Credits: Joe Pruett (writer), Brandon Peterson (penciler), Matt Banning (inker), Richard Isanove & Liquid! (colors), Jon Babcock (letters)
Summary: Humans flee Genosha as Magneto takes the throne. A Mutate leads him to his first council meeting, which introduces Magneto to Phillip Moreau, Jenny Ransome, Alda Huxley, and Pipeline, a former Magistrate. Phillip informs him that a rebel Mutate, “the Zealot,” is building a resistance against him. Later, Magneto and Pipeline recruit Fabian Cortez to join the council. Meanwhile, Amelia Voght takes Quicksilver to Genosha to see his father. Soon, he’s tricked by Zealot’s followers and kidnapped. Rogue, who’s arrived in Genosha to check on Magneto, witnesses Zealot’s gathering of rebel Mutates.
Continuity Notes: Much to Phillip Moreau’s surprise, Zealot is somehow his long-lost brother. Alda Huxley, the UN representative largely responsible for giving Genosha to Magneto, claims she’s a native Genoshan who only wants the best for her country. The sole explanation for Pipeline turning against the Magistrates is that he finally realized the horror they’ve unleashed. Fabian Cortez is recruited presumably because Magneto’s still recovering from the events of “Magneto War” and needs his amplification powers. (Although he should know by now that Cortez’s powers leave you weaker in the long run.) The Amelia Voght/Quicksilver scenes are another holdover from “Magneto War,” as she was sent to spy on him in an early chapter and not seen again during the crossover.
Production Note: The cover lists this as a May 1999 issue, but the indicia has the date as April 1999.
Review: As much as people seemed to dislike the “Magneto War” crossover, it did at the very least spur some discussion. Magneto Rex, on the other hand, was largely ignored by online fandom, aside from a handful of reviews that dismissed it as dull. You would think that a limited series spinning out of the latest X-over, one that actually did impact the status quo in a meaningful way, would’ve garnered more attention, but the minis had already acquired the nasty label of “Filler” by this point. Once again, I’ll point to the early ‘90s X-miniseries that everyone seemed to buy -- even ones starring obscure characters like Deadpool. If anything, the addition of Brandon Peterson, an artist Marvel once tapped for X-Men before losing him to Rob Liefeld, should’ve given this mini some kind of a boost. Yet, I barely recall anyone even noticing his return.
Joe Pruett was a small-press indie creator the X-office began hiring during this era, giving him this assignment and the scripting duties on Rob Liefeld’s brief return to Cable. Sometimes I wonder how the comics world would be different if this was the indie guy Marvel fell in love with instead of Brian Michael Bendis. I actually have no insight into the style of storytelling Pruett subscribes to, given that this is a fairly generic regurgitation of editorially mandated ideas; I just find it amusing that Marvel was perhaps grooming a small press writer for superstardom a full year before Bendis showed up.
I wish I could’ve found a more descriptive word than “generic” to describe Pruett’s work here, but I can’t. A typical sample of his dialogue reads like this: “This man is so much like his father in terms of stature and strength, and yet so completely different in his deeds and thoughts. Pietro is a reflection of the man that his father once was and should have been -- if he hadn’t given in to the hate and anguish which eventually corrupted his soul.” (That’s Amelia Voght’s inner thoughts, by the way, not a third-person narrative caption.) I will say to his credit that he isn’t padding the first issue and only giving a tiny slice of the story. The backstory of Genosha and Magneto is set up for any potential new readers, a new status quo for the island is established, a large number of characters are brought into the story, and the villain of the piece makes his first move against Magneto. Things do happen, even if the characters are severely lacking in personality.