Friday, January 2, 2015

X-Men by Chris Claremont issue #2 (1991)

First of all, get a load of the shippy Professor X/Magneto bondage moment in the cover. That shit is hot. You can never convince me otherwise that those two do not have sexual tension to release between themselves, hookay? That is not the last time we will ever see Professor X in a compromising pose courtesy of Magneto. I recall a page where Mags literally strings up X in metallic bonds against a cross while said professor is even shirtless, spread like a Christ-figure for Magneto's pleasure. Don't believe me? You should know better by now that I can readily provide the evidence! Feast your eyes on this lovely debauchery.

But I digress. In the last issue Rubicon, Magneto comes back to earth after his hiatus from villainy because he once took the mantle of Professor X when everyone thought that the telepath was dead. This time Magneto is determined to cement his status as the X-Men's sworn nemesis which sucks because he actually developed a genuinely amicable relationship with them a great number of issues ago. Alas, being the substitute headmaster was a treacherous, temporary thing for Mags so he opted for the position he is most familiar with--being the commander dickhead of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. It's really disappointing that all the character development he had undergone when he finally became a good guy was thrown out of the window--but I'm honestly not complaining. I've always expected the worst in Magneto and that's just how it's supposed to play out.

In a perfect, neutralized world where humans and mutants can co-exist in beautiful, rainbow harmony, Magneto would have been married to Charles and raising the X-Men brood as their adopted kids the partner Professor X wanted by his side. But we live in a shit-covered clusterfuck of a world where a strong faction of humans are still prejudiced towards mutantkind so Magneto has to be the raging, violent leader from the opposing side because Professor X is often a docile idealist hypocrite and every once in while--in the most painfully ironic sense--Magneto is right.

This issue of Magneto Triumphant is action-packed. Everyone is fighting. Everyone is bleeding. The X-Men simultaneously try to make peace and beat the shit out of Magneto. It's super fun. Somehow, Mags is extra crazy this time around, and has nefarious plans for the X-Men once he was able to capture them in the wake of the combat. My favorite moment of the story is, not surprisingly, when Magneto rips an entire fucking house while Professor X and Moira MacTaggert are inside it. Magneto wants to have a conversation in outer space, apparently, since it's also a convenient way of choking the life out of Professor X as he hurdles him out of the house and into fucking space. He does this so he can convince Moira to start confessing for the horrible thing she has done to him. It's really so bizarre that I can't explain it which is why I'm just going to post the conversation below so you can understand for yourself what a convoluted shite all of this is.

UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH. The intimate atrocity doesn't even stop there. Magneto takes Moira to his asteroid and starts torturing her even after she relays her sob story pertaining to her son whom she desperately wanted to save and hoped that altering genetic code can do the trick. Her intentions were never malicious but Magneto is beyond reasoning at this point so he proceeds to--I don't know--turn her repeatedly into a metallic form so he could bend her literally in any shape he wants?(!) I honestly don't know what the fuck is happening now. Meanwhile, Professor X is still inside the house now safely stashed inside the asteroid headquarters. Cyclops and the rest of the team arrive, supposedly to rescue him but it turns out that Magneto has done something to brainwash them and now they are joining his cause willingly and Cyke grimly apologized to the professor about it. As a shameless self-confessed X/Mags shipper, this issue was especially unbearable to read. It's notable that although the aggression is mainly directed towards Moira, Magneto also attacks Professor X, believing that his friend also betrayed him when Moira has clarified again and again that Charles had no knowledge of her deeds. Magneto still chooses to believe that X has caused him harm and I would like to believe it's merely an extension of the loneliness he felt when the guy supposedly died and left him to lead a bunch of mutant warriors who could never trust or forgive him. IT HURTS SO MUCH to realize this while reading.

I make no excuses for the way Magneto is acting out right now, however. I suppose I'm torn about this. On one hand, I think his reaction is too extreme. On the other, I understand why he would blow this out of proportion since he's a Holocaust victim who had discovered that yet another scientist has experimented on him. Of course he is going to take that as a serious injury. It just distresses me that Magneto has made the decision to go back to the dark side again, and he did it in such a grandiose and unrepentant fashion that I feel sad for everyone involved and who had to witness it. So while half of the X-Men are brainwashed into following Magneto's orders, the ones who were left in the mansion (Jean Grey, Storm, Angel, Colossus, Banshee and two guys I don't recognize somehow) are planning for some hostile takeover for the next issue which is going to be the epic conclusion of this stressful story arc courtesy of Claremont. I am perpetually riveted and distraught when I read these issues back-to-back. I think I consider Magneto as a favorite character although, just like Professor X, I have a very complicated string of feelings towards him. I can always accept him taking on the bad-guy role because he is so good at it; but it doesn't make it any less depressing and disheartening. He is particularly cruel in this story especially towards Moira--and more so towards Charles Xavier whom I know is the only person he ever cared about when all is said and done. I already know what happens in the finale issue since I read these three in one sitting after all. I seriously need to recuperate first before I type another review though.

Overall, I am enthralled and I'm fully invested in every fucking thing.


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