X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #3

Issue Date: 
December 2021
Story Title: 
Schrödinger's Corpse

Leah Williams (writer), Lucas Werneck & David Messina (artists), Edgar Delgado (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer & production), Tom Muller (design), Valerio Schiti & Edgar Delgado (cover artists), David Baldeon; Stephanie Hans; Gerald Parel; Ivan Shavrin (Variant Cover Artists), Jonathan Hickman (Head of X), Shannon Andrews Ballesteros & Lauren Amaro (assistant editors), Jake Thomas (editor), Jordan D White (senior editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

The Scarlet Witch rushes into the Vision's arms and kisses him, but is surprised to learn he is grieving the loss of his late wife. Captain America and Iron Man discuss possible theories for where the Scarlet Witch has been and what is going on with her. The Scarlet Witch appears scared, and the waters around Krakoa begin to stir, when suddenly, Northstar speeds onto the scene and begins attacking Magneto, punching him repeatedly and warning him that if he threatens his husband again, he will show him just how much he has been enhanced since they last fought. Northstar, as leader of X-Factor Investigations, then announces that the Scarlet Witch's reappearance changes nothing about X-Factor's investigation into her death, then invites the Avengers to dinner. As everyone gathers in the Boneyard, the Scarlet Witch is surprised to meet Speed and Wiccan. Speed introduces himself as the Scarlet Witch's son, but Wiccan tells him that she is not their mother, but another version of the Scarlet Witch. Rachel Summers enters the Scarlet Witch's mind to discover that she doesn't remember many important events, so with Jean Grey's help, Rachel telepathically brings the Scarlet Witch up to speed on recent important events in her life. Suddenly, three large monsters attack Krakoa. Cyclops asks Northstar to take lead on this, and the members of X-Factor, the X-Men and the Avengers work together to battle the monsters and protect Krakoa. While, in another realm, the Scarlet Witch runs from the cloaked figure who pursues her, only to discover that the mysterious figure is actually an older version of herself.

Full Summary: 

'Mmph -' the Vision mutters as he looks on in shock as the newly-returned Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch has embraced him and kisses him on his lips. The Vision pulls away from Wanda and tells her that he is relieved to see her alive, but admits to being confused. 'I had not finished grieving my late wife when I had to then begin grieving you...' Wanda goes wide-eyed – now it's she who is confused. “Wife”? She asks. Wanda turns and sees several of her longtime Avengers teammates nearby – Captain America a.k.a. Steve Rogers, Jan van Dyne the Wasp and Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man. 'Wanda, what's going on?' Captain America asks her, while Iron Man wonders how they can know this is really Wanda, as it could be a trick. Wanda looks scared as she finds herself on Krakoa, surrounded not only by the four longtime Avengers, but also members of the X-Men including Jean Grey, Lorna Dane a.k.a. Polaris, Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops. Her “father” Magneto is there, too and her twin brother, Pietro a.k.a. Quicksilver.

'Where have you been? Why did you let us believe that you were dead?' Iron Man enquires. 'Well, I -' Wanda begins, while Cap points out that Wanda might have been held somewhere. 'Her? Are you kidding, Cap? Id' like to see a kidnapper try to capture the Scarlet Witch!' Iron Man exclaims. Cap suggests that it could have been an enhancement or some sort of stasis spell. 'Is that what happened here, Wanda?' he asks. 'I don't know any more than you do' Wanda responds, while the water around Krakoa begins to bubble. 'I think we should -' Polaris starts to say, to which Iron Man interrupts her, telling her that he thinks the mutants have done enough talking. 'Stop – please -' Wanda utters, as she clutches her head, and the water continues to bubble and rise up.

Suddenly, there is a strong gust as Jean-Paul Beaubier a.k.a. Northstar speeds onto the scene and slams into Magneto. The water settles back down, while Northstar punches Magneto repeatedly, over and over – and hard. He grabs the old mutant by his cape and looks him in the eye as he snaps: 'That was just a preview. I've been enhanced since we last fought, Magneto'. Northstar then calmly steps back and brushes some dust off his shoulders, while adding 'Threaten my husband again and I'll show you the extent of how much I've improved'. Northstar then turns and walks back towards the structure known as the Boneyard, the home and headquarters of his team, X-Factor, walking past Cyclops and Jean Grey, he announces that Wanda's reappearance alters nothing about X-Factor's investigation – an attack occurred, and Magneto is still a suspect. Northstar's husband, Kyle Jinadu-Beaubier is standing nearby and gets Northstar's attention. 'What? Oh, right – Kyle wanted me to tell you that dinner will be ready soon and the Avengers are still welcome to join us' Northstar mutters, turning his head slightly to his companions. 'Dinner? How can he think about that at a time like this?' Captain America asks. 'He's human' Northstar smiles.

The Avengers follow Cyclops, Jean, Polaris and Logan a.k.a. Wolverine into the Boneyard, with Magneto following them. 'Don't think we've forgotten about that confession earlier, Magneto' Iron Man remarks. 'Indeed. Wanda's being alive just raises more questions than answers...' the Vision points out. Suddenly, 'M-mom?' Tommy Shepherd a.k.a. Speed calls out, in shock. With him is his twin brother, Billy Kaplan-Altman a.k.a. Wiccan. 'Tommy, wait -' Bill calls out as Tommy races over and hugs the Scarlet Witch. 'You're okay!' Tommy exclaims, smiling. 'Hello... have we met?' Wanda asks, puzzled. 'That's not our mother. Though... she is the Scarlet Witch' Billy announces. Iron Man asks the powerful sorcerer what he means, to which Billy replies 'She's not... she's not entirely her. Like she's from the past or something'.

Someone asks Wanda what the last thing is that she remembers, but Wanda tells them that she doesn't know. 'Daddy – what's going on?' she asks, turning to Magneto. 'Oh, Wanda...' Magneto utters, frowning. Northstar instructs his teammate Rachel Summers to find Wanda's memory. Rachel stands in front of Wanda and tells her that this won't hurt, and that she is just going to take a peek under the hood. As Rachel telepathically enters Wanda's mind, she reaches out to speak to her mother, Jean Grey, informing her that Wanda remembers so little. Jean explains that Charles told them Wanda's last backup was quite outdated. 'I thought that the Council voted not to resurrect her' Rachel asks. 'Yes. That's correct' Jean confirms. Rachel tells everyone that she guesses they know where Magneto's Cerebro backup ended, and asks Jean if she can help her fill in Wanda's missing pieces. 'I can, but...is that wise?' Jean responds. Rachel tells her that it might not be, but that it is the right thing to do. 'Let's just play her greatest hits' Rachel suggests. 'As you wish' Jean agrees, as she joins Rachel inside Wanda's mind.

There, they bring Wanda up-to-date on some of the more significant recent events in her life. Her mental instability following the Vision's dismantling and loss of her children. Her manipulation by a powerful force causing her to snap and attack her teammates in the Avengers. Her creation of an alternate reality where she said those infamous words “No more mutants” resulting in the loss of powers for most of the mutant population on Earth. And her recent attempt to fix that mistake during an alien invasion.

Suddenly, there is a powerful rumbling which can be felt across Krakoa. 'What was that?' someone calls out. 'Northstar, can you -' someone begins, before Northstar speeds out over Krakoa to assess the situation. 'Tch' Northstar mutters as he sees three hideous, giant monsters have made their way onto the island nation. A large red serpent-like one, a gray beast with several arms and legs, and a huge brown creature with a long tail that looms over the Boneyard. Northstar returns to the Boneyard and reports that there are three giant Kaiju attacking the island at different coastal locations, and that one of them is nearby and incoming. Captain America asks why they are attacking, to which Northstar suggests they figure that out after the kaiju are dead on the ground. 'Fair point' Captain America agrees, before suggesting they split up and neutralize the threats from each coastal location before they move inland. Northstar puts a hand on Captain America's shoulder and tells him that he is relieved to hear he will help Krakoa. 'Of course. Please give Kyle a rain check on dinner' Cap replies. 'I absolutely will' Northstar tells him.

Northstar then turns to Cyclops and tells him that he has seen the Kaiju and that each is unique. 'Do you trust me to divide us up based on corresponding power sets?' Northstar asks. 'Absolutely' Cyclops tells him. He instructs Northstar to take point on this, and offers to assemble the war captains and rally backup. 'Understood' Northstar acknowledges. The heroes then turn to leave the Boneyard, while the Scarlet Witch looks at them and asks 'Wait...what about me?' Captain America tells her that until they understand what is goingg on with her, she had best remain here. 'You need to come with us' Speed smiles as he takes Wanda's hand. 'But I... why?' Wanda asks. 'Just trust us' Wiccan frowns.

Soon, the giant serpent-like kaiju thrashes about at the shore of Krakoa, hissing at several mutants on the beach. The serpent then shapes itself like a wheel and rolls onto the land, straight towards a young mutant. 'RUN!' the mutant calls out, gasping as the kaiju looms over him – 'I've got you' the Vision assures the young mutant as he flies down and grabs the mutant before the kaiju harms him. David Alleyne a.k.a. Prodigy rushes over to the Vision and tells him to help him evacuate the civilians, while Wolverine, Captain America, Jean Grey and Trevor Hawkins a.k.a. Eye-Boy stand ready, as Eye-Boy notes that the kaiju is gearing up for another spinning attack. 'Three o'clock' Eye-Boy calls out. 'Roger that' Captain America confirms, as he hurls his shield towards the kaiju's face – the shield slices the creature's face, drawing blood. The serpent releases a hideous screeching sound, before diving down into the spinning attack. 'Jean, twelve o'clock! Throw up a shield!' Eye-Boy calls out as the Vision and Prodigy stand in the kaiju's path. 'How are you able to predict its next strike so consistently?' the Vision asks Eye-Boy, who explains that it isn't a prediction, he can just see its intentions. 'That's handy. Better stay close, kid' Captain America suggests.

Elsewhere, the large multi-limbed kaiju smashes its way across the island. 'KRAAAOOOR!' it roars. Daken and Laura Kinney a.k.a. Wolverine can be seen evacuating young mutants from the kaiju's path. 'How about you pick on someone your own size?' the Wasp asks the creature as she switches to her giant-sized form and punches the creature in the face. 'Or  someones!' Everett Thomas a.k.a. Synch of the X-Men suggests as he thanks the Wasp for the power loan, when he copies her power, becoming giant-sized himself, he shoves his elbow into the creature. Northstar and his twin sister, Aurora, fly towards the creature and as they clasp their hands, they release a powerful, blinding light which slams into the kaiju.

The third kaiju makes its way towards the Boneyard, where Magneto, Polaris, Sunfire, Rachel Summers and Iron Man are waiting. Rachel reports that she can't get a psychic hold on it, as its thoughts are incomprehensible to her and only hell-bent on destruction. 'Then we stop it here' Polaris declares. She instructs Iron Man and Sunfire to drive the creature two klicks south and put it in the path of the Boneyard. 'Can do' Iron Man acknowledges as he flies towards the kaiju and blasts it with energy. Sunfire does the same, and the creature moves closer to the Boneyard, where Polaris and Magneto are waiting for it.

The three kaiju suddenly crash to the ground – but they're not defeated, as the two land-based creatures roar in their native tongue. 'They -' Captain America begins. '- won't -' Iron Man continues. ' - die?' the Vision concludes, while Synch gasps. 'We need to evacuate all non-combatants from the island! The kaiju are self-healing!' Cyclops shouts, as the three large creatures begin to rise once more. 'Then what do we do?' someone asks. 'Then we... keep going until we make out last stand' the Wasp declares. 'For as long as we can' Rachel adds.

Meanwhile, for the Scarlet Witch, the wheel spins – another cycle of death and rebirth here. But for a moment, something shifted, a part of her departed. She is somewhere else, running through a strange realm. She had thought she had finally found her way out of here, but instead, she has woken up with even fewer memories. She runs as a figure in white follows her. She falls and finds herself in front of some sort of magical symbol, while the figure in white stands nearby. Wanda wonders if this is the way of things in the afterlife – there is no light at the end of the tunnel, nor is there a tunnel – there is only a fight. 'NO!' Wanda exclaims, while the magic symbols begin to whirl and flow before her. There is only a test of will to survive. An axe materializes from the magic symbols, and Wanda takes it. 'I get it now. I'm supposed to kill you' she remarks.

Wanda swings the axe, and the magic symbols floating before her spin around. 'Chaos magic. This place is made of chaos magic! It is of me! You will not kill me in this place again!' Wanda tells her mysterious assailant, while watching images of the kaiju attacking Krakoa through a portal. 'Finally, you figured it out' the cloaked figure utters, before pulling back the hood covering their face. Wanda gasps in shock – as looking back at her, is an older version of herself, with white hair and wearing her first pink and red costume!

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Polaris, Sunfire, Synch, Wolverine III (all X-Men)
Aurora, Daken, Eye-Boy, Northstar, Prestige, Prodigy IV (all X-Factor)
Kyle Jinadu-Beaubier|


Scarlet Witch
Captain America, Iron Man, Vision, Wasp


(in memories)
The Scarlet Witch at various stages

Story Notes: 

The Vision refers to not being finished grieving his wife, referring to Virginia, who died in Vision (2nd series) #12. 

Magneto threatened to kill Northstar's husband in X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #2.


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