Issue Date: March 2012
Story Title: untitled
Staff: Scottie Young (Writer), Clay Mann (Pencils), David Curiel (Colours), Seth Mann (Inker), 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)
Erik engages in a fight with Joseph’s Brotherhood. One by one, he takes them out and eventually stabs Astra through the chest. Joseph angrily throws a large pile of metal debris at them but Astra manages to teleport them to Utopia just in time. Both Astra and Erik receive medical treatment, after which Astra is locked up so she can’t escape. Cyclops tells Erik to find out what she wants. When Erik meets with her, she doesn’t cooperate, so he gets the Stepford Cuckoo’s to look inside her mind. Elsewhere, Christopher Bach’s director of PR is found dead in her apartment and Bach goes on TV to discuss the incident and drum up support for his Humans Now organization. Later on, he goes back to his office but find Joseph waiting for him, who tells him that their plans are going to be changing.
Erik looks up as a dark shadow covers him. The contorted face of Blob screams, “Blob kill!” and with that slams his enormous hand on top of Erik. Joseph smiles and asks what the matter is… doesn’t he like his new Brotherhood of Mutants?
The huge version of Blob grabs Erik in his hand as the rest of Joseph’s Brotherhood look on. The Scarlet Witch stands on Blob’s arm, whilst Quicksilver, who has a deformed forehead, stands behind her. Mastermind looks on from the side, wearing an open shirt that shows a number of mouths and eyes scattered across his abdomen. Toad is crouched next to him, his face partially covered by a hood. A lizard-like mouth filled with razor-sharp teeth protrudes from under the hood.
Erik shouts to Joseph, floats down from up high, and asks him what he has done. Astra teleports in and stands next to Joseph as he tells Erik that, as powerful as he is, he can’t defeat the entire world alone. They both know Astra has a talent for cloning, so he thought he would put the old gang back together.
Suddenly, a number of shards of metal are propelled into the side of Blob’s head. He collapses on the floor and pulls Erik to his chest. Joseph says they made a few adjustments of course. With that, Blob suddenly lurches up as his stomach seemingly bursts open through his skin. Erik is thrown outwards at great speed. He is flung into one of the buildings of the steel mill where he hits the side and falls to the ground.
Joseph turns to Quicksilver and tells him to say hello to his father. In the blink of an eye, Quicksilver runs over to Erik, who is lying on the floor. He then starts to punch him so fast that his arms start to blur. Erik waves his hand and Quicksilver is suddenly hit by a flying car. The car slams into a wall, killing Quicksilver.
As Erik starts to pick himself off the floor, he asks Joseph if that’s all he’s got. But, as he looks up, he is suddenly met by the image of a woman standing before him. The scene around him has now changed and he is back in a concentration camp. With a startled expression on his face, he asks in German if she’s really his mother. The woman holds her hand out towards him and then opens her mouth. Her mouth opens incredibly wide and a long tongue whips out of it and wraps around Erik’s neck. He starts to clutch at the tongue but collapses on the floor again.
Joseph floats towards him and commends Mastermind, who is stood over Erik, for the nice trick. Astra walks towards him and asks what has become of the mighty Magneto. Toad lets go of Erik and the Scarlet Witch kneels down in front of him and holds his face. Astra says that Xavier’s children have taken away his the need to do what must be done. He would rather kneel than… kill, Erik adds.
Erik suddenly grabs the Scarlet Witch, pushes her head under his arm and subsequently snaps her neck. With a magnetic blast, he pushes Mastermind and Astra away whilst impaling Toad on a metal spear. As Joseph watches angrily, Erik grabs another metal pole and stabs Astra through the chest. Enraged, Joseph levitates a huge pile of metallic debris high in the air. Holding Astra, Erik tells her she knows what to do. She tells Erik she hates him just as Joseph launches the debris at the two of them. The debris crashes on top of them as Joseph stands watching. He says out load that he knew Erik was in there… he just needed a little inspiration.
Pixie is sat in her room looking at her iPod. She asks what it’s like there. On the iPod screen are Rockslide and Anole. Anole tells her that it’s pretty cool as there’s a Danger Room in the bathroom… in fact the whole place is a Danger Room. Rockslide tells her she should come to the school as it’s built on some kind of koala monster. Pixie starts to tell them she misses them too but her attention is suddenly caught by a pink flash. Erik suddenly appears before her holding the limp body of Astra, who still has the metal pole through her chest. Erik yells for Pixie to find Scott now.
On a TV news channel, a breaking news report comes up. A picture of Monica Sims appears and the announcement that the director of public relations for the Humans Now was found dead on her apartment last night. The reporter goes on to say that police aren’t commenting on who’s responsible for her death. The police aren’t sure if it was Magneto or one of the several copy-cats that have begun to pop up around the country. An image of Magneto flashes up on the screen next to an image of Monica before her death.
The report flashes back to the studio and to Julie, the news anchor. She introduces Christopher Bach, the leader of Humans Now. Bach appears on a split screen and immediately says that Ms. Sims was invaluable to their organization and her loss will be painful for them all. He continues and says that it’s a tragedy but also an alarm… the alarm to finally wake them all up. Why should Magneto, or any of these walking time bombs called mutants, be allowed to roam free, killing anyone? This issue isn’t new; they have heard the same story for years but the sad thing is Washington and the rest of the country has become numb to it.
The news anchor says that she understands that they will be conducting a large-scale protest in downtown Chicago this week. She says that there have been a high number of the occupy movements recently, and then asks what makes his different. Bach says he doesn’t want to occupy anything. When dealing with mutants the term “vacate” is much more appropriate.
Erik and Cyclops are watching the news report on a monitor on Utopia. Erik has bandages around his chest and is lying on a bed in one of the medical rooms. Erik tells Cyclops that Bach makes him wish he was right about him. He then asks Cyclops if he minds making a quick trip to Chicago. Cyclops says he would consider it but, with his broken ribs, Bach might just give him a run for his money. Erik says that if this is what it felt like all these years they fought, then he may consider being sorry. Cyclops calls him “old man” and then tells him that Astra’s stabilized and contained. He tells Erik that it’s still his operation but they need to move on it now… he needs to talk to her.
As he gets off the bed he says he would rather not, as there is no telling what he might do to her. Cyclops asks what his other options are and Erik replies that he can also go teach at Logan’s school. Cyclops just stares in silence at him until Erik gives in. As they leave the room, Erik, using a cane to help him walk, tells Cyclops that he caught the old-man jab. Leaning against the corridor, Cyclops asks how he could have been so insensitive calling a man with white hair and a walking cane “old.” He then says to let him know when he has what they need.
Erik walks into another room to see Astra strapped into a large device. She is pinned up in the air with her hands and feet locked into the device. With her head hanging low, she asks what he wants. Erik simply says he isn’t buying it, to which Astra questions what he means. He tells her the revenge scheme. He knows she gets plenty of pleasure from revenge but he doesn’t think that was her real goal. After she just stares at him in silence, he tells her she’s so quiet… they both know that’s out of character.
As he starts to walk towards the door, he says that he knows she didn’t bring Joseph back to kill a few anti-mutant loudmouths. She never cared about a cause like that. She tells him to save his breath as she has nothing to say. He tells her he assumed as much but it was worth a try. With that, he waves his cane out into the corridor to the Stepford Cuckoo’s, who were waiting outside. He tells them he has need of their psychic talents. They enter and stand in front of Astra with their hands held behind their backs. Astra says that he can’t do this and tells him to get them away. She suddenly screams as they enter her mindscape.
Outside in the corridor, Erik is waiting and listening to the screams coming from in the room. When the screams stop, he enters and asks if they found anything interesting. In unison, they confirm they have… very interesting indeed.
In the middle of the city, a limo pulls up to a building. Jordan, Christopher Bach’s, driver opens a door for him and he gets out the limo. They greet the doorman and both head into the building. They get into the elevator and ride it to the top. As the doors open, though, a “thup” sound rings out and Bach is sprayed with blood across the face. Where Jordan was stood, there is now a blood spatter on the back of the elevator. Bach looks out to see Joseph, now dressed in a very smart suit, and sat in a chair holding a glass of wine in one hand and a rose in another. Floating around him is a number of guns and knives. One of the guns has smoke coming from it. Joseph apologizes but says that their plans are going to be changed ever so slightly.
Magneto/Erik Lehnsherr, Cyclops (all X-Men)
Clones of Blob, Toad, Scarlet Witch, Mastermind, Quicksilver (all Joseph’s Brotherhood)
Pixie, Celeste Cuckoo, Irma Cuckoo, Phoebe Cuckoo (all students on Utopia)
(On TV report)
Julie, news anchor
(On iPod screen)
Rockslide, Anole (all students of Jean Grey School for Higher Learning)
(In Astra’s mindscape)
A number of students, including Rockslide and Anole, recent moved back to New York after Wolverine restarted the school there (as seen in Wolverine and the X-Men). Some though, like Pixie, chose to stay on Utopia.
When Rockslide says that the school was built on a koala monster he is most likely meaning Krakoa.
Issue Summary written by: Gremlin