X-Men Blue #14

Issue Date: 
December 2017
Story Title: 
Mojo Worldwide, part 4
Staff: 

Cullen Bunn (writer), Jorge Molina (artist), Matt Milla & Guru-eFX (colorist)4s, Virtual Caligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer), Arthur Adams & Peter Steigerwald (cover artists), Jay Bowen & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers), Christina Harrington (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

Mojo continues to have a stronghold on broadcasts and communications around the globe as he projects the X-Men, trapped in various dangerous copies of historic battles. Mojo encourages his viewers to follow the transmissions and to suggest murderous mayhem that he could inflict on the X-Men. Several of the X-Men have been taken out of the “game” and Mojo promises to throw more unexpected twists at the X-Men. Nightcrawler, Colossus,, Jimmy Hudson and the young Marvel Girl and Beast battle strange cybernetic Brood, Horsemen of Apocalypse and a Phoenix-powered Sentinel. Jimmy saves Marvel Girl during the battle, while Mojo delivers more spires to Earth, where in Manhattan, Magneto, Polaris and Danger have arrived. They are able to break into a spire, and find themselves trapped in the “Mutant Massacre” scenario, up against the Marauders, while Kitty, Longshot, the young Cyclops and an unimpressed Rachel Summers are trapped in the “Avengers vs X-Men” scenario, but Longshot is able to use his cameras that have been following him around to break out of the scenario with the three X-Men. This angers Mojo, who orders Major Domo to find them. As Magneto, Polaris and Danger take down the Marauders, they are confronted by Apocalypse. Marvel Girl and the others are overwhelmed, so the Beast decides to resort to magic to aid them, but he doesn't get to complete the spell, as Longshot and the others appear and take out the strange cybernetic Brood and the odd Horsemen. The two teams work together and find themselves in a strange facility, where they locate Storm, Iceman, Bloodstorm, Angel and Old Man Logan, thankfully all alive, although Bloodstorm is having a little difficulty coping with being killed again. The heroes make their way through the facility, and soon discover that they are trapped on Mojoworld, while Mojo sends more and more spires down to Earth to terraform the planet and make it into his kind of town!

Full Summary: 

'... spires or – more appropriately – antennae have fallen across the city... and a pirate signal is being broadcast' a newsreader announces, while her co-host reports that the signal is most certainly alien in nature, and that heroes from around the world are trying to break through the structures to stop the transmission. He adds that thus far, only the X-Men have been able to pass through the force fields surrounding the spires, and they appear to be thrown into violent games of life and death.

'Hey! Nobody wants to hear from you! Get off the air!' a man on a sofa shouts, bucket of popcorn in his arms as he shakes his fist at the television screen 'We're missing the best part!' another civilian exclaims.

Footage shows two of the large spires / antennae, surrounded by force fields, as one of the newsreaders reports that the games are being presented as a form of entertainment for the viewing audience, and that they are breaking through the rogue signal to bring these warnings, urging civilians to stay away from the spires. The announcer adds that it is unknown how many civilians have been trapped inside, or how the force field is being generated. Suddenly, the screens change, a picture of Mojo, displayed in “Mojovision” replace the transmission, as the inter-dimensional being declares that he is not sorry to interrupt this transmission, but he has had enough of the Hair Gel and Teleprompter Brigade. He apologizes to his dear viewers, and explains that it seems the enemies of entertainment and wholesome family fun are more clever than he would have thought. 'But don't you worry! We won't let any old network fuddy-duddy ruin our good time! In fact, I have a new contest for our at-home players! Time to hit your earthly social media!' Mojo declares from Mojoworld, where the cameras focus in on him and lights shown down on him.

Mojo tells his viewers to let the world know how much they love-love-love the thrills and chills brought to them through Mojovision, to describe the mayhem and murder they want to see inflicted upon the X-Men. 'The person with the most malicious suggestion wins a spot as a Mojoworld Executive Producer!' Mojo reveals. 'How's that for fun-fun-fun?' he asks. Nearby, at a control panel, Major Domo asks one of the strange creatures that work at the studio how they are doing in the ratings. The creature replies that they get an attention bump every time the boss mentions mutilation, murder, bloodshed or cash prizes.

'Excellent. I’ll have the writers' room punch up Mojo's dialogue' Major Domo remarks, before asking about their other project. The creature looks at Major Domo and reports that the sub-routines are in place, the signal is strong, and with a few more spires in place, he is estimating at 25% efficiency boost in both neural re-mapping and terraforming.

A screen lights up behind Mojo, depicting the fifteen X-Men currently caught up in his plan. Mojo calls it the scorecard and points out that neatly half of their contestants have been eliminated during the challenges. 'I don't know about you, but I'm thrilled with those numbers!' Mojo declares, suggesting that he needs to throw a few more unexpected twists into the game – twists, and maybe chainsaws. Mojo throws his arms into the air and declares that they will rejoin their regularly scheduled programming – because nothing washes stress of the daily grind away like watching X-Men die!

Several X-Men appear on screen – the time-displaced Jean Grey a.k.a. Marvel Girl and Henry McCoy a.k.a. Beast and their teammate, the reality-lost Jimmy Hudson, along with Kurt Wagner a.k.a. Nightcrawler and Piotr Rasputin a.k.a. Colossus, who are in the Savage Land, fighting a mixture of mechanical Brood, strange Horsemen of Apocalypse and a large Phoenix-powered Sentinel. 'We can't win this! They just... they just keep coming!' Jean Grey calls out as the X-Men defend themselves against the horde. 'These creatures – they're horrible! All of the most terrible foes of the X-Men – fused together as monsters!' Colossus exclaims. As the Beast punches a Brood, he remarks that he thinks they are in a respawn scenario. Suddenly, Marvel Girl screams as a Brood shoves a scythe through her shoulder.

'Jean! Oh, Lord! She's hurt!' Jimmy utters. Colossus slams back a Brood and tells Jimmy that he can get him to her – 'Just be ready' he adds  before hurling Jimmy across the battle field, where he slices his claws through a large Brood. 'I've got you' Nightcrawler announces as he teleports into the air and grabs Jean and Jimmy, returning them to the ground, where Jimmy takes Jean in his arms. 'You all right, Red?' Jimmy, covered in green Brood blood, asks. Jean smiles at him and tells him that she will be fine. She explains that she shut pain receptors down, so it only hurts a little, and telekinetic bandages are wonderful things. 'Now stop worrying about me – and watch your back!' Marvel Girl warns him as the Phoenix-powered Sentinel appears behind him, but Jean disables it with a psychic attack. 'Isn't it sweet the way they look out for one another?' Beast smiles. 'Of course, Henry. That is what X-Men do' Colossus replies as his fist strikes a Brood. 'Obviously my sardonically jealous wit is lost on you' Beast mutters.

'Ah! Action! Danger! Young hormones flaring! And bloodshed! Oh-so-much bloodshed!' the excited Mojo exclaims, claiming that it warms his heart, he tells his viewers that he hopes it warms their hearts, too, out there in TV land. 'Because we're not done yet!' Mojo adds, before shouting 'BRING 'EM DOWN!' He declares that he wants more spires, more channels to delight and thrill! Civilians look up from the street as more spires fall from the sky, piercing the streets below. 'And for this weekend only, we're offering everyone a free preview of our ever-expanding line-up!' Mojo boasts, adding that Mojovision brings the very best in murderous entertainment – the shows you can't live without. 'And get a load of our special guest contestants! Back from the dead... from obscurity... back from wherever killer robots with delusions of autonomy go...' Mojo utters.

Downtown Manhattan, where Mojo announces the arrival of Magneto, Polaris and Danger! 'The X-Men... they're trapped inside' Lorna Dane a.k.a. Polaris utters. Magneto assures her that they will get them out, even if it means revealing to the world that he is still alive, they will get them out. Polaris releases some magnetic power towards one of the spires and reports that it appears to be metallic, but she is unable to control it, unable to tear it apart. As the force field around the spire rises, Danger remarks that it appears to be reacting to them, and adds that she believes they are keyed to mutant DNA, more specifically, programmed to respond to the presence of X-Men. 'Who knows what excitement these three heavy hitters will find within our new game zones?' Mojo asks.  'Let's all watch and find out!'

'Where have we been taken? Our clothes... why are we dressed like this?' Lorna asks, unimpressed as she, Magneto and Danger find themselves in a sewer, the muck-covered floor littered with bodies of Morlocks, while Magneto is wearing his old purple costume and Polaris is in the costume she wore when possessed by Malice. Danger tells them that this is all a simulation, and she assumes that any safety protocols have been disengaged. 'These people... they've been butchered' Lorna remarks as she walks past the body of Callisto. Magneto announces that he knows where they are – the Morlock Tunnels. Suddenly, Sabretooth, Arclight, Scalphunter and Harpoon of the Marauders appear. Lookee what we've stumbled onto, Marauders. A bunch of meat we must've missed in our first pass' Sabretooth grins. 'During the Mutant Massacre' Magneto declares.

Mojo announces that it looks like the Master of Magnetism is going to enjoy himself, and suggests they take a quick break from this scenario and check in on the other guests.'Uh-oh! These X-Men don't seem to be enjoying themselves quite as much!' Mojo comments.

And at that moment, Rachel Summers a.k.a. Prestige, Kitty Pryde, Longshot and the time-displaced Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops find themselves going up against the Avengers. 'I lived through the Avengers vs X-Men business once! I have no desire to revisit it!' Rachel, wearing the costume she wore during this time, exclaims as she casts a telekinetic blast towards the Avengers, but Thor blocks it. Longshot swings towards Spider-Man, while Kitty Pryde phases through a blast od energy Iron Man fires at her, and Cyclops, wearing his Phoenix five costume, moves towards Captain America and the Black Widow, while the Hulk is also in amongst the Avengers. 'These aren't the real Avengers, are they? I mean, they're holograms or something' Cyclops remarks. Kitty tells him that, real or not, they are trying to kill the X-Men, so they shouldn't hold back.

'I hate to say it, but this is probably my fault!' Longshot smiles, explaining that Mojo is bound to be angry he is here, and is taking it all out on the X-Men. Cyclops fires an optic blast, knocking back several of the Avengers and reminding Mojo that he said he hacked Mojo's signal and asks if there is any way he could hack them a way out of here. 'Now that's the kind of battlefield thinking I expect from my Dad!' Rachel exclaims as she flies away from Iron Man. 'Get us out of here!' Rachel adds. As he tinkers with one of the cameras that has been following him around, Longshot tells the X-Men that they are asking a lot of his tech, but that he might be able to “MacGyver” an escape route, he just needs a second or two – and at that moment, Spider-Man swings towards Longshot, ready to strike, but Captain America's shield suddenly cuts through his webbing, and he falls to the ground. '...and a little luck' Longshot jokes.

'Done!' Longshot exclaims as he completes his work. The cameras zoom in on him as he tells the X-Men to come this way, and that it is time to roll out. Thor's hammer passes through Kitty's phased form as she tells Longshot that wherever he is taking them, it has gotta be better than this place. Energy crackles around the four as the Avengers close in on them, and Longshot admits that he honestly has no idea where they are headed – and that he is making this up as he goes. With that, the four heroes disappear.

'What just happened? Where did they go?' Mojo calls out. 'WHERE DID THE X-MEN GO?' Mojo bellows. Major Domo reports that Longshot has spirited them away, that he has hacked into their main feed, using it as some sort of transmat. 'I didn't ask WHAT he did! I asked where he took them! Can you tell me that, Major Domo?' Mojo asks, spitting all over Major Domo, who slowly wipes the goo from his face and replies that he is afraid not, and informs him that they could be almost anywhere. 'Any one of the game zones...or even in one of the sub-channels...or rehearsal sets' Major Domo explains. As several strange creatures tap away at consoles, Major Domo reports that they are searching for them, but the feed is expansive, and it will take time. Major Domo closes his eyes as he informs Mojo, and he knows Mojo isn't going to appreciate this, but that views of Longshot's pirate broadcast are spiking. 'This is unacceptable! Somebody find those X-Men!' Mojo orders, adding that, in the meantime, they need a ratings bump – 'We need to kill some X-Men!'

Back in the Mutant Massacre scenario, Magneto uses his power against Scalphunter, while Polaris blasts back Arclight and Danger slams her fist into Sabretooth's face. Magneto reports that his abilities seem to be working well enough, and remarks that if this is a simulation, it responds to his control of magnetism. 'It would appear our host places value on giving us a fighting chance' Danger points out. 'Magneto...Dad...I realize you're having a good time and all...but maybe we should find our way out of here and find out what happened to the X-Men...' Polaris suggests, while Magneto grins, and his eyes glow with power. Suddenly, a voice tells them not to worry for the X-Men, for if they prove themselves worthy, they will survive. 'If not... they will yield to the coming Apocalypse!' the uber-mutant booms as he appears in the tunnel.

'Nicely done! Nicely done! Surprise crossover episode!' Mojo exclaims. 'Make sure we amp up the lethality levels, give that scene a real George R R Martin singer!' He adds that, speaking of lethal, they should see how their other batch of mutants are faring.

At that moment, Marvel Girl, Beast, Jimmy, Colossus and Nightcrawler are surrounded by the Horsemen and the strange Brood. 'Where are they all coming from? Every time we knock them down, they just rematerialize!' Marvel Girl exclaims, to which Nightcrawler suggests that he could teleport them away – but to where? The Beast announces that they still have options, and that he can work a spell – but as he starts to cast a spell and switch to his white furry form, Marvel Girl tells him that he can't, and that he knows what might happen if he lets magic consume him. 'It's all right, Jeannie. It's what X-Men do' the Beast replies, when suddenly, 'Don't touch that dial!' a voice calls out, as optic energy and telekinetic fury slam down into the horde of strange creatures, blasting them away. 'The cavalry is here!' Longshot calls out from where he stands on a ledge nearby.

'Katya!' Colossus calls out as he sees Kitty and the others. 'Come with me if you want to live' Longshot jokes, to which Cyclops asks him if everything he says is from a movie or a TV show. 'Everything everybody says is from a movie or a TV show' Longshot replies, adding that they are all broadcasting, all the time'. Jean tells Nightcrawler that if he wants to teleport them somewhere, then he can take them to the others. 'I'm way ahead of you, Jean' Kurt replies as he teleports the X-Men, and Longshot calls out 'Next stop – anywhere but here!'

'Kitty asks as she and te others re-materialize in a non-descript corridor. Longshot tells her that he has no clue, and that he was just letting the camera scan through. Suddenly, the cameras appear to short-circuit, and fizzle out. Longshot smirks and announces that his cameras need a little time to reboot. Jimmy Hudson suddenly picks up a scent, while Scott telepathically tells Jean that he knows she is injured, and that he can feel the pain through their psychic rapport. Jean telepathically tells Scott that she is fine, but they have lost so many of the others. 'There's something...just through here' Jimmy announces as he unsheathes his claws before a large metal door.

'It's the rest of the X-Men!' Jimmy calls out as he and the others enter the lab where Old Man Logan, Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm, the reality-lost Bloodstorm, and the time-displaced Warren Worthington a.k.a. Angel and Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman are being held in stasis tanks. 'I think they're still alive!' Jimmy adds Beast looks at Iceman and tells Jimmy that he is correct, adding that it appears their host knows the value of keeping the X-Men around. He reminds the others that they saw their teammates die, but that it was just an illusion, thank goodness, and they were transported to this facility instead. Jean asks Hank if he can wake them up, and he tells her that he thinks he can, as the controls don't appear to be over-complicated, and nothing he can't handle.

Shortly, Bobby yawns and stretches as he emerges from the pod, while Logan rubs the back of his head and announces 'That...was unpleasant'. 'Goddess! The nightmares!' Ororo utters, while Cyclops tells Bloodstorm that he is glad to see she is all right, and puts his hands on her arms, helping her out of the pod. Bloodstorm looks uneasy and tells Cyclops that she isn't sure that is an accurate description, explaining that she felt herself die – once again – and that it felt very real.

Longshot tells everyone that they might want to make it snappy with the tearful reunions, as he is guessing it won't be long before a security detail shows up, and that his cameras might not survive any more rewiring. 'You have no idea where you're leading us, do you?' Rachel asks as the X-Men all following Longshot down a corridor, but Longshot remarks that this place looks a little familiar, and adds that he hopes he is wrong, but that he has a bad feeling about this. The heroes come to a stop, and, looking up, Old Man Logan remarks 'Yeah, kid. You and me both' as the X-Men see strange buildings sprawling throughout the city before them, under a hazy orange sky. Large monitors depicting the diabolical Mojo are attached to all of the buildings, as the horrid creature exclaims 'Ah-ha! There you are my errant little x-pains!'

'Look at what you've found! The man behind the curtain! The city behind the signal!' Mojo declares. 'You said this looked familiar. Where are we?' Kitty asks Longshot, who announces that they are in the place he has been trying to escape since the beginning. 'This is Mojoworld!' Longshot exclaims. He tells the X-Men to take a look around while he keeps on trying to exterminate them, and this time with no takesies-backsies. 'You might as well get comfortable with your new environment! Because I'm bringing my world to New York City!' Mojo announces, revealing that his broadcast is reprogramming the minds of his earthly viewers – and all his pretty spires are going to start terraforming their surroundings! Indeed, more Mojoworld spires plummet into New York City, as Mojo exclaims that, pretty soon, the city that never sleeps is gonna look just like his kinda of town!

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (all time-displaced original X-Men)

Jimmy Hudson

Bloodstorm

Magneto

Polaris Danger

Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, Old Man Logan, Prestige, Storm (all X-Men)

Longshot

 

Mojo

Major Domo

Citizens of Mojoworld

 

Newsreaders

Civilians

 

As constructions / projections:

Brood

Phoenix-Sentinel

Unidentified Horsemen

Apocalypse

Berzerker II, Callisto, Masque (all Morlocks)

Arclight, Harpoon, Sabretooth, Scalphunter (all Marauders)

Black Widow, Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Thor (all Avengers)

Story Notes: 

This issue is part 4 of the “Mojo Worldwide” crossover. It follows X-Men Gold #14 and continues in X-Men Gold #15.

MacGyver refers to the 80ies TV show in which MacGyver could construct inane devices out of basically trash.

“Come with ne if you want to live” is a famous line from the Terminator movie franchise.

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