Follow TV Tropes


Comic Book / Fatal Attractions (Marvel Comics)

Go To

Fatal Attractions is the X-Men Bat Family Crossover released in 1993. It was set up as the Milestone Celebration for the franchise's 30th Anniversary series.

Magneto, thought dead after his Asteroid M spacebase fell to Earth, has returned, joined by a new team of Acolytes, backed by the mysterious mutant Exodus, and having taken residence in Avalon, formerly Cable's spacebase Greymalkin. Once more seeking to unite mutantkind as a group under his guidance, he comes to approach his old foes the X-Men during a troubling time. However, his actions resonate with one of the X-Men and when Magneto seeks to strike out on the Earth, the X-Men's counterattack would greatly change all of them forever.

The six-part series, that ran through X-Factor, X-Force, Uncanny X-Men, X-Men (vol 2), Wolverine and Excalibur effectively changed the landscape for the franchise for a good decade, between Colossus' Face–Heel Turn, Wolverine's loss of his adamantium, the constant flip-flopping of Magneto following this event and setting the stage for the sequel story Blood Ties (Marvel Comics) and later on down the line Onslaught.

In 1994, Capcom (loosely) adapted the storyline into their game X-Men: Children of the Atom, which would go on to form the Marvel vs. Capcom series.

Has nothing to do with the Animal Planet documentary nor the almost similar thriller film.

Fatal Attractions provided examples of the following tropes:

  • And I Must Scream: Wolverine is put through this moment as his adamantium is torn out - he can't scream as Magneto strikes.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Magneto executes the Acolyte Senyaka, not for his participation in a savage Kick the Dog attack on a hospice, or for his personally condemning a human nurse to slow and painful death via his coils... but because Senyaka didn't ask for permission from him to do these things. Keep in mind that Senyaka, along with the other Acolytes, believed Magneto was dead at the time. It is not known if this was a deliberate move to make Magneto look as Ax-Crazy as possible, or just the result of bad writing.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: The X-Men use Kitty Pryde to lure Colossus back to Earth with the idea that she's going to join him as an Acolyte. However, she doesn't want to and it was done to try to heal Colossus as he had been stuck in his steel form for awhile and they were hoping it would allow him to come to his senses and return. Colossus is not happy over this sort of betrayal.
  • Brought Down to Normal: For awhile, Wolverine was rendered as this - without his adamantium and his healing factor temporarily shot, he decides he's worthless to the team and bails. He pals up with them during the Phalanx Covenant storyline before fully returning prior to Age of Apocalypse.
  • But Now I Must Go: Wolverine decides to leave the X-Men temporarily as he tries to figure out what to do while his body mends.
  • The Cameo: Mr. Fantastic and the Thing, as well as Nick Fury and Dum-Dum Dugan show up in X-Men #25, being affected by the worldwide EMP strike.
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • If you were going by the card art promoting Attractions, you'd think the climax of the story featured an epic battle of the X-Men and X-Force versus Magneto, Exodus, and Colossus. Not so, as Exodus fights X-Force prior to the climax and is teleported off Avalon to prevent his interference, the X-Men travel alone to the space station leaving X-Force behind, and Colossus does not participate in the battle at all. Cool art, though.
    • The cover to Wolverine (vol. 2) #75 features a recreation to the adamantium being ripped from Logan's body — only one: it was presented as solid spikes intend of the liquefied form that was actually done and two: the event in question was already done in X-Men (vol. 2) #25 with the Wolverine issue being about the X-Men getting Logan back to the mansion for medical treatment, his near-death experience as a result of his injuries, and his discovery that he still has his claws as they were actually a natural part of his mutation and skeleton all along (not the result of the adamantium bonding process like he originally thought).
  • Cruel Mercy: Invoked by Exodus, who spares Fabian Cortez's life only to tell him that this "mercy" is at the decree of Magneto, who has decided that Cortez should suffer more slowly "as a victim of someone else's legacy".
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Magneto provides plenty of these, easily taking out the recently-returned Cable and, most infamously, Wolverine with ease.
    • Prior to having his adamantium ripped out, Wolverine practically ripped Magneto to pieces.
    • Exodus also delivers one of these to X-Force to establish his high power level, flattening the entire team with a single psychic attack.
    • In response to above, Professor X shows Magneto exactly what happens when you push the world's most powerful telepaths to cut loose on you - you end up brain dead.
    • Bishop was walloping Magneto until Colossus decided to make his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Dark Messiah: Magneto takes this to A God Am I levels, ranting about how he'll make "the rivers of this planet roar with the blood of humans" and proclaiming himself "savior to my genetic brethren".
  • Deprogram: Done by Magneto to Rusty and Skids, who were still Brainwashed and Crazy thanks to Stryfe. They join the Acolytes in gratitude but aren't much of a factor in the rest of the story.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: Cable appears to perform one against Magneto, unlike Wolverine despite having a metal handicap he has more powers and means of fighting Magneto, but instead deliberately allows Magneto to mutilate him in front of his students, in order to firmly turn them against him by letting them see his true sadistic colors after Magneto wanted to recruit them to his cause. Magneto himself highlights this after the fact and admits Cable outplayed him.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Earth is so terrified of Magneto, that they institute the "Magneto Protocols" that cover the entirety of the Earth in a field that should prevent Magneto from being able to use his powers on Earth. Unfortunately, Magneto's powers have grown significantly and he proceeds to trigger a world wide EMP. This being the Marvel universe, it "only" causes a worldwide blackout for a few hours.
  • Divide and Conquer: A weird 'friendly' version, as Cable's idea of a reunion with his team is to sneak into their base and then pick them off one by one with various nonlethal KOs. He gets as far as Cannonball before the jig is up.
  • Don't Create a Martyr: Senator Kelly makes a somewhat random appearance to be the focus of this trope as is usual for him, along with his usual side order of Ungrateful Bastard.
  • The Dragon: Exodus works as Magneto's "herald", seeking out worthy mutants to offer a sanctuary in Avalon actually Cable's space station, Graymalkin. Exodus is almost as powerful as Magneto and does a lot of the heavy lifting until Magneto makes The Reveal.
  • Evil Mentor: Cortez tries to play one to Quicksilver, but he doesn't get very far. And then the scheme is made moot when Exodus shows up out of nowhere and exposes his treachery to the rest of the Acolytes.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Colossus, disillusioned in Xavier's dream due to the death of his sister Illyana, decides to join the Acolytes. He later hangs around with the decision to watch over Magneto after Xavier takes him down.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Acolytes, who refer to ordinary humans as "flatscans".
  • Fighting for a Homeland: Magneto's plan is to create a Utopia in space for mutants to take refuge but, unlike previous attempts, he is far more discriminating and only invites a small number he deems worthy.
  • Heel Realization: Colossus, after being able to return to normal, realizes he was a total jerk and apologizes for what happened. However, he opts to stay with the Acolytes instead of returning to the team, wanting to keep an eye on them.
  • He's Back!: This storyline brought back Magneto, who had been MIA since X-Men (vol 2) #3, and Cable, who had been thought dead at the end of the X-Cutioner's Song storyline.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: After Wolverine nearly gutted Magneto, Magneto hits his Rage Breaking Point and effortlessly rips the adamantium out of Wolverine.
  • Just Following Orders: This is Valerie Cooper's defense when X-Factor learns of her role in reactivating Project: Wideawake. Perhaps not the best choice of words to use with Magneto's son...
  • Last Disrespects: The Acolytes drop in during Illyana's funeral, causing the X-Teams there to fight.
  • Man of Kryptonite: Magneto's powers make him these to both Cable and Wolverine, and indeed he utterly destroys both characters in his respective fights with them. The lengths to which he went to defeat Wolverine in particular are what this story is best remembered for. Though in Cable's case, Cable seems to be holding back against Magneto, having more options and powers to fight him with than Wolverine, and seems to have been performing a Deliberate Injury Gambit to show his students Magneto's true, ruthless, violent colors and turn them against him, with Magneto himself admitting afterwards he had been outplayed by Cable in this regard.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Sentinels, which are being commissioned by the U.S. government again. Despite this 'twist' being pulled so many times since that it's become a Dead Horse Trope today, at the time it actually was something of a surprise to both the characters and the readers.
  • Messianic Archetype: Exodus plays this role to the hilt, from his angelic getup to his pitch to various mutants offering them salvation if they join Magneto's cause.
  • Mind Rape: Done to Magneto by Professor X in the climax as retaliation for ripping out Wolverine's adamantium. This moment had a rippling effect across the X-universe, reducing Magneto to a Dark Lord on Life Support for years while planting the first seed of darkness in Xavier that would ultimately manifest several years later as Onslaught.
  • Mouth of Sauron: Exodus plays this role for Magneto, being presented as a Metatron to the vengeful god that Magneto has refashioned himself as.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Xavier expresses this when he ends up mind wiping Magneto.
  • Mysterious Watcher: Exodus is introduced this way, showing up out of nowhere when X-Factor is flying to Cape Hayden to confront the Acolytes to hold their plane for a few seconds before harmlessly releasing them and flying away. Havok even invokes this trope by telling his team to "file him under "M" for mystery".
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Exodus had this bad, basically manifesting whatever power the storyline required him to have at any given time. While mutant Power Creep, Power Seep has almost made this a normal thing, at the time when most mutants still had just one power a villain coming along who tacked new powers onto his resume with each appearance raised eyebrows. What made it worse was that the writers then had to rely on Forgot About His Powers for the climax, having the X-Men eject Exodus and all the rest of the Acolytes from Avalon in escape pods even though Exodus (and a few other Acolytes) could logically have just as easily returned with their teleportation powers.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Xavier's shutdown of Magneto's mind would blow up in his face as it'd give birth to one of the Marvel Universe's greatest threats: Xavier himself with Magneto's morals.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Of all the changes done to the X-Men here, Wolverine's adamantium loss was one of the biggest ones, lasting nearly seven years in real time and adding more to the character's mystique, asking the question as to how long he had his bone claws.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The crossover opens with Fabian Cortez still leading the Acolytes, even though one of their number, the New Meat character Neophyte, learned of Cortez's treachery four issues back in Uncanny X-Men #300. Why Neophyte didn't tell the rest of the Acolytes about it is something of a Plot Hole, but not really a big one as Exodus shows up soon enough to spill the beans.
  • Power Floats: Exodus and Magneto both ride this trope for all it's worth.
  • Powered Armor: Xavier dons a Shi'ar suit that allows him to walk using the power of his telekinesis. It fails him after he strikes out at Magneto.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: The Acolytes infect Valerie Cooper with one of these, apparently so she would lure X-Factor into their trap. Where they got such a thing from or what it even is is never explained.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Magneto nearly kills Wolverine after nearly being gutted and Xavier, horrified at his old friend's actions, lashes out and mind wipes him.
  • Reentry Scare: Part of Wolverine #75 has the X-Men trying to return from space after the disastrous battle with Magneto on a modified Blackbird, trying to level the plane while keeping Wolverine alive.
  • The Reveal: It had long been assumed Wolverine's claws had been added onto his body with the adamantium. Thus, readers were as shocked as the X-Men when, in a training exercise, Wolverine instinctively tries to unsheathe them...and bone claws rip out from his fists.
  • Smug Snake: Cortez, as usual, plays this role to the hilt.
  • Space Station: Avalon, which replaces Asteroid M as Magneto's new base of operations in this story.
  • Start of Darkness: During the Onslaught storyline, it's revealed that Xavier's lashing out at Magneto is what led to the creation of Onslaught.
  • Villain Respect: Exodus congratulates Warpath in X-Force #25 for being the only member of the team to remain standing after his devastating psionic attack.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Cortez has one when his treachery is exposed, ranting at the other Acolytes for being "sheep" and angrily telling Exodus he has no right to barge in and take control of the Acolytes from him. While he doesn't allow the other Acolytes to kill Cortez, Exodus does give him a violent Shut Up, Hannibal!
  • Wham Shot: Both the panel of Wolverine's adamantium being ripped out and the panel of a horribly pained Wolverine roaring out in horror as bone claws are unsheathed, chunks of meat surrounding him.
  • Wrongfully Attributed: Extremely minor example, but several characters in X-Men #25 quote Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound, which Beast wrongly cites as its sequel, Prometheus Unbound.

Alternative Title(s): Fatal Attractions