The Trial of Magneto #2 Review | CBR – CBR – Comic Book Resources

A stunning last page reveal and compelling character drama make Leah Williams and Lucas Werneck’s The Trial of Magneto #2 a gripping X-Men comic.
The last few decades haven’t been easy for Wanda Maximoff, who suffered a mental breakdown in House of M and has been suffering from the consequences ever since. Dubbed “the pretender” by mutant-kind, Wanda’s heroic deeds as an Avenger have been overshadowed by three little words: “No more mutants.” In the final moments of this summer’s Hellfire Gala, Wanda turned up dead and Magneto, the man long believed to be her father, is the prime suspect. Writer Leah Williams and penciler Lucas Werneck’s The Trial of Magneto tracks the investigation into Wanda’s murder and its emotional fallout on those closest to her.
In The Trial of Magneto #2, X-Factor — a group of mutants usually tasked with investigating mutant deaths — continues its investigation into the murder of the Scarlet Witch. Meanwhile, Magneto is under psychic arrest at the mercy of Professor X and Hope Summers as they try to dig into the truth of his involvement. The X-Men prepare to meet the Avengers to turn over Wanda’s remains to her teammates. However, their meeting is cut short by a freed Magneto, who attacks the X-Men and Avengers, furious at their refusal to bring Wanda back from the dead. As Magneto breaks down, a surprise reappearance brings the battle to a halt.
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Here, Williams continues the thoughtful character work that made the first issue of this miniseries so emotionally effective. Despite their complicated history and the recent reinvention of her character as a non-mutant, Magneto still cares deeply for the woman he long considered a daughter, at least in his selfish way. This same fraught family dynamic echoes in the physical clash with his other wayward child, Polaris. In Wanda’s fate, Polaris sees the emotional wreckage of her own life played out and twisted to its darkest possible end. Williams effectively leverages Wanda’s death to spotlight Magneto’s sordid past and the way his selfishness and ego have carved a path of destruction and pain for those he claims to love.
The mystery of who killed Wanda plays in the background in this issue, but the spotlight is truly on the ripple effect of Wanda’s death on those she knew. As mutants celebrate the death of the pretender, Magneto looks on, tormented by the loss. The inclusion of the Avengers here as colleagues in mourning is a welcome change from the all-too-common adversarial relationship the two teams often have. Though the mutants have reason to hate Wanda, there is nevertheless a sadness that emanates in these scenes as Jean Grey embraces the Wasp and Cyclops extends a hand of friendship to Captain America.
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Werneck’s strong sense of storytelling grants the book the emotional heft it needs to sell the drama at its core. His assured pencils and layouts keep this dialogue-heavy issue dynamic. Werneck avoids the flashy, ambitious spreads that peppered the premiere issue. Instead, he zeros in on the characters. This chapter demands much of the reader’s attention in the heavy conversations and, by minimizing the complexity of the panel arrangement, Werneck lets the dialogue take precedence. Edgar Delgado’s colors contrast the story’s emotional intensity by leaning into the vibrant colors of tropical paradise, alluding to the idea that Krakoa holds more beneath its seemingly perfect surface.
The twist in the issue’s last few pages recolors the title of the book itself. If things are as they appear, the focus of Magneto’s “trial” is less the events of Wanda’s murder and more an examination of his history of abuse and how it has wreaked havoc on those he claims to care for.
The Trial of Magneto continues to build a compelling emotional story for one of the franchise’s richest characters. The surrounding mystery, while an interesting hook, is simply a set dressing for interpersonal drama that mines the rich history of the X-Men, which even those with only a passing familiarity can appreciate. Like the best X-Men stories, the issue’s explosive action serves as a reflection of the drama between its characters. Williams and Werneck have a strong grasp of Marvel’s mutants, and The Trial of Magneto may yet prove to be a seminal entry in Magneto and Scarlet Witch’s long history.
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Tim Rooney is a non-profit professional by day. He spends most of the rest of his time thinking very seriously about superheroes. Tim has written for ComicsXF and PanelxPanel and has very useful degrees in English and Theology. Follow him on Twitter @urbane_turtle


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