Uncanny X-Men Annual (1st series) #10

Issue Date: 
January 1987
Story Title: 

Chris Claremont (writer), Arthur Adams (penciler) Terry Austin (inker), Petra Scotese (colorist), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Ann Nocenti (editor), Jim Shooter (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

After an extreme version of tag in the Danger Room between the X-Men and the school’s current Headmaster, Magneto, everyone receives quite an unexpected surprise in the form of an unconscious stranger named Longshot, who is transported right into their midst via teleportation. His arrival consequently leaves anyone within the direct vicinity of the transfer warp covered in ectoplasm. Little do they all know that this latest surprise has been sent to them directly by none other than Mojo, who has more in store for the X-Men, as the school’s novice team, the New Mutants, soon discover when they awake the next morning to find everyone who came into contact with the ectoplasm (mainly the X-Men, Magneto, and the new arrival, Elizabeth Braddock) growing younger and younger at an incredible rate - with the mentalities and attitudes to match! With Longshot regaining consciousness and apparently being completely amnesiac, Betsy picks up an image of the creature responsible for this from Longshot’s memories and these younger X-Men decide to rush into battle, only to be held back by the New Mutants, who urge them to consider their actions. Meanwhile, back in the Danger Room, Doug and Warlock have figured out that Mojo is responsible and run to tell the others. In a moment of distraction, Magneto, one of the few X-Men still old enough to possess powers, takes out the entire team and these “X-Babies” move on to their intended destination, Central Park. There, they come across Mojo, who invites the team, which have now all grown so young that none of them have any powers, to come play with him. When the New Mutants awaken, they decide that they must attempt a rescue mission, but the stakes are too high for them to enter the field as children. With this, they find their graduation costumes and prepare themselves to go into battle as the new X-Men. Magik attempts to teleport the team to the X-Babies’ last known location, Central Park, but become sidetracked by Spiral in mid-jaunt, only to end up on a stage in the middle of a play now being run by Spiral and Mojo. Shockingly, the X-Men have now been indoctrinated as Mojo’s slaves and are quickly growing older, regaining their powers one by one. The New Mutants and the X-Men face off but the tide turns, as one by one the X-Men break the hold Mojo has on them. Together, the two teams manage to defeat Mojo, who escapes, and capture Spiral whom they barter her freedom in return for the service of her returning everything to normal, which she accepts to do. Mojo, back in his dimension, is quite pleased as this latest production (the events being broadcast back to Mojoworld via Betsy’s bionic eyes) is a huge success, and he promises something even better for next time.

Full Summary: 

The Danger Room, a highly sophisticated training facility located 30 meters below Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Currently, the room is being used by six X-Men, all being held at bay by a man standing atop a metal platform: Magneto. He is the school’s current headmaster and charge of its youngest students, the New Mutants. What’s being played out is a hardcore game of tag, and Magneto is it. All the X-Men have to do to win… is touch him.

As Magneto uses his powers to hold Wolverine mid-air, after he and Colossus had tried a fastball-special, Nightcrawler decides to use this opportunity to teleport from the floating cage he had been held in, and teleport Wolverine to safety. However, he discovers that Magneto has created a force barrier around the room preventing him from re-materializing anywhere inside. In essence, Magneto was trapping him along with Wolverine.

Meanwhile, a powerless Storm deftly avoids her own obstacles, in the form of lunging metal tubes, shooting out at her from the Danger Room’s walls and floor, as she reflects on Magneto’s skill in being able to cut their strength in half with a single move. Silently and unnoticed by most, she also gives a cue to the X-Men’s youngest member, Shadowcat, to make her move. Unfortunately, Kitty is not fast enough, as she phases her hand through the metal platform from which Magneto has just jumped to safety. However, she hopes Colossus and Rogue will have greater success as they both move in for the winning blow.

No such luck, as Magneto uses his mutant ability to raise a thick barrier of metal from the Danger Room’s floor to block them. Magneto tells the X-Men that their performance was most unsatisfactory, and to try again.

Meanwhile, looking on from the control booth are two of the school’s novice team, the New Mutants, plus a new arrival from England, Elizabeth Braddock. Roberto DaCosta, also present, derisively comments on how pathetic the X-Men’s performance was and how the New Mutants have done better on many occasions, then questioning by what right they are the X-Men while the New Mutants continue to remain the novice team. Doug Ramsey replies that they’re older but Roberto counters this with the fact that Shadowcat is not even fifteen. Doug replies that they’ve been there longer and Roberto feels this isn’t fair. All the while, Betsy wonders what really does make the difference between the two teams, and wonders where she would belong.

In an entirely different place all together, hundreds of strange creatures, most spineless, cheer and roar as they watch a huge screen displaying events as they unfold with the X-Men in the Danger Room. Mojo, Spiral and Major Domo look on as the crowd swallows up the live feed coming from the “gift” given to Betsy by Mojo back when she was his pet: eyes which also serve as cameras broadcasting everything that Betsy sees back to Mojoworld. Mojo has marketed her as his latest attraction and it is working perfectly as he cries out in glee as to how she is making him rich.

Spiral says there’s no accounting for taste, while Major Domo comments on how this is only beginning to balance the costs of the Wildways Debacle. Mojo continues his ranting, asking Major Domo what ever happened to his sense of aesthetic, hunger, wonder, glory - has he no soul? To which Spiral dryly states that they are all as Mojo has made them. Mojo wonders aloud as to who would have it any other way as he is an artiste and that for him there is no cost to making his plans come to fruition.

Major Domo, ever the “budgeteer,” reminds Mojo that this is easy to say, until he runs out. Mojo finds the concepts of poverty and ruin to be delightful and thinks he should perhaps give them a try one day. Spiral thinks to herself that it will one day be her ultimate pleasure to hand him his destruction. Finally, Mojo decides that, as wondrous as it is to have these X-Men on screen, it would be far better to have them performing live and in person. He pushes a button, smiling maniacally, to set his plan into motion.

Back in the Danger Room with the X-Men and, quite on cue, as Wolverine’s claws extend of their own volition and Colossus reverts back to his human form quite involuntarily, a blinding flash of energy plasma appears in the air. The systems in the control booth begin to flare up and sparks begin to fly as Roberto asks Doug what he’s playing at. Doug claims to have nothing to do with it and suddenly the ball of energy plasma explodes revealing an unconscious blond man. Kitty deduces that the sphere must have been some sort of matter transfer warp. Storm and Nightcrawler check for life signs, Betsy runs in with a first aid kit and everyone else simply wonders what the goop is that they are all covered in from the explosion as they try to pick it off of themselves.

Nightcrawler suggests to Betsy that she try a mind probe on the stranger but she finds his thoughts to be utter chaos, as he’s suffering from severe psychic shock. None of his thoughts make sense to her and she suggests to Storm that they move him to the infirmary for proper attention. At the same moment, she thinks to herself how beautiful he is. Nightcrawler comments on how he only has three fingers to which Wolverine sarcastically replies big deal, Nightcrawler only has two. Nightcrawler goes on to say that he doesn’t think this stranger is human.

From the control booth Cypher asks to have a sample of the goop that’s covering everything but, as Nightcrawler responds that this won’t be a problem, the goop mysteriously disappears, every last drop of it. Storm, carrying the strange man, orders that everyone go into the decontamination module at once. She thinks to herself how odd it is that this man is her size yet lighter than Kitty, and how she can carry him with ease. She asks that the Danger Room also be decontaminated, but Cypher tells her that the best he can do is seal the room until all the computers are repaired. Wolverine looks to Betsy and asks her if anything is bothering her. She says it may be nothing, but she feels as though the devil is dancing on her grave.

A new day dawns over Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Storm awakens in her attic, stretching and thinking to herself that she had better get out of bed. However, her thoughts are of a vernacular not common for her, a vernacular that sounds much too young and immature. As she puts on her robe she is shocked and thinks someone must be playing a joke on her, as her robe is now too big. She greets her plants with an enthusiastic “HIya, plants!” telling them that she wishes she still had her powers, as she would create a rain shower for them. This last thought however is interrupted by a loud yell.

In the room which is being shared by fellow mutants and best friends Illyana Nikolievna Rasputin and Kitty Pryde, Illyana is shouting for everyone, X-Men and New Mutants alike to get in there quick. In no time, an alarmed Danielle Moonstar is barging into the room, asking what the problem is, the rest of the New Mutants following right behind her. Illyana tells them to see for themselves and the New Mutants are shocked to see Kitty sitting up in her bed, crying and defensively cowering away from this ruckus. Lockheed growls as he positions himself on the bed between Kitty and the New Mutants in a menacing and protective position. Kitty tells them all to stop staring, that nothing is wrong and to leave her alone. However, something is very wrong, as Kitty is noticeably far too young. She looks almost 10 years younger, making her now a child.

Storm comes barging through the assembled New Mutants that are still huddled in the doorway, telling them to get out of the way and calling them babies. In short order the rest of the X-Men arrive and the New Mutants can’t believe they’re eyes as this same de-aging process seems to have affected the entire team. Older members like Storm and Magneto now appear to be the same age as some of the New Mutants, while younger members like Shadowcat and Rogue are scarcely more than children, with the attitudes to match!

A little later in the underground debriefing room, X-Men and New Mutants are gathered together in their respective teams. Everyone has now changed into costume. Cypher sits at a control station while Warlock, Shadowcat, Rogue and Storm all stand directly around him. The X-Men are complaining that they don’t understand what the problem is with the New Mutants and that all is as it should be. Cypher quips the heck they are and asks them all to view the holographic projection he’s generating. On it we see dual images of Shadowcat and Colossus. Side by side, everyone sees how one image is how they should be, while the other, much younger and shorter versions, is how they are! Cypher goes on to say that since the X-Men also don’t seem to notice anything has happened that the effect must be psychological as well and they have virtually no information as to how this happened, or how to reverse the process.

A much younger Elizabeth Braddock peaks in to the room announcing to everyone that their mystery guest is awake. Everyone rushes down to the infirmary. Gathered around the stranger as he sits up in bed, Kitty and Rogue fawn over how dreamy he is, while Storm directly asks if he has a name, to which the stranger asks what a name is. Cypher figures that all of this weirdness started when this stranger arrived but he and Sunspot were also present in the Danger Room at the time, so why weren’t they affected? Cypher asks Warlock to go check out the Danger Room with him.

Entering a dark Danger Room, the only light emanating from the open door, Cypher theorizes that all those who are affected by the de-aging process were those down on the floor, covered in ectoplasm. The ectoplasm must be the key so he asks Warlock to scan for any residue. In asking Warlock to do this, he notices that his friend has remained behind, apprehensively standing in the doorway. He asks Warlock what’s wrong and Warlock tells him that he perceives the energies still in the Danger Room as an immediate threat. Doug tells him that as long as they are together they are a match for anything, and asks Warlock to merge forms with him.

Before Doug can say why he wants to do this, Warlock retracts from his outstretched hand with a loud “NEGATIVE”! He follows this with a warning that continued repetition of the merging process will infect Doug with the transmode virus transforming him into a techno-organic entity like Warlock. Doug tells him that the X-Men need their help, that it’s his choice and his risk. Doug and Warlock merge.

Now seeing the world through Warlock’s eyes, which Doug enjoys and finds fascinating, he can now see residual energy patterns appear before him in the air. Warlock informs him that these energy patterns are residue of the technarch transmode virus, technology that is native to Warlock’s home world. Doug wonders if this means Magus, Warlock’s father is then the one responsible for this but Warlock says the probability of that is highly minimal, as the technology has been highly modified to meet a specific purpose.

Warlock then makes an analysis between these energy patterns and those previously perceived around the X-Men, and discovers a comparison between them which suggests this purpose. In an attempt to find the most appropriate translation to communicate this to Doug, Warlock comes up with one word: Bratpack. Upon hearing this, Doug, visibly alarmed and angered, wonders how he could have been so dense and tells Warlock they’ve got to warn the others.

Meanwhile, back in the infirmary, Betsy has just managed to psychically pick up the stranger’s name and she informs everyone that it is Longshot. Rogue thinks that’s a lovely name and introduces herself with a grin. Betsy goes on to tell everyone that, inside Longshot’s memories, she can perceive an image of the creature responsible for what’s happened to them, and where to find him. On this cue, Wolvie asks what the heck they’re waiting for then and urges to go nail the creep as the X-Men all rush towards the door. To their surprise they’re blocked by an irate group of New Mutants. Mirage tells them to slow down and that this may not be the best idea. Not exactly what these young X-Men want to hear. Just then Doug and Warlock come running around the corner shouting that they’ve figured out that what’s happening to the X-Men is a variation on what the New Mutants went through back when they were kidnapped – by Spiral and Mojo!

With the New Mutants distracted by Doug, Magneto uses the opportunity to magnetically shock all of them into unconsciousness, telling them they should never turn their backs on the Master of Magnetism! With that, the ever younger X-Men step over the New Mutants and head towards their car, commenting on how it serves the New Mutants right for trying to stop them, that they’re the X-Men and can take care of themselves. They then begin squabbling over who should drive and how to get there.

After a harrowing drive, these now official X-Babies find themselves stumbling out of the car in the middle of Central Park. Wolverine now being no taller than the car door, and Kitty having grown so young that she needs to be carried by a mini Colossus. Nightcrawler wonders where they should go and Betsy complains that it doesn’t matter, as now they’ve all grown so young they couldn’t do anything about it anyway, being too young to have powers. The kids are quickly stopped by police officers on horses, who question if their parents know that they are out so late, and driving a car no less! Magneto then reveals that they haven’t all lost their powers just yet as he magnetically forces an underground main to erupt shooting steam out at the officers, whose horses now rear up in panic and the X-Babies make a run for it.

Nearing the border of a small lake, the X-Babies see a glowing orb of energy in the sky. Longshot claims that this is their destination – “the magic place I came from!” Storm orders Magneto and Wolverine to take the lead, as Magneto still possesses his powers and Wolverine his claws, so they can deal with any trouble they may encounter. This simple request turns out to be far more trouble than it’s worth, as the X-Babies now erupt into a screaming slugfest with each other, feeling it isn’t fair and that all of them can help as well. This prompts Storm to abandon them in anger, saying she has better things to do than look after a bunch of selfish babies! The slugfest then turns quickly into everyone crying and begging Storm to come back, until little Longshot asks if they can’t just follow her.

Moments later, the X-Babies, minus Storm, are rattling the door to a building, trying to get in, but the doors are all locked. Magneto tells everyone to step aside, as the doors and locks are made of metal, so he will take care of it. However, much to his surprise, nothing happens. The X-Babies have grown even younger now and the last one to have powers has now lost them. Wolverine says his claws have nothing to do with any stupid powers and that he will get the door open but just then, the door is opened by someone already inside. It is Storm. She tells a shocked Wolverine that she had climbed in the back way and picked the lock.

Entering cautiously, the X-Babies arrive at their intended destination. They stand in awe before the same glowing orb of light and energy, commenting on how beautiful it is. Storm then looks up and asks, “Please Sir, may we come in and play?” Mojo’s face, ever with his trademark smile, emerges from the shadows as he replies of course to the little wind-rider, and that that’s precisely why he’s there – to play with them.

Back at the mansion, Lockheed proceeds to try to wake up Mirage in a most uncomfortable way. Finally, Mirage groggily opens her eyes to see Lockheed yanking on a strand of her hair. Trying to gain her balance, she stands up and hears banging on the front door. She asks Lockheed to wake the others as she goes to answer. Putting on an overcoat to cover her costume, Mirage opens the door to discover two police officers standing before her. She asks if anything is the matter and they let her know that the New York Police called because they had found a Rolls-Royce registered to the school abandoned in Central Park. They tell her that the report states it was being driven by a bunch of kids. Seeing that Mirage isn’t looking so well, they ask if she’s all right. Closing the door, she lies and tells them that she has an extremely contagious flu but that she will let the Professor know all of this and have him call New York as soon as he returns.

A short while later, the New Mutants are all gathered in the Headmaster’s Study, where Mirage is attempting to use Cerebro to locate the X-Men, unsuccessfully as it were. Sam Guthrie tells her that they’ve searched the mansion and the grounds and that there has been no sign of them. Cypher tells the others that by now the X-Men could all be babies and, since mutant powers generally manifest at puberty, they will all be powerless, explaining why Cerebro wouldn’t be able to find them and leaving them quite helpless to Mojo. The New Mutants are sure that whatever Mojo’s plan is, it will be nasty. The question is, as Magik asks, what are the New Mutants going to do about it?

Of course they decide that they must try a rescue attempt, but Mirage feels the stakes are too high for this mission to have them entering the field as little kids anymore and that, for today at least, it is time for the New Mutants to take the X-Men’s place. She opens a large chest containing the graduation costumes of all the New Mutants. In no time, Mirage, Cannonball, Cypher, Warlock, Magma, Sunspot, Magik, Karma and Wolfsbane stand before each other as the X-Men. Looking at each other their expressions range from cockiness, to apprehension, sadness and fear. Mirage says that it wasn’t supposed to be like this. It is all happening too fast and too soon. They aren’t ready. But, she concludes, she guesses no one ever really is, and that they will begin their search in Central Park. Magik’s mutant power to create teleportation disks flares up and these new X-Men sink into the floor towards their destination – or what they thought would be their destination.

In actuality they end up on the stage of the Delacorte Theatre, midway through the first act of the New York Shakespeare Festival’s summer production of A Comedy of Errors, being run on the Delacorte Theatre. Mirage, quite shocked, asks how they got there. Magik says that it isn’t her fault, as something grabbed them mid-jaunt. Mirage warns everyone to stay alert and act like they belong as they try to make their way off of the stage. As they move, the team passes the set pieces, oblivious to the fact than one is curiously labelled “the Body Shoppe.”

As they move off the stage, Mirage orders Wolfsbane to change into wolf form in order to try to pick up a scent once they’re off. Unfortunately, they never quite get there, as they are interrupted by Spiral saying that that won’t be necessary, as she stands high atop a platform above the Body Shoppe. Spiral informs them, as much as she can in her method of speaking in riddles, that it was she who scrambled Magik’s teleportation disk to bring them there and that now that the cast is completely assembled, the play can truly begin!

Turning around, the New Mutants see the X-Men! However they aren’t quite as they had been. They’ve grown slightly older and they now all dawn new costumes given to them by Mojo. They peer down at the New Mutants in a menacing fashion as Wolverine goes on about how he wants to slice’n’dice them. He’s tired of waiting and Wolverine wants to kill!

In the audience, various spectators question if this is really supposed to be part of the show. Among the crowd, the Bratpack are present. They recognize the New Mutants and figure that they should help in any way they can, as they are heroes too! One of them suggests that they should try to get everyone out while they can. Spiral, overhearing this tells this “false boy” that it is a “false hope.” Nobody leaves. Nobody moves. Until the curtain drops on their misbegotten lives! Spiral tosses pixie dust into the air, turning the Bratpack into frogs and keeping everyone hostage.

Back on stage, the New Mutants and the X-Men face off. Warlock informs everyone that, at the X-Men’s current age, they do not have powers and should be easy to subdue. Cypher says he should try telling the X-Men that, as Colossus clobbers him right in the stomach! Magneto tells them that they are getting older by the minute and Storm says that they are also growing wickeder as well, as she smiles fiendishly. Already the oldest, Storm, Magneto and Wolverine have regained their powers and soon they all will at which point the New Mutants will be finished. Magneto attacks Warlock whose techno-organic nature makes him especially susceptible to Magneto’s mutant powers and he’s quickly put out of action.

Psylocke takes out Mirage with a psycho-blast and Wolfsbane is being overwhelmed by Colossus, Nightcrawler and Shadowcat, who are all over her. She wonders how to stop them without hurting them. Magik moves to protect the actors on stage from Longshot, who is going after them wielding a knife. She realizes that she can’t teleport, guessing that this must be Spiral’s doing, and asks Karma to possess Longshot. Sunspot questions that, if the X-Men are this much trouble now, imagine how they’ll be once they’ve fully grown up! Magma responds to this by questioning whether this enchantment would become permanent once they grow up. The X-Men would be locked into these evil patterns forever!

Finally making his entrance high atop a tower, Mojo asks if that would be so bad. The audience, under some kind of spell, cheer for Mojo. Spiral looks on and thinks to herself how they cheer for him, the way they used to cheer her. She was once the center of attraction, until lucky Longshot stole it from her. She peers down at Longshot, who is still facing off against Magik and memories of how she used to love him begin to emerge. Stifling them, she leaps down towards him and thinks that she must hold onto hate with all her twisted broken heart for therein lies her glory. With this she pummels Longshot with a devastating kick to the head.

Mojo snaps. “Naughty Dancer!” He teleports Spiral from the floor below straight into his clutches, as he holds her above the crowd by her throat. He reminds her in his own cruel way that she is only as free as he allows her to be and he tells her to not forget who raised her up can just as easily tear her down as he hurls her into the ground far below.

Upon seeing this, the audience are slightly put off and one person comments on how this isn’t fun anymore. Mojo, infuriated at hearing this orders the X-Men to bring him the hearts of every audience member there as a lesson for turning their hearts against him. Cannonball can’t believe he is serious and, even worse, the X-Men, in their current entranced state, will do it! Cannonball blasts off from the ground, heading towards Mojo and figuring that, since he seems to be in charge, if he can take him out, then maybe the tide will turn in their favor.

A good thought, however Cannonball never even reaches Mojo, as Longshot jumps onto his back, sending Cannonball’s trajectory way off as he tries to buck Longshot off, with a tremendous lack of success. Magma feels that maybe she can succeed where Sam failed by raising a volcano! Fire and lava erupt spectacularly towards Mojo, but all for nothing when Mojo has Storm to create a monsoon to protect him.

Elsewhere on stage, Colossus topples a pillar, sending it crashing towards Sunspot, who is already powered up and catches it, then pummelling it right into Colossus. As Roberto brushes off his hands, feeling pretty proud of himself, he is caught unaware from behind by Rogue, who plants a kiss right on him, adding his powers to her own and knocking him out. He is saved by Mirage, who scores a hit with a high kick to Rogue’s face. At first, Rogue’s reaction is to threaten Mirage but then, as Roberto’s memories flood her mind, she is confused by images of herself that differ greatly from the way she is now. She begins to panic wondering which is the real her.

As the battle continues, Nightcrawler takes Wolfsbane for a ride teleporting her numerous times around the stage. Sunspot groggily faces off against Colossus and Magik attacks Wolverine with her soulsword, actually managing to stagger him. Since the soulsword should only affect magic, she figures that whatever Mojo did to the X-Men it must be a form of sorcery. She wonders then, what effect her blade will have on Mojo himself. However, as she teleports over to him (apparently this power having returned to her now), he catches her by the wrists in mid air, preventing her from striking.

Karma, seeing all of this, thinks that time is on Mojo’s side. The longer this battle takes the stronger his hold over the X-Men becomes. She decides to make an attempt at possessing Wolverine in the hopes of breaking Mojo’s control. However, he resists and turns his attention towards her. Walking towards Karma, who is backed into a corner, Wolverine tells her he can’t be stopped and threatens her with his claws extended. Karma urges Wolverine to see himself as he truly is and to see her not as his enemy but as his friend.

In the last instant Wolverine breaks Mojo’s control over him ripping off the Mojo-like mask he had been wearing. However, he is too late to stop himself from striking at Karma anyway, only he slashes at the walls behind her leaving them torn and shredded, and Karma without a scratch. Having regained his sense of self, Wolverine rushes into the fray, helping Sunspot with Colossus by knocking him down.

Elsewhere, Cypher locates Warlock and tries to think of a way to jumpstart him when he is attacked by Psylocke. He wonders how he can fight her when she’ll know his every thought but then realizes that this is the key, to open his mind to her completely. In Cypher’s thoughts, Psylocke can only see that he cares for her, which confuses her until she realizes that she cares for him as well, breaking Mojo’s hold over her. Just in time, for Wolverine had just lunged to attack her, but is able to only push her to the ground instead.

Kitty, seeing Illyana in trouble, phases through the crowd and begins to run on air up to her best friend. Her thoughts of wanting to help conflicting with her restrictions in only being able to shout threats. As Mojo contemplates how to best torture Illyana, Kitty phases right through him, rescuing her. This action has unforeseen consequences, though, as Kitty’s phasing ability disrupts the bio-technological mechasystems of Mojo’s chair, causing him great pain, and the X-Men even greater pain.

Storm, hovering in the air surrounded by dark clouds and lightning holds her head in frustration and pain. Hers is the strongest will and therefore the one that Mojo took the most time and care in twisting to his shaping. But now she struggles with thoughts of how it is good to be a goddess and to be worshipped, but how this is the violation of her heart’s true desire. Breaking Mojo’s hold on her, Storm attacks Mojo viciously with lightning. Having little effect, Mojo threatens that what he gave to Storm, her powers to once again control the weather, he can just as easily take away.

In response, Storm strengthens her attack and giant lightning bolts strike on all sides of Mojo’s tower. Inspired by this, Rogue tries to do her part, flying over to Mojo and attempting to absorb him. To her dismay however, she absorbs more of him than of anyone she’s ever touched but finds there is no end to this foul abomination. She only harms herself as the absorption forces her body to mutate grotesquely and almost decompose. Psylocke attempts a psycho-blast as Rogue free falls to the ground below.

Magneto fallows suit saying that none of them on their own are a match for Mojo but perhaps as a team they can succeed. Shadowcat crippled Mojo’s chair and Storm and Rogue both added to the damage. Magneto then magnetically pulls Mojo down from off his tower straight into the path of Colossus, who slams him with a fierce punch. Nightcrawler then teleports over to Spiral, stealing her sword and teleports back over to Mojo, materializing right above him, sword raised, ready to strike. But Mojo, in a blinding flash, teleports away to safety in the last instant.

The X-Men and New Mutants find themselves with a half victory. Although they are now free of Mojo’s mind control he has escaped and reality is not as it should be. As they wonder what can be done Storm tells them that they still have an unconscious Spiral, and that she possesses considerable power. She is sure they can “persuade” her to set things right.

Psylocke, on Storm’s command, uses her telepathic powers to wake Spiral, who now finds herself in somewhat of a bind. Her six arms are pinned up from behind by Colossus, whose little sister, Illyana, holds her soulsword to Spiral’s throat and Wolverine has his fists strategically positioned on Spiral to puncture her heart, should he pop his claws. They tell her to co-operate – or else. Storm orders her to set everything back exactly as it was before this whole event started and they will let her live. Agreeing, Spiral weaves a magical dance and, with it, everything goes back to normal.

The next day back at Xavier’s School, the New Mutants put their graduation costumes back into the chest they came from. Doug wonders if this is taking a step backwards but Danielle tells him to be patient and that their proper time will come. Sam notices Roberto sitting in a corner pouting and figures he would be strutting around after that victory. Roberto asks what victory, as once again the X-Men saved the day. Danielle asks what would have happened if the New Mutants hadn’t been around. Mojo would have won. She goes on to say that the New Mutants may not be ready to take the X-Men’s place, or join them, but that, last night, they made a difference and that is something to be proud of.

Meanwhile, outside, the X-Men try to relax by the pool. Longshot stares at the water and wonders why the floor is moving. Nightcrawler tells him that’s because it is water and asks if he’d like a closer look, booting Longshot into the pool. Ororo watches over the frivolities on a ridge above joined by Logan and Betsy. Betsy asks Storm if everything really is back to the way it was. Storm confirms that it is and that she has lost her powers once more, which is for the best as they were a gift from Mojo so nothing good could come from them.

Betsy thinks to herself that her bionic eyes were a gift from Mojo and she should tell the X-Men about them but is scared that they will then ask her to leave. She tells Ororo that she still doesn’t understand how they won. In a sense, they had been indoctrinated their whole lives to be Mojo’s slaves after having been reduced to infancy and regrown, and yet they rebelled. Ororo and Logan explain to Betsy that it has to do with who they are and why they are X-Men. To be an X-Man is not only about possessing super powers but to possess a strength of will and self-identity that nothing can subvert or corrupt. It is why the original team was chosen and why Storm and Wolverine and the others were chosen to replace them. She goes on to say that it may also be why Elizabeth may belong with the X-Men while some of the New Mutants, despite their courage, may not. For better or worse, being an X-Man does not mean only being born a mutant, but a hero as well.

As Ororo speaks these last words, these events unfold as well on a screen, fading to a Hitchcock-esque image of Mojo with the words “The End” and that this has been an MGM (Mojo Giant Movies….of death) Production. A crowd cheers and roars asking for more. Mojo watches over this scene in glee, as he is told by Major-Domo that this will most likely be his highest success to date, which means, he supposes, that Mojo will want to do it again next year.

Mojo shouts NEVER and goes on to once again question why Major Domo seems to have no artistic soul before remembering once again that he did not design him with one. He goes on to tell Domo that the X-Men are heroes! But what good are they without someone truly nasty to test them? That is where he comes in. He gives their lives purpose and that is why he is the life-bringer! But an artiste never repeats himself, so Mojo decides that he will leave Longshot with the X-Men, saying that Longshot will win their hearts and then Mojo can break them! Plus, as an added bonus it will infuriate Spiral, which will teach her a lesson.

Domo warns that he may get more than he bargained for with Spiral but Mojo says the more the better and that he never bargains! Turning to his adoring crowd, he tells Major Domo to see how they love and adore him, and he makes them pay for it! Now with a severed pig’s head in his hands, he animates it as he would a puppet doing an impression of Porky Pig with the classic “Bedee-Bedee-Bedee, That’s all Folks!” and sneeringly concludes, “but I’ll be back!”

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Magneto, Nightcrawler, Rogue, Shadowcat, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)



Cannonball, Cypher, Karma, Magik, Magma, Mirage, Sunspot, Warlock, Wolfsbane (all New Mutants)



Major Domo


Citizens of Mojoworld

Central Park police

New York police

Darla, Butch, Alfy “Alfalfa” (all Bratpack)

Unnamed Bratpack

Unnamed theatre attendees




Queen Greensong

Uncle Puddlegump

Central Park frogs

Story Notes: 

This story occurs between Uncanny X-Men #210 and issue #211.

Magneto was asked by Charles Xavier to become headmaster of his school in Uncanny X-Men issue #200, where Magneto was brought to trial for his crimes. Charles, suffering from a heart attack, was taken back into space by his lover, Lilandra, and the Starjammers, where they believed they could help him.

Elizabeth Braddock was blinded during a battle with Slaymaster in Captain Britain (2nd series) #13. She was first brought to the mansion by the New Mutants who saved her from the clutches of Mojo in their own adventure with him in New Mutants Annual #2, referred to by Major Domo in this issue as the “Wildways Debacle.”

Queen Greensong and Uncle Puddlegump are ordinary frogs that live in Central Park, but were met and aided by Thor, during a time when Loki had transformed him into a frog. [Thor (1st series) #364-365]

The ‘Bratpack’ are a group of kids who befriended Longshot in his own limited series (Longshot #4-5). They subsequently appeared New Mutants Annual #2, before this annual. They became reoccurring characters in Daredevil (1st series) for a brief time.

This annual marks the first appearance of the concept of the “X-Babies.” While this version are the actual X-Men, de-aged, the following versions are constructs by Mojo, trying to recreate the concept under his control. The next version appears in X-Men Annual #12 and Excalibur: Mojo Mayhem. Another version appeared in X-Men (2nd series) #46-47 and yet another in Pint-Sized X-Babies #1.

In many ways, the New Mutants’ new costumes are reminiscent of the “graduation” costumes the original X-Men received in X-Men (1st series) #39. The New Mutants return to their school uniforms after this adventure, but create new “graduation” costumes for themselves in New Mutants (1st series) #61.

The Delacorte Theatre is a real, open-air theatre located in Manhattan’s Central Park. It is known for its Shakespeare productions.

The cover to the annual is, of course, one of many homages to the cover of Giant-Sized X-Men #1.

Issue Information: 
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