Billy Maximoff who first appeared in WandaVision as Wanda Maximoff and the Vision’s son, but was seemingly wiped from existence by the end of the series will be a pivotal character in Marvel Studio’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Our first clue Billy may not be totally gone occurred at in the final seconds of the WandaVision finale where Wanda can be seen hearing him calling her for help as she learns The Darkhold (The Book of the Damned). The second was a tweet on March 4th when he’s asked if it was fun playing Billy again in In the Multiverse to which he teplied “Yessssssssssss!”
Over the course of just eight episodes of WandaVision, Wanda Maximoff and Vision moved into a new home together; Wanda became pregnant and gave birth to twin boys; the twin boys aged 10 years; the Maximoff family got a dog named Sparky; the dog died; Wanda’s brother returned from the dead; and Vision nearly died (again).
To quote Wanda, “Life moves pretty fast out in the suburbs.”
By Episode 6, Billy and Tommy didn’t age again, but they did both still grow in a significant way. They began the day as children getting ready for their first Halloween, and ended it as super-powered preteens. Tommy (played by Jett Klyne) takes after his speedy uncle Pietro and can trick-or-treat through an entire neighborhood in the blink of an eye, while Billy appears to take after his magical mother, one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe.
Billy and Tommy’s origins in the comics are even stranger (and more confusing) than they are on WandaVision.
Including the twins, the Maximoff family history is a bit of a convoluted mess, subject to its fair share of good old-fashioned comic-book retconning as dozens of authors and artists have given their take on the Maximoffs over the years.
They are the sons of two Avengers: The Vision and The Scarlet Witch. He also has a twin brother named Tommy Maximoff aka Speed. They are also the grandsons of Magneto (Marvel Comics) and the nephews of Pietro Maximoff aka Quicksilver.
Billy is essentially a prince of the House of M.
The Young Avenger, without any actual link to the Wiccan faith, adopted several identities before taking on the monniker Wiccan. In his original appearance in The Young Avengers #1 he went by “The Asgardian.”
Since spotlighting its ever-growing LGBTQ representation is a big part of phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), fans should expect to see the words “Wiccan,” “Marvel,” “gay,” and “superhero” a lot in both the comic series and cinematic universe in the coming months.
The incredibly likable actor who played him, Julian Hilliard, made him almost certain to re-appear.
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Her attending physician, Doctor Strange, hands Wanda her newborn twins and declares the birth a great success. At Wanda’s side is her husband, The Vision, who is very proud of his wife and children. From across the room comes a cold and distant voice — that of Professor Charles Xavier, who demands Wanda return the world to normal. She refuses, clinging to her babies, who shatter and disappear. There are no friends, no family and certainly no babies. Instead, Wanda is resting in a dark room in the devastated mutant paradise of Genosha. Using his fantastic mental powers, Professor X forces Wanda to sleep. Magneto appears, dressed humbly, and asks Professor X about his progress with his daughter. Professor X informs Magneto that his power will no longer be enough to hold back Wanda and that a solution must be found. Magneto, blaming himself for twisting his children through the strength of his own dreams and ambitions, walks on a magnetic field towards the center of the island to be alone.
Wiccan was created by writer Allan Heinberg to be gay from conception.
Inclusivity within Marvel studios has been assured by Kevin Feige. But with there still no openly gay (superhero) characters, plucking Billy from the roster of Young Avengers, fan-favorite Wiccan made an excellent candidate for this role.
Billy and Tommy Maximoff were first introduced at the conclusion of the Vision and the Scarlet Witch mini-series from the 1980s where, like in WandaVision, they were conceived by Wanda’s magic. At first, they appear to be normal baby boys — besides, you know, the fact that they have a Synthezoid and a witch as parents — but when the nature of the children was revisited by John Byrne and Bob Sharen in the West Coast Avengers (later Avengers West Coast) a few years later, the twins turn out to be much more than that.
In West Coast Avengers, Agatha Harkness — a witch and Wanda’s mentor — returns from the dead and casually shows up at Wanda and Vision’s house. (In case you didn’t know, nobody really stays dead in the comics. Except for, like, Uncle Ben.) Agatha confronts the unsuspecting parents with the fact that the moment Wanda loses sight of her children and stops thinking of them, they simply cease to exist.
And if that news weren’t bad enough, a demonically enhanced villain named Master Pandemonium later shows up to kidnap Billy and Tommy. Master P was once a normal guy, as he helpfully explains, but after losing an arm in a car accident, he made a deal with the devil Mephisto, who replaced his limbs at the price of his soul.
As it turns out, Billy and Tommy were created using pieces of Mephisto’s own fragmented soul, so he, like a classic devil, tricks Pandemonium into helping him reabsorb the twins’ souls into his body, essentially killing them in the process. In order to shield Wanda from the trauma (and the searing images of those horrifying demon-baby arms), her memory of her children and all the demon drama is wiped clean, and her twins are forgotten for years thereafter.
The twins, and their souls, return years later, but now they grow up with different biological parents. They only meet and begin to suspect their spiritual familial connection once they’re both recruited into the Young Avengers.
Tommy and Billy (a.k.a. Speed and Wiccan) realize that they bear an uncanny resemblance not only to each other but also to the original Maximoff twins, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, respectively. Before long, they discover the truth of their ties to the Maximoffs — demon-baby-arm history and all — and search for Wanda, who had gone into hiding following her reality-altering transgressions in the 2005 series House of M. Their suspicions are finally confirmed in Avengers: The Children’s Crusade, as Billy and Tommy properly reunite with their mother for the first time.
WandaVision blended Billy’s and Tommy’s various characters and story lines from the comic books. “The beauty of bringing these characters to life on television is that WandaVision showrunner Jac Schaeffer could sift through the occasionally soap-opera feel of the comics to pluck out the good bits—while not having to simultaneously worry about anything conflicting with Kevin Feige’s precious web of story lines in the MCU.”
Above: A recent collector’s variant cover of Dr. Strange prominently features Billy.
Wiccan eventually marries fellow Young Avenger Teddy Altman or Hulkling, a queer Kree hero who is rumored to be joining the cast of the upcoming Captain Marvel sequel (as Carol Danvers’ son).
There’s no doubt Billy’s story arc will be different than the one in the comics, but either way, he’s here, he’s queer, and you can see him (and Wanda/the Scarlet Witch) next in Dr. Strange in the Multitude of Madness in theaters everywhere on March 25, 2022.