Thursday, June 09, 2016
I read all of these annuals back in 1989, but I've lost some over the years; which is why I'm more than happy to take a quarter bin copy of X-Factor Annual #4! Actually, after typing that and looking up that cover, I'm willing to bet I skipped the New Mutants chapter, I've never really warmed up to them. I also had thought this was earlier in the Atlantis Attacks crossover, but it's chapter ten!
"I Must Go Down to the Sea Again" Story and pencils by John Byrne, embellishments by Walt Simonson. In this chapter, the Deviant Ghaur summons Marvel Girl to become a bride of Set; and she flies off in a trance. The Beast grabs on to her, but is dragged along as well! There are tie-ins to Hank's time with the Defenders, with the return of the Atlantean warrior Andromeda; as well as a callback to a Jean Grey Bizarre Adventures story with Attuma: that story had been retconned so it was the Phoenix Entity instead of Jean, but Attuma is not having that.
In the end, with Jean nearly drowned, the Beast has no choice but to let Ghaur have her, in the hopes of saving her life and getting the chance to rescue her later. Which could've bit Hank in the ass if Set had manifested on earth, but he lucks out.
On top of all that, I had forgotten this back-up story, "That I Be Bound in a Nutshell" Story by Ralph Macchio, art by John Byrne. Magneto vs. Dr. Doom! In fact, at first glance, I had thought this was post-Acts of Vengeance, but it was set earlier, after the 1987 X-Men vs. the Avengers mini-series. Doom challenges Magneto with a mutant child telepath and Magneto's old helmet, which contained mind-control technology. Magneto had destroyed that helmet before, to remove the temptation; but Doom says the tech never worked as well as advertised: it would control a few minds, not thousands. With the telepath to keep Magneto honest, Doom and Mags will fight it out with the mind-control tech, which they do with recaps of the other's origins. As might be suspected, Doom is harsher in his editorializing; pointing out the convenience of Magneto's power failures in saving his family, yet they worked to kill humans just fine.
Magneto breaks Doom's control, saying the tragedies that made both men, made them stronger. Doom points out the telepath has now been privy to both, who knows what she might have learned...and Magneto murders a little girl, without a second thought. Y'know, I'm also not sure he had any proof the girl was a telepath, other than Doom's word. Kind of undermines any redemption arcs he's had since, huh?