The truth for the matter, however, is that this issue opens with lots of dialogue concerning the X-Men's plans and the S.H.I.E.L.D/government's plans about Magneto. As I type this review, I forgot about most of the conversations because they were that wordy and irrelevant to me on an emotional level. What did leave a lasting impression was the fact that the plane Jean Grey, Storm and the rest of the X-Men arrived in was invisible. I thought Jim Lee's illustration of that was badass.
I'm going to skip the technical, boring parts and just talk about Magneto some more since this story arc is pretty much about his return to the dark side as well as his conflict with Moira MacTaggert who did something about his genetic make-up in a failed attempt to save the life of her son. Magneto is hearing none of her justifications and proceeds to torture the fuck out of her by turning her body into metal so he can play with it. While this horrible thing is going on, Magneto also managed to make Moira do his bidding last issue; ergo brainwash the captive X-Men (Cyclops, Wolverine, Rogue, Beast and Psylocke) to join him and fight with the other X-Men who just arrived in Asteroid M to rescue them in the first place. So while the X-Men spend pages upon pages locked in an interpersonal battle, Magneto continues to torment Moira but then suddenly shows signs of fatigue halfway through. Moira at this point cannot speak (because Magneto covered her mouth with a sheet of metal) but we read her contemplations regarding one of Magneto's acolytes Cortez who has been acting rather suspiciously and she got the sense that he is not to be trusted and she would have warned Magneto about this but her mouth is sealed in skin-tight metal.
There is a noteworthy piece of exchange between Magneto and Cortez earlier when said acolyte wondered why Mags simply put Prof X in a state of sleep and not bothered brainwashing him. I was half-hopeful the answer would be because Mags totes loves his Charles and do not want him to participate directly in the debauchery he is committing. But then again this version of Magneto is angry like a hurling series of a thousand suns propelling towards unsuspecting victims so, naturally, his response to that question was: "I want him BROKEN. I want his heart to crack. I want him to choke with grief--as I did when I learned how my old and dear 'friend' betrayed me!" And Moira was quick to remind him FOR THE ZILLIONTH MOTHERFUCKING TIME that
Meanwhile, the X-Men are still exchanging friendly fire somewhere in the asteroid headquarters. My favorite small moment was when Cyclops surprised Jean Grey from behind her back and planted a kiss on her. And then blasts her with his beam seconds after. That was awesome. I'm not sure how exactly they resolved this but somehow Rogue was able to fight through the compulsion and convince the others that something doesn't feel right; that it doesn't make sense for them to fight their own teammates. I gotta say, Rogue has always been my favorite as a child, but I don't recall her being so self-aware and clever on the uptake. But I had no time to question these unfamiliar characteristics of hers because I was, once again, panicking and dying inside as Magneto and Professor X starts having yet another vicious and aggressive confrontation in which Mags for the second time tries to choke Prof X and not in a hot way:
Jesus Loki fuck, get your shit together, you dorks!
Wolverine was more than happy to interrupt this messed-up foreplay which also provided Moira the opportunity to tell Magneto that although she did manipulate his genetics, it was ultimately a failure. Apparently, Magneto's mutant power got in the way so everything he had committed since the first issue was by his own choice and not because his new DNA has commanded to. In Moira's words, his genetic code, after being tampered, simply fixed the problem biologically by reverting to its natural state. That's when Magneto realized (as I did) that perhaps being asshole is just who he is now--his natural state. My second and saddest "Erik, no.." happens after that. I was so close to applying a skin-tight metal around Moira's mouth myself but then she also started informing him about his acolyte Cortez who must have known about this all along and was using Magneto. We then cut back to a panel where said Judas was smirking triumphantly to himself inside an escape pod. He then blasted some sort of plasma energy towards the direction of the asteroid where everyone is. Oh, and a couple of nuclear warheads because why not? Magneto knew he can deflect all of this but that would entail him staying behind to create a shield across the entire asteroid. It's exactly as epic as it sounds. But Professor X is having none of that.
In a last attempt for reconciliation, Prof X tries to get Magneto to escape with them but Mags is having none of that. He has accepted his fate and his mission. His mission will always be tainted in rage and blood but he plans to forge those into his armor. He also asserts that Charles can only see the best in humanity while he has endured the worst. An unspeakable truth was spoken here too: their ideological differences will never enable them to be together. I was definitely muttering, "Don't do this, Erik!" McAvoy-style under my breath while reading these panels. Rogue (who, as I've mentioned before, was Magneto's girlfriend at one point) has to drag the professor away. We get this marvelous panel:
"You may use the same words but you don't speak the same language. I wonder if you ever did," says Rogue AND NO OTHER HURTFUL AND TRUTHFUL WORDS WERE EVER SPOKEN SO CLEARLY REGARDING THE FRACTURED RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PROFESSOR X AND MAGNETO. Charles once described Erik as being closer to him than his own brother; that they are like bookends of the same soul. But I'm getting carried away, sorry. It's just---it hurts too much. But that doesn't end just yet because we get these two speeches which I will just end my review with because there is nothing more that needs to be said on my part.