Magneto: Dark Seduction #3

Issue Date: 
August 2000
Story Title: 
Something Worth Fighting For

Fabian Nicieza (writer), Roger Cruz (penciller), Andy Owens and Art Thibert (inker), Sharpefont & PT (letterers), Mike Rockwitz (colorist), Mark Powers (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

The Avengers’ arrival in Genosha sparks a battle with the Genoshan cabinet. This ends when Quicksilver explains to all what is hidden in Carrion Cove and why they cannot allow Magneto to access it. Magneto arrives with Polaris and battles the Avengers to a standstill. Alda Huxley learns of Fabian Cortez betrayal and confronts him. He offers information that she finds valuable and they strike a bargain. Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch try to disable the coveted equipment while Magneto is occupied on the battlefield. Magneto pushes Polaris’ powers beyond their limits in order to end his battle with the Avengers. While the assembled heroes try to save lives in the wake of the destruction Magneto unleashes, he goes to claim his prize. All the stands in his way are his estranged children. He chooses to give up his chance for reconciliation to attain this power and forcefully subdues them. He is about to acquire the advanced genetic devices that will restore his powers when Polaris arrives to stop him!

Full Summary: 

Cargill punches the She-Hulk, sending the Emerald Avenger flying. Triathlon quips “So much for talking” as the Avengers square off against the Genoshan mutants present: Cargill, Scanner, Pipeline and Jenny Ransome. The Wasp declares them murdering followers of Magneto and tells her team that whatever it is they came here to get the Avengers must keep them from their goal. Seeing that they are outmatched by the Avengers, Pipeline releasing Quicksilver from the digitized prison he had contained him in earlier in the hopes that the former Avenger could mediate the situation. He swiftly attacks Cargill and Ransome telling all present that the fighting must stop. He tells them that they should all be trying to prevent Magneto from acquiring the technologies hidden in Carrion Cove.
At that moment, Magneto arrives. He immediately entangles Pietro in metal pipes that spring forth from the ground. He tells his son that he is saddened but hardly surprised by this betrayal. He then turns his attention to the Avengers, reversing the flow of iron in their blood with devastatingly painful effect. Behind Magneto, Polaris hovers joined to him by a magnetic tendril of power. None present realize that Magneto is severely weakened and it is Lorna Dane surviving as the conduit for Magneto’s power.
Meanwhile in Hammer Bay, the Scarlet Witch is enraged at Magneto’s abrupt departure and that she was left behind. Alda Huxley reminds Wanda that he is the ruler of this land and within his rights to do what he pleases. At that moment, a soldier says there’s a message from Carrion Cove for Fabian Cortez but that he can’t be found. Wanda orders the soldier to put it on the screen and Huxley begins to protest that it might be classified military intel which Wanda reminds her is within her mandate to review.
The screen pops to life, showing Magneto battling the Avengers. The Scarlet Witch grabs the solider and demands an immediate transport to Carrion Cove. The soldier nervously looks to Huxley who tells him to do it. She is convinced that the Avengers received inside information that led to their presence at Carrion Cove. Wanda asks if she’s coming but Huxley declines, preferring to manage things from there. After Wanda departs, Dr. Huxley calls Phillip Moreau. She asks him who received his last transmission and he replies that it was Cortez. Huxley realizes that it must have been Cortez who was super-charging the rebel Acolytes. She wonders why he would have instigated a conflict between the Avengers and Magneto.
In Carrion Cove, Magneto threatens to cast the Avengers into the ocean unless Quicksilver convinces them to leave peacefully. She-Hulk jokes that they’re good swimmers but Magneto adds that they’d have lead weights on their ankles. Iron Man hopes that Magneto continues to rant so that his systems have time to adapt to the magnetic forces Magneto is using to immobilize his armor. He finally breaks free but Polaris notices. She hesitates for a moment which gives Iron Man a chance to attack Magneto. Polaris’ bolt of magnetic energy strikes the armored Avenger a second too late to stop him. Magneto thanks her for her loyalty and retaliates, sending a barrage of debris at Iron Man. At that moment, Amelia Voght materializes next to Pietro having freed herself from Pipeline’s digital prison. She is not surprised to learn that most of the Genoshan cabinet now opposes Magneto. She tells Pietro to brace himself as she tries to free him.
The Avengers rejoin the battle as Lorna takes her place at Magneto’s side. Magneto realizes that Polaris is holding back her power and seeks to anger her by portraying the Avengers as the aggressors. He tells Iron Man that their presence is in direct violation of his rightful rule. Iron Man tells him that he can cite the paragraph that says that it isn’t but reminds Magneto that they aren’t employees of the UN and will do what they feel is right… and that in his case it also happens to be fun! He then punches Magneto. Quicksilver tells the Wasp that they have to destroy the devices here lest they fall into the hands of Magneto or some other corrupt agency.
Triathlon tells She-Hulk that he’d heard that Polaris was one of the “good mutants”. She-Hulk tells him that she is, just like he’s one of the “good Triunes”, pointing out the underlying prejudice of his statement. She adds that Lorna must have a good reason for siding with Magneto. Lorna tells herself that it’s because she believes that by increasing her magnetic prowess she can find her missing love, Alex Summer but she’s beginning to wonder if it may also be because of the intense rush she feels when she uses her powers in tandem with Magneto’s. Again, Magneto hears a telepathic voice in his head, urging him to sever his connection to Polaris as she cannot handle the full scope of her powers. Magnus responds that now wouldn’t be a good time for that as he lashes out at Goliath.
The Wasp tells Pietro that they will deal with Magneto and Polaris leaving him free to destroy the machinery. Voght warns that if he does this, his father will surely kill him. He tells her he knows, tells her they need an inside presence and apologizes in advance. She asks for what and he punches her, telling her that he has now given her deniability in all this. He speeds off to deal with the equipment but his way is blocked by Cargill, who addresses him as Magnusson. He says that he really wishes people would stop calling him that and she tells him it should serve as a reminder of whose side he should be fighting for. She tells him that Avengers would see them all destroyed given the chance. He tells her that they seek to help everyone, not hold sway over those less powerful. She points out that she’s black and a mutant and he’s in no position to tell her about oppression as she’s dealt with it her whole life.
From above, a voice says that she should have learned to rise above the worst that humanity had to offer. Pietro looks up as the cliff below Cargill collapses. He is surprised to see his sister, who tells him she’ll always be around to protect him. He drolly comments on her new sense of humor as she mocks his old insistence on protecting her from harm. She asks what is happening and he explains about the hidden equipment. He notes that it’s decades old but as advanced as that used by Sinister or the High Evolutionary. He adds that they have no idea where it came from but that it’s clearly not native to Genosha. He suspects it is somehow tied to the mutate bonding process. Wanda realizes that such equipment would allow Magneto to create an army of mutates, enhance other mutants’ power or worse, restore his own fading powers!
In Hammer Bay, the traitorous Fabian Cortez is about to take his leave of Genosha. He is stopped by Alda Huxley who charges him with treason for conspiring with outside parties and fomenting civil war. She asks why she shouldn’t order him shot on the spot. He replies that only he could give her information enabling her to blackmail a dozen corporations and the UN Security Council. Huxley is impressed and orders her troops to back off.
At Carrion Cove, Scanner surveys the scene and concludes that the city is theirs and Magneto has won. Yet the Avengers continue to fight. Polaris is fading and Magneto realizes he needs to end this quickly. Drawing on all of Polaris’ power, he creates a single powerful magnetic surge and tears the entire Cliffside city of Carrion Cove down upon the Avengers! Polaris cries out in pain but then counters his attack using the techniques he taught her. This allows the Avengers to act. They work with the Genoshans to save the lives of civilians but realize that they have to stop Magneto from getting his hands on the technology or many more lives will be lost than those here. Triathlon is a bit daunted by the stakes while Voght and Pipeline focus on teleporting civilians to safety.
Magneto makes his way to the Fenyick Caves to claim the secret of Carrion Cove. He thinks to himself that he has been aware of its existence for months, but that he was well-advised by Alda Huxley to claim it in this manner, amidst international interference and corporate manipulations. He is thrilled at the prospect of restoring his power but realizes that it will likely cost him the opportunity to reconcile with his children. As he enters the caves he sees Wanda and Pietro and uses his magnetic powers to knock them unconscious. He thinks to himself that it was an acceptable loss to gain the advanced genetic engineering equipment here. With it, he could enhance other mutants, create new mutates and restore his waning mutant powers. He notes that the equipment is similar to others he has seen used by the likes of Sinister, Astra, Moira MacTaggert and the alien Stranger. All of these sought to manipulate mutants for their own purposes and gain. No more he vows and he says aloud that now “Nothing can stand in my way.” At that moment, Polaris enters and says “Except me!” Magneto feels a mix of emotions at Lorna’s defiance; pride, disappointment and annoyance at this momentary delay. He reaches out to access her link to the electromagnetic spectrum as he has for the last several weeks and turn it against her… only to find that he cannot! He realizes that she presents a much greater threat to his plans than he had assumed.

Characters Involved: 

Goliath, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, She-Hulk, Triathlon, Warbird, Wasp (All Avengers)
Fabian Cortez, Dr. Alda Huxley, Phillip Moreau, Quicksilver, Pipeline, Polaris, Jenny Ransome, Scanner, Amelia Voght (All Genoshan Cabinet members)
Joanna Cargill (Acolytes)
Unnamed Genoshan Magistrates, soldiers and citizens
In Flashbacks:

The Stranger

Story Notes: 

For the complete history of Genosha, visit the Genosha Article.
The United Nations ceded control of Genosha to Magneto after he made several threats to global safety during the “Magneto War”. [Uncanny X-Men #366-367, X-Men (2nd Series) #86-87] The proposal to give Genosha to Magneto was proposed by Dr. Alda Huxley who was then appointed to serve in an advisory capacity on Magneto’s cabinet.
This team of Avengers debuted in AVENGERS (3rd Series) #27.
Triathlon is a member of the spiritual group known as the Triune Understanding. The Avengers suspected that the Understanding was somehow corrupt and tied to various problems they had recently faced with the media as well as new foes they had encountered. Triathlon had quite a chip on his shoulder during this period as he struggled with the team’s concerns about his religious affiliations and motivations.
Magneto was a prisoner of the alien, Stranger on two separate occasions: UNCANNY X-MEN #11 and again in UNCANNY X-MEN #18.

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