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Welcome back, superheo enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts, X-Men fans and comic book collectors! Today we revisit the X-Men Adventures monthly series which was the literary adaptation of the popular X-Men animated series of the 1990s.
In my previous retro review, the X-Men encountered Magneto for the first time and things turned out for the worse for Charles Xavier’s team.
With those details laid down, here is a look back at X-Men Adventures #4, published by Marvel Comics in 1993 with a story written by Ralph Macchio and drawn by Andrew Wildman.
The story begins in a ruined place where Magneto floats in the air and below him are Cyclops, Storm and Rogue who are down and looked knocked out. It turns out Rogue is still conscious and as Magneto remains unaware of her state, she makes her moves to get Storm and Cyclops back up.
Knowing the risk of absorbing another mutant’s power by touching, Rogue executes CPR to revive Cyclops. Just moments after Cyclops gets revived, powerful beams of laser suddenly come out of Rogue’s eyes. As soon as the problem eased, Rogue then flies off towards Magneto in a mad attempt to tackle him…
To get straight to the point here, this comic book tells two succeeding events starting with the encounter between Magneto and the X-Men. In reflecting Magneto’s first appearance in the animated series, this adaptation emphasizes the first time the X-Men encountered the master of magnetism but with the contemporary character designs and visual aesthetics of the era. On face value, the encounter here looks inspired by the X-Men Blue Team’s encounter with Magneto in 1991’s X-Men #1 but in reality this one was designed in accordance to the animated series creators’ way of establishing the start of the X-Men-Magneto rivalry. There is a good amount of superhero spectacle as Storm, Rogue, Cyclops and Charles Xavier each take turns on bringing down Magneto in their own unique methods. Of course, these developments helped emphasize how powerful Magneto really is.
The other half of this comic book tale focuses more on the presence of Sabretooth as a captive of the X-Men at their headquarters, as well as the eventual rivalry between him and Wolverine. It is during the heat of Wolverine’s encounter with Sabretooth that the dialogue became very rich and engaging to read as elements of their past together got raised, and Sabretooth’s observations on how the X-Men handled things became philosophical. I also enjoyed how the philosophical writing continued within Charles Xavier’s dialogue as he attempts to nullify the rage between Wolverine and Sabretooth.
As with his past works, the art here drawn by Andrew Wildman is very good and he even pushed the limits of on-page superhero violence during two key moments of the physical struggle between Wolverine and Sabretooth (which resulted in altered colors to avoid graphic violence).
X-Men Adventures #4 (1993) is a solid read from start to finish. By the time I reached the final page, the comic book clearly marked the beginning of the rivalry between the X-Men and Magneto (in accordance to what was set up in the animated series). This comic book emphasized the rivalry further with the clever use of dialogue and visuals (complete with the strategic use of panels on the final pages), so much so there was this genuine feel of the start of a new age.
Overall, X-Men Adventures #4 (1993) is highly recommended.
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