Ultimate X-Men #62

Issue Date: 
October 2005
Story Title: 
Magnetic North: part 2

Brian K. Vaughan (writer), Stuart Immonen & Richard Isanove (pencils & cover), Wade Von Grawbadger (inks), Justin Ponsor (colors), Chris Eliopoulos (letters), James Taveras (production), Nicola Wiley (assistant editor), Ralph Macchio (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

The Scarlet Witch is on a mission for Nick Fury. After a battle with their suspect, Wanda manages to defeat Longshot by temporarily changing him into a cat! They then plan to put Longshot in custody alongside the other psychopaths they’ve managed to catch. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Havok is angry with Emma for her agreeing to put Polaris in SHIELD custody. Emma defends that she didn’t have any choice, as it’s for Lorna’s own good, and is confident that Lorna is in good hands at the Triskelion base. There, Lorna meets her new cellmate… Magneto! Magneto tries to talk to her, but Lorna refuses to respond. Quicksilver warns his father to step away from Lorna, and promises to break his father’s neck if necessary. Later, Havok and his other classmates overhear a conversation between Emma and Professor X about Lorna’s situation. They are confident they can break Lorna out of prison, and Alex eventually manages to pull everyone with him. A few hours later, the X-Men are briefed about the situation as well. Cyclops reveals to everyone that Lorna is his ex-girlfriend, and is surprised by the entire situation. Xavier splits the team up into two groups to properly deal with both Lorna’s and Alex’ situation, as Xavier is aware of Havok’s plan. That same night, Forge and his friend steal a multi-directional electromagnetic field generator, planning to free Lorna out of prison as well. When a police officer catches them, Forge’s friend kills the human, as their orders were to kill any human who intervenes with their business. Forge’s friend changes shape, turning into the officer, concluding that a healthy body count is Magneto’s “mystique!”

Full Summary: 

The Savage Land, somewhere in the South Pacific…

Longshot finds himself fighting in the jungle, chased by a wild pterodactyl. He has found a spear, and as the giant lizard descends, Longshot sticks the spear right through its stomach! The bird lands, but hits Longshot. Luckily, he is unharmed, and goes to hide behind a tree. He sarcastically hopes that the pterodactyl tastes better than the triceratops.

A female voice calls out to Arthur: it’s the Scarlet Witch! She jokes that a good man is so hard to find, but she finding a horrid one is even harder. Longshot corrects Wanda that “Arthur” is what the humans call him, and that Longshot is his mutant name. Wanda adds that her full name is Wanda Lensherr Maximoff. Upon hearing the “Lensherr” name, Longshot realizes that Wanda is… Magneto’s daughter?! Wanda smiles, and supposes that she is just that. Longshot recalls that Wanda used to live here in the jungle, and thinks she came to rescue him.

Wanda tells Longshot that he murdered an unarmed man, and helped make mutants look like dirt everywhere. She isn’t here to rescue Longshot: she is here to bring him to justice! Longshot is sad to hear that the rumors are true, and that Wanda is working for the flatscans. Wanda claims not to work for the humans: she works only for herself. And, she believes, any wretch who would slaughter one of the majestic creatures she helped raise is no longer worthy of freedom. Longshot calls Wanda a which, and throws knives at her.

Wanda manages to jump in safety and dodge the knives, and mentions that a “witch” is what the humans call her, though rarely in her face. One of the knives almost hit her between the eyes, but luckily she can catch it just in time. Longshot is startled: he never missed before, and stuff always works out for him. Wanda sarcastically finds that curious, as altering probabilities are part of her powers as well. She powers up, and hits Longshot with a Hex bolt, and Longshot is transformed into a black cat!

The Scarlet Witch reports back to Fury that their bounty is under control, and she believes that he owes her dinner at Nobu. Fury congratulates Wanda on the fine work, and promises to be there to pick them both up before the spell works off. Wanda doesn’t really want to hand Longshot over back to those anti-mutant haters back in Genosha. Fury denies that, since Wanda managed to capture Longshot in neutral territory, so he’s theirs until his people request extradition. Wanda picks up the cat, and asks Fury where they’re going to take him. Fury replies that they’re going to imprison Longshot at the same place they take every worthless psychopath they run into: home sweet home.

Chicago, Illinois…

Havok is angry. He doesn’t agree that Emma let Lorna be taken away. Emma feels sad as well, but she had no choice: Lorna brought a lot of damage. Alex shouts that Polaris had nothing to do with it. Emma is afraid that a dozen eyewitnesses have a different story to tell. Alex defends that they are wrong, and so is Emma.

Emma defends herself that she didn’t enjoy letting Lorna be taken away. She explains that, if she hadn’t remanded Lorna to SHIELD custody, they would have taken them all away! Emma did what she had to do in order to protect the school. Alex apologizes for bursting out like that. Northstar asks Emma what she thinks they’ll do with Lorna. Emma thinks that they are going to help Lorna find a solution about how this problem started.

Alex doesn’t believe that. This is the government they are talking about, the same people who built the Sentinels. He believes that they are either going to cut Lorna open, or strap her to a missile and drop her into the Middle East. Emma doesn’t believe that. She knows General Fury, and he is a friend who would never do such a thing. She promises Alex that Lorna has good people watching over her.

As the three talk, none of them notice that two people, standing in the shadows, are watching them.

The Triskelion, New York City…

Polaris wakes up, and finds herself… in the plastic prison! A voice calls out to Lorna, and tells her not to be frightened, as she is among friends. Lorna looks up, and recognizes… Magneto! He reaches his hand to her. Magneto congratulates Lorna, thinking her magnetic abilities must be formidable if they have chosen to put her in this holding cell.

Lorna thinks she’s in hell. She remembers killing all those people, and now she’s in hell. Magneto recalls that’s how the human once known as Malcolm Little once felt when he was incarcerated back in the 1940’s, but over the years, prison proved to be Malcolm X’s salvation. Magneto moves closer to Lorna, and gently touches her hair.

A voice over intercom orders Magneto to get away from her. It’s Quicksilver. He sits in the guard’s room, and can watch everything from viewing screens. Pietro swears that he’ll run down to the cell and snap Magneto’s neck before Magneto can even lift a finger on her. Magneto asks his son to calm himself. He was merely going to invite Lorna for a game of chess. He asks Lorna if she is familiar with the game. Hesitant, Lorna says she isn’t. Magneto tells her not to worry, as he is an excellent teacher.

The Xavier Institute…

Emma has contacted Xavier, and through a big TV screen they can talk to each other. Xavier informs Emma that they have put Lorna with Magneto. Emma thinks that’s insane. She believes that there’s no way they would lock up an adolescent girl with a convicted mass murdered! Xavier gently says that if Lorna’s powers are as Emma describes them, he has to agree that Magneto’s cell is the only structure on the planet capable of holding her.

Emma wants to know how Charles can be so certain about that. Sadly, Xavier responds that he built it. Emma thinks that this is all her fault. She always thought that Charles was naïve to segregate his students from humanity, to keep them locked up in that old castle of his. But now, Emma realizes that she has been the idiot. She knows that Charles wasn’t protecting his students from the world; he was protecting the world from them.

Charles tells Emma that her tears help nobody. He asks Emma to dry her eyes and to be strong for her student body. But until he has looked into matters, Xavier wants that nobody can know about Lorna’s cellmate. Emma understands, and gives Charles her word.

Emma Frost’s academy…

Meanwhile, while sitting in one of their rooms, Havok has gathered his friends and they’ve eavesdropped on the entire conversation between Emma and Xavier. Alex had Doug hack into their cable box and turn it into a receiver so they could listen as well. Doug just can’t believe that Lorna is actually locked up with the guy who once blew up the Brooklyn Bridge.

Sam agrees, and also doesn’t like it. Alex promises that Lorna won’t stay locked up for long though, as they are going to break her out. Northstar thinks that’s impossible. He remembers that Nick Fury gave his dad a tour around the Triskelion once, and his dad told him the place is like Fort Knocks on ‘rolds. And they even have the Ultimates as protection!

Alex sees the Ultimates as just humans with lamer outfits, though he means no disrespect to humans. Doug hasn’t taken any, but he doesn’t think he’ll be of much use in the field. He thinks he’s better off staying there looking for something that might exonerate Lorna. Sam agrees, and thinks he’s going to stay behind as well and help Doug.

Havok gets furious and blows up the computer! He tells Cannonball that he can’t ditch them like that. Sam apologizes, and explains that there isn’t a school in Kentucky that will accept someone like him. If he does anything to get kicked out, there’s no place he can go. Alex picks Sam up by his clothes, and shouts that he must stop thinking about himself for a few seconds now: Lorna needs them. A startling Sam agrees, not wanting to get hurt by Alex.

Alex asks Roberto what he’s going to do. Roberto defends that he isn’t even a student there yet. Alex asks Roberto if he really wants to enroll in a place where the teachers give you a timeout with this century’s Hitler every time you’re accused of doing something you didn’t. Roberto understands. He powers up, and asks when they are going to leave.

The Triskelion, Magneto’s cell…

Magneto plays chess alone, and Lorna sits frightened in a corner. Magneto asks Lorna if she’s a student from Emma. Polaris doesn’t answer. Magneto mentions that, back when Emma was Lorna’s age, she was in a most heated relationship with Xavier. Lorna doesn’t think that’s possible, as Xavier is practically old enough to be Emma’s father.

Magneto agrees on that. He always believed that it is reprehensible for men in positions of power to pursue their female subordinates. Magneto told this to Xavier once, but he didn’t want to hear it. He said that Emma was a “unique case.” Magneto knows that, for Xavier, the world is nothing but shades of gray. He supposes that’s what Emma learned Emma as well. For Magneto, the world is black and white. There’s the right and the wrong. The positive and the negative. He asks Lorna if she agrees. She doesn’t answer, but quietly thinks about it.

The Xavier Institute, the McCoy Memorial Hall…

Xavier has summoned all of the X-Men for a briefing. Nightcrawler teleports in a little bit late, but Xavier doesn’t mind and cuts to the chase. He has some unfortunate news of which he had hoped to shield his students from, but he can’t do that anymore. He explains to them, as they might have heard on the news, a young mutant has lost control about her mutant powers and has killed several civilians. Thanks to her young age, this mutant’s identity has not made public, but Xavier can tell his students that they are dealing with Lorna Dane.

Cyclops panics a bit, knowing that Lorna can handle her powers better than anyone else there in this room. Storm is surprised that Scott seems to know so much about her, and wants an explanation. Scott gets a serious look on his face and turns away from Jean. He reveals… that Lorna used to be his girlfriend! Jean is shocked. Xavier claims that, despite Scott’s history with Lorna, her culpability in this matter is not for them to decide.

Sadly, as Xavier shows a hologram of him, Charles tells them that Lorna’s current lover, Alex, does not agree with that statement. Hoping to rescue Lorna from the Triskelion, Xavier has learned that Alex and some of his classmates have stolen a vehicle and moved over to action.

Iceman jokes that if Alex is dating his brother’s ex-girlfriend must bring up some stings. Kitty tells him to shut up. Xavier wants Cyclops to take Nightcrawler, Wolverine and Shadowcat into the X-Wing and to go find Alex. He trusts that Scott’s feelings won’t cloud his judgment. Scott promises that will never happen. Logan jokes that if Alex is using as much aftershave as Slim is using, it won’t be a problem to track him down for him.

Colossus wants to know, if Kurt’s probation is over, why he isn’t allowed to help. Xavier explains that’s because he wants Peter, Marvel Girl and Iceman to form a defensive parameter around the Triskelion. They will be the X-Men’s last line of defense in case Alex and his companions make it past the guards.

Angel mentions that his wings have recovered and he suggests that, if they need an extra eye in the sky, he’s there. Alison agrees to help, since she and Warren first handed experienced some brats with a murder case. Xavier corrects that this situation is a thousand times more serious than the Longshot debacle they were involved in. But he assures the X-Men, for reasons he is unable to explain at this point, that, if this particular prisoner is allowed to escape, the world will be doomed. Cyclops starts to think.

Elsewhere in the city, night time…

Forge and his friend are behind police lines, and picking up something. The friend warns that they’ve got to get Forge’s contraption out of here before some do-gooder heroes show up. Forge still thinks that this is lame. He means, they’ve got a multi-directional electromagnetic field generator. They could probably use something like this to bust Magneto out of prison by themselves. He doesn’t understand why they go through all this trouble to rescue some green-haired girl.

The friend explains that breaking Magneto from SHIELD isn’t going to be as simple as him helping Forge escape that supermax. Besides, the friend remembers, the “big man” has a plan. A police officer notices them, and wants to know what they are doing. The friend smiles, and kicks the police officer real hard, killing him. Forge doesn’t think that was necessary. The friend recalls that their orders were to kill any humans who interfere with their affairs. Anyway, a healthy body count is kind of Magneto’s calling card.

Forge’s friend starts changing shape, and looks exactly like the killed police officer! The woman smilingly concludes that a healthy body count is kind of Magneto’s “mystique!”

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Colossus, Cyclops, Dazzler, Marvel Girl, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Shadowcat, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Cannonball, Doug Ramsey, Emma Frost, Havok, Northstar, Polaris, Roberto DaCosta

Nick Fury, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch (all the Ultimates)


Forge, Mystique


police officer (unnamed)

various firemen (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

The story of Longshot killing an unarmed man, Lord Scheele, can be found in a flashback in Ultimate X-Men #57. Thanks to the help of the “junior” X-Men team and with the truth unbeknownst to them, Longshot managed to escape his homeland Genosha’s justice and flee into the Savage Land. According to Xavier himself, SHIELD has been chasing him ever since. For this failure, the kids were “put into detention” afterwards.

The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver lived in the Savage Land from prior Ultimate X-Men #1 until after #6, when they eventually left after helping defeat their father Magneto. This issue also clears up something which has been bothering longtime fans: what Wanda and Pietro’s last names are seeing they presumably always knew who their father was: their real names are Wanda and Pietro Lensherr Maximoff! Though it’s unclear why the Maximoff part has been added, since “Lensherr” is Magneto’s surname.

Finally, the long awaited first appearance of Mystique! Unlike earlier preview art that was shown before Ultimate X-Men even began, Mystique appears to be a true villain here as well. This fact goes against those preview arts though, in which she was shown in an X-Men uniform and possibly a spy.

Also, this issue marks the first appearance of Cannonball, and finally we get to see Doug Ramsey for real. He has been rumored to exist in various occasions in previous issues, but this is the first time he is actual shown.

Magneto blew up the Brooklyn Bridge during the “Ultimate War” mini-series.

The McCoy Memorial Hall where the X-Men have their briefing is named after Beast, in honor of his death in Ultimate X-Men #44.

Last issue, Cyclops had told Jean that he only had dated her and no other girl, so that’s why she was mostly shocked to hear Polaris was his ex-girlfriend.

Forge was a member of Magneto’s Brotherhood as seen in Ultimate X-Men #27 onwards. Forge helped Magneto build his power amplifier weapon but, when the X-Men eventually attacked, Forge had disappeared from the scene and until this issue was not shown again.

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