Magneto Rex #3

Issue Date: 
July 1999
Story Title: 
Once We Were Kings

Joe Pruett (writer), Brandon Peterson (penciler), Matt Banning (inker), Richard Isanove & Monica Kubina (colors), Jon Babcock (letterer), Mark Powers (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Magneto confronts and defeats the Zealot, sending his opposition into space as an example to all those who would oppose his rule in Genosha. Quicksilver sees it as his responsibility to oppose Magneto until he sees how much Genosha needs a chance at a better future. He chooses to remain at Magneto’s side in the hopes of tempering his father’s anti-human sentiments and violent approach to ruling the nation. Devastated to see the changes in Magneto from the man she once cared for, Rogue leaves Genosha after confessing her disappointment in and disdain for the man Magneto has become. She also makes it clear that the X-Men will be back if he steps out of line. Magneto cements his new status as ruler of Genosha and establishes his cabinet, which includes Quicksilver. He sets out on creating his vision of a mutant homeland that will be the beginning of an era of mutant ascension and domination.

Full Summary: 

(New York City – United Nations Building):

Protesters have gathered at the UN with signs that read “Genosha for humans, not mutants” and “Magneto Equals Genocide”. Inside, Alda Huxley counsels the concerned UN Security Council not to be influenced or panicked by the initial reactions of the public and the media. Gabrielle Haller notes that several nations including Israel have threatened to withdraw from the UN unless the situation in Genosha stabilizes immediately. Ambassador Wychek threatens that if this plan fails Huxley will take the blame and the fall. Huxley asks for their patience and their trust in her, as she believes that current happenings in Genosha will lead to the desired stability and greater control over Magneto.
(Hammer Bay – Genosha ):

Magneto confronts the Zealot and proclaims himself the rightful Lord of Genosha. He makes it clear that he will no longer tolerate any obstructions to his assuming control of the war-torn island nation. Quicksilver is amazed by the seething power his father is displaying and recounts how he got embroiled in this affair and reviews the players in this political game of cat and mouse. Magneto lashes out at the Zealot with a bolt of magnetic force, thinking he will end this confrontation swiftly. The Zealot is hardly stunned and reveals his mutant ability, an intimate tie to the very land of Genosha that enables him to shape the very substance of the island. He draws the earth up around Magneto to ensnare and engulf him.

At the Mutate Rebellion Command Center, Alda Huxley finds the place deserted and receives a report from Ferris that all personnel have joined the Lord Magneto in a conflict with the Zealot. She notes that the involvement of Rogue and Quicksilver could ruin all their plans and rushes off.

At the battlefront, Rogue and the others are busy dealing with the Zealot’s mutate followers. She asks Phillip Moreau if there’s anything he can do to stop his brother. Phillip doubts that anything he can do or say will overcome the sense of betrayal and resentment his brother feels over the fact that he was forced through the mutate binding process by their own father. Cortez slays a mutate by super-charging his ability to control heat and causing him to ignite into flames. He and Pietro exchange barbs, each threatening a reckoning when their common foe has been defeated. Magneto continues to defy the Zealot as he is enveloped in the earth and crushed. Pietro and Cortez are surprised to see this and wonder how they could stand a chance against the Zealot’s power should Magneto fall.

Elsewhere on the island, a shadowy figure surveys a pile of dead bodies. It is Apocalypse, who examines the carnage and proclaims that a new age is dawning just as he has planned for so long.

Pietro asks Cortez to amplify his powers in order to save Magneto. Cortez reluctantly complies and Quicksilver zooms about at hyper-speed and frees Magnus who notes the identity of his rescuer with calm satisfaction.
Phillip makes an attempt to talk his brother down from his madness but the Zealot is determined to save the mutates from further brutality at the hands of humans. Magneto hears the Zealot’s accounts of his past sufferings and says that the young mutate has no idea what suffering is compared to that which he has known in his lifetime. Again Magneto pummels the Zealot with a magnetic force bolt and then tries to ensnare his foe in some metal scraps. The Zealot retaliates by animating the earth around Magneto to bury him. The Zealot brags that as long as he is in contact with the island, he is unbeatable.

Magneto levitates the Zealot off the ground, but the madman continues to rant that Magneto will bring Genosha to ruins. Magneto tells the Zealot that these will be the final words of opposition to his rule and the Zealot’s last as well. Rogue cries out for him to stop. While Alda Huxley arrives on the scene and seems quite pleased at Magneto’s chosen tactic. As Magneto wraps the Zealot in girders, the mutate leader continues to espouse his belief that revolution is the only path to mutate freedom. He says that in accepting Magneto they are only trading one form of tyranny for another. His words are silenced as he is completely encased in ferrous materials. Magneto freezes all those present so they can bear witness to the fate of the Zealot and all those who oppose him. He then launches the Zealot’s body into space.

Rogue is horrified and reminded once more of what Magnus did to Zaladane. She threatens to put an end to Magneto’s reign right now but is stopped by Pietro, who says that it is his responsibility. Rogue argues that this is a line of bull and that Joseph died because of Magneto. Pietro launches into a diatribe in which he makes it clear he will never side with his father, who trusts no one and chooses a path of violence and continuing oppression. Amelia speaks out and tells Pietro that there’s something he must see before he makes any rash choices. Pietro agrees to go and bids his father farewell, assuming they will next meet as enemies.

Amelia takes Pietro to a Mutate Death Camp, where those infected with the Legacy Virus have been quarantined. Amelia reveals the nature of the camp to Quicksilver and Magneto’s eventual plans to expand Genosha’s territory by force and conquest. She confesses that Magneto has changed over the last several years and been hardened by various events. She no longer has the blind faith and devotion to him she once did. Pietro now sees that he has no choice and that his path in all this has already been chosen.

Elsewhere, Magneto is holding court. He has summoned the remaining human citizens of Genosha. He proclaims that some have been deemed useful to his plans and may remain. The rest will have forty-eight hours to emigrate out of Genosha before he closes the borders. Huxley states that she sees his reasoning and includes herself among the useful humans. Magneto makes it clear to her that she is expendable and replaceable if she proves an obstacle to his plans. Jenny Ransome and Phillip Moreau speak out against Magneto’s treatment of these Genoshan citizens and Magneto makes it clear to them that they are in no position to question or defy his decisions.
Rogue realizes that the man she may have once loved is gone for good and wonders if she did any good there at all. Her thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of Pietro, who calls to Magneto to face him. Pietro acknowledges the philosophical conflicts he has with Magneto and announces his decision to remain in Genosha in the hopes of serving to temper Magneto’s vision and approach. By staying, he plans to work towards a more peaceful future for Genosha.

Magneto quietly agrees. Rogue tries to talk Pietro out of it, but Pietro knows that this is Genosha’s best chance at a brighter future and a path that he is meant to take. He knows this will isolate him from his friends and loved ones but he also feels confident he can make a difference here. Before leaving, Rogue speaks her peace to Magneto. She tells him there was a time she could have loved him, but that now all she sees when she looks at him is Joseph’s sacrifice and the blood on Magneto’s hands. She says she came to try to reach out to the man he was once but that that man is gone and only emptiness remains. She warns Magneto’s cabinet not to trust their leader and to watch their backs, especially with Cortez in the mix as well. She then adds that the X-Men will be watching and if Magneto slips up, they’ll be back to take him down hard. As she flies away, she sheds a tear for the loss of a man she once cared deeply for.

Trish Tilby reports that Magneto has assumed full control of Genosha amidst varied worldwide reactions. The Avengers are watching and are shocked when it is announced that Quicksilver is among the group introduced as Genosha’s governing cabinet. His inclusion is described as a sign of a more neutral regime than originally feared. She asks the burning question: Is this the beginning of more peaceful relations between humans and mutants or the start of a race war? One thing is clear, the world has changed forever.

In his private chambers, Magneto commends Amelia Voght on her execution of their plan to win Pietro to his side. She reminds Magnus that Pietro has no faith in him or his goals and is only there to oppose him. She asks if he truly cares for Pietro or simply wants the chance to control someone he never truly could. Magneto says that he will mold Pietro into what he truly should have been. She wonders what will happen if Pietro never comes to agree with him. Magneto replies that he has already buried one child and understands the necessity of sacrifice and will allow nothing and no one to stand in his way. He promises that the dawn of mutants’ ascension is upon them and he will lead the way. Amelia realizes his meaning and says quietly to herself, “God help us all.”

Characters Involved: 


Fabian Cortez, Dr. Alda Huxley, Phillip Moreau, Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff, Pipeline, Jenny Ransome, Amelia Voght (All Genoshan Cabinet members)


Justice, Scarlet Witch, Iron Man (All Avengers)

The Zealot/Mutate #665/Thomas Moreau


Genoshan Mutates and citizens

Gabrielle Haller

United Nations Security Council Members including Ambassador Wychek

Protesters at the United Nations

on TV broadcast

Trish Tilby

Story Notes: 

The United Nations ceded control of Genosha to Magneto at the conclusion of the “ Magneto War”. (X-Men #87)

Rogue and Magneto once shared an attraction during an adventure in the Savage Land. Magneto killed Zaladane during that story.(Uncanny X-Men #274-275)

Jenny Ransome was a nurse prior to undergoing the Mutate Bonding Process. The X-Men were originally drawn to Genosha when the Genoshan Press Gang kidnapped their ally, Madelyne Pryor who was working as a pilot for a relief agency alongside Ransome. (Uncanny X-Men #235)

Originally, the Mutate Bonding Process was thought to be the work of the Genoshan Genegineer, Dr. David Moreau. It was later revealed that the Sugar Man gave the process to Moreau. The Sugar Man may have used a similar process in his native timeline “The Age of Apocalypse”. (X-Men: Prime and Excalibur #87)

The enmity between Quicksilver and Fabian Cortez began when Cortez kidnapped Quicksilver’s daughter Luna during the Bloodties Crossover. (Avengers (1st series) #367-368, X-Men (2nd series) #26, Avengers West Coast #101, Uncanny X-Men #307, Avengers (1st series) #369)

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