Marvel’s TRIAL OF MAGNETO is a shocking, juvenile ‘Bait and Switch’

A comic book title like X-MEN: THE TRIAL OF MAGNETO (TOM) sounds like a story which should have every X-fan racing to their local comic book shop.
X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #4

Billed as “The story that will shake Krakoa to its core!,” TOM was certainly being pumped by Marvel, but quickly sabotages every elements of intrigue and suspense, disengaging the reader from the “point” of the book.

Issue #1 follows the X-Factor investigating the murder of Scarlet Witch in the aftermath of the Hellfire Gala with Magneto being suspect number one. The Quiet Council of Krakoa votes against resurrecting Wanda, further angering Magneto, setting a full attack and the blame game.
Quicksilver pummels Magneto, stopped by Northstar, who ultimately takes the murder suspect to the Healing Gardens. Jean is unable to learn the truth from Magento’s mind as the first issue concludes with Wanda awaking in a strange place, confirming to readers that she is not actually dead.
At this point, audiences may feel that the entire tale may be pointless. If Wanda is not dead, then the attack on Magneto would ignite the villain’s rage against the X-Men and rally allies against them.
Sound familiar? Re-read dozen of classic X-Men stories to revisit this recycled plotpoint.
Writer Leah Williams continues to waste pages of characters grieving and mourning Wanda while the reader knows she bled out flowers (yes, the imagery was blood becoming roses at the close of issue #1) and awaits for a true purpose for the story.
Professor X manipulates Hope Summers to torture Magneto’s mind, but defends his actions like an Guantanamo Bay terrorist interrogator: “Finding the truth isn’t torture.”
Wanda’s body has been “consumed” by Krakoa, so the X-Men give the Avengers a tour to hide the fact the body is now missing.
Yes, while Vision is mourning, the writer spends time to portray Tony Stark’s sexism, how much Captain America likes Northstar’s husband and have Quicksilver reject a hug.
Hope pulls Magneto out of his coma, who ultimately attacks everyone, threatens to murder Kyle and confesses to the murder just as Wanda shows up and kisses Vision.
Wanda 2.0 is short on memories, not recognizing her children Billy and Tommy, prompting Rachel and Jean to restore some of her memories before self-healing monsters attack. Wanda is murdered again in her mysterious Chaos Magic dimension and issue #3 concludes with her facing an older version of herself.
Magneto is an afterthought at this point, the Avengers are irrelevant and Wanda has to learn to forgive herself to fuse the different versions together into one.
Readers are supposed to see Freudian Id, Ego, and Superego versions of Wanda, something deep, but Williams delivers cheap self-help dialogue to fill the pages.
“Some mornings, my body wakes up before my mind does.” – Wanda…is that intended to be profound or a catchphase for a mug?
It’s Wanda’s “quit” and inner “turmoil” creating those Kaiju, threatening the lives of everyone, including her kids. (Do it for the kids Wanda! Deal with your trauma to make the monsters go away) — Yes, this is Williams’ attempt to make Wanda the victim and not the monster.
Now that Wanda is “not dead,” because she never was, and there isn’t going to be a trial for Magneto (he didn’t do anything wrong until he was attacked), the “real killer” must be brought to justice: Toad.
Yes, Toad.
He did it all for Magneto and Wanda tries to defend him…because?
Most of the conclusion centers around Wanda’s idea of resurrecting mutants and needing Magneto to ACTUALLY kill her to bring back thousands of the deceased, including Thunderbird.
Exodus sits down with Wanda at his side to tell the children of Krakoa a new story, the story of how the “pretender” became the “redeemer.”
Reading TOM after revisiting classic X-Men tales, like THE DARK PHOENIX SAGA, was my mistake and created a sharper contrast between modern storytelling and legendary arcs which stand the test of time.
Attempts at banter between Wolverine and Northstar to kick off the story which cares little about the legacy of these characters, degrading them for cheap gags or failed attempts at wit.
Issue #1 reveals to the reader that there was no murder and issue #2 revealed to all of the characters that Wanda is alive, so there are no stakes.
In the aforementioned DARK PHOENIX SAGA, new characters were written into a complex story, there is death, chaos and uncertainty. The events resulted in Cyclops leaving the team, keeping audiences guessing.
TOM betrays the the title over and over again.
To summarize, TOM was a bogus “click bait” attempt to get fans to think Williams was writing a mystery, Magneto’s powers or future could be in jeopardy and that there was a consequential incident from the Hellfire Gala.
Instead, there was no murder, no trial, very little about Magneto as this was about Wanda, bringing back old dead characters and creating a framework to keep Scarlet Witch in the hero category instead being labeling a villain for the atrocities she continues to perform.
TOM is riddled with juvenile pop psychology, juvenile themes on forgiveness and attempts to hide terrible dialogue within the decent art. This miniseries will be forgotten by the few fans who bothering reading past issue #1.

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