House of M: Civil War #4

Issue Date: 
February 2010
Story Title: 

Christos N. Gage (writer), Andrea Divito (artist), Laura Villari (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Lauren Sankovitch & Lauren Henry (assistant editors), Bill Rosemann (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

The assault on Genosha has begun. Mimic, one of the invaders, threatens Magneto with his own powers but is taken out by him. A second attacker, Nuke, is in for a horrifying fate when he tries to kill Wanda and she reveals the full power of the Scarlet Witch. Magneto next takes out the final assailant, “Bucky” Barnes, but not before a mortal blow is dealt to Xavier. Dying, Xavier asks Magneto not to judge humanity by its worst. Despite this, full of rage, Magneto decides to have his troops attack the White House in Washington DC. Having escaped the counterattack, however, Vice-president Trask uses this as an excuse to fire nukes at Genosha…

Full Summary: 

The island nation of Genosha has just been attacked by three American undercover agents: one of them is the Mimic, currently fighting Magneto with the powers he absorbed from him. The power! he exclaims. No wonder Magneto thinks he can rule the world!

Magneto hits him with a car in the back, remarking the Mimic had his powers for two minutes. He’s had them thirty years! Not just his abilities, Mimic then replies, and suddenly he hits Magneto’s forcefield with both an optic blast and ice. Those of every mutant on the island. But he doesn’t need all that, does he? Only Magneto’s! He’ll say this once: Surrender and be executed or he’ll rip Genosha off the face of the Earth!

Within Magneto’s citadel, Magneto’s guards find themselves actually held in check by Nuke, a mindless killing machine, as one of them shouts. He doesn’t think so, Nuke replies as he makes one mutant shoot another. An American soldiers is perfect! Both physically and mentally.

He dispatches of his foes and takes a red capsule. You mutants study SunTzu? he asks as he shoots another guard. Didn’t think so. In war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak, he quotes and opens the door to the chamber of the sleeping Wanda.

His gun’s barrel is aimed at her head when she jumps up angrily. Ungrateful wretch! she shouts, her eyes glowing red and his gun dissolving. She gave him his fondest desire, made him intelligent. But his true nature, it seems, can’t be changed. He has no place in this world. She erases him.

A moment later, Sofia enters, asking she heard a noise. She is fine, Wanda assures her; it was just a bad dream. A lone butterfly flutters away.

Outside, Mimic tells Magneto to fight him all he wants. Their opposing efforts will still tear the island to pieces. He’d kill innocents? Magneto asks. Magneto’s killing them, Mimic retorts. Surrender and they leave. They’ll even let them stay in Genosha… as a US protectorate, of course. They’ll be fine as long as they remember their place.
Oh, they remember, Magneto replies and gestures. A collar attaches itself to Mimic’s neck. They remember the inhibitor collars his government used to remove their powers… before placing them in concentration camps. They keep several in their museum of mutant history. They seem to work on Mimic as well, he observes as Mimic falls, bereft of his powers.

Magneto glides down after him and lands. All they wanted was a home, a place to be safe. And they came here to murder! They are monsters! He breaks off a wooden beam. And monsters do not deserve to live! He beats him to death.

Suddenly, he hears Charles calling him telepathically.

He finds the stabbed Charles in his citadel. Panicked, Magneto promises he’ll call a healer. Too late, Xavier tells him and asks him to forgive them. No one should be judged by the worst of their kind. And you… are better than that… my friend. These are his dying words.

Magneto keeps his head bowed, then puts on his helmet. Charles was too good for this world but he is precisely what it deserves. That makes two of them! Barnes shouts as he throws a knife at him. Magneto tries to deflect it, but it goes straight through his shield as, of course it’s non-metallic, as is the gun that Barnes draws.

Magneto protects himself by raising up the Captain America shield. Barnes did bring some metal weapons, it seems, he remarks. He recognizes this and him…

Hysterically, Barnes shouts at him to put that down. As he wishes, Magneto replies and takes his head off with the shield.

Moments later, Lorna and Quicksilver join him, finding he is hurt. Magneto tells them it’s not serious but the bullets are ceramic. He’ll need help extracting them. He asks Polaris about casualties. Rough estimate three hundred, she tells him. Probably more once they’ve searched the rubble. If Professor Xavier can scan for trapped survivors, it’d help. Oh no, she exclaims a moment later when she sees Xavier’s body.

Another moment later, Wanda joins them, supporting an injured Sabretooth whom she found downstairs. Magneto orders her to get away from him. He’d never hurt her, she assures him. Nevertheless, he will take it from here, Quicksilver decides, noting Sabretooth has been cut nearly in half. But he’s healing quickly. Who could have done this to him? “This!” Magneto replies and levitates Captain America’s bloodstained shield back. Once in a nobler time it was the symbol of a proud idea… a dream of a better world. Now it merely bears the colors of an empire whose time has come to fall!

Around the White House, military personnel is gathered. They should have heard something now, the president nervously states in the Oval Office. Getting men out of Genosha is difficult, Vice-president Trask tries to calm him. They shouldn’t worry yet. Well, dammit, he is worried, the president exclaims. So far Magneto’s only attacked places where mutants were being held. But they’ve escalated matters. If he retaliates—

If he does, they are ready, Trask insists. Does he trust him? Of course, the president replies. Why does he think he chose him to replace Agnew? He was under pressure to nominate Ford! But Trask has always been a man who gets results. And he has, Trask agrees. He made that Watergate mess go away, didn’t he? He used the mutant mess to repeal the twenty-second amendment, so he could run for a third time. And he will take care of this!

A moment later, an object is propelled at high speed into the office and embedded in the wall. It’s Captain America’s bloodied shield. Secret Service men come running and lead the president away. While Trask still stares at the shield an agents draws him away, explaining they are under attack. Here? Trask asks incredulous, by whom? The worst case scenario, comes the reply as outside soldiers and helicopters try in vain to attack Magneto who is floating above them, taking out all metal weapons.

While Trask is brought to a helicopter, the agents figure Magneto got here via teleportation. Trask gives the order to deploy the Sentinels. Moments later, several units of the mutant-hunting robots are released, however Magneto isn’t alone either, but joined by fellow mutants, such as Banshee, Iceman, Quicksilver and Polaris and many more.

Magneto addresses his people, telling them they are sending non-metal Sentinels against them. They think because his power can’t affect them, they are all helpless. But their struggle is not about him, it never has been. It’s about them. About heroes like Charles Xavier who gave their lives for their freedom. They stand as one. As a nation! As a people! And today they will know liberation or death!

Aboard Airforce 2, Trask is told that the president is secure and they will be at Trask’s safehouse in—Trask refuses and orders to be taken to the SHIELD helicarrier. He is assuming direct command of the Sentinels. And get him NORAD! He’s been waiting for this. Magneto was accommodating enough to gather the most dangerous mutants in the world in one place – Genosha. By attacking the White House, he’s given them just cause to wipe it off the map!

And the missiles begin to fly…

Characters Involved: 


Professor Xavier




Banshee, Blob, Gateway, Iceman, Sabretooth, Unus


“Bucky” Barnes



Vice-president Bolivar Trask

President Nixon


Story Notes: 

Sun Tzu was an ancient Chinese military general and strategist and philosopher who is traditionally believed to have authored “The Art of War,” an influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy.

The president is clearly meant to be Nixon.

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