When Mutants Clash
The adventure continues in issue 45, before spilling over into the pages of Avengers for their second crossover. The teams will again battle with each other when they should be stopping super villains. Our story begins with Angel still looking for help after his run in with Red Robin. The rest of the team is still being held captive by Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Will Angel return in time? Will his team be forced to help themselves? Is this the best panel of Magneto art that I’ve seen yet? YES!
Getting tired of waiting for Angel, whose been off palin’ around with some other bird man and, you know, just having to fly across an entire god damn ocean so sorry it took so long, the team takes matters into their own hands. Scott’s been working on that visor and he finally manages to shatter it. Soon he is free, and of course he goes to escape without freeing any of his friends. Scott is a dick.
Walking around this gigantic, sparsely inhabitted island fortress, it isn’t long before someone spots him. In fact, two people do, first Toad and then Quicksilver. Toad, being the wormy little shit that he is, immediately runs off to warn Magneto. Quicksilver, being the temperamental jackass that he is, immediately starts a brawl. Scott and Pietro exchange punches as the quick runner dodges laser eyes.
There is a brief moment where they stop and try talking some sense into each other. They seem to have the same motivations and goals in mind. They want to live peacefully. Unfortunately, Pietro seems to have acquired the taste of Magneto’s bullshit because he starts spitting it back up.
Scarlett Witch is watching from another location, and fears for her brother. Magneto is more than confident that he will be fine. I have this nagging suspicion that he actually doesn’t care.
The two seem quite equally matched, as they both run out of stamina before either is able to overcome the other. It seems they have hit a stalemate. Exhausted, they collapse.
Meanwhile, Angel has reached the Avengers and is trying to gain their trust and help. The Avengers are very suspicious of the X-Men, and Angel chalks it up to the racism his kind is so familiar with.
They are willing enough to go along with him, but soon their suspicions seem proven correct. They find a bug on Angel’s wing (pun not going unnoticed), and figure he must be in league with Magneto. Being that Magneto is trying to overcome man so that mutants can rule, he does seem to get a lot of mutants to join his cause. I guess it’s not a crazy idea. The Avengers subdue Angel and leave him on board their ship while they infiltrate the island.
Once inside, they find Cyclops holding the seemingly lifeless body of Pietro, their former ally. Already assuming that the X-Men have turned to the Brotherhood, this really doesn’t look good at all. X-Men issue 45 ends with this cliffhanger.
The story continues in Avengers issue 53, with a point of view reversal of that exact same scene. They have greater number, an element of surprise, and the high ground. One might assume that Scott Summers would be easily bested.
Somehow the next thing I know the Avengers are all fighting each other and Scott has escaped. What in the hell? Someone get me Captain America.
Magneto is always insisting that everything that is happening is part of some plan he devised, but I’m pretty sure that’s just his ego masking his incompetence. Toad begins to doubt, or at least question, his master’s divine intellect, and is chastised badly for it. Verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive, it’s any wonder how Toad has stuck it out this long. I don’t even want to imagine the shitty, abusive, lonely life that sorry individual has lived. He’s so bitter and cruel, but he obviously hates himself.
Scott runs back to release the other members of his team, something that he could have done hours ago and this adventure would likely all be over. These four members of the X-Men immediately set out to find the Avengers so that both teams can join forces and stop Magneto. When we left the Avengers, they couldn’t even join forces with themselves. Of course things don’t go according to plan. Magneto uses some sort of science fiction device to warp the X-Men’s minds. Soon they are overcome with rage, determined to destroy the very Avengers they wished to ally with. A huge brawl breaks out, X-Men vs Avengers for the second time since this series debuted.
Before long, the day is saved. It’s not very interesting or surprising so I won’t even bother showing it. His machine malfunctions right before it can… do something, I don’t even know what, but it malfunctions right before Angel shows up to save the day. Of course, Angel, duh, we left him tied up on the ship. We know how comics work. What’s more interesting is that it seems a bit unclear whether it was Angel or Toad who caused the malfunction.
By far the most interesting part of this issue is the relationship between Magneto and Toad. The abuse has gotten so bad that I’m left just waiting for Toad to boil over, step up, and fight for himself. Perhaps he did cause the malfunction, because as they are escaping Toad makes his most defiant move yet. Magneto is jumping into the helicopter when Toad steps on his hand, causing him to plummet into the rocky shores. If only he remembered that he is the master of magnetism, and helicopters are made of metal. Oh well. He deserved it. He once kicked Toad out of a spaceship in the same manner, leaving him stranded on an alien world.
The last image is this ominous frame of Magneto’s helmet floating in the ocean. Is he dead? Of course not! Metal helmets don’t float.