Trish Tilby is issuing a live news report from Genosha. She provides a brief introduction to the latest happenings there. Magneto, a known mutant terrorist, has brokered a deal with the United Nations giving him sovereign authority of the war-torn nation of Genosha. The ramifications of this decision are being felt worldwide and the news report goes to various prominent public figures for reactions.
The Black Panther notes that Wakanda is already overflowing with the refugees who have fled Genosha since Magneto’s ascension and asks that other nations open their doors as well. Captain America compares this decision to attempts to appease Hitler before World War II and notes that he’s called an emergency meeting of the Avengers to discuss their options. Dr. Moira MacTaggert says that she counts herself lucky to have survived her own encounters with Magneto and foresees dark times ahead for Genosha. Israeli ambassador, Gabrielle Haller views this move as a calculated step by Magneto that will turn his crusade into a war for dominance of the planet. Trish ends her report with the question on everyone’s mind: Will Magneto be pacified now that he has been ceded control of a mutant homeland or is this the first step towards world domination?
Magneto stands imperiously on a Cliffside overlooking Hammer Bay. The once proud city has been devastated by the ongoing civil war between the human populace and the mutate slave class it created. As he looks upon the city, Magneto does not see the turmoil and strife that beleaguers Genosha, but the potential makings of an empire. As he looks to the future of this war-torn land, he is attacked by two Magistrate sky-skiffs. They fire upon Magneto, who is taken by surprise. He falls to the ground, noting to himself that he has yet to fully recover from his battle with the X-Men. He reaches out with his powers and halts the engines of the two sky-skiffs sending them crashing to the ground.
Magneto confronts the surviving magistrates and declares himself the rightful ruler of Genosha. He offers them the same choice that the human regime offered to the Genoshan mutates: a life of servitude or death. They defiantly refuse to take orders from a mutant and Magneto’s proceeds to use his powers to stop the flow of oxygen to their brains. As he attempts this, he is struck by a flash of pain. The magistrates use this to their advantage and draw their weapons to finish off the Master of Magnetism.
Before they can fire on him, they begin to sink into the ground. They disappear into the ground completely as Mutate #201 emerges to greet his new lord. He tells Magneto that he is overjoyed and has longed for Magneto to come to Genosha to save them. He helps Magneto to his feet and Magneto thinks to himself that he needs time to reenergize. The mutate tells him that the others are waiting and Magneto commands him to take him to them.
As the news of Magneto’s arrival spreads, the human populace frantically scurries about in a last ditch effort to flee Genosha. Riots rock the streets as the humans’ baser survival instincts take over. In the Genoshan administrative complex, the workers grab files and their personal effects as they prepare to leave. Amidst the chaos, Dr. Alda Huxley, Genoshan liaison to the UN sits calmly at her desk. She has no intention of leaving now and has plans for Genosha’s new ruler.
Far away in America, Amelia Voght is carrying out her assignment to watch over Magneto’s children and keep them safe in the wake of the “Magneto War”. In this instance, she is watching Magneto’s son Quicksilver as he responds to a fire at a small home. He emerges from the inferno with an infant in his arms and gives it to a very relieved grandmother. He then circles the building at high speeds; the force of the cyclone effect he creates extinguishes the flames. Amelia admires his efforts from afar, noting the many qualities he has in common with his infamous father. She thinks to herself that Pietro has spent his entire life running from his father’s legacy and here she is to pull him back in.
Pietro discovers Amelia in the wooded area beyond the house fire and demands to know why she is watching him. He espouses his opinion of Amelia, a sense of pity for anyone who would look to his father as a messiah. He realizes, however, that it is past time he confront his father directly and commands Voght to teleport them to Magneto immediately.
Voght and Quicksilver arrive in Genosha and Pietro is surprised to see where they are. Amelia explains that Magneto unleashed an electromagnetic pulse and threatened to cripple the world’s power supply permanently. The United Nations appeased Magneto by ceding control of Genosha. Quicksilver declares them fools and speeds around Genosha to get a sense of the devastation. He is appalled by what he sees. He fails to notice a surveillance camera, which monitors his arrival in Genosha.
In his lair, the Zealot notes with great satisfaction the arrival of “the Magnusson”. He has plans for Quicksilver, whose arrival at Genoshan was foretold. He hints at a plan to use Quicksilver to ensure that Genosha falls under his rule.
Pietro shares his disgust at the state of Genosha with Voght. She cannily replies that this is precisely why Magneto is needed here. She concedes that Magneto may not be the best man to lead Genosha out of ruin, but he may be the best chance they have. Quicksilver admits that it frightens him that Voght may be correct in her assessment.
Rogue is flying towards Genosha to try and talk some sense into Magneto before it’s too late. She thinks about the current situation with the X-Men missing and Joseph’s demise and is frustrated by her inability to change these two situations. Rather than wallow in these thoughts, she focuses on addressing the situation with Magneto in part due to their past history and in part because she herself was once in need of guidance to lead her away from a dark path in life. She is intercepted by a UN fighter jet that is surprised to find a flying woman on their radar. The pilot orders Rogue to alter her course since she is in restricted airspace. Rogue easily speeds ahead of the jet and loses them in a cloudbank.
Back in Genosha, Mutate #201 reports to Magneto about the latest events in Genosha. He explains that the announcement of Magneto’s appointment by the UN caused a mass exodus among the human population of Genosha. The remaining Magistrate forces were forced to fall back to protect those leaving Genosha’s borders. This allowed the mutate rebels to seize control of one of the Magistrates’ command centers. They then managed to break into the command center’s computer systems, which allowed them to cripple the Magistrates’ communications and data systems. This has given them a distinct advantage over the once-superior forces of the Magistrates.
Magneto is impressed and pleased, as he is led before the council responsible for this strategic coup. This council behind the mutate uprising consists of Phillip Moreau, son of the former Genoshan Genegineer, his lover and former chancellor of the interim government of Genosha, Jenny Ransome and the former Press Gang enforcer called Pipeline. Magneto is surprised at Pipeline’s involvement and shift in allegiance and questions his presence there. Pipeline makes it clear to Magneto that he is not one of his worshippers. His sharp response to Magneto’s accusations is cut short by the arrival of Alda Huxley, who welcomes Magneto as Genosha’s new leader.
Magneto greets Dr. Huxley with suspicion and asks if she too has betrayed her former loyalties to support Genosha’s mutant population. Alda explains that it was she who brokered the deal that brought him to Genosha. She explains that she is tired of seeing her homeland devastated by war and strife and is willing to set aside her prejudices for the greater good of her country. She boldly asks if Magneto is willing to do the same.
Magneto is not so convinced that lifelong prejudices can be pushed aside so easily but admits he is intrigued by this unlikely coalition. He asks the council to explain their proposal for the future of Genosha.
Moreau explains that while the Magistrates continue to pose a threat, the real concern at the moments are the activities of the Zealot, a former mutate who leads the opposition to Magneto’s assuming control of Genosha. He explains that while most mutates view Magneto as their savior, the Zealot and his followers question where the Master Of Magnetism was during their long years of enslavement and their subsequent struggle for freedom. Moreau adds that while the Zealot’s forces are small they are extremely efficient in guerilla tactics and their numbers are growing. Moreau admits that they know little of the Zealot due to lost and destroyed records during the fall of the human regime. What they do know for certain is that the Zealot is Phillip’s brother.
Elsewhere in Genosha, Pietro is explaining to Voght his current relationship with his wife, Crystal and daughter, Luna. Crystal is raising Luna and Pietro tries to visit every few weeks. Despite the strain in his relationship with his wife and their separation, he is determined to be a part of Luna’s life. Voght cannot help but note the strong similarities between Pietro and his father.
Their chat is interrupted by a cry from nearby. Pietro rushes off to investigate despite Voght’s warning. He finds a pair of Magistrates pursuing a young, female mutate. As they catch the girl, Quicksilver speeds onto the scene and relieves them of their weapons. As he orders the Magistrates to leave the mutate rises behind him and renders him unconscious with some form of electric device. Voght arrives to see his capture and thinks to herself that rushing headlong into danger without thinking has always been Pietro’s greatest weakness. She ponders how to deal with the situation since she is outnumbered and reporting back to Magneto would be an admission of failure to protect Pietro as she was ordered to do. As she weighs her options, Rogue flies overhead providing her with another approach to her dilemma.
Magneto sits alone on his “throne” pondering the events of the day. He is concerned that the others will learn of his diminishing powers, particularly the ambitious Alda Huxley. His thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of Pipeline. He tells Pipeline that they must set aside their differences and animosity in order to meet their shared goals for Genosha. Pipeline agrees and Magneto asks him to use his teleportational powers to take him to the final member of their ragtag coalition: Fabian Cortez.
Fabian Cortez is sitting alone, having been banished by Magneto and abandoned by the Acolytes after his failed attempt to kill Magneto. He is surprised and fearful when Magneto and Pipeline arrive in a teleportational flash of energy. Magneto assures him that he is right to be fearful given his past actions, but tells the former Acolyte that he is prepared to offer his forgiveness if Cortez agrees to serve him faithfully and without question. Cortez swears his allegiance. Magneto warns him that he will suffer no insubordination and that if he fails him in any way, it will cost him his life.
Rogue takes some time to check out the current conditions in Genosha. She sees the mutates moving about freely and thinks to herself that they deserve a leader with their best interests at heart. She wonders if Magneto could fill that role given the often-conflicting aspects of his personality and approach. She sees a pair of mutates rush into a cathedral and decides to see what they are up to. Inside, she witnesses the Zealot speaking to his followers. He comments on the arrival of the “False Messiah” Magneto who plans to wrest control of Genosha away from its people. He goes on to accuse Magneto of only caring for the plight of Genosha when it suits his own agenda. The Zealot preaches to his followers, his message one of xenophobia. He questions Magneto’s motivations and sincerity as well as the UN’s right to impose a foreign leader on Genosha. He asserts that they should not let others decide their fate and says that Magneto will pay for his arrogance in thinking he can just take over their nation. He says he will show Magneto the true sacrifice and suffering that they have endured by taking from him what was taken from the Genoshans in the past.
He then unveils Quicksilver, who is unconscious and strapped to a cross. The Zealot declares that the war of retribution has truly begun and that they have claimed first blood.