Credits: Fabian Nicieza (writer), Jan Duursema (penciler), Panosian/Williams/Palmiotti
/Rubinstein (inkers), Marie Javins (colors), Richard Starkings (letters)
Adrian, a former East German soldier, remembers a night seven years ago when Magneto killed his brother for disturbing his wife’s grave. The soldier goes on a quest to kill him, gathering information on him while his government develops a specialized suit and gun to stop Magneto. When he sees Magneto again at his wife’s grave, he finally remembers what really happened the night of his brother’s death. His brother insulted Magneto and shot at him, only dying because Magneto erected a magnetic shield that reflected the bullet back to him. Adrian can’t bring himself to kill Magneto, realizing that Magneto has always fought for a cause while he only has hate.
I Love the ‘90s
There’s no other way to say it, Magneto has a mullet throughout this issue.
Magneto is referred to as a gypsy for the first time. This apparently came about because Bob Harras was uncomfortable with Claremont’s revelation that Magneto was Jewish.
Phantazia is given the real name Eileen Harsaw. Nicieza attempts to give the character a personality for the first time, something he would be doing with quite a few Liefeld creations during this period.
This issue also has the first hint that Pyro has the Legacy Virus. I think Pyro ended up with three different Legacy Virus-related death scenes over the years.
This is one of the strongest stories from this era, although it’s held back a bit by the generic ‘90s artwork. It’s surprising that during a crossover intended to re-establish Magneto as an outright villain, a story highlighting his humanity and sympathetic motivations was published. The Magneto of this issue is ten times more interesting than the version Nicieza would soon be writing in X-Men #25. Marvel’s insistence that Magneto return to villainy unintentionally helps the issue’s twist ending, which shows that he was never the horrible monster Adrian thought him to be. Nicieza manages to give Adrian believable characterization and use past continuity to paint a balanced picture of Magneto. I suspect that there was an attempt during the Fatal Attractions crossover to incorporate all of the previous interpretations of the character into one, but they never pulled it off. This issue comes much closer to reconciling Claremont’s reformed Magneto with the Silver Age’s psychotic interpretation.