Friday, August 1, 2008

Back to the 90s: Fatal Attractions, Part 2

By Chris Buchner

Part 2

Back on Avalon, Magneto unleashed an electromagnetic pulse on the Earth that creates havoc with the world’s electrical systems in response to the activation of the Magneto Protocols; an electromagnetic mesh around the planet that negates his powers below it. The X-Men decided it was time to take the battle to him. Xavier donned an exoskeleton that allowed him to walk, using alien Shiar technology, so he could join his students on the mission. The strike team was comprised of Jean Grey, Wolverine and Quicksilver, as well as the Cajun thief Gambit, who could charge matter with explosive kinetic energy, and the Southern belle Rogue with the ability to absorb the abilities of others with skin contact, as well as the permanently stolen abilities of Ms. Marvel including flight, super strength and near-invulnerability.

The X-Men invaded Avalon on their Blackbird jet and used a virus created by Beast to disable the space station. Of course, they met with resistance from the Acolytes and Magneto himself. During the course of the battle, Wolverine almost fatally wounds Magneto, causing him to retaliate in a fit of rage by pulling all the adamantium out of Wolverine’s body through his pores. This event was actually the result of a joke suggestion from Peter David during the X-Men meeting discussing the X-Cutioner’s Song storyline in anticipation of Magneto’s return.. Xavier, in an equal fit of rage over all he had done, attacked Magneto and psionically wiped his mind leaving him in a coma. Gathering up Wolverine, the X-Men retreated back to Earth while Colossus remained behind to care for Magneto.

The Blackbird, however, had no easy trip home. Caught in heavy turbulence, the X-Men struggled to keep their ship together while caring for Wolverine whose healing factor was pushed beyond even its limits. Xavier and Jean repeatedly went into his mind to stabilize the trauma he suffered, but it did very little as at one point, Wolverine’s life signs had failed The ship’s hull had been breached, and Jean sucked out of the hatch and barely able to hang on to the ship. Wolverine is faced with a vision of Illyana as he tried to head towards the light, subconsciously hearing calls for Jean and Jean’s own cries. This helped Wolverine fight back to life and rescue Jean from a certain death.

Weeks later on Earth, Wolverine sought a chance to prove he still had a place on the team by engaging a training session in the Danger Room, the X-Men’s training area with both real and holographic dangers upgraded with Shiar technology. There was a great danger in that Wolverine’s healing factor had burned itself out saving him, but it allowed the X-Men to learn that his claws, long thought implanted during the process that gave him his adamantium, were actually bone and thus his all along. Wanting time to reflect on this change in his life and considering himself a liability, Wolverine temporarily left the team.

On Muir Island, an island off the coast of Scotland which houses the largest mutant research facility on the planet ran by the X-Men’s human ally Dr. Moira MacTaggert, Cyclops, Jean and Xavier call on the visiting members of Excalibur (Nightcrawler, Phoenix III and Shadowcat) to enact a plan to bring Colossus back to their side.


Excalibur was an offshoot team of the X-Men created by Chris Claremont and Alan Davis, based usually in the United Kingdom whose book ran from 1988 to 1998, first appearing in 1987’s Excalibur: The Sword is Drawn. Originally, it was a wacky off-beat book that took its team across various dimensions, but eventually became a more grounded typical X-Book in the later years.

Comprising the team at the time was Kitty Pryde, aka Shadowcat, with the ability to phase through matter, Rachel Summers, aka Phoenix, daughter of Cyclops from an alternate future with telepathy and telekinesis, and Nightcrawler. Original members Brian Braddock, aka Captain Britain, and his shape shifting lover Meggan were written out of the book shortly before, as well as several newer members with no direct ties to the X-Men.

Xavier sought to use the unrealized romance between Kitty and Colossus to lure Colossus to the island so that they could fix the brain damage they believed caused him to remain with the Acolytes. It worked and the X-Men subdued Colossus, using Cyclops’ optic blast to fix the injury and allow him to transform back to human. The Acolytes arrived to reclaim their teammate engaging in a battle with the X-Men that only ended when Colossus, obviously healed, elects to return with them to space. Unknown to the others involved, Colossus actually sought to try and illicit change from Magneto’s ways from within.


Fabian Cortez would go on to the island nation of Genosha to recruit new followers and ignite a race war in the Bloodties storyline that spanned the X-Men and Avengers books. The war took a turn when Cortez sought protection from Magneto’s wrath by kidnapping his granddaughter Luna, daughter of Quicksilver and the Avenger/Inhuman Crystal, pulling both the X-Men and Avengers into the conflict. Matters were further complicated by Exodus seeking vengeance on Cortez and to eliminate Luna for disgracing his master by being a mere human. This conflict would lead to the Avengers losing their standing with the United Nations.

Colossus would continue to care for Magneto until the mutant Holocaust, a refugee from an alternate timeline known as the AGE OF APOCALYPSE (soon to be covered in BACK TO THE 90s), destroyed Avalon and sent its occupants scattered to the winds. No longer having a home and not wishing to return to the X-Men sought refuge/redemption with Excalibur. Excalibur, in turn, gave up their usual super heroics for the most part and settled on Muir Island to become an extension of Moira’s genetic research center.

Magneto’s fate would be a long mystery until the Magneto War storyline. Before then, however, it was believed a man with amnesia calling himself Joseph was Magneto somehow de-aged and rejuvenated. Joseph joined the X-Men until it was revealed he was actually a clone of Magneto designed to destroy and replace him, but was unable to do so and a blow to the head led to his loss of memory. During the Magneto War, Joseph sacrificed himself to repair the damage the real Magneto had done to the Earth’s magnetic field.

The mutant inventor Forge replaced Val Cooper as liaison between X-Factor and the government. After a time, however, Cooper was able to get back into the team’s good graces and gain a more active role. However, in response to Magneto’s actions, Polaris would end up being abducted to be brainwashed by a secret agency to be the government’s ultimate weapon against Magneto.

Wolverine’s healing factor would eventually return, however faster and more powerful than before. It’s learned that it was slower previously due to its constant fighting of adamantium poisoning, due to the metal being toxic like lead. The Dark Riders, loyal minions of Apocalypse, would try to restore Wolverine’s adamantium (skinned from his foe Cyber) to turn him into one of the ancient mutant Apocalypse’s new horsemen, but he rejected the process and was regressed into a feral beast-like state. His humanity would eventually return, as would his adamantium when Apocalypse was finally able to temporarily transform him into his new horseman Death.

The Professor program Cable retrieved from Avalon aided X-Force on several occasions. Eventually, the Professor took residence within X-Force’s transport ship and took to the skies to explore the universe.

Xavier’s mind-wipe of Magneto would directly lead to the creation of the force of nature called Onslaught. For more on that, stay tuned for BACK TO THE 90s: ONSLAUGHT.

X-Factor vol. 1 #92
X-Force vol. 1 #25
Uncanny X-Men #304
X-Men #25
Wolverine vol. 2 #75
Excalibur vol. 1 #71

X-Men: Fatal Attractions TPB

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