Magneto is finally becoming the true villain of the X-Men relaunch – as he seems to be moving closer to war between humanity and mutants.
This article contains spoilers for SWORD #4.
Magneto is once again becoming the villain of the X-Men universe’s relaunch. Jonathan Hickman’s run on X-Men has ushered in a time of peace for the mutant race. Heroes and villains alike have settled on the living island of Krakoa, where they are building a new mutant civilization.
But it was only a matter of time before paradise began to crumble, of course. The X of Swords event saw Krakoa’s ruling Quiet Council splinter, with Apocalypse leaving to rule over the demonic world of Amenth, and Jean Grey stepping down to co-lead a new X-Men team. Fabian Cortez – a prejudiced bigot who led Magneto’s Acolytes at a time they were essentially religious maniacs who believed in slaughtering humans – has made the most of this opportunity. Now, Cortez has caught Magneto’s eye once again, impressing the Master of Magnetism with his supposed dedication to the mutant cause.
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In SWORD #4 by Al Ewing and Valerio Schiti, Magneto proves he is receptive to Cortez’s approaches. The issue ends with Magneto requesting an emergency meeting of Krakoa’s Quiet Council in order to discuss an amendment to the mutant race’s second law: to kill no humans. “As certain members of the Quiet Council are unable to attend,” Magneto opines, “the matter will be debated by a quorum of eight, with any binding resolutions to be brought before the full Council at such time as all twelve are in attendance.” Xavier objects to this, but it doesn’t look as though Magneto is listening.
Fabian Cortez is one of the most dangerous mutants on Krakoa, not because of his powers, but rather because of his manipulative character. He has made the most of the fresh start offered to all who live on Krakoa. Logically, Magneto should have no reason to ally with him. In the past, Cortez used Magneto as a pawn in his own insatiable quest for power, seeking to ignite a war between the mutant and the humans, who he describes as “flatscans.” Cortez has always wanted the mutants to wipe out the humans, and any attempt to amend Krakoa’s rules at his instigation will undoubtedly be a step on the road to genocide.
And so the old schism is re-emerging once again, with Charles Xavier seeking peace between man and mutant while Magneto chooses war. The Master of Magnetism’s challenge to the laws of Krakoa is particularly ill-timed given the X-Men are reforming, another event that is sure to put enormous tension on and add a new dynamic to mutant civilization. Sides are being chosen – and the mutant paradise is crumbling apart as a result.
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