Magneto (2nd series) #20

Issue Date: 
September 2015
Story Title: 

Cullen Bunn (writer), Paul Davidson (art), Paul Mounts (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), David Yardin (cover artist), Christina Harrington and Xander Jarowey (assistant editors), 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: 

Some time ago, Magneto demanded answers from Briar. Though he was unsatisfied with her replies, he felt he had no choice but to accept her help. Briar later recruited SHIELD agent Rodriguez and a skeptical Polaris. In the present, Magneto keeps on battling the Sentinels from the other universe. He is given help from a SHIELD heli-carrier, thanks to Agent Rodriguez, and finally absorbs Polaris’ power, unwilling to give up.

Full Summary: 

Propped up by mechanical power amplifiers, Magneto tries his best to repel the other Earth while idly wondering if on that other Earth is a counterpart doing the same thing, and which of them has sacrificed more?

Magneto just demanded the truth of Briar Raleigh. He magnetically slams her into the wall. He warned her when they first met that he has no time for niceties.

She doesn’t know, Briar smirks. They had some nice times, didn’t they? She gets up as he asks her to explain again. She repeats that she only wants to help. Him and others too. She had it all: Fabulously wealthy parents, the world served up on a silver platter. It was all dreadfully boring. And then she had to visit a boyfriend in Seattle and her path crossed his. Does he even know why he was on a rampage that day? Does he even remember? She wonders about that from time to time. All those months in rehab she couldn’t stop thinking about that… thinking about him.

She studied up on him. She knew he’d be back because he never gives up on his crusade. And she found herself agreeing with what he was doing. She understood him. But she also knew more innocent people were going to be hurt, because he can’t help himself. She thought if she could guide his hand, put him in the direction of actual threats, she could support his cause but also minimize the…

He cuts her off. Explain it again! Briar is taken aback. The truth this time! His eyes begin to glow. She tried to control him… use him, make him into her puppet, he accuses Briar. But don’t dare lie to him about her motives!

The energy traps her. She groans that, when they first met face to face, he threatened her with pain. It was him at his best and he didn’t even realize it, because it came so naturally. She likes this side of him.

He releases her as he announces she disgusts him. She scoffs. Like he can’t understand where she’s coming from. He knows as well as she does it’s the pain that makes you feel alive. Alive? he repeats. Does she have any idea how easy it would be for him to take that away from her? She kind of figured that’s what this conversation was all about, Briar answers wryly.

He comes to a decision: she wants to be alive in the face of pain, the face of destruction, the face of death… Very well. He’ll give her what she wants. They’ll see this through to its climax. But there is much to be done before the end arrives. Briar smirks.

Polaris joins Magneto in the sky and pleads with him to stop. It’s not working. He can stop fighting. Does she really think he could do that? Magneto asks. No, she realizes. He can’t help himself. So, if this world is ending anyway, he continues, why would he stop? Doesn’t he even want a few minutes of peace? Lorna asks. He replies she knows better than that. There is no such thing as peace. Even now, the other world dispatches more Sentinels to destroy him. That means they think he has a chance of succeeding. That means they are still fighting. So why shouldn’t he? He just needs more—

On the ground, his Marauders start more amplifier drones. The drones fly up. They need five minutes to fully power up but, even so, he feels a breathtaking rush. A half-dozen aneurisms opening up in his brain, each one unleashing the intensity of a star – primal force blossoming within. Suicide on a deific scale. His gifts are tied to the amplifier cycling down before rocketing to an apex. At that moment, he is vulnerable to the Sentinels, but the moment has been prepared for.

Near a hut at an idyllic lake:
Briar is meeting with SHIELD agent Rodriguez, her secret contact. Rodriguez reminds her they agreed to never meet at the same place twice. Briar replies they are beyond all that. By the time anyone figures out she’s been helping them, it won’t matter anymore. Rodriguez is worried about Briar’s bruises but Briar blows her off. Is Magneto going to make an appearance? she asks. Eventually, Briar replies, one hell of an appearance, but not today. Rodriguez warns her that her superior Haines has convinced SHIELD to sanction a strike on Genosha. She suggests evacuation. Briar smiles, she thinks she would have like to see that.

She hands Rodriguez a USB drive. Information on the new special project Magneto is working on. She’s trying to buy him a little time. Maybe even get SHIELD to get him some back-up. Rodriguez is doubtful. Briar tells her it’s Magneto’s farewell. And they want to be there to give him a proper send-off, don’t they?

A SHIELD heli-carrier shows up to support Magneto who smirks. Inside, Haines fumes and vows, if he somehow survives this, she’ll crash the helicarrier on top of him.

SHIELD holds back the Sentinels. Magneto apologizes to Polaris. She doesn’t understand why.

Lorna attends a fancy party. She looks around and notices that all the other attendees are visibly scarred or maimed. Briar walks towards her, displaying her maimed leg and welcomes her smoothly. Lorna thanks her for the invite but admits she almost didn’t come. Briar asks her to accompany her somewhere quieter to chat. Lorna notices the stares. Briar explains everyone is a little starstruck. It’s not every day the acolytes get to see the daughter of their most beloved celebrity.

This is about Magneto? Lorna realizes. Of course, Briar replies and points at the guests. Poorly mended bones… scars… post-traumatic stress. Her father means a lot to everyone here. He means a lot to her. Disgusted, Lorna scoffs if this is some kind of masochist fan club. Magneto is going to kill himself, Briar interrupts. She explains that what he is going to do will take his life. She can’t talk him out of it. Lorna asks if she is his girlfriend. How old is she anyways?

Undeterred, Briar continues that Magneto needs Lorna. That doesn’t sound like her father, Lorna retorts. He’s never needed her. Briar thought if he was going to die, he’d like to have his child by his side.

Briar looks up.

In the sky, Polaris asks why Magneto apologized. A moment later, she has the answer, as he draws away her power. He makes sure she lands gently. One day, she will understand why he didn’t want her to die along ide him. She still has something to offer the world.

Bursting with power, he wonders what roles are left for him. All guises are cast aside, replaced by raw power. This is his final act. This is how the world ends. He has no choice but to bear witness. He will not flinch.

Characters Involved: 

Blockbuster, Scalphunter (Marauders)

Nimrod Sentinels from Earth 1610

In flashbacks:
Briar Raleigh
Agent Rodriguez

Story Notes: 

This is part of the Last Days titles leading up to Secret Wars.

Written By: