Uncanny X-Men Annual (1st series) #12

Issue Date: 
October 1988
Story Title: 
The Evolutionary War: Resurrection (1st story)

Chris Claremont (writer), Arthur Adams (penciler), Bob Wiacek (inker), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (chief)

Brief Description: 

Storm suddenly flies away one night, leaving her teammates behind in the Australian Outback. They discover she is heading for the Savage Land, and depart their hideout in order to meet her there. Gateway transports the X-Men to the Savage Land, but when they arrive they find it in ruins. Meanwhile, the High Evolutionary wanders through the land's wasted remains as well and is attacked by a large robot named Terminus. The X-Men intervene and save the High Evolutionary's life, but have trouble damaging Terminus. Rogue and Storm arrive and get the team to safety while burying Terminus under an avalanche. Reunited, the team asks the High Evolutionary about the Savage Land. He explains he has means to restore it, and invites Havok to visit his lab. Longshot wanders off by himself and falls into trans-dimensional portal. While Storm, Psylocke and Rogue examine the buried Terminus, Wolverine, Dazzler and Colossus try to find Longshot. Dazzler freaks out when Wolverine falls into the same portal, but Storm senses her panic and arrives, explaining that the portal leads to a friendly realm. Just then, a large flying dog emerges from the portal bearing battleship on its back. Its name is C'Jime, and it carries on its back Storm's friend M'Rin, Longshot, Wolverine, and all the survivors of the Savage Land. At that same moment, Terminus wakes up and tries to kill Psylocke and Rogue. The X-Men counterattack with C'Jime and the Savage Landers and eventually defeat Terminus. They discover that the supposedly dead Garokk is the robot's operator. Garokk snaps out of a trance and sees what has happened to the Savage Land. Distraught, he turns to the High Evolutionary for answers, who explains that he can restore the Savage Land with Garokk's help. The High Evolutionary uses Garokk as a catalyst to resurrect the Savage Land, a procedure which disperses Garokk's spirit throughout the land. The X-Men commend his noble sacrifice and return home after saying goodbye to their friends.

Full Summary: 

Something overcomes Storm one night, and she hastily departs from the X-Men's hideout in the Australian Outback. Nobody witnesses her fly away, except Gateway, who observes silently from his plateau in the desert.

The gusty wind in Storm's wake creates enough of a ruckus that Longshot, wearing nothing but his underwear, comes out onto his balcony to investigate. Storm's powerful tailwinds sweep him up into the air, a relatively easy feat, considering his hollow bone structure.
Dazzler comes outside just in time to see her boy-toy being pulled up into the sky. Thinking quickly, and citing Newton's Third Law of Motion in the meantime, she propels herself into the sky after him by firing a solid photon beam towards the ground.
Her gambit works, and she reaches Longshot before he plummets to his doom. However, she hasn't really thought the whole thing out, and has to use her photon beams to slow their descent. They come crashing to the ground, but avoid injury, possibly due to Longshot's incredible luck. Dazzler takes advantage of the fact that she is cradling the nearly naked Longshot in her arms, and shamelessly flirts with him.

Overhead, Rogue takes to the skies in pursuit of Storm. She notices the thunderstorm forming around the object of her pursuit, and thinks to herself that if the weather is any indication, Storm must be very upset about something. She reaches out to Psylocke mentally and requests to be psi-linked.

Psylocke hears her request and establishes the link, noting that Storm ignores all of her attempts at communication. She informs Rogue that the only thoughts she can pick up from Storm's mind are "tremendous rage and an overwhelming sense of urgency".
The rest of the X-Men rendezvous with Psylocke in their hideout's computer room. Madelyne Pryor, the team's current computer expert, can barely believe how fast Storm is flying. Wolverine tells her that Storm must have generated her own high-altitude jet-stream in order to achieve such speeds. Using an advanced computer program, Madelyne deduces that Storm's trajectory will take her to the middle of Antarctica. Psylocke informs Rogue of Storm's intended destination; she may not be able to catch up with her in flight, but she can hopefully provide backup if Storm ends up needing it.

Dazzler, being relatively new to the team, asks how they can possibly know where Storm is going, since all they know is that she's heading for Antarctica. "Only one place on that heading makes any sense, darlin'," Wolverine says, before telling Dazzler about the Savage Land.

Colossus, Havok, Psylocke, Wolverine, Longshot and Dazzler prepare themselves for the inevitable trip to the Antarctic. Once they're ready, they head up to the cliffs to meet with Gateway, his transportation power being their current method of travel.

"To be honest, I think I liked it better when the X-Men flew a plane from place to place," Havok comments as they approach the meditative Gateway.

"We all possess extraordinary powers, Havok. Why should Gateway's bother you any more than, say, mine?" Psylocke asks.

"The problem is, Psylocke, it bothers me just as much," Havok retorts. Gateway then spins his bull-roarer and creates a portal to the Savage Land. The X-Men enter and the portal closes.

While they emerge at the coordinates of the Savage Land, none of them recognize the drastically altered landscape. Instead of lush, green jungles, all they see is a desolate wasteland. Colossus suggests that maybe Gateway transported them to the wrong place, but Wolverine recognizes the mountains as those of the Savage Land. Dazzler comments that she feels like she is standing in a giant graveyard.

Wolverine tells her that she's probably right. He leans down and examines the ground, noting that it's been scoured down to the bare rock. He picks up a bone and hands it to Longshot, asking him to use his psychometric powers to learn its history. Psylocke establishes a psi-link between Longshot and the team, and forms a buffer to prevent Longshot from being scarred by the horrible images he will probably see in the bone.

As expected, Longshot witnesses nothing short of atrocity in the bone's history. He sees a day in the life of a villager. The day begins with the normal routine of hunting, but a raging stampede of dinosaurs pours out of the jungle. Then, a giant robot appears over the village and eradicates everybody with a flash of fire.

Longshot snaps out of his psi-link with the bone and collapses into Dazzler's outstretched arms. The image was perfectly clear: the Savage Land and all its residents were eradicated. Psylocke notices that Colossus takes this news especially hard.

"Among the fall people was a girl!" she begins.

"!who was special to him. I know. I was there," Wolverine says, finishing Psylocke's sentence. The girl he to whom he refers is Nereel, the Savage Land inhabitant who seduced Colossus years ago. She was Peter's first.

Judging by the terrain, Wolverine decides that this atrocity must have occurred months earlier, and therefore isn't what caused Storm's sudden departure. He then asks Psylocke to scan the area for other signs of life. Havok scoffs at this order, stating that no one could have survived the massacre they witnessed. Wolverine tells him that Longshot's vision indicated some plans for escape, meaning that there must have been a way to survive. "Human being's a surprising animal, Havok. For so essentially fragile a critter, it's got a real knack for pullin' through the tightest spots," Wolverine says.

Psylocke follows his suggestion, and picks up two life forms with her psi-scan. She tells the team that only one of the life forms is human, and even that one seems to be beyond human in some way. Just then, the ground begins to shake violently. The X-Men realize that have discovered the force that drew them to the Savage Land.

Meanwhile, not very far away, the High Evolutionary examines the Savage Land's barren landscape for signs of life. To his utter surprise, he happens upon a small snow plant. The mere fact that this plant exists indicates that there is hope for the Savage Land after all. As he leans down to inspect his discovery, two gargantuan metal hands rise up from the ground and capture him.

The hands belong to Terminus, a giant, dome-headed robot. He holds the High Evolutionary in one of his hands and calls him a fool. Suddenly, Terminus is hit by a beam of solid light. The source of the beam is Dazzler, of course, who leads the X-Men's attack. Terminus fires back, but Dazzler hides behind the armored Colossus.
Since Dazzler's beam isn't effective, Havok tries using his plasma blast. It doesn't have an effect either. Psylocke tries attacking psychically, but has her attack reflected back on her. Longshot steps in and throws his grappling hook. It grips on to Terminus' staff. Terminus hoists him into the air, scoffing at his pitiful attack. As Terminus pulls him into the sky, Longshot grabs onto the unsuspecting Wolverine and the two sail up into the air. Longshot releases Wolverine, sending him flying towards Terminus's armored body. Wolverine's adamantium claws do some major damage, but Terminus's self-repair mechanisms immediately repair it immediately. Longshot, meanwhile, tosses a few throwing knives at Terminus's helmet. They bounce off, seemingly doing no damage.

Terminus is more annoyed by these attacks than anything. He tells the X-Men he has had enough, and is about to kill them when Rogue appears on the scene. She grabs Longshot, Wolverine and the High Evolutionary and flies them to safety. Storm shows up, and blasts Terminus with an incredibly powerful gust of wind. "Your presence your very existence is an obscenity to Mother Earth, a violation which shall not go unpunished!" she says, knocking him into a nearby cliffside. The cliff collapses and buries Terminus under a pile of rubble.

The X-Men take advantage of this respite and regroup. The High Evolutionary formally introduces himself. Some of the X-Men recognize his name, pointing out that he is rumored to be dead. The High Evolutionary, stating the obvious, declares that he is indeed alive, but Wolverine doesn't buy his story. "Body can claim to be anyone from behind a mask," Wolverine says while puffing on a cigar.
The High Evolutionary deflects this distrust by pointing out that he came to the Savage Land to restore it to its former glory. Havok can't believe such a thing is possible, so the High Evolutionary extends an invitation to him to come visit his nearby laboratory. Storm agrees to let Havok go with the High Evolutionary, mainly because she'd like to have someone watching his actions.

Longshot can't stand being around the High Evolutionary's deception any longer, and wanders off on his own. Unfortunately he wanders right into a slippery patch of land and slides right into an invisible tear in the space-time fabric. No one sees him disappear.

Elsewhere, the High Evolutionary escorts Havok back to laboratory on a flycycle. Havok commends the High Evolutionary's vehicle, which leads to the High Evolutionary spilling his whole life story. He explains that in his early days, he was obsessed with vehicle mechanics. He constantly tinkered with machines to improve their performance, but eventually realized that the best performance enhancement would be to simply improve his own body. "How little I understood the consequences of such ambition," the High Evolutionary says. "You see, with my mechanical experiments, mine was the only life at risk. Playing with life affects innocent lives. And too often, destroys them."

The High Evolutionary's guilt reminds Havok of Professor X, noting that the two men are in many ways very similar. The High Evolutionary continues his soliloquy as they walk through his massive citadel. "Easy to tell yourself, the end justifies the means. Impossible to believe, though, when you look into the eyes of those who suffer as a result. Better to think instead of those who will benefit."

"But no such conflict exists in this case, sir," a confused Havok interjects. "Does it?"

Their conversation is interrupted by the sudden presence of the High Evolutionary's assistant. He introduces her to Havok, using the name Zala instead of her full name, Zaladane. Havok wonders if he's met this woman before, but tells himself he would surely remember having met such a striking woman.

As Havok enjoys a glass of wine with his host, the High Evolutionary explains to him that he has built the proper machinery for restoring the Savage Land. All he needs now to kick his machinery into gear is a specific catalyst. He needs a living person whose spirit is in sync with that of the land itself. Havok mentions that he is aware of one such man, but as far as he know, this man is dead. The High Evolutionary responds by making a confusing comment about death happening to everyone more often than they suspect.

Meanwhile, back in the plains of the ravaged Savage Land, Dazzler finally notices that Longshot has vanished. She freaks out, but Rogue assures her that Longshot probably just wandered off on his own. "He does that, y'know."

Psylocke adds to Dazzler's concerns by pointing out that she can't find any traces of Longshot's thought pattern. They decide Longshot has definitely gone missing, and Wolverine starts following his trail. He and Dazzler head off in one direction, while Psylocke, Storm and Rogue check on Terminus. Rogue doesn't think a check-up is necessary, but Storm tells her that Terminus has survived harsher attacks than being buried by a few rocks. She instructs Psylocke to conduct a mind-probe and search for signs of life and potential weaknesses. While she does this, Rogue mentions a rumor she recently heard. According to the rumor, Hercules and the Avengers killed Terminus a while back. "There can't be two of them," she tells herself, sounding a bit unconvinced.

Hot on Longshot's trail, Wolverine and Dazzler approach his vanishing point. Dazzler asks Wolverine how he can follow the trail while smoking his disgusting cigars. "Practice," he responds. He takes another step and disappears into the same portal Longshot found earlier. Dazzler shrieks.

At this very moment, Storm notices her Cameo Crystal acting up. She pulls it out of her pouch and notices that it glows. She didn't think this possible because of the demise of the Savage Land and its occupants. Suddenly she has an epiphany and flies away, ordering Rogue to stay with Psylocke.

Psylocke gets in her meditative position and tells Rogue that the psi-probe may take a while, due to Terminus' heavy mental shields. Rogue understands, but can't help feeling nervous standing around in Terminus' shadow.

Storm meets up with Dazzler, who is still in shock after seeing Wolverine vanish into thin air. Storm somehow understands exactly what is happening, and lifts the Cameo Crystal high over her head. It begins shining brightly, and suddenly a large portal opens in front of them. Storm calls it a junction, explaining that the walls between dimensions are thin in this particular spot, allowing inter-dimensional travel.

The first thing the X-Men see when the portal opens is the snarling face of a gigantic wolf. Colossus freaks out, but Storm assures him that this creature is a friend of hers. "Are you well?" she asks, addressing the creature with familiarity. His name is C'Jime, and he replies that he is relieved to see his friend the Windrider. Storm explains to Dazzler and Colossus that C'Jime is a warhound, pointing out the warship he bears on his back.

A tall, regal-looking woman steps down from C'Jime's ship and addresses Ororo, calling her the 'daughter of her heart'. Behind the woman sit Wolverine, Longshot and all of the surviving Savage Land occupants. Colossus is elated that they weren't slain after all.

"Peter, hey Peter, guess what?" Longshot shouts, trying to get Colossus's attention.

A Savage Land woman quickly shuts him up. "Longshot, shush! Please, my friend, quiet. You promised."

Storm welcomes the regal woman, M'Rin, to her world. As they embrace, Longshot makes a "shhh" motion to a young boy. "You heard your mom. No talking, no telling, our lips are sealed, we don't breathe a word, not even under torture," he tells the child. Colossus misses this interaction, however, because of his reunion with Nereel, the boy's mother. He greets his first love with open arms and a heart-warming smile.

Meanwhile, back at the pile of rubble over Terminus, a bored Rogue sits idly by while Psylocke conducts her psi-probe. Things get exciting very quickly when Terminus suddenly wakes up. Rogue tries to escape with Psylocke, but Terminus swats them like flies and sends them soaring across the Savage Land. They fall into a snowy field, miles away.
Storm and the rest of the X-Men notice Terminus's revival and spring into action. Storm blasts him with a bolt of electricity, knocking him back. The rest of the team boards C'Jime's ship as he moves in to attack. The onslaught of weaponry onboard does a decent job of catching Terminus off guard. He can barely maintain his balance under the barrage, but manages to fire off a counter-attack. His bolt almost hits C'Jime, startling all those on-board. M'Rin expresses doubt about their chances at success.

Storm receives an incoming signal from Psylocke, who apparently has concocted a plan. She links all of the X-Men together and fills them in. Storm grabs Wolverine and flies up to meet Havok and the High Evolutionary, who have arrived in the High Evolutionary's flycycle. Meanwhile, Rogue seeks out Longshot, who battles Terminus from atop the warhound. She asks to borrow his luck ability for a while. At first he is unwilling, but Rogue assures him that Storm has a plan.

"You're my teammate, Rogue, and my friend!how can I say no'?" he says. Rogue embraces him and the two share a passionate kiss, much to Dazzler's chagrin.

"Rogue, you stole his power!" she yells. Rogue responds that she had to do so, and Longshot consented. Dazzler seems more concerned that Rogue now knows all of Longshot's feelings, including how he truly feels about Dazzler herself. Rogue couldn't care less, and takes flight, her left eye glowing just like Longshot's. She charges straight toward Terminus' helmet. The combination of Longshot's luck, her super-strength, and the hairline fractures Longshot's throwing knives created earlier causes the dome-shaped helmet to completely shatter, revealing the true villain. Terminus' operator turns out to be none other than the Savage Land's very own Garokk!

This revelation startles Storm, who knows that Garokk loves the Savage Land. When Garokk speaks, it becomes clear that some other entity influences his actions. Rogue decides the best way to end the situation is to absorb Garokk's life force, so she grabs onto his leg. She intends so absorb him completely, not anticipating the depths of energy within him.

Luckily, Rogue's attack distracts Garokk enough that the other X-Men have a chance to attack. Wolverine slashes at the robot, Havok destroys its repair systems, and Dazzler blasts it from behind with a high-powered photon beam. The force of these attacks knocks Garokk out of his seat, and he falls towards the ground. A repentant Storm swoops in to save him from his fall. "Once, O man, I failed to save you," she says to Garokk, referring to their first encounter in the Savage Land. "I thank the Fates I have been given another chance, and not been found wanting. I pray you do the same."

Colossus braces Rogue's fall as Terminus, deprived of Garokk's limitless energy supply, collapses. Garokk eventually regains control of his spirit after Rogue's drainage wears off. He remembers nothing of what happened since his last encounter with the X-Men. He is completely shocked by what has happened to the Savage Land, and hesitantly asks if he was responsible. Much to Garokk's relief, the High Evolutionary informs him that another being who wore Terminus' suit destroyed the Savage Land. The High Evolutionary adds that the real Terminus must still be out there somewhere, and the X-Men must be ready for him when the time comes.

Aboard the warship, Colossus enjoys the company of Nereel and her son. The boy playfully perches atop Colossus' massive shoulders while Colossus converses with Nereel. Nereel drops several hints that Peter is indeed the child's father, but he remains oblivious. He doesn't even catch on when he learns that Nereel's son is also named Peter. Instead, Colossus is more focused on how much older Nereel looks. She explains how right before Terminus destroyed the Savage Land, M'Rin appeared and led the occupants through a portal to her home world. She offered them refuge in her realm, where time moved at an accelerated rate. In only a few months of Earth time, years passed in this realm. Nereel adds that she was greatly appreciative of M'Rin's hospitality, but severely misses her home on the Savage Land.

Nearby, the High Evolutionary overhears Nereel's lament and announces that he has devised a means of restoring the land. He couldn't perform the procedure without a catalyst, but Garokk's arrival has solved that problem. So, after making the necessary repairs to his equipment, the High Evolutionary begins the Savage Land's resurrection. He explains to Garokk that after the procedure, Garokk will no longer exist as an individual. "Your essence, and power, will be transfigured into the land itself!" he explains.

Garokk is more than willing to proceed. "I have 'died' more often than I care to count," Garokk responds. "One more does not matter, especially if my sacrifice will restore this land I cherish. What better end, I ask you—for man or God?"

Wolverine comments to Longshot on Garokk's admirable sacrifice. Longshot notices that Wolverine still acts on edge, and asks him what is wrong. Wolverine says that he still doesn't trust the High Evolutionary, and the room reeks of danger.

At that moment, one of Zaladane's minions notices Wolverine's suspicion and alerts his master. Zaladane doesn't seem to care. She explains to her fellow mutates that they will not harm the X-Men because they serve the High Evolutionary, and he wishes for the X-Men to leave in peace. However, she adds that the resurrection of the Savage Land is the first step to a new world order, in which she and her mutates will rule. "I look forward to it almost as much as I do the sight of Storm's head adorning a pike beside me throne!" Zaladane says.

The High Evolutionary hears Zaladane ranting as he conducts his procedure. He comments to himself that he in no way shares Zaladane's ambitions of world domination, and even regrets the fact that he has to use someone like her as a tool for his plans. However, he serves the greater good, and to him, using someone like Zaladane is justified.

The procedure successfully restores the Savage Land to its former, beautiful glory. Storm says goodbye to M'Rin and tells her that one day she intends to join her in her realm. Psylocke asks if Storm truly means this, and Storm confirms that she does. "But I am bound, like Nereel, like M'Rin herself, by prior responsibilities," she says, commenting on the burden she carries. Psylocke then informs her that the High Evolutionary has left, and that she has personally removed the memory of the X-Men's presence from the minds of the Savage Landers. They will remember that someone helped them, but will not be able to recall who. The X-Men depart, leaving nothing behind except a monument that bears an eight-point star.

Months later, Ka-Zar returns home to the Savage Land with his wife Shanna and their small son. He is surprised to find that Nereel is now the leader of the tribe. Shanna then asks about the monument, and the star symbol it displays. Nereel explains that is "a tribute to those who aided us in the hour of our greatest need, and helped restore the Savage Land."

"But who were they?" Ka-Zar asks.


Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Dazzler, Havok, Longshot, Psylocke, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)
Madelyne Pryor

The High Evolutionary

Various Mutates

Peter (Nereel's son)
C'Jime (warhound)


Story Notes: 

This story takes place between Uncanny X-Men #234 and 235.

Colossus, Storm and Wolverine all visited the Savage Land in Uncanny X-Men #114-116. While there, the team had their first encounters with Zaladane and Garokk.

Storm failed to save Garokk from a lethal fall in Uncanny X-Men #116. The X-Men encountered Garokk again in Magneto's abandoned volcano lair beneath the Antarctic in Uncanny X-Men #149, where he once again fell to his supposed death.

The Savage Land storyline from Uncanny X-Men #114-116 was later expanded upon in the series Classic X-Men. In Classic X-Men #21, Colossus makes love to Nereel off-panel. Classix X-Men #22 contains the storyline in which Storm meets M'Rin and C'Jime, and visits their home world.

Havok's comment that Zaladane looks familiar probably relates to the fact that she is possibly the sister of his former lover, Lorna Dane.

Prometheus was a Titan from Greek mythology. He stole fire from the Zeus and gave it to the humans, drastically advancing their development. Zeus punished Prometheus for this transgression by chaining him to a rock, where he was continually tortured by vultures.

The Savage Land was destroyed in Avengers # 257.

Madelyne Pryor created the eight-point star symbol in Uncanny X-Men #232. The symbol was supposed to serve as the team's calling card. The star shape was supposed to represent justice, and its points the eight X-Men. However the symbol was rarely used after its inception, and this issue represents one of its only appearances.

Story Title: 
I Want My X-Men! (2nd story)

Chris Claremont (writer), Arthur Adams (penciler), Bob Wiacek (inker), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (chief)

Brief Description: 

The death of the X-Men has been disastrous for Mojo's TV ratings. He turns to his creative team for help, who suggest simply finding a replacement team of X-Men. Mojo begins casting, but all the teams that try out are merely quirky variations on the X-Men theme. Mojo has them all killed after auditioning. Finally, the X-Babies audition for the show. Mojo wants these infant versions of the X-Men killed too, but they fight back before he can eliminate them. They take on some soldiers and free Mojo's prisoner, Ricochet Rita. Mojo surrounds them all and is about to have them sent away for extensive torture when his assistant informs him that the X-Babies have garnered Mojo's highest ratings ever. He changes his mind and embraces the team, all of whom are disgusted. Wolverine slips out of Mojo's grasp and stabs him in the butt, setting his teammates free.

Full Summary: 

An infuriated Mojo stares at replays of recent episodes of his X-Men series. "This entity," he shouts, looking first at an image of the Adversary, "who gave him leave to play with my toys? He tries to kill them, but then they do what they do what they're supposed to do, good little heroes!they kill him first!but then that fool Forge --who wrote him into the script? -- tells them that to finish the job, they have to die, too! So they agree! Augh! My X-Men are dead!!"

Mojo's assistant Major-Domo commends this recap of recent events, noting that it is the thousand-and-first time Mojo has done so. "Care to make it a thousand and two?" Domo asks.

Mojo grits his teeth, and asks again how the X-Men, his top-rated TV stars, can truly be gone. Major-Domo reminds him that they had been filming the show using the bionic camera eyes they implanted into Psylocke a while back, and once she died, they lost their live feed. To add insult to injury, Major-Domo then tells Mojo that their ratings have dramatically plummeted since they lost the X-Men.
Mojo starts freaking out, and his minions scatter. Minor-Domo takes this current freak-out especially hard and winds up falling dead on the floor. "How dare anyone die without permission! First the X-Men, now this! What's life coming to?!!!" Mojo shouts.

Major-Domo reaches down and flips Minor-Domo's reset switch, which revives the android. She immediately perks back up and excitedly asks Mojo what they need to do to get back on top of the ratings chart. Major-Domo reminds them that their audience isn't satisfied with reruns and wants original programming. To come up with some new ideas, Mojo summons his creative team.

The creative team arrives, but they aren't much help to Mojo. Most of them stand around talking nonsense, and one particularly irate creator yells directly at Mojo, telling him that it's all Mojo's fault. Mojo gets annoyed and shrinks his head down to the size of a baby's. One creator is remarkably unaffected by this gross transfiguration. "Show-off. It's all so predictably boring," she sighs. "Why don't you just get replacement X-Men?"

"I know! I'll get REPLACEMENT X-Men!" Mojo announces. They decide to start casting the new series right away. Mojo orders the Warwolves to round up some new casts members, but Major-Domo reminds him that they are already out on assignment, searching for Phoenix. Mojo cuts him off before he can finish speaking her name. "I told you never to mention that name! I define reality here, not that ungrateful renegade!" Mojo says, while en route to his airship.

When they arrive at the casting ship, Mojo immediately finds Ricochet Rita, who has been lashed to the bow of the ship. Rita's job apparently is to guide the airship, a situation she seems to have reluctantly accepted. She sasses Mojo a bit before taking off, but he doesn't seem to care. The only thing that bothers him is that he thought he wiped Rita's mind already, which means she shouldn't have any personality left at all.

The ship soon arrives at a heavily populated area, and Mojo begins his casting call for his new X-Men TV show. Minor-Domo has another system crash as she frantically tries to round up actors for the casting call. Aboard the ship, Mojo has the audition stage prepared above a trap door. The search for new X-Men begins.

The first set of actors takes the stage. Their gimmick is that they're female versions of some popular male X-Men. The stunning, feminine versions of Longshot, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Wolverine, Magneto and Havok strike a pose, hoping to win Mojo's approval. He isn't satisfied and has them dumped off the stage, a rejection that sends them plummeting to their deaths.

Another set of X-Men hopefuls takes a turn. This team is composed of mechanical, Transformer-inspired X-Men. Mojo hates this concept and has them destroyed as well. "Spinning lives is so much more fun than spinning letters," comments his lever-pulling assistant, who strongly resembles Wheel of Fortune star Vanna White.

He gives a similar death sentence to several different spins on the X-Men concept: an 'adult'-themed team, a team composed of animals dressed in X-Men uniforms, skinny X-Men, fat X-Men, and many, many other variations. Mojo's disposition crumbles and his patience wears thin. Finally, however, he is presented with a team he recognizes: X-Babies. "They're young! They're proud! They're cantankerous! They are the mighty X-Babies!" the announcer says, presenting toddler-aged versions of Rogue, Wolverine, Havok, Dazzler, Storm, Longshot, Colossus, and Psylocke.
As much as Mojo hates the idea, he hates the presence of a baby Longshot even more. "I don't want no stinkin' Longshot!" he says, zapping him and turning him into a photograph. Baby Dazzler doesn't react very well to the demise of her boyfriend. She clutches the photo and begins sobbing in lament of her lost love. The rest of the X-Babies hurl insults at Mojo. He immediately grows annoyed, and orders them to be disposed.

The quick-acting X-Babies spring forward just as the floor drops. They rush to attack Mojo. However, some threatening goons intercept their path. Things look grim for the X-Babies.

Suddenly, due to Gateway's tampering with the space-time fabric, Rita senses Longshot's energy signature somewhere in the universe. This comes as a shock to Rita, as she thought Longshot had died. Her body's physical reaction causes the airship to jerk around, a motion which sends Vanna and her goons overboard, thus saving the X-Babies' lives.

Mojo orders his trademark police to come forth and brand the X-Babies, lest some other creator use their likenesses for profit. Several police officers surround the X-Babies, bearing large branding irons with a TM logo. Havok, Colossus, and Storm fight back. Rogue and Dazzler fight each other over the photo of Longshot instead.

Meanwhile, Psylocke and Wolverine head to the ship's bow and rescue Rita. Mojo catches them in the act, and has the entire team of X-Babies surrounded by more goons. Instead of killing them outright, he debates how he wants to them tortured. This goes on for a while until Major-Domo interrupts and informs Mojo that the X-Babies are his biggest televised hit ever. "Unlimited profit potential, maximum exploitation, merchandise, spins off!" Major-Domo rambles on.

"I don't care!NO!isn't fair!" Mojo mutters, clearly torn between his hatred of the X-Babies and his love of good ratings. Eventually, his greed wins out. "I LOVE it!"

He suddenly turns very paternal, and embraces his X-Babies. They try to escape before getting swept up into his enormous arms. Unlike his disgusted teammates, Baby Wolverine manages to sneak away, and slips under Mojo's seat. After a quick internal debate, he stabs his claw's through the seat and into Mojo's ample bottom. Mojo's painful scream is his reward.

With the conflict resolved, Ricochet Rita and the X-Babies pose for a closing shot. Longshot somehow back to a baby, Wolverine searches for an escape route, and Colossus holds Dazzler and Rogue at arms length, both of whom are still squabbling over Longshot. "Am I gonna regret this?" Rita asks herself.

Characters Involved: 

Major-Domo (Mojo's assistant)
Minor-Domo (Mojo's other assistant)
Mojo's creative team
Vanna White lookalike

Ricochet Rita

Baby Colossus, Baby Dazzler, Baby Havok, Baby Longshot, Baby Psylocke, Baby Rogue, Baby Storm, Baby Wolverine (all X-Babies)

Story Notes: 

Mojo's opening soliloquy is a brief description of the 'Fall of the Mutants' storyline, which occurred in Uncanny X-Men #225-227. It resulted in the world believing the X-Men to be dead.

Influenced by Spiral, an injured Phoenix entered the Mojoverse in Uncanny X-Men #209. She emerged in the Excalibur: The Sword is Drawn One-Shot. While it's been implied that she wreaked havoc in the Mojoverse, the actual events that occurred have never been depicted. A Phoenix limited series was planned, and even announced in the letters section of Uncanny X-Men #213, but later abandoned.

Ricochet Rita was captured and enslaved by Mojo in the Longshot Limited Series and apparently again after the Longshot series ended and Longshot reappeared as an amnesiac in Uncanny X-Men Annual #10.

Mojo and Spiral replaced Psylocke's eyes with artificial ones is New Mutants Annual #2.

Mojo's creative team is obviously supposed to resemble the creators from the X-Men. They are, clockwise from the left: Bob Harras, Bob Wiacek, Arthur Adams, Tom Orzechowski, Chris Claremont, and Ann Nocenti.

Mojo turned the actual X-Men into babies back in Uncanny X-Men Annual #10.

Story Title: 
Demon Night (3rd story)

Mark Gruenwald (story), Ron Lim (pencils), Tony DeZunga (inks), Ken Lopez (letters), Gregory Wright (colors), Ralph Macchio (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

The High Evolutionary and Jonathan Drew prepare some knights for an upcoming battle at the Citadel of Wundagore. Jonathan once again explains that he currently shares his body with the spirit of a sixth-century wizard named Magnus, but the High Evolutionary, being a strict materialist scientist, rejects this notion. Outside of their citadel, a pregnant gypsy woman wanders around, eventually approaching the structure. She collapses at the sight of a goat-headed man and is taken to the fortress' infirmary. After the High Evolutionary and Magnus visit the woman, the citadel comes under attack by the demon Chthon. Magnus abandons Jonathon's body and tries to put a stop to the attack while the High Evolutionary heads into battle. He and his knights have difficulty harming the attacking demon. Magnus saves the day by finding the traitor who beckons the demon. He commandeers the man's body and stops the invasion, but is attacked by Chthon as a result. Chthon reaches out in this moment and touches the mind of one of the gypsy woman's newborn twins, who will grow up to become the Scarlet Witch.

Full Summary: 

Inside the Citadel of Silence, the High Evolutionary and his fellow scientist Jonathan Drew stand on a dais overlooking a combat training arena. They observe several super-soldiers, known as the Knights of Wundagore, sparring in combat. The soldiers are actually the result the High Evolutionary's genetic experiment, which transformed animals into "intelligent humanoids". His peer, a man inhabited by the ghost of an ancient sorcerer named Magnus, is responsible for their successful training in combat.

The High Evolutionary addresses the soldiers and formally inducts them into knighthood. While doing so, he comments to himself that training them in the medieval code of the knight is actually a better idea than he initially thought, as it also instilled a sense of honor and a code of conduct into the otherwise-inhuman animals.

After the ceremony, Jonathan apologizes for the hasty training of this batch of knights. He explains that while they are creating these knights to fight the demon Chthon, said demon has not yet appeared. They are in danger mainly because they built the Citadel of Silence upon Chthon's final resting place. The High Evolutionary scoffs at this suggestion.

"You and that demon! I humor you about the ghost of a sixth-century magician you say is occupying your body!" the High Evolutionary says, "!but this talk of a demon from the bowels of the Earth gets tedious! I'm a scientist, confound it! Demons just don't fit into the rational scheme of the universe!"

While the knights prepare for their celebration feast, a weary, solitary, and very pregnant woman walks towards the Citadel of Silence. She fled from her village, and needs place to rest so she can deliver her baby. As she nears the palace, she is approached by a guard. She gets a good look at his face and realizes he bears the head of a goat. She passes out from shock at once. The goat-headed guard carries her inside to the infirmary, and summons the High Evolutionary.

The High Evolutionary and Jonathon arrive later and ponder why the gypsy woman came to the Citadel of Silence. "She may be a vessel by which the dread Chthon has taken flesh," Jonathan comments, referring to the portentous demon from earlier. He probes the woman's mind and finds her clean of demonic influence. The High Evolutionary once again grows annoyed with the demon-talk and retires to his laboratory.

As he walks away, Jonathan collapses, victim of some psychic attack. Jonathan announces the demon Chthon must be attacking that night. He infers that the demon must have used the gypsy woman's arrival as a distraction to sneak into the citadel the Darkhold, an ancient tome written by Chthon himself. The High Evolutionary still refuses to believe any of Jonathan's spiritual talk. "Tonight your skepticism will be laid to rest, milord," Jonathan says. The spirit of Magnus then departs from his body, leaving Jonathan a crumpled heap on the floor. The High Evolutionary refuses to believe what he has just seen.

Meanwhile, the Knights of Wundagore fly into battle aboard flycycles. They're not sure of what they're supposed to be battling, but then a gigantic, demonic visage appears in the skies in front of them. They charge into battle. The ghastly servant of Chthon mocks the soldiers as he devours their souls. The High Evolutionary watches the battle from a nearby cliffside, frustrated by his inability to save his men.

At the base of Mt. Wundagore, the spirit of Magnus searches for the source of Chthon's summoning. He finds his neighbor, the Baron Gregor Russoff, reading from the Darkhold in order to cure his condition as a werewolf. Magnus leaps into the Baron's body and recites a counter spell. His action, while successful, alerts Chthon, who fires a psychic attack at Magnus.

In the infirmary, Magda finally delivers what turns out to be twins. As Magnus finishes reciting his counter-spell, Chthon performs some sort of transference between Magnus, the babies, and himself.

The High Evolutionary and his Knights of Wundagore emerge victorious from the battle thanks to Magnus' actions. The High Evolutionary notes that it is somewhat of a pyrrhic victory, as he lost half of his soldiers.

Back in the infirmary, Magda cradles her newborn babies. Unbeknownst to her, the demon Chthon has touched the mind of one of the children with his dark magic. He doesn't inhabit the baby's body at this time. Instead, he plans on biding his time until the child matures into an appropriate vessel for his manifestation. After she has been sufficiently molded to his likings, Chthon will claim the body of the baby that will one day grow to become the Scarlet Witch.

Characters Involved: 

The High Evolutionary
Jonathan Drew

Magnus (6th-century demon inhabiting Jonathan Drew's body)
Chthon (an ancient demon)

The Knights of Wundagore
Sir Gote (the goat-headed guard)
Lady Bova (mid-wife)

Magda (vagrant gypsy woman)
Newborn Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch
Baron Gregor Russoff (a werewolf)

Story Notes: 

The gypsy woman Magda is the mother of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.

Jonathan Drew is the father of Jessica Drew, also known as Spider-Woman.

Issue Information: 

This issue is part seven of an eleven-part Marvel Event called The Evolutionary War. This event took place in the annuals of eleven Marvel titles in 1988. The first story in each annual was a tale about the High Evolutionary and his schemes to speed up the evolution of the world. The last section of each annual depicts one part of a larger story chronicling the origin of the High Evolutionary.

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