Excalibur (3rd series) #9

Issue Date: 
March 2005
Story Title: 
What is the Life that Late I Led…?

Chris Claremont (writer), Aaron Lopresti (artist), Greg Adams and Sean Parsons (inker), Transparency Digital (colors), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Sean Ryan (assistant editor), Stephanie Moore (editor), Mike Marts (supervising editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (president)

Brief Description: 

Magneto reflects on his early career and the tragedies of his past as he watchers over his daughter Wanda AKA the Scarlet Witch. He orders Karima to collect Xavier, telling her only that there is great need. The Dark Beast leads the Genoshan magistrates to a vault filled with supplies. An unseen creature attacks the group. It slaughters the magistrates and leaves the Dark Beast beaten nearly to death. Karima seeks out Hub, the teleporter working with Unus. She uses her tracking capabilities and Prime Sentinel capabilities to force Hub to help her retrieve Xavier and Callisto. Callisto and Xavier have found an area mysteriously untouched by the Sentinel attack even though there are indications of a firestorm. They also discover a handful of children who survived. Hub finds Callisto and Xavier, who enlist her in helping them get the children safely back to Hammer Bay. They arrive in time to get a warning from the Dark Beast about the creature before he collapses from his possibly fatal injuries.

Full Summary: 


As a young man Magneto was in the death camp at Auschwitz. In its three years of operation, Auschwitz claimed over a million lives. Magneto was not among them.
Starving and halfdead Magnus escaped the camps with his fellow inmate, Magda. They made their way to the city of Vinnitsa in Russia where they regained their strength and fell in love.
They started a family with the birth of their first daughter, Anya who they named for Magda’s mother who had perished in the camps. They were happy and growing prosperous until tragedy striked. A fire broke out in the building they lived in and Anya was trapped. The young Magnus tried to save her but was stopped by the Russian police. Their brutality prevented him from rescuing Anya who was consumed by the fire. Enraged and overcome with grief, Magnus lashed out with his emerging powers.
The resulting energy pulse killed everyone with a kilometer except for Magnus and his wife Magda. As he reached out for Magda, electricity arced from his hands. Frightened by the carnage he had wrought around them and thinking he meant to harm her as well, Magda ran away. Magnus fell unconscious, overwhelmed by his own power.
Years later, Magneto rescued the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver from a mob and enlisted them into his new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
Magneto’s early philosophy was that mutants were the next step in human evolution and would have to take their rightful place by force. He and his Brotherhood were opposed by the original X-Men as well as later the Avengers. Disillusioned with Magneto’s tyranny, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver joined this team and became heroes in their own right.
Only years later Magneto learned that the mutant twins were his own children. Magneto had resolved never to see them again until news of the recent tragedies at Avengers Mansion reached the Master of Magnetism in far-off Genosha. Despite all reasoning, Magneto made his way to New York where he learned that his daughter Wanda’s reality-warping powers had grown out of control and were responsible for the recent Avengers’ woes.
He took Wanda into his care and brought her to Genosha in the hopes of assisting in her recovery.

Magneto sits in a sparsely furnished room next to his unconscious daughter. He thinks back on the mistakes of his past and ponders how best to help his daughter.
He leaves the plain room and goes outside to see the progress that his allies Shola Inkose and Freakshow have made in leveling the city of Hammer Bay and converting it to useable land. Karima Shapandar arrives and greets Magnus. She notes that they have been worried about him and he says he was on personal business. Karima fills him in about Callisto and Xavier’s journey to seek out survivors and their agreement with McCoy and the magistrates.
Magneto asks if Xavier trusts them and Karima replies that Xavier did leave Magneto in charge. Magnus asks Karima to find Xavier and bring him back at once. He says that there is an urgent need but refuses to explain further.
He returns to Wanda’s room, which is now ornately furnished and decorated in shades of red. Magneto wonders about the nature of his own powers and Wanda’s and ponders if they can be harnessed. He sits back down beside her bed and begins to read“The Fellowship of the Ring” to her.
Elsewhere, the Dark Beast bounds through an underground passageway. He is expounding upon how clever it was of Xavier to find the means of persuading him and the former Genoshan Magistrates into helping him rebuild Genosha. The Dark Beast notes that he is a knave and wonders what will happen when he and Xavier finally clash.
The magistrates catch up and McCoy proceeds to flirt with Rebecca Lauria, the sole female among the Genoshan guards. The captain of the magistrates protests, but Rebecca herself seems to respond positively to the Dark Beast’s attentions.
They have found a locked vault that is filled with weapons and supplies. It is locked and the retinal scanner is off-line due to the power blackout affecting all of Genosha. The Dark Beast manages to open it somehow. Rebecca is excited by what they find inside and kisses the Dark Beast gratefully. The captain scolds her for fraternizing with the Dark Beast.
McCoy suddenly hears a noise and goes off to investigate. Rebecca follows him into the tunnels and continues flirting with him. McCoy gets serious with her and tells her to go back to the captain as he ordered. She says she’d rather be with him.
Lurking in the shadow of the pipes above her is a clawed creature. The creature grabs her and her cries alert the others who shoot at the unseen monster. It throws the captain into the Dark Beast with enough force to shatter the bones in his upper body. McCoy steps forward and challenges the creature who simply laughs at him. McCoy recognizes the laugh and pursues the creature into the tunnels.
Karima arrives at Unus’ camp and asks to borrow Hub, the teleporter on his team. Unus tells her she has no rights over him or his group. Karima warns him not to start a fight since they both know it will end badly. She explains that they need to get Xavier back quickly. Unus could care less and refuses, as does Hub. The girl teleports away and Unus tells Karima that if she wants her, she’ll just have to find her.
Karima flies higher into the air, marveling at her new abilities. She shifts her perceptions to scan the island. Below, Hub is chatting with Hack and Purge about what just happened. A hologram of Karima appears and informs Hub that she has her bio-tagged and can follow her anywhere. She’ll tire eventually and Karima will have her and might even learn some of her secrets along the way. She then creates a map of the island and highlights the location of Xavier and Callisto. She asks Hub nicely to bring them home or she’ll have to come get the three of them in person.
Xavier and Callisto have found an abandoned railway car and are investigating. Xavier notes once more that his telepathy is growing stronger on Genosha but that there are dead zones where it simply doesn’t work. He thanks Callisto for carrying him. They note that this area was largely untouched by the Sentinels attack, which seems odd.
Callisto searches the train cars while Xavier does some digging around (literally) outside. He finds evidence of a full-scale firestorm in the soil, but the surrounding forest and the train cars show no signs of it. The train cars were designed to carry mutants but were ripped apart by something.
Callisto carries Xavier up to the main car where she has found five children who survived somehow. They wonder how the kids survived, but Xavier’s telepathy finds no memories of the incident. The children are in poor health and short on supplies.
Just then, Hub arrives in a teleportative flash. She explains that Karima sent her and Charles properly introduces himself to Hub. She ‘ports the kids and Callisto back and Shola informs her that Magneto has sealed off the house to everyone but Xavier. Callisto wonders if he’s gone nuts again.
In the meantime, Shola and the others have built some crude habitats to provide some shelter. Callisto wonders where McCoy is with the supplies he promised.
At that moment, the Dark Beast stumbles into the camp. He is severely beaten. He informs those present that the magistrates are all dead. He claims they fought like lions but it was a slaughter. As he collapses, he tells them that it killed the magistrates and him and that they’re next.

Characters Involved: 

Callisto, Charles Xavier, Karima Shapandar, Magneto, Shola Inkose, Wicked (all members of Excalibur)
Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch
Hub, Hack and Purge (all part of a Genoshan Underground)
Unus the Untouchable and his mutant gang
Dark Beast/Henry ”Doc” McCoy
Former Genoshan magistrates (including Rebecca Lauria who is named for the first time in this issue)
Unseen clawed creature
Five unnamed Genoshan children
In Magneto’s memories

young Magneto
Magda and Anya
Mastermind, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Toad (all Brotherhood of Evil Mutants)

Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman and Marvel Girl I (all X-Men)

Captain America, Giant Man, Hawkeye, Wasp (all Avengers)
Concentration camp prisoners
Russian citizens and police officers

Story Notes: 

The death of Magneto’s daughter Anya was first depicted in Classic X-Men #12.
Magneto learned that the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were his children in the first Vision and Scarlet Witch limited series.
The destruction of Avengers Mansion occurred in Avengers (1st series) #500 as the opening salvo in the “Avengers Disassembled” story arc. During this storyline, the Avengers were attacked on numerous fronts resulting in the deaths of Ant-Man and Hawkeye and the destruction of the Vision and Avengers Mansion. In Avengers #502-503, Dr. Strange arrives and reveals that these attacks were created by Wanda Maximoff. He explains that Wanda’s own ability to re-shape reality combined with the hardships and stresses of her life had caused her to slowly slip into madness. Unable to tell reality from her own fantasies, it was revealed that Wanda had been warping reality in various dramatic ways for quite some time. Dr. Strange neutralized Wanda by shutting her mind down. It was at this moment, that Magneto arrived seemingly out of nowhere and collected his daughter. [Avengers (1st series) #503]
“The Fellowship of the Ring” is the first in a trilogy by JRR Tolkien.

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