X-Men (5th series) #11

Issue Date: 
October 2020
Story Title: 
One War, One Mutant

Jonathan Hickman (writer), Lenil Francis Yu (artist), Sunny Gho (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer), Tom Muller (designer), Lenil Francis Yu & Sunny Gho (cover artists), Adam Kubert & Marte Gracia (variant cover artists), Nick Russell (production), Jonathan Hickman (Head of X), Annalise Bissa (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

Anole, Loa and Rockslide find the Summoner sitting in a clearing. The strange mutant invites the young mutants to play a game with him. He is cryptic about how the game works, but Rockslide agrees to play it with him, and sits in front of a tree stump, the two about to play the game when they notice Cotati alien spaceships arriving on Krakoa. Magik and Gorgon find Magneto and he leads the defense against the invading aliens, linking with the Stepford Cuckoos, who seem to be confused about which Cuckoo is which, as he has Sage take command of satellites and forces Magma to push her powers further than she has ever before, manipulating an entire volcano on Krakoa, which Iceman then uses his power to freeze the molten lava, turning it into metal shards that Magneto can use against the Cotati. During the invasion, Toad is killed, and Magneto confronts the invasion leader after killing his partner, eventually dropping several satellites onto the alien. The next day, Exodus meets with a group of mutant children that he often teaches mutant history to, and recounts to them the events of the Cotati invasion, specifically focusing on the heroics of Magneto, while Magneto works with other X-Men against a Cotati strikeforce on the moon.

Full Summary: 

The mutant island nation of Krakoa, specifically the Arrako point, where three young mutants are making their way through the dense jungle. 'I'm telling you, he was this way. Through here. He was just sitting there – waiting...like a total weirdo' Victor Borkowski a.k.a. Anole remarks. 'I thought we weren't supposed to talk to him?' Alani Ryan a.k.a. Loa replies. 'Nobody said that. It was more like “be careful”...yes, he's a mutant, but he's not from here' Santo Vaccarro a.k.a. Rockslide explains. 'He's not like us' Rockslide adds. 'This way, I think' Anole tells his friends. Loa asks him if he is sure, but Anole tells her that he doesn't know, but he did see him, that he smiled like he knew he was there, even though he was hiding. 'He was surrounded by his creepy little – okay, see?' Anole declares as they come to a clearing and find the mysterious Summoner sitting next to a tree stump in the middle of the clearing. 'Just like I said. Total weirdo' Anole utters.

'Hello, friends' the Summoner calls out when he senses the young mutants at the edge of the clearing. 'Uh, hi' Loa calls back as the three young mutants walk iinto the circle that surrounds the Summoner. 'So what are you doing here? Meditating, or... heeey! Is that a game? It looks like a game' Rockslide utters as he looks at the tree stump, which has what appears to be a piece of rock on it. The Summoner smiles and tells the others that it is a game – a game of Arakko. He reveals that he learned to play it as a child, but that it certainly not just a game for children, and that he has played many, many times. 'How's it work?' Anole asks, rubbing his head. The Summoner tells him that it depends on the player, as each game is adaptive, that it changes, and you can play with one player, which is what he was getting ready to do, but it is better with two.

Loa asks what the game is called and the Summoner grins, uttering something in an unusual language, he explains that it is an Arakki word, and the name doesn't translate cleanly. He supposes that the closest thing is “trial” or perhaps “test” would be better. The Summoner reveals that it is a game about discovering the soft places inside both you and the person you're playing against – how to defend and how to attack – it is a game about weakness. 'What if you don't have any?' Rockslide asks. The Summoner looks up at him and tells him that is how it starts, before asking him if he would like to play. 'It's okay to refuse. Many do' the Summoner states, but Rockslide sits down on the other side of the tree stump and agrees to play. 'Excellent' the Summoner remarks, before offering one word of caution – once the game begins, they do not stop until it ends. 'I've missed many a meal this way' the Summoner adds.

'Sure. Okay. How do we start?' Rockslide asks. Rockslide picks up the small piece of rock, 'Whoa' Loa utters as the piece of rock takes the shape of Rockslide. 'That's... different' Rockslide mutters, before the Summoner tells him to place the piece anywhere on the board, and that as with life, where he begins has little to do with where he will end. 'All the moves are yours and they can take you wherever you choose – or more importantly – where fate demands' the Summoner explains as Rockslide places the figure on the tree stump. 'What the -' Rockslide begins as a brilliant flash of light appears overhead – several Cotati warships are speeding towards Krakoa. 'Well... that's ominous' the Summoner remarks.

The next day on Krakoa, 'Are you afraid?' Exodus asks as he sits around a bonfire in a forest clearing, with several young mutants seated around the fire. 'I ask because it's important that we never lie to one another. It takes courage to speak the truth – it takes courage to hear it' Exodus smiles, informing the young mutants that mutants died today. 'So I ask... are you afraid?' One of the young mutants with glasses declares that he doesn't know about everyone else, but he is not. 'And why is that?' Exodus asks. 'Because they're coming back' the young mutant points out. Another of the mutants states that the Five are hard at work, and that tomorrow they will see their family again – that for some, it will be as if it never happened. 'But it did happen. And that's what you need to remember about days like today. We can erase the effect, but not the cause' Exodus explains, asking the young mutants once more if they are afraid.

'We do not fear death. We fear man and those like him' the young mutants exclaims in unison. 'Just look at the world they have made' Exodus frowns. The mutant with the glasses asks Exodus why they don't stop the humans, to which Exodus explains that you can't stop someone from being what they are. 'We could destroy them – but then we would be as they are' Exodus points out. 'Then what can we do?' the boy with glasses asks. 'You – all of you – will grow and play and live and love as you should' Exodus tells them. 'Leave progress to us. You are in... good hands' Exodus assures them. Exodus reminds the children that most of them were evacuated to the Krakoan archipelago on the other side of the world after the attack began, so they did not see what happened today. 'You may have heard whispers, you may have heard some facts...but you have not heard the whole story. And that is why you are here now...to hear the story... to hear the truth... of why you do not have to be afraid. Today... it was because of Magneto'.


The Cotati warships hover over Krakoa, with countless plant-like aliens emerging, and on the island below, mutants begin to run in fear.

In his chamber, the Master of Magnetism, Magneto, hovers cross-legged and naked, three costumes hang on a wall nearby – one purple and red, one white, one black. 'MAGNETO!' a voice calls out, interrupting Magneto's meditation. 'What's wrong?' Magneto asks, turning to Tomi Shishido a.k.a. Gorgon and Illyana Rasputin a.k.a. Magik, who rush into his chamber. Gorgon announces that they have incoming, some kind of large incursion, and that there are three ships on a beeline for Krakoa. Magik reports that Professor X is coordinating with all the other telepaths, and that they should have most of the noncombatants and children to the Atlantic bunker before they get here. Magik tells Magneto that they will have some casualties, but that most everyone should get to safety while they are preparing a response. 'Three attacks in less than three months... I don't like it, but we're getting pretty good at this' Magik smiles.

Magneto states that he is tired of this, before asking where Cyclops is. Gorgon informs Magneto that the attack originated from the Moon, that they are using it as a staging area of some sort, and Cyclops is there now. 'But it's  the front line where he should be' Gorgon mutters. 'So alien? Not human?' Magneto asks. 'Yeah, that's right' Magik tells him, before Magneto asks them if they and the other captains are headed to join Cyclops. Magik reports that she would like to, and adds that they have the Cuckoos spidering their defensive web, and she was hoping she could leave the island in capable hands. 'So, tell me, old man...feel like getting your hands dirty?' Magik smiles. Magneto's purple and red costume begins to clad itself around him as he announces that he may even dress for the occasion.

Shortly, Magneto has joined the battle, skewering dozens of Cotati with shards of metal that he hurls about with ease. Magneto notices one of the Stepford Cuckoos has fallen on the battlefield, and a Cotati looms over her, with a large blade aimed at her head. Magneto quickly recates several small metal balls and throws them towards the the Cotati, who is torn apart. The Cuckoo stands up and thanks Magneto. 'Of course, Mindee' Magneto replies. 'Actually, I'm Sophie, Sir' the Cuckoo replies. 'No time  for that nonsense today, child. Is one of you with command?' Magneto asks. Sophie confirms that they are, so Magneto asks her to have a chat. 'Whenever you're ready' Sophie replies as she puts her hands on Magneto's head. 'Command. Can you hear me?' Magneto asks.

'We can, sir. This is Sophie' a Cuckoo responds from where she stands behind Sage. 'Are you sure? I could have sworn it was Mindee' Magneto can be heard remarking. 'No time for that nonsense today, sir. I'm here with Sage' the Cuckoo replies. Sage addresses Magneto as Erik and asks him how he wants to do this. Magneto asks for an overall assessment and then instructs Sage to locate Magma and Iceman for him. Sage reports that she has seized temporary control of two totally aboveboard weather satellites, and quite a few military ones that are not – and requested them for observation. Sage states that she has learnt this is going on across the planet, but it looks like their counter-offense on the Moon is limiting the strike.

Sage informs Magento that Black Tom is holding his own with their island-wide defenses, and they have begun to push back, as Black Tom skewers several Cotati with large vines. Sage reveals that Iceman is helping Storm to the north, as the two of them combine their powers in an assault against the aliens. Sage then reports that Esme has located Magma about a mile southwest. At that moment, Esme links Magma to the conversation, as Esme states that Magma was getting ready to try to take out one of the ships with an eruption, and asks if they should hold, while Cyclops, Wolverine and Beast can be seen battling the Cotati nearby. Magneto tells amara Aquilla a.k.a. Magma that they know any Krakoan eruption is self-generated and reminds her that he asked her a month ago about finding a deep enough remote vein to tap into in case of an emergency. 'You wouldn't happen to have done that, would you?' Magneto enquires.

Magma confirms that she did, and informs Magneto that there is a dormant volcano about twelve miles from here which is deep enough. 'You want me to blow it?' she asks. Magneto tells her that he does, but that he doesn't want her to get too carried away, as he would like to avoid an ecological disaster if possible. Magma switches to her molten form and assures Magneto that she will do her best, but that she can't make any promises. 'I'm very excited about the possibilities here' Magma adds. 'As am I, child' Magneto responds. As Colossus smashes a Cotati to the ground, Esme steps backwards and Magma raises her arms into the air, causing a nearby volcano to erupt, sending lava blasting into the sky.


Magneto contacts Iceman, who asks 'Yeah, boss? Are we doing the thing?' while Egg breaks off some branches  from one of the Cotati nearby. Magneto informs Iceman that Magma is bringing about twenty tons of liquid iron to the surface. 'Be a good boy and cool it down for me' Magneto instructs Iceman, who replies 'Not a problem' as he casts a huge blast of cold energy upwards, 'It might be a little brittle though' Iceman adds as his power connects with the lava. 'Broken metal with sharp edges...whatever will I do with that?' Magneto asks as he puts his helmet on and flies upwards, using the frozen lava as blades which he hurls into Cotati with ease – and delight, gritting his teeth as he goes about his determined mission.

Somewhere on Krakoa, Toad is suddenly grabbed by his neck by a large Cotati, who utters 'Soft meaty creatures... and your cursed metal rain. Tell me who does this. Tell me or -' but he goes no response from Toad, apparently having broken his neck. 'I've broken another one. I think by the time I'm done here I will -' he begins, before he hears a strange THUNK THUNK THUNK sound and turns to see another Cotati with several of the lava shards skewered through their body. 'My sweet Hhurr... I trained you in the fields of Plonn. I bred you for war and let you eat of the limited enemies I allow myself to have. Who did this? Who dares?' the Cotati shouts while looking at the dead Hhurr.

'I dare' Magneto states as he drops down towards the Cotati, adding that this is a failing that has plagued him his entire life. 'You are clearly in command here, so I'm offering you a gift. Order your men to leave and never return. Do this, and you can save them and save yourself. Friend'. Magneto suggests to the Cotati. The Cotati asks Magneto if he has any idea on how many worlds he has stood facing someone like him – some proud meat, thinking their meat thoughts of war and valor. Standing amongst the skewered Cotati, the commanding officer declares 'I am the forest. I am the world. I do not lose. All it takes is one seed and a little time...a little time and a little meat in the ground. Don't you understand? You're our food'. The Cotati's eyes glow as he warns Magneto that he isn't going anywhere. 'But if you want to fight fate...if you want this to be about blood, I can always play the butcher. So if it's a fight you're looking for – then fight me!'

'I already have' Magneto replies. 'And I've already won' he adds, before the Cotati can respond, a satellite plummets to the island and squashes him. But a moment later, the Cotati rises, pushing the satellite off of himself – so Magneto drops an even larger one on him, squashing him again, and then another. Magneto calls out to Mindee, who walks over to him. 'Yes, sir?' she asks. 'Please apologize to Sage for stealing her satellites. Also, tell her to go ahead and forward payment for the weather satellites to their respective governments' Magneto instructs her. Mindee asks about thje military ones, to which Magneto asks 'You mean the ones we're not supposed to know about?' 'Yes. The same ones you dropped on this idiot and used to destroy his ships' Mindee confirms. Well, if asked, tell them we have no idea what they're talking about' Magneto responds. 'Understood, sir. Anything else?' Mindee asks. Magneto instructs Mindee to ask Sage to activate the closest gateway to the Moon. Magneto states that it is time to put an end to this whole episode.


'And that, children, is what  a hero is... it's what a hero does. Now, tell me... what's your hero's name?' Exodus asks the mutant children. 'Magneto!' they all exclaim. 'Yes, Magneto, and he is... mutant!' Exodus declares.

While, on the Moon, Wolverine, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Gambit, Iceman, Cyclops and Storm battle another contingent of Cotati, as Magneto stands behind them, holding one of the Cotati by their throat.


Characters Involved: 

Anole, Beast, Black Tom, Colossus, Cyclops, Egg, Exodus, Gorgon, Iceman, Loa, Magik, Magma, Magneto, Marvel Girl, Nightcrawler, Rockslide, Sage, Stepford Cuckoos, Storm, Toad, Wolverine




Unnamed mutants

Hhurr and other Cotati

Story Notes: 

This issue ties into the “Empyre” event.

Loa's first appearance since she was murdered in Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #11.

This issue contains a two page report to the Quiet Council from the Captain Commander Cyclops, discussing island readiness, mutant training, archipelago access, Omega Level mutants (although the text is blacked out) and enhanced combat techniques.

The Cotati were setting up their incursion from the moon last issue.

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