Uncanny X-Men #4
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #4
Review/plot: The X-Men train and celebrate their team's one year anniversary. In fact, Jean's "training" includes taking a cake out of a box.
Magneto takes over the country of Santo Marco (referred to as a South American country, but full of white people and European architecture)...
...with the help of a stolen freighter retrofitted with some cannons (why not steal a battleship or something?) and another team of mutants.
The team includes the Toad, who has 'henchman' written all over him...
...and Mastermind, who is a sleazy looking older guy dressed in a trenchcoat. He's an illusionist.
It also includes Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, who are portrayed as not quite evil, but with no love of humans.
They are siblings, and they are with Magneto because he rescued the Witch, Wanda from an angry mob (later scenes will show her brother Pietro being rescued as well).
Check out this article, especially the references to the Max Pemberton story at the bottom, Stan & Jack's probable influences for the Scarlet Witch.
Xavier contacts Magneto on the astral plane and the two have a dialogue that outlines the differences in their feelings towards humans. Magneto wants to enslave them, but Xavier wants to lead them to a Golden Age.
It's been said that the Xavier/Magneto contrast represented Martin Luther King vs. Malcolm X, but it's not really presented that way here. At this point mutants haven't really been shown to be a persecuted minority, and Xavier is looking to help humanity, not necessarily be integrated with them. Malcolm X also never advocated enslaving white people; he just argued that blacks should not be non-violent in the face of the violence of white oppression.
Having failed in dialogue, Xavier summons his X-Men...
...and travels with them to Santo Marco to fight the Brotherhood.
Once again the X-Men are nearly defeated but saved by Professor X. Magneto and his Brotherhood escape, leaving a nuclear bomb behind to destroy the X-Men and the rest of the country, but Quicksilver rushes back and dismantles it. However, Xavier lost his powers preventing a smaller bomb blast from killing the other X-Men.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: X-Men: The Early Years #4
Inbound References (13): show
The Scarlet Witch's costume was originally green on the front cover.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 31, 2011 5:12 PM
It's not necessarily odd that Santo Marco has white people and has European architecture even though it is in South America. Buenos Aires is known to be a very "European" city, and lots of white people settled in Argentina and the rest of the southern cone. It's probably located down there.
Also, given Magneto's later interest in Nazi war criminals, Argentina's known role as being a place where Nazis fled to makes it a reason why Magneto might have selected such a nation for his initial conquest.
I don't think Santo Marco was ever used again (was it?), so I think it does not have a real canonical location.
Posted by: Chris | August 26, 2013 3:11 AM
Not only is Scarlet Witch the wrong color on the cover, she also has the wrong color dress in the flashback. The peasants call her the Scarlet Witch because she is wearing a red dress. In the reprint I own the color has been removed from the panel in order to hide the mistake.
Posted by: Steven Printz | January 12, 2014 8:21 AM
At least Wanda's hair looks a little red here. I was stunned when I recently read the Avengers Omnibus covering the first 30 issues and saw how her dark her hair was drawn.
Posted by: Erik Beck | December 16, 2014 7:12 PM
I think Chris hit the spot with his comment.
Posted by: Leves | April 14, 2015 5:41 PM
@Steven: Perhaps Jack wanted her called the Emerald Witch;)
Posted by: Nathan Adler | April 14, 2015 8:03 PM
Or there was a mix-up between Wanda and Pietro's costumes somewhere.
Had there ever been villains who weren't really evil before Pietro and Wanda? I don't mean like Bennett Brant who redeems himself while dying, I mean characters who flat-out tell the villain that they're not really on his side. There's no doubt about Toad and Mastermind for instance, and I can't think of other villains - Marvel or DC - who would qualify.
If this was a new development away from black-and-white hero/villain moralities, I wonder if it was just a result of the use of mutants. Kirby had an increasing interest in heroes and villains sharing the same origin [Asgardians, Inhumans, New Gods] and both he and Lee were probably thrilled to have such a convenient origin so they didn't have to come up with something new for each character.
So it would make sense to give them that sort of personality. Toad's the toady, Mastermind is the lech, Magneto's the leader. Why's Quicksilver there? Um, because of his sister. Why's she there? Because Jean needs someone to fight, and um, Magneto saved her. They joined the Avengers immediately after leaving Magneto's service.
Posted by: ChrisW | April 15, 2015 6:49 AM
I've always thought that Santo Marco, San Diablo, Terra Verde and all of these one shot Latin American countries were in fact the same place.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 28, 2016 5:20 PM
Just to be pedantic, I'd like to point out that Magneto is communicating telepathically with Professor X while wearing his helmet, despite later retcons that the purpose of the helmet is to block Xavier's telepathy.
Posted by: Andrew | March 15, 2017 10:08 PM
In an X-Factor Annual (5 or 6? I forget) secondary story it was revealed that Magneto had tech in his helmet that allowed him to communicate telepathically. Dr. Doom recreated the circuitry & helmet in order to to test if Magneto's heroic turn was genuine or not and if his will was a match for Doom.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | March 15, 2017 11:12 PM
I think it's only in the movies where Magneto's helmet is supposed to block Xavier's telepathy. In the comics, Magneto's always used his own power to defend himself from psychic attack. Check out the flashback of the pair's first meeting in X-Men 161. The helmet's just for style (aside from the one-time mind control scheme Jay mentions).
The movie writers probably got the idea from Juggernaut's helmet, which does have such a purpose in the comics.
Posted by: Mortificator | March 15, 2017 11:35 PM
Mark Miller's first arc on Ultimate X-Men uses Magneto's in a similar fashion, IIRC. In the climax, Quicksilver decides to finally stand up to his father and removes the helmet setting him up for a brain blast from Xavier. This would have been published after the movie, though. Not sure when/if it was retconned into 616.
Posted by: gfsdf gfbd (G Something) | March 16, 2017 11:04 AM
In Cullen Bunn's 2014 Magneto series, Magneto needs the helmet to protect him from telepathy- in issue 10, Magneto is vulnerable to the Skull's telepathy without the helmet.
Posted by: Michael | March 17, 2017 7:48 PM
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