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Thursday, October 23, 2014

X-amining X-Factor Annual #4

"I Must Go Down to the Sea Again"
August 1989

In a Nutshell
Beast and Marvel Girl battle Attuma

Story and Pictures: John Byrne
Embellishment: Walt Simonson
Inker: Bob Wiacek
Letterer: Jim Novak
Colorist: Tom Vincent
Editor: Bob Harras
Down the Hall, Turn Left: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Pulled by a tractor beam cast by Ghaur, Beast grabs onto a flying, comatose Marvel Girl. Desperate to break the pull of the beam, he manages to get through to Jean enough for her to use her telekinesis to free them and send the two teammates crashing into the ocean, much to a watching Ghaur's dismay. In the water, Beast and the still-comatose Marvel Girl are attacked by an Atlantean force led by the warlord Attuma. Recognizing Marvel Girl as Phoenix, he claims her as his own and orders his troops to kill Beast. However, Beast is saved by the arrival of Attuma's daughter, Andromeda, and her rebel forces, and they agree to work together to thwart Attuma and rescue Jean.


At a nearby undersea grotto, Attuma greets the awakening Marvel Girl, who insists she has no memory of Phoenix's past encounter with the warlord. She attacks him, but he smashes the walls of the grotto, bringing the ocean crashing inside. Beast and Andromeda arrive, with Andromeda challenging her father to single-combat as Beast brings the unconscious Marvel Girl to the surface. Reaching shore, he attempts to revive with her via artificial respiration, but is unable to do so. Just then, Ghaur appears, telling Beast he needs Jean alive and can save her life, in exchange for Beast willingly allowing Ghaur to take her. Accepting that at least with Ghaur, she'll be alive, Beast reluctantly lets the Deviant have Marvel Girl. Below, Attuma defeats his daughter, but before he can render the killing blow, Ghaur claims her as well, transporting her away to serve Set, much to Attuma's rage.

Firsts and Other Notables
Continuing "Atlantis Attacks", this issue focuses on Ghaur's efforts to acquire Marvel Girl, one of his intended "Seven Brides of Set", a group of female superheroes meant to serve as the mothers of the serpent god's children (Storm is also captured to be one of the brides).

Andromeda, the daughter of Atlantean warlord Attuma, appears in this issue, having for a short-time been a member of the New Defenders alongside Beast, where she seemingly perished (she was later resurrected along with other fallen Defenders by Dr. Strange). During "Atlantis Attacks" she's leading a rebellion against her father and ends up becoming one of the Brides of Set as well.


The second story in this annual, written and drawn by John Byrne, is set after the events of X-Men vs. Avengers, and features Magneto (then still Headmaster of Xavier's School) and Dr. Doom using the technology Magneto acquired in that limited series to basically fight over who has the most tragic backstory.

The third story is a more overtly humorous one in which a pair of FBI agents with more than a passing resemblance to the Blues Brothers investigate the events of "Inferno" to determine it's true cause. Set between X-Factor #39 and #40 (just before Madelyne's funeral, in fact), it shows X-Factor debating whether or not to reveal the truth about "Inferno". They ultimately decide to keep the truth to themselves for the public's good, and tell the FBI that the events of "Inferno" were halluncinations caused by a Hypno-ray created by AIM which they helped destroy.


M-Squad also makes a brief appearance in that story, bridging their seeming deaths in New York during Uncanny X-Men #240 with their appearance on the West Coast in issue #244. They say that during "Inferno" they hallucinated being absorbed into the Empire State's Bulding's wallpaper, but when they event ended, they just woke up to find themselves in the elevator.


The final story in this annual, as with all previous "Atlantis Attacks" annuals, continues the telling of the Serpent Crown's origin.

There's also a pin-up by Jon Bogdanove featuring X-Factor, the newly combined New Mutants, and Power Pack (and even here, Rusty and Skids are separate from the rest of the New Mutants). 


A footnote in the early pages of this issue says that a future issue of X-Factor will show Marvel Girl getting grabbed by Ghaur's tractor beam and Beast grabbing onto her; that scene never actually does appear in a future issue.


Attuma references an encounter with Phoenix which ocurred in Bizarre Adventures #27 (which, once again, I really should have written a post about back in the day), in which he captured Phoenix and her sister for some sort of creepy breeding attempt.


Story and pencils come from John Byrne, his second recent contribution to the X-Books (following New Mutants #75), and he's inked by former series penciller Walt Simonson.

The Chronology Corner
Beast and Marvel Girl, the only two members of X-Factor to appear in the main story (as well as some of the remaining "Atlantis Attacks" annuals), do so between issues #42 and #43 of X-Factor.

A Work in Progress
Beast, who believes "once a telepath, always a telepath", manages to mentally shout loud enough to break through Marvel Girl's trance enough to get her to drop them in the ocean before they reach Ghaur.


Beast notes that his lungs are capable of holding more air, a similar line of thinking to Sunspot's super-strength allowing him to hold his breath longer from New Mutants Annual #5.


Marvel Girl says she doesn't remember Phoenix's encounter with Attuma because she wasn't Phoenix, except that, as of "Inferno", Jean possesses all of Phoenix's memories, a detail that John Byrne likely didn't know or chose to ignore.


Both Marvel Girl and Beast (but especially Marvel Girl) spend a lot of time in this issue underwater and unconscious. While Beast's inability to resuscitate Marvel Girl is a plot point, it still feels like, realistically, they probably would have died without question.

When giving Marvel Girl mouth-to-mouth, Beast notes he has to be careful not to burst her lungs with the force of his breathing.


I Love the 80s
A caption in the second story refers to Dr. Doom as the last absolutely monarch in the world; I'm not sure that would even be true today, let alone in the Marvel Universe of 1989.

Teebore's Take
Not that it's a high bar to clear, but this is easily the best of the X-Books' "Atlantis Attacks" annuals. Story-wise, this isn't a whole lot different/better than the previous "Atlantis" annuals: there's the usual amount of underwater fighting that makes the part of my brain that knows physics throw up its hands and leave the building, and Marvel Girl spends most of the issue unconscious and/or an object to be fought and bartered over, which is unfortunate.

But the art is really nice, unquestionably the best art of the three annuals, as Walt Simonson provides some scratchy, gritty inks to John Byrne's pencils, the end result being a pleasing and effective combination. The two non-historical backup stories are mostly non-essential but enjoyable enough, the kind of value-added material the late 80s/early 90s annuals strove for but so rarely achieved. Even though the end result is the best of the "Atlantis Attacks" annuals we've looked at, I'm nevertheless glad to be done with this particular storyline.

Next Issue
Uncanny X-Men #247 has the X-Men battling Master Mold, New Mutants #78 features the return of Freedom Force, and X-Factor #43 sends the team into space.

20 comments:

  1. PART 1
    I feel it wise to summarize the concluding chapters of the Atlantis Attacks saga.

    WEB OF SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL 5 (Gerry Conway and Javier Saltares) Attuma makes one final invasion at New York City. It is defended by Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four (plus Sharon the She-Thing), their activities and heroism covered by Trish (my first intro to the X-newswoman). While the army is fighting overseas, Atlantis gets nuked by their Lemurian allies (by order of Ghaur and Llyra). When Attuma gets the news that his kingdom is no more, he goes into a total shock and surrenders. The Atlantean army has lost all purpose in this war. The fighting ends. The war is over. But it is an unclean victory for the good guys; Ghaur has kidnapped the Invisible Woman.

    AVENGERS WEST COAST ANNUAL 4 (John Byrne) The Avengers, Beast, Thor, and Ben Grimm (presently depowered, wearing a Thing Exo-skeleton suit) connect the dots about Atlantis, Ghaur, and Set. Meanwhile, Ghaur has gathered his seven brides: Storm, Marvel Girl, Scarlet Witch, Invisible Woman, She-Hulk, Dagger, and Andromeda. Free in mind and thought, but compelled to give Ghaur obedience, the seven brides are sent to locate and claim relics and fragments of Set's life force. She-Hulk locates one of them, an orb buried deep in the sea, only to deal with the orb's guardian- a Leviathan. This gets the attention of Iron Man, who contacts the Avengers. The group (Cap, Shellhead, Wonder Man, Vision, Sersei, Wasp) and Beast follow She-Hulk to Ghaur’s undersea base. They do battle with the Set Brides, confused at seeing a 'dead' Storm with them (Byrne and Terry Austin get to draw Storm again). Ghaur has Wanda use her hex power to enlarge the life-force-orb to bring Set into the world. Beast tries to destroy it with an iron gauntlet. He succeeds in bringing Set in all his seven-headed glory!

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  2. PART 2
    THOR ANNUAL 14 (Roy Thomas and Don Heck). Thor and Dr. Strange gather any former Serpent Crown wearers, feeling their experience is important for the upcoming battle. All they can get is Quasar and Ben Grimm. Strange teleports them to Ghaur’s headquarters, where Set is now present. Rather than assist the Avengers in battle, the four instead go into the mouth of the Serpent God itself! Inside the behemoth, they find Set is an entire dimension, the core of which is a skinless seven-headed beast that is the true form of the deity. The heroes do their best, but Set is overwhelming. Thor cries for his mommy. Mommy, in this case, is Gaea, the Earth goddess, Mother Nature herself. Unfortunately, Set’s power has hindered her presence, so she can only give advice. Thor must seek the help of her other son Atum the Sun God. Eons ago, Atum had become the Demagorge- a devourer of Gods- and defeated Set. Thor does so, but Atum refuses to help ants from some miniscule planet. Frustrated, Thor attacks Atum, enraging him into becoming the Demagorge, who eats the God of Thunder! This is all according to plan; Thor uses all his remaining power to take temporary control of the Demagorge. This gestalt goes to the Inner Set dimension and fights the Serpent God. He separates the heads and throws them into separate dimensions. His sacrifice fulfilled, Thor accepts being consumed by the Demagorge. Fortunately, Atum, impressed by his half-brother’s sacrifice for lesser beings, removes Thor from his appetite. It is Thor and company who appear at Ghaur’s headquarters, giving the high priest proof that Set’s return has seemingly been postponed indefinitely. With the help of a smoke-bomb, Ghaur and the Set Brides vanish. The heroes intend to go after him.

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  3. PART 3
    FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL 22 (Roy Thomas and Rick Buckler). At Llyra’s kingdom of Lemuria, Ghaur bristles over the latest setback in restoring Set. But he has another plan: He will perform a ritual which will dematerialize the Set Brides into the Serpent Crown, giving Set power to regroup and finally come to Earth. But Lemuria is suddenly invaded by the Avengers, the FF, the Android Human Torch, Beast, and Dr. Strange, who fight off the combined Deviant-Lemurian forces (it has to be noted the palace has been designed for both the water-breathing Lemurians and the air-breathing Deviants to co-habit, so the heroes have no air problem). Llyra tries to destroy them with an Ion cannon, but who should appear but Namor the Sub-Mariner! The Avenging Son had actually survived his ‘death’, working behind the scenes (disguised I suppose; it is hinted but never stated) until he could strike. He destroys the cannon before it can be used. Llyra runs to the Crown-room, followed by Namor and the FF. With the Serpent Crown, Ghaur and Llyra fight off their foes. Ghaur mesmerizes the FF into fighting each other. Llyra tempts Namor: she conjures statues of his two dead wives Dorma and Marrina. With the Crown’s power, she can restore one to life; all Namor has to do is break the statue of the least wanted. Namor, refusing to choose and insult either of his late wives, heads to the space between them. Suddenly, the statues vanish, revealing Namorita! Llyra had kidnapped Namorita and would have sacrificed her life if Namor had made a real decision (rather consistent of Llyra, who has become Namor’s Green Goblin. Her death count included Dorma, Namor’s father Captain McKenzie, and Namora, Namor’s cousin and Namorita’s mother/’sister’). With the Fantastic Four resisting his mindgames, Ghaur increases his power by tapping further into the Crown, becoming one with its essence. He meets someone: Naga of Lemuria, the first wearer, whose consciousness survived his death by being stored inside the Serpent Crown. There is a conflict of interest, as both Ghaur and Naga fight each other for supremacy. The duel destroys both of them, consuming Llyra as well. Without their influence, the Set Brides sacrifice is stopped. Their wills free again, the seven use the residue of the Crown’s power inside them to open a hole, throw the Crown into it, and seal it up. With Atlantis gone, Namor considers home is with family- Namorita. The two cousins fly away, surprising Cap and the Android Human Torch that their old partner has a family of his own. Thinking about Bucky and Toro, they envy him.
    The last back-up story on the Saga of the Serpent Crown (covering MARVEL TEAM-UP ANNUAL 5 with Spider-Man, Thor, Quasar, Thing, and Scarlet Witch temporarily exorcising the Serpent Crown) has Gaea tells Uatu the Watcher that the Serpent Crown and Set may return one day, but as long as Earth has its heroes, Set will never triumph.

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  4. What were the credits for the 2nd and 3rd stories?

    Speaking of "once a telepath...", it's interesting that Jean refers to herself as a telepath in that 2nd story, and not as a former telepath.

    Looks like the art seems to be the saving grace of this chapter. If it had the same caliber of artwork that Uncanny and New Mutants had, I doubt Teebore would have liked it so much.

    But that Bogdonove pin-up is just so fug on so many levels.

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  5. @angmc43: Thanks for the "Atlantis Attacks" conclusion rundown. I considered doing something like that myself, but I'd have just been paraphrasing Wikipedia anyway...

    Interesting that Trish showed in the WoS annual; I didn't know that. Especially since it wasn't written by one of the X-writers; I can't imagine she was that well known of a character outside the X-office.

    @wwk5d: What were the credits for the 2nd and 3rd stories?

    Ralph Macchio wrote and Byrne penciled & inked the second story. Gruenwald and Jim Fern did the third one.

    Since I didn't formally summarize them, I didn't feel like I should include the credits in the post. I suppose I probably should have summarized the third one since it dealt with "Inferno", but there's really not a lot more to it than what I mentioned.

    If it had the same caliber of artwork that Uncanny and New Mutants had, I doubt Teebore would have liked it so much.

    True.

    And "liked it so much" is maybe too strong a phrase. "Disliked it the least", perhaps? "Felt the least like a waste of time?" :)

    But that Bogdonove pin-up is just so fug on so many levels.

    Yeah. That's the Bogdanove art I remember hating on X-Factor during "X-Tinction Agenda", not the art I found myself surprisingly enjoying in the X-Terminators mini.

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  6. I'm with you on this being the best of the bunch, even if that's not saying much and they're all pretty skippable and the first story has its problems. To wit...

    // While Beast's inability to resuscitate Marvel Girl is a plot point, it still feels like, realistically, they probably would have died without question. //

    Yeah. I don't know how they don't suffocate one way or another — breathing unconsciously, their lungs would fill with water; not breathing unconsciously, well, they're not breathing. And there was an easy out for Byrne right there in his own script, namely that Jean could've subconsciously thrown up a TK field with at least limited air supply when she and Hank went under.

    // there's the usual amount of underwater fighting that makes the part of my brain that knows physics throw up its hands and leave the building //

    Yeah.

    // Marvel Girl spends most of the issue unconscious and/or an object to be fought and bartered over, which is unfortunate. //

    Yeah. I kind-of want to give the story props for having Andromeda step up and battle her father, as well as acknowledge that Jean maybe had to be taken out because she's so powerful, and okay the whole Seven Brides for Set thing is rooted in a hodgepodge of patriarchal if not inherently culturally misogynist mythologies, but it's really as you say. Jean is pretty much literally a prop most of the time, most egregiously in being claimed and redressed by Attuma.

    The art is nice, though. I'm glad in particular to see Byrne drawing furry blue Hank again, and it's also fun to see him doing his thing of drawing classic Marvel moments in the Doom/Magneto story. As much as it reads like Byrne needing to comment on those characters, by the way, that second story was written by Ralph Macchio — unless there's some lore contradicting the printed credits that I'm not aware of.

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  7. Whoops. I didn't see the newer comments until the page refresh when mine went through. Your post says "The second story in this annual, written and drawn by John Byrne, is set after the events of X-Men vs. Avengers," hence my correction.

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  8. So, Beast and Marvel Girl adventuring alone, drawn by Byrne, while the world thinks the X-Men are dead... hmmh.

    Just curious: how did Victor Von Byrne top Magneto losing his daughter Anya in the house fire, and really the whole Holocaust surroundings? "Never mind that, you oaf! Look at my scarred face!"

    If there is not the following exchange in the book:
    - Are you musicians?
    - No ma'am, we're the police.
    then it is total waste.

    Also, good show by Odin for the parental arrangements of Thor. To go into the lair of an elder god and say "Ma'am, I'm Odin of Asgård and I need a son", flip away his cigarette and proceed opening his pants. That's some mythological patriarchal misogyny, someone getting a bride for each of his head is upstart stuff.

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  9. Blam: As much as it reads like Byrne needing to comment on those characters, by the way, that second story was written by Ralph Macchio — unless there's some lore contradicting the printed credits that I'm not aware of.

    It's a hard fit to think that Byrne would not be fundamentally invested in a Doom vs. Magneto story and just show up to do the pictures workmanshiply. Personally I can't imagine anything less than scenes where the editor tries to bring it up that "John, you have to admit that as backgrounds in tragedy go, Magneto kind of at least rivals with Dr. Doom..." only to see himself lifted up the air by a frothing Byrne going "No one rivals Doom! No one! Begone from my sight! You have angered me beyond measure! Go to your quarters and remain until I summon you again!"

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  10. It's kind of interesting how, following from NEW MUTANTS 75, Byrne seems to now consider himself the shepherd of Magneto. He drew the "reversion to villainy" in NM, he draws this backup story, and soon he'll bring full-blown villainous Magneto back in AVENGERS WEST COAST.

    I have to give Byrne some credit on the first story, though, for mentioning Attuma's previous meeting with Phoenix. One thing I've always admired about the guy is that, even when he hates developments from other writers, he works with them (even if only to undo them) rather than outright ignoring them.

    (Which is not to say I have any reason to believe Byrne hated the Phoenix/Attuma story, other than that he seems to have hated everything Claremont did after he left the X-Men behind.)

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  11. Also, angmc43, your summary makes "Atlantis Attacks" sound like a really awesome epic, rather than the disorganized mess it actually was. Good work!

    Remember a few years ago, when Marvel published those mini-series SPIDER-MAN AND THE SECRET WARS and AVENGERS AND THE INFINITY GAUNTLET, sort of re-telling the original stories? I honestly wouldn't mind a 6- or 12-issue series called AVENGERS AND ATLANTIS ATTACKS or something, retelling this story in a more organized fashion...

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  12. I totally second Matt here, the Atlantic Attack by angmc43 sounds like a fun read. Also on the shared universe point of view I appreciate how the story seems to continue in the upcoming Namor book by John Byrne with android Torch and Toro's wife and the gang against some insanely hilarious nazi villains. I'm not sure on chronology though if they did visit in Avengers West Coast inbetween.

    The Namor book was pretty horrible really but that's what they back then chose to publish in my country from then-contemporary Marvel comics in our book called "Marvel" with monthly rotating titles alongside Hulk, Ghost Rider and I can't even remember what. else. They had also another such book for more street level heroes like Daredevil, Punisher and Wolverine called "Comic Book". They never got a proper name for the book despite contests and numerous letter page suggestions.

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  13. I'm flattered, people. I didn't realize I did that good a job. Thank you.

    I must say the scene where Ghaur blackmails Beast into surrendering Jean is badarse, showing some good potential. Anyone read THE ETERNALS LS?

    BTW, Doom's line about using fear & discipline to get obedience instead of mind-control is interesting considering Doom had used mind-control in earlier stories. Must have been the actions of a faulty Doombot. BTW, wasn't that 'girl' a robot?

    Oops, in that MT-U annual, it was Dr. Strange, NOT Thor, who was with Spidey, Ben, Wanda, and Quasar in exorcising the Serpent Crown from Earth.

    Roy Thomas who created the 1st Serpent Crown Saga in SUB-MARINER, wrote the back-up Serpent Crown saga history, and the THOR & FF chapters. The last scene of Cap and Torch envying Namor is also fitting, since Thomas wrote the three in INVADERS.

    Teebore, maybe you should just do the AMAZING ADVENTURES X-issue anyway. It may look out-of-place on first post, but a month or year from now, people searching on your X-Aminations by the stories' chronological order will probably not notice the date.

    Does any of the Annuals posted include an ad for Mr. Bubbles shampoo? With a free sweater! (...)

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  14. @Blam: Your post says "The second story in this annual, written and drawn by John Byrne, is set after the events of X-Men vs. Avengers," hence my correction.

    Yeah, and after I posted that, I realized I was contradicting myself.

    In my defense (?), the credit is technically that Macchio scripted the story, so maybe both of me are right?

    @Teemu: So, Beast and Marvel Girl adventuring alone, drawn by Byrne, while the world thinks the X-Men are dead... hmmh.

    You know, this did have shades of their earlier Antarctic adventure, and I'm remember thinking it a missed opportunity that Byrne didn't note that. Then again, I failed to note the lack of noting, so who am I to throw stones?

    "Never mind that, you oaf! Look at my scarred face!"

    Pretty much, yeah. :)

    Though my summation of the story was intentionally glib and thus not entirely accurate in terms of what the story was about.

    @Matt: I have to give Byrne some credit on the first story, though, for mentioning Attuma's previous meeting with Phoenix.

    Indeed. It's definitely the kind of thing you could see being overlooked, especially in a story like this.

    Also, angmc43, your summary makes "Atlantis Attacks" sound like a really awesome epic, rather than the disorganized mess it actually was. Good work!

    Right? After reading that, I even thought "Huh. Maybe I should pick up the omnibus and give it a read after all" for a moment.

    @angmc43: BTW, wasn't that 'girl' a robot?

    She was.

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  15. Teebore: Though my summation of the story was intentionally glib and thus not entirely accurate in terms of what the story was about.

    And I wouldn't want it any other way. :) I can always (and most of the time will) go check it up in UXM.net or somewhere, but it's insanely fun to have a head-first go at the tilted scenario myself before it. Didn't remember though that Dr. Doom has his mommy in Mephisto's dimension and I really really should have. Now I'm imagining Dr. Doom slapping Peter Parker for his stupidity of even thinking about making any deals with Mephisto. CLANG!

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  16. Not that you need more on your plate, Teebore, but I agree that if you ever want to write up Bizarre Adventures #27 you should. Ditto any other early stuff you missed due to not having a copy — after getting a copy, of course — like Marvel Team-Up Annual #1 (very early co-star gig of the newly New X-Men) or Marvel Team-Ups #69 (Havok; Claremont/Byrne), #89 (Nightcrawler; Claremont) #117 (Wolverine), #118 (Professor X), and #135 (Kitty Pryde). Whenever you get to 'em, and it could be a decade from now in your own personal Hidden Years vanity project, just post 'em as new for a couple of days before backdating them to where they'd fit had you covered them in the normal course of things with a note.

    You could even make it a Patreon/Indiegogo/Kickstarter project. "I know Teebore Jr. is graduating from elementary school today, honey, but these people are paying for our jet-packs, because it's the future and we now totally have jet-packs."

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  17. Blam, jet-packs... or Magne-cars?

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  18. One odd thing that hasn't been commented on is something that came across as a MAJOR revelation for me at the time: the suggestion, in the second story, that Magneto PURPOSELY let his first child die. That blew my mind as a child, as it seems to go against the "noble demon" aspect of Magneto that has been emphasized by Claremont (but certainly seems in tune with Byrne's interpretation of the character as just plain evil.) For a good long while after that point, know matter how "well-intentioned" later writers tried to make him, it was hard for me to see any type of nobility in Magneto at all. We're generally suppose to see Magneto as an anti-hero-ish quasi-villain, but revelations like this just make him out to be some one-dimentional thug, despite all of his rhetoric.

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  19. Doom cynically comments that, conveniently, his powers failed when the mob attacked. And, as he stared helplessly upwards and his child plunged to her death, he was consumed by a total blinding rage. Uncaring, he unleashed the full force of his suddenly resurgent power and killed the mob. In some way his mind does not comprehend, Doom states, he needed the death of his daughter to truly claim his birthright and justify his later atrocities. He sacrificed his daughter so that Magneto could be born. (courtesy of uncannyxmen.net)

    Doom saying stuff like that would be totally in line with the Doom of Fantastic Four vs. the X-Men, who by similar psychological tricks presents the tragic accidental consequences of the FF spaceflight as something that Reed Richards did intentionally and almost gets everyone and Reed himself to believe it.

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  20. @Jonathan: One odd thing that hasn't been commented on is something that came across as a MAJOR revelation for me at the time: the suggestion, in the second story, that Magneto PURPOSELY let his first child die.

    Like Teemu, I took that to be a bit of editorializing/rationalizing on Doom's part, not unlike his whole "Reed purposely caused the FF to mutate" thing in the X-Men/FF miniseries (which so blew my mind as a kid when I read it, I spent many years considered that canon, despite the story making it very clear by the end that it was entirely a fabrication of Doom's).

    @Blam: Not that you need more on your plate, Teebore, but I agree that if you ever want to write up Bizarre Adventures #27 you should. Ditto any other early stuff you missed due to not having a copy

    I have considered doing that - one of the things that's prevented me from doing it already (time issues aside) is the vague notion that if I did ever find a way to print these reviews in some kind of book format, I could then insert reviews of the stuff I've missed to the book version, as a sort of added value "yeah, you've read them online, but there's new material here!" kind of thing.

    So really, I'll get around to doing those posts once I give up on the pipe dream that is an X-aminations book. :)

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