September 8, 2012

Ye Olde School Cafe: X-Men: X-Tinction Agenda pt 5

Welcome to another week in Ye Olde School Cafe’! This week, we’ll be finishing off our look at the X-Men: X-Tinction Agenda! By now, Cameron Hodge has either defeated, brainwashed, depowered, or killed everyone that’s gotten in his way. The X-Men, X-Factor, and Cable’s New Mutants are down, but not out. They are fighting magistrates, and now Hodge as well, but that won’t stop them. Not when so much is at risk. Storm and Rahne have both been brainwashed and are now serving Hodge’s will. Warlock (Technarchy) has been killed, and this has the New Mutant comrades irate. Some of them still have not gotten over the death of Doug Ramsey. An all out war is about to take place, and you have a front row seat!

As Psylocke begins to tear her way through a swath of magistrates, Storm attacks Cyclops. In doing so, though, she manages to escape her brainwashing, and now everybody is lining up to get a shot at Hodge. Cyke takes the first shot with his optic beams, and levels him. Hodge immediately gets up and laughs at the attack. Cyclops then unleashes an even more brutal blast at him while Storm rushes to Jean’s side. It seems that Storm’s lightning powers can somehow reverse the mutant power nullifying powers of Wipeout. Once all the X-Men are restored, Jean, Cyke, and Storm begin to pummel Hodge, but he retaliates with his own barrage of offense. The building begins to crumble, and Hodge is seemingly buried underneath it. In the sub-basement of the facility, Jubilee, Boom Boom, and Rictor are slowly making their way back inside to help their friends. They find a room that’s full of monitors, then hear a noise close by. They quickly hide, and for good reason, because Hodge enters the room, spouts off for a minute or two, and then leaves. The young mutants are so full of fear that they’re trembling.

Cyke and the others then find Forge, and he’s astonished to see they’ve escaped, and that Storm has not only gotten her powers back, but that she’s been restored to her adult self, as well. At this point, Storm talks with the defeated magistrates and they tell her that the Genegineer didn’t truly transform her fully into a mutate, and that she was his secret weapon against Hodge if he double-crossed Genosha. Rahne is still brainwashed, though, and she attacks Rictor. The Genegineer calls her off, and then Storm helps to release her and restore the powers of the other three. Out of nowhere, Hodge phases through the floor and attacks everybody. He wraps wires around Banshee’s mouth, and then blasts Iceman right through the chest. Meanwhile, Rictor and Boom Boom are destroying Hodge’s lab and computers at the behest of the Genegineer. He knows that they help power Hodge, and are the most effective way to defeat him. As Hodge is finishing up with Beast, he then feels the power loss and heads to stop the others. He immediately nails Jubilee and Rictor to the wall with spikes through their shoulders, but Boom Boom and Rahne savagely attack Hodge, and weaken him even more. He lashes out at them and hurts Cannonball badly. At this point everybody starts blasting him, and even the Genegineer gets in on the act with a weapon. Hodge sees him then and brutally murders him right in front of everyone. Hodge phases through the floor to escape, and the team needs to regroup.

Beneath the carnage, Rahne and Rictor have located Hodge, and as you can imagine, he’s in a foul mood. They attack him, but have little effect other than a few wires that get chewed off thanks to Rahne. Cable tries to help, but Hodge spears him right through the abdomen! Again, Storm uses her powers to electrocute Hodge, and he seems to be slowing, but he has enough left in the tank to snatch Storm out of the sky. Archangel then intervenes and does his best kamikaze routine, but Hodge eventually grabs a hold of him, as well. Hodge then tries to saw off Archangel’s head as revenge for his actions in their earlier meeting. As Hodge is about to deliver a killing blow, Havok appears out of nowhere and stops him. Hodge is caught off guard for a moment, but then handles both of them. Again, he’s just about to kill both of them, but Jean, Cyclops, and Wolverine arrive to stop him. Jean then uses her telekinetic powers to launch Wolverine onto Hodge’s neck. Wolverine slices and dices, but before he can drop Hodge, he gets impaled by Hodge’s spiked tail! Jean also gets smashed by the same tail, and that only leaves Cyclops and Havok to stop him. The two brothers that initially met as enemies, now must work together to stop a madman. Both brothers blast Hodge with everything they’ve got, but in the end, Havok is the one that strikes the knock out punch. Hodge’s head flies off, but he still is functioning. Cyclops then blasts his head off of the top of the building, but when Havok takes a look, Hodge uses his tongue to grab Havok by the throat and pull him off the ledge. Cyke quickly grabs his brother’s arm and holds on until Jean can use her telekinesis to pull them up while Hodge’s head falls to the ground. Rahne and Rictor are there waiting for him, and Rahne uses her claws to tear his face apart, while Rictor then buries his head in the rubble.

Havok and Rahne both agree to stay behind and help the Genoshan government rebuild, and Rictor is devastated. In the end, we watch as the team members hold a memorial service for their fallen comrade, Warlock, and spread ashes over Doug Ramsey’s grave.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this jaunt into the world of the X-Men, and don’t worry, it won’t be too long before I spotlight another great story of theirs from years past! See you next week!

Billy Dunleavy



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