Though I’ve not watched the films he most caught on in,¹ I wonder a bit if Pietro now has a decent following, considering I heard much about his celluloid appearances. I don’t imagine anyone new to the character would seek out this miniseries, and being new to the character, likely wouldn’t readily know to do so. Still, I actually also have his 90’s series hanging out in a longbox, but it’s waiting for me to finally pull the trigger on a bunch of stuff that includes Busiek/Chen’s Iron Man.²
In the aftermath of House of M (which I’m pretty sure I’ve only ever read synopses of), Pietro Maximoff is a normal human again. This is crippling emotionally to him, coming as no surprise after his conversation with Doc Samson in X-Factor #87,³ and he isn’t sure what to do with himself. A momentary interaction with Spider-Man leaves his well of guilt ever more full, as Peter is grappling with an entirely different life and what its loss means for his current one. His desperation amounts to seeking the assistance of Crystal Amaquelin, his erstwhile wife who has understandably stepped back from Pietro in general. It’s in the Inhuman city of Attilan that Pietro realizes there may be something to balance the scales when it comes to his lost power, and he begins to work on how to enact a plan to do so.
This series is written by David Hine and pencilled by Roy Allan Martinez, and serves as a bridge between House of M and Hine’s own Silent War (which is well set-up and was next on my list of reads anyway!). He’s excellent at managing the arrogant selfishness of Pietro with his underlying sense of heroism, and imbues the Inhumans with that wonderfully ethereal imperial regality that defines especially Black Bolt and Medusa so well. Capturing the relationship with Crystal and their daughter Luna, too, works exceedingly well, as does the series of taps at how Lockjaw interacts with the Inhumans and feels about everything (just a bit). I knew something of what happens here because I’ve read Peter David’s X-Factor, which picks up basically immediately after this around issue #7 of that book, but this was a nice realization and explanation of that entire backstory: the satisfaction of filling a hole in my knowledge of the story.
I quite like Martinez’s art on the whole, especially the way he depicts most of the Inhumans–the presence of the royals, especially is excellent, though Gorgon looks oddly un-beefy. Still, anything that involves static posing looks quite nice under his pencils, even when the musculature occasionally gets a bit out of hand on some characters. There’s definitely some suffering on action scenes (which aren’t terribly common in this book anyway), with no clear sense of focal points or motion to them, for all that they still look “good”.
In any case, Quicksilver has long been a fascinating character, and this whole idea was a very interesting take, and a nice way for Hine to set up Silent War–nice enough that it seems both like something written after the Silent War idea, but totally self-contained and “necessary” by itself.
¹I’ve not seen an X-Men movie since First Class.
²It contains one of the parts of the “Live Kree or Die” crossover that includes those two titles as well as Avengers. It also crosses over with Heroes for Hire, which I’m an issue away from completing…
³This is the second-to-last Peter David issue of the first volume, wherein Samson interviews all members of the team and we learn that Pietro is an asshole because he’s so much faster than everyone else that their slowness is just reflexively irritating beyond all reckoning to him. An incredibly clever explanation for Maximoff’s attitude problems.