Uncanny X-Men annual #10
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men annual #10
Psylocke is now hanging around the X-Mansion, although she won't officially join a team until the end of the Mutant Massacre, and right now she's not sure if she belongs in the X-Men or the New Mutants.
The fact that she's a mutant isn't directly mentioned, but it's worth noting that, similar to SHIELD ESPer units, Psylocke was a member of the Psi Division of Britain's STRIKE, which consisted of people with more traditional psychic powers like her telepathy. I've never been 100% clear on whether people with those sorts of powers are considered mutants in the same way that, say, Cyclops is. (Obviously, though, Psylocke is considered a mutant by Marvel, and i see even Mentallo, a SHIELD ESPer gone bad, is now classified as a mutant, so i guess that settles it.)
Psylocke is watching Magneto prove that, even in practice, he'll never be defeated by the current X-Men team.
But what she doesn't know is that her bionic eyes are transmitting everything she sees back to Mojo's realm, where it's being watched on giant jumboscreen televisions, and earning Mojo ratings and earning him revenue. This is definitely distinguishing him from his more generic pied piper appearance last issue.
To keep things interesting, Mojo blasts his captive, Longshot, to the X-Men's Danger Room, and upon his arrival the X-Men come into contact with a strange goop.
The team are too distracted by Longshot's two hearts and three fingers per hand...
...plus the fact that the ladies find him dreamy...
...but the New Mutants start realizing that the X-Men are shrinking in size and acting more childlike.
Doug and Warlock, who continue to merge into a single entity despite the risk of Doug catching the transmode virus and the fact that there's no immediate danger...
...realize that the effect is the same as what Template did to Magma and Captain Britain in the New Mutants annual.
At this point, though, the X-Men have all become X-Babies...
...although Magneto is old enough that he retains his powers for a while longer, and Wolverine's adamantium skeleton doesn't go away (or cause any problems for him despite the lack of healing factor).
Mojo manages to take control of the X-Babies, and so it's up to the New Mutants to rescue them. For this outing they break into costumes that were meant for their graduation.
They wind up facing the X-Babies and Mojo and Spiral at a play in New York.
The Bratpack kids from the Longshot series...
...and the frogs that Thor met when he was the Frog of Thunder...
...happen to be in the audience (as are Walt and Louise Simonson).
The New Mutants eventually free the X-Men of Mojo's control through a variety of methods, like letting Rogue touch Sunspot so she sees his thoughts about what she's supposed to be like...
...a similar gambit between Cypher and Psylocke's (demonstrating their love for each other)...
...and Karma's possession power affecting Wolverine.
A number of neat moments in the fight, including Shadowcat phasing through Mojo's exoskeleton...
...Rogue trying to absorb his personality and finding "there's no end... to him"...
...and some more physical actions from Colossus and Nightcrawler.
Mojo withdraws, and the X-Men force Spiral to restore the damage that was done, even though it means Storm giving up artificial powers that Mojo gave her.
Mojo is still able to have his show reach its conclusion...
...and the issue ends with him deciding to leave Longshot with the group for future sinister purposes against both the X-Men and Spiral (who we've seen is in love with him).
These characters aren't actually the X-Babies, who will first appear as distinct characters in Uncanny X-Men annual #12. But they are clearly the inspiration, both to Mojo and Claremont, and so i'm awarding Significance points for the introduction of concept. Personally, this was a cute one-off but it's not something i really needed a repeat of. That said, i can see why they returned; Claremont does a wonderful job writing the X-Men as rambunctious children and this issue is just big goofy fun.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place soon after New Mutants annual #2. For the X-Men and Spiral, we're in a tight period thanks to the Mutant Massacre, but the MCP have placed this between Uncanny X-Men #210-211.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: X-Men: Danger Room Battle Archives TPB
Inbound References (8): show
There aren't many good images of him in the issue, but the evil, Mojo-fied, extra-armor Colossus looks to me like source of Rob Liefeld's "inspiration" for Stryfe. The latter just has more spikes and a cape.
Wolverine wearing the Mojo-helmet actually reminds me of his Weapon X helmeted appearance, but that's just a coincidence, I think.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | January 24, 2014 8:58 PM
Note that not only is Betsy willing to potentially endanger her friends by not telling them that Mojo was responsible for her bionic eyes but she's willing to kill Spiral. Claremont's darker take on Psylocke really starts here.
Posted by: Michael | January 24, 2014 9:19 PM
Added scans of Psylocke pushing to kill Spiral, and a shot of Colossus in the "Stryfe armor" (as Walter says, there aren't a lot of good shots of Colossus so this one is from the back and also features a naked Wolverine). I agree on the Weapon X helmet and had to double-check the Marvel Comics Presents issue dates to make sure it wasn't a reference.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 24, 2014 10:03 PM
I always assumed Magneto's Mojo attire was referring to his WWII experiences... Bit suprised that the Weapon X thing wasn't intentional though.
Posted by: Max_Spider | January 25, 2014 4:23 PM
Magma's graduation costume looks like one that DC's Flamebird wore a few years later.
Magik's costume looks really familiar. Didn't it appear on somebody else eventually?
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 25, 2014 9:09 PM
Thank goodness the New Mutants never graduated in those horrendous costumes. At least Warlock's poor fashion sense could be explained by his being an alien. What excuse did the rest of them have?
Posted by: clyde | January 26, 2014 12:34 AM
And this is what we got when Byrne quit
Posted by: Jay Gallardo | January 26, 2014 12:29 PM
Micheal wrote: "There really isn't any good place to put this issue. If you put it between X-Men 206 and 207, then Logan should be sick. If you put it between X-Men 210 and 211, then Kurt shouldn't be able to teleport."
Actually, Kurt can still teleport but it takes a lot of effort, doesn't work reliably, is painful and exhausts him after. I suspect his abilities working here is part of the spell that briefly gave Storm her powers back.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | January 29, 2014 2:48 PM
Nightcrawler teleports before the spell is cast, in the initial Danger Room sequence, where Magneto has set a trap that zaps Nightcrawler out of the room if he tries to teleport at all. As first i was going to say that it was a pretty nasty thing for Magneto to do since he knows Nightcrawler is injured, but maybe it was his way of keeping him out of the practice session without hurting Kurt's pride?
Posted by: fnord12 | January 29, 2014 3:18 PM
You've got the "Next Issue" linked to Cloak & Dagger #8 when you inserted a bunch of the Mutant Massacre titles between this and that one.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | February 12, 2014 6:04 PM
Those links get created automatically and sometimes they get out of sync when i am shuffling stuff around until i republish the site manually. In this case, i think you leaving a comment republished this page and "fixed" the problem. So thanks! (If you're still seeing a problem we may be talking about different things so please let me know.)
In the future, while i'm working on a year you may see discrepancies like that occasionally but there's no need to alert me. It'll sort itself out.
I should put this in the Q&A!
Posted by: fnord12 | February 12, 2014 6:15 PM
Yup, it's fixed. Cool.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | February 12, 2014 6:28 PM
Per Claremont in Amazing Heroes Preview Special #3: all of Longshot's X-Men appearances actually precede the Longshot miniseries as the character was yanked from his own past.
The special(from 6/86) also promised a Rachel-Phoenix miniseries by Claremont/Leonardi/Green in late 1986(with Spiral as the villain), and the Colossus mini in 1987.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 5, 2014 1:54 PM
In Comics Interview #46, Adams claims to have co-plotted this issue with Claremont.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 7, 2014 1:52 PM
Kudos for noticing that Claremont's X-Men never ever once came close to defeating Magneto. At best they fought him to a draw in #112-113. I have to wonder if that played as big a role as anything in the 'MLK/Malcom X' analogy built-up between Xavier and Magneto, in that neither of them could truly beat the other, except in superhero comics where Magneto usually wiped the floor with the X-Men.
Posted by: ChrisW | June 7, 2014 8:16 PM
Didn't they beat him during the second Cockrum run on an island? I really liked Magneto being a lot tougher during Claremont run.
Posted by: david banes | June 8, 2014 12:17 PM
No, they never beat him. First battle @ #104, Magneto wiped the floor with the X-Men and they ran. Second battle #112-113, he wiped the floor with them, took them hostage, and after they escaped, the fight was a draw and the exploding volcano removed the conflict. Third battle, #150, and the X-Men again couldn't beat him. And they never fought again until this annual, where the X-Men never came close to winning.
Strange to realize that the X-Men fought and defeated Magneto more often in Lee-Kirby's 11-issue run than Claremont's entire twenty years, but there you go.
Posted by: ChrisW | June 8, 2014 9:33 PM
The Weapon X reference might have been Claremont originally intending Mojo and Spiral as behind the program before he began settling on Apocalypse. Recall Spiral was going to be the villain behind the Rachel Grey's hound development, and Apocalypse later creates the first hound in Caliban. Recall too that Spiral was initially behind the Reavers so one wonders if Claremont was entertaining Mojo as the big bad first!?
In addition, Warlock notes that the energy patterns of the ectoplasm emitted from the exploding sphere of energy Longshot arrives in here was residue of the Technarch Transmode Virus suggesting Mojo was in possession of it. But how? This will later raise the question of how the Genegineer came to develop the Transmodation Process that is the technology behind the slave-state of Genosha, since "Transmodation" would seem to imply "Transmode Virus"... and how interesting is it that the bath chair the Genoshans provide Cameron Hodge with during the X-Tinction Agenda was analogous to the design of Mojo's. So was there some trade alliance between Genosha and Mojo and this is how they came to have the technology to develop the process? Though why they then pursued Warlock in the X-Tinction Agenda for the virus is anyone's guess!? But the connection remains...
Posted by: Nathan Adler | June 10, 2014 9:59 AM
So e Claremontiverse notes: Doug and Warlock sense that the goop, or its source, is a modified form of the transmode virus. When we see references to "transmodification" in Genosha later on, I assumed there was no connection to the virus, but seeing the line here in reference to the X-Men's transformation and Mojo, I wonder. (And is this the secret to the Body Shoppe and Lady Deathstrike's advanced cybernetics?)
On p. 22 Spiral uses "pixie dust" to control the audience. A lot like how Nanny, a villain in similarly child-themed stories, uses her "puxie dust."
The outdoor theater in Central Park where the X-Men take the stage and fight Mojo is the Delacorte, which is also where Rachel Summers entered the Body Shoppe in X-Men 209. The Secrets of the X-Men blog says Claremont planned for Longshot's appearance in this issue to be related to Rachel's story in the unpublished Phoenix mini. Notably, Longshot here and Phoenix when she resurfaces have both lost their memories. Would the Phoenix mini have had Mojo doing to her what he does to the X-Men here, de-aging and re-aging her to enslave her?
Spiral in this issue craves the spotlight and gets jealous when Longshot, whom she's in love with, claims it. Kinda reminiscent of Claremont's Dazzler characterization.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | September 3, 2014 11:27 PM
Oops, I overlooked Nate's existing comment. I see he has the same idea about transmode.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | September 3, 2014 11:29 PM
Further indirect evidence of a Mojo-Genosha link is that in the Ultimate MU, Mojo Adams is a citizen of Genosha, http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genosha#Ultimate_Marvel . A wink at some connection Claremont had intended?
Posted by: Walter Lawson | September 3, 2014 11:37 PM
Also note how Claremont, speaking thru Storm, redefines the X-Men at the end of this issue. They're not just mutants, they're a specially selected group of mutants with indomitable wills. Was Claremont setting up an opposition to the Shadow King--who, like Mojo, is a fat guy who enslaves people--even in 1986? His knack for recycling his plots and fetishes means it's hard to tell what's a master plan and what's just Claremont using the materials at hand to tell the same story he always wants to tell. But I think that story, in the X-verse anyway, gets bigger and bigger with each iteration.
Sorry for the slew of speculative posts, but there's a lot going on in the Claremont books when you look closely: plots are even more intricate than they seem at first blush.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | September 3, 2014 11:45 PM
I love the way Karma, a naked Wolverine charging directly at her in a terrifying image that is surely imprinted on her mind for the rest of her life, has to pretend that she's fooled by a stupid eyepatch in Madripoor. Poor Shan. She's had a rough life.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 16, 2014 3:07 PM
I've always wondered whether Mojo would also be revealed as an alternate incarnation of the Shadow King, particularly when one considers "mojo" means black magick, something the immortal mutant claimed to be adept in. In addition, mention was made of Mojo having extensive knowledge of the dark arts of magic, and it was he who trained Spiral in their use.
Mojo is a slaver who rules the "Mojoverse", a dimension where all beings are addicted to his gladiator-like television programmes. You'll recall the Spineless Ones were a primitive society until a mutant, called Arize, was born who went on to build artificial spines for this society. Given Mojo had no spine, and his legs were mostly atrophied, he was very obese, much like Farouk, Karma and Tullamore Voge, hosts of the creature known as the Shadow King.
It seemed to me that Tullamore Voge was a stand-in for Mojo, and his Slavers were introduced in Excalibur #17 as substitutes for the Spineless Ones.
Then recall it was Ann Nocenti who created Alexander Flynn and the Gladiators, so did she and Chris originally intend for Mojo, and not Farouk, to end up ruling the Gladiators!?
I'd posit that Chris and Ann initially intended for Mojo to usurp leadership of the Gladiators so he could broadcast their battles back to the Mojoverse to boost his flagging ratings. It is interesting to note that the Dazzler is one of the arena's prize combatants, when she goes on to become Longshot's girlfriend.
And while it was pretty much implied that the Shadow King had possessed Mastermind, which makes a certain amount of sense when you consider Wyngarde's seduction of Jean Grey in light of Uncanny #273, could Harry Leland likewise have been given his gluttony of food is in keeping with Farouk's M.O.?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | November 19, 2014 6:55 AM
This may have been brought up elsewhere, but why would Psylocke think she belongs in the "New Mutants". I understand that she's a newly-discovered mutant in their eyes. But clearly, the "New Mutants" are all made up of teenagers, not adults. If anything, at this point Kitty should have been put onto the New Mutants". (I know she almost was at one point.)Obviously, Psylocke would be added to the X-Men just like Rogue was.
Posted by: clyde | May 29, 2015 2:00 PM
I just read this one again and I usually defend Claremont, but this issue came across as tediously self-indulgent. Claremont's portmanteu Newspeak reached irritating heights on this one.
Posted by: JP | May 29, 2015 2:27 PM
And Kitty pisses herself (or worse) three times.
Posted by: JP | May 29, 2015 2:32 PM
Some great speculations by Walter and Nathan in these comments... (I particularly like Walter's lines about Claremont recycling his plots and fetishes.) I always think some of Nathan's ideas are probably a lot more complex than whatever Claremont was really thinking, but it's fun to read and think about them.
Posted by: Jonathan | May 29, 2015 5:05 PM
Oh, this issue.
The bad (for me) - I hated the Mojoverse and didn't see why it needed to become so involved with the X-Men. Didn't like Longshot being added and found Mojo a ridiculously powerful villain with no explanation (and a boring and annoying character to boot). To me, the complete opposite of Apocalypse, who was appearing at the same time, who had a great story and an explanation for his powers.
The good - An entertaining story concept. The X-Babies are entertaining ("Golly gumbucks!"), it's nice to see the New Mutants come in to their own (their costumes are for the most part hideous, except for Magma and Wolfsbane, and what's with Cypher's visor as if he is Cyclops?) and the art is very good.
The frustrating - Back in #200, there was an editor's note about Nocenti shooting Claremont if he tried a scheduling stunt like that again. Yet, the Special and Annual were perfectly placed - you knew exactly where those issues stood. After that, it became nearly impossible to place the Annuals. Sure, I agree that this is the best place to put this. But since Longshot isn't even mentioned during the Mutant Massacre (he won't actually appear in a regular issue until #215), it was just confusing (and yes, Kurt should be much more injured than he is portrayed, and for that matter, so should Logan - they're both still in bad shape at the start of #211). At least Betsy appeared in those issues (leading up to her joining the team).
On a more amusing end note to what will probably be deemed a rant, shouldn't we track Logan's naked appearances?
Posted by: Erik Beck | July 4, 2015 7:24 AM
Eric, I don't see what the problem is with placing the later Annuals- Annual 11 takes place between issues 219 and 220, Annual 12 takes place between issues 234 and 239, Annual 13 takes place between issues 243 and 246, Annual 14 takes place between issues 267 and 270 and Annual 15 takes place between issues 273 and 278. The only X-Annual after 1985 that fnord really had difficulty placing was the New Mutants Atlantis Attacks Annual.
Posted by: Michael | July 4, 2015 9:57 AM
Michael - I see it less of a "x follows x but what about x" problem than a tone problem. The X books are so tightly plotted that the Annuals feel like strange excursions at this point. There are also numerous threads that keep popping up in the Annuals that then just get dropped (although, Claremont did that in the regular books as well). I'll mention them each in turn as I get to them.
But I think it's part of a larger problem at this time - unlike fnord, I didn't try to insanely keep all my comics in reading order, but I did try to do that with the X books, and all their appearances outside of their regular book (X-Men vs FF, X-Men vs Avengers, the Annuals) felt like they never fit anywhere properly. There was always something about it that just said, no, this doesn't really go here. I don't envy fnord trying to make everything fit.
Posted by: Erik Beck | July 4, 2015 10:27 AM
@Erik: The truth behind Cypher's visor has to be that he was intended as the Third Summers Brother;)
Posted by: Nathan Adler | July 4, 2015 9:05 PM
But then you have to believe that Scott and Alex have another brother and I think that's dumb too.
Posted by: Erik Beck | July 4, 2015 11:55 PM
@Erik: So you missed the wink at the end of my comment!
Posted by: Nathan Adler | July 5, 2015 4:39 AM
Am I the only one who likes the New Mutants' graduation costumes? The pink visors are hideous, but otherwise they're all cool.
Posted by: ChrisW | July 5, 2015 1:52 PM
They're pretty, but I recall getting to that page in 1986 and being bothered by the yin-yang symbol on the Catholic girl(who happens to be Asian)'s chest. A less problematic bit of stereotyping would be the Native American girl in front of her in fringed buckskins - since it's a look Dani's prone to on her own (whether that was a good idea for the character in the first place is another matter). [shakes head] Comics' sins on race tend to be far more in the way of omission than commission, but one does wish they'd think before they go there.
Of the rest, none are terrible, Magik's tunic-and-tights costume is super-cute, and Warlock's Superman-with-hood-and-hero-smirk look was pitch-perfect and cracked me up the rest of the annual.
Posted by: BU | July 6, 2015 10:53 AM
I agree that the yin-yang symbol on a Catholic girl's outfit, at face value, is a little insensitive if said Catholic girl is also Asian. But her code name is Karma, and karma as a concept exists in Taoism, as does the idea of yin and yang. Not defending the use of the symbol, just trying to understand what may have been the (less offensive) intention.
Posted by: Harry | July 6, 2015 2:15 PM
I think that Shan's costume is the weakest, but to me the yin-yang symbol is more garish than it is inappropriate. It fits her code name, it's just large and red on green, and the buttons don't really match the loose flowing arms and legs.
Rhane's is the second weakest, because other than the colors and the mask, it's basically just a New Mutants costume anyway.
Dani does wear fringes, so I don't have a big problem. I always thought it was cool that Doug would have something functional, like pockets. Warlock's is goofy and perfectly in character.
I think Bobby's makes a great visual image (except for the stupid pink mask) although the yellow bracelets and anklets are a bit much, and it really didn't look good when Alan Davis drew it. Sam's is all right.
Amara and Illyana's are great.
Posted by: ChrisW | July 6, 2015 4:25 PM
I just thought that Shan, being pretty serious about her faith, wouldn't have even put on a costume with a symbol from another religion.
Agreed that Rahne's is weak. Just not pretty and a failure to come up with any visual theme, to boot.
Posted by: BU | July 7, 2015 12:57 PM
I'm surprised Betsy even questions whether or not she'd belong with the New Mutants. She's well into adulthood and fully-trained in the use of her powers. Frankly, it's more questionable why she's staying at Xaviers.
[I know "New Mutants" Annual #2 did have her explaining why to Brian, to learn to better use her psi-powers and protect people, but that never struck me as very convincing. I would guess that since by this point Claremont probably knew that the Fury/Jaspers Warp storylines wouldn't happen, he was most likely building up the connection to Roma and Otherworld for "Fall of the Mutants."]
Heh, given Betsy's past as a secret agent, probably the only thing that's prevented her from being retconned into past adventures with Wolverine and Carol Danvers is that she wouldn't be a Japanese ninja and no one would recognize her.
Posted by: ChrisW | March 6, 2016 7:22 PM
The one thing to remember about Psylocke/Betsy and STRIKE is that during the Captain Britain run. a STRIKE Psi-ops agent wasn't the combat field officer type. More of the Remote Viewer/Interrogation style Esper. If you read any of the Old ROM books. They even show the silly uniform that ESPERS wore in the 80's for both Strike and Shield. I did a picture of Betsy in hers. You can see it here. It really was quite silly looking. But fit the 80's.
Betsy was pretty well used to her Telepathy and even using her Precognition easily also. Why Claremont changed that is beyond me.
Posted by: Tazirai | April 17, 2016 2:43 AM
I believe I've read in a number of places that this annual is meant to take place between pages of Uncanny 210. I know fnord that's probably a pain for the way this project works. I may be mistaken but I believe I have seen several trades switch between putting it just before the Mutant Massacre (even though Kurt is still missing) or just after (treating it as a flashback since Colossus, Nightcrawler and Kitty would have been injured at that point).
Posted by: Jeff | August 7, 2016 2:45 PM
@Jeff- the problem is that there's no place to put it that makes sense. If you put it before X-Men 205, then the X-Men should be in San Francisco. If you put it in between X-Men 205 and 209, then Wolverine should be sick. If you put it in between X-Men 209 and 211, then Nightcrawler should be unable to teleport. If you place it after X-Men 211, then Kurt should be in a coma. This problem can't be solved by moving it between pages.
Posted by: Michael | August 7, 2016 3:58 PM
To say nothing of how little time the New Mutants have been spending at the mansion lately. Bobby left the team about the same time as the X-Men went to San Francisco, then the Beyonder killed and resurrected all the other kids, then they were traumatized from that for a few issues, then they transferred to the Massachusetts Academy for a few issues, then they're finally recovered and Rhane leaves, then Bobby comes back and finally Rhane comes back.
The period between the end of #44 and the beginning of #46 is the only time before the Massacre where everybody's healthy and at the mansion at once, and as Michael points out, that doesn't include the X-Men. Wolverine's problem can be handwaved because he's Wolverine, but Nightcrawler's can't.
And then there's the obvious question, "where was Longshot during the Massacre?" Maybe they didn't want to take him into the Alley, but he can at least put on bandages and make sandwiches, right? And afterward, they can take him to Dallas to meet Lila Cheney, right?
Posted by: ChrisW | August 7, 2016 7:07 PM
And, this has nothing to do with the rest of discussion, but the splash page of #214 has Lila and Ali playing in Denver. Fnord's recap mentions that the actual fight is in Dallas, which bothered me enough that I went to look it up, and sure enough, Lila's next show was in Dallas.
The Brood is currently active in the Denver area. Forge and the Adversary are active in Dallas. The X-Men keep returning to San Francisco.
I'm going back and forth on whether it's a great thing that the X-Men are expanding beyond the NYC area as befits world-saving superheroes or whether they monotonously return to the same cities over and over. You could add Tokyo, Cairo, Kirinos and Madripoor without changing the argument by much.
Posted by: ChrisW | August 8, 2016 2:49 AM
The X-Men: Ghosts tpb reprints Uncanny 199-209, followed by this annual (after a recap of the Longshot series and New Mutants Annual 2.
Posted by: Dave | April 2, 2017 12:07 AM
Comments have been disabled for the summer while i'm not around to moderate.
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