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There's something fishy about the Scarlet Witch's murder in X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #1

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #1 excerpt
X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #1 excerpt (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The name on the title is X-Men: Trial of Magneto #1, but the first issue of the special event-ish series by Leah Williams and Lucas Werneck isn't rushing to the courtroom to try and convict the murderer of Scarlet Witch. Instead, it's more the classic Law & Order format - complete with June 30's X-Factor #10 serving as a cold open.

(Image credit: Valerio Schiti/Marcio Menyz (Marvel Comics))

Before we read this issue, we had our suspects as to the murder of Wanda Maximoff - but this issue now colors those perceptions.

Spoilers ahead for X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #1.

This over-sized first issue opens with some members of X-Factor (mutantkind's de facto crime investigators) surveying an area believed to be where Scarlet Witch's struggle with her unknown assailant began. 

Northstar acts as the lead detective, with Daken sniffing out the area and Prestige (Rachel Summers) using her telepathic abilities to rewind to the last moments of Wanda's life. With both Wolverines, Synch, and Domino as bystanders, X-Factor concludes that Scarlet Witch initially broke free from her assailant but was later dragged down behind some bushes.

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #1 excerpt (Image credit: Lucas Werneck/Edgar Delgado/Clayton Cowles (Marvel Comics))

The big question, which Northstar says out loud, is why didn't Scarlet Witch use her powers to fend off the attacker?

The autopsy of Scarlet Witch

We don't hear the answer to that, as the issue jumps ahead to an autopsy (that Law & Order format, remember), with Prodigy and Eye Boy acting as the coroners. It could be a coincidence, but Prodigy and Eye Boy were the first people to find Wanda's body - along with Speed, her son.

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #1 excerpt (Image credit: Lucas Werneck/Edgar Delgado/Clayton Cowles (Marvel Comics))

Using their powers and skills, they deduce that Scarlet Witch's hands were bound with something "metallic," and the same kind of metal was used to strangle the Avenger. They somehow deduce, although it isn't sure how, that the metal was controlled by "supernatural magnetization."

In a subtle flashback to the previous scene, Prestige's powers reveal that Wanda's attacker was "someone she trusts… who was wearing a white cape?" Prestige phrases this as a question, but says firmly that she sees the still-unknown attacker walking away from the body.

Magneto, of course, is well known for wearing an all-white costume on occasion - complete with a white cape.

(The details of their findings are important - more on that later.)

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #1 excerpt (Image credit: Lucas Werneck/Edgar Delgado/Clayton Cowles (Marvel Comics))

Polaris, who is Magneto's biological daughter, witnesses the autopsy and goes to confront her father.

The Quiet Council gets loud

Talk then turns to the ruling body of mutantkind/Krakoa, the Quiet Council - of which Magneto is one of the 10 members. The topic of discussion is the resurrection of the Scarlet Witch.

Although she was revealed to be a non-mutant back in 2017, Professor X says he still has back-ups of her and her brother from back then - so they could resurrect her from those older Cerebro records.

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #1 excerpt (Image credit: Lucas Werneck/Edgar Delgado/Clayton Cowles (Marvel Comics))

But while she could be resurrected, the Quiet Council votes against resurrecting her as a "non-mutant" in a 7 - 3 vote; Magneto, Kate Pryde, and Nightcrawler vote for her; Xavier, Mystique, Emma Frost, Storm, Mister Sinister, Exodus, and Sebastian Shaw vote against. Magneto lashes out at Xavier over the vote, contorting the professor's metal helmet - but Kate Pryde and others intervene to stop him from going further.

With no recourse, Magneto exits the Quiet Council's chamber out into a common area - only to find various young mutants celebrating the death of Scarlet Witch as 'The Pretender'. 

Before he has time to lash out, the results of the autopsy lead Northstar and a contingent of X-Men to apprehend the mutant master of magnetism as their prime suspect.

Magneto resists the 'arrest,' leading to a battle with the Wolverines, Daken, and Synch, before Polaris - remember, Magneto's biological daughter - confronts him on both personal and power-vs-power levels. With the new X-Men team supporting her, Polaris takes on Magneto… only for him to be whisked away by the one person you'll always piss off if you mess with Wanda: her brother, Pietro Maximoff (AKA Quicksilver).

Quicksilver pummels Magneto as any angry brother would, but is eventually pulled off by Northstar with the X-Men apprehending the now-unconscious suspect.

Fast-forwarding a bit, Magneto is 'in custody' with Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Wolverine. Jean Grey tries to probe his unconscious mind for answers but comes up short, calling it "a nightmare" with the unnamed narrator saying "Grief is a knifing wind."

Invasion of the Scarlet Witch body-snatchers

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #1 excerpt (Image credit: Lucas Werneck/Edgar Delgado/Clayton Cowles (Marvel Comics))

Meanwhile, back at the autopsy area where Wanda's body was being stored, there is a problem: the body is missing. The body's disappearance is discovered by Speed and Prodigy, who bring up Wanda's other brother Wiccan. 

Apparently, news of Wanda's death hasn't been able to reach him while he's at his husband Hulkling's side out in space with the unified Kree/Skrull empire. With Wanda's body coming up missing, they're going to give that call a second try.

The death of an Avenger reaches the Avengers

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #1 excerpt (Image credit: Lucas Werneck/Edgar Delgado/Clayton Cowles (Marvel Comics))

In another short scene, Professor Xavier has called the Avenges - specifically Captain America, Iron Man, and the Wasp - to the Krakoan Gate in Manhattan to deliver news of Wanda's death. Understandably, it hits the Vision especially hard and he crumbles under the weight of it.

Not dead yet

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #1 excerpt (Image credit: Lucas Werneck/Edgar Delgado/Clayton Cowles (Marvel Comics))

Lastly, we get a surprise - a flashback memory of Scarlet Witch as she's fatally stabbed by a figure in a white cloak, bearing a thin-bladed short sword. This scene seems slightly symbolic more so than actual events. However, this memory of her death is quite different than the X-Factor investigation - specifically, being bound and strangled. In this version, she's stabbed in the abdomen.

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #1 excerpt (Image credit: Lucas Werneck/Edgar Delgado/Clayton Cowles (Marvel Comics))

As Wanda bleeds out, things get metaphorical as the blood becomes flower petals (first red, then several colors) spewing out of her body while an inner monologue goes on. The most important bits are the end, where Scarlet Witch narrates "I died, and yet… I know that I am not dead."

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #1 ends with a design page showing three anarchy symbols, with the text 'Where am I?"

The story continues September 15 with X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #2.

Keep track of this and all the new X-Men comics, graphic novels, and collections in 2021 and beyond. 

Chris Arrant

Newsarama Senior Editor Chris Arrant has covered comic book news for Newsarama since 2003, and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table.