Magneto has just uttered his ultimatum to the Chief Magistrate of Genosha. Surrender or see the island destroyed! To show his threat isn’t an empty one, a mountain hovers above the city.
After a moment’s silence, the Chief Magistrate offers her weapon. They surrender. Magneto tells her to find whatever hole her president’s hiding in. Draw up a formal capitulation. He wants it no later than sundown.
Magneto then calls for Quicksilver, asking if there is any sign of Xavier. They have finally found Xavier under the rubble, alive but his legs are smashed.
One week later, Magneto stands before the mutants crowds now gathered in Genosha. Calling them brothers and sisters, he vows a new day has dawned for mutantkind. The last humans left this iland this morning. From this moment forward, they have a home. All of them. He hereby declares that every mutant, no matter where he or she dwells, is now a citizen of Genosha. They are invited to come here and be welcomed as equals with their heads held high. If they are not free to make the journey, they are nevertheless their people. And any crimes committed against them… any violence, any oppression will be answered in kind.
The first time he addressed the world’s mutants, he said they were not alone. Today, that promise is kept. Today, they have a nation on their side. The crowd cheers his name Magnus.
Magneto walks inside where Wanda, Quicksilver and Polaris are waiting. That went well, Wanda assures him with a smile. Her brother is less happy, criticizing all this pomp and circumstance while mutants around the world are still persecuted. It seems wasteful, especially when every day more of them die.
Is he kidding? Lorna exclaims. Remember how he felt when he first saw Magneto, the inspiration, the hope? Moments like that make a lot more difference than breaking things.
Darkly, Wanda orders them to stop. She doesn’t like it when they fight. Pietro apologizes to her. She orders him not to apologize to her but to Magneto. But Magneto feels there is no need. He understands how Pietro feels. He wants justice as much as he does. His blood boils for it. But Polaris is right. They are a world power now and must act accordingly. Too many of them sacrificed everything for this opportunity. To behave rashly would be an insult to them. To Xavier…
Having arrived unnoticed via a hover chair, Xavier tells them not to worry about him.
Worry about the mutants who aren’t lucky enough to live here…
What did the healer say? Magneto inquires. The same things he said all week, Xavier replies. He can knit his wounds but not repair damaged nerves. He accepts the chair. Magnus should too. They have far greater concerns. Since they seized Genosha, anti-mutant sentiment has skyrocketed. Humans are afraid and frightened people run to demagogues like Graydon Creed and his Friends of Humanity. He points toward the TV, upon which Creed is holding a hate speech.
Creed tells the audience they have seen what’s happening in Genosha. Anyone who doesn’t believe America is next is living in a fantasy world. Their government is doing all it can to protect them, but this is a war that will have to be fought by every man, woman and child. A war not just for their way of life… but for their very existence!
He tells the adoring crowd that, while their military prepares for the inevitable battle, they must all do their part on the home front. Stay alert, he instructs the people, Stay vigilant. Mutants could be hiding among them. They could be the people they see every day… people they know and trust. But they can’t be trusted. They want to subjugate humans… to take their place. Genosha proves it. But America is not Genosha. They will never let that happen here. They will fight to the death – humanity’s or mutantkind’s!
Idiots! Magnus swears and enraged smashes the TV set with a magnetic blast. No mention of the fact that thousands of mutants were kept in Genosha as slaves. That they let the human population of Genosha escape with their lives! he rants. And this Creed… by God, have they forgotten Hitler already?
To many of them, Magnus is Hitler, Xavier points out calmly. Semantics won’t help the mutants being hunted and killed by these fanatics, Magneto retorts. Creed is advocating genocide. Perhaps Pietro has a point. Perhaps there is only one way to deal with these maniacs.
Xavier advises him not to be a fool. He’d be playing into their hands. Trying to save each mutant one by one is a hopeless cause. They must reach governments, not individuals. Magnus is a head of state. Act like one! Xavier tells him.
And so some time later, Magnus, accompanied by Xavier, Quicksilver and Polaris visits Attilan, home of the Inhumans, and has an audience with their king Black Bolt and his wife Medusa.
Magneto tells the Inhumans that once the humans have exterminated mutants, they will inevitably turn to others who are different from themselves, such as the Inhumans.
Medusa replies for her husband that Attilan’s defences are more than adequate. They do not fear the humans. But they have ever stood apart from the outside world. Black Bolt will not provoke war by attacking them. However, she continues, her husband is displeased by the persecution of mutants and acknowledges that mutants deserve a refuge of their own. Should the humans attack Genosha, the Inhumans will stand at Magneto’s side. Magnus and Black Bolt shake hands. And Xavier smiles at their first success.
Later, ensconced in a magnetic forcefield, Magneto and his advisors have an audience in Atlantis with the Submariner. Magneto reminds Prince Namor that he himself is a mutant, one of the first. This is his fight as much as theirs. Namor shouts back that Magneto presumes too much. He is monarch of Atlantis. Unless and until their conflict affects his kingdom, it does not merit his notice.
With all due respect, Magneto replies, by then it will be too late! Even now the humans are developing weapons that even his powers cannot affect. Namor saw how the war with Japan ended. Imagine what an atomic bomb or something worse would do to Atlantis. To the sea itself! This is the time to stop them. Perhaps the last chance.
Namor is silent for a moment. Reluctantly, he takes Magneto’s hands. His army is needed here, but they have decided to help Magneto. Vashti will give him gold and other surface currency they’ve taken from shipwrecks. It’s useless to them anyway. Warlord Krang will supply weapons far superior to the humans’.
He turns his back on the mutants and announces he hopes the dirtcrawlers will exterminate each other. Do not disturb him again!
Evening in Genosha… Magneto still fumes at Namor’s arrogance. Did Xavier see him push his hand though Magneto’s forcefield? A barbarian show of strength! As if he couldn’t have sliced it off!
Charles tries to calm him, reminding him they have won great victories. Victories? Magneto scoffs. Show him one additional soldier! That they are supplying them with any aid is impressive. Xavier points out. Namor and Black Bolt don’t consider themselves part of their world. Then perhaps it’s time he spoke to someone who does, Magneto replies. With a smile, Xavier agrees. And sometime later they have an audience with Wakanda’s king, the Black Panther.
T’Challa tells them that, as long as Wakanda has existed, they have been forced to fight for their survival. His people’s history makes him sympathetic to theirs. And the superpowers’ treatment of those who are different has long troubled him. But, he continues, they are a small nation and much of the world is united against Genosha. It would not be in Wakanda’s interest to declare war. However, he can offer Vibranium. A substance unique to this country, whose vibrations destroy metal. He can destroy metal with a thought, Magneto points out.
More importantly, T’Challa continues, he is prepared to sign a non-aggression-treaty with Genosha… officially recognizing them as a sovereign nation. That’s wonderful, Xavier exclaims. They can’t thank him enough. But Magneto’s looks are dark…
Back in Genosha, Xavier tries to convince him that this is a tremendous step for them. With the recognition of a human monarch, the United Nations will have to take them seriously. He has made contact with sympathizers in America. There is an agent of SHIELD who has agreed to help.
Yes, yes, that’s all wonderful, Magneto agrees tiredly, but its been a long journey. He’s sure they can all use their rest. Xavier and the three young people leave.
Magneto broods. Then he opens a secret passage behind his bookshelves. It leads to a dark cell. In it sits Sabretooth. He has a job for him, Magneto announces.
Washington DC, one week later, police are searching an apartment. One of them addresses Vice-President Trask, reminding him the man was his friend. He really shouldn’t see him like this. Trask calls him an idiot. He invented the Sentinels, he’s seen far worse. The cop tells him that according to the forensic boys Mr. Creed was torn to pieces by a wild animal. Or a mutant, Trask replies. Not much difference.
The official report will call it an accident, he decides. A tragic mishap in the home. Sir? the cop asks. He heard him, Trask replies. If word gets out, they can get to someone like Creed, on American soil, in his own house… well, they just can’t have it. But he promises the detective the heinous crime won’t go unpunished. Magneto gave them a gift. When other world leaders hear about this, it’ll remove any concern they have about them striking at Genosha. And his team will show those freaks that they are not the only ones who aren’t safe on homeground. Don’t they agree? he addresses three men.
Bucky Barnes, now carrying Captain America’s shield, Nuke and the Mimic. It’s not just their duty, Barnes replies, it’s their pleasure.
In Genosha, Xavier has read the newspaper to learn about the Creed murder and Magnus being blamed for it. Has he lost his mind?! he shouts. He did what he had to, comes the reply. He’s not even ashamed enough to deny it? Xavier asks enraged. Lie to a telepath? comes the sarcastic reply. What’s the point? Creed would have been another Hitler. Better to put an end to him now.
He’s given them an excuse to attack them, Xavier shouts. Let them! comes the reply. Every day they waste at playing at statsmanship costs mutant lives. This is a fight he aches for. Let them do their worst!
Night in Genosha: Barnes enters via the water and quickly and quietly takes out a mutant guard. The others come up. Mimic explains that he is duplicating Xavier’s telepathy and hiding them. Xavier will notice in a few seconds…In a few seconds, it won’t matter, comes the reply.
Give me a red, Nuke orders and Barnes hands him a pill while Mimic changes, absorbing the powers of the mutants nearby.
Nuke and Mimic begin to attack the mutants noticing them. Barnes orders them to buy him twenty minutes.
Inside, Magnus and Charles are still arguing. Magnus will undermine all their progress, Charles accuses him. The SHIELD agent Carol Danvers is collecting evidence of anti-mutant conspiracy...
Spare him his backdoor diplomacy! Magnus shouts. He’s tried his way. It’s too weak. They could end this peacefully! Charles insists. Peace with countries that are trying to exterminate their people? Magneto scoffs, asking him not to be naïve. The only way this is going to end is with…
They hear a noise. A moment later, Quicksilver informs them they are under attack. Looking outside the window, Magneto sees the glow of fire. Immediately, he dons his helmet and flies off in a magnetic bubble. He orders Charles to stay here and see what he can detect of the attackers’ thoughts. Quicksilver is to secure his sister and then join Magneto. Oh, and release Sabretooth.
Charles calls after him to be careful; they are blocking his telepathy somehow. There is more to this than meets the eye.
Buck Barnes hides in the shadow beneath the building, watching as Magneto leaves… Stealthily, he enters the building, managing not to be noticed by Unus and Blob who are out to join Magneto.
Someone does notice him though, for a moment later Sabretooth attacks. Barnes manages to defend himself with his shield. He tosses it, has it ricochet from a pillar to hit Sabretooth in the back. It deeply embeds itself, impaling Sabretooth to the wall.
Sabretooth dares him to kill him. Thanks, but no thanks, comes the reply. He knows all about Sabretooth’s healing factor. He’s not getting in the range of his claws. He also knows that it won’t hold him forever. Just long enough. He walks off, announcing no one makes it out of here alive. Including himself.
He begins attaching explosives to a pillar, when Charles Xavier calls his name. Captain America’s young ally. It is him, isn’t it? Not so young anymore, Barnes agrees, but yes. He bets it’s strange for Xavier having to ask instead of reading his mind. He lifts away some hair over his forehead to reveal a device that’s blocking Xavier. He orders him to call Magneto. He has a surprise for him.
He’ll do no such thing, comes Xavier’s reply. He’s fully aware that Barnes has planted explosives throughout the building. The building? Barnes repeats. Try the island. The hospital… security headquarters. Xavier’s choice. Call Magneto or they go up like Roman candles.
Does he hate them that much? Xavier tries to reason. Mutants fought beside Barnes during the war. Namor, Toro...
Barnes interrupt him, ordering him not to say his name Toro was a loyal American. Not some terrorist.
All they want is equal rights, Xavier begins. Equal rights? Barnes asks. How can they be equal to someone who can blow up a city with their mind?
So his fear justifies the slaughter of innocents? Xavier asks. Barnes scoffs. He’s read Magneto’s speeches. Mutants are Homo superior – the next step in evolution. They want to wipe humanity out! Replace them with their super-race! He’s heard that song before! He would have done anything to stop the Nazis! To stop mutants he’s gonna kill himself! A few hundred mutant supremacists he won’t think twice about! He wants Magneto here. Xavier’s got one last chance to do it without blood.
When he was a boy, he wanted to be him, Xavier confides. He gets that a lot, Barnes replies. He’ll have settle for being killed by him instead! Barnes shoves his knife into Xavier’s chest…