Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #272

Issue Date: 
January 1991
Story Title: 
Capital Crimes

Chris Claremont (writer), Jim Lee (penciler), Scott Williams (inker), Joe Rosas & Glynis Oliver (colorists), Tom Orzechowski (letters), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

The captured members of the X-teams are put on trial in Genosha. They are offered to volunteer for the mutate bonding process, otherwise they have to face death. All of them choose the later and are brought to Cameron Hodge, who enjoys to have so many “toys“. The mechanical monster has Archangel and Wolverine fight each without restraints and forces the others to watch. Psylocke pretends to no longer bear the brutality and accepts to be transformed into a mutate. Soon after she is led away she surprises her guards with her asian ninja skills and escapes.

The Genegineer Moreau and Tam Anderson decide that Hodge has finally snapped and plot behind his back. Outside the citadel Dr. Moreau orders a mutate to create a tunnel below the citadel; not aware that they are being watched by Rictor, Jubilee and Boom-Boom.

Cameron Hodge murders Wipeout and frames Magistrate Havok for the crime, getting rid of both the only way for the X-Men to regain their powers and a possible opponent. Tam Anderson and Psylocke take mutate 20 (Storm) to the prisoners, who have just freed themselves thanks to Gambit’s lockpicking. Something strange happens as Storm hits Cyclops with a lightning. Ororo is back to her former adult self and has washed off all effects of the mutate bonding process and Scott too has back his optic blast.

Full Summary: 

In the news Manoli Wetherell reports about the Genosha crisis. She says that the mutants fighting genoshan forces have been identified as members of both X-Factor and the X-Men, who until this incident had been believed slain months ago in Dallas (Uncanny X-Men #227). She asks various people to give their opinion and gets very differents statements; Suzanne gaffney, an editor has not yet heard about the island nation, Mr. Fantastic condemns Genosha’s actions, Emmanuel Dacosta refuses to comment, the Punisher believes that if they are guilty the mutants deserve appropiate punishment, Mr. Hamilton, a black teacher, compares Genosha’s society to slavery and the She-Hulk answers that she as a lawyer asked to represent the X-Men in trial, however she she was denied because of being unfamiliar with genoshan law. Manoli concludes her TV special with saying that the trial is set for the following day.
The next day the trial starts : Genosha versus Iceman, Sunspot, Archangel, Marvel Girl, Cyclops, Beast, Cable, Cannonball, Banshee, Wolverine, Gambit and Psylocke who are all chained in the courtroom and in absentia Forge who is still in a voluntary coma to not reveal his technological knowledge to Cameron Hodge. Cyclops claims that they are American citizen, but the court staff says that there are no records to proove this. (since the X-Men themselves used a computer virus to erased all governmental records in Uncanny X-Men 158) The prosecutor continues that it would not matter which nationality they are, since the “crimes“ were comitted on Genoshan soil, and so it falls under Genoshan law. The chief presiding justice enters the courtroom accompanied by mutate 20 (formerly Storm). Upon seeing his friend as a mindless slave, Logan gets angry and jumps from the platform they are standing on. Even though his hands are chained and his powers are blocked, he tries to fight the guards, but without success. The judge simply orders his mutate to restrain the prisoner and with one hurricane windblast Wolverine is pushed against the wall. Chief Magistrate Tam Anderson offers the defendants a choice : they can either go to trial and face death or sumit themselves to the country and be turned into mutates like Storm and Wolfsbane. Jean, speaking for the whole group, turns Anderson down. Without hesitation the judge decides that the X-teams are guilty and shall be turned over to Cameron Hodge.
The mutants are led into a round chamber where they are one-by-one chained to the wall. Above them looms Hodge like a giant spider and is eager to play with his many “toys“. He also presents them the still unconscious Forge, and because he refuses to wake up, Hodge has ripped off Forge‘s bionic hand and leg. As it is Cable’s turn to be locked into his place he starts a fight and Gambit quickly picks up his cue. Together they create a ruckus and Cable is able to wrist a gun from the guards. Cameron Hodge is slightly impressed, but he ends the fight without effort by simply threatening to kill Psylocke. Cable gives up and drops the gun, but Hodge fires some spikes at him anyway; Gambit jumps in the way to push Cable out of the shootline, and is hit by a spike just above his knee. The madman still wants to punish Cable for trying to escape and as punishment he damages both his techno-organic eye and arm. Psylocke is shocked by the brutality and cries that she can’t stand it anymore, she accepts the Magistrate’s offer and asks to be brought away to the genemod process. Hodge is not happy to let one of his playthings get away, but Magistrate Alex Summers steps in and claims Psylocke for the Genegineer. This is now the second time that Havok crossed with Cameron Hodge and the mechanical monster notes to himself that he’ll make Alex pay sooner or later.
After the Magistrates left with Betsy, Cameron Hodge announces a “show“. He has brought Archangel and Wolverine into another place called “the Box“. There the two mutants necks are connected by a leash so that they can’t get too far away from each other. Hodge knows of the hatred between the two men, and since Archangel’s transformation he had problems controlling his sharp wings; now with his powers blocked he has even less control and not before long a fight starts : claws and berserker rage against sharp wings throwing metal blades. Hodge enjoys the fight which is broadcasted onto video screens inside the prison chamber.
Rictor, Tabitha and Jubilee, the only still free mutants, are in some dark backalley of Hammer Bay. Jubilee uses her fireworks to explode the skintight mutate suit of Boom-Boom, who complains that it hurt, but they need to loose the easiy recognizeable clothes. Jubilee is about to give Ric the same treament as suddenly a car stops nearby. The trio observes the Genegineer and a mutate getting out, and Dr. Moreau orders his servant to dig a tunnel towards the citadel with his powers. He then calls Tam Anderson on his mobile phone and tells her that all goes according to plan. The trio is curios what he might be up to and follow in a safe distance, they even think about taking the Genergineer hostage.
Inside the citadel Psylocke is led through the hallways by three guards. One asks whom their prisoner is supposed to be, and as another one tells him that she’s Psylocke, he replies that she doesn’t match the file they have on the telepath. To proove him right Betsy suddenly starts a fight by using the ninja skills of her asian body. She manages to break her chains by holding them into the guards‘ firing line, and with her hands free she is able to beat all three of them. She then grabs a gun and crawls into a ventilation duct.
Hodge is soon bored of watching the fight between Warren and Logan and thinks of plotting revenge on somebody else. Modulating his voice into that of Genegineer David Moreau and feeding the video link with a false image, he calls Wipeout to meet him in the labs. He then takes the mutate slave Wolfsbane and hurries to the lab, where he instructs her to her part of his plan. Since the labs are empty Hodge uses the opportunity to download all of Moreau’s files and discovers that the Genegineer and Tam Andersopn are plotting behind his back, right as Wipeout comes to meet with the “Genegineer“. Of course he is surprised to find Hodge in this place and even more as the machanical monster points a plasma gun at him.
With Hodge gone, the mutants are able to speak freely in their round prison chamber. Cyclops reveals that Psylocke glanced at him before she volunteered to be taken away. However by now she should have made her move, and so he asks Gambit to carry out his plan, since he recognized that he took the shooting spike deliberatly. Gambit is amazed how much the X-Factor leader observed and starts to proove that he is an as skilled lockpick as Storm. He lifts his legs up to his mouth and pulls out the spike with his teeth only to let it fall down and catch it between his feet. Then he lifts his legs over his head to his chained-to-the-wall hands and picks the locks with the spike between his feet. Once free he easily can unlock the chains of all others. Cyclops announces that first priority now is to get Wolverine and Logan out of the fighting box, which is in another room.
At the same time Havok enters the Genegineer’s lab. Obviously he has been lured there by a second faked message of Cameron Hodge. Inside he discoveres Wipeout’s dead body with still fresh plasma energy marks. Before Alex can alert anyone, mutate 490 (Wolfsbane) opens the door and shouts that she saw Magistrate Summers murdering master Wipeout. Havok is soon arrested by his former colleagues and taken away.
Elsewhere Tam Anderson and other Magistrates are patroling the citadel accompanied by mutate 20 (Storm). The other officers ask Tam what they are searching for, but before she can answer Hodge appears around a corner and accuses Anderson of treason. A fight starts and soon Hodge has dealt with the most Magistrates. Suddenly unexpected help arrives as Psylocke opens the gate of a ventilation duct and fires with her machine gun on the many tentacles. Anderson lifts Storm up to Betsy and then follow into the air duct, claiming to have the key to the restoration of the mutants‘ powers. Psylocke is not sure to believe Tam, but the opportunity is valuable to waste.
In the meantime, Marvel Girl, Cyclops and the others have found the “Box“, where Warren and Logan are still fighting. Jean is able to get through to the combatants and can calm their tempers. The fight took out a lot of them and especially Wolverine is in bad shape. Suddenly Tam Anderson and the mutate Storm run into the chamber and Tam names Cylops as the mutate’s target. Before anybody can react, the mutate uses a hurricane wind to draw Cyclops near her and then touches his face to hit it with lightning. Naturally the others believe this to be an attack, but the lightning grows brighter and brighter till it’s impossible to see anything. As the effect ends Scott is lying on the ground unhurt and Storm is standing above him, back to her former self, in mind, spirit and (adult) body. The strange transformation is left unexplained as suddenly Psylocke enters the room, chased by Cameron Hodge. The mechanical monster asks which of them wants to die first, as Cyclops eyes start to tingle; then he fires an optic beam against Hodge. Obviously he too was changed by Storm’s lightning.

Characters Involved: 

Banshee, Forge, Gambit, Jubilee, Psylocke, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Boom-Boom, Cable, Cannonball, Rictor, Sunspot, Wolfsbane (all New Mutants)

Archangel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (all X-Factor)
Manoli Wetherell, newswoman

Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic (Fantastic Four)


Emmanuel DaCosta, father of Sunspot

Jennifer Walters, She-Hulk (Avengers)

Suzanne Gaffney, editor

Lucas hamilton, teacher
Tam Anderson, Havok (both Genoshan Magistrates)

Commander Cameron Hodge

Dr. David Moreau, Genegineer


Story Notes: 

X-Tinction Agenda - part 7 (of 9)

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