Saturday, December 28, 2013

The World's Fastest Man--Or Not

Gosh--ordinarily, this would make a great "Avengers charging into battle" scene, wouldn't it?

But actually, it's more like four against one, as the Avengers are out to get one of their own:

Remember the good old days when Avengers attacked each other for no good reason at all? Goliath, as Hawkeye, having worked with Quicksilver as members of the first group of replacement Avengers, is certainly familiar enough with Pietro's posturing and arrogance, to say nothing of possessing his own generous supply of cockiness, so you'd think he'd give Pietro the benefit of the doubt here--maybe even say, oh, I don't know, "What's up, Quickie?" Instead, his first instinct is to attack a former Avenger who's just arrived on the scene--one who, Goliath knows bloody well, has issued no threat whatsoever.

But what's done is done. While we're at it, let's bring in another unlikely source of aggression against Pietro: Captain America, who, instead of putting the brakes on Goliath's attack, figures the best way to stop the unnecessary fighting is to escalate the unnecessary fighting:

Serves him right. It's too bad the Panther's voice of reason is muffled by that mask he wears. Maybe he should go back to wearing the half-mask he wore when he first joined the team.

But, back to the skirmish--we can't have Quicksilver triumphant against the Avengers, can we? After all, the two words "Quicksilver" and "triumphant" are almost never used in a sentence together. He's been clobbered by Spider-Man; heck, he's been clobbered by just about anyone he goes up against. Super-speed is one lousy power for someone in the Marvel universe, where it only works well when the story needs it to work well. For instance, you probably didn't know that a super-speedster would have no defense against mere swiftness:

So I doubt we'll see the Avengers actually lose this scuffle with Pietro. In fact, with Pietro's track record (heh heh, "track" record), I wouldn't be surprised if he defeated himself:


Jeez, Pietro. Do we need to get an old super-speedster to show you how to take out the Vision?

Still, for a few fleeting panels, Quicksilver was doing pretty well against his fellow Avengers. So let's see how he does against another super-team, hmm?

Okay, who's putting money down on Pietro? Come on, be a sport!

His first time out against the FF, Quicksilver, like his situation with the Avengers, was on a desperate mission to solicit help, this time in a matter involving the Inhumans. But, somewhere in the Marvel manual, asking for help first involves hostilities breaking out:

Yes, you've probably guessed that Reed is going to spoil the party here. And watch how easily he can use his powers to nab Quicksilver:

But in this second meeting with the Fantastic Four, Pietro's mind has become, shall we say, unhinged, and he's clearly in attack mode:

And, believe it or not, he gives the FF a "run" for their money (ha ha, more speedster humor!). In the issue of Quicksilver's prior encounter with the Avengers, the cover boldly asks, "How do you catch the world's fastest man?" If it's usually accomplished in just 2 or 3 panels, then you're probably doing it wrong. In this encounter, Quicksilver's power is displayed much more realistically--hit-and-run attacks that clock the FF before they can react. The only flaw in Pietro's attack is that, after each strike, he gives the FF time to recover, and adapt--something he presumably wouldn't make the mistake of doing, were he in his right mind.

Still, the FF are having a hard enough time dealing with his attacks, as he mows them down one by one:

Pietro must be on calcium supplements, because there was a time when those bones of his weren't so sturdy at dealing with collisions with hard objects:

Meanwhile, Reed and Sue, perhaps the two people on this team most able to deal with Quicksilver, seem to have left their strategy and experience in their other uniforms. Reed, for instance, focuses on thinning himself out this time, rather than expanding, and thereby becoming more vulnerable:

While Sue forgets that she can project her force field in a perimeter barrier, precluding the need to predict Pietro's direction:

However, since the issue's purpose is to nudge the Thing into assuming leadership of the FF when Reed and Sue take a leave of absence, it falls to him to think his way out of this fight and assume the initiative in dealing with Quicksilver. Which means that, even when a foe is racing toward you at about 150 m.p.h., you still have plenty of time to dig into the street and form a ramp:

And that's how you catch the world's fastest man.  One of the many, many ways.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yeah, we all grew up with Pietro The Punching Bag but as an adult, I see that his power was always at the mercy of the writer. In Spider-Man, we saw that we could generate enough speed to go up the side of buildings. Yet we also saw that no matter how fast he went as long as he went in a circle, Spidey could just clothesline him and end the fight. Granted, if Pietro was doing 70 and Spidey stuck his arm out, would Pietro just run right through Spidey's arm? Or Lefty as we would now call him? The Torch KO'd Quicksilver to end their fight but what was Quicksilver's velocity at the time of the connection? Wouldn't The Torch at least have bruises? Reacted to the impact? It didn't fit the story so it's not acknowledged? The setup was 0 to 70 is one thing but 70 to zero? So he couldn't stop in time, but the Pietro I know could've turned, pantsed the Thing and run up the side of the building and dealt with the Torch mid-air. That's the way I would've written it.

The Prowler (from the old Spider-Man Crawlspace site)