X-Men: Blue #34

Issue Date: 
October 2018
Story Title: 
Surviving the Experience, part 2

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: 

19 years from now, Magneto and the adult time-displaced X-Men confront each other in a desperate future, where Magneto is furious that they never returned to their own time and as a result the future turned out like this. He asks them where Iceman is, but they don't answer him. Other mutants of this time try to stand up for Magneto, who continues to be plagued by the ghosts of the Mothervine mutants. Cyclops reveals that all the statues of Magneto around the city were raised by Magneto himself, and when Magneto asks the X-Men what happened to him when he faced them, they fall silent again – so he assumes that they killed him. Beast supposes that this might be their opportunity to fix the timeline, and they fight Magneto, who attacks them with the statues of himself. One of the local mutants declares that they need Magneto, but Marvel Girl tells Magneto that she should have known he would never change, and realizes she shouldn't have let him walk out of that scrapyard – that she should have killed him. Too late, and Magneto escapes through his time platform back to the present day. He thanks Danger for her assistance and tells her to watch over the X-Men, before he meets with a scientist called Kirk Jansen, who has been developing some new robotic technology. Magneto knows that this cybernetic technology will be used against mutants in the future, and kills the scientist, his colleagues and destroys the laboratory. Wanting people to know it was him, he raises a statue to himself in the site of the rubble. Sometime later, Magneto is aboard New Asteroid M, thinking that this is the future Mothervine has wrought. Many mutants seeking salvation are aboard New Asteroid M with him, as he decides that he is an old man, and that old ways work best – he summons his Brotherhood to his side – Exodus, Toad, Unuscione, Marrow, Elixir and Briar Raleigh – and tells them that they have much work to do.

Full Summary: 

19 years from now:
'You never went back. You never went home. You fools!' Magneto shouts as he sees Jean Grey a.k.a. Marvel Girl, Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops, Warren Worthington a.k.a. Angel and Henry McCoy a.k.a. Beast standing before him.

What are you doing here, Magneto? You... you can't be here!' Jean exclaims. Cyclops tells her that he can, and that she knows what this is. 'Time travel' the Beast, in his white-furry, horned demonic form, snarls. Magneto tells the time-displaced X-Men that he should have known they would never go  back to their time on their own, and remarks that he should have made them. 'You can't be serious' Angel, with glowing white wings, snaps. 'You shouldn't be seeing any of this!' Marvel Girl tells Magneto, who is surrounded by several weary mutants of this time. 'For that matter, neither should you. These stolen moments... the things you have seen... you are not equipped to cope with what you've learned' Magneto points out.

Cyclops touches his optic visor and exclaims that he thinks they have proven that they can take care of themselves. 'Most assuredly' Magneto replies as he moves closer to the X-Men, before asking them where Iceman is. Jean hangs her head, and none of the others say anything. Magneto tells the X-Men to look around them and points out that the city is ravaged. 'You have lost one of your own, and for what? Was the sacrifice worth it?'

Jean points at Magneto and tells him that it was him who did this, that he ripped the city apart. 'And you destroyed anything else you -' Jean adds, interrupted when the young blue-skinned mutant steps between her and Magneto and tells her that she is wrong, that Magneto saved them. Other mutants gather in front of a large statue of Magneto, as the young mutant explains that Magneto did what no one else could do – no one else would do – and that they are all alive because of Magneto.

'You don't know what you're saying. I'm sorry. You don't know anything about him' Cyclops tells the young mutant. 'You don't know who Magneto really is' Cyclops adds. 'And you do, Cyclops?' Magneto asks, approaching Cyclops. 'If you've never returned home, you've not seen me as an enemy. In the era you've existed, I was an ally to you. How often were your ideals and mine in opposition?'

Cyclops' visor glows with optic energy as he frowns and tells Magneto that he can't throw time travel in his face, not when he is outside of his own time himself. 'You only know what you have done in your past. You don't know what you're going to do in your future' Cyclops points out.

As the ghosts of the Mothervine mutants appear behind Magneto, Jean tells him that it was bad – real bad – and that it all started after they returned from space, after the White Queen and Havok – after Mothervine.

'Mothervine' Magneto utters, hanging his head. 'It... it hasn't happened for you yet, has it?' Angel asks. 'In your time... where you're from... it's happening right now' Angel declares. Jean suggests that there might be a way to fix this, may be a way to set things right. Beast tells Jean that this will not work the way she thinks. 'The way Magneto would “fix” things -' Beast begins, to which Cyclops adds 'This is what turns him into a monster'.

'Leave him alone!' the young mutant shouts. 'He saved us! Magneto – not the X-Men!' This causes Magneto to smile under his new helmet and he suggests that perhaps it is a monster's protection that mutantkind needs. 'This isn't about protecting mutants. This is about your own hubris. This is you trying to prove that everything you've done is justified' Cyclops points out. 'For God's sake – who do you think raised all those damn statues?' Cyclops asks, referring to the numerous statues of Magneto throughout the ruined city.

'You did it. You did it to prove something. To prove you were right' Cyclops points out. 'Was I?' Magneto asks, smirking. 'Maybe you were, maybe you weren't. It hardly matters now' the Beast points out. 'Hank – we can't -' Jean begins, to which Magneto interrupts her and asks the X-Men what happened when they stood against him in this time. All of them hang their heads and fall silent. 'You killed me, didn't you?' Magneto asks. The Beast grits his teeth and explains that time is a strange thing, that the timeline is always correcting itself – they have seen that first hand. He points out that if they make sure Magneto does not return to his timeline, all of this might change. Beast adds that Magneto being here, it might be their chance to fix things after all. 'You don't mean to keep me here' Magneto remarks, energy crackling around him.

'Damn right we do' Cyclops exclaims as he releases an optic blast towards Magneto. Angel fires energy beams from his glowing wings, while Jean launches a telekinetic assault as well, and the Beast runs towards Magneto – who has thrown a force field up around himself. Magneto reminds the X-Men that he created the time platform to send them home, and reveals that he can use that same device to move through time and space. 'You can't possibly stop me. No one can stop me now' Magneto boasts. 'Don't count on it' Beast declares as he conjures a spell, and Marvel Girl tells Magneto that she is sorry about this, sorry it has come to this – again. With tremendous psychic force she then breaks through Magneto's force field. Magneto is surprised, and tells the blue-skinned mutant child to go, to get clear. 'Let me deal with these fools' Magneto remarks as he summons scrap metal to surround him.

Magneto forms the scrap metal into an enormous statue of himself, and slams it down towards the Jean, Beast and Cyclops, knocking them backwards. 'We've beaten you before, Magneto! We've beaten you when you were stronger!' Angel calls out from nearby as he fires an energy blast at Magneto. Beast leaps out from under the large statue and tells Magneto that if he ever wanted to prove Scott's point about his overinflated ego, then he has picked an excellent means of doing so. Cyclops fires an optic blast towards Magneto, striking his helmet, while the Beast creates another spell that starts to eat away at the large statue. 'He's weakened! Whatever he's been through in his time – it's left him vulnerable!' the Beast exclaims. 'Don't let up now! We can -' the Beast begins, before the young blue-skinned mutant slams a crowbar over the back of his head, and the Beast falls over, unconscious. 'I told you to let him be' the young mutant declares. The child touches the M branded across their face and suggests to the X-Men that they might have forgotten what their “X” means. 'But my “M” still means something to me!'

The young mutant tells Magneto, who looks at the portable time-platform and tells him that without him, they are all dead. 'Don't forget that. Don't forget us!' the mutant calls out, as Marvel Girl starts to rise. 'We need Magneto!' the young mutant exclaims. Jean turns to Magneto and tells him that she should have known he would never change. 'We... I... I shouldn't have let you walk out of that scrapyard... when you asked me to work with you... when you let me read your mind... I should have killed you' Marvel Girl snaps through gritted teeth. 'But you didn't' Magneto replies, narrowing his eyes. He  then disappears thanks to the capabilities of the time platform, leaving Marvel Girl, Cyclops, Beast and Angel standing amongst the rubble of their future.

'This, then, is goodbye. I appreciate everything you've done. But we must now part ways' Magneto, inside the Blackbird jet, remarks as he puts on a trenchcoat. Danger appears as a holographic projection and tells Magneto that, for what it is worth, she respects him for what he is doing, for everything he is casting aside. 'I admire you. And I pity you' Danger adds. Magneto suggests that it is likely Charles programmed Danger to feel compassion and pity – and that is why she is no longer of use to him. 'Watch after the X-Men, Danger' Magneto asks as he flies out of the Blackbird. 'I feel they will need you in the days to come'.

Shortly, Magneto walks through the offices and labs of a tech-firm, where a scientist with large glasses calls him Mr Eisenhardt and tells him that when Ms Raleigh reached out about his visit, he was taken aback. 'We're just getting started here. I didn't think anyone was aware of my work' he adds. Magneto addresses the scientist as Mr Jansen and tells him that he is glad he agreed to meet with him. 'Please, call me Kirk' the scientist smiles. Magneto tells Kirk that he sees the potential of what his work might yield in the future, and adds that there has, of course, been significant work done in the field of robotics. 'Don't I know it!' Kirk agrees, adding that this isn't just about robotics. They stop and look at a robotic arm, and Kirk explains that what they are working on, converting emotional states into electronic impulses, it is about much more than next-level robotics. 'I'm not sure we can even call it artificial intelligence' Kirk remarks. 'AI coupled with emotions. Real emotions. We're talking about creating life'.

'I'm sure you would think so' Magneto tells Kirk, asking him if these creations of his would be able to experience all the emotions of a living being – love, sadness, fear, hope – hate. Kirk looks puzzled and admits that he doesn't quite follow: 'Why would we ever want a machine to experience hate?' he enquires. Magneto tells Kirk that in his experience, hate is a part of life, and informs him that he has seen firsthand what his experiments will yield. 'It's likely you've never even heard of the Reavers... you couldn't conceive the horrors you are going to birth' Magneto warns Kirk, telling him that he must be ready for unintended consequences, after all, this is his brainchild. 'It was, yes, but now... we're all part of it... everyone on the team has brought something new to the project' he adds. 'Of course' Magneto acknowledges, before he surrounds himself in a magnetic force field, and releases a surge of energy, one that ripples through the laboratory and offices, causing them to explode.

From the scrap of the building, Magneto then creates a large statue of himself. He smiles, 'They'll know. They'll know it was me. They'll know I have returned. And they'll despair' Magneto declares. He looks down at the motionless body of Kirk Jansen and wonders if they will avoid the mistakes that he made, and that in that way, their despair might be their salvation.

Later, aboard New Asteroid M which hovers in orbit around Earth. Magneto strides down a corridor, wearing his red and purple costume, he thinks that it has come to this, this is the future Mothervine has wrought. He passes many new mutants that have emerged from Mothervine, and walks towards an altar, where a large throne sits. He thinks to himself that these mutants need guidance, and decides that he will not use time travel to accomplish his goals, as the dangers are too great. Sitting on the throne, Magneto admits to himself that he is an old man, and the old ways, he finds, work best.

'To me, my Brotherhood' Magneto calls out, and they come to his side: Toad! Exodus! Carmella Unuscione! Elixir! Marrow! Briar Raleigh! 'We have much work to do' Magneto announces....

Characters Involved: 

Elixir, Exodus, Marrow, Briar Raleigh, Toad, Unuscione (all Brotherhood)

Kirk Jansen
Unidentified mutants on New Asteroid M

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

Story Notes: 

The Mothervine debacle took place in X-Men: Blue #23-28.

Marvel Girl and Magneto's encounter in the scrapyard was chronicled in X-Men: Blue #1 and #31.

Polaris and Emma Frost appear on the cover to this issue, but not in the issue itself.

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