December 26, 2009

Ye Olde School Cafe’: Mutant Massacre pt 1

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Written by: Billy
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Hello everyone, and welcome back to another installment of Ye Olde School Cafe’.This week, I’ll be continuing with Marvel’s first mutant family, The X-Men. The TPB (trade paperback),  X-Men: Mutant Massacre, pretty much says it all. We see in the pages of this story, a plethora of different contributors. Some names are very recognizable, some not as much, but this was a huge arc and encompassed 5 different titles. All  together it covers; Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor, New Mutants, Thor, and Power Pack. I’m going to break this one up into 3 parts because it’s so huge. The first part will cover; Uncanny X-Men #210, X-Factor #9, Uncanny X-Men #211, and New Mutants #46. The Uncanny issues were written by Chris Claremont, and penciled by John Romita Jr. The X-Factor issues were written by Louise Simonson and the art was done by Walt Simonson. The New Mutants issue was written by Chris Claremont and the art done by Jackson Guice.


There were some pretty big consequences and long term ramifications from this story line. First, the team of X-Men still think Jean’s dead from the Dark Phoenix event, but Wolverine picks up her scent in the Morlock tunnels. Secondly, a lot of X-Men were hurt badly in this story too: Nightcrawler, Colossus, Kitty, and most importantly Angel, all suffered at the hands of the Mauraders. We also saw the beginnings of Apocalypse bringing together his Four Horseman to try and decimate the world. To set the stage, we have the Uncanny X-Men; Colossus, Wolverine, Kitty, Storm, Nightcrawler and Rogue. These heroes are certainly battle tested and ready to go at a moments notice. We also  have the newly formed X-Factor; Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Angel, and Iceman. These original members of the X-Men decided to leave the team and start their own because of Professor Xavier’s decision to make Magneto leader of the X-Men for a time. Thirdly, we have the New Mutants. This is a team comprised of Cannonball, Sunspot, Magma, Mirage, Cypher, Warlock, Magik, Karma, and Wolfsbane (Rahne). Magneto is leading this group of upstarts and trying to teach them how to use their powers in these tumultuous times. Ok, well that about covers it so let us begin this grim but very telling  tale!

300px-Uncanny_X-Men_Vol_1_210Our story begins with the extermination of a Hellfire Club guard who is dating a Morlock named Tommy (a girl). His death only serves the purpose of making the Morlock girl lead the killers back to the tunnels where the rest of her friends live. At this point we get a peek at Dazzler, who gets harassed by the mutant known as Malice. We then get to see Rogue scouring the city looking for any trace of Phoenix. After having no luck she saves two falling construction workers and then gets heckled by some mutie haters. Back  at the mansion Colossus has a conversation with his sister Magik, and Kitty works on Cerebro with her pal Lockheed. Next we see Magneto, who has become the leader of the X-Men in Charles’ absence, go to the Hellfire Club to hear Sebastian Shaw and Selene’s offer to join them. He politely refuses and leaves to get back to his young charges. Meanwhile, Nightcrawler is chased down and almost beaten to a pulp by an angry mob, but Colossus, Kitty, and Magik save him from a beating. Storm and Wolverine are then seen trying to find Rachel Summers, who has disappeared but they can’t pick up her trail. Finally, the story gets to the conclusion to the Morlock who has ran across the country to get back to the tunnels where she lives. The girl comes within a few feet of reaching her home when she receives a harpoon in the back and is told not to worry because “where she’s going she’ll soon have lots of company.” Then she’s killed on her own doorstep by The Mauraders.

Xfactor_9In the following issue, we see X-Factor basically trying to convince the public that they’re not vigilantes and don’t condone that sort of thing. Mystique’s group  called Freedom Force, or better yet the Brotherhood, are acting like the government sponsored team that they are supposed to be, but they are just buying pardons and eventually Mystique assumes Valerie Cooper’s identity years later when Destiny is killed. After Scott and Jean have a brief run in with Magneto, the Morlocks, Leech, Artie and Caliban head to the tunnels and X-Factor follows but runs right into Mystique’s team. The two teams have a huge brawl underneath the city with X-Factor eventually getting the better of Freedom Force. Rusty Collins gets hurt badly so Jean takes him to the surface and as she does, Angel and Cyclops hear a terrible scream from farther down the depths of the tunnels.

We next get a glimpse at the team that was assembled by an unknown person to exterminate the Morlocks. Scalphunter, Scrambler, Riptide, Arclight, Vertigo, and Harpoon begin to savagely kill every Morlock in sight. Women, children- it doesn’t matter to them, they tear them apart at the behest of someone yet to be revealed. Xavier’s School seems all too quiet until Wolverine and Nightcrawler are surprised by a Morlock begging for help. Magneto stays behind too keep a watchful eye on the students while the rest of the team descends into the tunnels. Immediately the X-Men are hit with Vertigo’s powers of disorientation and then followed by Riptide slashing through Nightcrawler. Magik then teleports the wounded out of the tunnels and the rest of the team continues their search for the Marauders. They catch up to them and a  battle begins with neither team pulling any punches. The X-Men get a glimpse of Cyclops’ optic blast but are then cut off from another burst that caves in part of the tunnels. After Riptide callously kills a few more Morlocks, Colossus who has seen enough, grabs Riptide and snaps his neck! He then tells Harpoon, “make peace with your gods little man, you’re next.” The other Marauders have made a break for it though and Storm tells Wolverine to hunt them down.

390px-New_Mutants_46The New Mutants are back at the school where Dani Moonstar sees the shroud of death encompassing the area. Magik then brings the wounded to the hangar and tells Magneto what has happened. We also get to see the newest X-Man, Psylocke, lending a hand along with the recently teleported Moira McTaggert. The next two scenes show a prelude of things to come, when Cypher is trying to figure out what Warlock is scanning the area for, and Magik and Karma go to see if her family is OK but hit a light switch and the building explodes. The rest of the team then makes the decision to go into the tunnels to help the X-Men, even though they were told to stay at the school. Right before they enter the tunnels though, they are joined by Magik and Karma who teleported out of her family’s apartment as it blew up. In the tunnels they find something- or rather something finds them. The Magus, who is basically the leader of the Technarchy (a race of extraterrestrial beings that Warlock is a part of), is on Earth intending to destroy Warlock and anyone else who gets in his way. Magus jumps the New Mutants in the tunnels before they can even join the fight against the Mauraders. Magik saves the team for the moment though by teleporting them away from Magus.

Well folks, that’s where we’ll leave off this week but don’t worry because next week will be action packed! We’ll see even more grisly Morlock deaths, The Mighty Thor will enter the fray, Sabertooth goes one on one with Wolverine, and there’s a Crucifixion to top it all off!

Billy Dunleavy



  1. Capekiller

    This is one of my favourite, all-time X-arcs. Great review Dun!

  2. Yet another series I need to re-read asap. The trade is sitting on my shelf too.

  3. Billy

    @Cape-This is a good one for sure. The battles between Logan and Creed are awesome!
    @Andy-Dude, you need to stop skirt chasing out there in Cali and get reading!

  4. I didn’t even know this was out as a trade…how embarrassing! I need to pick this up, as I only ever read a few parts back when I was a kid.

  5. Billy

    @Bill-I think it was late 90’s when the first printing came out IIRC. I own the third printing of this. It’s a good story, not as heavy on morality as some of the other Claremont stuff, but a good read all around.

  6. InfiniteSpeech

    This is another great arc that was like one long action movie and it was one of the few times where all the X teams got BEAT DOWN!! The ripple effects from this arc are still being felt today and hey it gave us Archangel another plus!

  7. Eli

    Love this story! I’ve definitely gotta re read this as well.

  8. Jeff Jackson

    I never quite understood why the Marauders were picking mutants off. I mean, I get that Sinister was behind it all, but I never got why.

  9. […] and art by John Bogdanove). If you’re just tuning in, I’d advise checking out the Mutant Massacre part 1 article from last week before reading this […]

  10. […] Part 1-Mutant Massacre Part 2-Mutant Massacre […]

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