The Trial of Magneto surprised me with a strong opening chapter. I did not have a high expectation for this X-Men event after how the Hellfire Gala’s ending dropped the ball with how Scarlet Witch’s death was done during that crossover. While The Trial of Magneto #1 did not do away with the messy way we got to this story Leah Williams is doing the most to maximize the potential of this story. Now with the Avengers finding out something happened to Wanda Maximoff what will happen next as the X-Men just begin to reestablish themselves in the superhero community? Let’s find out with X-Men: The Trial Of Magneto #2.
Writer: Leah Williams
Artist: Lucas Werneck
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: As he reads a book in bed Magneto asks Charles Xavier if he is having fun watching him, knowing that Xavier is invading his mind and creating the room he is in.
In the real world Hope Summers apologizes to Charles Xavier as she is not as used to using telepathy. Hope then questions why they are using torture methods to get answers about Wanda Maximoff’s death from Magneto. Xavier doesn’t believe what they are doing is a form of torture but Hope disagrees given that Magneto is knocked out.
Hope then questions why Xavier didn’t have Jean Grey or Emma Frost help him instead. Xavier says its because they are busy with other business.
Elsewhere, Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Wolverine welcome the arriving Avengers (Captain America, Iron Man, Wasp, and Vision) to Krakoa. Jean offers her condolences to Vision for his loss. Cyclops then tells Captain America the X-Men would like to give the Avengers a tour of Krakoa before retrieving Wanda’s body. Captain America agrees to this.
While they give the Avengers a tour of Krakoa, Polaris psychically speaks to Jean about possibly erasing the Avengers mind so they don’t find out about Krakoa’s resurrection protocols. Jean wants to find another way out of this.
They all reach Emma Frost’s location, who is sunbathing with her daughters. While Emma greets the Avengers she telepathically tells Polaris that she is using her powers to make the Avengers think they are at the beach but actually in the Arbor Magna area of Krakoa with mutants all ready to defend it.
Over at Cradle Two Rachel Grey is able to recreate Magneto’s movements that shows he took the Cerebro Helmet that was stored there.
In some sort of astral realm, Scarlet Witch is shown focusing her magical powers while contemplating life and death. She begins to think of the connection between seeing darkness, the act of rebirth, and waking up.
Elsewhere, with Xavier gone Hope wakes Magneto up. Hope tells Magneto that the Avengers are on Krakoa and that he can’t let them see Wanda’s body.
Over at the Boneyard, as the tour continues Captain America spots Quicksilver there and checks on how he is doing after Wanda’s passing. Quicksilver runs across the hall as he still doesn’t want to talk about it.
Suddenly Magneto captures Quicksilver in some barbwire and attacks both the Avengers and X-Men while demanding that the Avengers leave Krakoa. While everyone defends themselves against Magneto’s barrage of attacks Polaris convinces Cyclops to let her create an exit out of the Boneyard for them.
Polaris goes to meet with Magneto. Magneto gets pissed off seeing his daughter. This gives Cyclops the opening to hit Magneto with an Optic Blast from behind. The Avengers soon join in on the fight but are quickly thrown around by Magneto.
Kyle Jinadu walks through one of the Krakoan gate’s that is connected to the Boneyard. Magneto is pissed that another human is on Krakoa and holds Kyle as a prisoner, which pisses off Northstar.
Magneto’s anger over the Avengers and Kyle being on Krakoa continues to increase to the point that he admits to being the one who killed the Scarlet Witch.
Wanda suddenly appears as Scarlet Witch. Scarlet Witch says she disagrees with several of Magneto’s points.
From a distance Mystique is shown watching, interested in what is going on.
Scarlet Witch says she is happy to see everyone and just wants to put what she went through behind all of them. Scarlet Witch then kisses Vision, much to Vison’s surprise. End of issue.
The Good: Even more so than the first issue X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #2 creates many questions that this series will have to answer before it is over. Because unlike the first issue, we don’t get a lot of forward progress in the investigation of Wanda Maximoff’s death or what the final decision for what is to be done. Instead we are presented with a lot of character choices that have you feeling like Mystique was from her hiding spot at the end of this issue.
Once again what shines through in The Trial of Magneto #2 is Leah Williams’ writing. This issue once again shows that being given time to develop a full story around a mystery is something Williams is able to do well. The investigation that X-Factor is doing while the X-Men are distracting the Avengers has the sense of urgency that should be there.
At the same time, we see with Rachel Grey and the rest of X-Factor’s approach they are not rushing things. They are being thorough with the entire investigation from looking through Magneto’s room to tracing all of Magneto’s steps in Cradle Two. It was all a great way to show rather than tell the reader of how X-Factor is well versed in investigating crime scenes. Which made the dialogue that helped delve into the process stronger.
Williams also does a good job at not having the Avengers demand answers right away when arriving on Krakoa. To often we’ve seen superhero meetings break down into fights as soon as they all meet. Instead, Williams treats both the Avengers and X-Men as the adults they should be. They are very cordial with one another as both sides show some professional respect to one another.
Going with this approach made how Cyclops and the rest of the X-Men did their best to buy X-Factor and Xavier time to find the answers about Scarlet Witch’s death even more vital. Every panel we got with the Avengers being given a tour of Krakoa was another minute the X-Factor did not have to investigate. It all created a sense of urgency to what was going on while also showcasing some creativity on the X-Men’s side as Emma Frost finds a good time delay solution.
All of this made the way Magneto was used in this issue even more mysterious. Because we saw at the beginning of The Trial of Magneto #2 that Charles Xavier and Hope Summers were trying to dig through Magneto’s mind for answers. When that clearly did not work Xavier did seem to switch plans. Those plans may explain why it was Hope as the one who woke Magneto up without Xavier being anywhere to be found. Hope certainly acted mysteriously out of character with how she called out Magneto to take action against the Avengers.
Which all once again does make you wonder how deep Xavier has gone with his cult leader direction. Because now we have Hope joining the group of people questioning Xavier’s methods. Even though Xavier tries to say he is doing otherwise there is a lot of truth to what Hope said about the form of torture Xavier was having her help him with to get answers out of Magneto. Given that his plan did not work at the beginning of this issue it would not be surprising if Xavier is the one who instigated Magneto against the Avengers and “admitting” to being responsible for Scarlet Witch’s death.
The addition of Mystique at the end of this issue when Wanda returned as Scarlet Witch creates even more questions in this aspect of the story. The reaction Mystique hints at way more going on than what is being shown on screen. What exactly is being done to everyone will be very interesting to see given that we continue to see Wanda in some sort of astral plain contemplating life, death, and magic.
Lucas Werneck artwork was consistently well done throughout The Trial of Magneto #2. There was a lot that popped off the screen. The two scenes that Werneck’s art really shined was the X-Factor investigation and Magneto vs the Avengers and X-Men. With the X-Factor investigation Werneck does a great job at showing how Rachel Grey is able to use her powers to recreate crime scenes. It shows how she uses her own psychic powers differently from both her mother and other telepaths. The fight between Magneto, Avengers, and X-Men also does well in showing how powerful Magneto is, especially when he is in full antagonist mode.
The Bad: Though I did enjoy it the Emma Frost scene could’ve easily been cut from The Trial of Magneto #2. That page could’ve easily been better used to continue to show how X-Factor is going about their investigation. Especially since we only really got one page of that investigation it all lessened their overall role in the story. Having at least two pages dedicated to X-Factor’s side of the story would strengthened the story more than the Arbor Magna scene did.
Overall: X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #2 delivers a solid continuation of one of the biggest X-Men storylines in the Krakoa Era. The characterization for all the X-Men and Avengers that appear in this issue is on point. As the issue concludes we are given even more questions that hook you in to want to find out what will happen next.
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