CALLISTO: Page 4 of 5

Publication Date: 22nd Feb 2022


Callisto disappeared for quite some time. She eventually found herself once more in the clutches of her former Morlock ally, Masque. Masque had created an underground mutant gladiator circuit in Japan. He used his powers to transform Callisto once more, this time replacing her arms with multiple, super-strong tentacles. He also made efforts to break her spirit, brainwashing and torturing her using his mutant pets in an attempt to force her to embrace her darker urges. Callisto feigned submission to Masque and played the role of pliant slave while she bided her time. She embraced her new form and soon became one of the top competitors in the Arena system Masque had established. Callisto’s chance to take Masque down presented itself when Storm stumbled upon the Arena during a visit to Tokyo. Once Storm was named a Champion, Callisto challenged her. More powerful than ever, Callisto bested Ororo in single combat. The two became Masque’s favorite pets and most popular combatants, unaware that the two were secretly plotting to take him down and liberate the mutant slaves he used in his gladiator bouts. With the aid of Yukio and Guido Carosella,  Callisto and Storm survived Masque’s efforts to destroy their wills and ultimately thwarted his plan to sell Ororo to the intergalactic slaver Tullamore Voge. In the process, the undefeatable duo of Storm and Callisto won control of mutant gladiator rings around the world. Once this was achieved, they defeated Masque publicly. Faced with defeat at the hands of his greatest enemies, Masque tried to bargain for his life and offered to make Callisto “perfect” once more. She smiled and replied that she was already perfect. She and Ororo shipped him off to Voge in the crate intended for Storm. Following this adventure, Storm left Callisto in charge of turning the gladiator rings they had “won” into a safe haven for mutants everywhere. [X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #37-39]

Callisto and Ororo grew very close during their time in the Arena. When Callisto visited Storm and her new team in Valle Soleada, there was a clear indication that their friendship had taken a decidedly intimate turn. Callisto assisted the group in their battle against Elias Bogan and remained with them for a time, enjoying the freedom to be herself that the pro-mutant town offered. Following this adventure, Callisto and Ororo remained in touch while Callisto managed the Arena. [X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #45-46]

When Storm heard that Charles Xavier had traveled to Genosha to help rebuild after a devastating, genocidal Sentinel attack, she sent Callisto to keep an eye on the X-Men’s mentor. Though “officially” in Genosha to recruit new talent for the Arena, Cal soon allied herself with Xavier and Magneto in their effort to restore Genosha. Callisto added an essential third perspective in the ongoing philosophical debates between Xavier and Magneto. As they searched for survivors and carved out a life in Genosha, Callisto and Xavier developed a close bond of friendship. They soon gathered a small band of followers, as well as faced opposition from several factions that sought to control Genosha for their own means. Most prominent among them was Unus the Untouchable and his group and the remainders of the Genoshan magistrates, who sought to wrest control of the island from the few mutants that survived. Internal conflicts were not the only threat the group faced. High-tech scavengers attacked the island and the group also ran afoul of the Dark Beast, who had his own reasons for being in Genosha. [Excalibur (3rd series) #2-9] One of the things that drew the Dark Beast to Genosha was the presence of the Sugar Man, another refugee from his home reality – the Age of Apocalypse. The Sugar Man brutally attacked McCoy and slaughtered several of the Magistrates and other troublemakers Callisto and her crew had taken prisoner. Callisto and her ally Karima Shapandar tracked the Sugar Man to his lair. Along the way, the two women compared their recent physical transformations and philosophized on the nature of monsters; a label that many would now apply to both of them. They were soon confronted by the Sugar Man who personified the term “monster” in every possible way. During the battle, Karima was mortally wounded. Callisto held her own against Sugar Man and his monstrous, two-headed servant Rastus. She impressed Sugar Man with her martial prowess and bravado. Despite this, she was overpowered by Rastus who brutally bit off all of the tentacles on Callisto’s left side. Karima recovered quickly and took Rastus out. Despite the agony she was in, Callisto rallied and seemingly killed the Sugar Man. Though she was gravely wounded, Callisto could not help but take joy in her triumph and the thrill of being truly alive. [Excalibur (3rd series) #10]

Callisto’s recovery took some time, but her maimed tentacles eventually began to regenerate. She remained on Genosha, serving as de facto leader of the mutants Xavier had gathered while he and Magneto were busy tending to Magneto’s daughter, the Scarlet Witch whose mental health had deteriorated to the brink of insanity. When Callisto came across a news report of a superhuman conflict that had erupted in nearby Zanzibar after an attack by the villainous Viper, she recognized an opportunity to show that the new leadership of Genosha had their neighbors’ best interests in mind.  When they arrived in Zanzibar, Callisto learned that Archangel was involved and had engaged Viper. While her teammates handled Viper’s allies, The Weaponeers, Callisto pursued Viper herself. Given her history with Warren, Callisto was determined to ensure his safety. The conflict with Viper culminated in the three being trapped under a considerable amount of rubble. They avoided being crushed only because Archangel was holding up a large section of building to protect them. While he did so, Viper and Callisto argued over who would have him. Before being rescued, Cal briefed Warren on what she had learned recently about the growing view of mutants as a valuable commodity to be stolen and exploited for financial gain. The three were rescued and together, put a stop to the incursion into Zanzibar. Callisto and her crew were given a special commendation by the president of Zanzibar. More importantly, she had a chance to show Angel how much she had changed in the time since they’d first met. As well as to flirt with him shamelessly in front of his girlfriend, Paige Guthrie AKA Husk. [Excalibur (3rd series) #11-13]