clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A Deep Dive Into Wanda Maximoff’s Twins, Billy and Tommy

With growing powers and at least a shred of autonomy, the twins are one of the more mysterious elements of ‘WandaVision.’ Gazing back at their comic origins, though, provides a few potential hints.

Marvel/Ringer illustration

Over the course of just six 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). Life moves pretty fast out in the suburbs.

In last week’s episode, 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 superpowered 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 (Julian Hilliard) appears to take after his magical mother, one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe. As always, there are still more questions than answers concerning the strange happenings of Westview, but the Maximoff boys may be on their way to ushering in a new generation of superheroes in the MCU.

Throughout the course of WandaVision, we’ve witnessed Wanda control Westview—and all the poor souls stuck living in it—as she reshapes the town to fulfill her fantasies and cope with the tremendous grief she’s felt for much of her life. But there are still variables in Wanda’s sitcom world that seem to arise without her intentionally creating them, perhaps the most important among them being her two children. In a moment, Billy and Tommy suddenly appeared in her womb (in some form of immaculate conception, unless there’s an R-rated version of WandaVision we haven’t seen); now they’re running around with powers she didn’t think they’d have, which might one day rival hers.

Billy and Tommy’s origins in the comics are even stranger (and more confusing) than they are on WandaVision, but they could potentially signal where the series goes in its final stretch. 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. Billy and Tommy Maximoff are first introduced at the conclusion of Steve Englehart and Richard Howell’s Vision and the Scarlet Witch series in the 1980s where, like in WandaVision, they are conceived by Wanda’s magic. At first, they appear to be normal baby boys—besides, you know, the fact that they have a robot and a witch as parents—but when the nature of the children is revisited by John Byrne and Bob Sharen in the West Coast Avengers 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. And 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.

It’s not until much later in the comics that Billy and Tommy appear as heroes in their own rights, after the twins are resurrected themselves in the Young Avengers series in the mid-2000s. Rather than being born again as Wanda and Vision’s biological children, though, their souls are reincarnated in two boys named William Kaplan and Thomas Shepherd. Billy discovers that he has magic powers—such as being able to generate electrokinetic energy from his hands—after he gets bullied at school for being gay. Tommy, meanwhile, accidentally vaporizes his own school and is sent to a sort of superpowered juvenile hall.

The twins, who grew up with different biological parents, only begin to suspect their spiritual familial connection once they’re both recruited into a teenaged group of heroes called 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.

So far, WandaVision has 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 can 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. But with only three episodes remaining in the season, the young Maximoff twins now stand at a crossroads of the diverging paths that their characters take in the comics. Will they disappear as quickly as they grew inside of Wanda, or will they go beyond just cosplaying as superheroes to become Wiccan and Speed?

If what happened to Vision at the end of the sixth episode—when he began to disintegrate outside the anomaly—is an unfortunate phenomenon that runs in the family, then Billy and Tommy may cease to exist in the world outside of Westview. Their bodies could begin to crumble as soon as they leave the hexagonal sitcom bubble, or perhaps their souls will return to a villain who has yet to be introduced in WandaVision—many fans are holding on to the theory that Mephisto will emerge as the season’s true bad guy. At the same time, unlike Vision, Billy and Tommy didn’t previously die in the outside world, nor were they created by some sort of twisted corpse-reanimation process. They might be the products of her magic, but not even Wanda was capable of telepathically seeing beyond the borders of Westview, as Billy did last episode when he felt his father dying and saw the S.W.O.R.D. soldiers surrounding him. Both Billy and Tommy can also instantly age themselves, against their mother’s will, further suggesting that they have at least some autonomy in Wanda’s alternate reality. Leaving the hex could just result in the twins’ molecules rearranging a bit, like what apparently happened to Monica Rambeau, forcing them to potentially lose some of their abilities in the process. (There’s not much to suggest this, but like, how else do you erase the fact that these kids could just skip that whole pesky puberty thing in an instant if they wanted to?)

The twins could survive what will almost certainly be a tragic conclusion to the series, paving the way for them to be the first Young Avengers. For one, there are several upcoming Marvel projects that indicate that that team may come together soon enough. Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) is set to debut as Clint Barton’s arrow-slinging prodigy in the upcoming Hawkeye series. Cassie Lang—Scott Lang’s daughter and the young hero known as Stature in the comics—has been recast for the second time, with Kathryn Newton (Big Little Lies, Blockers) now taking over what should be a bigger role in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. And alongside the Scarlet Witch herself, America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) will appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, as the interdimensional superhero makes her first appearance in the MCU.

Before entering the greater Marvel universe, however, Billy and Tommy will first need to find their way out of New Jersey. Despite Vision’s valiant efforts, Wanda’s control over Westview has only grown stronger as she extends her sitcom real estate deeper into the Garden State, and Uncle Pietro remains as much a wild card as ever. If Vision can’t stop Wanda alone, his children might have to choose a side in a very messy divorce.