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What Was the Deal With Magneto's Powers in the New Avengers?

In Left Unresolved, I spotlight storylines that have been, well, left unresolved.

A couple of weeks ago, I did a Comic Book Questions Answered that dealt with the question of whether Magneto is considered a mutant again after he was stripped of being a mutant following Scarlet Witch using her powers at the end of House of M. I explained in that column that Magneto initially got his powers temporarily back via some machinery designed by the High Evolutionary. Later, after they got a piece of a Celestial, they two of them used the Celestial technology to give Magneto his powers back for good. Later on, we discovered that Magneto's X-Gene had been re-activated by said machine, so he was officially considered a mutant again.

Reader Andreas G., though, thought that Magneto's powers had already returned during the New Avengers arc called "The Collective" and he was wondering what, exactly, happened to him getting his powers back then and then seemingly losing them again later on. I don't know that I would even say that Magneto did, truly, get his powers back in that other story, but I certainly cannot say that the ending of that story didn't leave a huge mystery hanging that has, to this day, not actually been resolved. Andreas' theory is as likely as anything else, really, as they sure did not do a good job explaining what happened.

In any event, "The Collective" dealt with the fact that all of that energy created when the mutants of the world lost their powers split into two balls of energy. One of them revived Vulcan, one of the X-Men that Xavier had hid from the rest of the world because they died on their first mission. The other one, led by the consciousness of the villainous Xorn, went to a young mutant in Alaska who could absorb power and made him so powerful that he couldn't help but kill Alpha Flight when they encountered him.

Anyhow, in New Avengers #20 (by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato), this Xorn energy found the now human Magneto and used the energy to give him his powers again...

It even made him dress like his old self...

The Avengers, though, were able to separate Magneto from the energy and he fell, powerless, back to Earth...

And then the energy was dissipated in outer space by the Sentry.

However, at the end of the issue, with Magneto badly injured from his fall from the sky, he is taken into custody in a SHIELD transport and it suddenly explodes and Magneto is nowhere to be found...

Andreas theorizes that this was Magneto's powers returned, as how else could he escape like that? I'm not saying he's wrong, but it wasn't resolved either way. Just check out when Magneto showed up again...

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