Warning: SPOILERS for X-Men Blue #34
The X-Men's greatest villain, Magneto, has decided his time as a hero is at an end in this week's X-Men Blue #34. Having spent the last few years working alongside different teams of X-Men, the Master of Magnetism has established a new Asteroid M - and formed a new and dangerously powerful Brotherhood.
Nobody ever believed Magneto's time as a hero would really last. He only joined the X-Men because he believed in Cyclops's leadership, and since then his alliance with the Children of the Atom has been tenuous at best (at one point Psylocke made an assassination attempt upon him). Cullen Bunn's X-Men Blue series has seen Magneto tread a difficult path, attempting to work alongside the time-displaced original X-Men and even serve as their mentor.
Related: X-Men: 15 Times Magneto Won
The last few issues have seen them part ways, though, and Magneto has finally decided to use a time-travel platform to catch a glimpse of the future of the mutant race. A future he can't help but wish to either make real... or start to change immediately.
In X-Men Blue #34 Magneto learns that, in this timeline, war did eventually come between man and mutant. He made his stand, ravaging the entire world but somehow saving the last remnants of the mutant race - including a child who looks suspiciously like a son of Nightcrawler. Although the world views him as a villain, Magneto concludes that this is a future he can accept; he will fight and die saving mutants from human oppression.
Returning to Earth, Magneto continues his quest to destroy potential threats. But having seen the future, he's now willing to go to lengths the X-Men would never sanction. To that end, he creates a new Asteroid M, a sanctuary for mutants seeking to escape persecution... and a new base for a mutant Brotherhood.
This new Brotherhood should give the X-Men pause. Exodus, for example, is one of the most powerful psionics on the planet; during the "Fatal Attractions" arc, he was able to single-handedly take on the X-Men. He once matched Charles Xavier blow-for-blow in a psychic battle that threatened to fry the minds of anyone nearby. Meanwhile, both Amelia Voght and Marrow are dangerous personal threats for the X-Men; Voght is an old flame of Xavier's, while Marrow was a nemesis of Storm's (before becoming an X-Man for a time herself). Elixir is an Omega Level healer who has the potential to heal the dead. And although Briar Raleigh isn't a mutant, she's a dangerously smart tactician. Finally, in an appropriate nod to the classic X-Men comics, there's also Toad.
It was always inevitable that Magneto would return to his villainous ways; it's just fortunate that his fall back to the dark side is being written by Cullen Bunn, a master of continuity and characterization. Bunn has been writing Magneto since 2014, when he launched a dedicated Magneto series that ran several years. He's consistently demonstrated a deep understanding of the character, and the last few episodes have foreshadowed this moment perfectly.
With such a Brotherhood at his side, though, Magneto could well be a greater threat than ever before. X-Men Blue is coming to an end; the current Extermination miniseries is expected to send the original X-Men back to their own time. But this issue makes it clear that Magneto's story isn't going to come to a close with the series, and Bunn is setting the Master of Magnetism down a very dark path indeed.
X-Men Blue #34 is available now from Marvel Comics.