X-Men: The Trial of Magneto

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto
X-Men The Trial of Magneto review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Marvel - 978-1-3029-3217-6
  • Release date: 2022
  • UPC: 9781302932176
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero

Magneto and the Scarlet Witch have complicated histories, sometimes together, sometime apart. When she first became known to the public it was as part of Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and for an extensive period she believed he was actually her father. She’s a cause of resentment among many mutants for having removed the powers of all but a couple of hundred. As she operates on that scale, who, then, could have killed her during the Hellfire Gala? The suspicion falls on Magneto, and the evidence also points in his direction. It doesn’t help that during the first council meeting after her death Magneto acts well out of character. At least well out of character for his personality of recent years. The guy who once led the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants would consider him positively restrained.

Magneto isn’t the only well known character behaving uncharacteristically under Leah Williams, and people also look odd as drawn by Lucas Werneck. As can be seen by numerous pin-up pages he can produce a beautiful composition, some of the Scarlet Witch having a stunning pre-Raphaelite decorative quality, but Captain America seems to be suffering from a condition that inflates and deflates his head from panel to panel. David Messina is called in to illustrate specific scenes with the Scarlet Witch, and these are more consistent.

Williams intends that events are confused and contradictory, but even within those parameters too much is left unexplained at the end. These are more than annoying niggles, they’re massive ethical questions about ends and means, and the way it looks is that someone has taken the fall for the greater good. Why? The actual end result, what Williams and the Scarlet Witch were leading towards, is a neat idea, but the path to is so fudged and compromised it’s only Werneck’s pin-up pages that will stay in the memory. Very disappointing.