The near disastrous end of Hulking and Wiccan’s relationship may have just unleashed a familiar kind of threat in a terrifying new way.
The following contains major spoilers for Hulkling & Wiccan #1, available now from Marvel.
The Marvel Universe has been home to plenty of literal power couples over the years, though none have had quite the impact as Teddy Altman and Billy Kaplan, better known as Hulkling and Wiccan. As the emperor of a vast cosmic empire and the near-omnipotent demiurge respectively, there is seemingly nothing that these two can’t accomplish. Unfortunately, the latter’s sheer power has just manifested in an eerily familiar way. Wiccan might not be anything like the Scarlet Witch, but the latest reminder that he is indeed his mother’s son brings with it some genuinely horrifying implications.
Hulkling & Wiccan #1 (by Josh Trujillo, Jodi Nishijima, Matt Milla, and VC’s Ariana Maher) finds its titular couple preparing for a dinner date with close friends, though the festivities soon give way to some unexpected concerns. Soon enough, minor worries over where the two are headed coupled with a subtle subliminal suggestion, give way to brand-new beginnings for two brand-new couples. In his sleep, Wiccan not only created new partners (Goebig and Eidolon) for himself and his husband out of thin air, but he also blocked out their memories of each other almost entirely. While there is something to be said about Agatha Harkness’ hand in everything, it was still ultimately Wiccan who created this scenario.
As astonishing as it is that Wiccan brought two very real beings into existence by way of his subconscious, it is a skill that he was born with, in fact, it even runs in his family. The Billy Kaplan fans know the best may have only been introduced with the rest of the team in 2005’s Young Avengers #1 (by Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung), but he has been a part of the Marvel Universe for much longer than that. The Billy of the present is none other than the reincarnation of one of Wanda Maximoff’s twin sons who came into being in almost the exact same way.
On the surface, Wiccan seems like a heartwarming development in a tragic story. In truth, it was his and his brother’s birth, and subsequent deaths that sent the Scarlet Witch into a lifelong downward spiral. This chapter in her life has become so indelible to Wanda’s character that it even followed her into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That grief has seen Wanda carry out all sorts of atrocities, which further exacerbated her fragile state. What happened to her certainly isn’t comparable to Wiccan’s latest experience, yet the latter carries with it the implication that at any point he could become the exact same kind of threat as his mother, if not worse.
The Scarlet Witch might be a force of nature in a figurative sense, but that is quite literally what Wiccan is as the demiurge. That coupled with his innate mystical abilities obtained at birth makes it all the more likely that Billy could end up unleashing a far more frightening set of circumstances upon reality than his mother ever did. Of course, he isn’t all that much like Wanda in any particular way beyond the powers they share, which does ease tensions to an extent.
Then again, there is no telling what the two beings he gave life to will do next, or whether they are the only ones of their kind waiting to make an appearance. Goebig and Eidolon don’t seem to be the villainous types, although there is no telling how they will react to their newfound existences alone in the cosmos. As beings without worlds or histories of their own, it’s hard to imagine they won’t bear some resentment against the one who created them or those who reject them. With any luck, that won’t end up being Hulkling and Wiccan’s next biggest problem. But the lingering potential of danger and considering the disastrous consequences of a similar circumstance that preceded it, this could very well wreak havoc in the Marvel Universe.
John Dodge has been an avid consumer of comic books and nerd culture for as long as he can remember. An expert on competitive gaming and obscure kids shows from the 80’s and 90’s, John has far too many opinions about Beetleborgs for someone in their thirties. You can find him occasionally discussing them over on Twitter at @JohnJDodge.