X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #5 is written by Leah Williams, illustrated by Lucas Werneck, colored by Edgar Delgado, and lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles. It is published by Marvel Comics. After a winding investigation, resurrection, and battle against kaiju, the Avengers and the X-Men finally learn the identity of the Scarlet Witch’s murderer. Meanwhile, Scarlet Witch gives a gift to Krakoa in the form of 20 million mutant souls, making them accessible for resurrection.
The Scarlet Witch has traveled a long and rocky road to this point. Perhaps the biggest story most Marvel fans know her for is House of M, where she reduced the population of mutantkind to less than 200. Her origin as Magneto’s daughter, as well as a mutant herself, was retconned shortly after— leading to her being referred to as “The Pretender” on Krakoa. Not only does her resurrection restore her mutanthood, but she also manages to restore millions of mutant souls — including an X-Man fans have wanted to see resurrected for the longest time. I think we can safely say that Wanda Maximoff has more than earned her redemption.
However, it comes at the cost of sidelining the character the series is supposedly about. After playing a large role in the first two issues, the Master of Magnetism has largely been sidelined. While Williams attempts to craft a scene that has Magneto break down sobbing, it doesn’t land. If you want us to feel emotional over a character in your story, then it helps if said character plays a large role in that story — especially when the story is named after them. The circumstances surrounding the Scarlet Witch’s death are also unnecessarily complex in nature; a lot of hoops are leaped through just to set up her resurrection and redemption. I enjoyed Williams’ work on X-Factor and Amazing Mary Jane, but I feel that she may not have been the best writer for this story.
If there’s one positive about the series, it’s that it continues to look stellar under Werneck’s artistic style. Werneck draws scenes that range from horrific, including a mutant being dragged underneath Krakoa and hopeful, as the ending features the Scarlet Witch sitting around a campfire to tell her story. He’s helped in this regard by Delgado, who colors the scenery with different shades depending on the time and setting. The Quiet Council’s headquarters on Krakoa is lush and filled with greenery — a harsh juxtaposition to the events that transpire there. When Scarlet Witch uses her chaos magic to cast a spell at night, whitish-blue flames throw an eerie glow over the inhabitants of Krakoa, excluding Proteus, who is a living collection of energy. Cowles’ lettering continues to have the same concentric shape as previous issues during the issue’s data pages; it helps sell the illusion of spellcraft.
X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #5 serves as the conclusion to a convoluted and ultimately disappointing story that redeems the Scarlet Witch but fails to put the spotlight on Magneto. Thankfully, the Master of Magnetism has a larger role in Inferno and the upcoming Immortal X-Men, so if this series disappointed you, I’d suggest picking those up.
X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #5 is available now wherever comics are sold.
X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #5
X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #5 serves as the conclusion to a convoluted and ultimately disappointing story that redeems the Scarlet Witch but fails to put the spotlight on Magneto.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.