Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #442

Issue Date: 
June 2004
Story Title: 
Of Darkest Nights - part 1

Chuck Austen (Writer), Salvador Larroca (Penciler), Danny Miki (Inker), Udon (Colorist), Rus Wooton (Letterer), Cory Sedlmeier & Stephanie Moore (Assistant Editors), Mike Marts (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Professor X and Wolverine have a disagreement over whether or not Magneto should even be getting this funeral, as they have returned his body to Genosha. Professor X starts the funeral service, only for Wolverine to interrupt, for Charles thinks Magneto should be given the same rights as any human being, but Wolverine gets enraged at how Charles can forgive him after everything he has done, especially killing Jean Grey. As Wolverine is about to cut up Magneto’s body, some of Magneto’s former followers try to stop him, until Wolverine proves how much he hates Magneto by single-handedly destroying the monument built in his memory. The White Queen and Juggernaut are helping rescue workers on the destroyed Liberty Island in New York, while Polaris has gone to invite Magneto’s other children, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver to the funeral. The twins tells Lorna that she cannot possibly expect them to go, let alone understand what they are going through being the children of one of the world’s greatest mass-murderers when Lorna reveals to them that she is their sister. The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver do accompany Polaris to Genosha and after Wolverine cuts out Toad’s tongue he is about to do more damage to Magneto’s former lackey when Polaris stops him, declaring that she is going to play “Devil’s advocate’.

Full Summary: 

In a SHIELD carrier, over the Indian Ocean, telepathic founder of the X-Men, Professor Charles Xavier sits in his wheelchair across from long-serving X-Man, Logan a.k.a. Wolverine. Between them is a coffin, in which Magneto, the mutant master of magnetism lies. The trip is silent until Xavier asks Logan if he has something to say. ‘Nope’ replies Logan gruffly, and as they land on the island nation of Genosha, which Magneto formerly ruled over, Logan tells Charles that if he has anything to say he can figure it out for himself.

As the two mutants start to exit the aircraft, Xavier tells Logan that he values his opinion and wants to hear what he has to say. Logan tells the Professor to read his mind then. Xavier reminds Logan that he does not like to use his telepathy to intrude on someone like that, to which Logan replies that he doesn’t need mental powers to know what he is thinking. Calmly, Xavier replies that he does, for he cannot understand the attitude Logan has given him all the way here.

Xavier is interrupted by Colonel Nick Fury, Director of SHIELD who in reply to Xaviers comment about not understanding Logan’s attitude tells Charles that he is dumber than everyone makes him out to be. Fury points out to Charles that he is returning a terrorist to his island nation, one he built and ruled with oppression, to bury him, a murderer who only days ago killed many Americans. Fury bluntly declares that if Charles did not have friends in high places then he would never have brought them to Genosha for this insult to humanity.

Out of the carrier, Charles calmly declares that he understands what Magneto did, but in the name of humanity, he was still a human being. Fury says to Xavier ‘Kiss mine’ before declaring that he cannot be convinced Magneto was a human being. The carrier starts up and over the sound of the chopper blades Fury shouts that terrorists like Magneto do not deserve a funeral, but what they do deserve is to be cut up and fed to dogs. Entering the carrier, he reminds Charles that his orders were to bring them here, but nothing about a trip home. ‘My little form of protest’ he says before the chopper takes off, leaving Xavier and Wolverine on Genosha. ‘See?’ says Logan smirking, ‘He didn’t need mental powers to read my mind’.

On Liberty Island, New York harbor, where the telepathic Emma Frost and her X-Man teammate Cain “Juggernaut” Marko along with She-Hulk of the Avengers are aiding rescue workers in the aftermath of Liberty Island’s destruction. As Cain and Jennifer remove rubble, Emma tells them to dig down a few more feet, where a girl called Medik is trapped, and her heartbeat is beginning to weaken. Cain asks where Nightcrawler is, suggesting he could just teleport in, but Emma cuts Cain off and for the third time reminds Cain that Kurt is in Midtown helping find people trapped in a subway collapse.

Juggernaut asks if there are not any more teleporters ‘or walk-through-wall types’ who can help, to which She-Hulk declares that they are all busy, everyone is, the other X-Men and the Avengers too and tells Cain to stop asking these questions. Cain raises his voice and tells Jennifer that this is frustrating, as he cannot dig fast enough, not to mention if he moves something the wrong way he might crush someone he shouldn’t. Emma jokes that this is ‘big talk for a man who used to cause this kind of destruction on a weekly basis’.

Cain doesn’t have time to reply as She-Hulk sees the girl they are searching for and leans down into the hole, with Cain steadying her so she doesn’t fall in too. But when they pull the girl from the rubble, its too late, for she has died. Looking around, Liberty Island itself is dead. The Statue of Liberty has been toppled and broken rescue workers are searching for bodies, the place is just a mess.

Back in Genosha, several of Magneto’s former followers, including longtime Brotherhood member Toad have joined Charles for the funeral. Charles begins the sermon, but Logan interrupts and tells him not to do it. Charles frowns but keeps talking, until Logan interrupts him again, Charles tells Logan that he thought he was not going to say anything while he gave the eulogy. Wolverine tells Charles that he thought he was smarter than this, especially after what this man - ‘this filth’ – did.

Xavier begins to raise his voice and tells Logan that this is not the time or place, to which Logan angrily snaps back that this is exactly the time and place, and he tells Charles to look at himself, about to deliver a eulogy for mass murderer, can he not see how wrong that is? Charles asks Logan what it is exactly that he wants him to say, ‘you want me to say you were right? That we should have killed him years ago? In Scotland, in the Atlantic, on Asteroid M?’ Charles asks if they cannot even show respect for the dead. ‘Not this dead’ Logan replies solemnly.

Charles tells Logan that they need to raise above their petty, human vindictiveness, but Logan replies that Charles is wrong, and while Logan will not say that often, he will say it now. Logan tells Charles that this has always been his greatest strength, but also his greatest weakness, his sensitivity and compassion. Logan declares that Magneto just murdered hundreds of innocent people in cold blood because they were different than what he considered superior. ‘Sound familiar?

Wolverine turns and kicks the coffin of Magneto, and the body slips out of it, causing Charles to cry out. Logan pops his claws and sarcastically tells Charles that they can leave aside the fact that Magneto killed hundreds of New Yorkers and to forget that he tried to kill him, Hank, Scott and Emma and every other mutant ‘who’s ever had lunch at your school’. The same school, Charles’ pride and joy, a haven and place of hope for mutants all over the world, the same school that Magneto burned to the ground. Charles has remained silent all through this, and Logan pauses before he places a foot on Magneto’s body and claws pointed downwards he declares that most importantly, they need to ‘rise above’ the fact that Magneto killed Jeannie. ‘I don’t think so’ Logan says.

Suddenly, those mutants that were affiliated with Magneto step up towards Logan and ask if that is their former leader’s body. Wolverine ignores the mutants until Shocker asks him if he is standing on Magneto’s body. ‘You bet I am, bub’ says Logan glaring at the mutant and asking him if he has a problem with that.

Meanwhile, in Avengers Mansion, Manhattan Lorna Dane a.k.a. the powerful X-Woman, “Polaris” has come to speak to Magneto’s twin children, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch respectively. When Lorna asks the twins if they are interested in going to Genosha, the beautiful and phenomenally powerful Scarlet Witch, one of the worlds few celebrated mutants, declares that she cannot imagine anything worse than having Magneto as a father let alone willingly attending a service for him in Genosha with Charles Xavier. The high-profile Avenger adds that many of the people Magneto murdered have yet to be found.

Quicksilver, a former Avenger, declares that it is the worst nightmare one can possibly imagine, having the same blood in themselves as that madman. Smirking, Lorna reveals to the twins that she can relate. Wanda, with all due respect, tells Lorna that she doesn’t think she can relate, as she and Quicksilver are the children of one of the worst mass-murderers the planet has ever seen. With respect for Wanda, Pietro proclaims that their father did his ownkilling when Lorna cuts him off, with respect for both of them she declares that she does understand their feelings, and reveals that she has recently learned through genetic testing, that they three share the same-mass murderer for a father. Wanda just looks at her brother stunned.

Back in Genosha, the rebel mutants begin to attack Wolverine, who easily counters their attacks. Charles asks them to stop all this, for a man is dead. He asks them if they will disgrace him further with the lunacy they partaking in now. As Logan punches someone he is annoyed by Charles ‘disgrace him’ comment and after defeating the mutants he asks Xavier when is he going to wake up, angrily adding that Charles disgraces the people Magneto killed, and that he deserves no respect.

Wolverine proclaims that he will try to make this a bit clearer, and using his claws to climb up the enormous monument built in Magneto’s honor Logan declares that he has no respect for Magneto and never did, for Magneto was a terrorist, a bully and a hypocrite. He reaches the top of the monument and shouts down that Magneto was a murderer of women and children who laughed over their dead bodies while demanding tribute. ‘I’ll show you the only tribute he deserves’ Logan exclaims as he plunges his claws into the statue of Magneto’s head.

The people gathered below are shocked, some of them asking ‘how dare you?’ while another asks if it was true that Magneto murdered women and children. Someone else declares that they just want to live in peace, and some other woman asks Wolverine how he dare he defile the memory of their master. Logan smiles and tells the woman that he has not even begun to defile, and with that Logan swings down with his claws still stuck in the monument, which begin to tear it apart as he slides down. Cutting through one of the eyes Logan slices the monument in two when it begins to fall to either side, the huge mass of metal falling to the ground.

Logan lands safely before everyone and ready to fight if he has to he asks if he has made his point yet. Toad steps forward and tells Logan that he is a dead man. Logan just turns to the former lackey of Magneto and tells him to grow up and that he is not a match for Artie when he is sick the flu. Toad extends his tongue, which he wraps around Logan’s neck. Logan grabs part of the tongue and smiling he asks if it grows back, before cutting it off.

Blood spurts from Toad’s mouth as Logan says ‘No? Whatta shame. How about your other internal organs?’ Toad tries to say something, but without a tongue only parts of words can be formed. ‘Don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me please’ says Logan mocking the Toad before asking him if he thinks the people in the cars said that before Magneto dumped them all in the ocean. Logan is about to attack Toad when he is suddenly frozen, unable to move.

The woman responsible for that steps forward, Polaris, followed by her newly acquired family. Lorna tells Logan to get a hold of himself and that once again he is ‘all fists and fury and not seeing the bigger picture’. With the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver behind her, Polaris says ‘Allow me to be the “Devil’s advocate”’ smiling that wicked smile of hers.

Characters Involved: 

Juggernaut, Polaris, White Queen, Wolverine (All X-Men)

Professor X

Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch (Children of Magneto)

She-Hulk (member of the Avengers)

Nick Fury

SHIELD officers

Rescue workers in New York

Victims of Magneto’s attack


Shocker, Toad and other mutant followers of Magneto

Story Notes: 

Magneto’s attack on the X-Men and New York was seen in “Planet X” [New X-Men #146-150]

Magneto induced a heart attack in Jean “Phoenix” Grey in New X-Men #150.

The monument to Magneto was built by some of his followers in New X-Men #132.

Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver learned that they were Magneto’s children in Vision & Scarlet Witch (first series) #4. Polaris was revealed to be his daughter in Uncanny X-Men #431. Magneto’s first daughter, Anya was killed in a fire while she was still young. Polaris has a different mother to the other three.

Logan’s comment about Toad not even being a match for ‘Artie when he is sick with the flu’ is a reference to the young mutant Artie Maddicks, a mute boy whose only power was to psychically display an image of his thoughts.

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