Published December 27, 2017

Psych Ward: Quicksilver

The speedster sprints into our therapist’s office!

Image for Psych Ward: Quicksilver

The client, Pietro Maximoff (birth name possibly Mateo Maximoff), may be best known as the superhuman called Quicksilver. Maximoff has long identified as both a mutant and the son of the mutant extremist Magneto, however, recently he’s been presented with evidence that not only is he not the offspring of Magneto, but he may not be a mutant at all. According to the criminal geneticist known as The High Evolutionary, the client—and his twin sister Wanda (A.K.A. The Scarlet Witch)—are actually results of one of his highly illegal experiments on human subjects. The client remains conflicted about accepting this reality.

We have discussed this revelation with some depth and the client has admitted to three significant reasons he has not yet decided to trust this information. The first—and, arguably, the most logical—is that The High Evolutionary has a long history of manipulating the victims of his experiments, often purely for the sake of seeing what might happen.

The second reason for Pietro’s uncertainties has a more emotional origin: to accept that Magneto is not his father would be to accept that most of his early criminal behavior was done on behalf of a power-mad terrorist instead of a family member. It may seem a minor distinction, but for Maximoff, the change would be significant; he can rationalize activities he did for his father as motivated by a kind of love and thirst for respect. Without that personal aspect, his activities were coldly calculated acts of terror.

The final reason for the patient’s skepticism relies on his connection to mutantkind. Although he has long been known as a member of various Avengers’ teams, he’s also been an outspoken crusader for mutant rights. Having worked tirelessly on behalf of equal protections for all mutants, he now feels like an outsider looking in at the one community he thought of as his own.

The High Evolutionary’s discovery also comes at the end of several years of significant personal and professional upheaval for Maximoff, which serves to complicate all matters. In no particular order, the client has seen his sister decimate the mutant population by taking away the vast majority of their powers (including his own); sought to return powers to his fellow mutant comrades by stealing Terrigen Mists from his Inhuman former in-laws; regained powers that aged him at a rapid pace; reconciled with his daughter; joined and rejoined the Avengers twice; and fought against a Captain America seeking to plunge America into Hydra rule. In short, even his good days were marked by significant changes in the status quo of his life.

Unfortunately, as this writer was warned by Doctor Sampson, Pietro’s tolerance for therapy has proved incredibly low. He expects solutions as quick as he moves and generally rejects the concept of process. Questions requesting clarification or observations that do not fit his perspective are often mocked and discarded with little thought. Worse, he views his own natural vulnerability as a weakness; one can almost literally feel him shifting his own attitude the moment he starts to open himself up to any therapeutic methods.

Given that he has been visiting in the immediate wake of a making a tremendous mistake when battling a villain called The Juggernaut, his defensive stance seems more resolute than ever before. The closer we get to “touching” that incident, the shorter and more agitated he becomes. This single event brought him to the office, but he refuses to discuss it, making our sessions more like power struggles on multiple occasions.

This serves no one well, so this writer has decided to refer the client out to a previous therapy team that the client once experienced a level of therapeutic rapport with, who therefore may be better able to break down the client’s defensiveness more quickly and efficiently. A team of doctors, including Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub, and Pepe Larraz, will meet with him for evaluation on January 24 with notes on their session available in folder AVENGERS #677. After that session, a decision will be made if he will transition to their observation permanently.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who must go faster, must go faster!