Reprinting Avengers #53
Hawkeye, Goliath, Wasp and the Black Panther have come upon X-Man Cyclops standing over the fallen figure of Quicksilver. Not sure of the situation, they tell the youth to freeze. Cyclops, however, suspects they’re only robots created by Magneto, and isn’t taking any chances. He fires at Hawkeye, and when Black Panther jumps down to subdue him, a couple of blasts from his optic visor give Cyclops enough time to get away!
It seems that when the Angel escaped Magneto’s prison back in X-Men #45, he went directly to the Avengers mansion for assisstance in rescuing his fellow X-Men. Since Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were last seem leaving with Magneto back in Avengers #49, the Avengers are happy to team up tackling the master of Magnetism.
On the altantic flight over to Magneto’s island, Janet discovers a miniature bugging device hidden among Angel’s wings. The Avengers now believe he’s in cahoots with Magneto, and is setting them up. While he swears he ‘s innocent, they tie him up and leave him behind when they investigate the fortress. Thus we return to our opening scene where the Avengers have just arrived to see Cyclops flee!
Magneto is watching the entire drama play out, delighted that his plans are coming to fruition. Of course, it was all part of his plans for Angel to escape and get caught with the monitor on his wings. “ Now they and the X-Men , who might otherwise been allies- will be at each other’s throats!”
Toad doesn’t like the idea of bringing in the Avengers…they should have been satisfied capturing the X-Men- their REAL enemies! Magneto electrocutes Toad for his doubt, and Toad questions why Magneto always abuses him when he alone out of ALL the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants has been loyal. “Because I don’t NEED your Loyalty!” snaps Magneto. He explains that he’s only kept Toad around because it amused him, and now Toad is just angering him. Wanda steps in and begs Magneto to leave Toad alone, and Toad says “One day soon, Magneto shall know who his true friends are.”
Meanwhile, The Avengers have become antsy sneaking aruound the hidden fortress, and as usual, Hawkeye and Goliath start to bicker and fight. Soon the Black Panther, who initially tries to STOP the fight, is involved, and it is up to Jan to step in and remind them that there is a task at hand.
This moment of discourse is just what Magneto has been hoping to hear, and he releases a machine that unleashes crackling electronic commands upon the unsuspecting X-Men. When the sensations vanish, we realize just what the machine has done to their minds when Cyclops states, “There was something we were going to do! Yes- We were going to find the Avengers…and DESTROY THEM!”
Any doubt that the X-Men are on the wrong side of the good guys is gone when the Avnegers confront the angry teen mob and Cyclops orders: “Kill Them! Kill The Avengers!”
Beast stirkes the first blow at Black Panther, and the others follow his lead. After fighting for a while, the Avengers they find they are having a hard time beating them. Then Black Panther realizes it is because they subconsciously think of the X-Men as heroes, not villains. With this change in attitude, the Avengers make quick work of the youths, much to the confusion of Magneto, who thought the X-Men would be the victors!
His confusion only increases when he turns and finds The Angel has infiltrated the control room! Soon, the Avengers smash in, as well! Goliath knows Magneto must be dying of curiosity to find out what went wrong with his plans, and elucidates. “We guessed the bug on Angel was a plant, and tied his hands loosely! Wasp whispered in his ear our plans, then pretended to quarrel to lure you into an ill-timed attack!”
Magneto knows the only option is escape, and brings down a wall of metal parts onto the Avengers, giving himself enough time to get away! He orders Toad to get the escape ship, hitting him to get a move on. “He orders me to save him - and strikes me as he does so! Thus has he EVER rewarded my unwavering Loyalty!” thinks the Toad.
With a quick move, the Toad sets the machine generators to overload- soon the entire island will be decimated by the huge explosion! He leads the Scarlet Witch and a still dazed Quicksilver to a waiting escape ship. As the ship takes off, Magneto reaches out with his magnetic powers to lift him to the jet, but finds that his powers have no effect! Toad reminds him that he once bulit an entire ship out of non-metals, just to prove he could do it. As Magneto tries to hold onto the ship, He says, “Toad…Stop!! I am Your Master!” to which the Toad solemnly replies, “No Magneto. The Toad calls no man master- ever again!!” He steps on Magneto’s fingers and sends him hurtling to the jagged rocks below!
Meanwhile the Avengers and X-Men (who seem to have recovered from the hypno-ray) have made it back to their ship in time to witness the Toad and his crew leaving. They quickly shove off themslves, and a few minutes later, the very horizon rocks as the entire island goes up in a fiery explosion! Soon, the ocean is littered with smoking debris and machinery from the fortress, and among the bits of twisted metal floats the remains of Magneto’s once mighty metal helmet!
Note: This issue contains the Hostess Superhero Ad, Iron Man in An Irresistible Force!