X-Men Unlimited #2
Issue(s): X-Men Unlimited #2
...and sent to assassinate Magneto. But it turns out that that soldier was lying to himself, and his brother actually accidentally killed himself after attacking Magneto in an anti-mutant furor. So he doesn't take the shot.
The location for the above is at Wundagore because that is where Magneto has constructed a grave for his wife, Magda. The idea that Magda died on Wundagore seems to be new information, at least based on The Saga of the High Evolutionary, which only said that she left the High Evolutionary's castle after having her babies.
Another scene of interest has the current Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (sans Sauron) taking a boat out to the Florida Keys for a meeting with Exodus, who it turns out only wants to recruit Phantazia. The Toad and the Blob have been ruled to be lacking in vision and potential, and Pyro is said to be "tainted".
I remember being kind of offended by this in realtime, the idea that classic villains were deemed not cool while this cipher Phantazia was being selected. But i can't work up any outrage about it anymore; it's not like they're really missing out on anything besides the opportunity to hang out with the loser Acolytes. Phantazia declines the invite anyway.
Pyro having the Legacy Virus will of course have longer term implications. He's a cool character and it seems like a waste to (slowly) kill him off.
"Magnus" is apparently Magneto's middle name. Eric Magnus Lensherr. This seems to be in contrast to Uncanny X-Men #304, which says that he "chose" that name.
Note also that it's said that Magneto is "a Gypsy family of Sinte descent". As Michael notes in the comments, that may not directly contradict anything, but it flies in the face of what was generally understood, which was that Magneto was of Jewish descent. (As also noted in the comments, "Gypsy" is considered a slur and the word Romani should be used, but i wanted to quote the actual text.)
A man named Mister Chambers has written a book called Fatal Attractions. I wonder if it had a hologram cover.
Henry Gyrich doesn't think that "our super-human operatives" would engage against either Exodus or Magneto just because he asked them to.
Aside from the Brotherhood/Exodus scene, i found this to be a really boring read and i don't have much to say about it.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This issue spans a period of time. Obviously there's the flashback to East Germany seven years ago, but even beyond that a lot of it takes place before it's confirmed that Magneto is back. The end scene takes place after Magneto's return is confirmed, based on him crashing Illyana's funeral in Uncanny X-Men #304.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): showBlob, Bova, Colonel Alexei Vazhin, Empyrean, Exodus, Gabrielle Haller, Graydon Creed, Henry Peter Gyrich, Magneto, Moira MacTaggert, Phantazia, Pyro, Toad, Valerie Cooper, Walter Rosen
Magneto comes across as a real hypocritical @$$hole here. Over in Uncanny X-Men #304 he was making the ridiculous claim that the only reason mutants were fighting amongst themselves was because they were divided over how to deal with the dangers posed by humanity. But when Magneto has the opportunity to put his money where his mouth is, he gets all elitist in his recruiting. He presents himself as the savior of mutant-kind, and promises them sanctuary from persecution... but only if he deems them "worthy" and regards them as possessing "vision and potential." Rather than uniting mutants, he's just creating more rifts and factions.
Posted by: Ben Herman | November 17, 2016 10:16 PM
I wonder if Magneto choosing Phantazia over the others has anything to do with her being in a sexy bikini...
Posted by: Morgan Wick | November 17, 2016 11:07 PM
This issue was highly controversial when it first came out. Magneto is revealed to be a Romani and not a Jew. Many readers felt this made no sense. Fabian admitted that Harras ordered him to write this scene. (Harras's Avengers seems to suggest that he liked the idea of Pietro as Romani born and bred.) Fabian defended depicting Magneto as a Romani since it was never explicitly stated Magneto is Jewish. In X-Men 211, Magneto says "The horrors of my childhood are happening again, only this time mutants are the victims, instead of the Jews." Fabian pointed out that if you analyze the semantics of that sentence, it doesn't mean Magneto is Jewish. Most readers felt that was idiotic- it's just not the way real people talk. It's impossible to imagine a Romani saying that.
Posted by: Michael | November 17, 2016 11:32 PM
He injures Bova in Vision and Scarlet Witch 4, and she's bedridden as a result until Avengers 246. This takes place at about the same time as New Mutants 21, where his satellite is destroyed by Warlock. After that, he meets Lee and switches to the purple costume. So Bova must have recovered very quickly and Magneto must have flown back up to his satellite just in time to meet Warlock.
Posted by: Michael | November 17, 2016 11:51 PM
Also, fnord, I think the soldier was Adrian's brother, not his friend.
Posted by: Michael | November 18, 2016 12:18 AM
Thanks Michael. Another example was in X-Men #199, when Lee Forrester (actually Mystique) says "Man's inhumanity to man - how easily the race kills." Magneto responds, "Then, Lee, it was the Jews. My nightmare has ever been that tomorrow, it will be mutants".
Posted by: fnord12 | November 18, 2016 8:44 AM
From what I've heard, supposedly Bob Harras wanted to make Magneto a gypsy because he thought Jews would be offended that one of Marvel's biggest villains was Jewish. Doctor Doom was already long-established as a gypsy, and now Magneto too? Obviously Harras didn't care about offending the Romani. I'm glad this retcon was later undone, and it was eventually revealed that Magneto is a Jew named Max Eisenhardt.
Speaking as a Jew, it makes sense to me that Magneto is Jewish. Magneto epitomizes how yesterday's victim can become today's oppressor. As I wrote on my blog, one can certainly see Magneto as the personification of Friedrich Nietzsche’s famous warning “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.” Likewise the character appears to embody the old saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” He is a man who experienced horrific losses in his childhood & early adulthood, and who is unable or unwilling to let go of the past. All of this has led him to fanatical extremes.
Posted by: Ben Herman | November 18, 2016 8:44 AM
Um, where'd the last name Maximoff come from?
Posted by: GreggM | November 19, 2016 3:27 AM
From Django and Marya Maximoff, the couple who raised Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. See Avengers 181-182 and 183-187. First, they were orphans with no last name. Then, for a while they thought Bob Frank, the Whizzer, was their father. Then, it was revealed that Magneto was their biological father. That's where things stood for about thirty years: Magneto was their biological father, but they kept the last name of the couple who raised them. Recently (but still just within the scope of this project), it's been retconned again so that the Maximoffs are their biological parents and their birth names are Ana and Mateo.
Posted by: Andrew | November 19, 2016 7:01 AM
They probably tried to make it something vaguely "Romani" I suppose. Then again how they connect to someone like Magneto is tough now considering how they're now Inhumans and not mutant children of his...(dang that retcon sucks)
Posted by: Ataru320 | November 19, 2016 7:50 AM
My admittedly partial understanding and recollection is that the name Maximoff was first published as the surname of Wanda and Pietro, i.e., the Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver. Somewhere along the line it was more or less suggested by... I don't remember which writer(s)... that Magneto was their father, and so it was more or less deduced by other writers and fans that that Maximoff might also be Magneto's last name. I don't know what the current retconned or canonical status of these characters is now. Pick a year, and the answer would probably be different than it was in some other year.
Posted by: James Holt | November 19, 2016 8:02 AM
I posted a comment with the whole crazy history of the twins' last name. Because of the number of links it's being held for approval, but soon all will be made clear.
As noted above, Magneto's legal name is Erik Lehnsherr, but he was born Max Eisenhardt.
Posted by: Andrew | November 19, 2016 8:12 AM
Pyro having the Legacy Virus was a real waste and lead to several "Pyro can't control his powers anymore" stories until they realized they had no ideas beyond that and finally killed him off.
Posted by: Red Comet | November 19, 2016 12:48 PM
Thanks for the info, Andrew and James!
Posted by: GreggM | November 19, 2016 8:21 PM
Posted by: James Holt | November 20, 2016 8:19 AM
I think retconning Magneto to be Romani (you really shouldn't use the word "Gypsy", it's about as insulting as calling Inuits "Eskimos") could've theoretically been interesting if it was used to emphasize the fact that the Jews weren't the only group massacred in the Holocaust, and that Romani still faced a lot of prejudices when this story was published. (And they still do in 2016, the anti-Romani discrimination is [i]very[/i] blatant in many of the European countries they live in.) But AFAIK not much was ever done to explore the Roma roots of Magneto, Wanda, and Pietro, beyond such stereotypes as Wanda's liking of florid dresses and "exotic" dances.
Posted by: Tuomas | November 21, 2016 7:23 AM
I guess the problem is that American superhero comics are obviously mostly written by Americans, and to them Jewish culture and history are probably much more familiar than those of the Romani, even if the writers are not Jews themselves. So it would take way more background work for them to write about the Romani in a non-stereotypical matter, and most of them probably couldn't be bothered to do that much extra work for a superhero comic.
Posted by: Tuomas | November 21, 2016 7:37 AM
@Tuomas: Actually, many Inuit have no problem with being called Eskimos, and indeed, there are also several Native, but not Inuit, groups who prefer the term Eskimos.
Posted by: Thanos6 | November 21, 2016 7:57 AM
"Pyro having the Legacy Virus was a real waste and lead to several "Pyro can't control his powers anymore" stories until they realized they had no ideas beyond that and finally killed him off."
Posted by: clyde | November 21, 2016 10:40 AM
For some reason I thought Magneto's wife Magda was Jewish and he was Romani and converted her religion when they married...? Or was I just trying to make sense of the backstory flip flops going on...?
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | November 22, 2016 6:10 AM
I think this is the issue where it's established that Phantazia has a physical body - in her (two?) previous experiences, she was essentially a head and a cape (remember that Cannonball was able to fly into her cape).
Of course, this being the 90s (and comics), we learn she has a body when she shows up wearing a skimpy bikini...
Posted by: Austin Gorton | November 29, 2016 10:01 AM
@Austin- she seemed to have a body in X-Factor 82.
Posted by: Michael | December 11, 2016 10:11 PM
Which, if I click on the link associated with your name, I see you already found out. :)
Posted by: Michael | December 11, 2016 10:29 PM
Comments are now closed.
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