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Quicksilver (Joint Venture)
Quicksilver-JV
Real Name Pietro Maximoff
Current Alias Quicksilver
Alias(es) Cocaine, Mercury, Silver-Top, Silver Punk, etc.
Relatives Erik Magnus Lensherr (father), Magda Lensherr (mother, deceased), Anya Lensherr (sister, deceased), Wanda Maximoff (sister), Lorna Dane (sister)
Affiliation Brotherhood of Mutants
Base Of Operations Avalon
Alignment Evil
Universe Joint Venture Universe
Gender Male
Eyes Blue
Hair Silver
Unusual Features Several facial tattoos, possesses naturally silver hair despite being in his 20s
Quicksilver is a sometimes-hero, sometimes-villain, and a former member of teams like the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, the Avengers, and multiple incarnations of X-Factor. This is the Joint Venture Universe version of the character.

History

Early life

Little is known of how, or even when, Pietro and his sister Wanda were born. It is known that Erik Lensherr, and his wife, Magda, had one child, Anya, in the late 1950s, more than 10 years after their esape from Nazi concentration camps. Yet, when Magda ran away from Magneto following Anya's death, and his subsequent destruction of the village of Vinnitsa, she was not pregnant.

Yet, in the modern day, shortly after Magneto awoke from a decades-long slumber, the performing troupe of mystics known as Margali's Traveling Circus had two star attractions: The Quicksilver Man and the Lady of Luck.

All Pietro himself remembers is being raised alongside his sister by Django Maximoff, the circus' caretaker, and Margali Szardos, the mistress of the traveling troupe. The twins grew up with Margali's foster son Kurt Wagner and her biological children, Jimaine and Stefan Szardos, the latter of whom shared a very close bond with Pietro.

"The Quicksilver Man"

The five children - Pietro, Wanda, Jimaine, Stefan, and Kurt - grew up with and around performers of all kinds. Each of them demonstrated a skill at something different; Kurt and Jimaine were exceptional acrobats, Stefan was a master swordsman, and Wanda, who had always had a keen affinity for the Mystic Arts, became one of the mystics and fortunetellers who would offer readings and predictions to the crowd before and after the show.

For his part, Pietro had always been fast. Possessing a natural speed matched only by his unique knack for showboating made him one of the circus' most unique attractions: the aforementioned "Quicksilver Man". He demonstrated his speed in any number of ways, from catching bullets harmlessly in his hands to outracing even the fastest land animals available to the circus at the time. Two of his favorite tricks were the Speed Mirage, where he would travel fast enough to blur into two distinct forms at once, and the Whirlwind, sprinting in a circle fast enough to create tornadoes, or rotating his arms fast enough to create gusts of wind. He was one of the star attractions of Margali's Traveling Circus, second only to Kurt, who was known first as the Demon Acrobat, then the Incredible Nightcrawler. Pietro always resented coming in second place.

Stefan Szardos

Not long into their adolescence, Pietro learned that his sister Wanda was taking a romantic interest in Kurt. Naturally protective of her, his dislike and distrust of Nightcrawler grew, to the point where he would actually instigate fights with him. The two rivals often proved evenly matched; Pietro's mutant speed and the creative ways he employed it were balanced by Nightcrawler's superior agility, swordsmanship, and ability to teleport.

Eventually, tiring of the conflict, Nightcrawler's elder adopted brother Stefan took Pietro aside to speak to him. Pietro had always liked and respected the elder Szardos boy, and so when he was informed of the disruptive nature of his and Kurt's rivalry, he agreed to back down. To take his mind off Kurt's wooing of his sister, he began to spend more and more time around Stefan, learning swordplay from him and honing his showmanshp skills and his ability to appeal to the crowd. Pietro was far from ugly, but he had never really cared to exploit his looks until Stefan taught him how to convey his personality through his appearance. Over time, the mentor/student relationship turned into a deep friendship, and eventually an even deeper love. Now with a romance of his own, Quicksilver was far more understanding towards his sister and Nightcrawler, and for a time, peace reigned in the Circus as the two pairs of lovers grew up and grew closer.

Sadly, that peace was not destined to last.

Stefan's Death

One of the villages the Circus went to was a deeply religious hamlet called Winzeldorf, sequestered away in the Bavarian Alps. This tiny village was almost frozen in time, due to its church's clergy being strongly xenophobic, technophobic, and resentful of anything new or different. At the sight of Nightcrawler, the vilagers rioted in the middle of a performance, tearing down the main tent and setting it ablaze. It was only thanks to timely intervention from Margali and Jimaine that no one was seriously harmed. However, though Quicksilver had saved Stefan from the mob, Stefan's pet raven, Umbra, was not so lucky. The elder Szardos' best friend in the circus, Umbra had trained to speak and think as intelligently as any human. The bird's death drove Stefan mad with grief and rage.

To avenge his fallen friend, Stefan deserted the circus, staying behind in hiding while the caravan packed up and moved out. Everyone was so busy with rebuilding that it took several days for even Pietro to notice his lover's disappearance. Jimaine, a sorceress of no mean skill herself by now, scried for her brother and found him still in Winzeldorf, his soul blackening with a thirst for revenge. Quicksilver and Nightcrawler, the only ones able to get there quickly enough to make a difference, were sent back to Winzeldorf.

Tragically, the two mutants arrived too late. Stefan's rage had grown past his desire for revenge into a power-driven madness, and he had begin slaughtering indiscriminately. The village was ablaze just as the Circus' tent had been, and the bodies of men, women, and children littered the streets, their souls and life-essences consumed by Stefan as fuel for his growing dark magic.

Pietro tried to reason with his lover, to talk him down and bring him out of his berserker rage, but Stefan was too far gone for such efforts. Kurt fought Stefan off, hoping to buy some time for Pietro to go back to the Circus and bring help. Pietro ran faster than he had in his life, thunder booming across the Alps as he broke the sound barrier for the first time. Even at the speed he travelled, though, the Circus' next stop had been far from Winzeldorf, and it took time to get there and back.

When Pietro finally returned, with Stefan's mother and former Sorceress Supreme Margali in tow, he was crushed to realize events had progressed too fast even for him. Stefan and Kurt's battle had escalated to the point where Stefan was howling in insanity, unrecognizable as the man Pietro loved. Still unable to lift a finger to help, Pietro could only watch helplessly as Kurt, in the heat of battle, wrapped his tail around Stefan's throat and accidentally snapped his neck, ending both the threat to Winzeldorf and the life of Pietro's love.

The three - Margali, Kurt, and Pietro - returned home in silence, a gulf having grown between the two young men that it seemed nothing would bridge. Pietro knew Kurt had done what he had to, that he had saved countless lives and avenged countless deaths...but he had also killed the man Pietro loved.

However, before anyone could address the pall that hung over the Circus,another tragedy struck, one it would not recover from.

Shattered by Sinister

Nathaniel Essex, a scientist and sorcerer better known by the name "Mr. Sinister," sent his assassins, the Marauders, to slaughter the camp and abduct Pietro's sister Wanda, for he was taken with her power and sought to exploit it for his own. In the ensuing fight, Django Maximoff, father ot Pietro and Wanda, was killed, and Margali Szardos' old friend Agatha Harkness sacrificed her life to give her power to Margali, the only one left with the magical potential to save the rest., Unfortunately, Margali was struck by an energy spear from the Marauder called Harpoon in the middle of her spell, and she, Jimaine, and Kurt were carried off to parts unknown by a spell gone wild.

Wanda and Pietro were alone against the Marauders, with no one else to rely on. Wanda ordered Pietro to escape, and he even complied for a few seconds before chiding himself and racing back. Unfortunately, in those few seconds he had travelled hundreds of miles, and winded as he was from recent events, it took him considerably longer to get back.

By then, Wanda was gone, taken by the Marauders back to their master, wherever he was. Pietro wailed, beat his fists upon the ground, and scoured all the ruins of the Circus for clues, but found nothing. His entire family was gone, including his own twin sister.

Quicksilver Reforged

Pietro spent years searching for Wanda throughout Europe, slowly falling into bitterness and despair. His lover was dead, his father was dead, his sister was missing, and everyone he grew up with was scattered to the winds. He had nothing left.

It was at this lowest point in his life, where he was little more than a pale shadow running through Europe, sleeping wherever he could, that a mysterious voice called to him. The stranger called himself "Exodus," and promised Pietro that the answers to his quest lay in the New World. To prove its intentions, the voice in his mind led him to France, to a secret cache of incredible treasure that would allow him to both live and travel as he pleased.

Now possessed of sudden self-sufficiency and affluence, Pietro agreed to Exodus' request, and began preparing for the journey. In an act of rebellion against the person he was and the life he had led, he had his face tattooed with various markings that signified the end of his old life and the beginning of his new. He began dressing in a rebellious fashion. doing away with the bright trappings of his circus years in favor of a more dangerous approach. And he honed his powers, practicing using them in more dangerous, destructive ways. Eventually, his speed grew to the point where he could vibrate at such a rate that it agitated molecules, thus creating hyperkinetic explosions that could destroy nearly any common material. Now able to become a walking bomb, Quicksilver boarded a plane bound for New York to meet his mysterious benefactor.

The Brotherhood

Pietro was one of the first members enlisted in the Brotherhood of Mutant Liberation, alongside Exodus and his fellow mutants, Stonewall, Iceman, Eclipse, and Frenzy. He found himself particularly drawn to Frenzy, and she to him, and thus they began a casual, no-strings-attached relationship. It was not the same as Stefan, but Pietro had resigned himself to the fact that nothing ever would be.

Quicksilver is one of the Brotherhood's more ruthless members, with no particular onus towards even the most unsavory acts, as evidenced when he captured Gailyn and Joey Grey, two children from the bloodline of another mutant who was a famous World War II veteran. This kidnapping was thwarted by the children's aunt, Jean Grey, in one of the earliest conflicts between Exodus' Brotherhood and their rival team, the champions for peaceful coexistence known as the X-Men. Eventually Pietro would find his sister, but lose her again when she elected to join the X-Men, rather than the Brotherhood, a decision that he remains bitter about to this day.

Powers

Quicksilver is a mutant with the power of superhuman speed, which he uses in a variety of ways.

Superhuman Speed: Originally, Pietro's physiology only enabled him to travel at roughly 385 miles per hour, or half the speed of sound. However, as he pushed himself further and began to need it more, his top velocity improved, gradually at first, then exponentially. Currently, he possesses a top speed of around Mach 4 (3,080 miles per hour). He is able to run on water, ignore frictionless surfaces like ice, and travel along any surface his feet come into contact with, including vertical ones. Currently, Pietro can retain his top speed for approximately 7 hours before needing to recuperate...enough time to completely circumnavigate the globe, with time to spare.

Speed-Adaptive Physiology: In addition to being able to move at incredible velocities, Quicksilver's body has undergone a variety of changes that allow him to survive these speeds with no ill effect.

  • Pietro's cardiovascular and respiratory systems are enhanced to the point that reduced oxygen, up to a point where a human would be unable to breathe, has no effect on him. His heart is able to beat magnitudes of order faster than a human heart without going into arrest, and his veins convey blood and oxygen through his body with vastly improved efficiency.
  • Pietro's metabolism is more than 15 times that of a normal human being, thus enabling him to heal much faster then normal, as well as resist lower and higher temperature extremes than humans. He metabolizes roughly 95% of the caloric energy content of the food he ingests, where normal humans only metabolize about 25%.
  • Quicksilver's body does not generate fatigue poisons; rather, it converts those poisons into his sweat, which is more viscous and better able to regulate his temperature than a normal human's.
  • Every muscle, bone, and organ in Quicksilver's body is adapted for the speeds at which he travels. When at rest, Quicksilver's body is naturally impenetrable to the point of being bulletproof, and his skeleton is hundreds of times more durable than normal bone. His eyes are uniquely resistant to particulate matter and other intrusive agents, and he is able to see considerably farther than most humans. He can survive impacts that would pulverize a man body with few ill effects.
  • Lastly, his reflexes and mental processing speed are exponentially faster than an average human's. He can read an entire novel in seconds, perceive his surroundings in perfect clarity even at his top speed, and even alter his perceptions so that the world seems to stand still, or move at the barest fraction of its normal speed, while he is able to move and act normally.

Speed Tricks: Pietro uses his superhuman speed in a variety of creative ways.

  • Speed Mirage: By travelling back and forth between two points at sufficient speed, Quicksilver can mirror his image to the point where he will appear to be in two places at once.
  • Velocity Whirlwind: Rotating his arms or his body in place at sufficient speeds will enable Quicksilver to generate high-velocity winds. These have many uses, including repelling adversaries and slowing his velocity when he falls from high altitudes, to the point where he can "helicopter", achieving flight for a short period of time. Additionally, by running in a circle, he can create a whirlwind strong enough to physically lift objects; the amount of mass that can be effected is determined by his velocity.
  • Hyperkinetic Explosions: Through physical contact and high-velocity vibrations, Quicksilver can cause most common materials to explode violently due to an excess of kinetic energy. The size of the explosion is generally dependent on the intensity at which he is vibrating, and he has to be in physical contact with the object until the moment of detonation.
  • Microsonic Boom: A move invented by the World War II speedster the Whizzer, by clapping his hands or snapping his fingers at sufficient speed, Quicksilver can cause small sonic booms that both deafen and disorient opponents. At close range, the shock wave from these booms can stun or incapacitate an opponent, though the impact is lessened by foes who can absorb kinetic impact or sonic waves.
  • High-Impact Combat: Quicksilver's fighting abilities are greatly enhanced by his speed. He can punch or kick with the force of cannonball, and a jab with his finger can do the same amount of damage as a high-caliber bullet. Alternatively, he could land a large number of normal-intensity strikes in a short amount of time, incapacitating his opponent almost before the fight's begun.

Weaknesses

Metabolism: Quicksilver's unique physiology alows him considerably greater metabolism of caloric intake than ordinary humans; however,depending on his level of exertion, he must also ingest considerably more calories to maintain the energy levels necessary for his feats. The amount of additional calories needed depends entirely on his level of exertion, i.e. a complete circumnavigation of the globe will require more upkeep than a skirmish with a normal opponent.

Vulnerability: While at rest, Quicksilver's body possesses astonishing durability and resilience. However, the faster he is moving, the more of that resilience is being put into use for surviving those speeds. Therefore, if Quicksilver can be hit at higher velocities, he can be injured like a normal person.

Overheating: Although it is easy for him to deal with cold, Quicksilver has considerably greater problems coping with increased heat. While his enhanced physique can keep him from suffering heat stroke within the temperature ranges most humans find livable (50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit), he tires easier and faster in hotter climes (90+ degrees Fahrenheit) unless he is cooled externally (i.e. contact with cold surfaces, hydration, the efforts of his teammate Iceman)

Mental Instability: Lastly, Quicksilver is prone to mental illness. Due to perceiving the world in his natural state as moving far slower than himself, he must consciously alter his perceptions so that he exists in the same "time zone" as everyone else. Unless he does this, he can become short-tempered, irritable, impatient, easily bored, and prone to fits of hyperactivity. Prolonged periods with an unaltered perspective can result in mental and emotional trauma, similar to the feelings of people in isolation for extended periods of time. Additionally, the experiences of his past have left him with severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which interferes with his ability tot hink clearly even at normal human speeds of perception.

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