Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #150

Issue Date: 
September 1981
Story Title: 
I, Magneto …

Chris Claremont (writer), Dave Cockrum, Joseph Rubinstein & Bob Wiacek (artists),Tom Orzechowski & Jean Simek (letterers), Glynis Wein (colorist), Louise Jones (editor), Jim Shooter (editor-in chief)

Brief Description: 

Magneto gives the world’s governments an ultimatum. They are to relinquish all governing power to him or he will destroy the world. When a Russian submarine attacks his island, he destroys it and the uses his new machine to create a volcano under a Russian town. His prisoners, Cyclops, who is powerless thanks to another device of Magneto’s, and Lee Forrester decide they must stop him, though they don’t yet know how. In the meantime, the X-Men have been searching the area in their plane, looking for the disappeared Scott. When they fly over the island, the forcefield causes the plane’s controls to go haywire and they crash into the ocean. Without Magneto noticing, they join up with Cyclops and Lee. While their powers are gone, Cyclops reminds them that they still have skills and that hey have to stop Magneto. The men try to destroy the device Magneto uses to move the earth crust, while the women go looking for his computers. They soon find them but Kitty finds she cannot make head or tails of his notes, as they are written in a foreign language. Storm scout the rooms and finds Magneto asleep. She debates whether to kill him but hesitates too long. As he awakens and finds her with a knife, he magnetically tosses her outside the room, which is a quarter mile above the ground. Professor Xavier is on a yacht not too far away. He mentally attacks Magneto but the villain simply uses his powers to bring Xavier’s wheelchair – and Xavier as well – to him. He then takes Kitty and Lee prisoner and confronts the rest of the X-Men, who were just successful in destroying the machine – for all the good it does them, as Magneto easily reassembles it with his powers. Storm has survived, though, managing to hold onto a projection outside Magneto’s room. She returns to the lab and destroys several computer controls. As the X-Men’s powers return, Cyclops hits Magneto with an optic blast and the team fights him, soon joined by an angry Storm. While the others battle, Cyclops asks Kitty to find Magneto’s data banks and destroy them. Kitty finds them and phases through the system, destroying the data. Magneto notices that and joins her in the lab. He is so furious that he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Trying to get away from him, Kitty phases. As she phases though his electrical field, it causes him pain and he responds with a nearly lethal does of electricity. Seeing Kitty’s limp form, he comes to his senses and realizes what he’s done. Scared by his past in the Nazi deathcamp, Auschwitz, he had vowed to create a safe future for mutants and now he has killed a child of his own species. Storm joins them, intent on killing him, but faced with his genuine grief and remorse she refrains from doing so, suggesting that it is not yet too late for him to change. Magneto leaves and Kitty survives, thanks to her phasing power. In fact, she’s recovered enough to play a joke on the others. Xavier isn’t too bothered about Magneto’s escape. He believes that this time they were able to challenge Magneto’s dream and there is a chance that he might come out of the experience a changed and better man.

Full Summary: 

From an ancient hidden island, deep within the infamous Bermuda Triangle, a three-dimensional holographical image of Magneto is projected to the capital cities of every nation on Earth. Incredulous and worried statesmen listen to the Master of magnetism’s message as he pronounces his ultimatum: they have seven days to cede him total political control … or he will end life on Earth as they know it. He reminds them of the fact that he is Homo Superior. Because of that difference, his people have been hunted down. Those killings will stop. Allkilling will stop.

Magneto continues that there is a growing danger of nuclear war. In fact, some may even desire it. Humans are welcome to exterminate themselves if they wish but, in the process, they might harm his people and that he cannot allow. Therefore, within the week, all the world’s nations are to initiate complete disarmament of their nuclear and conventional weaponry. Any state which refuses to comply with these terms will be destroyed. Any foolish enough to open hostilities with him will not survive to regret it.

Magneto ends the transmission. He states that he is aware that many may consider this ultimatum a hoax and that he may be forced to demonstrate that he does possess the power to crush them, though he prays it doesn’t come to that. Stepping down the dais, he takes off the helmet and pours himself a glass of champagne. After all, he is convinced that in the end the great powers will surrender.

As usual, he is celebrating before he’s won, a voice challenges him. Suppose someone calls his bluff? It is Scott Summers aka Cyclops, formerly the leader of Magneto’s arch-foes, the X-Men. He and Lee Forrester are now Magneto’s guests – or prisoners – however you choose to look at it, ever since they were washed off Lee’s trawler, the Arcadia, during a storm.

Turning to his guests, Magneto informs Cyclops that he should know him better. He doesn’t bluff. Why is he doing this? Lee demands. To make the world safe for mutantkind, Cyclops replies. Precisely, Magneto agrees. The nations of the world spend over a trillion dollars each year on armaments. Magneto intends to change that. That money and energy now devoted to war will be turned instead to the eradication of hunger, disease, poverty. He is offering a golden age!

With mutants ruling the Earth and Magneto ruling mutants, Scott adds bitterly. Yes, Magneto states forcefully. Is that so terrible a thing to contemplate? What about freedom, Lee demands. Freedom? Magneto asks angrily. There are more people starving today than there are those who can truly call themselves free. He offers them peace and a good life or a swift and terrible death. The choice is theirs. Lee, clearly horrified, says nothing more. Sipping his champagne Magneto continues that he is tired of seeing things as they are and asking why, of dreaming of things that never were and asking why not. He has the power to make those dreams a reality and he shall.

Having noticed Scott’s close relationship with Lee, he asks who she is. He always thought Cyclops loved Jean Grey. What happened? She died last year, Scott tells him. Surprised, Magneto wants to know how.

Scott quickly relates the events of Phoenix’s death. Jean’s power as Phoenix was out of control. Unchecked, it could have destroyed the universe. In the end, the X-Men could neither help nor stop her. To prevent her power from going out of control again, Phoenix trained a weapon on herself and activated it. After telling Scott that she loved him one last time, she committed suicide.

(the present)
Magneto offers his condolences and Cyclops brusquely tells him to spare him his hypocrisy. Magneto explains that he considered Jean an honorable foe - as are all the X-Men – worthy of his respect. He … cared for her. More agitated he continues: I grieve for her. I know … something of grief. Search throughout my homeland, you will find none who bear my name. Mine was a large family and it was slaughtered – without mercy, without remorse. So speak not to me of grief, boy. You know not the meaning of the word!

His tirade is interrupted, as a siren starts wailing. Reaching for his helmet, Magneto explains that his sensor alarms are sounding the alarm. They are under attack. They step out onto a balcony to see submarine-launched ballistic missiles carrying thermo-nuclear warheads. If his inhibitor field wasn’t neutralizing his mutant powers, Cyclops could shatter the warheads with his optic blast, Magneto states. But he is helpless. On the other hand, the inhibitor field has no effect on Magneto. He gestures and magnetically freezes the missiles’ firing circuitry, with the result that they harmlessly fall into the ocean. With the immediate threat neutralized, he is free to turn his attention to the vessel that launched the missiles and the fool who ordered it. Helplessly, Cyclops protests, ordering Magneto to leave them alone. His foe coldly replies that he will show them the same mercy they intended for him..

Paralyzing Cyclops in a magnetic forcefield to ensure that he doesn’t do anything stupid, Magneto then turns his attention to the Soviet submarine, Leningrad, a thousand miles away. The men aboard are worried, wondering if World War III has begun. Despite their drills and training, they had never fired an armed missile before. They will never fire another.

Magneto’s hologram appears aboard, informing the Captain that his government was warned not to a tack him. Now he and his crew must pay the price for their stupidity. The next moment, horrified soldiers cry out as the electric panels around them short-circuit. Next, they start sinking helplessly, aware of the fact that very soon the water pressure will implode the hull and kill them all.

In Moscow, an officer informs the admiral of the loss of the Leningrad. The panicked admiral orders all forced to full war alert. The next moment, Magneto’s hologram appears to them as well and he tells them to behold the merest fraction of his power.
The officers in the Kremlin can only watch in helpless horror as a fissure opens beneath the central square of the Siberian town, Varykino. Molten magma spews into the night and a new volcano is born. Earthquakes shatter skyscrapers and lava consumes the ruins.

Magneto deliberately retards the volcano’s growth, allowing time for a ruthless, desperate mass evacuation of the city. His message is clear. But for his benevolence, the entire populace would have perished in their beds. He informs the Russians that his next target could be Moscow. And, if there is a next time, they can rest assure he won’t be that merciful.

Sunset. Lee Forrester sits on a dais outside brooding. She is aware that, as a human, she is nothing to Magneto; even though she has never done anything to him, he wouldn’t hesitate to kill her. She has never experienced such hatred before. Scott joins her, asking if he is intruding. Hugging him, she tells him no and what’s going to happen. Cyclops doesn’t know. Magneto believes he is holding all the cards and perhaps he is. But Scott intends to fight him anyway? He has to, he replies. Magneto’s golden age is illusory. Eventually, after his death, it will end in blood. He tells her he wishes she were safe. There is nowhere safe, she replies. But, if she has to die, she’d rather do it with someone she cares for. Unnoticed as they kiss, a jet, soaring high above the island, is enveloped in a corona of blinding magnetic energy. Neither Lee nor Scott look up and see it begin to fall.

Within the jet, Scott’s fellow X-Men don’t know what’s happening. Suddenly, their entire electrical system exploded and the controls are frozen. They are locked into a full-powered dive, Nightcrawler tells the others. Wolverine, who wasn’t strapped in, suddenly comes flying and crashes against Storm’s head, hitting her like a steel bar. She passed out. Unfortunately, her powers were their only change of getting out of this alive.

Colossus tries in vain to budge the controls, while Kitty begs Storm to wake up. She’s scared. She doesn’t want to die. Ororo finally awakes. As Kitty tells her the plane is crashing, Storm desperately summons a jetstream to shove the aircraft out of its dive. But the Blackbird has lost too much altitude and moves too fast. Despite her best efforts, they tumble into the ocean at a speed of over 200 knots. The Blackbird bounces and sinks, without leaving a trace.

Their disappearance doesn’t go unnoticed. Not too far away is Peter Corbeau’s yacht, the “Dejah Thoris II.” Aboard are Corbeau, his old friend, Charles Xavier, Moira McTaggart and the X-Men’s houseguest, Carol Danvers, the former Ms. Marvel. They are here looking for Scott Summers, who’s been missing ever since a recent freak storm at sea. Xavier announces that he has lost telepathic contact with the X-Men. The Blackbird’s off-radar, too, Corbeau replies and he can’t raise them on the radio.

They study a seamap. The X-Men were flying over Julienne Cay and Corbeau suggests that, with some luck, Scott and Captain Forrester could have been swept in that direction. Wouldn’t the coast guard already have searched there, Carol asks. Corbeau explains that two score ships were lost that night. There were freak squalls, sea quakes, islands being raised or sunk that night. A substantial chunk of the Earth’s crust rearranged itself that night and they are still picking up the pieces. But even in the best of times, people give Julienne Cay a wide berth, as it is located in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle.

In the meantime, the Blackbird has come to rest on a coral reef. Equipped with diving gear, the X-Men exit the Blackbird. As one of their survival kits was destroyed in the crash, there are only four airpacks, so Colossus goes without, not having to breathe in his armored form, or so he thinks. To his surprise, suddenly against his will, he reverts to his human form. The others are already ahead and do not notice what has happened, as Colossus, with water already filling his lungs passes out, his last thought of Kitty.

Moonrise on the island. Scott is asleep but Lee finds she can’t. Standing at the window of their quarters, she muses about what he has told her of his life as an X-Man. She’s glad he’s confided in her. Suddenly, she notices something moving in the water and goes to investigate.

Downstairs, she decides she must have been imagining things when, suddenly, a hand comes out of the water, reaches for her leg and pulls her down. Wolverine gruffly announces that he hopes she can swim, because he isn’t in the mood to play lifeguard.

Who is he, she asks, and he rudely orders her not to say another word or she’s dead.
They are joined by the other X-Men, who are carrying the unconscious Peter with them. Hearing their codenames, Lee realizes that they are the X-Men and tells them who she is and that she’s a friend of Scott. The X-Men carry Colossus’ limp form ashore, not understanding why he turned human or how they were ambushed.
Kitty tries mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, while Wolverine joins in with CPR. Finally, Peter starts coughing and revives.

While the others are relieved, Wolverine becomes distracted by a scent and heads off to investigate. He wonders why it’s so faint and he can’t get a handle on it. It’s familiar but he can’t place it. Suddenly, someone taps him on the shoulder and a voice asks looking for me, short-stuff?

Automatically, Wolverine extends his claw only to find it’s Scott, who tells him to relax. Is he losing his touch, he teases as Storm and Nightcrawler join them. He walked right by Cyclops and never noticed. He was just lucky, Wolverine replies with a grin, before admitting that his senses do seem much duller than usual. Scott greets the others, who are happy to see him. Nightcrawler wonders, though, why Scott doesn’t need to wear his ruby quartz glasses. Did something happen to his optic blasts? The same thing that happened to Wolverine’s senses and probably to Colossus, Cyclops replies and explains that this is Magneto’s doing. Something on the island projects an energy field that effectively neutralizes their mutant powers.

Scott brings them up to speed and explains that Magneto is blackmailing the world’s governments. If he isn’t given total political control, he will end life on Earth as they know it. They have to stop him. Without their powers? Nightcrawler asks. They all have skills that have nothing to do with being mutants, Scott insists. He’s a strategist, Storm’s a thief, Nightcrawler an acrobat, Wolverine has his claws, Colossus his natural strength, Kitty her intelligence. Magneto doesn’t even know they are here. And, if he did, he’d consider them to be helpless. He’s in for a big surprise.

He splits them into two groups and, soon, one group, consisting of Scott, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, and Colossus, heads down some stairs. Cyclops explains to a doubtful Wolverine that their goal isn’t defeating Magneto but his plan. He’s created a device capable of manipulating the Earth’s crust and field-tested it by raising this island from the bottom. Once the device is destroyed, his hold over the world will be gone. He’s given Scott and Lee a tour of the place. The device is right on the other side of the door before them, but the entrance is laced with booby-traps and alarms, so they won’t use it. They walk a few meters down an adjacent passage and Wolverine is to cut through the wall with his claws, creating a new entrance. On the other side, they find a deep shaft with a few pathways leading to the device.

Meanwhile, the ladies are busy in the towering citadel. Storm uses her lockpicks to open a door. What do they do if Magneto catches them, Lee asks. Smile sweetly and hope he is in a pleasant mood, Storm replies, as the door opens. Lee apologizes for snapping and asks what they are looking for. Computers, Kitty explains. In a set-up as big as this Magneto can’t afford to entrust the control codes to memory. He’ll have written down everything in a programming book.

Kitty finds the open book next to a mug of still warm coffee. Magneto must have been working here not long ago. Storm decides to scout for him, while Kitty should try to decipher the book. Surprised, Kitty finds it’s written in a foreign language. She can’t understand one word.

While Storm scouts the area, she feels sorry for Kitty, who had hoped that the book would present the solution to their problems. She notices another door. She enters expecting to find another laboratory. Instead, she finds Magneto fast asleep in his private quarters.

She is surprised at how vulnerable and almost at peace he looks and regrets their being enemies. There’s so much to respect, almost to admire, about him. What a tragic waste. She could easily kill him. Wolverine would do it without hesitation.

Elsewhere, the men are gathered around some computer controls, asking if Nightcrawler has managed to puzzle them out. He has, Kurt replies, but the bad new is the weapon cannot be shut down. Then they have to wreck it. Cyclops explains that they have to cut the central vertical members, in addition to the horizontals, to destroy the device. Nightcrawler and Wolverine have to make it onto the device, which is suspended over the seemingly bottomless shaft and its metal is slippery as hell. Metal beams connect the device to the shaft’s sides. Nightcrawler and Wolverine carefully walk on one of it to the device. Surprisingly, they manage to get to the device.

Wolverine cynically states that everything is going so smoothly he’s starting to get antsy. He’s expecting Magneto to find them any minute. He too, his friend agrees and explains that Wolverine need only weaken the beams. Gravity will do the rest. Once he begins, he has to hurry, though. Their attack will probably trigger every alarm in this place. Wolverine quickly gets to work cutting the beams. However, they miscalculated, as the internal vibrations generated by the beams are shaking the structure apart.

Even as Nightcrawler reaches for Wolverine, trying to help him to get off the device, Wolverine slips and falls. Nightcrawler jumps after him and orders him to go limp.
Nightcrawler reaches Wolverine and holds fast to him, even while Logan protests that he can’t teleport. How is he going to save them? How quickly some forget, Nightcrawler jokes, as he holds onto a thin beam with his tail. He was a superb trapeze artist without using his tail, he announces. With it, he’s incredible. Using their momentum, he throws Wolverine towards Colossus who, catches the Canadian X-Man and then climbs up himself.

They wonder why Magneto still hasn’t reacted. The machine made a lot of noise when the vertical beams snapped. Has he stepped out for the evening, Nightcrawler jokes. Cyclops warns them that he may be here any second. They still have to cut the horizontal beams.

Meanwhile, in Magneto’s tower suite, Storm debates with herself what to do. Magneto is not truly evil but a victim of circumstance, she tells herself. Yet to fulfill his dreams he would kill them all. The longer they remain, the greater the risk. Her eyes wander to the nightstand, where she sees a plate with cutlery. The knife is sharp. She could easily cut his throat with it. She knows how. She’s done it before. Once as a child to save her life. Hesitatingly, she reaches for the knife. She swore an oath to never kill again. But Magneto is prepared to slay the entire world! In fact, according to Lee, he hasalready killed. She must strike. Still, she hesitates, finding that she cannot do it.

Magneto finally awakes, noticing her presence and, more importantly, her weapon. With the speed of thought, he lashes out, creating a wall of magnetic force that hurls her across the room and out the window, a quarter mile above the ground. At the same time, the metal-mesh armored fabric of his costume flows through the air like mercury, as Magneto pulls it off its hanger and onto his body. He summons his helmet as well. The rest of the X-Men must be here, too, he realizes. Will they never learn? They are powerless, though.

Not quite, a telepathic voice announces, as Charles Xavier’s telepathic blast hits him. Grimly, the two men struggle, neither of them prepared to yield. While aboard the Dejah Thoris II, outside Magneto’s inhibitor field, Carol Danvers announces that she sees wild light all around the central tower. Magneto putting up resistance Xavier replies, but he believes he is weakening.

All eyes are on the island, which is why nobody notices that the bolts fastening Xavier’s chair to the deck silently unscrew themselves. Suddenly, without warning, the wheelchair’s safety harness fastens around Xavier and the wheel chair is yanked away towards the citadel. Before the others can do anything, every piece of electrical equipment aboard shortcircuits, shocking them all into unconsciousness.

Unaware of that development, the male X-Men have just finished cutting away the last beam. Wolverine almost falls with the device, only to be saved by Colossus’ strength. He wonders if they’ll hear the thing hit rock.-bottom, Wolverine jokes, when suddenly a voice announces if he would like to be there when it lands, that can be arranged. Magneto has arrived.

Cyclops announces that he can do what he likes to them but at least he’ll destroy no more cities. They’ve beaten him. Perhaps, Magneto concedes, as he stands before them. Helplessly hovering behind him, trapped within a magnet field, are Lee, Kitty and Xavier. Magneto commends them for their ingenuity and courage but their effort was wasted. He reaches out, energy flares down the pit and the pieces of Magneto’s machine rearrange themselves back together. Next, the metal walls move, turning to bonds that tie the X-Men up.

Where is Storm, butcher, Colossus demands. He has sent her to a … better world, Magneto replies, adding ominously that if Colossus doesn’t moderate his tone he will send him to join her there. He killed her, Kitty exclaims. Magneto tells her he has though doing it gave him no pleasure.

High above the island, however, a very much alive Storm opens her eyes and smiles. As she was thrown into space, she managed to twist her body in mid-air and snag a protruding beam outside the window with her cape. The shock knocked her unconscious but stopped her fall. She unfastens her cape and, inch-by-inch, drags herself up to the projection. The effort demanded is incredible but she manages to pull herself up.

She climbs inside through the window and back into Magneto’s lab. She remembers Kitty saying that the computer was important. She throws the chair at it, causing an explosion. She hopes that it will draw Magneto here, while she goes looking for the others, especially Kitty.

Elsewhere, Cyclops suddenly fells a strange sensation behind his eyes. His brain is on fire. He knows this sensation, having already experienced it after he escaped from Krakoa right before his optic blasts reactivated. Noticing what is happening, Xavier smiles hopefully. With closed eyes, Cyclops sarcastically tells Magneto that he likes his attitude: kill Storm. Kill them all. It’s probably a case of destroying mutantkind in order to save it. Magneto replies that he no longer bears the X-Men any ill will, but he will brook no opposition.

Tough luck, mister, because opposition is what you’re going to get! Cyclops announces as he opens his eyes wide and hits Magneto with a full-scale optic blast. With his next blast, he shatters the steel tie and quickly dons the ruby quartz visor the X-Men carried in their emergency set. With his powers under control, he frees his teammates who proceed to attack Magneto.

Having recovered from the bow Cyclops struck him, Magneto hurls metal shrapnel at them. While Colossus tries to shield the others and Kitty simply phases, Nightcrawler teleports out of the way to reappear behind Magneto and hits him with a baton he grabbed.

Colossus follows suit by smashing a nearby wall, burying Magneto under debris. He cares nothing for the world Magneto wishes, Peter announces, or the future he offers mutantkind, for it will be built on the bodies of slaughtered innocents. That, he will not allow. Magneto levitates the debris around him - which didn’t even touch him - away asking how Colossus proposes to stop him.

Cyclops strikes with another optic blast. He figures that they have to keep Magneto focused on them to give Xavier a chance to finish him with a psionic bolt. Cyclops, Wolverine and Colossus all keep on trying to break down the forcefield around Magneto, who isn’t striking back. Nightcrawler’s attack must have shaken him up, Cyclops deduces. Could Kurt teleport inside the forcefield?

Suddenly, lightning bolts are thrown around and Storm enters the fray, announcing Magneto should have made sure she was dead. Her lightning only makes him stronger, Magneto announces, as he absorbs their energy. They are not the only weapons at her disposal, Storm shoots back and creates a localized tornado around him. Magneto’s powers are anchoring him against the cyclone’s pull but the whirlwind is creating a vacuum around him – he is running out of air. He reaches out and magnetically pulls Colossus against Storm, thus breaking her concentration. Colossus finds himself helpless, as Magneto uses him as a weapon to hurl against the other X-Men. He desperately tries to turn into his human form, to break Magneto’s control over his body but finds that he cannot.

Xavier has seen two of his students die. He will bury no more. He strikes at Magneto with all his powers. Wolverine jumps at Magneto, destroying his helmet with his claws. Angrily, Magneto magnetically tosses all of them away. He is fighting for a cause, he rants. Too long has mutantkind suffered. This time, his victory will not be denied. Storm strikes again with lightning bolts, telling him if they are hated and feared it is in large part because of him.

Cyclops tells Kitty that the computers are the key to stopping Magneto. She has to find them and destroy them. Kitty phases through a wall and begins her search, while, once again, the other X-Men strike at Magneto. Colossus hits him, while Wolverine attacks with his claws. Nightcrawler protests that Wolverine mustn’t kill him. They have to be better than he. If they kill him, they win, Wolverine shoots back. They’ll live and the world will be saved. That’s enough for him.

Magneto is running out of breath. Why is it so hard for him to defend himself? Why can’t he get a decent breath? The penny drops. The direct attack is a diversion. The real threat comes from Storm, who has been reducing the air-pressure to create a vacuum around him.

Storm tells him to surrender. Boasting that he will never surrender, Magneto attacks her with lightning. By warping the magnetic field within the tempest, he was able to draw down lightning bolts filtering them through Storm, before absorbing their power. She found herself unable to compensate. As a result, the lightning that rejuvenates him is destroying her.

Kitty, in the meantime, has reached Magneto’s tower lab, sifting through the destruction. Storm only damaged the control elements. The key is the computer’s memory banks. She starts phasing through the systems, scrambling all the data in the process.

Back at the battle, the suffering Storm still does her best to try and wrest control over the lightning back from Magneto. Colossus gets between the two of them, breaking the circuit while Nightcrawler grabs Storm’s burning form and teleports into the ocean with her. Weakly, Storm thanks him.

Magneto’s attention is suddenly diverted from the X-Men, as he senses disruptions in the memory patterns of his library computers magnetic memory core. Angrily, he curses the X-Men for destroying the work of a lifetime, as he flies to investigate. A moment later, the tower wall explodes and the furious Magneto exclaims how dare you!?!. Frightened, Kitty cries for Ororo to help her. Blind with anger Magneto threatens that she cannot save her. Nobody can. Everywhere he turns, the X-Men are there to oppose him. He grabs her by the shoulders. Kitty lunges forward planning to escape harmlessly through him, but her phasing disrupts Magneto’s natural electronic field, jolting him painfully. Magneto ruthlessly responds by sending a lethal charge of electricity through her.

Then, his pain subsides and his shock at his behavior wrenches him out of his berserker rage. He finds that the limp form in his arms is just a child. Horrified at his own actions, he exclaims what have I done?. Why did she resist, he rambles. Why didn’t she understand? Magda, his beloved wife, didn’t understand. When she saw him use his powers, she ran from him in terror. It did not matter that he was defending her, that he was avenging their murdered daughter. He cradles Kitty close to him: I swore then that I would not rest ‘til I had created a world where my kind – mutants – could live free and safe and unafraid. Where such as you, little one, could be happy. Instead, I have slain you.

He recalls his own childhood - the gas chambers of Auschwitz. The guards joking as they herded his family to their deaths. As their lives were nothing to the Nazis, so humanlives became nothing to him.

Storm crashes through the wall, energy crackling around her. Taking in the scene, clearly ready to kill him, she threatens that he should pray to his deity if he has one. Magneto does not make a move to defend himself, as he declares that, as a boy, he believed. As a boy, he turned his back on God forever. He tells her to kill him if she wishes to. He will not fight back.

Is this some trick, Storm demands. Yes, Magneto replies. Only it has been played on . He believed so much in his destiny, in his own personal vision that he was prepared to pay any price, make any sacrifice to achieve it. But he forgot the innocents who would suffer in the process. Can she not appreciate the irony? In his zeal to remake the world, he has become much like those he has always hated and despised.

Calmer now, kneeling beside him, Storm states that the dream was good, is good. Only the dreamer has become corrupted. It is too late to change, Magneto declares. He is too old and has lived too long with hatred. The choice is his, Storm replies and asks him to give her her child.

Miraculously, because she was phasing, Kitty survived Magneto’s energy blast. The other X-Men arrive to find her regaining consciousness in Storm’s arms. Of Magneto, there is no sign. Even Professor Xavier is unable to find him telepathically. Strangely, though, while the X-Men are despondent over that, Xavier does not seem to mind.

The team and their friends recover and relax around a campfire and Peter Corbeau announces that, after dinner, he, Carol and Nightcrawler will repair the damage done to the yacht. They should be able to sail by sunrise. A night on a desert island; how romantic, Nightcrawler announces and Wolverine adds that the way Scott and his new lady-friend are acting they’d probably agree.

Xavier confides to Moira that, while the X-Men believe the battle was a draw, they are wrong. They achieved a great seminal victory, by changing Magneto’s perceptions of who and what he is. He fled because he came face to face with himself and could not stand the sight. He has wasted so much of his life. Perhaps this will end and he will emerge from the crucible, as the good man he once was and may be again.

Legs akimbo, Kitty sits on the beach, staring at the ocean. Does she see anything interesting, Kurt asks. She’s trying to figure out how to salvage the Blackbird, she replies.

She knows! She’ll use the Force like Luke Skywalker did. Those were just special effects in the cinema, Nightcrawler gently reminds her. Well, she happens to have a few special effects of her own, she replies. She closes her eyes and presses her hand to her forehead seemingly concentrating. Slowly, to the X-Men’s amazement, the plane begins to rise from the ocean. Does she have telekinetic powers, Cyclops wonders. News to them as well, Wolverine replies. Kitty shrugs it off. This is easy.

Once the Blackbird is wholly out of the water, they find that it is Colossus who is carrying the plane. What is everyone looking at, he asks. Kitty thought it would be a good idea to fetch the aircraft. So here it is.

The suckered X-Men turn to Kitty, who asks if they can’t take a joke. Those are what you call famous last words, Kurt announces, a moment before Kitty finds herself drenched in the sea.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Sprite, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Lee Forrester
Carol Danvers
Moira MacTaggert
Peter Corbeau


President Ronal Reagan
Soviet Leader Leonid Breshnev
Several heads of State
Crew aboard the submarine Leningrad
Russian military personnel

in flashback to X-Men (1st series) #137)
Phoenix II

Story Notes: 

This is the first mention of Magneto’s origin as a holocaust victim and the beginning of a development that for some time led him away from being a villain and closer to the X-Men’s ideals.

The story of how Magda left him and his daughter died is told in Classic X-Men #12.

Magneto would next appear in the “God loves, Man kills” Graphic Novel, fighting alongside the X-Men.

The name Dejah Thoris comes from Edgar Rice Burrough’s “John Carter” novels. She was a princess on the planet Mars, which was known as Barsoom by its inhabitants.

Carol Danvers has been a guest at the X-Mansion since Avengers Annual #10, where she lost her powers to Rogue.

As a twelve-year-old, Storm once stabbed a man who was trying to rape her, as told in Uncanny X-Men #267.

The X-Men battled Krakoa in Giant-Size X-Men #1.

Cyclops comment of “destroying mutantkind in order to save it” seem to be a paraphrase of a famous purported quote from the Vietnam War: “in order to save the village they had to destroy it.”

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