After months of being believed dead, Magneto returns with a vengeance. With powers greater than he has ever had before, Magneto gathers his Acolytes and anyone else who will follow him taking them to his new orbital space station, Avalon. To the X-Men’s surprise, one of their own accepts the offer. Fearing Magneto’s intentions and wishing their conflict to finally end, Xavier and a team of X-Men travel to Avalon, with disastrous consequences for both sides.
This story is not a crossover in the classic sense with one cohesive story. Rather, Fatal Attractions is an underlying theme, or loosely connected episodes of the lives of the Acolytes and Magneto. The six issues involved were not released during the same month, but occurred over a period of five months.
- Joanna Cargill, Fabian Cortez, Exodus, Harlan and Sven Kleinstock, Javitz, Katu, Seamus Mellancamp, Milan, Rusty, Scanner, Senyaka, Skids, Carmella Unuscione, Amelia Voght (all Acolytes)
- Archangel, Banshee, Beast, Bishop, Colossus, Cyclops, Gambit, Jean Grey, Iceman, Jubilee, Psylocke, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine, Professor Charles Xavier (all X-Men)
- Nightcrawler, Phoenix III, Shadowcat (all Excalibur)
- Havok, Multiple Man, Polaris, Quicksilver, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane (all X-Factor)
- Boomer, Cable, Cannonball, Feral, Rictor, Shatterstar, Siryn, Sunspot, Warpath (all X-Force)
- Valerie Cooper, X-Factor‘s government liaison
- Moira MacTaggert (X-Men Ally)
- Revanche (X-Men Ally)
- Random (X-Factor Ally)
- secondary characters
- Captain Britain
- Shi’ar Majestrix Lilandra Neramani (through holographic projection)
- Sunfire (former X-Man)
- Forge, government Agent
- Nick Fury, leader of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Mr. Fantastic, Thing (both Fantastic Four)
- Senator Robert Kelly
Excalibur #71, Uncanny X-Men #304, Wolverine (2nd series) #75, X-Factor #92, X-Force #25, X-Men (2nd series) #25
The Acolytes return to the world scene with an attack on a hospice, senselessly slaughtering helpless humans, just to prove their superiority. Spoor, one of the Acolytes who was captured during the attack, reveals the Acolytes’ next target; Camp Hayden, a military compound in Kentucky. Val Cooper, X-Factor’s government liaison, talks Quicksilver into going with her and Random, a mercenary, to investigate. Unknown to the trio, the rest of the X-Factor team secretly follow them in a new vehicle designed and built by Forge. The two groups arrive at the compound and quickly learn its purpose: it is the headquarters of the latest government Sentinel program, Project: Wideawake.
Suddenly, the Acolytes strike, attacking X-Factor. While the battle rages, Cortez approaches Quisilver, Magneto’s son, to invite him to become the Acolyte’s new leader. The entire situation, Cortez explains to Quicksilver, has been staged to lure him here to see what humanity has in store for mutants and make this invitation. When Quicksilver declines, Cortez and the Acolytes take their leave, teleported away by the Acolyte, Amelia Voght.
Some time later, at their base at Camp Verde, X-Force is visited by Exodus, an immensely powerful mutant, who claims to be the emmisary of a greater power. Exodus announces that he has come to offer Cannonball and Sunspot sanctuary from the asylum that is Earth. Wishing to play the situation out, the two X-Forcers agree, on the condition that Rictor, Boomer and Rusty and Skids, both currently held in stasis because of MLF implants, can go as well. Exodus agrees and takes them to Avalon. As the group arrives, they are shocked to see Avalon is Cable’s former base, Graymalkin, now in the hands of the very-much-alive Magneto. Greeting the group, Magneto religiously places his hands on Rusty and Skids heads and destroys the implants that Stryfe had used on them, restoring their mental faculties. His “healing” complete, Magneto offers the team a chance to stay in his new home.
Subsequently, the remainder of X-Force makes their way to the station, having traced Cannonball’s comm-link. After recognizing Avalon as his old space station Graymalkin, Cable is livid. Overiding control of Avalon’s bodyslide technology, Cable hopes to teleport everyone off and self-destruct the station. After the pleas of Rusty and Skids, who wish to stay on the station, Cable simply bodyslides X-Force, sans Rusty and Skids, back to the IPAC. Remaining on board briefly, Cable makes his way to the station’s central core and downloads its sentient program, the Professor, and activates the station’s auto-destruct. Appearing in full battle armor, Magneto informs Cable that while he allowed him to reclaim his lost program, he will not permit the destruction of his home. Cable soon finds that he is no match for Magneto, who easily tears apart Cable’s metal arm and implants. Luckily, Cable is able to escape, using his bodyslide, leaving Magneto to ponder their next meeting.
In their secret headquarters, the Acolytes learn of Fabian Cortez’s betrayal of Magneto and try to attack him. Exodus stops the team from hurting Cortez, however, telling them that Fabian will be brought down a different way. Later that day, the X-Men and friends gather to bury Illyana. Suddenly, Magneto interrupts the funeral and asks the X-Men to join him on Avalon, which descends from space, hovering menacingly above them, or see Westchester destroyed by his base. A plague is coming to ravage the world and Avalon, Magneto tells them, will be their only haven. At this time, the Acolytes show up, led by Exodus, and are overjoyed to see Magneto alive. The Acolytes are invited on to Avalon and they indeed accept. Magneto makes one final offer for the X-Men to accept but Bishop, having heard enough, attacks Magneto, giving him the X-Men’s answer. During the battle, Colossus, still grieving over his family’s recent deaths, turns sides and offers to join Magneto on Avalon. The X-Men stand shocked, while an angered Xavier takes control of Magneto’s mind causing Magneto to send Avalon and himself back into outerspace. Unable to take Magneto’s life, Xavier allows him to escape.
From his control room in Avalon, Magneto witnesses the activation, by the world’s governments, of the Magneto Protocols, a satellite network which creates an electromagnetic mesh beneath which Magneto’s powers can not function. Angered by this provocation, Magneto unleashes a worldwide electromagnetic pulse, which fries all active electrical devices over the globe, resulting in a global blackout and the deaths of thousands. At the X-mansion, which still has power thanks to its Shi’ar technology, Xavier decides that it is time to end his eternal conflict with Magneto. Gathering a small group of X-Men (Phoenix, Wolverine, Gambit, Rogue and Quicksilver) best suited for infiltration and battle on the space station, Xavier dons a Shi’ar designed exoskeleton and accompanies them.
Once on the station, Xavier commandeers its bodyslide technology to teleport the Acolytes into escape pods and then jetisons them. Magneto soon finds the X-Men and the battle is joined. During the fight, in which the X-Men are grossly overmatched, Wolverine manages to wound Magneto, which only serves to anger him more. Using his mastery over metal, Magneto destabilizes the adamantium bonded to Wolverine’s bones on a molecular level, causing the metal to ooze out of his pores. Convinced that there is no other way to stop Magneto’s madness, Xavier telepathically attacks him, removing his mind in the process. Their mission complete and needing to tend to the severely wounded Wolverine, the X-Men return to Earth, leaving the vegetative Magneto in the care of Colossus.
On the return trip to Earth, the X-Men fight to save the life of Wolverine while trying to keep their ride, the Blackbird, from falling apart around them. Xavier and Jean repeatedly enter Wolverine’s mind, trying to stabilize the mental trauma of what is happening to him. Eventually, however, it is Wolverine who saves Jean when he pulls her back into the jet after she is almost sucked out of the door, which had fallen off. It was Jean’s cries which had snapped him out of his dilerium. After landing and weeks of healing, Wolverine demands a chance to prove himself in the Danger Room. During a battle with robots, Wolverine instinctively pops his claw and is astonished to learn that he still has them, but they are of bone. Evidently, whoever gave him the adamantium skeleton did not give him his claws, they are natural. Considering himself a liability for the team and needing time on his own to reflect on these revelations, Wolverine leaves the mansion, as well as the X-Men.
Later on Muir Isle, where they are visiting, Excalibur (comprised of Nightcralwer, Phoenix III and Shadowcat) is visited by Cyclops, Jean and Xavier. Xavier informs Kitty of their plan: they wish to use her as bait to lure Colossus away from the Acoyltes. Once he is captured, a head injury he received weeks ago can be treated, a head injury which may have led to him joining Magneto. Kitty is horrified at betraying someone so close to her but begrudgingly accepts. Colossus receives Kitty’s message, arrives on Muir Island and is captured, as planned. One hour after his arrival, the Acolytes arrive, as scheduled, to retrieve their comrade. A battle erupts between them and Xavier’s forces until Colossus, healed from his injury, appears, declaring that he wishes to return to Avalon.
- Fabian Cortez went to Genosha to recruit new followers, starting a racial war on the island nation. [Bloodties crossover]
- The Acolytes continued to live on Avalon until the space station was attacked by Holocaust, who caused the station to fall down to Earth. The survivors were rescued by the X-Men. [X-Men (2nd series) #42-43]
- Colossus tried to be a light in a darkened team, while becoming a hardened mutant with a different agenda from the Professor’s. Until they get separated during the Fall of Avalon he cared for Magneto’s catatonic body. No longer having a place among the X-Men he moved on to join Excalibur.
- Magneto’s fate for a long time was a mystery. At first believed to have somehow been rejuvenated and adopted the alias of Joseph (actually a clone of him), it would later turn out that with his mind slowly healing, he went into hiding in one of his bases. [Uncanny X-Men #350, Magneto War]
- The team no longer trusted their one-time friend Valerie Cooper for her betrayal of them, in keeping the Project: Wideawake sentinel program secret. Instead Forge became new governmental liaison. Later, Val and X-Factor were able to reconcile their differences and she has a more prominent role on the team again.
- Because of the incident with Magneto, a secret agency started Project Polaris. At first Lorna was ambushed by Random, which was to be a test of her powers, and later she would have been brainwashed to serve as the government’s secret weapon against Magneto. [X-Factor #95, 102]
- Having his adamantium ripped out of his body allowed some questions about Logan to be answered, for example there being bone claws underneath the metal ones. With his healing factor kicking into overdrive, Wolverine became more of a savage beast and for many months seemed more animal than man. When offered the chance to have the metal back, Logan rejected [Wolverine (2nd series) #100], but years later an encounter with Apocalypse forced him to accept it once more and it was bonded back onto his skeleton. [Wolverine (2nd series) #145]
- Xavier mind-wiping Magneto caused dramatic repercussions later on in the life of the professor, such as the birth of the Onslaught entity, which was half Xavier and half Magneto. The sacrificing of a great number of Earth’s non-mutant super heroes would eventually destroy Onslaught, and left Xavier without his telepathy for several months, during which he also went in governmental custody. [Onslaught crossover]
- Cable was able to retrieve the Professor’s program from Avalon and it helped him and X-Force in several occasions. Eventually, the Professor’s sentient mind is able to claim a host body and merging with X-Force’s transport ship, he departed to explore the universe.
- The incident with Colossus was a turning point in the life of Excalibur. Instead of continuing the endless battles of a superhero team, they permanently relocated to Muir Island to serve as an extension of Moira MacTaggert’s mutant research center. Excalibur, the blade, then stood as a metaphor for a scalpel used to heal rather than a sword to destroy.