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Wolverine‘s claws actually burst out right through his skin, not through any kind of permanent holes. His mutant healing factor heals the wounds instantly.


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Runaways



Magneto: Not A Hero # 2

Issue Date: February 2012

Story Title: untitled

Staff: Scottie Young (Writer), Clay Mann (Pencils), David Curiel (Colours), Seth Mann & Norman Lee (Inkers), Gabriel Hernandez Walta (Flashback Pencils and Inking), Rachelle Rosenberg (Flashback Colours), VC’s Chris Eliopoulos (Letters), Clay Mann, Seth Mann & Sonia Oback (Cover), Daniel Ketchum (Associate Editor), Nick Lowe (Editor), Axel Alonso (Editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (Chief Creative Officer), Dan Buckley (Publisher), Alan Fine (Executive Producer)

Brief Description:
Two years ago in Antarctica, Astra has a team of scientists restart the equipment at an abandoned base. Outside in the snow, a bright, energy pulse starts up. When it dies away, Joseph is left standing in there. Astra takes Joseph and, using some equipment, puts Magneto’s memories in him. In the present, Erik has gone to the Appalachian Mountains to find out the person responsible for the massacre for which he is accused. He goes to a derelict steel mill and is taken captive by some soldiers. The soldiers take him into the mill, where he meets with Joseph and Astra. They are disappointed that Erik has changed his ways and has joined the X-Men. Joseph tries to convince him to take up his old cause but, when Erik refuses, he attacks him and unleashes his own twisted Brotherhood on him. In Chicago, the leader of an anti-mutant group called Humans Now, Christopher Bach, meets with one of his colleague after he finishes a TV interview. His colleague is angry that they are selling t-shirts with Magneto’s image on them. His colleague threatens to report him to the rest of the group but Bach angrily explains that they have got to do immoral things if they are going do get rid of mutants once and for all.

Full Synopsis:
(Antarctica – 2 Years Ago)
Three men dressed up in thermal clothing travel along the snowy landscape of Antarctica. Eventually, they come across the ruins of an old building. One of the men tells the others to alert Astra as the tower has been located.

A little while later, the men have been joined by other scientists and soldiers and are operating the computers and machinery within the tower. One of the men approaches another and tells him that the conductor rods cannot any more attempts. If they push a meltdown over the cap, they could send the poles into a spin that would be impossible to recover from. The other man asks if Astra is aware of this or is she just insane. At that very moment, the two men become distracted by a pink energy signature in the middle of the room. It belongs to Astra, who teleports in and tells the men she is fully aware of the dangers she is putting on the Earth and its inhabitants but the question is, does she care?

With that, she walks up to the man who questioned her sanity and grabs him around the neck. She then uses her teleporting powers to kill him, leaving nothing but a pile of smoking pink ash. She turns to the other men, who are staring at her in shock. She apologizes to them for what they just saw but he was just so negative. She tells them to continue, and with that one of the scientists tells her that the field pinch is ready when she is. Astra puts on a thermal jacket and steps outside into the snow along with the other scientists.

High in the air, an energy ball of bright light swirls and appears to be acting like a black hole. As Astra stares up at it excitedly, she announces that he is coming. The ball of energy continues to grow in size and brightness until a levitating figure can be made out within it. The energy dissipates and the light dims. Astra looks down into the newly formed crater in the snow and says that today is a very special day… her dear Joseph has returned. As the other soldiers and scientists look on, they see Joseph, naked and standing in the snow. Astra tells them that now it’s time to remind him who he is.

Back in the facility, Joseph is now lying on a table with wires and probes strapped to his head. Astra stands next to him as a scientist operates the display for a machine. As Joseph stares blankly into space, Astra tells him it will be very painful but it will all be worth it in the end when things are they way they should have been. She tells him to be strong for her, and with that presses a button on the control display. Joseph screams in agony as visions of Magneto’s past flood his mind. He sees flashes of Nazis, Sentinels, Magneto’s time in the concentration camp and piles of dead bodies.

His body lurches around as he writhes in pain. He eventually gets up off the table, clutching his head. He starts to magnetize many of the smaller metal objects around him, pulling them towards him. The metal attaches to his arms, hands and head. As his eyes start to glow red, Astra looks on happily and asks Joseph to tell her who he is. Standing before her in a metallic grey version of Magneto’s costume Joseph simply says “Magneto.”

(The Appalachian Mountains – Present Day)
At a small roadside bar, Erik is sitting in his civilian clothing, drinking a beer. On the TV above the bar, a news report plays out with a news reporter having a debate with a special guest. The special guest, Christopher Bach, says that what the news reporter is suggesting is flat-out irresponsible. The news reporter retorts and says it’s no more irresponsible than the reactivation of the Sentinels. That would be like treating a paper-cut by chopping off the finger.

Bach spins it around and infers that the second person is calling the murder of a roomful of people exercising their rights is nothing more than a paper cut. He says they should be ashamed of themselves. He then goes on to question why the mutant and other so-called superhero groups are sitting on their hands. The news reporter agrees with him on this point and asks where Magneto is and why the X-Men and Avengers are helping him evade the authorities. He then says that they will be back with more from the leader of Humans Now, Christopher Bach.

Erik has been sat quietly at the bar listening to the debate but the silence is broken by one of the other patrons. A shabbily dressed man asks him what he is doing up there so late in the season and if he is looking for work or something. Erik pulls down the baseball cap he is wearing enough to cover his face with shadow. He makes his way to the door and replies to the man that he could say he is looking for himself. As he leaves, the man curses new-agers.

Erik travels high into the wooded mountains until he sees an abandoned steel mill in the distance. He remarks that he isn’t sure if this is good or bad for him. Before he can muse on it more, a gun barrel is suddenly pointed to the back of his head and a voice tells him that it’s bad. Erik has become surrounded by armed soldiers and so raises his hands in the air. He tells the men that they all know how this could turn out but he’s in a come-in-peace state of mind.

The soldiers take him to the steel mill. As they enter through two large doors, he sees Joseph sat on a stone throne dressed like Magneto. On all fours next to him is Astra. Joseph greets him and tells him it’s been a long time. Erik tells him he assumed it would have been longer seeing as he was dead. Joseph says that he knows Astra; she can be very talented when she puts her mind to it. A little of this and a little of that and poof… she plucked him right out of mid-air.

Erik asks if they could move past the physics lessons and the wants of an obsessed lunatic. Before he can finish, however, Astra teleports over to him and violently hits him across the face. She then grabs him around the face and puts her face right up to his. She asks him if it has been so long that he has forgotten abusing her and throwing her out the Brotherhood she helped him form. As Erik starts to bleed from the corner of his mouth, Astra licks his face. She says that she loved him and needed him and so she made Joseph but then he took him away too.

Joseph steps forward and shouts “enough” and wraps Astra in chains that had been hanging from the ceiling. He tells Erik to forgive Astra, her passion is a gift but it can get the better of her at times. He then starts to walk up some stairs and calls for Erik to follow him as they have much to discuss.

(Chicago)
In a skyscraper, Christopher Bach leans back in his chair and puts his feet on his desk. He tells his female colleague to calm down as no one is getting hurt. Holding a “Magneto was right” t-shirt, she asks if he is challenged and in what world is selling Magneto t-shirts a good thing.

He calmly tells her he isn’t selling them… human-hating money grubbers are. He explains that the more idiots that are seen wearing these t-shirts the more he can go on TV and scream “look at what these mutants are doing to our youth.” He tells her it’s like their own Charles Manson. She asks him what happens when they don’t stop wearing the t-shirts and they start copycatting him. Becoming excited at the prospect, he tells her he hopes they start copycatting him as then it would give him enough ammo to get them their own sentinel. The woman stands up to leave and tells him she has no choice but to report him. But Bach quickly stands up and yells for her to sit down.

He tells her that there is a reason all those do-gooders never succeed and that’s because they are too good. They can’t think like animals. They don’t respect life; they feed on it. He asks if she came face to face with a lion does she think it would run away if she waved a poster at it with a clever jab scrawled on it in marker. No, you have to show that your teeth are just as sharp and your claws go just as deep and that your cause is more righteous. As she stares at him in silence, another man enters the room. He apologizes to her for getting so heated and then says that Jordan will see her home. He wouldn’t want anything to happen to her.

Back at the steel mill, Erik, Joseph and Astra have now moved to one of the derelict offices on the top floor. Joseph sits on an old sofa with Astra cuddled up next to him, whilst Erik sits on an office chair the other side of the room. Joseph tells him he just isn’t seeing his angle, to which Erik replies that there is no angle. He is a part of the X-Men now. Joseph then asks him about his goals but Erik says they haven’t changed. Astra tells Joseph that she told him he is just a babysitter now. He tells her to be quiet and stands up. He tells Erik that they are bigger than the X-Men and that he is needed by their people. With that Joseph rips open the walls of the room and using the debris floats high up in the air. Erik looks up at him and says that he has and always will keep the needs of his people at the forefront of his choices. Charles and his children always fought against him… he never fought them.

Erik stands on a piece of metal and floats up to Joseph’s level. Joseph simply asks “and now?” He replies that Scott is more him than Charles; he leads with conviction but more importantly a fist too. Joseph turns away from him and says that he wants to raise mutantkind to the highest mountains but all Erik cares about is which parent Scott likes more. Erik grabs his arm and tells him that he is foolish if he thinks that just because he has changed his methods in which he achieves his goals that makes him any less powerful. He continues and says that Joseph can float around, wear his clothes and be worshipped by the broken woman but never forget he is nothing more than his clone. This angers Joseph and with a magnetic blast he throws Erik back down to the steel mill below. He screams that Erik doesn’t deserve the name Magneto!

As Erik crashes through the roof of the steel mill, he lets out a huge magnetic burst that shatters much of the building. As he picks himself up off the floor, he says that Joseph will need more than that. However, before he can finish, he is struck by a green blur. Before he can react, he is struck again, around the face this time, by a red blur. He looks up, dazed, as a huge shadow covers the area. He can only mutter “it can’t be,” as twisted versions of his original Brotherhood dive towards him.

Characters:
Magneto

Astra
Joseph
Twisted versions of Blob, Mastermind, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Toad (all Joseph’s Brotherhood)

Unnamed scientists

Christopher Bach
Monica Sims
Jordan

Man at bar

Unnamed soldiers

(On TV)
Christopher Bach
News Reporter

Notes:
Under the guise of Magneto, Joseph slaughtered about 40 members of an anti-mutant protest group. (Magneto: Not A Hero #1)

Charles Manson is an infamous American criminal convicted of numerous murders.

Monica Sims is only referred to as Ms. Sims in this issue; her first name is revealed in the next issue.

Although Toad and Quicksilver don’t explicitly appear here, they were shown on the last panel of Magneto Not a Hero #1. The green blur that struck Magneto was more than likely Quicksilver and the red blur was Toad’s tongue.

Issue Summary written by: Gremlin


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