Today we're diving into the Fatal Attractions X-Men crossover event, which features the following Issues:
X-Factor # 92
X-Force # 25
X-Men Unlimited # 2
UXM #304- 306
X-Men # 25
Wolverine # 75
Excalibur # 71
X-Factor # 92: Quicksilver the Chosen
Plotter - Scott Lobdell
Pencils/ Co-Plot - Joe Quesada
Script- J.M. DeMatteis
I don't know for sure how this went down, but my guess is that Lobdell and the crew at the X-Office was sitting around and thinking about how to make it clear that the Acolytes are evil. I'm guessing someone said "How about they randomly attack humans?" "That's, that's good, that's good, but how about they attack a hospital!" "Yea, that's really evil, but we can make it worse. How about they attack a Hospice Center!" "Ok, actually, how about they attack a children's hospital? Too far, ok, let's stick with the Hospice center."
So that's what happens, the Acolytes show up at a random Hospice center and start indiscriminately killing nurses, doctors, and patients...just because they are humans. This is a little too heavy handed for me.
X-Factor shows up to stop them and after a bit of a battle, one of the Acolytes, Spoor, prostrates himself before Quicksilver. Since QS is the son of Magneto, they revere him, and this sets the tone for Fatal Attractions which is all about Magento, therefore pushing QS to the forefront of the event.
More predicting of what happened during brainstorming sessions. "Where should the Acolytes be holding their base of operations? Any ideas?" "Oh I know, how about they are working out of the Leningrad, that soviet sub that Magneto sunk to the bottom of the ocean a while back." "A soviet sub? At the bottom of the ocean? That's a ridiculous idea. Wouldn't they all have issues with pressurization and be surrounded by dead sailors. Let's do it!"
So that's where we are. The Acolytes are in the Leningrad. One of Cortez's followers is actually bringing up that they may have gone too far, killing innocent nurses and sick people, but Cortez basically says that if they are humans, then they are threats. I appreciate that they are at least addressing how ridiculous this is. So Cortez is evil, got it.
Val Cooper brings QS and Random (fitting name, because it's quite Random that he is chosen to go with, other than him being a Kewl 90's character) to a secret government institute where we see the government is now officially in the business of creating sentinels. And these aren't just regular sentinels, they are inspired by the Nimrod technology. This gives me a bit of a Terminator vibe, to be honest. Actually, one of the Sentinels kind of looks like a Terminator.
Lol, Havok calls Val Cooper "Mein Fuhrer." Soooo, things aren't looking great for the relationship between Val and X-Factor. I'm not quite sure why she decided to disclose this, to be honest. The Sentinels don't even do anything throughout this event.
I'm going to put a pin in this to see if the Sentinels show up later in X-Factor or not. With Lobdell only filling in as a gap with JM DeMatteis on his way in, I wouldn't be surprised if this plot gets dropped, but we'll see!
The Acolytes show up at the Sentinel factory and of course fight with X-Factor.
So Cortez is sitting idly by chatting with QS, telling him that he orchestrated this battle for one reason and one reason only...to entice QS to join his side. Because there's no better way to convince someone to join you than to slaughter their friends. Lobdell, my man, what are you thinking today!? Come on, man!
Poor Val. So we actually get resolution to the "evil Val" storyline. Apparently the Acolytes had been brainwashing her, which is why she was coming on to QS and lured them to the Sentinel factory, however it turns out that she was of her right mind when she agreed that the government should create Sentinels, so it's starting to look like Val's relationship with X-Factor might be over.
Maybe she was a Peter David character (I know she was created by Claremont) and now the new regime wants to create a new status quo.
X-Force # 25: The Return of Cable
Writer - Fabian Niceiza
Pencils - Grep Capullo
So after a bunch of messing with X-Force, making us guess who is really there (we should know from the Cable series), Cable makes his presence known and he is officially re-united with X-Force.
We get right to fixing things. He's like "Rictor, it was Stryfe who killed your dad, Roberto, it was Gideon. Who's next? Sam?"
So it's Sam's turn to give him shit. And Cable starts getting all mushy, apologizing, telling Sam how much they mean to him, and you can tell it's starting to work. Also, Sam and Boomer are holding hands, so there's that confirmation that they are dating (which I had been looking for in earlier blogs).
I'm glad these two made up, because I like Cable in this series, however I REALLY liked seeing Sam as the leader. He did great. I am keeping him as the Leader in my graphic and I hope that sticks, but it kind of looks like they are setting it up for Cable to take back over.
Cool looking Exodus shows up, speaking for Magneto, with an offer for Sam and Roberto to come with him. The original New Mutants want to come too so Tabitha, Rictor, Rusty, and Skids all come with too.
Exodus gives the youngins a tour of Magneto's new home, Avalon. An orbital space space station, put together from pieces of Asteroid M and Graymalkin (More on that in 99: XF 19 - 24 (No Cable).
Magento is able to cure Rusty and Skids brainwashing due to...powers. And of course they choose to stay with him. Sooo they get a retcon and second chance, and immediately throw in with another "evil" mutant. Cool. So they are still being written out.
Cable and the rest of the team show up on the ship and Cable uses his knowledge of Graymalkin to try to take over the ship, yet Magneto interferes.
Magneto uses his power to take Cable apart! Damn, homey! Cable teleports himself to the shuttle and will be down for the count for a little.
X-Men Unlimited # 2: All about Magneto
Writer - Fabian Niceiza
Pencils - Jan Duursema
Alright so here we are, back with another X-Men Unlimited. Has it really been 3 months (of publishing) already!? So this one takes two forms and it's all about Magneto.
Most of the comic is spent with Gabriella Haller (Legion's mom/Israeli ambassador/Professor X baby mama) recounting the life of Magneto. Most of the content is stuff we already know, however there are a few huge pieces of information that change (or retcon) Magneto's story. First of all, we learn that Magneto's full name is Erik Magnus Lenshurr. So if you've been confused about him being called Erik in the movies but Magnus in the comic, here you go. We also learn that Magneto was in the concentration camp growing up because of being a Gypsy, NOT as a Jew. I REALLY don't know how I feel about this. Why? Why would they do this? I'm pretty sure this gets retconned back one day, but this is another weird decision.
The second part of this story focuses on a guy named Ute Eskalt. His brother was supposedly killed by Magneto, so he's spent his life working with the German Government dreaming of revenge. He is responsible for creating a special suit that would make him immune to Magneto's power. At the end of the issue, Eskalt has a chance to kill Magneto but we get a revised accounting of his brothers death and learn that maybe it wasn't all Magneto's fault, therefore he is not killed (shocker).
UXM #304: Magneto (and Colossus) gone and lost his mind
Writer - Scott Lobdell
Pencils - Brandon Peterson
Exodus pops in to tell the Acolytes the truth about Fabian Cortez. Upon learning that he is a fraud and tried to kill their chosen one, the expected mutiny takes place.
The decline of Professor Xavier's mental state begins. Or continues. Either way, he's really struggling with the death of Illyana, among other real of perceived failures.
His eternal boo, Lilandra, shows up via projection to give X a little morale bump. However, she's becoming a bit of a tyrant herself so maybe she's the wrong person for him to be getting counsel from.
For the first time in an X-Men comic, we're presented with the impressive Avalon.
Ooooooooooooh, is this a call back to my third favorite X-Men moment of all time (UXM # 183)? Remember when Storm and Kitty were featured in an X-Men title? Those were the good old days.
Kitty (and everyone, but mostly Kitty) is still bumming around about the loss of Illyana so Storm decides to take Kitty into the sky to cheer her up for old times sake.
While up in the sky, Kitty notices that Peter is turning pretty Emo and burning all his paintings. This guy is going through some messed up grief and is not handling it great.
Bishop and Banshee set up for Illyana's funeral, and Bishop makes a comment about Banshee being the Custodian of the Next Generation. I've never read Generation X, but I know about it to know that it's coming in 1994 and Banshee opens up a school for truly troubled mutants along with Emma Frost. Is this a coincidence or did the X-Office really know this far in advance that that comic was coming? Pretty interesting.
Storm gives a fantastic speech with X-Men (Gold and Blue), X-Factor, Excalibur (at least Kitty and Kurt), and X-Force in attendance.
Magneto decides this is a good time to do some recruiting.
This actually really bothers me because Magneto had a good relationship with Illyana from his time as Headmaster. To think he would disrespect her in that way is really upsetting. But this is only the beginning of a series of decisions by Magneto that are very far out of character for him and DO NOT sit well with me.
The Acolytes show up, now perfectly loyal to the real Magneto, and of course get in a little skirmish with the X-Men.
Scott tells Wolverine to stay calm and says "You're the drop-dead-last person I want slugging it out with Magneto." Foreshadow much?
Magneto freezes Wolverine in his tracks and even forcibly retracts his claws. He is showing an even more impactful power set than we've ever seen.
Alright, so Magneto calls attention to Senyaka and is like "Hey Asshole, did you really kill a bunch of innocent humans at a Hospice Center?" At this point I'm thinking...ok, maybe I can forgive Lobdell for him desecrating Illyana's funeral, at least he's going to be a noble villain, as we've always (since the Claremont era) counted on him to be.
QS makes sure we know exactly what nasty stuff Senyaka did.
What..the fuck...is this shit? Magneto isn't pissed that Senyaka killed innocents, but just that he did it without Magneto's permission. Excuse me?
First, Magneto is ok with him killing innocent humans? Since when?
Second, Senyaka didn't know Magneto was alive until today, so how could we have asked permission. That doesn't even matter. This is NOT the Magneto I know.
Third, Magneto murderizes Senyaka. I don't like this.
Jubilee throws up in her mouth a little watching Senyaka turned inside out by his own tendrils.
More homicidal ramblings. Dumb.
More shit I don't like. Charles brings up that Avalon was built using Shi'ar technology. This means that he was never reformed, because he got access to that while serving as Headmaster.
Lobdell, X-Office, what are you doing? Why are you undoing years of AMAZING characterization of this villain? He was fascinating because he was nuanced. I am not ok with this.
Claremont must be rolling over in his retirement home (which was paid for based on sales of X-Men # 1, which included a nuanced Magneto going out in style).
Charles and Magneto are meeting head to head.
Rogue tries to appeal to him, but this dude is evil now I guess so give it up.
Bishop is about to attack Magneto but is struck down by...Colossus. Oh no, Colossus. No, no no.
Now this is a character moment I'm ok with. We spent many issues showing Piotr darkening and this is earned.
Nobody is more terrified than Kitty, rightfully so. Glad she's here. Heartbreaking.
In a final battle, Magneto was trying to bring Avalon into orbit to do something...Maybe kill a bunch of people? Charles takes over his mind and forces him and his ship to jettison out to space. This is the end of the threat...for now.
UXM # 305: Professor X's waning conscience
Writer - Scott Lobdell
Pencils - Jan Duursema
Iceman is hanging out with Opal, who appears to be under attack. First, hasn't Opal broken up with Iceman like 1000 times by now? She kind of does again here.
Second, these soldiers blow up when taken down. This is setting up the next event (yes, already), the Phalanx Covenant where a bunch of creatures are infected by the good old Techno Organic Virus. (That's not a great explanation because I have never read it before. Lol, I'll do better later).
Oh, and Rogue touches one and then turns into ropes or something. She's fine later so it's all good.
Storm and Professor X meeting with a human benefactor to their cause. The point here is that we learn that Chuck has an "Underground Railroad" of humans who are mutant sympathizers. We'll see a few more soon too.
Alright, so remember that anti-Magneto suit I mentioned above in X-Men Unlimited # 2. Well, Professor X has Storm sneak in and steal it. She steals the plans for it, but leaves the suit for the humans to defend themselves.
Storm is like "Hey Chuck, go Fuck yourself. I did this one thing, but don't you ever ask me to do your dirty work for you again." Professor's judgment is...clouded...lately and Storm wants nothing to do with his Shenanigans.
UXM # 306: The next event, already?
Writer - Scott Lobdell
Pencils - John Romita Jr.
Warren and Jean are flying around, laughing, reminiscing about the good old times. Warren's like "Oh man, remember how I used to be in love with you? That was funny, right?" And then Jean's like "Yea, totally. It's too bad I never loved you." Then Warren's like "It's cool, I was about to ask you to bang because Candy Southern was the only I always loved. Too bad she's dead." And then Candy Southern shows up.
Professor X and QS do a little sparring session in the danger room. They turn the gravity off (that technology doesn't exist, BTW) so that QS can't speed around and Professor X isn't at a disadvantage by that whole not walking thing.
Of course, these two talk philosophy while they fight and QS says:
"You are not my father, sir! Nor do you have to become him in order to defeat him."
Everyone is catching on that Professor X is getting a bit radical and needs to cool his jets.
I like this. This is very real. Essentially Forge is like "I'm sorry for being a dick. How about we just try to be friends and see what happens." Storm is probably thinking "I've been banging Bishop, but I love you. My true husband is the X-Men. Let's give this friendship thing a shot."
Candy is not sure how she's back, but she believes she's the real deal. Spoiler, she's part of the whole techno phalax thing and will die this issue again. Poor Warren. Where's Charlotte?
OMG, Cameron Hodge again? Fine, let's deal with this tool. He's also techno virused out.
Hodge and Southern are defeated and destroyed!? (This plot is annoying to me, so let's just move back to Fatal Attractions. Maybe I'll revisit these issues when I'm ready to get into the next event.)
X-Men # 25: The battle
Writer - Fabian Niceiza
Pencils - Andy Kubert
Alright, so the humans put up this Anti-Magneto protection which involves a bunch of lazers around the globe, stopping him and his ship from entering the earth's atmosphere.
The New Magneto team has Exodus at his side, along with the Acolytes and Rusty and Skids. Colossus too, though not pictured here.
In an effort to show those humans who is boss, Magneto essentially sets off a worldwide EMP. We'll see the effects of this across the entire Marvel Universe for quite some time.
Oh, and this just like kills thousands, maybe millions of people. Anyone in an airplane, dead. Driving on the expressway, probably dead. Fuck you X-Office, why are you making Magneto a willing mass murderer! You're lucky I read this in 2021 instead of 1993 or I would be sending hate mail.
X-Men Blue and Gold together to thwart Magneto.
The Prof pops out in this special suit allowing him to walk. Ok. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be suit he had Storm steal. It probably is, right. Modified with Shi'ar tech or something, right?
He decides that he's going to bring a small strike force with him. I'll tell you why he (Lobdell, not Charles) choose each team member:
Rogue since she has her romantic past
Gambit to get awkward when Rogue gets awkward around Mags
Wolverine so he can get his spine ripped out.
QS because he's Magneto's son.
Jean...so she can almost be killed again? Because that's her thing. Maybe Charles excuse (I need Jean to amplify my psychic powers because I'll be using so much to help me walk) is the real reason.
Speaking of the whole Rogue/Magneto relationship thing.
The strike team gets on board Avalon and is able to teleport everyone but Magneto away.
Magneto barrels through and begins the battle.
With our psychic powers combined...!
Oh snap diggity dog. This is it. One of the most iconic X-Men moments and without doubt the biggest moment of this event. Magneto forcibly removes all of the adamantium from Wolverine's body. Dang.
And with the culmination of "bad Charles" coming to fruition, Charles attacks Magneto psychically, essentially leaving him as a vegetable. I did NOT know this happened, so I'm curious where this goes.
Colossus informs them that he's staying, you can't teleport him, and he will care for Magneto.
Wolverine # 75: Saving Wolverine
Writer - Larry Hama
Pencils - Andy Kubert
After the Prof scrambled Magneto's brain, the away team scrambles home on a jet (piloted by Bishop), rushing home to get Wolverine in his mangled state to some proper medical attention.
Larry Hama shows us that Wolverine is delirious, living in a dreamscape of horror while he's in this terrible pain.
Wolverine's body is trying to heal itself, but the damage is so severe that they aren't sure what will happen. We've seen a lot of mixed displays of his power. Sometimes he takes 20 bullets and keeps walking. Other times he gets one little stab and says it will still take him a few days to get back to normal.
The plane is kind of crashing, so most of the issue is spent trying to keep the plane in the air. Here we see Quicksilver using his super speed (kind of like data from Star Trek) to manage the computer system.
This is one of my favorite panels of this event. Storm is worried about Charles. Jubilee, of course is worried about Wolverine. Kitty is freaking out about her mentor:
"Logan! What about Logan!"
Scott obviously wants to know what's up with Jean.
So there's a real cool scene here (and nod to the birth of Phoenix) where Jean is sacrificing herself to keep the plane in the air. Here she is accidentally sucked out of the hatch.
Jean is saying her goodbyes, telling everyone not to look back. (I'll pretend for a second that she can use her telekinesis to fly so that I can live in the moment and enjoy the tension.)
Charles is strapped in. Everyone else is flying around the cockpit. Wolverine is flatlined. Looks like this is the end of Jean...
Oh...Hell Yea. The person who catches Jean is...Wolverine. He's essentially dead. There is even a scene where Charles is in his mind and Wolverine is basically saying he's ready to die. But when it's Jean's life on the line, Wolverine not only wakes up, but he's the one to catch Jean. I'm not gonna lie, this is good. I really like this. I am going to open up my "Favorite's" Google Doc right now and add this to my favorite moments of all time, which I'll update again once I get to 1995.
After getting home, Wolverine is surprised to learn that he can still pop his claws. They are made of bone! I didn't realize we didn't know this at first, but now I understand why that would have been a big deal.
This event causes Wolverine to leave the X-Men for a time. I believe he's gone for a solid year (in publishing).
Excalibur # 71: Can Colossus be saved?
Writer - Scott Lobdell
Pencils - Ken Lashley, Darick Robertson, Matthew Ryan
For some reason, Spoor is alive. Also for some reason, he is attacking Nightcrawler. Ok.
The Prof, Jean, and Scott show up overseas to meet up with Excalibur, which is currently down to Kurt, Kitty, and Rachel.
Head's up, this is dumb too! Professor X is like "Colossus couldn't have possibly gone bad on his own, so Kitty why don't you lie to him to lure him here, then we'll capture him and "fix him." I'll tell you right now that they fix him and Colossus still sticks with the Acolytes. I'm happy about this, not because I want him to stay with the bad guys, but because I hate when someone genuinely makes a bad choice but we come up with some "He was brainwashed" idea. Like why couldn't Rusty