Update: 16 hours after X-Factor #10 hit stands, Marvel Comics has revealed the surprise ending to the issue: the Scarlet Witch has been murdered.
While Newsarama generally holds back on spoilers, Marvel has gone all out in revealing the finale of this week's X-Factor #10, which itself is the final issue of the series. The publisher has done so in promotion of a follow-up limited series, X-Men: The Trial of Magneto, which goes into the details and prosecution of Magneto as the suspected murder.
Along with this spoiler by Marvel Comics, they have revealed a variant cover to X-Men: Trial of Magneto #1 by Mark Brooks. The image is a homage to the classic Renaissance sculpture The Pieta by Michaelangelo. This sculpture has been homaged numerous times in comics, with everything from 1982's The Death of Captain Marvel #1, 1987's Captain Atom #8, 1990's Captain Atom #44, 1993's Harbinger #14, 2002's Deadpool: Funeral for a Freak #3, 2006's Hellblazer #217, 2009's Gen13 #29, and 2016's Civil War II #8.
For more on the events of this week's X-Factor #10, read on... but first, here are some newly released covers for X-Men: Trial of Magneto #1, including the main cover by Valerio Schiti and variant covers by Elizabeth Torque and Stanley "Artgerm" Lau.
Original story follows...
The X-Men line's party/crossover 'The Hellfire Gala' reaches its dying embers in this week's X-Factor #10, which reveals the apparent victim of the murder of which Magneto will be accused in the upcoming Trial of Magneto limited series.
The Trial of Magneto will spin directly out of X-Factor #10, which marks the end of the title from writer Leah Williams and artists David Baldeon, David Messina, Lucas Wernick, and Israel Silva, with Williams and Wernick scheduled to create the upcoming limited series.
As for who the murder victim is, well, believe us when we say it's a doozy - one that will surely have major ramifications for some of Marvel's biggest upcoming stories, as has been implied.
Spoilers ahead for X-Factor #10.
While 'The Hellfire Gala' wanes, Eye Boy and Prodigy head off to a planned after-party on Planet Arakko - but they're interrupted by Tommy Shepherd/Speed of the Young Avengers, himself a mutant and the reincarnated son of the Scarlet Witch (and of course the twin brother of Wiccan). Speed has arrived, at Eye Boy's invitation, to see his best pal Prodigy from their time together in the Young Avengers, with the pair joyously embracing.
But the joy is only momentary, as the trio notice someone laying in the garden not far from them apparently passed out from partying, and Speed begins to rush off to investigate. Both Prodigy and Eye Boy try to stop him, as they realize before Speed does that the person isn't passed out, but dead - along with who it is. But Speed wrenches away and runs into the bushes.
There he finds the apparently dead body of none other than his own mother, Wanda Maximoff/the Scarlet Witch, seemingly murdered by an unknown assailant. Prodigy calls for Northstar, and for back-up, as Speed breaks down at the sight.
A group of leading mutants including Beast, Xavier, Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Magik arrives, with Wolverine investigating the body - and immediately asking for Magneto's whereabouts.
And with that, the mystery of who Magneto is accused of murdering is solved - but not the mystery of the actual culprit, or the motive Magneto may have to kill Wanda.
In fact, Wanda was last seen alive by Marvel readers in SWORD #6 visiting Magneto in his quarters in the same part of Planet Arakko, where the two reconciled, and Magneto stated that Wanda was his daughter, even if the two aren't biologically related as they previously believed.
He also vowed to mend fences with her, whatever it takes - so turning around and killing her would be particularly odd.
There's also the ripple effect the apparent murder of Wanda Maximoff has on several other planned Marvel stories that have already been announced, beyond The Trial of Magneto. For one thing, there's the upcoming Death of Doctor Strange, for which Wanda seems to have been getting some recent positioning as a possible replacement for Strange as Sorcerer Supreme when he himself is murdered in a mystery whodunnit.
And there's the Darkhold event in which Wanda will be the protagonist against the evil magic of the Chthonic tome - though Marvel has confirmed to Newsarama that the events of Darkhold take place before Wanda's murder, chronologically. Darkhold was originally intended to go on sale in 2020, however it was delayed by changes to Marvel's schedule during the global pandemic.
Then there's Inferno, Jonathan Hickman's upcoming X-Men title which the writer promises will follow up on threads laid all the way back at the beginning of his time as 'head of X.'
That's not even mentioning the lingering question around Wanda's actual parentage and connection to Magneto. For decades Wanda and her brother Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver were believed to be the mutant children of Magneto until it was revealed that they're not mutants at all, let alone Magneto's kids, but genetically engineered beings created by the High Evolutionary with ties to Magneto's past on Mount Wundagore. The High Evolutionary, coincidentally, will be a part of the new X-Men series by Gerry Duggan and Pepe Larraz.
Could Wanda be resurrected on Krakoa, both enabling her to continue on the path that's apparently been laid out for her in the Marvel Universe, perhaps simultaneously re-establishing her mutant status quo?
Answers may start to come in August 18's Trial of Magneto #1.
Stay on top of everything coming up for Marvel's mutants with our listing of all the new X-Men comics planned for 2021 and beyond.