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Comics Modern Age

Monthly (Comic) Book Club - May - X-Men: Fatal Attractions 30th Anniversary19505

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X-Men Unlimited begins with Cyclops, visor destroyed and severely injured, pulling himself out of the wreckage of the downed Blackbird into a fierce snowstorm. Xavier uses his mental powers to guide Scott to him and then the two find Storm, apparently traumatized by some damage done to the planet.

Nearby, Siena Blaze tries to confirm that she’d killed the leaders of the X-Men only to be told by Gamemaster that she had not; that four of the most powerful mutants alive were still out in the snow. Siena asks what he means since there were only three mutants on the plane but he disappears without answering.

Back at the mansion Bishop and Psylocke try to locate the missing plane but are hampered by major electromagnetic interference. Back in the snow, the team recaps the events leading up to the crash. They were in the Savage Land celebrating the birth of Shanna and Ka-Zar’s baby. On their way back the Blackbird is struck by a major EM attack. Storm guides the plane down and Scott cuts off the rear of the ship, losing his goggles in the process, so she’ll have an easier time controlling their descent.

Back in the present, Storm tries to control the raging blizzard but becomes frustrated as the bitter cold of Antarctica is too much for her to control and she passes out, her effort revealing their location to Siena.

While Storm recovers, Xavier asks Scott to stop calling him Professor as the rest of the graduated X-Men have since moved on and call him Charles. Something Cyclops finds very hard to do.

Meanwhile, Bishop and Psylocke attempt a rescue in another Blackbird but are stopped by a wall of residual EM radiation.

When she comes to, the weakened Storm finds herself longing for Forge before she and Scott realize the Professor has gone missing.

Turns out Professor X had taken one of the onboard ATVs to seek out a weak psionic imprint, not telling the others because he knows they’d stop him. The ATV breaks down in the cold and Xavier tries crawling the rest of the way towards a mysterious tower in the dostance before passing out in the snow.

Cyclops and Storm go out in search of the professor using Storm’s powers to drag the Blackbird’s escape pod. They think they find him but it turns out to be Siena who seems to make quick work of the duo. Xavier reveals that her victory was a mental projection and the three X-Men assault Siena. Defeated, Siena tells them she will teleport away on the Earth’s EM field, creating a vacuum of EM radiation that, when filled, will destroy the X-Men in an explosion. The X-Men get back in the escape pod and Storm uses the last bit of her energy to maneuver the pod to ride the shockwave of the explosion instead of being destroyed by it.

Seeing the break in the EM radiation, Bishop and Psylocke are able to recover the escape pod with the ship’s tractor beam.

Inside Xaviwr tells Storm and Cyclops how he survived in the snow. After passing out in the snow, Xavier found himself inside the tower, mysteriously free from the EM damage that Siena inflicted on the area. No host was detected but the hover desk responded to his mental commands. Xavier had then left the tower in search of Scott and Storm to being them to the tower but they then got caught up in the battle with Siena. As the Blackbird makes for home, they are observed by a shadowy cloaked figure in the snow.
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I think I read that issue of Unlimited a bunch when it came out. I still remember parts of what you described.
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You actually read it?! 😱 But it’s a first issue collector’s item! Says so right on the cover!

Joking aside, clearly we’re right in the thick of the 90s speculation boom. Heck, I think one of the issues I read, X-Factor maybe? Takes a jab at Death of Superman’s collectibility.

That said, with all the hooplah of 90s comics I think it’s sometimes overlooked that they (SOMETIMES) told some damn good stories behind those variant covers. I mentioned how impressed I was with the run of X-Factor I just read. The story in the annual was a pretty good story, despite the art. And I think overall it’s building up well to the return of Magneto.

I think it’s obvious, even at the time, that Magneto would return eventually but I can’t say I was following the event at the time I wonder how obvious it was then and how big a deal it will be when Magneto does return
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Issue 301 begins with Fitzroy summoning the Upstarts to select the Next high value target for their game. It turns out to be Forge. He will do something in the next 24 Hours that will affect all mutants.

Colossus is healing from his battle with X-Cutioner and Moira confirms that Mstermind died of the same thing that is making Illyana sick now. Possibly the Legacy virus. Xavier sends Bishop and Storm to recruit Forge to help their tech get a better read on the virus. I’m assuming maybe that is Forge’s life-changing event?

Shortly afterward it becomes a brutal fight between Fitzroy and Forge where Forge is literally being torn apart. As Bishop and Storm arrives the building Forge and Fitzroy are battling in explodes.

So I’m more often a fan of Romita Jr’s art than not; and I do like it here but I just don’t like the way he interprets Colossus and Forge’s metallic hands. It’s just a nitpick, I know. I think it might be the overly bulbous knuckles and cylindrical digits that makes the hands fee very unnatural.

Story-wise, I do like how each issue tries to tug on various ongoing story-threads, even if they were not immediately recent. Essentially everything feels like it’s coming from somewhere and not just “ and then So-So shows up.”
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The action in 302 picks up after the end of the last issue with Storm using her powers to divert the debris from the explosion away from the population but can’t avoid doing more damage herself. This of course leads to some classic anti-mutant, mob violence.

Meanwhile, Bishop enters the building to find Forge. They are ambushed by Fitzroy who also survived the attack. Jean announces her arrival by destroying Fitzroy’s armor but he still gets the drop on Bishop and Forge who are rescued by Colossus.

The stress of everything on Colossus is clearly on display. Much like in his fight with the Acolytes, he is looking to vent his rage physically on someone and has to be pulled away from Fitzroy to stop him from killing him.

I agree that there’s something a little off about the “don’t kill people speech.” For me I think it was deferring to Bishop to try to make the point as he lays the burden of acceptability on the rules of society, which can obviously change. This means to kill or not kill isn’t necessarily objectively moral or not. I do feel like maybe Colossus has a point that maybe the situation for them has changed and they may be foolish to not recognize it.

I kind of feel like maybe the scene might’ve been helped by focusing the page on Fitzroy’s bloodied and bruised face (I was thinking if Kirby’s swollen and battered faces from last month) instead of on Jean to sell her “look at what you’ve done” point. I think that would’ve sold the intended point better than Bishop’s malleable societal rules.

The issue then ends with Jubilee studying for her remedial algebra test only to be interrupted by a visitor at the door, Kitty Pryde. I’m not sure if this is the first time the two of met but it is interesting as they both served the same role as something of an outsider’s introduction to the X-Men’s world but for two different decades. Heck, even the 90’s X-Men animated series that used Jubilee as the audience stand-in was preceded by an earlier, unsuccessful attempt with Kitty Pryde in a similar role


Finally, I don’t know if there are official stats on the Blackbird but New York to Dallas is about 1500 miles and it essentially made the trip before the dust had settled from the explosion. Of course it just goes as fast as the story needs it to but that’s still pretty damn fast
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I thought X-Men 303 was really well-done and I think generally I’ve enjoyed the more character-focused issues than the more action-oriented ones so far.

I think they chose to focus on Jubilee because of her age. Jubilee is still in her early teens and is at that age where she feels a lot of things but doesn’t know how to deal or express them. As you said, she doesn’t have a ton of history with Illyana so for the random reader who may not be intimately familiar with her history Jubilee is in a similar position as something of an outsider looking on at what’s happening. I guess if they can make the event meaningful for her then it can be meaningful for the reader, especially as a standalone issue.

Jubilee is probably the X-Man closest in age to Illyana, which might be why she was the one in with her while the rest were out taking care of things. Even though they’re not exactly close she does feel like a third wheel when Kitty arrives but they ask her to stay and they share a few hours of just being girls without all the super heroics hanging over them.

When things go south Jubilee just feels helpless and I think the panel where Jubilee walks away after giving Illyana her doll back really nailed that feeling of Jubilee not being able to do anything.

I really do wish they had removed the Shi’Ar helmet for the scene when Jubilee walks back in to see her to really convey the inevitability of what’s going to happen. I also must day, The Little Matchgirl” is probably not a story you want to be reading to someone that’s terminally ill.

Of course, Colossus is someone to watch out for in the coming issues. He’s already on the end of his rope and Illyana was the last thing holding him down and with her now gone he’s liable to not make the wisest choices
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dielinfinite
You actually read it?! But it’s a first issue collector’s item! Says so right on the cover!


I was 12, I didn't know any better!
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I'll also say as a general note that it's fun (interesting? rewarding? all of the above?) to see some of the themes in current books continue on from the older books as well. This month's issue of X-Men Red involves Prof. X interrupting Storm's personal life to basically come and help him deal with his baggage (trying not to give spoilers, on the chance someone is reading it but hasn't read it yet). She shows up to give him a chance but tells him to shove it. There's a lot about the sacrifice X-Men make for Xavier's dream, which is what Colossus is going through in our reading. It's also another reminder that Kitty Pryde was forever correct when she said Professor Xavier is a jerk.
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The Fatal Attractions story proper starts in X-Factor 92. A hospice nurse is recounting another attack by the Acolytes. For as much as they say all humans are a threat, they seem to be picking on more helpless humans from what we've seen. Although Cortez seems to have an eye on Quicksilver because of his status as Magneto's son. And it has some validity as Spoor seems to confess as soon as he sees Quicksilver, sending the team off to a military base that might be their next target. We get a brief look at Exodus in his first appearance.

It turns out the base is important because the government has secretly starting making it's own Sentinels there. X-Factor is understandably upset, but Quicksilver takes it very pragmatically. Then the Acolytes show up and we get a big fight. But the real reason the Acolytes are there is so Cortez can try to convince Quicksilver that he should lead the Acolytes, as the heir to Magneto's cause. It seems like a long shot, but with Valerie Cooper's betrayal about the Sentinels it may not take much to convince even 'good guy' mutants that all the humans are against them.
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From there we jump to X-Force 25. The team is just getting back to base from the previous storyline but it seems like someone else is there, who happens to know them all. It turns out (obviously to the reader who is familiar with a 90s guy with big shoulderpads and guns strapped to his back) to be Cable, who was thought dead. After some exposition, Exodus shows up and introduces himself this time. He's trying to convince Cannonball and Sunspot to come meet his boss. Exodus starts a fight when some of the team thinks about attacking him and it turns into a brawl. Exodus puts everyone down easily, but Cannonball accepts the offer if he can bring Boomer, Rictor, Rusty, and Skids. It's a ploy to find out who the boss is while letting Cable and the rest of the team track them. It turns out Exodus and his boss have set up shop on Cable's old space station and renamed it Avalon. After some sparring with Exodus, Cable teleports the team off base and finds Magneto to be the boss.

In an odd preview of what's to come (knowing what's ahead for Wolverine), Magneto tears Cable apart. But, having kept the team (but not Rusty and Skids) away from Magneto, Cable has kept them away from his influence as well. Even though Magneto hasn't said much of a word to anyone, and the fighting has amplified quite a bit from the comparatively quiet past Uncanny issues, this is apparently a philosophical battle.
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Finally for this week we have Uncanny 304. Exodus has come to invite the Acolytes to join Magneto, which means they find out Magneto is alive and Cortez tried to kill him. They don't kill Cortez though, instead leaving the hint that maybe he has the Legacy Virus.

We also check in on Magneto monologuing and remembering his past. We see Xavier burdened by his failure to save Illyana. Colossus is burning his art, as he's so far into grief that he doesn't want reminders of his life. And there's a memorial service for Illyana. Magneto chooses that time to come and extend his invitation to all the X-folks to join him, as their (Xavier's) approach is failing. Magneto is apparently super-charged from his brush with death, being able to jam Jean's psychic powers and hold everyone in place while doing some other showing off. He also seems to have gone a bit off the deep end, fully diving into believing himself a savior of mutantkind but also killing one of the Acolytes for killing humans. Did Senyaka know that Magneto was alive, or was he the only one to kill people? No, but Magneto kills him for doing something he wanted done anyway.

Things escalate from there, culminating in Colossus joining Magneto's side and Xavier taking over Magneto's power to throw him and Avalon back out into space. It's kind of a shame that they've upped the super-heroics in these past couple issues, because I think they could've done more with thinking about Colossus' choice. I'm sure that will happen in future issues but it overshadows the moment here. It should be a big deal that an X-Man switches sides, but it comes and goes because Xavier and Magneto have to have a showdown.

This issue is a big one, which might explain some of why there are multiple artists sprinkled through the book. The switch from JRJR to Jae Lee is obvious, and Lee's jaggedness seems a good choice for the throwback to Magneto's 'birth'. MCS says there are also a handful of pages each by Chris Sprouse, Brandon Peterson, and Paul Smith. Those seem a bit less obvious and impactful.

Despite my couple of complaints (or suggestions for improvement), this book certainly kicked the story into gear. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of it next week.
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X-Factor 92 doesn’t feel like a big team issue as it focuses mainly on Quicksilver. Given that Fatal Attractions is an X-Men anniversary events, I’m guessing the peripheral titles may primarily serve to support the main X-Men stories but the nature of big event crossovers means you have to include them regardless.

I am curious why the Acolytes chose to attack a hospice. Was it just somewhere they knew X-Factor would respond to quickly so that Spoor could get captured?

Quicksilver is clearly more on edge than usual. For readers only here for the crossover it’s easy enough to write him off as just a bit of an angsty jerk but he’s also reeling from the collapse of his marriage. It’s not explicitly stated but that was likely the doing of the Acolytes as well, meant to prime him and make him more receptive to their offer in this issue.

I wonder how long it was prior to this that the Sentinels were a major threat. We did, briefly, see the Nimrods in the Annual. Still, seeing them make a reappearance as a possible threat looming in the background is interesting.

They finally resolved Valerie’s mind control from very early in the omnibus. I think X-Factor’s response may have been a bit excessively cold, given that she was under mind control, but I do understand how hiding sentinels would be taken by a group of mutants that were supposed to trust you.

I’m curious to see where the X-Factor team goes from here but it does seem that issue 92 is the last one included in the omnibus. I might have to track down a trade to see if Valerie ever regains the trust of the team and whatever happens regarding Maddox’ Legacy virus exposure
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X-Force 25 finally raises the curtain. Magneto is back, as has been long hinted.

The issue spends a long time hiding what the cover already gave away, that Cable is back. The first part of the issue feels like a reunion aimed a long-time readers of the series. Unfortunately this is the only issue of X-Force in the omnibus so I’m not fully aware of all the histories that seem to be paying off or flexed in this issue.

That said, I do like the tone of this reunion. Given the angsty, muscly, big gun, and big pouch reputation of 90s comics, of which Cable very much embodied, it was nice seeing the story take the opposite approach and make it a very heartfelt reunion acknowledging the hardships caused by those who left and those left behind and Cable stepping up as a father figure and teacher for his team.

Of course that is all short-lived when Exodus arrives, offering to take some of the members to “heaven.” Exodus does mention being a second-generation student of Xavier. Is he someone we’re supposed to know?

Exodus takes a few of X-Force to Avalon and they are followed by Cable and the rest of the team. Again, the story leans on a lot of character history here that I am unaware of. The station means a great deal to Cable as does the sentient AI that runs it. Might there be something in the history to suggest why Magneto would choose it as his base?

When Magneto and Cable finally face off Magneto makes it clear that whatever he is planning involves the fate of all mutant-kind. The fight also feels like an appetizer of what the crossover is leading to. Cable is something of a surrogate for Xavier, raising his own group of young mutants to shape the future of mutants but Cable is the little fish. Xavier, the leader of the X-Men, not a peripheral spin-off team, is the main course. What this warm-up fight shows is that Magneto is not pulling his punches anymore. He basically dismantles Cable with a thought.

Still, Magneto recognizes that Cable has basically inoculated his team against Magneto’s influence, meaning he must go elsewhere to build his following.
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X-Men 304 is pretty intense.

As a 30th anniversary issue, I think it is appropriate as it is basically taking the original conflict of the X-Men, Magneto and Xavier’s visions for the future of mutants and humanity, and ramping everything up to 11.

I’ve always been a fan of Jar Lee’s artwork and I thought his first page, with Magneto holding his daughter was especially gorgeous. Though not an exact adaptation, I can’t help but feel this flashback i spired Magneto’s forest scene from X-Men: Apocaypse


I am not terribly fond of the art in the scene with Colossus burning his paintings. Colossus just looks so stoic and featureless. I get that he’s detached and numb but he’s obviously doing it to cope with his anger and grief and a better artist would’ve been able to convey that burning under his surface.

When Magneto arrives it is like a god descending and he has the monologue to go with it. He is drawing a clear line in the sand. You’re either with him or you will die on earth when he unleashes Avalon onto it.

Bishop is able to turn the tide and the X-Men they hitting him with everything they have, knowing what he is planning and his will to go through with it.

I do agree that a little more time of Colossus pondering his decision would have improved the character moment. I don’t even think it needed much. Something like how Darth Vader silently (before the edits, anyway) decides to turn on the Emperor in Return of the Jedi.

Xavier always felt less dangerous than Magneto, for several reasons. But that was simply because he’d never unleashed the full extent of his powers, until now, when he hijacks Magneto’s powers to send Avalon flying into space.

The story could easily have ended there but we are only halfway through.

So far, I feel the story has a good ebb and flow between action and character moments. One reason I find a lot of crossovers, especially later Marvel ones , disappointing (in the Bendis age, specificaly), is that the plot seems to barrel through to the climax with very few character moments, mostly because you have to buy a separate tie-in mini-series for each character to get any. Whereas something like Crisis on Infinite Earths and this story, weave the character moments into the plot. You get plenty of action but the story also dials it back so you can have moments like Cable reuniting with X-Force or the heroes having a funeral for Supergirl.

I have to wonder if the Legacy virus is perhaps an allegory for the AIDS virus, which was a major issue in the early 90s. Magneto speaks about it like a heinous weapon for eradicating mutants and there has long been a belief that AIDS was a plot to eradicate homosexuals, another marginalized group that can easily be represented by the X-Men.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dielinfinite
I wonder how long it was prior to this that the Sentinels were a major threat. We did, briefly, see the Nimrods in the Annual. Still, seeing them make a reappearance as a possible threat looming in the background is interesting.


I don't know about the other series (X-Factor, etc.), but in Uncanny they wouldn't have appeared since 281. Some Sentinels are sent to kill Donald Pierce and they eventually end up killing most of the Hellions and (seemingly) Jean Grey. Before that it would have been quite a while. They fight some Sentinels in 202 and Nimrod appears in 208.

Generally speaking, Sentinels are taken as an existential threat because the technology leads to Nimrods, and they're a sign of humans' hatred of mutants.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dielinfinite
The station means a great deal to Cable as does the sentient AI that runs it. Might there be something in the history to suggest why Magneto would choose it as his base?


I don't know about Cable's history with it, but I took it as another example of Magneto loving to set up base on an island/space station.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dielinfinite
I have to wonder if the Legacy virus is perhaps an allegory for the AIDS virus, which was a major issue in the early 90s. Magneto speaks about it like a heinous weapon for eradicating mutants and there has long been a belief that AIDS was a plot to eradicate homosexuals, another marginalized group that can easily be represented by the X-Men.


I always took it that way.
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X-Men 25 is quite the book, especially read after some time had passed. Xavier admits his limitations in the field, after we recently read Secret Wars and saw him jonesing hard to be field leader. Scott is unsure about such a straightforward attack plan, when nowadays he does things like vote for the extinction of the Brood (not that the Brood and Magneto are very similar besides being alive, but he makes a broad philosophical point).

More within the story it feels like some people are acting out of character. Colossus basically just went up with Magneto and he already betrays him to let the X-Men sneak on Avalon. And Xavier is breaking basically all of his beliefs to go after Magneto. Also kind of unrealistic (to me) is how much damage Magneto takes without showing it. He takes a Gambit card to the face, Rogue and Quicksilver punches, and a Wolverine sneak attack. He's beat up afterward, but he never looks it. If it weren't for the lettering it would be hard to tell.

The part of the story everyone remembers (I assume) is Magneto ripping out Wolverine's adamantium. That's followed closely by Xavier wiping Magneto's mind. Also with the remove of time, it's interesting to note that Magneto and Xavier have essentially come to the same position as part of the Hickman soft reboot. Mutants are better than humans, but they should try to live peacefully with them because they're better than them. Particularly while they're trying to rebuild their numbers from the various massacres over the years.
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Wolverine 75 is straight action until the final pages. We get a psychic tour of Wolverine's pain as he tries to survive Magneto's attack, while at the same time the Blackbird is having a bad time getting back down to earth. There's good use of some different artists and styles inside Wolverine's head. In the end, he fends off death to save Jean, although he seems like he would've been content not to.

We get a two week time jump while Wolvie heals some more, and when he tries to get back onto the field, so to speak, we get the reveal that his claws were actually adamantium on bone. It's a reveal that makes sense in retrospect, but as Wolverine's inner monologue says, he himself always thought they were implanted with his adamantium skeleton. There was a whole lot of time where Logan never remembered all of his life. In the end, Wolverine leaves the X-Men to try and figure out where he fits in with his abilities weakened. It has a very X-Men cartoon feel, where Wolverine left the team at the drop of a hat to do his own thing.

The issue also puts something of a cap on Wolverine's bonding time with Jubilee. It had been going on-and-off in the series for a number of years, and was a part of Wolverine's story I always appreciated. I think Jubilee always got the short end of the stick for being a younger character with not-great powers, but her run through the Wolverine series gave her a place in my fandom. The last time I was at a convention with Larry Hama, I had him sketch her for me.
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The story wraps in Excalibur 71, which feels a little anticlimactic. X-Men 25 had the big payoff and was an 'anniversary' book, and Wolverine 75 was pivotal in his story and an 'anniversary' book. And now we have... Excalibur? But it does try to tie the thread of Colossus' decision to join the Acolytes. Xavier thinks that it's due to a head injury more than Peter's own decision, which is very Xavier of him.

We get more characters making the hard choices as Kitty lies to Colossus to get him on Earth, where the X-Men immediately snatch him up and do surgery. There's also some table-setting with Rachel and Cable, and in the end Excalibur decides to stay as their own team, but it all seems a bit separate from the Fatal Attractions stuff. And Colossus indeed does decide to stay with the Acolytes even though the surgery seems to work. If the story was intended to touch more on his decision, I don't think it pulls it off.

On the whole, the series held up pretty well. I poked a little fun at how much action there was in this philosophical debate, but I think the point was that Magneto and Xavier are perhaps not so different in their goals. Or if they are, they are certainly not so different in their approaches any more, as Xavier goes hard here. So it makes sense that there's a lot of fighting involved. That gives it a bit more of a 90s feel (so extreme!), and the art is of course very 90s. I read these issues a fair amount at the time, and it was fun to go back to them.
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After X-Men 304 the Omnibus continues with X-Men Unlimited 2.

The issue begins in the forest near where Magneto’s wife was killed and where he is now fighting off a group of German soldiers. Two surviving soldiers, brothers, escape to the hills where they stumble on the grave of Magneto’s wife. Magneto then kills one and leaves the other to live with the pain he felt after his wife was killed.

We learn the scene happened seven years before the current events. The surviving brother has dedicated himself to getting revenge on Magneto. The book becomes something of a profile of Magneto as the soldier gathers i formation and tries to understand Magneto’s psyche. We get a brief life story from a speaker in New York who describes him not as a Jew but as a gypsy, which I thought was an interesting detail, though the speaker also says that concrete details of Magneto’s life are scarce.

The soldier sees interviews from mutant activists and opponents, and interviews the Brotherhood of Mutants. The unifying thread seems to be that Magneto believes deeply in his mission, so much so that he inspires those around him to his cause

The soldier has been hired by a foreign government agency to capture Magneto alive so he can be tried but secrets plans to kill him in revenge. To help his mission to capture him, he works with experts and a company to develop a suit and taser that would be hidden from Magneto’s electromagnetic senses but he secretly modifies the gun to be lethal.

When Magneto returns in the previous issue, the soldier figures Magneto would visit his wife’s grave one last time before leaving permanently.

While he lies in wait he goes over his brother’s death again, only this time with some different, possibly more honest details. The brother had tried to shoot Magneto and was killed, not in cold blood, but as a result of Magneto defending himself from the shot.

When the soldier finds his moment he is unable to bring himself to kill Magneto. Magneto sees him and silently flies off. The soldier is left to his self-loathing knowing that he has dedicated so much of his life in the name of revenge but chose to do the “right” thing and in doing so, has likely doomed mankind.
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X-Men 305 seems to take place a few weeks after 304.

It begins with Rogue, Bishop, and Iceman stopping some mysterious assailants before they attack Iceman’s girlfriend. In the fight two of the assailants seemed to be entirely disintegrated, though no one used enough force to warrant it. Opal and Iceman get into an argument about Iceman using Opal as unwitting bait to lure the assailants.

Meanwhile, Xavier and Storm attend a party where Xavier meets an ambassador to obtain some vital information. Storm wonders why he would risk his political career to help mutant rights and he tells her the story of being in a car crash decades earlier with his wife. The trauma of the attack triggered his wife’s mutant power, which frightened the emts when they arrived leading to his wife’s death.

Onboard the Blackbird, Rogue, Iceman, and Bishop interrogate the surviving assailant but he is not revealing any new information. Rogue tries touching him to absorb his memories. After she does, the man disintegrates himself, like the others, while Rogue turns into human-shaped ribbons of flesh. Bishop uses is powers to help Rogue return to normal. Once recovered rogue tells Iceman and Bishop that the assailants were little more than living skin tissue, stuffed in battle armor, and programmed to destroy them. In a mess of incoherent thoughts she was able to pick out the name “Hodge.”

Xavier tells Storm about an exoskeleton that was developed by an international task force to penetrate Magneto’s electro magnetic senses. Xavier wants Storm to steal it for her so that he can have Forge adapt it for their needs. As Storm does so, she reflects on her earliest encounters with Xavier and her decision to join him.

She recovers the data but leaves the suit itself. She tells Xavier that she will stand with him to protect their kind and what they stand for but warns him not to ask her to steal for him again. They are X-Men and have to be better than that.
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COLLECTOR dielinfinite private msg quote post Address this user
X-Men 25 is essentially a suicide mission. Earth governments have put enabled a group of defense satellites to protect themselves from Magneto. Magneto takes it as an affront and detonates an EM blast that engulfs the whole planet, killing hundreds, if bot thousands as planes crash and medical equipment fails in its wake.

Xavier thinks Magneto has gone too far and decides to solve the Magneto problem once and for all. He decides to take up a team composed mostly of newer members, leaving the first gen X-Men to continue on if they do not return.

While characters do behave rather differently, I’m not sure I’d necessarily call it out of character. Colossus has been angsty and uncertain since before Secret Wars in all honesty. Yes, he just jumped ship to Magneto but he didn’t necessarily do it because he thought Magneto was 100% right but because his faith in Xavier had waned.

That said, I do feel Colossus should have played a bigger role in this issue than simply turning off the alarm. Dramatically, it was unexpected that he would leave Xavier for Magneto but we never really get to see him on Magneto’s side to really drive the point home and twist the knife on the reader. I don’t think he’s fight the X-Men, but I do fee he should’ve been some kind of obstacle to the X-Men reaching Magneto.

Xavier’s “by any means necessary” approach in this issue also doesn’t necessarily strike me as untrue to the character. Instead it feels to me like a progression based on the characters’ experience. X-Men Unlimited 2 really drove home the point of Magneto’s tenacity. Across his own and the X-Men’s history he keeps coming back, keeps drawing more people to his side, and he keeps carrying on trying to advance his agenda via the same means.

Xavier actually reminded me a lot of Batman in Dark Knight Returns. There was the scene with the Joker where Batman wonders to himself “how many people have I killed by letting you [the Joker] live?” It feels like Xavier progressed to that point and I don’t think its unreasonable to understand how he could be driven to it. And, just like Batman, Xavier stops himself from actually killing his rival but comes just short of doing so in neutralizing them.

I definitely agree that the art doesn’t properly reflect the toll of the battle on Magneto. Wolverine’s attack on Magneto is supposed to be shocking in its lethality. Enough for Jean to break Jean out of her psychic link with Xavier, enough for Xavier to call it it a grave injury, and enough for Magneto to retaliate in such a horrific manner. The art just shows Magneto’s shirt getting ripped and when Magneto is tearing out Wolverine’s adamantium, it doesn’t even show that.

As for Wolverine’s adamantium scene, I think it’s very well done; he way it starts small then cutting to the shocked look on Xavier and Jean and finally the full reveal. It manages to be shocking, it looks horrifically painful without being over-the-top gory.

This is as good a place as any to share a related piece of my collection. This depicts the adamantium tearing scene but also Wolverine discovering his bone claws in the next issue. I love the artist’s detail and that he included Jean and Xavier, and even Gambit and Rogue. Quicksilver seems to have been left out but he does kind of fade to the background after Wolverine saves him from Magneto

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