X-Men: Blue #33

Issue Date: 
October 2018
Story Title: 
Surviving the Experience, part 1

Cullen Bunn (writer), Marcus To (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: 

Magneto arrives 19 years in the future, which is a desolate reality, the city has been destroyed and is seemingly deserted. He decides that it looks little different from his past, while being haunted by the ghosts of the Mothervine mutants he was forced to kill. He comes to what appears to be a Sentinel graveyard, and finds bodies of mutants. He is saddened, before he is attacked by beings calling themselves Reavers. He suggests they turn and walk away, but the Reavers want to fight. Magneto forms himself a new armored costume out of scrap metal, and kills the Reavers with ease. The Mothervine mutants haunt him some more, and he tells them that they weren't themselves – and that if he hadn’t killed them, then they would have killed him. A young mutant with blue skin finds Magneto, and he follows the child, who takes him to a large statue of Magneto. Other mutants see him – they are happy he is back. Some of them can't believe he has returned. Magneto asks them what happened here, and the young mutant tells him that he did what was needed – what no one else was prepared to do –  along with his Brotherhood, save the mutants from the Reaver Virus which was a horrible cybernetic contamination that started out as hate. The mutants want to honor Magneto, but before they can do so, the now adult time-displaced original X-Men appear and confront him!

Full Summary: 

19 years from now:
'This is not the world I have wrought. I have shaped it as surely as I have shaped metal. And like metal, this world has been twisted to serve my purpose. I know this instinctively. Even though this is the first time I have visited this place… this time... I know. I have seen it before' Magneto thinks to himself as he arrives in the future, a desolate, ruined time. The city he materializes in lies in ruins. Abandoned and broken buildings, busted cars and broken bridges are all that can be seen. Magneto himself looks tired, his clothing is torn, and as he leans against a wheel-less car to gather his strength, He realized that this day would come, but his arrival in this time is unintentional – he activated the time platform in an effort to evade his enemies, to flee the terrible things he had done. 'After all this time, I should have known better' Magneto thinks to himself as he walks down a street, passing dozens of abandoned vehicles, he tells himself that there is no escape.

As he walks down an alleyway, he comes to a clearing between buildings – the clearing is full of large metal poles – most of them with skeletal remains hanging from the pole. Magneto observes his surroundings and decides that this future looks little different from his past. 'I did this. Or I will' he remarks as he passes through the horrible sight, staggering past a building, he cannot shake the feeling that he is meant to see this world, this eventuality.

He wonders if it is more than a glitch in the time machine's circuitry that sent him here, or if the hand of Fate is guiding him. He decides that his presence here does not feel random and more than he feels that he is alone. He looks up, and sees several ghostly spirits hovering over him. Magneto is shocked – it is the ghosts of the Mothervine mutants. He remembers promising them that he would help them. And then he killed them.

'What do you want?' he calls out to them. 'WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?' Magneto shouts, raising his arms into the air. 'Tell me what I can do... to make it right?' he asks, clenching his fists, he hangs his head and closes his eyes – there is no one there to answer him, and the ghosts of the Mothervine mutants vanish.

At any rate, the question is rhetorical, because Magneto already knows the answer as he carries on down another broken street, empty save for more abandoned vehicles. 'I have always known the answer' Magneto thinks to himself, as he comes to a series of partly-destroyed buildings, with motionless Sentinels scattered around them. 'Some acts cannot be forgiven' Magneto tells himself, as he walks through the Sentinel graveyard. Barefoot, he approaches a school bus that has toppled not quite completely, he thinks that some steps, once taken, cannot be taken back, as he looks through the windows and sees skeletons in the seats. Magneto knows that for some people redemption is an impossibility, and to think otherwise is wilful ignorance – weakness.

'Well, well, well. Look, mates. What've we got here?' a voice from the shadows calls out. Magneto turns to see several strange figures approaching him. They appear to be part man, part machine. One of them moves on insect-legs and, looking at Magneto, declares that it looks like somebody didn't know this was Reaver territory. 'Too bad, too bad. Now you're ours. Now you ain't nothing but meat and gristle. And blood to oil our gears!' the strange Reaver exclaims. Magneto appears unimpressed, and tells the creatures to turn around and walk away. 'Did I hear you right? Are you puffing up? Fronting? You must be one of the crazies, huh?' the Reaver asks, before firing a blast of energy towards Magneto.

Magneto blocks the attack, and thinks to himself that the X-Men have a complicated relationship with time. The ghosts of the Mothervine mutants appear to attack Magneto as well, as Magneto thinks that the X-Men have danced through time and space without care, that they have shattered the laws of reality time and again. The Reavers continue their assault on Magneto, too, as the Master of Magnetism thinks that time, and the X-Men, have a bond built on trauma that each inflicts upon the other. The ghosts of the Mothervine mutants are relentless and don't pull back from Magneto, either, as Magneto is unsure as to what lessons time is trying to teach him, but he knows what he can teach these Reavers, as they have forgotten, and he has forgotten, who is is. Energy radiates around Magneto as he summons metal scraps and brings them together to form a suit of armor around his body, including a long cape. 'Time for a reminder' Magneto thinks to himself.

'No! It can't be!' one of the Reavers gasps. 'Not him! He's dead!' another exclaims. Magneto grits his teeth and reminds himself that he offered the Reavers a chance to flee, and they rejected his mercy. 'I was foolish to offer clemency in the first place' Magneto decides as he uses his magnetic powers to throw shards of scrap at the Reavers, striking them all down. Magneto frowns, and stands over their bodies. 'Foolish' he remarks, while the ghosts of the Mothervine mutants hover behind him. 'You were... not yourselves. You were... trying to kill me' Magneto reminds the ghosts. He tells them that there was no time to think, he had only one chance to act – which is why he struck them with everything he had – he killed them before they could kill him. Magneto looks at the ghosts of the Mothervine mutants and explains to them that if he hadn't done that, he would not have survived, and if he had died – then this reality would not have existed. He hangs his head as the ghosts of the Mothervine mutants watch him.

Suddenly: 'Is it... really you?' a voice calls out. 'It is... isn't it?' a small mutant child with blue skin and a tail reminiscent of Nightcrawler remarks, looking up at Magneto. 'I saw what you did to those Reavers. You... came back' the mutant utters, before taking Magneto's hand and telling him to come along, as the others need to know. 'This way -' the young mutant tells Magneto, who walks with the young mutant and remarks 'Wait, child. You are mistaken. I am not who you think – I am -' Magneto is lost for words, as they round a corner and he sees a huge statue of himself in clearing. Other mutants nearby see Magneto and calls out to him. 'You're back!' one of them calls out. 'You promised you'd return!' another exclaims, adding that they didn't dare believe it. 'You're back!' another mutant remarks as they rush forward and surround him. 'I can't believe it's true!' one of them utters. 'Back to save us!' another exclaims. 'To lead us!' someone else declares.

Magneto steps back from the mutants and asks them what this is, and what happened here. 'You... don't remember?' the young blue-skinned mutant asks. Magneto looks down at the young mutant and admits that he does not, that he looks around and sees all this destruction, and he knows it was his hand that brought it about – but what he doesn't know...is why. The young mutant tells Magneto that he did what he had to do – what no one else was willing to do. 'You saved the mutants' the young mutant reveals. The mutant informs Magneto that when the Reaver Virus first appeared there had been no sign of him for years, everyone thought he was dead – the Avengers tried to stop the infection from spreading, and the X-Men, too – but to kill the virus, the hosts had to die – and there were so many carriers. 'We thought all was lost...we thought mutants were doomed... until you returned' the young mutant announces, remembering the return of Magneto, who along with Magik, Unuscione, Exodus, Sabretooth, Blob and Toad took on the Reavers, while Sentinels stood nearby – then announced that they were to destroy with extreme prejudice.

The young mutant informs Magneto that the Reavers marked them, made sport of them, and would have exterminated them all – if it weren't for him – and his Brotherhood – Magik, Unuscione, Exodus, Sabretooth, Blob and Toad. Magneto turns and looks around, 'So many died here. It looks as though I became...the monster so many feared I would' Magneto remarks. The young mutant tells Magneto that hr was what their people needed, and that the Reaver Virus did not start as some sort of cybernetic contamination – it started as hate. 'And I know what hate can mutate into' Magneto points out, hanging his head. 'Amen' a mutant utters. 'So has he spoken' another remarks. 'Amen!' another shouts. 'He has saved us' one of them points out 'No' Magneto tells the mutants. 'Not like this. You will not honor my actions as something sacred -' Magneto begins, stopping himself as the ghosts of the Mothervine mutants suddenly appear behind him, and a voice calls out 'When I send your return, I thought I had to be mistaken. I thought it was some remnant of a bad dream'.

Magneto turns to the sound of the voice, who adds 'I thought my fears were somehow playing tricks on me. But now you're here again – back for more!' It's an adult Marvel Girl, who stands, fists clenched with Cyclops, readying an optic blast, Angel, whose wings glow above them, and the Beast, who is in his furry white demonic form... and none of them look very happy!

Characters Involved: 


in the future:
Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Marvel Girl (all time-displaced original X-Men)

Ghosts of Mothervine mutants


in flashback image:
Blob, Exodus, Magik, Magneto, Sabretooth, Toad, Unuscione (all Brotherhood)


Story Notes: 

Magneto used the time-platform in X-Men Blue #28.  This adventure takes place during that time.

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

The X-Men at the end of this issue have been appearing in the “Countdown to Extermination” backstories that can be seen in X-Men: Gold #27, X-Men Blue #27, X-Men: Red #5, Astonishing X-Men (4th series) #13 and Cable (1st series) #159.


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