|Vision and the Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #10|| || |
Issue Date: July 1986
Story Title: Spring Fever
Staff: Steve Englehart (Writer), Richard Howell (Penciler), Frank Springer (Inker), Bill Oakley (Letterer), Adam Philips (Colorist), Jim Scalicrup (Editor), Jim Shooter (Editor-in-Chief)
Creative Input from Ann Nocenti
One month after Crystal first collapsed on Earth, the Vision and Scarlet Witch have returned to visit their unconscious sister-in-law in Attilan, home of the Inhumans. Quicksilver and the others Inhumans are present, and this time, Wanda and the Vision brought Norm Webster with them. As he found Crystal, the Inhumans are hoping he might be able to give some more insight as to Crystal’s condition. Norm gives a false story of how he found Crystal in the snow, while Quicksilver wants to know why his wife was visiting Wanda when she knew she was away, as Crystal can only be on Earth for short periods of time, though it wasn’t the pollution that got to her, but an overdose of the anti-pollution drug. Eventually, the Vision suspects Norm and Crystal of having an affair, and while in her unconscious state, Crystal unwillingly reveals to Quicksilver that she indeed was having an affair. A furious Quicksilver attacks Norm, until the Vision breaks them apart. Quicksilver tries to rally his Militia against Norm, but Medusa prevents them from doing any harm. Quicksilver thinks they are all against him and races into the moonscape. Medusa, Black Bolt, the Vision and Gorgon follow him, while the Scarlet Witch has words with her friend Norm Webster. Quicksilver battles his pursues, a battle which ends when Black Bolt opens his mouth to speak, enabling the Vision to clamp down on Quicksilver. Meanwhile, the Scarlet Witch enters the “elemental plane” where Crystal is residing, and as both women are connected to the elements, Wanda tries to bring Crystal back to reality, learning along the way the Crystal was bored and Quicksilver neglected her, although they did love each other once. Quicksilver admits this also to the Vision, but when the two are reunited, Quicksilver cannot bring himself to forgive Crystal, despite everyone suggesting that he should. Believing even Wanda to be against him, Quicksilver runs away.
Cold and quiet lies the lunar landscape around the legendary city of Attilan! Sad and silent are the beings who live there – the strange, separate race of humanity, which, eons ago, became the Inhumans! For Crystal of the Royal Family has lain four weeks on the precipice of death…cold and quiet.
For the past month, Crystal’s husband Pietro Maximoff a.k.a. the former Avenger “Quicksilver” has stayed at his wife’s side, as has their daughter, Luna, accompanied by a nanny. Crystal’s sister, Medusa – Queen of the Inhumans, and her always silent King, Black Bolt, have been present also. At least once a week, the former Avenger known as the Scarlet Witch – Wanda Maximoff – and her husband, another former Avenger, the Vision, have flown to the moon to see their ailing sister-in-law.
‘Neither alive, nor dead!’ the Inhumans’ doctor exclaims. ‘You incompetent fool! That’s all you’ve said for a month!’ an angry Quicksilver cries, while remarking that Inhumans can engineer their own genes and become anything they want – so why can Crystal not come to life? The doctor states that it is Quicksilver’s right to replace him at anytime he wants, to which the commanding Medusa declares that if Black Bolt had felt better care were available, then he would have ordered it.
Quicksilver reminds the doctor how he said it was not the pollution on Earth which attacked Crystal’s system, but an overdose of the potion designed to guard against the pollution. Quicksilver remarks that Reed Richards made the potion in the Inhumans’ very own labs, so why can they not determine why it is affecting her this way. ‘WHY?’. The Scarlet Witch reminds her brother that the Inhumans are not gods, but assures him that she is certain they will find the answer in the end.
The android Vision introduces Norm Webster, who has accompanied them this time, as it was Norm who found the unconscious Crystal on Earth. The Vision suggests that if they hear Norm’s account again, they might find a clue that they missed before. Medusa approaches Norm and tells him that she understands how a city on the moon may be disconcerting to a normal man such as himself, but that he does not need to be nervous. ‘No, your highness!’ Norm utters, before declaring that he will tell them all he can, as he wants to help Crystal.
Norm informs Quicksilver and the royal Inhumans that, as he told the Vision and Wanda when they got back from Mardis Gras, he was out for a walk when he found Crystal lying in the snow near her sister-in-law’s house, and as there was no one else around, he assumed Crystal had come to visit her family, unaware that they were not home. Norm explains that he took Crystal to Doctor Shickel, who was even more baffled than the Inhuman doctor, as neither of them knew about the anti-pollution potion Crystal had to take.
Norm concludes by saying that as soon as Wanda and the Vision got back they brought Crystal here to the moon, and that is all he knows. Angrily, Pietro shouts that his wife did know Wanda would not be in Leonia, as they had discussed the wisdom of Wanda travelling during her pregnancy. ‘I don’t know -!’ Norm begins to say, while Quicksilver declares that Crystal had become nostalgic for the time that the Inhumans had lived on Earth, adding that Crystal had begun to visit Wanda regularly, to which he warned her about overdoing the use of the potion.
Quicksilver wonders why his wife would risk her life if Wanda was not home, to which Medusa remarks that her sister has always been capricious, when suddenly Black Bolt draws Medusa’s attention to something. Medusa “listens” to her husband, before informing the others that Black Bolt believes there is more to Crystalia’s behavior than simply being impulsive.
Wanda leads her brother out of the chamber and suggests the two of them go over everything that they know. Pietro replies that he has been over it – at super speed and perhaps a million times in the past month – there is nothing he has missed! ‘I’ve got to run – run or go insane!’ Quicksilver exclaims before dashing away. Medusa approaches Wanda, the Vision and Norm Webster and suggests they retire to the royal residency. Norm informs Medusa that, if she doesn’t object, he would like to see more of her city, and asks if the Vision could give him a tour. ‘A real estate dream, eh, Norm?’ the Vision jokes.
Wanda takes her leave, announcing that she has to sit down, and although she has two months left in her pregnancy, she is ready to take the load off her feet right now. The doctor informs Medusa and Black Bolt that he will continue to do the utmost for Crystal, to which Medusa addresses him as Cuidador and assures him that they have every confidence in him.
Elsewhere in the city, the Vision is taking Norm on his tour. ‘So, uh, Attilan was first built on an Atlantic island, then transferred to Tibet – and finally moved to the moon?’ Norm asks. The Vision replies that is correct, before telling Norm that there is something else they must talk about. The Vision remarks that, having changed from a walking computer to something very near human, it is hard for him to know how much irrationality is normal human behavior – and how much even humans would call fantasy. ‘But I had the impression that there is some part to your story that you didn’t tell us! Am I wrong?’ the Vision asks. Nervously, Norm tells the Vision that he is wrong.
The Scarlet Witch sits in a chair near the table where Crystal lies and Cuidador remarks that he knows almost nothing of human pregnancies, so his curiosity is aroused. He asks Wanda how she is progressing, pointing out that she seems to be doing well. Wanda replies that she is, but that she really feels the changes in her body these days. Cuidador asks Wanda if she regrets becoming pregnant, to which Wanda replies that she loves it, adding that she has begun to think of how much she will miss the experience when it is over.
Wanda remarks that, after a lifetime of distrusting other people’s attention because she is a mutant, it is great having most people she meet smile at her – or even pat her belly. Wanda asks if it is the same with Inhumans, to which Cuidador replies ‘More so!’ before reminding Wanda that the creation of new and advanced beings is the guiding Inhuman principle. Cuidador informs Wanda that as the Inhumans numbers are regulated so that any prospective parents need the approval of the genetics council to increase the race, pregnancy wins a woman extreme social approval.
Cuidador asks Wanda if she knows what she is having. ‘Something healthy’ Wanda replies, before explaining that she and the Vision asked Dr. Strange not to reveal the gender of the baby as they want to be surprised. Wanda replies that they are trying, before informing Cuidador that it is rather unfortunate that the man who built the Vision was named Phineas and the man who sired the humanity in her husband was named Sanford. Wanda adds that the Vision’s “mother” is Martha, and her own is Magda, and while they are okay names, they are a little out of style. Wanda adds that her mentor in witchcraft is named Agatha, so they do not really have much tradition to fall back on.
Wanda reveals that at present, they are leaning towards Lauren if the baby is a girl, and Alexander if it is a boy – something that will stand on its own, since she and the Vision have no last name. ‘But those will probably change before the second week of May – they’ve changed a hundred times already!’
Suddenly, Quicksilver races into the room. He paces around the room at a phenomenal rate, before kneeling beside Crystal and telling her that she must talk to him, that she must tell him how this happened. ‘I...I order you to tell me!’ he bellows. As if on cue, a very weak Crystal whispers ‘Oh, Norman…’ ‘WHAT?’ demands Pietro. ‘We’ve always had to sneak…no we can’t tell Pietro…scandal…no, Norman…’ With that said, Quicksilver races from his wife’s side…
…and straight towards Norm Webster, ‘YOU!’ he shouts as he grabs Norm from behind. The Vision asks Pietro if he has gone crazy, but Quicksilver continues to strangle Norm, ‘You did it! You’re responsible for what’s happened to her! I’m going to kill you!’ The Vision asks his brother-in-law to let Norm go, but Quicksilver tells the android to get away from him, remarking that the Vision’s friend was dishonoring him with his wife. ‘Even if he was, you can’t kill him’ the Vision replies – to which Quicksilver declares that no one can stop him.
Quicksilver begins to speed away with Norm in his arms, boasting that he can outrun anyone on the moon, or Earth. The Vision remarks that he cannot outrun the speed of light, and uses his solar beam to knock Quicksilver over. Pietro and Norm stumble – right towards Karnak and Gorgon, who thanks the Vision and announces that the Inhumans will take over now. Quicksilver tells Gorgon to stay out of this, to which the burly Inhuman replies that he has heard the charge, and assures Quicksilver that if Norm Webster contributed to the condition of Crystal then he will face the judgment of Black Bolt.
‘That’s not enough! I’m the one he’s dishonored!’ Quicksilver shouts. The Scarlet Witch and Medusa appear and Medusa declares that the judgment of Black Bolt is enough in Attilan, and asks Quicksilver to calm himself. Wanda begins to say something, but Quicksilver shouts that he does not want to hear it, and speeds away, to the bunkers where the Militia are. ‘To arms! To arms, my noble Militia! An evil man walks among us!’ Pietro announces. His men follow him, ‘This is the day we have trained for!’ one of them shouts.
Arriving back where the others are, Quicksilver points to Norm and declares that it is him. ‘Take him for me and let no one bar your way!’ No one moves, to which Quicksilver asks if no one heard him. One of the soldiers points out that their foe is under the protection of the Royal Family. ‘But you serve under me – and I order you to seize that upstart!’ Quicksilver shouts. Another of the soldiers apologizes to Quicksilver, remarking that although they are his Militia, they are Inhumans first and foremost.
‘Don’t you dare disobey my direct order! Don’t you dare!’ Quicksilver snouts, before looking at Medusa and Black Bolt and remarking that this is all because he is not an Inhuman like the rest of them, but a natural mutant, ‘Not one of your genetically engineered freaks! I’m an outsider and will always be!’ Medusa begins to announce what Black Bolt says, to which Quicksilver snaps ‘To blazes with Black Bolt!’. Wanda suggests to her brother that they take a little walk and he can calm down and tell her what this is about, but Quicksilver shouts ‘To blazes with you, too’ and boasts that he will have Norman Webster, soon, before speeding away.
Alarms sound and Medusa announces that Quicksilver has run out onto the moonscape, so Black Bolt will lead the party to bring Quicksilver back. The Vision asks to be included in that party, to which Medusa allows him. Wanda turns to Norm and tells him that, in the meantime, they need to talk. Medusa calls to Gorgon, informing him that he is to join them also, as Quicksilver is still Crystal’s husband, so this is a matter for the monarchy. Gorgon obliges and Medusa hands the Vision some moon-gear, but the Vision points out that he doesn’t need it.
Medusa informs him that he may not need it for the warmth or oxygen it provides, nor the gravity compensation, but for the flight jets, which are essential, remarking that, against Quicksilver, they will need to move as fast as he is. With that, the Vision, Medusa, Black Bolt and Gorgon exit Attilan and make their way across the moon.
Accusingly, Wanda points a finger at Norm and suggests he explain what her brother was talking about. Sitting on the table across from Wanda, Norm reminds the powerful former Avenger that her met Crystal at Wanda’s Thanksgiving party, and claims that it was love at first sight. ‘I spent the whole evening talking to her! You mean nobody noticed?’ Norm remarks, before admitting that Crystal did not feel the same way, that it was just a fling to her, ‘But I – well, I had hopes I’d make her feel something more!’
Wanda asks Norm if he didn’t worry about breaking up a marriage, to which Norm replies that he certainly did, and suggested to Crystal that they tell her husband, but like he just said, their relationship was not permanent to Crystal. ‘She was worried about the scandal!’ Norm remarks, which shocks Wanda, who asks if what he is telling her is that Crystal was a willing participant in all of this.
‘Willing?’ Norm exclaims, ‘She said Pietro bored her to tears!’ he shouts, explaining that Pietro spent all his time with Militia and none with her and their daughter. Norm adds that Crystal is a young woman and not ready to grow old alone. Annoyed, Wanda declares that Pietro has always been self-absorbed and that Crystal knew that when she married him. ‘But there’s no one with a truer heart!’ Wanda exclaims in her brother’s defense. ‘Maybe so, and I’m not making excuses for deceiving you…but you like your brother better than a lot of people do!’ Norm tells a stunned Wanda. After a brief moment, Wanda points at Norm again and tells him to get out of here. Norm leaves, and Wanda begins to cry.
Outside, the four tracking Quicksilver float across the moonscape. Medusa remarks that Quicksilver is running in a straight line down craters and up peaks, while explaining that her husband’s electromagnetic energy field can sense the heat residue wherever he touches the ground. Medusa informs the Vision and Gorgon that Black Bolt says they are nearing Quicksilver now, to which the Vision asks Medusa if she ever gets tired of translating for her husband.
‘Never, Vision! He is the royal son – that alone would bind any Inhuman to his cause!’ Medusa exclaims in reply, before revealing that there is more for her, explaining that she believes others see him as a silent monolith, almost an obstacle, a non-person in the midst of incessant chatter, while she knows the man – the royal man whose devastating power forces him to live in self-contained silence! ‘I know a great man – and I’m the only one!’
Suddenly, all four heroes are swooped up and caught in a tornado caused by Quicksilver running around them in circles. Pietro informs them that he ran in a circle fast enough around them to bat them all back without unnecessary injury, but warns them that this is the last time he takes that precaution. He orders the others to go away and leave him alone with his shame. ‘And your schemes of revenge?’ Pietro asks.
Quicksilver replies that shame and revenge go together, ‘Like a man and a wife should!’ Medusa declares that shame and revenge are not linked in the realm of Black Bolt, and that everything in Attilan is adjustment, to which Quicksilver snaps back that he is not in Attilan now and has never been a part of Attilan. Gorgon leaps for Quicksilver, remarking that the Inhumans are a clan, that is true, and they are proud of it. Gorgon reminds Quicksilver that the Inhumans do not mix their genes with outsiders lightly, but that the genetics council approved of him.
‘We all approve of you Pietro!’ Medusa tells her brother-in-law. ‘You are hot-headed and you ignore your wife, but because you were born of human stock we expect that!’ Medusa exclaims. Quicksilver snaps back that he doesn’t want their approval, and as he runs into Gorgon, knocking him over, Pietro declares that he will deal with his wife in his own way. The Vision flies towards his brother-in-law telling him not to be a fool while aiming his solar beam at him, which Quicksilver easily evades, boasting that only a fool would fall victim to the Vision’s solar beam a second time. ‘I’m no fool!’ Pietro shouts.
The Vision follows Quicksilver from the air, remarking that although Pietro cannot outrun light, he is shifting faster than the Vision’s eyes can keep up with. ‘Not if he cannot stand!’ Gorgon shouts, before stamping his powerful foot down on the moon, sending shockwaves in all directions, though only reaches Quicksilver, who is thrown off his feet and into the air, but almost immediately, he returns to his feet and races on ahead, boasting that he recovers as quickly as he runs – ‘And returns even quicker!’ he exclaims as he once more runs into Gorgon, knocking him over.
‘And now, adieu!’ Quicksilver exclaims as he mockingly waves goodbye, unaware that Medusa is silently creeping up behind him – until he is captured by her hair. Medusa exclaims that the moon dust is helpful in hiding her hair until she is ready to use it, and as she begins to wrap Quicksilver up in her tresses nice and tight, she reminds him that he knows her hairs tensile strength, and points out that he does not have enough strength to break it. But from within Medusa’s hair, Quicksilver replies that he has the speed to spin faster and faster ‘Till I hurl you away by your hair!’ Indeed, Quicksilver does so, and Medusa screams as she is tossed away by Quicksilver.
>From the edge of the crater above, Black Bolt has watched all that has transpired with repressed dismay. Great is his power, and terrible are the consequences of it’s misuse – but when his wife cries out in pain…the king must answer in kind! Black Bolt opens his mouth to speak, and a shockwave engulfs the moon, knocking the others off their feet. When the moon dust settles, Medusa points out that a major benefit of living on the moon is that black Bolt’s voice is greatly muffled. ‘That was muffled?’ the Vision asks. ‘That was muffled’ Gorgon assures him.
The Vision points out that it gave him the change to clamp his clamp his fist on Pietro’s arm and increase his density to seventy tons so that Quicksilver cannot hurl him away or vibrate free of him. ‘Oh, won’t I?’ Pietro snaps back. ‘No – not while you and I have a talk!’ the Vision tells him.
Back in Attilan, the Scarlet Witch tells Cuidador that she wants to try and reach Crystal’s spirit through the spirit realm, to which the doctor replies that they have already attempted that, as there is a telepath, an empath and a medium amongst the Inhumans. Cuidador assures Wanda that every power they possess has been turned to this problem. Wanda replies that she believes him, but points out that even the Inhumans have never produced a witch, before informing Cuidador that she has an affinity for natural elements, as does Crystal. Wanda explains that she is hoping there is enough contact in that respect so she can find Crystal and bring her back.
Cuidador tells Wanda that he has little faith in her so-called “magick”, but supposes that her efforts shouldn’t hurt his patient. Cuidador remarks that he is less certain however about Wanda, as she knows how little he is aware of her present state. Wanda replies that it is very unlikely the baby would come this early, but asks him to keep an eye out on both she and the baby.
Wanda sets up some candles around Crystal’s bed and recalls that the last time she did this she was reaching for Agatha Harkness and nearly died because she was careless. Wanda remembers how she swore then to recoup her full potential, and that her and the Vision’s adventures since then have given her opportunity to. ‘So, little boy or girl squirming in there, we’ll go find another of mommy’s friends!’
Wanda takes her place, and controlled instinctively, the way she learned growing up, the powers of the Scarlet Witch burst forth as raw spheres of probability alteration! But they are controlled consciously as the witch of Whisper Hill taught her. Wanda’s powers align themselves with the natural forces known to magick since the dawn of time – and she opens the abyss between worlds!
Wanda appears as a mental image of herself, appearing as she did before she was pregnant. Wanda hopes that her baby is all right, before examining her surroundings, where everything is at an enchanted level, the elemental level where gnomes snore and dryads dance – and Crystal sleeps! Wanda rushes over to her sister-in-law, asking her if she can hear her, she tells her that she has come to take her home. Her eyes closed, Crystal, wearing a yellow dress, replies that she can’t go back, as she can’t breathe.
Wanda explains to Crystal that the anti-pollution potion has hurt her, but that she can transmute its elements within herself to banish it. ‘No…to weak’ Crystal replies, to which Wanda offers to use her own power, informing Crystal that all she needs to do is guide her. Her eyes still unopened, Crystal replies that they will hate her if she comes back, to which Wanda assures her that they won’t. Wanda asks Crystal to help her, for although she knows this realm, she knows it not as well as she. ‘I cheated on Pietro! I’d do it again! He ignores me and Luna!’ Crystal exclaims, before remarking that her family know, her voice trails off.
Wanda tells Crystal that nothing her family could feel, nothing anyone could feel, would be worse than the sorrow of her death. Wanda tells Crystal that whatever she has done to Pietro, the only hope for him now is in forgiving her, otherwise he will tear himself apart, but they have to give him the chance – ‘Or do you hate him so very much?’ Wanda asks. ‘Hate him? I don’t hate him! I just want something more in life!’ Crystal replies. ‘Then take your life back again!’ Wanda exclaims as she puts her hand on Crystal.
Back on the moon, Quicksilver remarks that he was dying when Crystal found him, as he had sacrificed himself to destroy a Sentinel so he could save Wanda and the other Avengers, but then Crystal came with Lockjaw and teleported him away. Quicksilver reveals that Crystal took him back to Attilan and nursed him back to health – with no ulterior motive, as it was just her way. He remarks that Crystal reminded him so much of his sister, though he had never spent so much time with another woman, and never had one interested in him. ‘We grew to love each other!’ he exclaims.
Back in the elemental level, Crystal remarks that she had grown to love the outer world, and informs Wanda, whose powers are flowing around Crystal, that her first boyfriend was Johnny Storm, the Human Torch. ‘Good, she’s beginning to work with me’ Wanda thinks to herself. Crystal remarks that she joined the Fantastic Four while Susan Richards recovered from having her first baby and battled the likes of the Wizard, but eventually she was driven back to the Great Refuge by the pollution on Earth. ‘And on the way, I found Pietro!’ Crystal admits that she thought Quicksilver was gentle, when in fact he was only weakened, and that she thought of him as a link to the outside world, but in truth, Quicksilver proved to live entirely inside himself.
Quicksilver remarks that Crystal would not allow him any time for his private interests as Wanda always had, as Crystal always wanted them to be with other people. The Vision tells Pietro that whenever two people are put together there are bound to be conflicts, and reminds him that he fought with Wanda over him. ‘Don’t remind me of that!’ Quicksilver snaps. The Vision tells Quicksilver that what he is trying to say is that he and Crystal have gotten onto two different tracks, and have hurt each other because of it. ‘I haven’t hurt her! She’s hurt me!’ Pietro snarls, to which the Vision replies that the question now is, ‘Do you want to put it all behind you and come back together?’
Inside, Crystal moans, then gasps ‘I’m back! I’m back!’ Wanda is returned to her pregnant body and Cuidador is surprised ‘You did it, Scarlet Witch! He exclaims. ‘She and I did it together’ Wanda corrects him. Cuidador examines Crystal, remarking that he would have never believed it but all the vital signs are good. ‘You will live, princess!’ he exclaims. Teary-eyed, Crystal turns away, mumbling that she wants to live, but that life can offer her little now.
The Vision clears his throat to announce their presence as he, Quicksilver and the Inhumans enter the chamber. Wanda suggests that Cuidador come with her, to which he protests, exclaiming that there are tests he must perform, before giving in and leaving.
Wanda, the Vision and the royal Inhumans wait outside the chamber. They wait some more. And wait some more – until, ‘No! I cannot take her back!’ Quicksilver shouts as he exits the chamber, ‘I cannot countenance betrayal!’ From her bed, Crystal shouts out ‘Good riddance to you too, you self-righteous prig!’ The Vision and Black Bolt approach Quicksilver, and Wanda tells him that he has to take Crystal back. Quicksilver turns to his sister and asks her why she isn’t on his side. ‘Why must you betray me too?’ he asks. Wanda begins to tell her brother what love means, when he snaps ‘Enough about love!’ and begins to race away, ‘Enough about all of you!’
Scarlet Witch & Vision
Quicksilver & Crystal
Black Bolt, Gorgon, Karnak, Medusa (all Royal Inhumans)
Cuidador (Inhumans’ doctor)
In Norm Webster’s false flashback:
In Quicksilver’s flashback:
In Crystal’s flashback:
Crystal, Human Torch II, Mr. Fantastic, Thing (all Fantastic Four)
Crystal overdosed on the protective potion in Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #9.
The potion was created by Mr. Fantastic in Fantastic Four (1st series) #240.
Wanda and the Vision’s adventures at the Mardis Gras took place in Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #9.
Wanda’s comment about have no last name is something she stuck with for a period of time in the mid-80’s. Her legal last name is Maximoff after the gypsy couple that raised her and Pietro.
Wanda’s Thanksgiving party where Crystal and Norm met took place in Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #6.
The Scarlet Witch attempted to reach the deceased Agatha Harkness in Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #5.
Quicksilver was injured by the Sentinels in Avengers (1st series) #104, and was rescued by Crystal in Fantastic Four (1st series) #131.
Crystal began her first tenure with the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four (1st series) #81.
Issue Summary written by: Daytripper (Steven Bishop)