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WandaVision: The Untold Truth Of Billy And Tommy

Contains spoilers for WandaVision

As of January 22, 2021, we're officially one-third of the way through Marvel Studios' experimental, genre-blending series WandaVision. The Marvel Cinematic Universe's first foray into the Disney+ streaming game has proven highly popular with general audiences and critics alike — for good reason. With its innumerable Easter eggs, nods to previous franchise entries, and some long-overdue expansion for Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany), it's proving itself as one of the most unique MCU additions in recent memory. Simultaneously, the show has produced more than a few subtle hints as to where it'll go next and who will lead the charge going forward.

While WandaVision's first three episodes have played coy with viewers as to who some of its cast members really are, audiences have come up with several solid theories of their own. For instance, many suspect chatty neighbor Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) is actually the famed witch Agatha Harkness, and casting information reveals that Teyonah Parris' Geraldine is an adult Monica Rambeau of Captain Marvel fame. Additionally, the latest installment introduced the Scarlet Witch and her synthezoid husband's twin boys, Billy and Tommy, who have quite a storied past behind them. Here's the truth about these seemingly inconspicuous infants.

Unholy origins

On the pages of Marvel Comics, Billy and Tommy Maximoff made their introductions via Vision and the Scarlet Witch Vol. 2 #12 in September 1986. Much like in WandaVision, the titular heroes were interested in expanding their family, but given Vision's inhuman form, they lacked the means to do so. As a solution, the Scarlet Witch used her magic to manifest the children on her own, but they needed souls, something even she couldn't create alone. To achieve this goal, she unwittingly stole portions of WandaVision's possible central villain Mephisto's soul to breathe life into her offspring — a mistake she'd come to regret.

For a brief time, all was well in this budding family ... until the Devil of the Marvel universe arrived to collect. Shortly after Billy and Tommy came into being, Mephisto decided to take back the missing fragments of his soul. He reabsorbed them, in turn wiping the twins from existence and sending Wanda's mental state into total disarray. To end her unbearable grieving, she called upon Agatha Harkness to erase her children from her memory, allowing her to move on. 

This may sound like the conclusion to Billy and Tommy's story, but we're only just getting started.

Staples of the Young Avengers

Despite disappearing at the hands of Mephisto, both of Wanda Maximoff's children were resurrected decades later and grew into fully realized superheroes. In the early 2000s, two mutant boys by the names of Thomas "Tommy" Shepherd and William "Billy" Kaplan arrived on the Marvel Comics scene — courtesy of Young Avengers #10 and #1, respectively. Tommy, a rebel and troublemaker stemming back to his childhood, possessed the gift of super-speed — not unlike his biological uncle Pietro, aka Quicksilver. Meanwhile, the social outcast and introvert Billy took after his biological mother, utilizing clairvoyance, flight, telepathy, and more. 

As expected, it took no time at all for the two to end up as members of the Young Avengers and, later on, the Secret Avengers. Tommy adopted the alias Speed and Billy became Wiccan, and the twins embarked on many missions alongside teammates America Chavez, Patriot, Kate Bishop, and others. Since joining the upstart faction, they've taken part in such iconic stories as Civil War, Secret Invasion, and Dark Reign, doing everything they can to keep humanity and their newfound allies safe. Although, it's clear that they still have plenty of learning to do, both in harnessing their superhuman abilities and discovering their true origins.

Separated at birth

Even though they look very much alike and have the same powers as twins Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, the facts of Tommy and Billy's relation didn't come out immediately. After all, Billy grew up in New York City and Tommy in Springfield, New Jersey, both to completely different sets of parents, so naturally, it didn't cross anyone's mind. That changed when Wiccan went down a research rabbit hole of Skrull and Avengers intel, ultimately deducing that he and Tommy were somehow siblings. Still, he remained uncertain before eventually hearing the truth straight from the source.

This bombshell came as a part of the 2010 Marvel Comics story Avengers: The Children's Crusade, in which Billy started to lose control of his powers to a dangerous extent. Worried and looking for answers, he and Tommy sought out the Scarlet Witch, who took them on a journey through time and space to learn more about themselves, their gifts, and where they come from. Along the way, she regained her previously wiped memories and told them that, by technicality, they are in fact her once-deceased sons. This confirmed Billy's hunch, and though Tommy was less enthusiastic over this discovery, he quickly acclimated to life with a twin brother.

Cornerstones of LGBTQ+ representation in comics

When it comes to media, no matter the variety, getting LGBTQ+ representation correct is highly important, especially after decades of misrepresentation. In recent years, stories from those within this subset of the population have grown more commonplace than ever before, giving everyone from moviegoers to gamers to even comic book readers fictional icons to look up to. In the case of Marvel Comics, where characters of different sexualities other than heterosexual were few and far between, both Billy Kaplan and Tommy Shepherd became torchbearers for the LGBTQ+ community.

One of the key aspects of Billy's characterization is his relationship with Theodore "Teddy" Altman, better known as Hulkling. Not long after he joined the Young Avengers, Billy and Teddy hit it off and began dating. They've faced some highs and lows over the years, but they've pulled through it all, with Empyre #4 announcing that they quietly tied the knot. As far as Tommy goes, he's currently (as of this writing) dating David Alleyne, the hero best recognized as Prodigy, who is bisexual (via CBR).

Where Marvel Studios will take these potential heroes in WandaVision and beyond is a mystery at this point. Nevertheless, suffice to say, there's more than enough source material to make use of should Billy and Tommy become the MCU's next big names.