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Plot Summary

The Acolytes seek out Magneto in Asteroid M, pledging to serve him in his cause. But does Magneto even still have a cause? If he does, will the X-Men have cause to oppose it?

Note: Magneto sunk the Leningrad in Uncanny X-Men #150.

Synopsis

In space, a craft tries to outrun three others. The passengers of the lead ship stole it from S.H.I.E.L.D. so as to find Asteroid M. One of the trailing ships fires warning shots, which is returned by fire that takes out one of the three ships. With one ship down, the other two are determined to take the lead ship out, even though they'd be firing over Russian airspace. Before they can, however, a bright flash streaks before them. Magneto appears and rips the ships apart, informing the passengers that he is no longer concerned with Earth and that he will return them as a warning not to mess with him. One of the people searching for Magneto begs to be allowed to stay on Asteroid M, especially since the group (from the lead ship, the Acolytes) want to get Magneto back in the action on Earth. They ask how he can turn his back on his kind at the time that he is needed most.

In Russia, Colonel Fury is called into council to discuss Magneto's presence in their airspace. Knowing that the Acolytes stole the ship to find Magneto, the government can't help but take protective measures. They want to initiate the Magneto Protocols. Fury understands their concern but believes calling in the X-Men may be a better solution.

The X-Men are in New York and beginning a practice session. The mutants in the field are to infiltrate the X-Mansion and locate and capture the Professor, who has Jean Grey by his side. As the Professor waits for the training to begin, he and Jean discuss his dream. He still questions it from time to time, but Jean assures him that if the dream were dead then none of the X-Men would be there.

The training begins. Outside the mansion, Rogue gets some defensive missiles to lock onto her. She zooms around and has the missiles take out the launchers. Too bad for her that she can't avoid the very next wave of missiles. Archangel and Colossus have a different approach: brute strength. Archangel flies the human form of Colossus up and throws him at the mansion. Colossus, turning into his metal form in midair, bursts into the mansion and confronts the Professor; Jean, however, is able to stop him telepathically from taking the Professor.

Underground, Wolverine, Psylocke, and Gambit creep towards their goal. They had been successful thus far in infiltrating the mansion without being detected but the gig is up. Robots spring up to accost the trio. As Wolverine and Psylocke rip into the robots, scanners lose trace of Gambit. He, it seems, has found his way into the room with the Professor and Jean. He quickly dispatches Jean with some cards. Ever the romantic, he leans in for a victor's kiss. Jean explodes, as she and the "Professor" are just decoy robots. With Cyclops, Beast, and the real Jean and Professor momentarily sidetracked in a monitoring room, Wolverine rips into the room and, with a very violent gesture, "takes" the Professor. Cyclops is angry, as one slip by Wolverine could have really hurt the Professor. Wolverine explains that it was all part of the plan: Psylocke temporarily masked Wolverine's presence so that he could make the grand entrance. The two men can't see eye to eye and Wolverine stomps out.

Some time later, Colonel Fury informs the X-Men about the possible threat of Magneto over Russia. The Professor promises to help out in any way he can. For the time being, he decides to split his huge team of X-Men into two groups so as to respond more effectively to any given situation.

On Asteroid M, the passengers of the ships awaken and immediately grow hostile towards each other. The Acolytes, mutants, find that their powers have been dampened. Too bad, as the humans have ordnance suits that still operate. One person makes a show of the effectiveness of this weaponry but is unable to use it because of the presence of Magneto. He informs him that they are all guests and must behave as such. On of the Acolytes runs to plead for sanctuary when on of the humans opens fire and wounds the Acolyte. Very unhappy, Magneto forces the man to turn his guns onto himself as a just punishment. Fabian Cortez, the spokesman for the Acolytes, attempts to convince that, despite Magneto's statements that he no longer has a cause to fight for, there is something worth protecting on Earth.

As the Blue Team prepares to leave (a team consisting of Cyclops, Wolverine, Psylocke, Beast, Rogue, and Gambit), Magneto pulls the Leningrad from the depths of the sea. He finds that some of the nuclear missiles are still operable. As he pulls them out, the X-Men arrive and confront him. Automatically assuming the worst, various attempts are made to attack. Beast and Gambit try a sneak attack, but Beast is taken out by a massive blast to the gut and Gambit is dispatched by his own charged cards. Psylocke gets in a great kick, but she is also taken out by a metallic tentacle. Wolverine is next and takes a mighty swipe at Magneto, gashing his chest. Cyclops blasts Magneto through a wall. Seeing Wolverine coming for him again, he propels Wolverine into Cyclops and departs for Asteroid M with the missiles in tow. Rogue follows him in hopes to talk. She realizes that talking would have probably worked all along. Magneto explains that he's simply trying to protect his home. Just then, a jet flies in and shoots Rogue out of the sky. Enraged, Magneto detonates one of the bombs while taking the rest to Asteroid M.

In his chambers, Magneto is surrounded by his Acolytes. He collapses with the wound Wolverine gave him. Fabian explains that the X-Men must pay. Magneto can't figure why his own kind must die to protect all the rest of the mutants and Fabian explains that the goals just don't match. He then offers to heal Magneto with his mutant powers.

Cyclops gets a message from the Professor that Rogue has been found in the island nation of Genosha. She awakens to find Chief Magistrate Anderson asking for her help to combat some terrorists on the island. Just then, the terrorists show up. It's the Acolytes and they are trying to purge Genosha due to its mistreatment of mutants in the past. The X-Men arrive and effectively take out the terrorists, but then Magneto appears and collects his Acolytes. He then declares that Asteroid M is a sovereign nation in which all mutants are citizens - they need only make the trip.

In New York, Banshee finds Moira MacTaggert in hysterics. For some reason, she thinks she's responsible for the terrible thing that is happening.

Reprints/Collects:

X-Men #1

Cover Price: US $3.50

Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 32 pages

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