incidentally, pants and no shirt is my favourite Beast Costume.

Beast uses Cerebro to teleport all the mutants to Cheyenne Mountain because I guess Cerebro can do that now. Beast says it has something to do with Cerebro having Nightcrawler’s teleportation powers on file but let’s face it, he’s just making shit up at this point. He also accidentally brings Rahne along. But that’s odd, Cerebro was only supposed to teleport mutants.  I WONDER WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED.

Well, there’s no time for that MYSTERIOUS MYSTERY because the X-Men have to save the world and also do battle with Nefaria’s ridiculous animal men. My favourite is Cat-Man, the purple cat looking motherfucker with antenna. Dude is amazing. There’s an extended fight scene because of course there is and then Dragonfly Girl uses her hypnotic vision (A power shared by all dragonflies, of course.) to stun the X-Men.

Xavier, who has finally snapped out of his depression enough to be fucking useful, notices this and contacts Rahne, who has been waiting outside. He tells her that she’s a mutant and that he has known since he met her. He just never told her because, well, Professor Xavier is a blah blah blah. Xavier uses his psychic powers to activate Rahne’s powers early, causing her to turn into a wolf. She then runs into the main room where everyone is fighting and wrecks up the place, breaking Dragonfly Lady’s control over the X-Men.

I was desperately hoping for Rahne to turn into a puppy but no such luck.
I was desperately hoping for Rahne to turn into a puppy but no such luck.

While Xavier cancels the countdown to armageddon (Helpfully displayed in your nearest copy of Watchmen.), Nefaria escapes in a fighter jet to live and polish his monocle another day. Unfortunately for him, Banshee II arrives just in time to blow his fucking plane up with a sonic scream. This also knocks her out but she’s saved by New Thunderbird so it all works out.

The All-New All-New X-Men return home where Xavier meets them to congratulate them and offers to start a new team of mutants with them. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver leave because they’re really Avengers characters but will return if they’re needed or if the X-Men movie that they are offered to appear in is really good. The rest of the team stays behind as the X-Men including ten-year old Rahne which is probably illegal.

Fat Watcher getting sassy.
Fat Watcher getting sassy.

What If Wonder Man… AGH, Wonder Man? Goddamnit…

I suppose it was only a matter of time before Wonder Man took center stage in a What If comic. He’s appeared before and always been terrible because he is Wonder Man. So let’s start with a quick origin story because this issue is all over early Avengers history.

I've done fifty-three of these summaries and I've never seen a more annoyed Uatu in my life.
I’ve done fifty-three of these summaries and I’ve never seen a more annoyed Uatu in my life.

So Wonder Man (AKA Simon Williams) was some dude with… ionic powers? that was hired by Baron Zemo. His job was to infiltrate the Avengers and then betray them. In original continuity, he has a change of heart just before smooshing Thor to death under a big rock because big rocks are the God of Thunder’s only weakness.Then he dies of Ionic poisoning and Hank Pym scans his brain patterns because Hank Pym is a monster and everything he touches turns to shit.

In this new reality, Wonder Man’s change of heart happens much earlier. He comes clean to the rest of the Avengers and they hire him on the spot. It turns out the Avengers are really good about recruiting former villains. Must be a good tax write off or something.

Real professional, Jan.
Real professional, Jan.

So Wonder Man joins the team and Hank Pym leaves because a super strong guy in green chainmail is way better than some douche with antenna who can become twelve feet tall. The rest of the founding members eventually all go their seperate ways and are eventually replaced by Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye. I have no idea how Avengers kept coming out back in the day. “Hey, we’ve got a team full of popular Marvel characters.” “Fire all of them!”

Anyway, Wonder Man quickly catches the eye of the Scarlet Witch for some reason. They flirt a little but when Wonder Man tries to ask Scarlet Witch out, he’s cockblocked by really creepy possessive borderline incesty Quicksilver. Quicksilver threatens to leave the team and take Wanda with him because I guess he can do that if she and Simon don’t call off their… seriously just flirting at this point. It’s really embarrasing and gross. You suck, Quicksilver and you always will! Call me when you’re the best thing about Days of Future Past!

These great characters coming to a theater near you!
These great characters coming to a theater near you!

Eventually true love wins out, by which I mean Simon and Garfunkle I mean Wanda agree to go on one date. They’re overheard by Quicksilver who sprints off in a snit and goes straight back to Magneto and the Brotherhood of Misunderstood Really Working For the Benefit of Mutants Everywhere Mutants. Which is to say Toad. Magneto hatches an evil plan and dresses Pietro up as the Grim Reaper. In normal continuity, that’s Wonder Man’s evil brother but that dude isn’t in this story at all so it’s Pietro.

There’s a big fight and Magneto attempts to crush Wanda under a sixteen ton weight when Pietro rushes to her rescue. He shoves her out of the way but is too slow to save himself from being crushed. Which is weird because being fast and being a douchebag are literally Quicksilver’s only deal. Anyway, Scarlet Witch gets wicked pissed and murders Magneto with a hex bolt, literally exploding him. It’s hilarious.

Quicksilver, seen here with a house dropped on him.
Quicksilver, seen here with a house dropped on him.

So Quicksilver’s comically flattened corpse has been in the ground for roughly a minute before Wonder Man gets down on one knee and proposes to Scarlet Witch. Because that’s what Pietro would have wanted. They’re married in typical Marvel fashion in a big church full of costumed superheroes while Stan Lee and Jack Kirby bang on the door. And then fifty years later, Stan tells everyone he invented banging on doors.

"...this may not be the best time for this."
“…this may not be the best time for this.”

So a few months pass, and during that time Hank Pym, who is back to working for the Avengers purely as a scientist is working on a new project. Artificial intelligence! Well, that works out about as well as you would expect. The giant steel potato that is Ultron-1 zaps Hank with a stun laser and then scoots out the door. Hank decides not to mention this error in judgement to anyone which is just one more reason why Hank is terrible.

"Probably don't need to mention this to anyone..."
“Probably don’t need to mention this to anyone…”

More time passes and we cut to the now humanoid Ultron in his… I don’t know, lab or whatever. We see him building the familiar green, red and yellow Vision android which he plans to use to infiltrate the Avengers because seriously that trick works every time! If he’s lucky, he’ll later reform and get to join the team. Anyway, in normal continuity, he imprints the Vision with Wonder Man’s brain patterns for some reason.

“Yeah, I’ll give this spy the brain of a man who sought redemption with his last breath. That’ll be great for my muderous robot!” He probably said, spraying Kirby dots from his mouth.

In this case, he does the smart thing and just puts his own brain patterns in there. And then he forgets all about the whole infiltration thing in favor of just flying over to Avengers Mansion and murdering those assholes. He attacks the Wasp first and then passes out for some reason. Jan takes him back to Avengers HQ where he instantly wakes up and beats the shit out of everybody.

Unluckily for Ultron, I guess Thor, Iron Man and Captain America were all visiting today because they all suddenly bust in through a wall and join the fight. There’s a Ferocious Fight In The Mighty Marvel Manner™ that ends in Wonder Man getting his Ionic heart punched right the fuck out. Oh, the tragedy.

No. Stop. Don't. Who will save Wonder Man.
No. Stop. Don’t. Who will save Wonder Man.

Meanwhile, Hank does what he do best and fucks off to change his identity. He grabs his old Ant Man helmet, shrinks down and then fills Ultron with ants which is absolutely disgusting. He crawls around in Ultron’s brain for a while and then manages to deactivate it.

Gross. Gross! GROSS! GROSS!!!
Gross. Gross! GROSS! GROSS!!!

Back outside of the now mouldering robot body, half of the Avengers rush the dying Wonder Man to their hospital. They also get Thor to turn back into a doctor because it’s probably a good idea to have one of those.

“His heart’s been punched out.” says Blake.

Thanks, doc!

Luckily, Ant Man has an Ant Plan. He grabs the Vision body from Janet who was preparing to store it in the Avengers museum. A man is dying! There is a time and a place for museum cruration, JAN. Anyway, Hank drags the Vision body down to the hospital and manages to transfer Simon’s brain into a robot body so that he can live forever. Then Robo Simon and Scarlet Witch make out and Simon wonders about this human emotion called love.

 

What If It Was The Future For A Bunch Of Avengers And Also Daredevil?

In honour of the first (admittedly late) Forbidden To Interfere of 2015, and also because it just so happened to work out this way, this week our tales of thrilling alternate realities take us into the Marvel Universe’s far future. No, not 2099. That’s too far. No, nor the incredibly distant future of Iron Man 2020 (AKA Arno “I have a stupid name” Stark.) No, it’s 2050 and a tale of the Avengers! The ones who are still alive anyway!

We join our heroes as they return from a mission. Just so we’re all on the same page, that line up consists of Thor, Jocasta the Android Woman, the Vision, some weird green guy made of energy who also has a moustache and looks like 70s Stan Lee and Devil Ears Iron Man, here played by Michael Rhodes and his giant afro.

2050's looking AWFUL 70s, guys.
2050’s looking AWFUL 70s, guys.

Everyone’s enjoying the post mission cool-down except the Vision. It turns out his wife, Wanda Maximoff AKA the Scarlet Witch is dying of old age and extreme flowyness as shown here in a dress that extends into alternate timelines.

That's a whole lot of... everything... just everywhere.
That’s a whole lot of… everything… just everywhere.

Wanda’s watched over carefully by Thor’s alter ego Donald Blake and also her nurse Cassie Lang. So much for being the awesome Young Avenger Stature in this reality, Cassie! On the other hand, you’re also not dead so I guess it’s kind of a wash.

As Vision takes Wanda for a roll in the garden, he tells her of his plans to deactivate himself once she dies so that, if there is to be an afterlife, they may forever be joined there. It’s a very beautiful sentiment but Wanda’s having none of it, commanding Vision to live for as long as possible. My working theory is that Wanda’s hoping to hook up with Wonder Man in the hereafter. Which is a great theory except that nobody wants to hook up with Wonder Man ever. Wonder Man sucks. While this is going on, Jocasta menacingly watches the duo from a window in the mansion and creeps everybody out. Man, I hope yet another Hank Pym built robot isn’t about to go crazy and murder a bunch of people.

Nothing worrying here.
“I’m your number one fan. Number one fan. Number one fan.”

That night, Wanda has like eighteen old person heart attacks and Doctor Blake tells Vision it’s only a matter of time before she goes to that big lunatic asylum in the sky. Vision remains visionlently, excuse me vigilantly at her side until the end. Then Jocasta kicks in the door, telling Vision that Doctor Blake has made a discovery that may save Wanda and he should go to the library at once. Never mind that the library is empty, dark and locked. And Blake’s in bed. And it’s three AM.

WAAGGGGHDAAAGGGGHHHH!!
WAAGGGGHDAAAGGGGHHHH!!

Vision eventually realizes something’s amiss and returns to Wanda’s bedside only to find her and Jocasta both gone. He wakes the other Avengers and tears the mansion apart looking for them. He eventually finds them both in Jocasta’s lab where Jocasta is performing a standard Freaky Friday operation on the two. She has downloaded herself into Wanda’s shitty dying body and imprisoned Wanda in her unfeeling steel frame. And then Jocasta dies of extreme oldness. Meanwhile, the now immortal Wanda in her unstoppable robot body builds some insane robot sons out of an old freezer and then eliminates all mutants. Stupid Pym built robots….

"She was, in many ways, more human than us all. Especially me. And my robot boyfriend."
“She was, in many ways, more human than us all. Especially me. And my robot boyfriend.”

Next we visit the dare terrifying future of Old Captain America and Really Old Retired Nick Fury! These days, Cap spends his time between training the New Avengers and performing family duties with his wife Sharon Carter and kids Steve Jr and Severus Albus Rogers.

Sharon is in the middle of begging Steve to retire from captaining America when the call goes out: the cast of the Warriors is messing with hardworking future police officers in New New York’s oddly named Punk Row! Cap leaps both onto his flying motorcycle (because the future is awesome and also exactly like Saint’s Row 3) and into action, kicking several punks in the face.

A chillingly accurate portrayal of 1980s New York.
A chillingly accurate portrayal of 1980s New York.

Just as he’s mopping up the last of these jerks, Cap gets a call that his villain proof skyscraper headquarters has been broken into! But who could be responsible? Well, that flying car with the big red skull on the front seems a good indicator: It’s clearly 1930s entertainer Red Skelton out for revenge! Or it’s the Red Skull again. Fucking Nazis. Jeez.

Borrowed from Cobra's new line of flying battle tanks.
Borrowed from Cobra’s new line of flying battle tanks.

Cap chases the Skullmobile to the site of the 1963 World’s Fair. Which is apparently still around in the future. Or possibly rebuilt for the youth of today to enjoy. He finally meets up with the Ancient Red Skull in his (seriously) Armchair of Death.

See?
See?

The Skull battles Cap for a little while before revealing his evil plan (a bomb attached to the Skull’s heart that will go off if the Skull dies) and his evil son (Red Skull Jr, here to kill Cap and save his father. Presumedly by climbing vines and avoiding crocodiles.) Cap manages to defeat both Skulls but then Jr shoots his father, activating the bomb. Luckily, Cap stops it with a handily thrown shield because what else is Captain America going to do? NOT throw a shield at something. Anyway, Cap saves his family and resolves to never stop hunting the Red Skull no matter how old, decrepit or useless he might be. Sharon weeps over the charred remains of their marriage.

Finally we jump into the future of 2013 as Matt Murdock (AKA Aredevil according to the title page)

See? See?
See? See?

and his friend Vice President Foggy Nelson await the arrival of the new president of New Russia Natasha Romanov (AKA the Black Widow). Foggy and Natasha are here to take part in a new peace conference with important leaders from all over the world. Matt’s here mostly because he’s sad that his (unnamed) wife is dead and Foggy’s trying to cheer him up. Foggy, you’d think you’d know by now that nothing can stop Matt Murdock from being in a shitty mood except beating the hell out of people.

More like 'Mope Murdock.'
More like ‘Mope Murdock.’

Luckily, the conference is attacked by a new and mysterious Kingpin of Terrorism and his faceless army. Gee, I wonder who it could be? My money’s on the Owl. Natasha and Matt both change into costume (which they both luckily decided to wear for the first time in twenty years) and start handing out beatings. They eventually reach the top of the building and face the terrorists’ mysterious leader and SHOCK FOLLOWS SHOCK, it’s Wilson Fisk AKA the Kingpin. There’s like three minutes of fighting before Matt knocks Fisk off the roof, smooshing him like so much Allfather from Preacher. This finally pulls Matt out of his shell again, proving once more that murder can solve anything.

Yaaaaaahahahooey!
Yaaaaaahahahooey!