Quicksilver Solved The X-Men's Terrigen Mist Problem -- In 1998?!

Ever since the launch of "Extraordinary X-Men" last November, Marvel's mutants have added another major problem to their list: the Terrigen Mist. Yep, the very mist that activates the power within Inhumans and advances their biology has proven fatal to those individuals with the mutant gene. As the Terrigen Mist spreads across the globe, it interacts dangerously with every mutant in its path and gives them a fatal disease known as the M-Pox. The X-Men have reacted by retreating to Limbo and going on the run as their most brilliant minds rush to find a way to disarm the mist and stop its spread.

Except, that's already been done once before, and it took super speed -- not super smarts -- to get the job done. Surprisingly, many of the plot points plaguing the X-Men were part of "Quicksilver" #6, a comic cover dated April 1998 and written by Tom Peyer and Joe Edkin.

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The issue comes at the climax of a plot between the mutant Acolyte Fabian Cortez and the Inhuman Maximus the Mad. Cortez used his power to augment abilities to strengthen Maximus' mind control powers and wreak havoc on the Inhuman Royal Family. In exchange for the increased powers, Maximus was to destroy the Terrigen Mist since Cortez and the Acolytes (rightly) believed they posed a threat to the gene pool. But Maximus failed to hold up his end of the bargain, and Cortez took matters into his own hands. Also in his hands? A device that would neutralize the mists forever!

"Quicksilver" #6 interior artwork by Alex Morrissey, Al Milgrom and Joe Rosas

Unfortunately, Maximus interrupted Fabian Cortez before he could neutralize the mist. Maximus then set about pursuing his own plan: releasing the Terrigen Mist all over the world, mutating the entire planet (sound familiar?). Maximus let the mists loose, and Quicksilver had to team up with both his ex-wife Crystal and his archenemy Cortez to stop their spread.

"Quicksilver" #6 interior artwork by Derec Aucoin, Ralph Cabrera and Joe Rosas

Cortez boosted Quicksilver's powers, allowing him to run faster and create a powerful vortex to suck the mists back where they were kept; Crystal then sealed them shut with her elemental powers.

It's interesting that this issue solves two big problems right away: we learn that Exodus totally knows how to disarm the Terrigen Mist, and we also see that one juiced-up speedster can suck up the mist like a vacuum cleaner. Those two dilemmas are currently fueling a number of ongoing plots and a few upcoming event series; here, they're both solved in a matter of pages.

Of course there are other variables at work today. For one thing, the Terrigen Mist is much more widespread than in this issue, meaning it's definitely too big for one Quicksilver to handle. It's also not known whether or not Exodus' device would have worked since Cortez never got to use it (sidenote: Exodus did just reappear in "Uncanny X-Men," although it's unlikely that this forgotten plot point from a nearly 20-year-old series will be picked up). And then from a storytelling perspective, it'd be a bit anticlimactic if today's writers just used the same solutions readers saw in 1998.

Still, "Quicksilver" #6 is a fun read in light of today's Marvel comics, especially with the X-Men and Inhumans on a collision course in the upcoming "Death of X" and "IvX" storylines. Who knows -- maybe Quicksilver will play a role in those stories too.

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