X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #5

Issue Date: 
February 2022
Story Title: 
To Catch a Toad

Leah Williams (writer), Lucas Werneck (artist), Edgar Delgado (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer & production), Tom Muller (design), Valerio Schiti & Edgar Delgado (cover artists), Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson; Dan Jurgens, Brett Breeding & Alex Sinclair (Variant Cover Artists), Jonathan Hickman (Head of X), Lauren Amaro (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Surrounded by mutants who demand to know who among them killed her, the Scarlet Witch is forced to point out the mutant who murdered her. The Quiet Council meet and that mutant it brought before them – the Toad. The Scarlet Witch and Polaris watch from the sidelines, as the Scarlet Witch announces that she forgives the Toad. Captain America is there, too, and tells Wanda that the Avengers were told she was dead. Emma Frost telepathically warns the Scarlet Witch against revealing the secret of Krakoan resurrection before members of X-Factor arrive, and reveal the murder weapon, a piece of enchanted metal with the Scarlet Witch's sigil on it. The Toad accuses the Scarlet Witch of betraying the Brotherhood and her father, before Krakoa opens up and pulls him down into the depths, with Toad claiming that he did this for Magneto as he is dragged away. The Avengers make several comments about the Toad's sentence, before they depart after saying their farewells to Wanda. Wanda wants to talk to Magneto, but he quickly leaves, claiming he has something else to do. Magneto returns to the House of M, where he thinks back to the night of the Scarlet Witch's murder – and how Wanda arranged for herself to be killed so that she could go through the Krakoan resurrection process to enable to her to correct a mistake she made years ago – only it had to look like murder otherwise mutantkind would reject her gift. Polaris, Legion and Proteus join Wanda, who has created a mystical sigil on Krakoan soil. She claims that the three of them are connected because of who their parents are, and once they stand in their position on the signal, Proteus and Legion are able to feel the Eldritch Orchard. It doesn't work for Polaris, so she steps off the sigil and suggests Wanda take her place. Wanda isn't sure she can, as she is not a mutant, but once she steps onto the sigil, it works and Wanda is able to give mutantkind a truly wonderful gift, by adding the DNA of mutants who died before Cerebro ever backed up their code or before their X-gene manifested, meaning no mutant would ever be lost again. A little later Northstar tells his husband that he has just learned they are expecting – because the infant daughter he adopted years ago would have been a mutant, and now she has been added to the resurrection queue. The first mutant to be resurrected by the miracles of the Scarlet Witch is Thunderbird, who is greeted by Storm and Banshee, then introduced to Krakoa. Charles Xavier is confused by this, and Hope tells him that the Scarlet Witch made this possible. Later, Polaris, Magneto and the Scarlet Witch find Exodus telling tales to young mutants, as he often does – only this story is about how the  Pretender became the Redeemer.

Full Summary: 

'Well, don't keep us in suspense, darling. Tell us who killed you?' Emma Frost asks the Scarlet Witch. Hundreds of mutants stand behind Emma, all wanting to know the answer. 'I – well...' Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch begins, nervously, with only a small group gathered around her to protect her from the mass of mutants – Captain America, Iron Man and the Vision are there, as well as Magneto, Northstar and Wolverine. Iron Man tells Wanda that nothing is going to happen to her, that they are here and not going to let them hurt her again. Wolverine turns to Wanda and declares that she deserves justice, as she was brutally attacked by one of them. 'Yes – and no matter how your magic may or may not have affected Krakoa today, we cannot let that slide' Northstar adds. Wanda sighs, then utters 'Okay...' before pointing into the crowd of mutants: 'It was you' she announces.

Soon after, the Quiet Council is in session. Xavier and Magneto sit at their table. Sinister, Exodus and Mystique to their left, Storm and Nightcrawler to their right, and the Hellfire contingent – Emma Frost, Kate Pryde and Sebastian Shaw – opposite them. Several others are gathered around the outside on the seats that line the Grove. 'All right, are well all present?' Xavier begins, before suggesting that they finish this sordid business. Above the Grove, a bubble of water is dropped down, and lands with a splash in the center of the Quiet Council. A figure stands up, soaking, they look around sheepishly. It's Mortimer Toynbee – the Toad. Xavier asks Toad if he knows why he is here today, to which Toad confirms that he does: 'I... tried... to murder Wanda the night of the Hellfire Gala' he confesses.

'You admit guilt?' Mystique asks, pointing at Toad. 'Yes' Toad announces, water dripping off of him. Emma narrows her eyes as she asks Toad if he is aware of what the punishment will be. 'Yes. Exile' Toad responds. 'Wait, no -' Wanda calls out as she sits on the sidelines, next to Lorna Dane a.k.a. Polaris. Wanda points out that no harm was done, and that she is fine now, and forgives Toad. 'There's no need to -' she begins, before Magneto interrupts her, explaining that Krakoa has laws that must be obeyed. 'If we start ignoring our laws, how will our people accept the gifts of this land?' he asks, to which Wanda has no answer. Captain America reminds Wanda that Toad tried to kill her – and very nearly succeeded. 'We were told you were dead' he tells his longtime teammate. Emma sighs as she mutters 'We thought she was...' before telepathically warning Wanda that if she ever lets slip the secret of Krakoan resurrection, then next time, they will make sure her death sticks.

Prodigy, Prestige and Eye-Boy of X-Factor step forward, with Prodigy holding up a plastic bag containing a small object, he states that X-Factor would like to present further evidence. 'We believe this is the murder weapon'. Prodigy explains that it is made of an enchanted metal called Uru, that it has been specifically spelled to dispatch the Scarlet Witch, indicated by Wanda's sigil on the metal. He then reports that they found this in Toad's home, and that it has Toad's fingerprints on it.

'I only did what needed doing!' Toad calls out, declaring that Wanda tore the Brotherhood apart, turned her back on them – and betrayed her father. Vines burst up from Krakoan ground and ensnare the Toad. Toad falls down, his long tongue flickering as he looks up at Magneto and tells him that he helped – helped him – for the Brotherhood! 'I DID THIS FOR YOU, MAGNETO!' Toad shrieks as he is pulled down into the Pit.

'That seems... crueler than capital punishment' Iron Man remarks as he, Cap, the Wasp and the Vision sit together. 'It's just a prolonged death sentence, isn't it?' Captain America asks. The Wasp points out that they don't have the right to dictate Krakoans' approach to morality, as they are not a part of this nation. The Vision agrees, and suggests that on that note, it is time they left. 'Wanda?' he calls out to the Scarlet Witch. But Wanda reports that she has some family matters to attend to before she leaves here. She takes the Wasp's hands as she claims that she is not going to stop fighting for Toad's release, as he does not deserve that fate. The Wasp asks Wanda for text updates, every hour. 'I will' Wanda replies, before telling her friends in the Avengers that they have no idea what it means that they came. The Wasp tells Wanda that they were devastated and had begun their grieving process.

Wanda apologizes, but Captain America hugs her and tells her not to apologize for what was not her fault. 'All right, then. I won't' Wanda smiles. She thanks the Avengers again, and Iron Man tells her that she is loved, and to never doubt that. 'Father, will you -' Wanda begins, turning to Magneto. 'No. I cannot. I have somewhere to be. But you can do this' Magneto replies without looking at Wanda or the Avengers. 'Do what?' Polaris asks. 'Well, - I'll need your help, actually' Wanda smiles. 'Sure' Polaris tells her, before asking where Magneto is going. 'I think he needs some time. Alone' Wanda replies.

Magneto arrives at the House of M. He removes his helmet when he steps through the large, extravagant doorway. Guilt is a kind of grief. Regrets about what ifs and should'ves and once-wishes are all searing, hurtful things. Magneto is a good man who has done terrible things. His biggest secret is that it was always out of love. His way of loving is expressed through rage at injustices. Or choosing to isolate himself so as not to burden others with his inner pain, which he's been conditioned to view as his own weakness. Magneto drops his helmet to the floor, then drops to his knees, tears streaming down his face. No matter the cost. No matter how much it pains him, this is how a tortured, traumatized, magnificent man knows how to love. Through trial. It takes a lot of practice.

'No one taught him how to love any other way. But he – he taught me that' Wanda thinks.

Flashback – the night of the murder:

'Wait, please -' Wanda calls out, but Magneto grabs her by her shoulders and tells her that he regrets ever telling her about mutant resurrection. 'How could you ask such a thing of me?' Magneto asks. 'Don't be afraid. Please, just let me -' Wanda begins. 'Tch. Fine' Magneto mutters, before telling Wanda that they can't do it here. He looks around and sees others attending the Hellfire Gala, while Wolverine and Domino keep watch as security for the night. Magneto leads Wanda into some bushes, and folds his arms as he asks her to explain.


'Spin the wheel...'Wanda utters as she etches some markings into some bare ground. Magical markings. 'All right. We're here. Just like you asked' Polaris smiles as she approaches Wanda. With her are David Haller a.k.a. Legion, and Kevin MacTaggert a.k.a. Proteus. 'Why are we here?' Legion asks. The markings that Wanda has etched into the ground glow with energy, as Wanda tells Polaris, Legion and Proteus that the three of them are the prodigal three. Wanda touches each of them by their arm as she explains that three is a very important number, mystically, and that what their parents represent to Krakoa makes the three of them the most important figures here. Legion smiles as he tells Wanda that Polaris told them what she is attempting. 'Parents? My mum was dead before we ever set foot here...' Proteus begins, confused. Wanda tells him that she knows, but that it felt right. She suggests that it might be Proteus' access to the Astral Plane, but she knows it is the three of them who need to be here.

Polaris, Legion and Proteus all take their positions on the magical symbol, while Legion tells the Scarlet Witch that, as pretty as her chalk drawing is, he is not inclined to believe it will actually work. 'Wouldn't it be amazing if it did, though?' Wanda replies. 'Obviously, but -' Legion begins, before Wanda interrupts him, asking him if he trusts her. 'Not even slightly' Legion grins. Wanda thanks him for being game to try anyway, before declaring that it is going to work – that it has to. She reaches her arms up and asks the others to do so, too, with palms facing the heavens. 'Perfect' Wanda remarks when the others do as she asks. Polaris pauses, before asking if it is working. 'No, but – that can't be – I was there. I made that place – for you all -' Wanda exclaims. 'The Eldritch Orchard' Legion remarks. 'You can see it?' Wanda asks him. Legion tells her that he can't, but that he can feel it. Proteus agrees, he can feel it, too. 'Even -' he begins. 'The night she died' Legion utters. 'Aye' Proteus confirms.

'Feel what?' Polaris asks. Wanda hangs her head. Disappointed, she tells the others that she doesn't understand, as this should have worked. Polaris smiles at Wanda and tells her 'It's you. You're the one who's supposed to complete the circuit here'. Wanda looks at Polaris and tells her that she can't, as she isn't a mutant. They look into each other's eyes and press their foreheads together, as Polaris asks Wanda if she considers her to be her sister. 'Lorna, yes, of course. But -' Wanda starts to reply. 'Then it's you. You're just as much his daughter as I am' Lorna points out as she steps out of the circle. 'Then I... I'll try' Wanda announces as she takes Lorna's place. Wanda knows that past, present and future are all the same to someone with her ability. It is easy for her to fold them into tiny, tiny pieces, easy for her to gather them up, and then easy for her still to create a pocket dimension collecting all the pieces. Wanda, Proteus and Legion raise their hands above themselves, and energy begins to flow around them all. Wanda knows that all these pieces are possibilities, and her mastery is infinite possibility. And then, with a little mutant magical assistance, it is easy for her to use this confetti she made out of time and possibilities to build Krakoans their own Elysian fields. Energy bursts forth upwards, into the heaven in spectacular display.

Flashback – the night of the murder:

'It's the only way I can make it' Wanda tells Magneto as they stand hidden in a forest. 'Is it, now? Because there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people on this island who I'm sure would be more than happy to help you accomplish this task instead of me!' Magneto snaps. Wanda looks up at Magneto as she tells him that he is likely the only one who cares about her enough to try to bring her back should something go wrong. 'I... Wanda, I can't. I won't. Please don't make me do this' Magneto replies as he takes Wanda's hands and hangs his head. 'You can. I can do this. I can make things right. But I have to go through Krakoa's resurrection channel first in order for it to work. I can always find my own way back from death, but without mutant resurrection...' Wanda's voice trails off. 'Don't you see? It's the only way' Wanda utters as she hugs Magneto, who sighs, then announces 'So be it, sweet daughter'.

'This won't take long' Wanda announces as she begins to cast a spell. She touches the ground, and magical energy glows around her. Magneto asks her what she is doing, and Wanda tells him that she is using glamours, making it look real, as there won't be any call for her resurrection, not unless foul play is suspected. The dirt around her becomes disheveled, as if there had been a struggle. Magneto asks Wanda what she requires of him, and Wanda explains that she needs  him to make sure that her body is found, and that she can somehow access resurrection channels. She suggests he talk with Hope, as she will help him with this. 'The problem is if mutantkind suspects you and I conspired on this, I'm afraid they will reject the gift, and then this will all have been for nothing... and I don't know how to solve that' Wanda warns Magneto.

Magneto hangs his head, then looks back at Wanda and assures her that he will take care of it. Wanda thanks her father and tells him that she knew she could count on him. More magical energy swirls around Wanda as Magneto asks her what it is. 'This is what is going to do all the dirty work for you' Wanda explains. 'The murder weapon, you mean' Magneto remarks, looking at the glowing energy symbol. Wanda tells Magneto that she enchanted it herself, and asks Magneto if he is ready. 'Never' Magneto responds. 'Well, I am' Wanda replies, as energy bonds reach up and entangle themselves  around Wanda's neck. She tells her father not to be frightened, and assures him that she won't feel a thing. 'You know death could never grasp me forever – I'm too far out of reach for such trivial things' Wanda boasts, before telling Magneto that she loves him and will see him soon. 'I...I love you too' Magneto replies as Wanda's body falls into the shrubs around her, and Magneto flees the scene, carrying a piece of enchanted metal with Wanda's sigil embedded in it.


One day following the ritual that Wanda, Legion and Proteus undertook, Northstar enters his quarters within X-Factor's headquarters, the Boneyard, to find his husband, Kyle Jinadu-Beaubier in their bed. Northstar informs Kyle that he has just gotten off the phone with Hope. 'Oh?' Kyle asks, confused. 'We're expecting' Northstar announces, wide-eyed, he sits on the edge of their bed. 'Expecting what?' Kyle enquires. 'A daughter' the shocked Northstar reveals. He grins, and turns back to Kyle, asking him if he remembers him telling him about Joanne, the infant he once adopted. 'Of course I do, my love' Kyle replies. Northstar tells Kyle that he has just found out that Joanne would have been a mutant – and she will be a mutant, someday. Kyle and Northstar embrace, tears of joy stream down their faces, as Northstar declares that Joanne has just been added to the resurrection queue.

In the Arbor Magna Hatchery, Hope Summers is with Proteus and the rest of the Five – Egg, Elixir and Tempus. Wearing a Cerebro helmet, Hope declares that twenty million mutants were added  to the resurrection queue last night – twenty million mutant souls who were lost before Cerebro started its backups, or before their X-gene could manifest. Hope injects one of the eggs with the DNA of the latest mutant to be granted resurrection, and reports that Wanda warned her that the eggs could potentially look different. Indeed, this egg looks darker, as Hope explains that time was compacted and folded in on itself into a composite possibility, allowing Cerebro to scan across time and space itself for every mutant who fell between the cracks of the resurrection protocols, at least the first time, anyway, as it is the magic Wanda used to recover the souls.  'Which means now no one is lost' Hope utters as a hand suddenly bursts forth from the egg, and a muscular man emerges, reborn. 'From now on, no mutant can ever be lost to us ever again' Hope declares, before touching the reborn mutant on his face: 'Welcome back, John Proudstar' she utters.

John Proudstar is led by Storm through a tunnel towards a bright light. 'I've had nightmares like this' he utters. 'What is your name?' Storm asks him. 'You know the answer to that, Ororo' John replies. 'Tell me anyway' Storm asks. 'I AM THUNDERBIRD!' John Proudstar shouts as he stands on a ridge, overlooking the Arbor Magna.

Hope tells the others that what they have gained is permanent offshore backup for loved ones, protected from human hands, deep in the Astral Plane – it can never be sabotaged or touched by non-mutants. She tells them to imagine an opt-in Elysian Fields, exclusive to mutants, where you can enter yourself into the resurrection queue now if you want, as an alternative to the Crucible – all you have to do is walk up the steps and cross into this next room.

'It's you, then? Truly?' Banshee asks, smiling as he places a blanket around Thunderbird and escorts him down a path to the waiting group of cheering mutants. 'Back off, Shamrock!' Thunderbird snaps. 'Aye, it's you, all right! Ye cantankerous bastard, you!' Banshee exclaims.

'It exists in its own pocket dimension – a liminal space between life and death. We're calling it the Waiting Room' Hope remarks as she approaches Charles Xavier, who stands on a platform in the Arbor Magna. 'How? How is all this possible?' Xavier asks. 'The Scarlet Witch' Hope  declares.

Later, night has fallen over Krakoa, and Magneto and Polaris stand amongst some trees, watching as Exodus sits by a campfire, several young mutants gathered before him. 'Listen closely, young ones...' Exodus begins. Magneto and Polaris look over to the Scarlet Witch, who watches too, as Exodus continues: '...for it's time we begin the tale...'. Polaris smiles as she puts her head on Magneto's shoulder, and Magneto puts his arm around her, as Exodus utters '... of how the Pretender became the Redeemer'.

The Scarlet Witch goes over and joins in, 'Once upon a time... there was a witch' she begins, as she casts a hex of her sigil and smiles.

Characters Involved: 

Scarlet Witch


Eye-Boy, Northstar, Prestige, Prodigy IV (all X-Factor)

Kyle Jinadu-Beaubier

Exodus, Emma Frost, Magneto, Mr Sinister, Mystique, Nightcrawler, Kate Pryde, Sebastian Shaw, Storm, Professor X (all Quiet Council)



Thunderbird I


Egg, Elixir, Hope, Proteus, Tempus (all the Five)


Captain America, Iron Man, Vision, Wasp




in flashback:

Scarlet Witch



Domino, Wolverine


Story Notes: 

Wanda's body was found in X-Factor (4th series) #10.

Proteus mentions that his mother died before Krakoa was formed, referring to Moira MacTaggert's death in X-Men (2nd series) #108. However, Proteus is unaware, like the majority of mutantkind, that his mother faked her death, and has been alive all this time, as revealed in House of X #2.

Joanne Beaubier was the baby that Northstar found abandoned and adopted. However, Joanne was diagnosed with AIDS and tragically died shortly after. This prompted Northstar to publicly announce that he was gay, in the landmark Alpha Flight (1st series) #106. This issue marks the first indication that Joanne would have been a mutant.

The original Thunderbird, John Proudstar, was tragically killed on the new X-Men's second mission, in X-Men (1st series) #95. His ghost has been seen on occasion since then, he was also briefly resurrected during “Necrosha” and was one of several dead X-Men who worked together during the “Chaos War”.

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