X-Men: Blue #31

Issue Date: 
September 2018
Story Title: 
Kings and Queens, part 1

Cullen Bunn (writer), Jorge Molina (artist), Matt Milla (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer), RB Silva & Rain Beredo (cover artists), Jay Bowen & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers), Chris Robinson (assistant editor), Darren Shan (editor), Jordan D White (X-Men group editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

Two months ago, Marvel Girl met with Magneto, and he allowed her to enter his mind, where she received a warning that the true Magneto would one day return. Today, Polaris meets with Havok in San Francisco. Havok is worried that Magneto is coming for him, but Polaris tells Havok that she thinks her father knows he wasn't himself, and that he is focusing his efforts elsewhere. At the Hellfire Club in Manhattan, Magneto arrives, searching for Emma Frost. He tears the place apart, killing almost everyone inside. The next morning, the time-displaced X-Men arrive to investigate. Bloodstorm tells the others that Magneto was forced to kill Mothervine mutants in his care as a result of the actions of Emma Frost and other mutants. Cyclops thinks they need to go back to their own time and stop Magneto there, but Marvel Girl tells him that they have to stop Magneto here as well. They find Magneto’s ally Briar Raleigh, who reveals that she has been guiding Magneto, for her own reasons. And as Magneto tears apart the Hellfire Club in London, Briar gives the X-Men the location of Emma Frost, and they visit her in Paris, when she is preparing to leave. They warn her Magneto is coming for her, and want to help her – but she doesn't want or need their help – however, Magneto shows up looking furious.

Full Summary: 

Two months ago:
The Wreck-It-And-Wrench-It salvage yard in the middle of the night. Jean Grey a.k.a. Marvel Girl stands before Magneto, who has removed his helmet. 'All right. You want me to read your thoughts? I'll read your thoughts' Jean declares as she enters Magneto's mind.

inside Magneto's mind:
Jean sees Magneto as a child, in a concentration camp. Soldiers and other prisoners stand nearby, as the child Magneto hangs his head and utters 'I... failed'. He clenches his wrists and blood trickles from his hand. Jean asks him how he failed, and what it was he was trying to do. He opens his hand, revealing a screw in his blood-stained palm. 'Will you help me?' the boy asks. Jean lowers her eyes and replies that she doesn't think there is anything she can do. 'The past... there's no way to change it' she points out. 'If not me... help them' young Magneto pleads, pointing at the other prisoners. Jean tells him that he doesn't understand, that it's too late, as all of this happened so long ago.

'Not for him, it didn't a voice states. Jean turns to the sound of the voice, and the boy goes wide-eyed. 'He relives it every day. It happened just yesterday. It will happen tomorrow'.

'It's happening right now' a German soldier wearing a long black coat declares. 'Who -' Jean begins, to which the soldier leans into her and tells her that he is no one – and yet, he is everything. He explains that in the grand scheme of things, he was only a small part of young Max's history, but he is also the face of all he hates and fears. 'Hitzig' the soldier states his name.

Young Magneto hides behind Jean, 'He's coming back. Please... help me... he's coming back' the boy utters. 'He's not. I won't let him' Jean promises, putting her arm in front of Max to protect him. 'Ah, fraulein. Do you really think he's talking about me?' Hitzig asks, before telling Jean that it is not he that she should fear, but Magneto – the real Magneto.

Marvel Girl concentrates hard to maintain contact within Magneto's mind, while Magneto's powers start to form spears from metal fence around the salvage yard – and he hurls the spears towards Marvel Girl – who holds them back with her telekinesis.

Inside Magneto's mind:
Hitzig tells Marvel Girl that he thinks she has only ever glimpsed but a shadow of what he truly is, and that if she knew the darkness within him, he is unsure if she would be here at all. Hitzig adds that if Marvel Girl realized how deep she would dig, how many secrets she would uncover, perhaps Magneto would see to it that she took those revelations to her grave. Hitzig suggests that perhaps Marvel Girl is already dead, like him – or perhaps she has already been trapped here with all the other fear and hate and regret – and now, she is just waiting for the inevitable day when Magneto lets her back out. Jean must know this, as sooner or later, he always returns – the real Magneto, as one can only deny their true nature for so long. 'Maybe... that's why I'm here' Jean remarks as she looks down at young Max.

The metal spears clang to the ground, and Jean opens her now-bleeding eyes. 'Okay' Jean tells Magneto, wiping the blood from her eyes. 'Okay?' Magneto asks her, the moon glowing down on him. 'We'll try it your way. At least, I will' Jean tells him. Magneto thanks Jean, who remarks that convincing the others might be a problem, as they don't trust him. Magneto puts his helmet on his head and tells Jean that he cannot imagine that they do. He glances down at the makeshift spears and adds 'I cannot imagine that they should'.

Golden Gate Park, in San Francisco:
The handsome Alex Summers a.k.a. Havok sits on a park bench. 'Hey, Alex' Lorna Dane a.k.a. Polaris, dressed glamorously in black skintight pants, a pink blouse with a purple sweater, and a purple jacket, greets him as she approaches Alex, who looks up and thanks her for coming. Lorna sits on the bench, leaving a gap between herself and Alex, and removes her sunglasses. 'Feels strange, doesn't it' Lorna remarks. 'Being yourself after so much time being... someone else'. Alex replies that it feels like he owes everyone an apology. 'You weren't yourself' Lorna reminds him, but Alex tells her that he wasn't being controlled, that he wasn't brainwashed – the way he was, part of that was him, part of him wanted to do the things he did – he thought it was the right thing to do. He figures Magneto is coming after him now, and supposes that is what he deserves.

Lorna informs Alex that she doesn't know what her father is planning, and tells him that whether he realizes it or not, she is guessing Magneto knows he wasn't in total control of his senses – he is going to focus his efforts on those who were.

Night in Manhattan, at the Hellfire Club:
Waiters move about a ballroom, where men and women dressed in historical costumes spend their time, while scantily clad women dance in cages hanging from the ceiling. 'It's a new car, after all. New to me, but a classic' someone remarks. 'What say we go somewhere more private?' someone suggests. 'What, so we go somewhere more public?' comes the response. 'You are simply ravishing!' someone declares. Suddenly, all of the cutlery in the room is levitated into the air, held in suspension, pointed at the partygoers. 'What is this?' someone asks. 'N-no!' another exclaims. 'It can't be -' someone calls out, before a wall busts open, and the utensils connect with the Hellfire guests, killing them. The wall collapses to the floor, and Magneto swoops into the room, flying over the rubble, he sets down on the floor, and walks through the Hellfire Club.

Magneto makes his way down a flight of stairs, where he finds several Hellfire Club soldiers, aiming weapons at him. 'Hold your ground. Don't let him through. He can -' one of the guards calls out. 'Where is she?' Magneto asks. 'Where is the White Queen?' he demands, raising a hand, he releases some energy towards the soldiers, pulling their weapons from them. 'We don't know! She isn't here!' one of them calls out. 'She hasn't been in contact for some time!' another exclaims. Magneto lowers his hands and boasts that the next time Emma Frost reaches out, there will be no one here to answer.

The next morning, emergency personnel have gathered outside the ruined Hellfire Club, including two detectives, who turn as a gust of wind blows dust from the Hellfire Club ruins towards them. The Blackbird hovers overhead, as Marvel Girl and her teammates – Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops, Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman, Warren Worthington a.k.a. Angel, Hank McCoy a.k.a. Beast and the reality-displaced Bloodstorm – approach the detectives. Marvel Girl hesitantly greets them. 'I'm Jean Grey – Marvel Girl – one of them at least' she remarks. The female detective tells Marvel Girl that she knows who they are, and can guess why they are here. She adds that they have dealt with the X-Men in the past, and know how they like to clean up their own messes. 'Well, this is a pretty big mess' the detective points out. Jean tells her that they can see that, and that they want to help. 'Go right ahead' the detective replies, adding that it might do them some good to see what someone like Magneto can do when he's let off his leash.

The young X-Men begin to search through the rubble, and Scott asks Jean through their psychic link whether she thinks Magneto did all this. Jean informs Scott that she scanned the minds of the detectives, and that eyewitness reports from the few survivors that were found are pretty clear. 'Take a look around. Is there any doubt that Magneto did this?' Jean asks, adding that everything that happened while they were away has set him off. Angel remarks that he can hardly believe it. He adds that he knew Magneto had it in him, but that they have never seen anything like this. 'Not even in our own time. He was never so... whatever this is'.

The Beast and Bloodstorm look over to where rescue workers are pulling bodies from the rubble, and Bloodstorm states that when the Mothervine bombs started falling, Magneto was attacked by new mutants, who were being controlled by Miss Sinister and would have murdered him, so to escape, he had to kill them first – he killed those he had sworn to protect – and now, he will see that those who forced his hand pay a terrible price.

Cyclops searches through the rubble and silently tells Marvel Girl that this is why they have to go back home, to their time – Magneto only gets worse and worse, they have to be there to stop him. 'We have to stop him here, too' Marvel Girl adds, looking at some twisted cutlery that he has pulled from the rubble. She reminds Scott that is why they signed on with Magneto in the first place – so they could be here when he snapped. She adds that for all they know, the Professor wanted them to remain in this timeline for this very reason. 'Weird, right? When we go back, we're not going to be able to remember what we've seen here. If we could, everything would change...' Cyclops remarks. '... because there's no way we'd let Magneto survive the next time we encountered him' Marvel Girl declares, as the other X-Men gather around her.

'What did you expect?' Briar Raleigh asks as she breaks through the surface of her pool, at her condo in Malibu, California. She looks up at the X-Men, who stand around her pool. 'I've been anticipating something like this. Actually – not like this. Something much, much worse' Briar tells the young mutants. She climbs out of her pool, and sits on the outside of it, putting her leg brace on, as Marvel Girl informs Briar that they know she has been helping Magneto, that she is his eyes and ears, that she has been directing him, directing his attacks. 'I've been guiding him' Briar corrects Jean, remarking that nothing is going to stop that man from doing what he wants. 'And frankly – I don't want to stop him' she admits, adding that she just wanted to make sure that when the next big, sexy cataclysm went down, it was in a locale of her choosing. 'That's creepy. You know that, right' Angel remarks. 'I know what I'm about' Briar replies.

Briar starts to dry her hair and tells the X-Men that they should sit this one out and let Erik do his thing, as soon enough, it will be out of his system. She explains that for the most part, his attacks have been centered on Hellfire Club chapter houses, and to that, she says good riddance. 'Their brand of kink and evil never did much for me. It was all a little too tame' she smirks, pointing out that some would say Magneto is doing the world a favor, scouring the Hellfire Club the way he is – and once he finds who he is looking for, he will quiet down a bit.

At that moment, Magneto has arrived at the Hellfire Club in London, England. He slams his fist into the ground, sending a shockwave of magnetic energy backwards, knocking the people nearby over. He soon walks out of the room, leaving a trail of men and women, and one scantily-clad male dancer, behind him, all with cutlery and other shards of metal piercing their bodies.

'You know where she is, don't you?' Marvel Girl asks Briar, who admits that she has her suspicions, adding that she thought she might vet the assumptions before she pointed Erik in that direction and pulled the trigger. Briar tells the X-Men that she likes them, of course, and that she is willing to share with them what she knows – but she warns them that their being there will only cause the situation to escalate.

Meanwhile, in Paris, France:
'Do hurry up' Emma Frost tells servants who are packing her belongings into suitcases. 'Yes, Ms Frost' one of them replies. Emma remarks that Paris is lovely, but it has grown tiresome, and she would like to be on her way to someplace else before the hour is out. 'Before the devil comes to collect his due' she adds quietly.

Suddenly, she notices the temperature dropping, and she can see her breath. 'Oh, bugger' Emma mutters as she looks at the window, icy words scrawled across it: “Emma, you've been bad!!”

Emma turns to see the X-Men standing in her apartment. 'No, please. Do come in' Emma snarks. 'Those X's emblazoned on your spandex give you carte blanche when it comes to trespassing' Emma tells them, as Marvel Girl informs her that they are not here to cause trouble. 'I find that quite hard to believe. Your little group causes nothing but trouble. Aren't you supposed to be lost in space? I think I liked you better like that'.

Marvel Girl tells Emma that they want to help her. 'We weren't here for the whole mutation bomb fiasco' Marvel Girl reminds Emma. 'Most of us weren't' Bloodstorm, who was, scowls. 'But we know what you did' Marvel Girl tells Emma. 'Did you say you wanted to help me or thank me?' Emma asks, adding that there is no thanks necessary, as she had her own reasons for doing what she did. 'But if you want to help, you could all grab a bag and -' Emma begins, before Marvel Girl interrupts her and informs her that Magneto is coming for her – they know it. 'And we're going to stop him' Marvel Girl adds. Emma glances sideways nervously, before laughing,

'You're going to stop him? Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but aren't you working for him?' Cyclops tells her she is right, but that they stayed close to him because they knew there was a chance he would take things too far. 'And when he did -' Cyclops begins, interrupted when Emma goes over to him and puts a hand on his face, 'You really aren't my Scott, are you? At least, not yet' she points out, adding that her Scott would never be so naive.

'There was a “chance” Magneto would go off the deep end? Darling, that man's moments of lucidity are mere breaths between the screams' Emma tells Cyclops. 'You're one to talk, Ms Frost. Didn't, like, all the X-Men give you the benefit of the doubt?' Bobby snaps. 'And then... as soon as your boyfriend gets fridged... you use it as an excuse to go crazy and start killing people' Bobby exclaims. 'Bobby... you know my older self was the boyfriend...' Cyclops tells Bobby, who mutters 'Totally not worth the attempts at world domination'.

Emma smirks and lowers her eyes, 'Well, children, it's been so nice catching up, but I'm afraid you've come all this way for nothing. I don't need... or want... your help' she informs them, boasting that she can handle Magneto.

'I hope you're right about that' Angel tells her, pointing out the window and announcing that Magneto is here – as the furious looking Master of Magnetism approaches the apartment, armed with cars and other metal objects suspended around him... and a look of pure destruction on his face! 

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (all time-displaced original X-Men)
Bloodstorm II
Briar Raleigh
White Queen

Hellfire Club guests and staff
Hellfire Club soldiers
Clean up crew

in flashback:
Marvel Girl (time-displaced)

in Magneto's memories:
Magneto as a child
Herr Hitzig

Story Notes: 

The flashback scene is a continuation of the flashback scene shown in X-Men: Blue #2, where Marvel Girl read Magneto's thoughts, only the reader was not shown what those thoughts were, this issue reveals those discoveries to the reader.

 The solo Magneto series, also written by Cullen Bunn showed how Magneto suffered from the memories of the Nazi Hitzig.

Havok was freed from his inversion in X-Men: Blue #28.

Magneto was forced to kill Mothervine mutants in X-Men: Blue #27.

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