X-Men vs. the Avengers #4

Issue Date: 
July 1987
Story Title: 
Day of Judgement

Tom DeFalco (Writer & Co-Plotter), Keith Pollard (Penciler), Josef Rubinstein (Inker), Max Scheele (Colorist), Joe Rosen (Letterer), Mark Gruenwald & Ann Nocenti (Editor), Jim Shooter (Editor-in-Chief & Co-Plotter)

Brief Description: 

The X-Men break out of custody as the Avengers try to bargain the mutant heroes’ freedom. Magneto is pursued by soldiers with orders to capture him, and he is aided by some mutants in Singapore who hail him as mutantkind’s last defense against humanity. While the Avengers ponder whether or not to pursue Magneto or the X-Men, Magneto fixes the circuitry in his helmet, and as the Avengers and X-Men come to blows he stops the battle before it can really begin by using his powers to whisk the X-Men and Captain America away. Magneto reveals that he now has the power to eradicate all forms of bigotry and hatred from mankind’s mind with his new power, but when it apparently does not work on Captain America, who claims to have no anti-mutant feelings, Magneto surrenders himself, and soon, court proceedings begin in Paris. While Gabrielle Haller does her best to defend Magneto, the prosecutor, Sir James Jaspers, is tough. Magneto employs the aid of Captain Marvel who returns to Singapore to find Magneto’s ally who can detect mutants, as he suspects one of the judges, Du Motier, to be a mutant, however Magneto’s ally has been murdered. Captain Marvel spies on the judge, whom she learns may be a racist, but is not a mutant. Magneto fears that Du Motier may be trying to spark a war between mutants and humans, and retrieves his helmet from Singapore. At the final court session, a black out occurs, and Magneto uses the time to put on his helmet and use his new powers on Du Motier, before destroying the helmet. Du Motier gives the verdict, declaring Magneto free to go. However, upon leaving court with the X-Men, the mutants are greeted by a mass of angry humans, and Magneto wonders if he may have sparked the war between man and mutant after all.

Full Summary: 

Television news reporter, Philip Chan appears on screen as he greets the viewers and informs the viewers that the infamous mutant criminal, who is wanted for numerous crimes against humanity is currently believed to be somewhere in Singapore. Chan reveals that an international team of top law enforcement officials, which includes the American-based group of adventurers known as the Avengers have gathered in Singapore in an attempt to bring Magneto to justice. Footage shows the recent sinking of a Dutch ship as Chan informs his viewers that official sources in the Ministry of Public Defense have confirmed that Magneto is being held responsible for the destruction of the ship, adding that no lives were lost thanks to the arrival of the Avengers.

In an office, Mr. Ronalds applauds the Minister for the work of his public relations staff for the way they managed to plaster Magneto’s face all over the news without leaking any classified information. The Minister replies that it is their distinct pleasure to aid Ronalds in his efforts to capture this mutant, when suddenly two security guards are thrown into the room, one of them apologizing to the Minister and Ronalds and motions to the Avengers entering the room, declaring that they could not keep them out.

Captain America tells the guard to be at ease, as all they want to do is talk to his boss. ‘How dare you barge in here!’ exclaims Ronalds before Captain Marvel tells Ronalds that they hear he has been placed in charge of the international unit that has been given jurisdiction over Magneto, and they would like some information. The Avengers all fill out the room as Monica declares that they understand the need for security on the fact that the asteroid that recently crashed into Kampuchea was really an orbital base used by Magneto, but they would still like to know what happened to the Soviet Super Soldiers and the X-Men after they helped rescue them from the sinking freighter.

Ronalds reveals that the Soviets have returned to their homeland, and as for the X-Men, the friends of Magneto, are currently being held in protective custody until they can determine which charges, if any, should be filed against them. The Avengers very own God, Thor, calls Ronalds a fool and tells him that he can only hold the X-Men for as long as they consent to being held. A phone suddenly rings and Ronalds answers it, listening to the caller he exclaims that Magneto has been spotted. Captain America asks where he is, but Ronalds tells the Avengers leader that it is none of his business and reminds the Avengers that they have already had a chance to bring him in and they blew it, adding that his own people are capable of neutralizing Magneto without the help of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Dressed in a brown trench coat, Magneto walks the streets of Singapore, wondering what he is to do, as he is alone and hunted in a foreign land, with neither friends nor funds, yet he knows he could rectify it within an instant - if he employed the circuitry from which he secretly rescued from his fallen satellite. Nearby, two men whisper into a radio ‘that’s him!’ but decide to wait until Magneto moves away from the crowd before they close in on him.

However, fate takes an unexpected hand as a tourist walks into Magneto and tells him to look where he is going, when suddenly the tourist lurches backwards, and begins yelling that he knows Magneto, he saw him on the news, ‘The mutie!’ he yells. The two agents close in on Magneto after the tourist ruined their plans, but Magneto sees them closing in as the tourist yells ‘somebody stop that lousy mutie before he kills us all!’

The agents begin firing at Magneto, who protects himself with a force field while thinking that they would not be so quick to advance it they truly knew how easily he could destroy them all - but he resists the urge, instead he decides to keep them at bay with a magnetic field while he continues to gather all of their bullets together. Once Magneto has retrieved all the bullets, he throws a large ball of bullets at the agents, hoping it will distract them long enough for him to make an escape, but wonders where he can find safety.

As if on cue, someone shouts ‘Magneto, this way, hurry!’ An elderly man crawling along the wall tells the young girl he is with, Leiko, that she has done well to lead them to Magneto. Leiko tells Crawler that Magneto was easy to find as his aura is so powerful. The third member of the party, tells Magneto that he must hurry as there is no time to delay. Magneto asks the three who they are, to which the man in blue replies that they are mutants like himself, and have been sent to help him.

The man in blue asks Magneto to go with Leiko and Crawler as they will lead him to safety, while he distracts the pursuers. The agents who were pursuing Magneto suddenly find themselves falling over, as it has become as slippery as glass. Crawler warns Magneto that Slider’s control over friction will not stop the humans for long and tells him to hurry. Magneto wonders whether he should trust these people, and then if he does go with them, does he have the right to endanger their lives by allowing them to aid him? Crawler asks Magneto if he is coming, and the Master of Magnetism replies that he is, and follows his newfound allies.

Sometime later, Slider welcomes Magneto to their home, the Galleria. Walking into large room, Magneto sees many people staring at him and he wonders why he was brought here and who the people are. A middle-aged man dressed in a suit approaches Magneto and introduces himself as the Light, a mutant with the annoying ability to know whenever anyone speaks the truth, an ability which has helped him earn a small fortune in the business world. The Light declares that he has but one question - ‘Who are you?’ Arms folded across his chest defensively, Magneto wonders if he has stumbled into a trap, have his own words condemned him? Instead, Magneto declares that he is called many names, but few of them are fit for polite conversation. He boasts that he is known over the world as Magneto, the Mutant Master of Magnetism.

The Light smiles and tells his people to rejoice, as Magneto tells the truth, he is who he says he is. ‘Hail to the glorious one!’ ‘The protector of the people!’ ‘The champion of mutant kind!’ cry the crowd, as Magneto asks the Light what this all is about. The Light smiles and tells Magneto that he is the uncrowned King of Mutants everywhere, and they are his humble servants. The Light informs Magneto that Leiko can empathically sense other mutants, so they sent her out to find him as soon as they learned he was in Singapore.

Magneto asks ‘why’ and as the Light sits down on a comfy sofa he informs the Master of Magnetism that they want to aid him in his war against humanity. The Light declares that mankind has oppressed mutant kind for long enough and so it is time they struck back. Magneto thinks to himself that the Light sounds so much like himself, before he turned away from his dreams of conquest. Magneto informs the Light that he no longer believes that war is the answer and declares that humans and mutants must live together peacefully.

The Light tells Magneto not to be ridiculous and alludes that ideology to trying to teach a gorilla how to fly - ‘it only wastes your time and annoys the gorilla!’ suddenly, armored soldiers burst into the complex, declaring that they have finally found Magneto. One of the guards points out that Magneto is holed up with a whole lot of muties and orders his fellows to open fire, warning them not to let the mutants get a chance to use their weird powers on them.

A young blonde girl is shot and falls into Magneto’s arms, causing Magneto to cry ‘Enough!’ and unleash his powers, crying ‘stop this needless slaughter!’, he thinks to himself that a wave of magnetic force should stun the soldiers without killing them. When the soldiers are all knocked out, Magneto calls them fools if they were to think he would stand idle while they murdered his people. Slider calls to Magneto and tells him to hurry, as they must gather their wounded and move to another base before move humans arrive. Slider tells Magneto that they would not have had a chance without him, that he saved them, just as he saved all of mutant kind. Magneto picks up his belongings as he thinks to himself that Slider is right, he does possess the power to free his people from the threat of humanity, and wonders if he should dare use it.

Meanwhile, guards surround an armored vehicle, and inside it, the X-Man known only as Rogue declares that she is getting real tired of staring at the iron walls. X-Men leader Storm points out that they all are, so Wolverine asks Storm what the plan is. Ororo declares that they have bided their time waiting for the local authorities to formally arrest them all or set them free, yet so far they have been content to let them rot. Dazzler mutters that they have been patient long enough, Wolverine agrees and slices a hole in the roof of the van with his adamantium claws. ‘Hi Chuckles! it’s time to par-tay!’ exclaims Dazzler before blinding the guards through the hole with her light powers.

Rogue then bursts through the door of the van, glad that Dazzler’s light blast managed to focus all the guards attention, enabling her to take the rear exit - and pick up the vehicle in her hands and use her super strength to carry it away as she flies from the guards, shooting at her.

Minutes later, the green-skinned She-Hulk mutters that she is sorry they got involved in this anti-mutant witch hunt for Magneto. Captain America reminds She-Hulk that Magneto is a mass murderer and that they owe it to the world to do everything in their power to help bring him to trial. ‘But only if it is a fair trial!’ Monica exclaims.

Suddenly, Ronalds and the Minister burst into the room where the Avengers are seated and inform Earth’s Mightiest Heroes that the X-Men have escaped, probably to rendezvous with Magneto. When the Avengers do not get up, Ronalds asks them what they are waiting for, but Monica tells the men to slow down, reminding Ronalds that he has no authority over the Avengers, pointing out that although the Avengers may be sanctioned by the U.S. government, they do not wok for it. Ronalds declares that he cannot believe his ears and tells the Avengers that their country and the world depends on them - adding that he never thought he would live to see the day when the Avengers would fail to do their duty.

Elsewhere, at that very moment, aboard a large ship, Magneto sits at a desk and tinkers with his recently found helmet, the one he wore as a world-conqueror. Leiko informs Magneto that the Light originally bought the ship from the government with the understanding that he would eventually transform it into a floating museum and shopping mall. Leiko adds that it is lucky for them that the government doesn’t realize he is using as a secret home for mutants.

‘Yes, lucky!’ mutters Magneto. Leiko notices that he seems awfully preoccupied and asks him what he is doing with that helmet. Magneto informs the young girl that he is constructing a weapon, perhaps the ultimate weapon - ‘Pity the world, little one…from this moment on it will never be the same again!’ declares Magneto as he places the helmet on his head.

Meanwhile, the X-Men race down and alleyway, Logan declaring that he has picked up Magneto’s scent. Suddenly, Monica appears before the X-Men, ‘good’ she exclaims before informing the X-Men that the Avengers were hoping the X-Men could lead them to him, as they need to bring him to justice. Rogue thinks to herself that the X-Men will probably be in trouble, as there is no way they can outrun a woman who can travel at the speed of light.

Moments later, the other Avengers arrive and Storm tells them to back off, for surely they must realize that these times are such that no mutant could get a fair trial. Wolverine adds that Magneto is one of the X-Men, and that the X-Men take care of their own. Thor tells Wolverine to have a care, as he does not tremble at his ill-mannered threats, while Captain America thinks to himself that this is insane, as the X-Men are not criminals, yet he cannot understand why they are siding with a madman like Magneto.

Suddenly, Magneto cries ‘Silence! There is no need for you to fight!’ All the heroes are frozen, Monica thinking to herself that Magneto has exerted some kind of powerful telepathic control over them all. Magneto declares that he wishes to consult with Captain America and the X-Men immediately, and while the remaining five Avengers are still frozen in their tracks, Cap and the X-Men disappear. Monica realizes that Magneto whisked them away on pure magnetic force, and there was nothing they could do to stop him.

Soon, the X-Men and Cap appear before Magneto, Captain America cries ‘What’s the meaning of this?’ and asks Magneto what he did to the other Avengers. Cap declares that Magneto has never had mental powers like this before and implies that he must have found something on the asteroid base of his that crashed into Kampuchea. Magneto taps his helmet and tells Captain America that he is quite perceptive, revealing that he did recover certain circuitry which, when combined with his own magnetic powers allows him to dominate any and every living mind he chooses to.

Magneto informs everyone that he never used this circuitry before because Professor Charles Xavier, the former leader of the X-Men was a telepath powerful enough to block it’s effects - but Professor X is no longer on this planet. The Light comes up behind Magneto and declares that this is fantastic, as he can use his new power to enslave all of mankind. ‘No!’ snaps Magneto, turning to face the Light and telling him that he may have used it that way once, but he has recently modified it so that he can use it to remove all traces of prejudice, particularly that of mutants, from the collective mind of the human race.

Taking Leiko in his arms, Magneto declares that children such as she could grow up in a world free of blind unreasonable hatred. Slider declares that it sounds great, but the handsome Havok questions whether it is right to tamper with the minds of mankind, even for such noble causes. Wolverine asserts that it is not, but the Light asks everyone to think of the lives that will be saved and the wars that will be prevented.

Magneto turns to Captain America and tells him that he is an honorable man, perhaps the most honorable man on the planet, and reveals that he brought Cap here because he is unresolved and does not know what to do. Magneto asks Cap what his opinion is. Steve Rogers tells Magneto that he cannot make things easier for him, as he believes in the sanctity of the individual, that a man should be able to make up his own mind, have his own thoughts, even if that man is a bigot.

Cap urges Magneto to destroy the helmet before it is too late, as no man was meant to wield such absolute power. But the Light urges Magneto to use it for the good of his fellow mutants. Havok asks Magneto to listen to Cap, when Magneto suddenly declares that he has made his own decision. Turning to Captain America, Magneto exclaims that he will use the helmet on him, and Cap is engulfed in Magneto’s awesome power. When Cap falls to the ground, Magneto asks him to speak, to tell him his opinion now that he has totally eradicated any anti-mutant feelings he may have had.

Cap gets to his knees and boasts that nothing has changed, that he still believes in everything he said, for the same reasons. Magneto grabs his helmet. And exclaims that it is not possible, he always believed that all humans secretly hated mutants - but Captain America did not have any anti-mutant feelings. Magneto declares that Cap has shamed him, and that he now realizes man and mutant must begin trusting each other if they are to achieve a peaceful co-existence. Magneto rips the device from his helmet and throws his helmet to the ground, and exclaims that he can perhaps begin that trust now, by surrendering himself to the Avengers.

Elsewhere, the Xavier Institute for the Gifted in Salem Center, Westchester, New York, in the United States, two members of the X-Men not with their teammates, Psylocke and Longshot are watching the proceedings on the television. Reporter Ted Koppel is at the Palais de Justice in Paris, where he informs his viewers that a special tribunal oh this international court of justice has been hastily convened to decide the fate of Magneto, the self-styled Master of Magnetism.

Koppel informs viewers that those sitting in judgement of Magneto, whom many believe is the greatest enemy of humanity since Adolf Hitler, will be three distinguished jurists: Alexandre Gilbert Du Motier of France, Lady Janet Grace Southerland of England and Gustave Roch Uderzo of Switzerland. Koppel reveals that earlier today a tense, but peaceful crowd of onlookers watched as the Avengers arrived, escorting a band of unidentified costumed mutants, who are believed to have been seen with Magneto.

Longshot jumps up from the sofa and tells Betsy that he doesn’t get it - why are the two of them in the States while the other X-Men are in Paris. Betsy reminds Longshot that Storm did not know what strings the Avengers pulled to allow the others to attend the trial, but she wanted the two of them kept in reserve in case of trouble.

Longshot mutters that he is still new to this stuff and doesn’t understand what is going on, as he thought the X-Men were formed to protect their own kind and defend humanity from evil mutants. Betsy points out that Magneto used to be one of the bad guys, and that he used to believed that the ends justified the means, and that the only way he could guarantee the safety of mutant kind was by conquering the planet. Betsy adds that Magneto committed quite a few atrocities, before he decided to change his tactics.

In Paris, Magneto’s defense, Gabrielle Haller, addresses the Lords and Lady and informs them that her client appears in court for only one reason - so that he can file a motion objecting to its jurisdiction over him. Sir James Jaspers, the prosecution jumps to his feet and tells the Judges that he objects to this absurd plea. Du Motier asks Jaspers to be seated, for he wishes to hear Haller’s reasoning. Gabrielle thanks Du Motier and declares that Magneto is a mutant who owes his allegiance to only his people and not to any country. She exclaims that Magneto is the uniformed armed force of mutant kind and claims for himself the same status any such force would have under any other state or its equivalent.

Gabrielle declares that since Magneto’s people have not signed the Geneva Conventions, he does not feel bound by them, and that includes the jurisdiction of this court over him. ‘He neither consents to, nor recognizes it’. The three Judges look at each other before Du Motier slams his hammer down on his bench and informs Gabrielle Haller that her motion has been noted and denied. Du Motier then asks Jaspers to proceed to his first witness.

Admiral Gregori Mihailovitch Suvorov states his full name for the court before Jaspers begins his rant, informing everyone that the Admiral is currently Commander in Chief of the Soviet Union’s nuclear submarine force, and asks the Admiral in his own words to tell the court what happened to the submarine Leningrad. The Admiral declares that the accused sank it thus killing the entire crew.

Gabrielle asks the Admiral if it isn’t true that the Leningrad had fired on Magneto, to which the Admiral confirms that it did, but only after Magneto had threatened to attack the Soviet Union. Sir Jaspers thanks the Admiral before declaring for the record that the Leningrad was acting in self defense in response to Magneto’s aggression.

More witnesses are called, and the court learns that Magneto also used his powers to create a volcano which devastated the Soviet city of Varykino and that he deliberately destroyed aerospace installations in Australia and New Zealand. Time and time again, Gabrielle Haller raises objections to certain key testimonies - but the result is always the same. ‘Objection denied! Please proceed, Sir Jaspers’.

Jaspers calls his final witness - Captain America. As the handsome Captain approaches the stand, Jaspers declares that many people have already testified about Magneto’s past villainy, yet Magneto claims that he has learned the error of his ways. Jaspers asks Captain America, in his opinion, if Magneto is telling the truth.

Gabrielle objects, but Jaspers declares he is calling the good Captain as an expert witness, as the Captain has unquestionable experience in regard to super criminals in general, and Magneto in particular. Jaspers tells the Judges that in this specific instance, he believes Captain America’s opinion has merit. Du Motier declares that the witness may answer the question, to which Cap immediately exclaims that he does not believe Magneto has learned the error of his ways, even though Magneto himself may think he has.

Du Motier thanks the Captain while Magneto thinks to himself that this trial is a farce, for even though Gabrielle is doing her best, he does not have a chance. Perhaps he never did. Magneto thinks that Du Motier has been prejudice against him from the start and wonders why and what it is that he hopes to gain. As the three judges take their leave, Magneto wonders if Du Motier doesn’t realize that mutants across the planet will rise up in a bloody revolt if he is condemned to death. Magneto feels that he can only keep the peace and continue to serve his people if he is sent free. However, Magneto knows that he vowed to accept the verdict of this court, and ponders how he is able to honor that knowing so many innocents will die because of it?

Sometime later, in a high-rise building where the Avengers have been waiting, the handsome Dane Whitman a.k.a. the Black Knight tells his teammates that it is almost over, as the judges have promised a verdict by tomorrow. She-Hulk, a lawyer herself, declares that it has been so fascinating seeing international law in action, as the issues are so complex. Monica suddenly thinks to herself that she is feeling awfully strange, almost as if some outside force is tugging at her and decides to check it out.

Turning herself into energy and flying from the building, Monica discovers that she is right, as someone has been trying to communicate with her on the electromagnetic spectrum, and the coordinates she has been given indicate that this person wants to meet with her on the other side of town.

Moments later, Monica enters the room where Magneto is being held, and the Master of Magnetism apologizes for his abrupt summons, but feels she will understand the need for haste once he has explained the situation. Monica asks Magneto what is wrong, to which the Master of Magnetism replies that the world is on the brink of a devastating war and that she alone can help avert it. Magneto asks Monica to fly to Singapore and find the girl-child Leiko and arrange with her sponsor, a mutant known as the Light, to send Leiko here immediately.

Monica asks ‘Why? What’s happened?’ to which Magneto reveals that he has finally realized why Du Motier has been so against him from the start - Du Motier is secretly a mutant who means to martyr Magneto. Magneto informs Monica that Leiko can detect other mutants and that he needs her help to expose Du Motier before he can use Magneto’s death to spark an insane war between mutant kind and humanity. Monica tells Magneto that she thinks he is grasping at straws, but as the Avengers did promise him to a fair trial, she will do what she can to help.

With that, the powerful Avenger converts her body to energy once more and streaks across the globe at the speed of light, unaware that Magneto’s consciousness rides magnetically alongside.

Barely a moment later, Monica is in Singapore and approaches the ship that Magneto described and hopes that his friends are still there. However, entering the ship, Monica finds a blood bath - bodies litter the ship. Crawler is alive and gets Monica’s attention when he exclaims that she was with the ones that took Magneto from them. Crawler declares that Magneto could have prevented this, before Monica asks what happened here. Holding up Magneto’s discarded helmet, Crawler informs Monica that Magneto’s trial brought the crazies out of hiding and made them think it was safe for them to hunt and kill them. Crawler boasts that they will strike back, revealing he gathered Magneto’s helmet and discarded circuitry as a symbol of their strength - and their fury.

Monica asks where Leiko is, to which Crawler exclaims that Leiko was their most precious flower, their hope and future, and points to where she lies on the ground, blood spilling from her body - as broken and twisted as all their dreams.

Monica begins her journey back to Paris, and thinks that even though the old man, Crawler, begged her not to warn the authorities, as other mutants were on their way over to treat the wounded, he feared for their safety - but perhaps she should not have listened to him. Flying towards the Palais de Justice, Monica thinks to herself that as it has only been about ten minutes since she left Magneto, she has plenty of time for a small detour, and in an invisible state flies into the room where Du Motier is preparing a drink for himself and Lady Southerland.

Lady Southerland mentions to Du Motier that it was an extremely difficult decision to make, to which Du Motier agrees, especially when one considers the current anti-mutant climate in the world. He hands Lady Southerland her drink as he mentions that condemning Magneto could very well ignite a war between mutants and humans, though of course from mankind’s point of view, now is the time for such a war, as they have the chance of winning. The couple toast their drinks as Du Motier mutters who knows how powerful mutants could grow in the future, and cries ‘To mankind!’ but as the shocked Monica flies off, Lady Southerland tells Du Motier that she would prefer to drink to justice, as his words smack of racism.

Minutes later, Monica arrives back in Magneto’s room as the Master of Magnetism, declares that Du Motier is human, and while he knew Du Motier wanted war, he misinterpreted his reasons. Magneto asks Monica if they have decided to condemn him, but Monica replies that she could not tell which way they voted. Magneto sits on the floor and asks Monica to leave, claiming he has to prepare himself for tomorrow. Monica protests, but Magneto declares that he wishes to be alone. Monica complies and leaves through the window.

Magneto thinks to himself that he gave his word to abide by the courts decision, but wonders how he can meekly submit to his fate when it may cause the extermination of mutant kind. He wonders if he is rationalizing, is it only death he fears? He knows he cannot permit the slaughter of his people, he must be strong and concentrate….

Mere moments later, half way around the world, the Light is tending to Crawler’s wounds, when they suddenly see Magneto’s helmet lift off the ground - ‘The hour of vengeance is at hand!’ exclaims Crawler.

Early the next morning, the Avengers sit in the court room, Monica informing her teammates that Du Motier made statements that sounded racist. Captain America declares that they have no proof Du Motier holds those beliefs, or that he let them affect his judgement in this case. She-Hulk shushes the two Captains when she sees Magneto entering the courtroom.

Also in the courtroom are the five X-Men, whose faces are grim and taut, for they expect the worst - and the X-Men are rarely disappointed. However, at that precise instant, a fuse box three floors below suddenly chooses to malfunction. Murmurs begin in the crowd - ‘the lights!’ ‘Of all the times for a black out!’ Magneto points out to his escorts that it will take a few minutes for repairs to be made, and in which time he would prefer to spend in solitude. His escorts agree to his wishes, while Storm watches this she thinks that it could not be a coincidence, and Wolverine realizes that Magneto is stalling, so wonders what his plan is.

Magneto enters a bathroom, his escorts informing him that they will be outside. Magneto tells himself not to let his concentration slip, even though the strain is incredible, but he is so close, only a few more miles - suddenly his helmet crashes through the bathroom window. The escorts hear the breaking glass but when they try to enter the bathroom discover the door is stuck. As they pound upon it, Magneto fixes his broken device, thinking that they can pound all they like, for all he needs is a few more moments - suddenly he is done.

He begins to place his helmet on, but wonders what is wrong with him - why does he hesitate? However, he reasons with himself, claiming that he is only doing what must be done. He really doesn’t have any choice - he never did.

Du Motier is suddenly taken under Magneto’s power and screams, but it passes.

‘Please forgive me’ Magneto thinks to himself before using his powers to destroy his helmet. He obliterates it and the circuitry so that he can never be tempted by it again. Suddenly, the escorts enter the room, the door opening easily. They ask Magneto if he is all right and what happened to the window. ‘What window?’ asks Magneto before suggesting they should be heading back to the court room.

Magneto stands before the judges as Du Motier declares that the subject of these proceedings is the threshold question - does this court have jurisdiction? Does it have the right to try the accused for violating the protocols of the international laws of war? Du Motier continues, exclaiming that that question must be answered long before the court can even begin to judge whether or not Magneto has exceeded the acceptable boundaries of force associated with conventional warfare. He states that Magneto is accused of crimes against humanity and that after hearing the evidence presented here, this court rules that these alleged crimes were, in fact, committed during that period of time when Magneto was in a state of war against the human race.

Gabrielle and Jaspers look equally surprised when Du Motier declares that only states or their equivalents have the right to declare war, therefore, in this courtroom, Magneto must be accorded the same rights and privileges as any other warring state. The X-Men and Avengers listen intently as Du Motier declares that since Magneto never signed the Geneva Conventions, it is the opinion of this court that it has no jurisdiction over the accused. And while Magneto may have violated the laws of certain individual states and nations, and may still be liable to their justice, this court has no right to judge him. ‘He is free to go!’

Dazzler rushes up to Magneto and kisses him, congratulating him. The other X-Men also go over to him, and some Avengers too. However Magneto is more concerned with his own thoughts - the other judges did not raise their voices in protest over Du Motier’s sudden change of heart. As Magneto and the X-Men leave the courtroom, Magneto wonders if he was wrong about Du Motier all along - was this the verdict he had planned all along? ‘How can I ever know the truth?’

Storm warns Magneto to be careful as they approach the massive crowd outside, and the X-Men stand in shock as someone screams ‘The trial was fixed! That maniac deserves death!’ Magneto wonders why he didn’t anticipate this as someone else cries that he needs to be kept off the streets. Magneto realizes that he was so concerned with the effects his death would have on mutant kind he never once considered how much his freedom would enrage mankind, and would increase their hatred and fear of mutants.

As protestors hold up signs saying ‘Kill the freaks!’ and ‘Death to Magneto!’ Magneto wonders if this will set off the war that he feared - and sound the death of mutant kind. ‘What have I done? What have I done?’

Characters Involved: 

Dazzler, Havok, Longshot, Magneto, Psylocke, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Black Knight III, Captain America, Captain Marvel II, Dr. Druid, She-Hulk, Thor (all Avengers)

Crawler, Leiko, Slider, the Light and other mutants of The Galleria

Gabrielle Haller

Sir James Jaspers

Alexandre Gilbert Du Motier

Lady Janet Grace Southerland

Gustave Roch Uderzo

Admiral Gregori Mihailovitch Suvorov

Philip Chan (Newsreader)

Ted Koppel (Reporter)



Security Personnel

Civilians of Singapore


Protestors in France

In Flashback

Dazzler, Magneto, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Black Knight III, Captain America, Captain Marvel II, Dr. Druid, She-Hulk, Thor (all Avengers)

Darkstar, Titanium Man II / Gremlin, Ursa Major, Vanguard (all Soviet Super Soldiers)

Crimson Dynamo V

Story Notes: 

This story takes place between Uncanny X-Men #219 - 220, and Avengers (1st series) #285 - 286.

Roger Stern, writer of the first three issues of this limited series apparently had a very different outcome for the trial of Magneto, wanting to show that Magneto was still a villain at heart. The editors wanted that ending which they had approved in the beginning changed and Stern resigned.

The sinking of the Dutch freighter was not caused by Magneto, but by the villainous Crimson Dynamo. [X-Men vs. Avengers #3]

Shards of Magneto’s former base, Asteroid M, fell to Earth in X-Men vs. Avengers #1.

Professor X departed Earth in Uncanny X-Men #200.

Gabrielle Haller is the mother of Professor X’s son Legion.

Magneto sank the Leningrad in Uncanny X-Men #150.

Magneto destroyed aerospace installations in Australia and New Zealand in X-Men (1st series) #112 - 113.

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