Why did I like it so much? What wasn’t to like?!
Cable got half his body blown to pieces, Exodus debuted and started smacking mutants around like a superpowered Chris Brown, Magneto raised douchebaggery to a new level and crashed a funeral for a kid…and Wolverine got jacked the hell up.
|The fancy schmancy hologram was also a huge plus.|
I recently decided to reread the storyline for probably the twentieth time and I still get a thrill about the undoubtedly most pivotal chapter of the six part event—X-Men #25.
Really, as good as the rest of the story is—well, honestly, we can do without the Excalibur anchor leg—it’s that issue that made it all work. It’s that issue that I remember reading as a teenager sitting on my front porch in the Bronx that made me just drop my jaw and stare incredulously at the pages before me.
And that’s partly because of how ballsy a decision it was at the times, and how different the comic medium was back then.
It was like this, only I didn’t quite want to punch myself like I did him…
See, back in those dark cold days of 1993, the Internet wasn’t nearly as widespread in American households like today. And if you had a cell phone, you know what it did? It made and received phone calls. That was really it. No Words With Friends, no text messaging, no Googling things. Hell, Google wasn’t even founded until 1998.
Compared to today, it was the technological Dark Ages and if you did have the Internet, chances are it was of the dial up variety, meaning that annoying screeching alien language sound signifying a connection to the World Wide Web, sometimes even by the fifth attempt, with blazing speeds that enabled you to download a single picture in roughly the time it would have taken you to take art classes and learn to draw it yourself.
But, hey, it’s what we had, right?
This was literally the happiest screen to see in those days.
Because I was surprised. And how could I not have been, given the circumstances?
For years, Wolverine had been the quintessential badass, the guy who told you every third word balloon either that he was the best at what he did, or he had an adamantium skeleton and healing factor. He was something of a braggart.
Yeah. We know. We’ve heard. From you. Repeatedly. In THIS issue.
And then there was X-Men #25. Presumed dead at the end of X-Men #3, which even then we knew was going to last about as long as Vanilla Ice’s mainstream appeal, Magneto came back with a vengeance in X-Force #25 and made short work of Cable before interrupting the funeral for Illyana Rasputin, sister of X-Man Colossus and victim of the Legacy Virus.
During a frantic funeraltastic free for all, Colossus betrayed the X-Men and left for Avalon with Magneto, leaving Xavier and his students to ponder their next move…which Xavier decided would be a good old fashioned ass whooping in space.
No one who saw Rocky IV was shocked that the Commie turned traitor.
Gathering a handful of X-Men, Xavier confronted Magneto on his home turf and while tangling with Wolverine, Magneto did the one thing we wondered if he could really do for years—he used his powers to literally rip the adamantium from Wolverine’s bones.
He just pulled it off like he was removing the top of a pudding cup, leaving Wolverine near death and lest you think, “Eh, he’s Wolverine. He’ll heal and that’ll be back in no time,” it wasn’t until 1999 that he finally got his adamantium groove back, courtesy of Apocalypse.
At the time, it was nothing short of shocking, and it was followed by revelations that his claws weren’t implants; they were actually bone and coated in adamantium all along. And of course, Xavier lost his cool and mindwiped Magneto in retaliation, leading to him becoming Onslaught a few years later.
It changed the dynamic of the character and is still one of the defining moments of X-Men comics in the 1990s. So, if you want to feel like a kid again, go ahead and find that issue and try to contain the emotion of seeing Magneto do what he should have done long ago. The young teen in me still gets goosebumps.
Easily one of the greatest scenes in X-Men history.