|Super-Villain Team-Up #14|| || |
Issue Date: October 1977
Story Title: A World for the Winning!
Staff: Bill Mantlo (Writer), Bob Hall (Penciler), Don Perlin & Duffy Vohland (Inkers), Irv W. (Letterer), Don Warfield (Colorist), Archie Goodwin (Editor)
Magneto arrives in Latveria, to find the citizens rejoicing in their ruler - Doctor Doom - having taken down the Red Skull. Magneto and Doom meet for the first time, and after Doom reveals how bored he is, Magneto explains why he is no longer an infant, before suggesting that the two of them team up to rule the world. Doom boasts that he already rules the world, and reveals a drug which has been released into the atmosphere, making every living thing an unwilling servant. Doom demonstrates the power of the drug on Magneto, before agreeing to a challenge, for total control of the world. When the drug wears off, Magneto arrives at Avengers Mansion, seeking aid, though of course the Avengers believe he has come to attack. They battle him, though he has the upper hand every time, until he is taken by surprise by the Beast - whom he doesn’t recognize in his furry form. Magneto manages to explain the situation to the Avengers, only to learn that they too are under Doom’s control. Doom appears before Magneto, offering him the aid of one Avenger to help his cause. Magneto chooses the Beast, and after freeing the Beast from Doom’s control, they seek out other allies, but find none - until they arrive in Los Angeles, home of the Champions, - Angel and Iceman being Beast’s former X-Men teammates - only the Champions have been warned by the Avengers about Magneto, and they believe the Beast has joined his villainous ways!
Latveria, in the throes of celebration - for the monarch has declared that all is well in his kingdom - and there are none who would dare say otherwise! That is, however, before the sudden arrival of the mutant Master of Magnetism! ‘Magneto commands you, dogs! Get out of my way!’ Magneto booms as he shoves his way through the celebrating citizens of Latveria. ‘Insanity! I could crush them all with but a gesture - yet they ignore me!’ Magneto tells himself. Magneto grabs one of the Latverians by his shoulder: ‘You, man! Cease your revelry and heed me - at once!’ Magneto orders. ‘I - I cannot! It is the master’s decree!’ the civilian replies. ‘We must all rejoice or face his wrath!’
The civilian motions to a large statue of Victor von Doom and declares that it is his victory celebration - for crushing the revolution and triumphing over the Red Skull. ‘Doom! So this is his power manifested? I have succeeded in making men tremble - while he has made them serve!’ Magneto exclaims, when, suddenly, a horse-riding Latverian thrusts a sword in Magneto’s face. ‘You there! Move along now! His excellency wants a smooth procession! Idleness is a sign of discontent…a crime punishable by death!’ the guard exclaims.
‘You prating, pompous fool! Do you know to whom you speak? I am…Magneto, cur! I am POWER!’ Magneto booms, using his power of metals to knock the guard from his horse. ‘Being dragged back by the metal in my uniform!’ the guard exclaims. Another civilian approaches Magneto, flanked by several others, he asks that Magneto desists. ‘You are ruining the festivities’. Another man addresses his comrade as Lord Mayor and exclaims that they must warn the master. ‘You toadying servile mediocrities! It is your master I have come to see!’ Magneto snaps back. ‘But first, you must learn that your proper aspect in dealing with Magneto…is on your knees!’. With that, Magneto uses his power to topple Doom’s statue.
‘The master’s statue - weighing tons! It’s - it’s falling!’ an observant civilian declares. Another exclaims that they must run and let the stranger seek his own doom. ‘In Doom himself!’. ‘Doom again! Yes, I have tarried long enough!’ Magneto exclaims, taking flight, a magnetic bridge carries him towards Doom’s castle. ‘It is time we two met. Let a magnetic bridge carry me to him - to divide a world between us!’.
Meanwhile, in a somber, shadowed chamber within Castle Latveria - Doctor Doom sits at a table, where an oversized chess board with pieces carved to resemble various super humans is placed before him. ‘Ah, Richards - a jest most cosmic has been played upon you - yet you know nothing of it!’ Doom mumbles as he picks up a piece resembling his arch foe Mister Fantastic. ‘And therein lies the rue, my malleable opponent. For though Doom has accomplished what lesser men dare not even dream of - my greatest triumph remains…unknown!’ he exclaims.
Doom declares that his conquest has a bitter taste, that his victory remains hollow. ‘And Doom is bored!’ he exclaims, swiping his chess pieces off the table. Suddenly though, window shutters burst open, and a voice exclaims ‘Bored you need be no longer, Doctor!’. Doom looks up and sees Magneto entering his chamber. ‘You know me, then? Good! It will make stating my proposal all the easier!’ Magneto announces. Doom boasts that he could slay Magneto in an instant for entering his presence unannounced. ‘I think now, but no matter! I come not to battle, Doctor, but to…talk!’ Magneto reveals.
Doom remarks that Magneto intrigues him, and grants him an audience. Doom stands by a large globe of the world and remarks that they can refresh themselves as he pours a liquid into a goblet, before telling Magneto that he can begin by explaining how it comes to pass that he is a man again and not an infant. ‘Curse you! You know even that?’ Magneto exclaims angrily, to which Doom replies that there are few secrets hidden from him. ‘Then you can guess the depths of my humiliation, von Doom! I…Magneto - the most powerful of evil mutants - returned to infancy by my own creation and left in the hands of my greatest enemy!’ Magneto exclaims.
(Flashback illustrations, narrated by Magneto)
Magneto explains that it was not until the day Eric the Red appeared at the Muir Island Mutant Research Center that he returned to his true adult form, under the power of Eric the Red, who had reasons of his own for doing what he did - freeing him so that he might destroy the X-Men.
‘They ran before me, the cowards! Smashed into utter defeat!’ Magneto boasts. ‘And, as I triumphed over the accursed X-Men - so shall I triumph over the world!’ Magneto adds, while Doom sits in a chair, holding one of his chess piece figurines. If he hears Magneto’s ramblings, he gives no sign. He is lost in the image of a woman before him - lost in a past long gone. Her name? It was…Valeria. Doom’s sad eyes show through his armor, before he asks Magneto why he has come. ‘I possess power enough to crush this planet, Doom - but not to subjugate it!’ Magneto replies.
‘We are true Homo Superior! Together we could -’ Magneto begins, before Doom interrupts: ‘Rule a world?’ he finishes Magneto’s sentence. ‘Magneto…you are a fool! I am Victor von Doom, man - and this world is already mine!’ he boasts, picking up the chess piece that resembles he. Magneto wonders if Doom has gone mad - equating subjugation of this miserable mountain kingdom with world domination. ‘Doctor. I am not talking about mere political power - but total global rule!’ Magneto explains.
Doom presses a button, and a panel raises. ‘As am I!’ Doom exclaims, telling Magneto to turn his gaze upon his neuro-canisters. Doom reveals that their gaseous contents have already been released into the atmosphere, making every living thing an unconscious servant of he, Doctor Doom. ‘Including you, my dear Magneto’ Doom adds, before realizing that Magneto will need convincing. ‘Defy me mutant - if you can!’ Doom orders, while Magneto moves towards Doom, telling him that he is mad. ‘I - wait! What is happening to me?’ Magneto asks, worried.
Magneto exclaims that his muscles are acting of their own will, and falls to the floor, before Magneto’s feet. ‘I…cannot…remain on my…feet! Something…against my will forcing me to…kneel!’ Magneto exclaims in horror. ‘I can see you still do not accept the facts! So be it!’ Doom declares, ordering Magneto to destroy himself. Magneto realizes that he is turning towards the weapons on the wall. ‘Can’t stop myself!’ he exclaims as he is forced to use his own magnetic power pulling them towards him. ‘And the decision is Doom’s whether you live - or die!’ Doom exclaims.
The weapons move towards Magneto - who suddenly finds that Doom allowed him to shield himself in time. ‘You spoke the truth!’ Magneto gasps. ‘Doom commands all - even Magneto!’ Magneto admits as he gets to his feet, asking Doom why he spared him. ‘Because I am bored, Magneto! I rule a world - yet none know of it!’ Doom boasts, exclaiming that his triumph came too easily, yet he craves a challenge. ‘Such as I might provide’ Magneto remarks, blasting Doom’s globe of the Earth with a beam of energy. ‘You toy with me, but I have no choice! I will wrest with you for this world, von Doom - and I shall either win if from you - or crush it!’ and with that, the globe breaks.
‘When do we begin?’ Magneto asks while Doom pours wine into two goblets. ‘Soon, but first - a toast, Magneto - to the victor!’ Doom announces. Both men drink - but then - Magneto collapses. ‘Doom, what?’ is all he manages to call out. Doom reveals that a mild drug has been released into Magneto’s drink when they touched goblets, and it will put him to sleep for a time. Doom reveals that it also serves as an antidote to his neuro-gas. A trio of Doom‘s guards enter the room upon hearing the commotion. ‘Your mind is now your own, Magneto - and the board is set - the battle begun!’ Doom declares.
Hours later, at a certain mansion on New York’s Central Park West…home of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes - the Avengers! The front door suddenly slams open, and Magneto enters a meeting room, where the Avengers are gathered - Who?’ the Vision asks. ‘One of our deadliest foes - Magneto!’ declares the Scarlet Witch. ‘He must be mad to attack us in our own headquarters’ Captain America remarks. ‘Whatever the reason, the battle hath been brought to us - and we must respond!’ the mighty Thor booms, as he, Captain America, Iron Man, the Scarlet Witch, Vision, Wonder Man, Beast, Yellowjacket and Wasp get up from the table, and move towards Magneto.
‘Isn’t somebody going to give the battle cry?’ asks the Beast, who has encountered Magneto numerous times when he was with the X-Men. The Vision declares that Magneto shall regret this brazen assault, before shouting the battle cry: ‘Avengers Assemble!’. Wonder Man tells his teammate that was a great speech, but that helmet-head looks unimpressed. As the Scarlet Witch casts a hex-bolt along the floor, ripping it up so Magneto cannot walk across it. Magneto replies that he is not impressed by that, for he is Magneto - mutant supreme. ‘And though I came seeking aid - I came as and equal among equals not to be humbled!’
Magneto levitates across the broken floor and casts his power around the room, with varying results: ‘By Odin’s beard! Not even Heaven-forged Mjolnir is immune to his mutant power!’ Thor discovers. ‘Likewise my armor and Cap’s shield! We’re at a distinct disadvantage!’ Iron Man points out as all three are knocked backwards. The Scarlet Witch turns to the Beast, a worried expression on her face, while the Beast thinks to himself that Magneto is tossing the big three away like no returnable coke bottles. ‘Imagine what he’ll do when he realizes this fur coat hides an ex- X-Man he used to know…and loathe!’ the Beast thinks to himself.
‘Looks like it’s up to us to distract him, handsome!’ the Wasp calls out to her husband, Yellowjacket, as they dart around Magneto’s face in their insect-sized forms. ‘Be careful - he’s seen us!’ Yellowjacket calls out, when suddenly, both of them are encased in small globes. ‘Ferrous particles from the very air itself - forming iron spheres!’ the Vision exclaims, while Thor remarks that they are undoubtedly airless spheres, within which Yellowjacket and the Wasp will surely perish if not soon released. ‘You will be too busy trying to free yourself, Thor!’ Magneto exclaims as a large beam is forced down upon Thor and the Vision. But the Vision phases through the beam, remarking that it is a small task for one who can alter his density thus eluding entrapment.
‘True, but blood flows through your plastic veins android - blood which, however synthetic, must contain some iron - and so can be magnetically concealed!’ Magneto then casts a blast of energy at the Vision, whose intangible state is disrupted, most painfully. ‘My love - Vision! No!’ the Scarlet Witch calls out, while Wonder Man lunges at Magneto, declaring that the Vision is nobody’s best pal, but that the Avengers stick together. ‘Then you will die together, fool - as your own body reels under the shock of having your blood flow reversed!’ Magneto exclaims, causing the weakened Wonder Man to collapse.
Suddenly, the Beast leaps towards Magneto, telling him to get ready for a blast from the past. ‘I know that accursed voice!’ Magneto realizes. ‘Course you do! How could anyone forget the bombastic Beast?’ the Beast asks as he kicks the confused Magneto in the face. ‘You will pay most dearly for this, X-Man!’ Magneto warns his fellow mutant, before exclaiming that this battle plays into Doom’s hand. ‘Doom? What’s he got to do with -?’ begins the Beast as he moves towards Magneto, who rests against a wall. ‘Careful, Beast! It might be a trick!’ Wonder Man points out.
Captain America announces that from what he heard of Magneto’s battle with the X-Men, Magneto is more powerful than ever, yet this time he didn’t really try to injure them. ‘He even left us air inside the spheres!’ the Wasp reveals, but Yellowjacket exclaims that he is glad Iron Man’s repulsors got them out. ‘Then…you will listen?’ Magneto asks. The Mighty Avengers nod - and Magneto begins his amazing tale. ‘…and so, even I fell powerless before Doom - drugged - to awaken on a wind-swept plain, his mocking laughter still ringing in my ears!’ Magneto exclaims. ‘There are others in this world with power to equal yours, von Doom. I will seek them out - free them from your control and use them to destroy you!’ was Magneto’s reply.
‘Doom controlling us all - and we’re unaware of it?’ Iron Man remarks, to which the Vision points out it is highly improbable. But, as if on cue, a projection of Doom appears in the room. ‘DOOM!’ Magneto exclaims. ‘Of course, Magneto! I have monitored all your pathetic efforts to win over the Avengers - knowing that, at any moment I could smash your hopes - by asserting control over my…slaves!’. ‘It is…as Doom says! We exist to…obey!’ the Vision exclaims. ‘How may we best…serve you, master?’ an entranced Thor asks. ‘By kneeling to my holographic image, slaves!’ is Doom’s response.
There is a moments hesitation - and then, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes…bow as commanded! Doom asks Magneto if he wishes for further proof of his mastery. ‘Shall I have them crow like roosters, or bay like hounds?’ he asks. ‘Or shall I have them turn and rend you limb from magnetic limb?’. Doom declares that the game has more facets than Magneto had foreseen. Doom reveals that he will allow Magneto an ally, if he can release one Avenger from the control of the neuro-gas, then he will permit the Avenger to remain free.
The air burns and Magneto is alone as Doom’s projection vanishes, leaving only a roomful of blank, unseeing, uncaring eyes. ‘An ally -? Yes! Doom thinks he has checked me - but, in truth he has provided the clue to my next move!’ Magneto tells himself, before gathering the Beast in a magnetic field and remarking that the key lies in him, the weakest Avenger. While the other Avengers remain kneeling, Magneto casts the Beast out of the room, declaring that witless, willing or not, there is a world to be won. ‘And you will aid Magneto in the winning!’
Moments later, Magneto has commandeered an Avengers’ Quinjet, which roars skyward, circling the quiet city below, as Magneto puts the high-tech jet on auto-pilot, while the Beast is placed in a chair, Magneto remarks that it is long since he has utilized his ability to control minds by regulating the flow of iron laden blood to the brain. Magneto tells himself that perhaps by a similar process he can nullify the effects of Doom’s chemically induced control. Power flows from Magneto to the Beast, while Magneto hopes that he can magnetically isolate the control compound, before shouting that the strain is beyond belief. ‘It is as if the substance defies my concentrated power!’
But Magneto carries on, and within moments, the Beast opens his eyes: ‘What in blazes -?’ the Beast exclaims, before crying out in pain. ‘I did it! It worked! The Beast is free!’ Magneto declares. ‘Me and you in a Quinjet you call being free?’ the Beast asks, before Magneto launches into an explanation. ‘Whoo-eee! You’re saying all Doom’s gotta do is snap and we all dance? I dunno - but I scanned Avengers HQ and saw a bunch of zombies instead of Avengers - so I’m with ya, Maggie! We need help from people who’d blast you - but who just might listen to me!’ the Beast remarks.
However, their quest of aid from the Baxter Building and from a certain private school in Westchester is fruitless, for both the Fantastic Four and the Uncanny X-Men are travelling far distant, though opposite, paths. ‘Nobody home - but we ain’t beat yet!’ the Beast exclaims. ‘What hope is there, Beast? We have tried -’ Magneto begins to reply, to which the Beast interrupts: ‘Everywhere but scenic Los Angeles, Magneto, where the Angel and Iceman are part of a new super group formed while you were - ahem - “away”, called…the CHAMPIONS!’
But, as Magneto’s sleek magnetic craft approaches the Champions HQ, the six Champions of Los Angeles are already waiting for him! Angel! Iceman! Hercules! Darkstar! The Black Widow! Ghost Rider! Angel hovers before the aircraft and exclaims that the Avengers phoned and said that the Beast had joined Magneto. ‘Turned traitor - and now I see it’s true!’. ‘Hoo-hah! Mag, old boy - we got troubles!’ the Beast exclaims, before the Black Widow assures him that he will not have them for long….
Angel, Black Widow, Darkstar, Ghost Rider, Hercules, Iceman (all Champions)
Beast, Captain America, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Vision, Wasp, Wonder Man (all Avengers)
In Flashback Images:
Banshee, Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)
Erik the Red
The Red Skull / Dr Doom story took place in Super-Villain Team-Up #10-12.
Magneto was reduced to infancy after the events of Defenders (1st series) #16, and restored to manhood in X-Men (1st series) #104.
Magneto’s recollection as to what happened when he fought the X-Men is somewhat biased.
Magneto displayed his ability to control minds by regulating the flow of iron laden blood to the brain in Avengers (1st series) #111.
This story continues in Champions #16.
This issue takes place between Champions #15 and #16, and Avengers (1st series) #166 and #167.
This issue was to be the last issue of the series, however another issue was released a little over a year later in November 1978. This was followed by #16 in May 1979 & the final issue of #17 in June 1980.
This Issue has been reprinted in:
Champions Classic Vol. 2 (Trade Paperback)
Issue Summary written by: Daytripper (Steven Bishop)