The Marvel Universe is a place where life is affected by super human powers, high technology and the supernatural. With all of those things being virtually everyday occurrences, it's no surprise that there isn't just one reality in the Marvel Universe. While the main reality of the Marvel U unfolds on Earth 616, there are thousands of other Earths existing in parallel dimensions, each with a history that has diverged at various key points in time, taking on numerous different paths.
X-Men fans are particularly familiar with these multiple Earths. In the now classic 1981 storyline "Days of Future Past," readers were transported to an alternate future world where most of that world's mutant population had been imprisoned or executed. In the epic 1995-1996 storyline "Age of Apocalypse," fans were presented with a world where the assassination of Professor Charles Xavier allowed the villainous mutant, Apocalypse, to conquer the Earth. This month, the alternate world X-story tradition continues when writer Mike Carey and a host of artists kick off "Age of X," a seven-part crossover storyline that begins January 26 with the release of the "Age of X Alpha" one-shot before running through the pages of "X-Men: Legacy" and "New Mutants."
In the reality of "Age of X," Professor Xavier never had the chance to form his team of X-Men and the world has been taken over by a violent coalition of anti-mutant forces. In the wake of this, the world's remaining mutants have banded together for one last shot at survival. Naturally, the mutants of "Age of X" are a little bit different from their Earth 616 counterparts.
In an effort to help fans get better acquainted with the cast of "Age of X," CBR News is kicking off a new multi-part feature titled the AGE OF X COMMUNIQUÉS. With each installment Mike Carey provides CBR News with detailed dossiers on his protagonists, files prepared by anti-mutant government operative Henry Peter Gyrich. Last week, we gave readers a special sneak peek at the feature with Gyrich's thoughts on Magneto. Today, we re-present the Magneto file along with two additional reports on the mutants known as Basilisk and Legacy.
From: Henry Peter Gyrich, Anti-Mutant Task Force
To: Simon Trask, Director Ops
Stephen Lang, Deputy Ops
As requested, summary information on mutants known to be behind the "Fortress X" barricade. Full files and supporting documentation available on request.
Not clearly established. Aliases include Eric Lensherr and Magnus Eisenhardt: either could be his real name, as all relevant records have been destroyed, we believe by Magneto himself.
Magda Eisenhardt: Wife, dead (circumstances of death not known).
Wanda Maximoff: Daughter, and Pietro Maximoff, son. Both dead (see: Operation Red Hot)
Lorna Dane: Possibly another daughter. Was incarcerated at Alcatraz, but died while trying to escape. Officers were disciplined: her use as a bargaining counter against Magneto might have been considerable.
Magneto is clearly the biggest threat we currently face. Attempts to capture or kill him using "Minimum-metal" Exonim units of Mark-IV and V types have all failed, although we believe that the Baton Rouge ambush left him wounded.
I think our mistake in the early operations was in viewing Magneto purely and simply as a terrorist. He actually has a formidable strategic mind and a radical agenda which goes beyond simple resistance or protest. He organized two extremely successful mutant terrorist cadres that we know of (see: Brotherhood, Acolytes) and also provided logistical and intelligence support for the Mutant Liberation Front. His attempt to reverse the Earth's magnetic poles would have succeeded if it hadn't been for the intervention of Tony Stark and Reed Richards, whose field valence manipulators are still running full-time to prevent a repetition of that crisis.
The truth is – and please don't take this as any kind of an endorsement – Magneto is an idealist. In other circumstances, if we hadn't been able to roll out the Exonim program when we did to cull mutant numbers so effectively, it's possible that he might have mobilized them into a terrifyingly potent force. Subject Simon Hall admitted under interrogation that Magneto had plans to found a mutant republic on Genosha. I leave you to imagine the implications of that, in light of the invaluable technical support that the Genoshan magistrates have provided to our own people.
Bottom line: even if the opportunity of taking Magneto alive were to arise, I'd advise against it. I wouldn't lower the threat assessment on his file until I'd seen him not just killed but ground into fine powder and scattered over the Eastern seaboard.
Alex Summers, Brother. Died while resisting arrest. (See: Operation Clean-Sweep)
Gabriel Summers, Brother. In induced coma at Barton-Howell research facility.
Summers' power is to emit beams of energy from his eyes: intensely powerful, without recoil, upper limit still unknown. The power kicked in at age 14, which seems to be typical. No warning, and there were a whole lot of people nearby. He was in a cinema: a John Wayne festival in Anchorage. Seven fatalities, two of whom were Summers' mother and father.
He was incarcerated at our Buffalo holding unit for two years, then transferred to Alcatraz under the terms of the Emergency Powers Act, when the prison became a specialized, mutants-only facility. There he came to the attention of the prison governor, Harcourt Teesdale – known to the inmates as "Arcade" because of the mutant-themed amusements he would set up for guards and visitors (my report: 12/07/08).
It was Arcade who discovered that ruby quartz inhibited the propagation of Summers' energy powers. He had Summers fitted with a face mask, complete with ruby quartz lenses in the eyeholes, and he surgically removed Summers' eyelids in order to remove from him any way of shutting off his eye-beams by his own choosing. As "the Basilisk," Summers then became a bespoke form of execution for other mutant inmates at the prison.
Summers is believed to have killed Arcade in the course of his escape, but damage to the body was so extensive that it wasn't possible to determine cause of death.
I believe that Summers is motivated primarily by a desire to expiate the guilt of the deaths he's caused. His commitment to the mutant cause is unshakeable, and the threat level he represents cannot be exaggerated.
Raven Darkholme. Died in custody.
Irene Adler. Died in custody.
This was a classic case of the agency shooting itself in the foot. When Darkholme and Adler tested X-gene positive and were arrested, why did nobody think to test the girl? She was on record as an adoptive child, but we know by long experience that mutants stick to their own: there was a better than fifty percent chance that Anna-Marie would have tested positive, too, and she could have been taken into custody then, before her powers even manifested, at zero risk to our agents on the ground.
Instead, she went feral: dropped out of sight and survived somehow on the streets of various Mississippi towns before heading East. She's known to have encountered the Mutant Liberation Front in New York just before their attacks on Trask Corporation subsidiaries. We haven't been able to establish whether Legacy took any part in those attacks, but she definitely provided intel for them – obtaining site details and security codes by making casual skin-to-skin contact with employees. She absorbs memories directly by touch, and is apparently also able, in the case of mutants or other super-powered subjects, to absorb enhanced abilities in the same way.
We're missing a few links in the chain that brings her eventually into Magneto's orbit. Again, we can't link her to any of the atrocities he committed in Genosha, San Francisco or New York, but they certainly met at least once before the Fortress X barrier was raised. We're exploring the possibility that they had an intimate relationship. Testimony given under duress by subject Simon Hall (aka "Neophyte") seem to point to this.