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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

X-amining X-Men vs. Avengers #1-4

"Justice For All" / "Uneasy Allies" / "The Soviets Strike Back!" / "Day of Judgement!"
April - July 1987

In a Nutshell 
The Avengers, the X-Men and the Soviet Super-Soldiers battle over Magneto. 

Writer: Roger Stern, Tom DeFalco (issue #4)
Co-Plotters: Tom DeFalco & Jim Shooter (issue #4)
Penciler: Marc Silvestri, Keith Pollard (issue #4)
Inker: Josef Rubinstein
Additional Inking: Bob McLeod, Al Williamson and Allen Milgrom (issue #4)
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Christie Scheele
Editors: Mark Gruenwald & Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Issue #1: As fragments of Asteroid M come crashing to Earth, Magneto leaves the X-Men to investigate one of the crashes in Kampuchea. The Soviet Super-Soldiers, hoping to execute Magneto for his crimes against Russia, and the Avengers, hoping to capture Magneto and bring him to trial before the Soviets kill him, track him down. The Avengers arrive first and arrest Magneto, but the X-Men, who followed Magneto themselves, intervene, just as the Soviets arrive. Issue #2: In the ensuing melee, Magneto and the X-Men manage to escape, with Magneto retrieving his helmet and other equipment from Asteroid M before setting explosive charges, believing the base to be too dangerous to fall into the wrong hands. The Avengers defeat the Soviets then confront Magneto once again, though the ensuing explosion allows him to escape even while he spares them from the blast. The X-Men speed away, unaware that Dr. Druid has stowed away on the Blackbird.


Issue #3: The X-Men discover Dr. Druid, but not before he relays their location to the Avengers. Landing in Singapore, the X-Men disappear, as the Avengers and Soviet Super-Soldiers arrive and begin to search for them. The X-Men book passage on a Dutch freighter, but are located by the Soviets, and a battle breaks out. One of the Soviets destroys the ship's engines, causing it to sink, but the Avengers arrive and help the X-Men rescue the crew. However, in the confusion, Magneto has escaped and heads back to Singapore, citing unfinished business. Issue #4: In Singapore, Magneto is sheltered by a group of underground mutants, but ultimately decides to give himself up for trial. At the trial, he uses the reconfigured circuitry in his helmet to eliminate the prejudice of the chief justice, hoping to avert a mutant-triggered race war if he's convicted. However, after the trial, he realizes his acquittal has instead simply fanned the flames of humanity's hatred towards mutants.

Firsts and Other Notables
Issue #4 is notable for reprising Magneto's trial from X-Men #200, with new judges but the same prosecutor and defense attorneys (sans Xavier, of course). Gabrielle Haller argues in Magneto's defense that he is swears allegiance only to his race, and since his race has not signed the Geneva Conventions, the court has no authority over him. While this motion is dismissed, ultimately the judges (swayed by Magneto manipulating the mind of the chief justice) essentially rule that Magneto is outside their jurisdiction, and while other nations may seek damages for violations of their laws, he is free to go in the eyes of the World Court.


The first three issues of this series are written by then-Avengers writer Roger Stern and drawn by Marc Silvestri (reportedly, it was Silvestri's work on this series which caught Claremont and Nocenti's eyes, leading to Silvestri becoming the new regular penciler of Uncanny X-Men). The final issue, however, is written by Tom DeFalco and drawn by Keith Pollard. As detailed here, Stern originally intended to use this series as a means to restore Magneto to villainy. However, the higher-ups at Marvel (presumably Jim Shooter, who gets a co-plotter credit on the final issue) stepped in (whether at the urging of Claremont or not is unclear) and nixed that idea, leading to the new creative team on the fourth issue (though as the link suggests, Silvestri likely just moved off the series to his Uncanny gig).

For whatever reason, Longshot and Psylocke sit out most of this series, with issue #4 revealing that they're being held in reserve by Storm just in case they're needed.


When called to testify in issue #4, Captain America says that in his expert opinion, Magneto has not genuinely reformed, even if Magneto himself currently believes he has. Ultimately, Cap will be proven right.

Not that it means anything, but it's interesting to note that Fantastic Four vs. the X-Men was written by Chris Claremont yet featured the X-Men name second in the title, while The X-Men vs. the Avengers is written by Roger Stern yet the X-Men name is in the first position (and the 2012 crossover event series is titled "Avengers vs. X-Men", though whether that was intentional to avoid confusion with this series or a happy accident, I have no idea). Also, She-Hulk appears in both series as a member of the team opposing the X-Men.

Each issue of the series cost $1.50, twice the rate of a regular issue at the time, and was, I believe, printed on the higher-quality Baxter paper.

The Chronology Corner
The Avengers are considered to appear here between issues #285 and #286 of their series, though technically I believe this takes place between pages of #285. Namor, who was a member of the team at this time, is notably absent from this series. 

A Work in Progress
This series heavily references Magneto's actions in X-Men #150, in which he sank the Russian sub Leningrad, killing all aboard, and destroyed the (evacuated) city of Varykino, as well as his aborted trial before the World Court in issue #200. Issue #2 establishes that a Soviet tribunal tried Magneto in absentia and found him guilty of the crimes he committed in issue #150. 

In issue #1, Havok angst about not fitting in with the X-Men, and says he misses Lorna. Has he...you know, tried calling her? As we'll see, probably not, continuing the X-Men's (and particularly the Summers brothers') longstanding enmity with phones.


Magneto is motivated in this series by fragments of Asteriod M (accidentally destroyed by the arrival of Warlock in New Mutants #21) crashing to Earth, and his desire to not see the technology therein fall into the wrong hands. This won't be the last time the X-Men deal with fragments of Asteroid M.

Silvestri clearly draws Wolverine's mask as a cowl, as opposed to the helmet-esque look Byrne gave it.


In issue #2, Dazzler is once again depicted as creating silence in the wake of powering herself up by absorbing all the ambient sound around her.

Magneto is essentially able to teleport himself and other people in issue #4 by carrying them on "lines of magnetic force", something we don't see him do too often (probably because it's ridiculously powerful).


Magneto, using his reformatted "prejudice eliminating" helmet on Captain America in issue #4, is surprised to learn that Cap genuinely has no anti-mutant prejudices, convincing him not to use the helmet on all of mankind and instead turn himself in for trial.  


I Love the 80s
In issue #1 Dr. Druid mass hypnotizes a group of people, saying its easier than usual due to them being shoppers.


At the lake, Dazzler is listening to Lionel Richie.


Not to be crude, but a inking or coloring mistake in issue #1 makes it look as though Rogue is trying to go skinny dipping but only getting it half right.


In issue #4, Ted Koppel reports on Magneto's trial.

The Best There is at What He Does
It's established in issue #2 that Wolverine's claws can't cut Black Knight's mystical Ebony Blade. 


Human/Mutant Relations
The human Crimson Dynamo is clearly anti-mutant, though when called on it by his mutant teammates in the Soviet Super-Soliders, he claims he's only opposed to "outlaw mutants" like the X-Men. 


As the series ends, Magneto, who had worried that his conviction would lead mutants to rise up against humanity, realizes that his acquittal has triggered a new wave of anti-mutant sentiment in humanity, an outcome he hadn't considered.


Teebore's Take
This is another odd limited series. The first three issues, written by Roger Stern and drawn by Marc Silvestri, are effective enough. Stern ably works in the three teams, giving each one a unique position relative to Magneto as motivation for their involvement in the story. The art is rough, and overly-inked at times, but still recognizable as Silvestri. Then the fourth issue comes along, with a new writer and new artist, and the result is the introduction of two new characters for ultimately no good reason (the underground Singapore mutants) followed by a boring courtroom drama that re-sets the stage from Uncanny X-Men #200 with none of that issue's gravitas. It's an odd shift, particular after the relatively action-packed start.

Yet despite its poor execution, I can't get too down on the final issue. As the story goes, Stern was setting up this series to return Magneto to out-and-out villainy until someone at Marvel stepped in and put the kibosh on the idea, leading to the bizarro final issue. While I can't applaud the execution of that issue, I'm ultimately relieved that "Redeemed Magneto" was given a stay of execution, at least for the time being (and even if you hate that iteration of the character, it seems only fair for Claremont to be the one to revert the character to villainy, rather than another writer in an ancillary limited series). Unfortunately, the conflict between the more strongly-executed first three issues and the more narratively-satisfying final issue leads to a hodgepodge story, one that zigs when it seemed like it was going to zag, with the energy building towards a climax that ultimately drains that energy dry. I may appreciate where the final issue leaves Magneto in terms of his characterization, but there's no denying it ultimately derails this series.

Next Issue
Friday, the X-Men take on Horde (not that one) in X-Men Annual #11. Next week, it's back to business as usual in Uncanny X-Men #220.

29 comments:

  1. Not trying to discredit Brian Cronin, as I love his column and read it every week, but -- the Avengers vs. X-Men collected edition from a few years ago features Stern's original outline for the fourth issue. Stern was not going to revert Magneto to villainy (as many, including myself, had assumed for many years).

    Here's a transcript of the plot: Original plot outline for X-Men vs Avengers #4 by Roger Stern

    The plot seems to follow from an earlier draft of the entire story, however, since the Mandarin is nowhere to be seen in the final product.

    I like that Stern's original ending was apparently more ambiguous, though I have the same issue with it as I would've had with the "Magneto reverts to villainy" story -- why does the Avengers' writer get to determine the fate (in this case a supposed death) of an X-Men character? As I've said before, I'm not a fan of "good guy" Magneto, but I'm also not a fan of writers and editors overstepping their bounds with regards to which characters belong to which series.

    P.S.: I don't know if anyone around here watches The Venture Brothers, but because of that show, in my head I hear all of Dr. Druid's dialogue in the voice of Dr. Orpheus (even though Orpheus is more of a Dr. Strange analogue, but I had already cast Dr. Strange's voice many years ago).

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  2. @Matt: Stern was not going to revert Magneto to villainy (as many, including myself, had assumed for many years).

    Thanks for the link! Like you, I had no idea that was Stern's original plan. Like you, I still bristle at the idea of Stern deciding Magneto's fate (especially since he was still a pretty big part of New Mutants), but appreciate the ambiguity of it.

    in my head I hear all of Dr. Druid's dialogue in the voice of Dr. Orpheus (even though Orpheus is more of a Dr. Strange analogue, but I had already cast Dr. Strange's voice many years ago).

    Well, since Dr. Orpheus is a little goofier than Dr. Strange, he's probably a better fit for Druid anyway, since Dr. Druid is just a low rent Dr. Strange. I can totally hear Druid, who usually seems like he's hyping himself up to anyone who will listen anyway, sounding like Orpheus.

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  3. I didn't read this until a few years ago. It was amusing to read the arguments John Byrne uses to this day against Magneto reforming actually showing up in a printed comic book.

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  4. "As detailed here, Stern originally intended to use this series as a means to restore Magneto to villainy."

    Sigh. How soon we forget! :) I asked Stern about this a while ago and posted it in the comments to the blog about X-Men 150 ...

    http://gentlemenofleisure1.blogspot.com/2012/04/x-amining-uncanny-x-men-150.html

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  5. "For whatever reason, Longshot and Psylocke sit out most of this series, with issue #4 revealing that they're being held in reserve by Storm just in case they're needed."

    Well, not having Psyclocke around does make it easier to prop up Dr. Druid ;) Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed Stern's Avengers run, but Dr. Druid was not one of the highlights of that run.

    The occasional hypocrisy of both Byrne and Stern does amuse me (even though Byrne is on a whole different level than Stern), with regards to how they treat characters being used by other writers. In this case, I can see Stern's POV about it all, but it wouldn't have killed him to consult with either Chris or Louise with his plans for Magneto. Thank God someone stepped in and put the kibosh on Stern's plans.

    And put me down as someone who definitely preferred CC's Magneto, who was complex and had depth, as opposed to his one-note mustache-twirling Silver Age version that certain writers just can't seem to let go off...

    Overall, even if you don't factor in the change in creators/plot/behind the scenes drama of the final issue, this series just isn't as strong as the FF vs X-men series. Stern's...contempt, lets call it, for the X-men (and possibly CC, or both) really comes out in this series, and really is obvious is his rough draft for the final issue. Give CC credit where it is due, his series with the FF was a much more balanced and fair take on both teams.

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  6. wwk5d, are there actual instances where Stern's... contempt would show? Didn't he like how Claremont/Byrne turned out or was he annoyed how (de-powered) Storm went to steal, ha, thunder from his (insanely overpowered) creator's pet Monica Rambeau as the black female team leader?

    Also, leaving Psylocke and Longshot for reserves when the rest go have a day at the beach? Storm is a jerk!

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  7. Jason -- Y'know, I thought someone had posted something about Stern's response somewhere, and that it was most likely here, but I couldn't recall which issue it might have been attached to (of course 150 makes the most sense in retrospect).

    I had forgotten, however, that you actually went and asked Stern.

    Teemu -- I think Stern liked the Claremont/Byrne run -- he was the editor for the majority of it, after all -- but I suspect that, like Byrne, he may have become frustrated with Claremont from afar, after leaving the title.

    In his own way, Stern seems to be just as opinionated as Byrne is with regards to the definitively correct and incorrect ways to do comics -- but he's much gentler in his opinions and not as overly narrow-minded as Byrne.

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  8. Matt, poor choice of words on my part. I meant that if it was how Claremont/Byrne ended, namely that Byrne left the title soon afterwards, that might have blown Stern off. To my knowledge Stern was more on his pal Byrne's side in the creative wrestle whereas Weezie was more of the school that writers mainly write and pencillers pencil.

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  9. "For whatever reason, Longshot and Psylocke sit out most of this series, with issue #4 revealing that they're being held in reserve by Storm just in case they're needed."

    Leaving out a pair of X-Men was the best idea in the mini-series.

    I recall that the FF vs X-Men concept seemed a non-starter to me. The huge 8 member X-Men roster had the FF beat by shear number, even before the first punch was thrown.

    By leaving two X-Men at home, the Avengers and X-Men had equal numbers. Certainly made it seem like the comic had the chance to have a fair fight.

    The character moments were going to be limited with two teams, so leaving a few characters behind was an easy way to somewhat limit the clutter. Certainly better than the bloated feel of FF vs X-Men.

    -Geno

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  10. You know, all this talk of the behind-the-scenes machinations with this series, and the implications re: Magneto's character arc ... engaged in by all of us smart, cynical adults ... means that none of us have talked about a really blindingly obvious weak point of DeFalco's issue #4 that absolutely devastated me as a kid:

    The X-Men and the Avengers don't fight each other.

    Talk about false advertising!

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  11. Ha, if all we wanted was to see a slugfest...

    ... then why do we all love the downtime issues so much?

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  12. @G. Kendall: It was amusing to read the arguments John Byrne uses to this day against Magneto reforming actually showing up in a printed comic book.

    Ha! I like that way of looking at it.

    @Jason:Sigh. How soon we forget! :) I asked Stern about this a while ago and posted it in the comments to the blog about X-Men 150

    You know, I spent about a half hour combing the net after I pulled up the Legends Revealed post, because something told me I'd read a further embellishment/clarification of Stern's departure/original intent somewhere, but I couldn't remember where I'd read it. I even went back to your blog, knowing you didn't cover this series but thinking maybe you mentioned it in a comment to your FF vs. post or somewhere else, but couldn't find it.

    Of course, I didn't think to check my own blog (though I at least had the "Jason" and "comment" part right...). That's what I get for not noting it in my X-aminations notebook in OneNote...

    none of us have talked about a really blindingly obvious weak point of DeFalco's issue #4 that absolutely devastated me as a kid:

    The X-Men and the Avengers don't fight each other.

    Talk about false advertising!


    Haha! That's a good point - along with everything else, that final issue really fails to deliver on the book's titular promise.

    @wwk5d: Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed Stern's Avengers run, but Dr. Druid was not one of the highlights of that run.

    Ditto.

    Give CC credit where it is due, his series with the FF was a much more balanced and fair take on both teams.

    Agreed again. The FF mini is definitely the superior of the two, even discounting the awkward fourth issue of this series.

    @Geno: By leaving two X-Men at home, the Avengers and X-Men had equal numbers. Certainly made it seem like the comic had the chance to have a fair fight.

    I agree, though I would have appreciate a better explanation for Psylocke and Longshot's absence. Why those two characters instead of, say, Longshot and Havok? Or Psylocke & Dazzler, etc. And given that the reserve explanation we get comes in issue #4, I wonder if Stern was ever going to even bother with explaining their absence at all.

    @Teemu: Ha, if all we wanted was to see a slugfest...

    ... then why do we all love the downtime issues so much?


    Those downtime issues definitely have their place (and I do love them), but I'd question whether their place is in a series titled "X-Men vs. the Avengers". They don't even have a quiet, verbal fight! :)

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  13. Oi, I think I got it cracked: it's like Roe vs. Wade or US vs. John Swan, it's a courtroom battle!

    Magneto is the X-Man, Wolverine said as much, and there's Captain America as the prosecutor's star witness. Ok, there still is an amount of hyperbola in the title, but technically...

    Which is not a saving grace at all because they fail badly in raising to the level of UXM 200 or the Trial of Reed Richards, as the procedurals go.

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  14. "his (insanely overpowered) creator's pet Monica Rambeau"

    You know, in spite of that...I really liked her. Stern did a good job writing her, and I was so bummed the way her character got shafted once Stern was off the book.

    "Certainly better than the bloated feel of FF vs X-Men."

    I wouldn't say it was bloated at all. I think CC did a good job balancing both casts and gave just about everyone at least a moment or 2 of decent character work. I agree with Teebore, the FF series was hands down much better than this one.

    "It was amusing to read the arguments John Byrne uses to this day against Magneto reforming actually showing up in a printed comic book."

    It's like comic book porn for Byrne...

    "then why do we all love the downtime issues so much?"

    Well, for one thing, the downtime issues work better after a slugfest...which we never really got here, did we?

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  15. Speaking of behind the scenes drama, uncannyxmen.net has a whole series of articles about behind the scenes stuff. Some of the quotes during Claremont's first departure are very interesting, esp seeing the plans that never came about. One interesting but not Earth shattering idea was:

    "According to Amazing Heroes #188, early plans consisted of Cyclops, Rogue, Psylocke and Iceman starring in Uncanny X-Men, and Marvel Girl, Storm, Beast, Wolverine and Gambit starring in X-Men vol.2. Professor X would lead both teams with assistance from Forge."

    You can find all the articles here:

    http://www.uncannyxmen.net/secrets.asp

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  16. wwk5d, I'm sure you already know it but it was exactly not abiding to the editorial mandate to de-chair Capt. Marvel due to incompetence in favor of Capt. America that got Stern kicked out of the book.

    Personally I've seen very little of Rambeau in action outside of Secret Wars and this book here, as in my native Finland the publisher had limits how much Marvel stuff they could throw at our way. Somehow there always was very little in the way of the Avengers and always something else than Stern's. Pre #200 in the eighties and then nothing before vol2.

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  17. Yeah, I know about that. A blemish on Mark Gruenwald's legacy, if you ask me.

    She basically spends the rest of her career as either a background character or guest star, sometimes extended, for the most part. Which is a shame. Though Warren Ellis does feature her as part of the cast of Nextwave, which is def a series worth checking out.

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  18. @wwk5d: You know, in spite of that...I really liked her. Stern did a good job writing her, and I was so bummed the way her character got shafted once Stern was off the book.

    Ditto. I've always had a soft spot for her, just because of how Stern used her in his run.

    Thanks for the link to the UncannyX-Men.net page - I've obviously spent some time on that site, but never came across that page before. It's nice to have some of that stuff in one convenient location to cross reference.

    @Teemu: I'm sure you already know it but it was exactly not abiding to the editorial mandate to de-chair Capt. Marvel due to incompetence in favor of Capt. America that got Stern kicked out of the book.

    I did not know that! As much of a fan of his run that I am, I'd always wondered what it was that got Stern off the book and never knew, until now. That rationale is a shame, especially coming from Gruenwald.

    Also, yeah, if you haven't, check out Nextwave. It's tons of fun, and features Monica pretty heavily.

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  19. "I recall that the FF vs X-Men concept seemed a non-starter to me. The huge 8 member X-Men roster had the FF beat by shear number, even before the first punch was thrown."

    Except they didn't in practice. Having a better chance of winning in theory means nothing in practice, especially in fiction, wherein the writer can manipulate events however he wishes.

    "By leaving two X-Men at home, the Avengers and X-Men had equal numbers. Certainly made it seem like the comic had the chance to have a fair fight."

    Kind of an academic point, since the fight never really occurs, but that's probably not a fair point since Stern's issue 4 would certainly have had the big slugfest.

    "The character moments were going to be limited with two teams, so leaving a few characters behind was an easy way to somewhat limit the clutter. Certainly better than the bloated feel of FF vs X-Men."

    FF/X-Men: 8 X-Men plus Kitty plus 4 FF'ers plus She-Hulk plus Franklin = ?
    Fifteen.

    X/Av: 6 X-Men plus 6 Avengers plus 5 Soviet Super Soldiers = ?
    Seventeen.

    Hmmm ... Which was more bloated again?

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  20. // As the series ends, Magneto, who had worried that his conviction would lead mutants to rise up against humanity, realizes that his acquittal has triggered a new wave of anti-mutant sentiment in humanity, an outcome he hadn't considered. //

    'Cause he's stupid?

    I didn't get the ruling at all. Of course there were plenty of problems with #4, beginning with the beginning — previous issues had picked up right where we left off, but with the last issue time had elapsed and it was really confusing. Having them release Magneto on the very premise that was struck down as an argument of the defense's at the outset of the miniseries, though, was a real "WTF?!?" capper.

    Magneto trying to reform may be a worthwhile and compelling storyline, even a valid status quo shift, but I have to admit that it's much harder to argue in his favor given that he was homicidal if not genocidal (vis-à-vis his war against non-mutant humanity) after his reversion to infancy and regrowth. Had Chris Claremont decided to take the tack with Magneto he eventually did a bit earlier, maybe that could've been avoided, but if I'm not mistaken we got at least a couple appearances of / references to Magneto before Claremont even decided that he'd known Xavier earlier in their lives.

    Also, I kind-of think that Magneto integrating himself back into society as headmaster at Xavier's invalidates any claim to being a nation unto himself. "You want to try to effect change from within now? Oh, sure, total amnesty for all your terrorist acts back when you didn't recognize the World Court's authority, no prob."

    Not that Captain America can't just be good for goodness' sake — I think he is — but I wonder if his lack of anti-mutant prejudice wasn't informed by his time in the Invaders with Toro, who implicitly and later explicitly was a mutant born with an ability to control flame that manifested when he first met the original, android Human Torch.

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  21. @Blam: Having them release Magneto on the very premise that was struck down as an argument of the defense's at the outset of the miniseries, though, was a real "WTF?!?" capper.

    Yeah, I get the idea that Magneto has effectively altered the main judge's mind, but it seems odd that's the conclusion he'd come to as a result, and that the other, unaltered judges, didn't step in and say, "uh, I don't think we can let him off on that technicality, as we've already ruled against it".

    but if I'm not mistaken we got at least a couple appearances of / references to Magneto before Claremont even decided that he'd known Xavier earlier in their lives.

    We certainly got some straight-up evil, non-reformed Magneto from Claremont early in his run, but while I have no idea when exactly Claremont came up with the "Magneto and Xavier go way back" idea, the only time I can think of offhand that Claremont directly contradicted it (rather than just not mentioning it either way, as in most pre-reformed appearances) was in issue #149, when he's dictating info on Magneto to the computer (or something like that) and refers to information about Magneto as "unknown" that he very well would know from their time together.

    Not that Captain America can't just be good for goodness' sake — I think he is — but I wonder if his lack of anti-mutant prejudice wasn't informed by his time in the Invaders with Toro, who implicitly and later explicitly was a mutant born with an ability to control flame that manifested when he first met the original, android Human Torch.

    I agree that Cap probably is just good for goodness' sake, but I did not know (or have since forgotten) that Toro was a mutant (even though I've read a handful of stories involving him), so that's kinda neat.

    Plus, of course, Namor is considered to be a mutant these days, and he and Cap have always been buddies due to their time in the Invaders together, so retroactively, there's that too.

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  22. "Plus, of course, Namor is considered to be a mutant these days, and he and Cap have always been buddies due to their time in the Invaders together, so retroactively, there's that too."

    Gotta love that hypocrisy on Caps part. Genocidal homicidal anti-human maniac who fought Nazis? Welcome to the Avengers! Genocidal homicidal anti-human maniac who didn't fight Nazis? The world demands justice!!!

    Magneto's actions in general just don't make sense. He doesn't want to go to surrender because he doesn't feel humans will give him a fair trial...but he willingly surrendered himself to Freedom Force in #199, in order to have the trial and make a point or whatever. And heck, during #200, he could have pretty much left whenever he wanted...it's not like the Avengers were there at the trial to stop him anytime he felt like using his powers to escape.

    This whole series would have made more sense had it came out pre-Uncanny #200, but coming out after? It just seems superfluous, in a "been there, done that, bought the t-shirt and was written much better" kind of way..

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  23. @wwk5d: Genocidal homicidal anti-human maniac who didn't fight Nazis? The world demands justice!!!

    And, of course, it's even worse when you consider the only reason Magneto wasn't fighting Nazis was because he was in one of their concentration camps!

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  24. That's why New Mutants 40 is so awesome ... that moment when Magneto calls Cap on his hypocrisy is so fantastic.

    (Of course that confrontation in NM40 is also another reason why this miniseries feels so redundant.)

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  25. @Jason: Of course that confrontation in NM40 is also another reason why this miniseries feels so redundant.

    Good point. NM40 really does handle the Avengers reaction to reformed Magneto better (and more concisely) than this does.

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  26. @Teebore: // #149, when he's dictating info on Magneto to the computer //

    Just the scene I was thinking of.

    @Teebore: // Plus, of course, Namor is considered to be a mutant these days, and he and Cap have always been buddies due to their time in the Invaders together, so retroactively, there's that too. //

    I don't think there is that, honestly. Namor and Cap have tussled plenty of times. He was revived in the '60s as a villain, remember, and even after Roy Thomas fired up Invaders — in fact, pretty much at the same time, as both series launched with Giant-Size issues in 1975 — Namor was co-starring with Doctor Doom in Super-Villain Team-Up.

    Admittedly, I can't speak with much authority on Marvel continuity over the past 20 years, and really none at all over the past 10, but Namor was often an antihero at best for most of his existence before that. John Byrne established at the outset of the '90s Namor that his erratic allegiances were the result of some kind of oxygen imbalance that affected his hybrid metabolism over the years; I think it was even mentioned that the suit designed by Doom that allowed Namor to stay out of the sea longer without weakening stabilized his mood swings but in a direction suitable to Doom's needs rather than humanity's.

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  27. @Blam: e was revived in the '60s as a villain, remember, and even after Roy Thomas fired up Invaders ... Namor was co-starring with Doctor Doom in Super-Villain Team-Up.

    Yeah, I was think of Stern's Avengers run in the 80s, when he had Namor join the team at Cap's request, triggering a lot of public outrage and Cap voicing support for the reformation of his old wartime buddy.

    Which, of course, is probably one of those things that contributed to Byrne's desire to deploy the "oxygen imbalance" retcon, to help reconcile the Namor who teamed up with Doom and the one who joined the Avengers.

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  28. "to help reconcile the Namor who teamed up with Doom and the one who joined the Avengers."

    Considering how many times he invaded/attacked the "Surface World" and/or trashed NYC, joining Doom is the least of his past shady acts lol

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  29. @wwk5d: Considering how many times he invaded/attacked the "Surface World" and/or trashed NYC, joining Doom is the least of his past shady acts lol

    True. I was just going for the "joining Doom/joining the Avengers" parallel structure. :)

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