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October 1993 – “Dreams Fade”

No…I don’t mean Blurred lines as in the Robin Thicke crapfest.  Just read on…

SYNOPSIS

In this continuation of the “Fatal Attractions” saga, the governments of the world, working together, and with the assistance of Forge and SHIELD, launch a series of satellites that cover the earth in an electromagnetic field specially designed to prevent Magneto from using his powers in Earth’s atmosphere (for those who don’t remember, he was currently staying aboard Avalon after taking it from Cable and using it to pick up the Acolytes and Colossus during Illyana’s funeral).

And guess what Magneto’s reaction is to this.

Hint:  he’s pissed.

I think he's a little upset...
I think he’s a little upset…

Magneto retaliates by sending a powerful EMP blast across the entire globe.  The X-Men are affected less than most because they have the added benefit of Shi’ar technology built into the mansion.  Soon after, they have a briefing where we discover that the deaths are in the thousands (seriously?  only thousands when we’re talking about the whole world?).  Xavier determines that they can no longer allow Magneto to sit in his orbital base.  Instead, Xavier plans a group to head to Avalon to confront the master of magnetism directly.

Through a Shi’ar exoskeleton, Xavier will lead the mission (it allows him to walk) along with Jean Grey (only chosen because his own mental powers are diminished powering the exoskeleton), Gambit, Rogue, Wolverine, and Quicksilver (apparently on loan from X-Factor).  They then use a teleporter (“beam me up, Scotty”) to transport instantly aboard Avalon.  One of the perks to gettin’ busy with the leader of the Shi’ar, I guess.

Once on board, Colossus, for reasons that are anybody’s guess, turns off the monitors that detected the X-Men’s arrival.  The X-Men encounter Rusty Collins and Skids and while Jean and the others try to talk to them, Xavier takes the more direct and faster approach and puts them both to sleep.  Quicksilver then runs down the corridor, faster than anybody can see, inserts a program (on a CD – remember when everything came on a CD?) and then rejoins the X-Men.  The program allows Xavier to gain control of Avalon’s systems and he uses the teleporter to remove all of the Acolytes (except Colossus…again, not sure why because he definitely wasn’t a double agent) to the escape pods and sends them back towards earth.

Before the X-Men can make their next move, Magneto attacks.  He tosses Wolverine aside with ease and wraps up Rogue in various cables from the station.  Xavier and Jean join minds to assault Magneto psychically while Gambit presses the assault.  Magneto retaliates against Gambit which gets Rogue furious.  She and quicksilver both attack.  Magneto decides at that point that his son (Quicksilver, in case you lived under a rock) must die.  Before he can carry out his promise, Wolverine attacks, slashing across Magneto’s chest, wounding him.  Magneto’s response is one that X-Fans remember with great detail to this day.

Magneto rips out Wolverine’s adamantium.

So horrified at the scene as Wolverine is brought as close to death as he has ever been, Jean breaks her link and Xavier does something he will regret years later:  he wipes Magneto’s mind clean.  The battle ended, Jean quickly tends to Wolverine who is bleeding from virtually every pore in his skin.  Colossus arrives and announces that their battle destroyed the teleporter and Bishop will be arriving shortly in the Blackbird.  The X-Men flee, leaving Colossus to care for the now vegetable Magneto.

Obligatory Gambit picture
Obligatory Gambit picture

REVIEWS/THOUGHTS/SNIDE COMMENTS

Back in 1993, we didn’t have the internet.  We didn’t have comic book news shoved down our throats on facebook and newsarama and blogs.  All we had were previews in monthly magazines (anybody remember Wizards…man, I miss that mag).  I kind of miss those days.  Because when I turned to the page with Wolverine getting his adamantium ripped out, my reaction was one of complete and utter shock.  And I know I wasn’t alone.  Most people who are reminded of this issue remember the amazement they felt at seeing their favorite mutant (at least for most – he has never been my favorite) torn apart in a single act.  This would also change the character of Wolverine for years to come and somewhat redefine his actual mutation (spoiler alert:  his claws are actually part of his mutation!).

So yeah, I loved this issue.  It has some great build-up and then a massively hectic battle in which Magneto gives almost as good as he gets.  I had some issues with Fatal Attractions in general as it wasn’t really a cohesive cross-over (in fact, other than X-Men 25 and Wolverine 75, the entire cross-over is independent…don’t need to read all of the issues because there’s not single storyline – just a general theme of Magneto’s return).  I loved Magneto’s response to the U.N.’s perceived assault on him.  The art is pretty good, although looking back, Andy Kubert seems to have problems in drawing how people can realistically bend.  Still, it’s exciting and there’s a lot going on in each panel.

I think it’s amazing how a single event can sometimes define a character and book for years to come.  Magneto tore out Wolverine’s “unbreakable” metal, leaving him feral and removing him from the X-Men for some time (hard to believe it was done just because Peter David made some smart-ass remark about Wolverine losing the metal – check it out here) and Professor Xavier wiped out Magneto’s mind which would lead to a mindless Magneto for years and ultimately lead to the creation of Onslaught (granted that was retconned and nobody planned it that way).  Still, this was probably one of the single most devastating events the X-Men would go through in the 90’s.

The last thing I can say is that I loved the philosophical struggle between Xavier and Magneto.  The line is blurred here.  After all, Magneto only responded to an assault on his people.  Xavier went to Avalon to assassinate Magneto.  And Magneto truly wants to just live apart from the humans and yet the X-Men continually hound him for it.  So did Magneto overreact?  Probably.  But is he truly the bad guy in this issue?  That would make for an interesting debate.

Someone's out for blood!
Someone’s out for blood!

FAVORITE QUOTES

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Magneto:  “It is time, then, for my actions to speak far more loudly than my words ever have.”

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Rogue:  “Ah’m just afraid, Remy, when push comes ta shove, whose side am Ah gonna be on?”

Gambit:  “The side y’always try t’be on…the right side.”

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Katu:  “They justly fear our Lord’s wrath.”

Colossus:  “And the shame of it is, Katu, that your ‘lord’ has most certainly given them reason to.”

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Magneto:  “Has what, Charles?!  Offered them a better option than any you could ever hope to?  For that is all I have done!  I have offered them hope and truth, opportunity and accomplishment!  And I will continue to do so for all mutants I deem worth and I will not let your X-Men stop me again!!

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Professor Xavier:  “I can no longer do that.  You have shown an inability to change your ways and I, an unwillingness to make the hard decisions.  Maybe, in our own ways, we are both failures!”

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Ouch...
Ouch…

 

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