Magneto: Dark Seduction #4

Issue Date: 
September 2000
Story Title: 
By Right of Force

Fabian Nicieza (writer), Michael Ryan & Jorge Santamaria Garcia (pencillers), Sandu Florea, Tyson McAdo, Rodney Ramos and Harry Candelario (inkers), Sharpefont & PT (letterers), Mike Rockwitz (colorist), Mark Powers (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Polaris confronts Magneto in an effort to stop him from claiming the advanced mutagenic equipment hidden in Carrion Cove and restoring his fading powers. Magneto defeats her and uses the machines to repair his damaged DNA. The Avengers focus their efforts on saving the lives of those endangered during their fight against Magneto. When he emerges once more, he is invigorated and uses his powers to immobilize Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. He tells them to get out of his country and when they try to argue that the UN didn’t agree to this, he points out they have violated their own treaty and that they and Roxxon have been supporting the rebellion against him. He refuses to recognize human law. The Wasp declares that it’s in the world best interest that they stop him here and now. He asks how they plan to do that and as a demonstration of his raw power, he magnetically reaches out to Hammer Bay, grabs the traitorous Fabian Cortez and smashes his body against the rocks before the assembled heroes. He then positions satellites and threatens to crash them into major cities if the Avengers don’t leave. The Wasp relents and Magneto exchanges harsh words with his children: Wanda and Pietro before they depart. He tells them that they have once again disappointed him and they express their disgust with him. Polaris departs as well, explaining that it’s what Alex would have wanted her to do. Magneto is left alone to rebuild Genosha and prepare for the next stage of his plans. Quicksilver and Polaris prepare themselves for the coming genetic war on the horizon.

Full Summary: 

Magneto and Polaris face off against each other, the unconscious Pietro and Wanda at their feet. Lorna is all that stands in the way of Magneto claiming the hidden Genoshan technology that can restore his powers. For months, Magneto has been training Lorna in the use of her powers. She agreed to join him in the hopes that she could use her enhanced powers to find her lover, Alex Summers who she believed was still alive somewhere. Magneto tells her that by siding against him she risks losing her one shot at finding Havok. This causes her a moment’s hesitation and Magneto uses the opportunity to strike, throwing her against a wall. He knows this fight is crucial and that the equipment here will allow him to achieve dominion over the world as he has over Genosha.
As he fights Lorna, the nagging telepathic voice once again calls to Magneto, this time warning that this equipment might also kill him in the process. He thinks to the unseen voice that he knows what he’s doing and does not need to be swayed from his path. He tells the “voice” that he know how it pains him that there is nothing that can be done to stop him now.
Polaris takes advantage of Magneto’s momentary lapse in focus and topples a large chunk of machinery which nearly strikes him. He compliments her on all she has learned but assures her that it will not be enough to stop him. She says that she couldn’t just stand by and let him destroy everything that Alex believed in. She tells him he’s a monster and worse that he is too blind to see that he has become the type of racist oppressor he claims to be fighting against. Magnus tells her he might be angry at her words were he not so amused by her attempt to stop him.
He draws on her awakening powers to bolster his own as he enters the mutagenic chamber. He promises that when he emerges he will finish evicting her and the others who would oppose him from his land once and for all. Lorna cries out “NO!” as he shuts the chamber door. As Magneto undergoes the power restoration, Polaris can feel her own energies returning to her. She can also sense his increasing power as the machinery restores his damaged DNA. She attempts to disrupt the process by accessing their shared magnetic wavelengths as Magneto taught her.

In Carrion Cove, rescue efforts continue. Triathlon notes that everyone they’ve pulled out so far is alive and the Wasp reminds him that that’s thanks to Polaris’ efforts to minimize the effects of Magneto’s final attack. Iron Man tries to contact Genosha’s emergency services in Hammer Bay but gets no response. The Avengers discuss the current state of things in Genosha and Triathlon wonders when they’ll all realize that Magneto is the common enemy. Goliath points out that things are not so black and white. Magneto has ended years of civil war in only eight months time, restored the nation’s infrastructure and made the former mutate slaves the ruling class. This has earned him some deserved support. Jenny Ransome can’t help but agree with Pym’s assessment and that this is the source of Genosha’s internal struggle and her own. As she watches an exhausted Pipeline transporting the wounded, she points out his exhaustion. He simply replies that he hasn’t much choice in the matter. Ransome wonders if the people of Genosha will ever have a choice again, especially if Magneto achieves his current goal.
In Fenyick Caves, Wanda and Pietro come to and join Polaris in her efforts to disrupt Magneto’s revitalization. Wanda tries to hex the machine and Quicksilver begins to dismantle it. As Magneto’s power increases, Polaris laments that she can no longer feel things in the way Magneto had taught her. She expresses a sense of emptiness now that she is no longer riding that wave of pure power. Suddenly, Quicksilver is struck down by a bolt of power projected by Magneto from within the machine. Tears fill Wanda’s eyes as they realize they are too late and the process is complete. Magneto emerges, seething with power!
Outside, Magneto’s electromagnetic display is witnessed by the Avengers. Scanner sees it as well and it disrupts the information she is sending back to the government in Hammer Bay. She cannot help but note the Avengers’ tireless efforts to save lives. In Hammer Bay, Dr. Huxley realizes that this is an indication of Magneto’s success. She says “It worked” aloud and Phillip Moreau realizes that Magneto knew what was hidden in Carrion Cove all along. Huxley asks him to restore contact with Scanner while she concludes things with Fabian Cortez. As she approaches, he asks if their charade is nearly over. From behind energy bars, he tells her he gave her all the info she needs to blackmail the UN mutant affairs council. She points out that while their support of the Carrion Cove rebellion may have been illegal that few in power would argue with their goals of ousting Magneto and restoring human control of Genosha. She tells Cortez that he betrayed them so that he could maintain his own value to Magneto as a power booster. She reminds him that that was all that kept him alive. Cortez asks what she gains from this. Information, she tells him and notes that Magneto knows what she tells him. She adds that a war is coming and she believes that Magneto’s side will win and she plans on being on the winning team. She releases Cortez as promised, urging him to go now while Magneto is too busy to notice.
In Carrion Cove, Hank Pym reiterates his belief that the electromagnetic discharge they witnessed is a sign that Magneto’s powers have been fully restored and the situation has gone from untenable to impossible. At that moment, Iron Man’s armor locks up. She-Hulk’s body is magnetically manipulated and she is forced to punch Warbird. She herself falls in agony as the course of her blood is magnetically reversed. Triathlon is encased in a shell of metal debris.
As Magneto emerges, he tells Pym that from his perspective the situation has gone from being a minor nuisance to being over! Behind him, Polaris, Wanda and Pietro are held in a magnetic field. As he lowers himself before Goliath and the Wasp he tells them, “Get out of my country.” Pym tries to argue with him about the UN’s agreement and Magneto quickly points out that it was written and then violated by humans. He grabs a piece of equipment bearing the Roxxon logo and asks Pym if he’s aware of who empowered Fabian Cortez in his efforts to assist the Carrion Cove rebellion. Or who provided them with the advanced weaponry that allowed them to resist his rightful rule for as long as they did. He tells them that human agreements and laws mean nothing to him or his kind. He declares the Avengers to be mere puppets of the demagogues that fear mutantkind and he assures them that in time, he will give them reason to be fearful.
The Wasp reminds him that the Avengers don’t serve the UN but do what’s in the best interest of the world and stopping him now is what’s best! Magneto tells her that her small band of Avengers have no hope of stopping someone who can do this! He then reaches out with his power and magnetically grabs Fabian Cortez who was about to escape Genosha in a small boat. He pulls him from Hammer Bay to Carrion Cove at high speeds, crossing fifty miles in a mere twenty seconds. Cortez has a moment to cry out before his body is dashed against the rocks, killing him instantly.
Goliath is enraged and cries out “You killed him!” He moves to strike Magneto but the Wasp stops him. Jenny Ransome vomits at the sight of her fellow cabinet member slain before her eyes. Magneto tells Pym that as head of state, he chose to execute Cortez for his many crimes against Genosha. He asks if the Avengers object to capital punishment meted out in the United States. Pipeline sees Magneto’s display and realizes that Genosha is now fully Magneto’s. He teleports away, choosing to fight another day to reclaim his beloved nation.
Magneto warns that if the Avengers fight him now they will be starting World War III. He tells them that he is magnetically positioning 37 orbital satellites and will rain them down on cities across the world. He adds that one is positioned to strike Stark Solutions headquarters in Seattle. Iron Man is shocked to learn that Magneto is not bluffing! Magneto tells them that he would prefer not to resort to such actions and that he did not seek this conflict. The choice is theirs. He assures them that for the time being he is content on shaping Genosha into a safe homeland for mutantkind. The Avengers are unsure of what to do until Wanda tells them something she has learned from her father, there is always tomorrow. Reluctantly, the Wasp orders the Avengers to stand down.
Magneto releases them all from his command and tells them that they are free to leave. He tells them that they will have to carry Iron Man as his armor will not be functional for several hours still. He looks upon Wanda, Pietro and Lorna and tells them that though he expected their betrayal they still have disappointed him. Wanda rises and tells him that despite anticipating his arrogance and the thin veil of prosperity hiding the naked fear that maintains his rule of Genosha, she is still disgusted by him.
He brushes aside her judgment, telling his daughter that he doubts the mutants of the world will agree with her once they have a home where they can live free of pain and persecution, when they at last inherit the world as they are destined to. Pietro tells him that he is too filled with hate to accept peace and that he is only truly interested in building a mutant army. He tells Magneto that he too is disgusted, not just by all that his father has done but what he knows he will be forever incapable of doing! He tells Magneto that his fear of conquest and his mistrust have prevented him from seizing the opportunity to truly create a haven for their kind. He says that he’s saddened by Magneto’s short-sightedness, the same that defines so many nations. But then, why should he have expected Magnus to rise above his own human nature.
Magneto turns to Lorna and asks what she will do. She tells him that all she had to ask herself is “What would Alex want her to do?” and her path became clear. Magneto watches silently as Polaris joins the Avengers as they leave Genosha. Nearby, Voght, Cargill and Ransome note that they have won and Jenny adds “God help us all.”
In the following days, Magneto uses his restored powers to repair the damages to Carrion Cove. He meets with Alda Huxley to discuss the new trade sanctions and isolation that Genosha must now deal with. Though he has lost his children once more, he revels in the consolidation of his power in Genosha, the removal of the traitorous elements in his presence and the return of his magnetic prowess.
Lorna Dane and Quicksilver arrive on a small wooden boat. Pietro says that his father has won an immense victory and it is time that they prepare for war. Magneto now possesses the means to enact plans he’s only dreamed of before and it is up to them to sound the alarm. Polaris asks him if they stand a chance against Magneto and Pietro replies that he dare not ask that question.

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

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.
In a single panel, an image of Mr. Sinister hovers over Fabian Cortez. Some fans have theorized that Sinister played a role in Cortez’s unexplained recovery from his previous “death” at the hands of Exodus in AVENGERS (1st Series) #369.
Roxxon is an international oil conglomerate with a history of moral bankruptcy and questionable means used to achieve their economic goals. This includes the creation and utilization of numerous superhuman agents, sleazy business practices, major abuses of natural resources, and a general disregard for the environment, international law and the sanctity of life. They have most often clashed with Iron Man over the years but have also caused trouble for Spider-Man, Project: Pegasus and the Avengers.

Issue Information: 
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