Magneto (2nd series) #12

Issue Date: 
January 2015
Story Title: 

Cullen Bunn (writer), Roland Boschi (art), Lee Loughridge (colorist), VC’s Clayton Cowles and Cory Petit (letterer), David Yardin (cover artist), Xander Jarowey (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (editor), Mike Marts (X-Men group editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
Magneto created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

Magneto has brought a group of villains to attack the Red Onslaught and his Sentinels. While they do so, he frees the Scarlet Witch and Dr. Strange and urges them to cast the spell to separate what is left of Charles Xavier’s mind from the Red Skull’s. The Red Onslaught manages to enslave several villains, one of whom takes out Dr. Strange, after which Dr. Doom offers to take his place in the spellcasting. He and the Scarlet Witch proceed and seem to have some success in taking down the Red Onslaught. What is left of Xavier appears before Magneto, telling him that he was wrong and Magneto was right, but Magneto doesn’t quite get the message. While he talks to the Red Skull’s former prisoners, he does not know that his nightmare Hitzig seems to have taken on a life of his own.

Full Summary: 

Magneto has brought a crew of villains to help in the battle against the Red Onslaught and his Sentinels. He attacks the hero-killing robots. He admits this time fighting Sentinels comes with another satisfaction. Finally these “heroes” know what it’s like to be the target of such hate. Finally they know what it’s like having Magneto defending them.

Magneto lands next to Dr. Doom and Loki who congratulates him on his feat, then asks if it is “Erik,” or “Magnus” or “Max”. Each name a lie and this is as clear as the breeze. His powers as they are have a similar cast. Magneto orders him to keep his devious mind on the task at hand.

The Red Skull is taken by surprise as the villains Magneto gathered attack his Sentinels and save the heroes. If nothing else, the spectacle has given him pause. Magneto realizes their advantage is fleeting at best.

However, the Enchantress’ love spell on the Skull distracts him briefly, allowing Magneto to help the Scarlet Witch and Dr. Strange, who are shocked to see the villains. What has he done? Wanda demands. What he always does, he retorts. What no one else would do. And now the two of them must do what no one else can do. Part of Xavier’s mind is alive in the Red Skull. He asks them to use their magic to bring that to the forefront.

Magneto suffers from a spell of dizziness. When Wanda is concerned, he roughly tells her he is fine and orders them to cast the spell. Bring his friend back!

A younger Magneto, Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller are in Israel. Magnus and Charles are, as usual, in a debate. Gabrielle asks them to enjoy the day and save the debate for when they return to the hospital. He’d like nothing more, Xavier replies, if only his bullheaded companion conceded the point. If Charles were stating a more sensible case, he’d be more easily swayed, Magnus retorts.

While Gabrielle looks at some wares in the market, Magnus warns Charles he runs the risk of chasing his prize “patient” away. And he can’t imagine any part of him would want that. When Charles asks what he is saying, Magnus points out the girl has feelings for Charles and he – whether his professionalism allows him to admit that or not – shares them. In part, this is why he cannot believe his naïve belief systems. Ms. Haller has suffered terribly simply because of her genetic stock. These mutants Charles speaks of… were they to become known to humanity as a whole, they would be faced with a similar kind of hatred.

Can’t he think mankind can learn from its mistakes? Charles asks. Peaceful coexistence is more than just a dream. Magnus calls it madness. And it saddens him to think of the day such a realization will crush Charles.

Gabrielle rejoins them and orders them to stop bickering. She expects more pleasant discussion while they treat her to lunch.

Magneto muses that, in those days, he knew Charles was a mutant and even suspected the nature of his gifts. But he never dreamed he would use them in such a ghastly way, as the Red Skull tries to telepathically enslave his attackers.

Dr. Strange and the Scarlet Witch begin to cast the spell while Magneto defends them from the villains now under the Skull’s sway, starting with the Absorbing Man. He senses his own powers fading as the Mutant growth Hormone in his blood fades away. Creel threatens to crush him. With his fading gifts, Magneto tosses the Absorbing Man far away, thinking only of protecting the spell and Wanda. He sinks down exhausted.

The Red Skull has found them. He believes he can use Wanda but takes out Dr. Strange, and Magneto can only watch helplessly.

That moment, Carnage under the Red Skull’s control, attacks Magneto, eager to kill one of the big guns. He is blasted away, as Doom’s voice booms that Magneto will not be killed by the likes of him. The so-called Sorcerer Supreme has fallen but Doom can weave the magicks as easily as Strange, he boasts. She’d be a fool to trust him! the Scarlet Witch snaps. Magneto urges her to do it no matter the cost, and she complies. The spell begins.

Younger Charles and Magnus have saved Gaby Haller from Baron Strucker. Magnus orders Charles to take Gaby away. He’ll cover for them. When Hydra agents attack, Magneto mercilessly dispatches of them by magnetically repelling their bullets back at them.

When Charles is horrified Magnus points out that they would have done the same to them. One day, Charles’ squeamishness will cost him and the mutants he plans to guide.

Strucker himself attacks, intending to beat them to death with his Satan’s Claw. Magnus crushes the device and with it Strucker’s right hand. He uses him as an example to tell Charles mankind finds hatred easier than love. If he will not fight with them, he and those who follow him will be obstacles for those who refuse to sit idly by awaiting the fabled day when humanity will change.

The Red Onslaught dissolves and a beaten Magneto groans if it worked. He looks down to see the freed heroes talking. Scarlet Witch asks where the villains are.

Villains, he mutters. After all they did… he did, these Avengers… even his own daughter, would still see him as another threat to be eliminated or contained. And if the spell worked the way it should have, if his friend is now in control of the Red Skull’s body, will he be seen as a danger as well?

Perhaps so. Perhaps rightly so, a voice tells him. He turns around to see a spectral Charles Xavier. Is he back? Magneto asks. Yes, but who knows for how long. That’s why he’s come to him… while he can… before his powers are silenced. Now more than ever the mutants need Magnus. Mutants need someone to stand both as their shepherd and their champion. If the world overlooks mutants, they will be overwhelmed. Someone must make the world see.

Magneto replies he understands it now the way he’s never done before. He knows the fear Charles felt. He was afraid, wasn’t he? Afraid for so long his students would outgrow his dream… afraid of a time when the world would swallow up his ideals. Afraid he wouldn’t be here to guide them. And perhaps Magneto gave him purpose, something to rally against, but he was so consumed by their battles he couldn’t make out the truth. Until now. He will lead them, he promises. He’ll help mutants find a way to live among humankind. In peace.

The fading Charles tells Magneto maybe the message isn’t coming through. Too much confusion and anxiety… Magneto walks away, not hearing Charles telling him he was right all along.

He walks on and finds some of the Red Skull’s former prisoners. He promises they have nothing to fear from him. He recognizes the illusionist girl who introduces herself as Amy. With his magnetic power, he removes their collars and promises they are safe now.

He is unaware of the Nazi Hitzig watching him from the shadows with an evil grin.

Characters Involved: 

Captain America, Dr. Strange, Hulk, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, She-Hulk
Rogue, Storm
Absorbing Man, Carnage, Deadpool, Dr. Doom, Enchantress, Hobgoblin, Loki, Mystique, Sabretooth

Red Onslaught
Stark Sentinels

Amy and other former prisoners

Hitzig, Xavier (ghosts)

In flashbacks:
Charles Xavier
Gabrielle Haller

Baron von Strucker

Story Notes: 

The issue is part of the AXIS event. It crosses over with Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #3.

The flashback refers to Uncanny X-Men (1st series) # 161.

The Scarlet Witch and Dr. Doom have an unfortunate history, as told in Young Avengers: the Children’s Crusade.

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