Classic X-Men #19

Issue Date: 
March 1988
Story Title: 
<BR>Showdown! (1st story)<BR> I, Magneto! (2nd story)

First story (additional pages) Chris Claremont (writer), Kieron Dwyer (penciler), Terry Austen (inker), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Petra Scotese (colorist) Arthur Adams and Terry Austin (front cover and frontispiece), John Bolton (back cover)
Second story: Chris Claremont (writer), John Bolton (artist), Nel Yomtov (colors), Tom Orzechowski (lettering), Ann Nocenti (editor), Roger Stern (original editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief), Terry Kavanagh (assistant editor)

Brief Description: 

First story :
The first story is a reprint of X-Men (1st series) # 113.

Second story :
Some time after his first meeting with Charles Xavier, Magneto has taken up helping unnamed American intelligence organization by hunting Nazis. He finds one group in South America, led by the former Obersturmbannführer Richter, and takes the captive, handing him over to Control, with whom he works. While he uses his powers, he experiences painful seizures. Later, in Rio de Janeiro, where he currently makes his home, he has a meeting with his physician, Isabelle, who tries to figure out where those seizures are coming from. Isabelle is murdered before his eyes by Control’s men, as the intelligence service is angry at him for taking out Nazis who are working for them. They try to kill Magneto, using gadgets that turn his powers back on them, but, in his rage, he overcomes both them and his pain. Killing Control, he has finally reached a point where he decides that mutants have to subjugate humans to survive.

Full Summary: 

First story :
This story is a reprint of X-Men (1st series) #113. There are, however, three additional pages.

While the X-Men are prisoners of Magneto, tended to by Nanny, Storm decides that she has to act before they all go mad. The situation is the hardest for Wolverine, who is afraid that he’ll slip into berserker mode and will never return again. Nightcrawler wonders why Xavier isn’t doing anything to help them, as he had told them that he had a constant telepathic rapport with them.

In the meantime, Magneto is on Asteroid M, his home where he examines the new scope. After Erik the Red returned him to adulthood, his powers seem to have made a quantum leap, both in strength and sensitivity. He notices that he’s worked too long and is hungry and remembers that this always used to happen when he was married to Magda. Remembering his dead wife and daughter and how he lost them both, his grief and rage are fueled. He decides, though, that Magda was a fool. And proof that no human can truly accept mutants. Therefore, his only hope for survival is a world where they are the rulers. His thoughts turn to his former friend, Charles. He regrets their parting of ways but his students are Magneto’s now and will remain so until their deaths. As Magneto has been subtly altering Earth’s magnetic field to inhibit any long-range telepathic scan, Xavier will never find them.

Second story :
A few decades ago, somewhere in South America stands a fortress, inhabited by Nazis soldiers who escaped justice. Until now. One of the guards notifies the sergeant of a stranger coming close on the main road. The sergeant decides that the guards can use him for target practice. Seeing the armed men, the stranger only smirks. A moment later, he glows and the fortress’s walls come tumbling down. Magneto deflects all their shots and quickly makes short works of tanks and whatever other weapons they have. Magneto turns his attention to one particular sniper: Obersturmbahnführer Hans Richter, late of the Waffen SS. His presence was sorely missed at the Nuremburg war crime trials, he informs the Nazi. He’s here to rectify that oversight.

He easily takes Richter prisoner. When the Nazi does the ‘I was only following my orders’ spiel, Magneto tells him he needn’t convince him; he is the hunter, not the judge and happy to leave that duty to the courts in Israel. Ignoring Richter’s protests, Magneto opens his vault and is disgusted to find treasure taking from the Nazis’ victims.

At that moment, he screams, overwhelmed by indescribable pain. Most of it passes it quickly and he thinks to himself that the seizures now strike whenever he uses his powers. Richter silently notices the agony Magneto suffered and wonders how to make use of that. Magneto peruses the files he found and gleefully informs Richter that this should enable him to smash several Nazi underground organizations. He makes a phone call to someone called Control and notifies him of having captured Richter. Control seems surprised at this, apparently not having expected Magneto to go after this particular Nazi.

Rio de Janeiro, two weeks later. Magneto sits at a café table near the beach, reading a newspaper. Impeccably dressed in a three-piece suit, his formality stands in contrast to most other people, who are dressed in summer clothes or bathing suits. Magneto is engrossed in an article about his old friend, Charles Xavier, who has made a name for himself as the foremost authority on genetic mutation. Still the idealist, Magneto mocks gently, still dreaming of coexistence. Magneto regrets he and Xavier haven’t corresponded in quite some time. Perhaps it’s time to reestablish those ties. Perhaps Xavier could even help with those strange pains he’s been having.

Suddenly, he’s addressed by a beautiful, black-haired woman, dressed in a colorful bikini top and matching skirt, who mocks him in a friendly way about his formal wear on the eve of carnival. This is as uninhibited as he gets he replies. The woman, Isabelle, Magneto’s physician, apologizes for being late and Magneto commends her outfit.

Later in the evening, in an apartment, they share a passionate kiss, but suddenly Magneto draws back. He apologizes, but when he holds Isabelle he can’t help but think of his wife, Magda. He tells her how he lost his wife and daughter. His wife called him a monster before she left and he wonders what kind of man he is to inspire that kind of reaction in the woman he loved. A good one, Isabelle assures him. At this moment, he suffers another seizure. He should go to a hospital, she tells him. To what end, he asks. Her tests could find neither cause nor cure for his condition.

While giving him a massage, she wonders about his tenseness and theorizes that the manipulation of all those energies that flow through his body may have an untold effect on his central nervous system. A moment later, she gasps, as someone holds a blade to her throat. A split-second later her blood splatters onto Magneto He turns around to see the killers and his companions, their leader being the man known as Control.

Magneto doesn’t understand. Control asks him why couldn’t he simply have done as told, instead of going off on his own. Now instead of sanctioning their Nazis, he caught one of their own. Richter was a very important asset. Magneto still doesn’t understand. They are Nazis! War criminals! Control scoffs at his naiveté. The Russians are the enemy now and they’ll work with whomever they have to in order to beat them. If they need ex-Nazis for that, them’s the breaks. They’ll use them, the same way they will use muties.

Enraged, Magneto shouts that he trusted Control. But he is worse than the Nazis. He tries to lash out with his powers but finds they are turned back on him. Control cynically tells him that he knows what Magneto can do. He spoke with Richter. So he had the scientists rig up a means to counter his powers. If he uses his powers on him or one of his boys, it reflects back on him amplified tenfold. But if that’s the way he wants to go…

Why did they have to kill Isabelle, Magneto asks. Why not wait until he was alone? Their “associates” wanted their pound of flesh, Control replies. The men point their guns at Magneto and Control cynically adds that at least he soon will be rid of those pesky headaches.
Furious, Magneto lashes out with all his power. He won’t be killed here, not by such as him.

The penthouse practically explodes and only Control and Magneto are left, the latter floating and back in control of his powers. Does Control know whom he is dealing with? he demands. He is Homo Superior, the next generation of humanity. Heir apparent to this paltry planet. As Cro-Magnon supplanted Neanderthal, so shall mutants supplant ordinary humans.. And he has Control to thank for showing him the true path. He is insane, the man protests. No, enlightened, Magneto replies, as he grabs s him by the lapels. Humans are like children. Intellect and power without the maturity to use either responsible, unfit to rule lives or world. Better to be ruled instead by one who will make sure that they know their place.

He tosses Control away and to his death before adding: It is neither Communists nor Nazis you have to fear, Control—it is we, who your shortsighted stupidity will make your foes.. It is I who shall lead my people to the glory they deserve, I, Übermensch. I, Mutant! I, Magneto. Looking down at Isabelle’s corpse, he repeats his last words softly.

Characters Involved: 

First story :
no other characters in the additional pages
Second story :

Control and his men
Obersturmbahnführer Richter
Other Nazis

Story Notes: 

First story:
Magneto’s altering of the Earth’s magnetic field to prevent long-range telepathic communication is taken up again in Uncanny X-Men #149-150

Second story :
This story takes place after Magnetos first meeting with Xavier in Uncanny X-Men #161.

Throughout the story, the word “Obersturmbahnführer” is misspelled as “Oberstrumbanführer. It is a Nazi military rank roughly corresponding to a lieutenant-colonel.

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