The second half of this storyline, like any good storyline, is when it really gets interesting. Here’s what has happened thus far: Magneto, whom everyone thought had perished, is back and using Cable’s floating space fortress as headquarters for his mutant army. He has taken it upon himself to choose only those he feels is worthy to join his ranks. Cable, wanting to take back what’s his, infiltrates the ship with his team: X-Force. For his trouble Cable is reduced to a pile of scrap metal by the master of magnetism. The biggest shock thus far is the defection of Colossus to Magneto’s assemblage.
As we enter the final act the story gets darker. As I mentioned last week this 90s book is far more gruesome than you would find in current main-stream comics. Sure you’ll see Vertigo books or seriously indie titles that get dark and weird (I’m looking at you Witch Doctor) but publishers like Marvel, DC and even to a large extent Dark Horse and Image/Top Cow tend to shy away from blood-soaked violence.
Comic book violence tends to be just that, comic book violence. Superman can punch a villain from Metropolis to Kansas but when he shows up to punch some more there’s not a speck of blood anywhere; Fatal Attractions is riddled with scenes of blood-drenched battles. Even Charles Xavier, famed pacifist (when he wasn’t Onslaught) is filled with a bloodlust when he rallies the X-Men to their next mission.
His goal is to remove Magneto from the equation, permanently.
The battle is designed to be a sneak attack and despite the assistance of Colossus (perhaps he’s not all bad…yet) their presence is given away by the carelessness of Quicksilver. Thinking he moves too quick to be seen or sensed by anyone he failed to take into account that his movements react with the air around him…which seems like an insane thing for him to forget but, plot holes need fillin’ somehow.
Magneto, once abreast of their whereabouts on his ship, comes at them with a fury and hatred mired in years of pent-up aggression and animosity for those who have held him back and down. Xavier and Jean Grey attack his mind while Wolverine attacks his body. It is here that one of the most famous events in comics history occurs: the ripping out of Wolverine’s adamantium.
Magneto, the master of magnetism, mortally wounded by Wolverine uses his remaining strength to unbind the adamantium from Wolverine’s bones at a molecular level; literally ripping it out of him through his skin.
The scene, though gruesome to behold is a feat in comics not easily paralleled as far too often the true power and nature of villains is left off-panel and their behavior within the confines of a story are dramatically limited. How often have you read a story and said: “Darkseid wouldn’t talk to Batman…he’d just zetabeam his ass to dust” or “Apocalypse can take over an entire continent in a week with his abilities…yet Nightcrawler can defeat him in combat?” Magneto becomes the truest of villains at this point. He will be hated and reviled for his actions, but what is inflicted upon him by Xavier leaves no one’s hands clean in this tussle.
The events of Fatal Attractions forever changed the landscape of Marvel Comics. Sure, Magneto was made whole again, Wolverine eventually got back his adamantium and Cable is back in one piece, but the idea that comics could even take such actions opened a door for so many possibilities. The book gets a solid B. The writing isn’t great and the art in some of the issues (since it’s a crossover and not one team) is a little shaky, but the plot and overarching story are solid and well worth checking out.
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Till next Wednesday…