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Comic Book / Blood Ties (Marvel Comics)

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"None of you understand what fate has accomplished this day... a day where all Magneto's heirs have gathered together."

Blood Ties is the 1993 sequel to the Fatal Attractions storyline and the X-Men/Avengers Crisis Crossover of that year. Like its predecessor story, it was set up as a Milestone Celebration in honor of the 30th Anniversary of both franchises.

Following Magneto's descent to a vegetative state at the end of Fatal Attractions, his renegade ex-Acolyte Fabian Cortez seizes power in the war-torn island nation of Genosha and kidnaps Magneto's granddaughter Luna Maximoff as a way to shield himself from his former lord's wrath. As Luna's father Quicksilver has strong ties to the X-Men and her mother Crystal is a member of the Avengers, this draws both teams of superheroes into the conflict, which is further complicated by the arrival of Exodus, The Dragon to Magneto during Attractions and now the new leader of the Acolytes.

Despite running through four titles (The Avengers, West Coast Avengers, Uncanny X-Men and X-Men (vol 2)), this five-part series was not as influential on the franchise as its predecessor, though the Avengers did lose their U.N. charter and disband their West Coast division as a direct result of the events here. With Cortez dead and Magneto still comatose, Exodus and the Acolytes withdrew into a less active role, holing up on Avalon and not getting up to much villainy until the space station's destruction two years later.

Has nothing to do with the 2007 Canadian TV series about vampires.

Blood Ties provided examples of the following tropes:

  • Archnemesis Dad: Magneto is an absent one, though his legacy (and his followers) hang over his children throughout this story.
  • Asshole Victim: Fabian Cortez is killed by Exodus in the penultimate issue, but given that he spends his last moments menacing a child and trying to blackmail her parents, it's hard to dredge up much sympathy for him.
  • Badass Boast: Exodus gets in a few good ones.
    • Confronting the Avengers:
      "This country's mutant population must be saved... even if it means the deaths of every breathing human left in Genosha! The time for Exodus has arrived!!"
    • When told by Sersi that as an Eternal she has the stamina to keep fighting him forever:
      "Forever it is then."
  • Barrier Warrior: Exodus uses his ability to create psionic force barriers to protect himself from War Machine's gunfire, and in the climax of the story creates a barrier that encompasses the entire island of Genosha. While fighting the Avengers and the X-Men, no less.
  • Battle Couple: Rogue and Gambit. Beast and U.S. Agent are a non-romantic, Odd Couple variant.
  • Belief Makes You Stupid: Exodus, who is a true believer in Magneto's role as the messiah of mutantkind, is shown worshipping and "talking to" the vegetative husk that Mags has been reduced to.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Cortez thinks he's the Big Bad of the story, but the X-Men and the Avengers put him on the run even before Exodus shows up.
  • Blood Knight: Cortez talks like one of these, boasting of his intent to see "this country and everyone in it awash in a raging river of bloodshed", but when the time comes to back up his words he comes up rather short.
  • Body Double: Two appear in the crossover, both being Genoshan mutates put to work by Fabian Cortez. The first impersonates Luna and sacrifices themselves in a Suicide Attack on the Avengers, while the second impersonates Cortez himself.
  • Break the Haughty: Professor X views Exodus's defeat as this, telling Captain America "Humility" when the latter asks what happened and chiding Exodus for being too proud of his powers.
  • Call-Back: Professor X is more willing to use extreme telepathic force here, calling back his Mind Rape of Magneto in Fatal Attractions.
  • Cigar Chomper: Nick Fury, as was usual for the character at the time, is almost always seen chomping some stogie or another.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Sersi has shades of this, particularly in X-Men #26.
  • Cornered Rattlesnake: When backed into a corner by the arrival of Exodus we see just how low Fabian Cortez can really sink.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Exodus trashes both Fabian Cortez and War Machine with ease. He has a bit of a trickier time with Sersi, though ultimately he emerges the victor of that fight as well.
  • Damsel in Distress: Little Luna Maximoff is a pint-sized Damsel all through the story, being menaced first by Cortez and then by Exodus.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: Magneto has been reduced to this since being mindwiped by Professor X in Fatal Attractions.
  • Dirty Coward: Cortez lets a shapeshifter stand in for him and watches from the shadows. Then, when Exodus arrives, he promptly flees into the sewers.
  • The Dreaded: Cortez is driven to pants-wetting terror by the arrival of Exodus. Given that Exodus kills him, this fear is very justified.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Exodus has succeeded Magneto as leader of the Acolytes since the latter has mind-wiped into a vegetative state by Professor X.
  • Elite Mooks: The Unforgiven, a squad of Genoshan mutates who Cortez has employed as his bodyguards. Originally they were going to be a group of ex-Acolytes banished from Avalon by Exodus and Magneto, but for whatever reason they were demoted to this trope instead.
  • Emotions vs. Stoicism: Invoked by the Black Knight in X-Men #26, who asks Cap if doing the smart thing (obeying the UN's orders to stay out of Genosha, in this case) equals doing the right thing. Given that the next panel shows Cap and BK boarding the plane, Cap clearly agrees with him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Exodus is disgusted with Cortez's attempt to use Luna as a human shield and wastes no time attacking him.
  • Evil Redhead: Cortez fills this role with revolting aplomb.
  • Fantastic Racism: All over the place. You get both sides of the coin in Genosha's population, Beast is weirdly hostile about working with the human U.S. Agent, and Exodus even weaponizes this trope by deliberately goading War Machine with taunts of racial superiority to get him to drop his guard.
  • Foreshadowing: The Black Knight recognizes Exodus from somewhere, though he can't remember when or where. This line is finally addressed three years later, when the 1996 Black Knight: Exodus oneshot reveals the character's past and history with the Black Knight (or rather, Black Knights).
  • Glowing Eyes: Exodus and Sersi both have these, befitting their roles as the two heavyweights of the story.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Cortez practically dares the Avengers and the X-Men to come kick his teeth in by kidnapping Luna. Naturally, they take him up on the offer.
  • Hostage Video: Cortez airs one of these to the whole world to get the plot ball rolling, showing himself in the Genoshan president's mansion with the president and all the cabinet dead around him and his hostage Luna terrified on his lap.
  • It's All About Me: Jean Grey very accurately dissects the motivation and morality (or lack thereof) of Fabian Cortez in UXM #307:
    Jean: Fabian Cortez only cares about one thing in this world. It's not the Acolytes... it's not the mutates... and unfortunately, it's not the safety of an infant girl. All Fabian Cortez cares about is the continued survival of Fabian Cortez.
  • Klingon Promotion: Ever the opportunist, Fabian Cortez takes advantage of the rampant chaos on Genosha to kill off the country's president and all of its ruling human cabinet, declaring himself Genosha's new president in his broadcast to the world.
  • Lack of Empathy: Befitting her status as an Eternal, Sersi is unfazed by the Suicide Attack of the first Genoshan Body Double, noting with detachment how "impressive" it is that the mutate would sacrifice herself for a political cause while all the other Avengers are gaping in shock and horror.
  • The Leader: Oddly for readers more familiar with the modern day incarnation of the Avengers, their leader and central character in this story is not Captain America, but instead the Black Knight Dane Whitman.
  • Love Triangle: Black Knight is caught in one between Crystal and Sersi (the former of whom is herself caught in one between BK and Quicksilver), though both triangles take a backseat to the events of the story.
  • Mama Bear: Crystal of The Inhumans sees two of her more impressive feats in this crossover where her daughter has been kidnapped.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: The members of the U.N. are portrayed this way to a man, telling Nick Fury to keep the Avengers out of Genosha at the very start of the story and then stripping the Avengers of their charter when they of course ignore their marching orders and go in anyway. Henry Peter Gyrich, one of the Marvel U's more prolific Obstructive Bureaucrats, also makes an appearance here.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: Cortez takes advantage of the chaos in Genosha to assassinate its leadership and install himself as the country's new leader. He also successfully rallies Genosha's mutate population to his service by invoking the name of Magneto.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Beast is unusually hostile to U.S. Agent for being a human inserting himself into what Beast views as a mutant situation in AWC #101. Given that Beast was one of the earliest X-Men to join the Avengers, this attitude is... strange, to say the least.
  • People Puppets: Exodus adds this ability to his long list of Combo Platter Powers, forcing Cortez to hand Luna over to him with it.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: The fight between Exodus and Sersi threatens to destroy the entire island of Genosha and everyone on it, qualifying both of them for this trope.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Body Double of Luna, and weirdly the Black Knight himself, both have their eyes turn red when said Body Double reveals herself in Avengers #368.
  • Sanity Slippage: Cortez and Exodus both experience it, Cortez due to extreme fear for his life and Exodus as a consequence of With Great Power Comes Great Insanity.
  • Say My Name: Crystal cries the name of her daughter in the first issue of the crossover, and in one of its more amusing moments, Fabian Cortez lampshades the trope when Quicksilver cries his name in Uncanny X-Men #307.
    Cortez: You do that quite well, Pietro... maybe I should hire you to follow me around and shriek my name whenever I enter a room!
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: The Avengers feel this way about going into Genosha, with Hawkeye (who is ironically left behind) feeling the most strongly, if his speech to the U.N. is anything to go by.
  • Shoot the Hostage Taker: Exodus does this to Fabian Cortez after forcing him to hand over his hostage Luna.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Hawkeye gives a pair of dated ones in AWC #101 when he grouses about how long it's taken the U.N. to "get off its duff about Bosnia" and how the Avengers aren't going to "sit around and watch Hammer Bay turn into another Sarajevo."
    • The title of the Uncanny X-Men #307 story, "Night and Fog", is a reference to the notorious Nacht und Nebel (German for "Night and Fog") program of abductions and disappearances engineered by Hitler during World War II.
  • Sixth Ranger: Sersi, who is a latecomer to the Avengers and as an Eternal is by far their most powerful member.
  • Slave Liberation: In the wake of Fatal Attractions Genosha's mutant slaves have risen up against their human masters, allowing Fabian Cortez to take advantage of the chaos and Klingon Promote himself into Genosha's new president.
  • Smug Snake: In the first two issues of the story Cortez plays this role to the hilt. The arrival of Exodus takes the smug out of him in very short order, turning him into a different kind of snake.
  • Super Supremacist: Cortez and Exodus both believe wholeheartedly in mutant supremacy, though Cortez is less interested in the supremacy of mutantkind and more interested in his own supremacy.
  • Too Dumb to Live: We are told as readers that Cortez's reasoning for kidnapping Luna is to protect himself from Magneto's wrath, but even excepting that Magneto has been reduced to a vegetative state it's hard to see how he imagined any other outcome for his actions than the one he gets.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Exodus, who has Psychoactive Powers that make him stronger in the presence of those who trust and believe in him, is more powerful here than he has ever been portrayed since, but the power clearly has a destabilizing effect on his mind, leading him to decry the child he just rescued as a "stain" for being born human and attempt to kill her (which would become ironic several years later when Luna was retconned into a late-blooming Mutant/Inhuman hybrid).
  • Wolverine Publicity: Averted. Wolverine actually makes no appearances throughout the entire story, as he left the X-Men after having the adamantium stripped from his bones during Fatal Attractions.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Both Cortez and Exodus threaten Luna's life.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Cortez is clearly trying to play this, but having very few pieces of his own and facing off against two full armies and the queen of a third means that he never really stood much of a chance.
  • You Are Number 6: The Genoshan mutates, as in earlier stories, are known and referred to by assigned numbers rather than names.
  • You're Insane!: Cap accuses Exodus of this after the latter makes a long grandiloquent speech. Professor X knows better:
    Captain America: He's insane.
    Professor X: No. He is not. He is a boy... seeking to fill the shoes of a giant.

Alternative Title(s): Blood Ties