X-Treme X-Men : Savage Land #1

Issue Date: 
November 2001
Story Title: 
Savage Genesis

Chris Claremont (writer), Kevin Sharpe (penciler), Danny Miki and Larry Strucker (inkers), Avalon Studio’s Chris and Mike Garcia (colors), Tom Orzechowski (letters), Andrew Lis (assistant editor), Matt Hicks and Mark Powers (editors), Joe Quesada (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Rogue has been tormented by hallucinations. The X-Treme X-Men ask former member Beast for help, and soon they depart to South America, as the dreams seem to be linked to that area. They find a tribe of Saurids hunted by the local military and decide to help them. The Saurids have been living hidden in the south west desert of the USA for a long time, but having learned of the Savage Land, they wanted to resettle. They were spotted along the way and hunted as monsters. They are too many to fly all of them in the Blackbird, and so the X-Men take them to the secret cavern below the Drake Passage. Rogue carries the craft through the cavern with Storm and Thunderbird scouting ahead, and Beast and Bishop clearing the area of things that might get in the way. Brainchild spies on them from the Savage Land and wants to settle an old score with Storm. From afar he causes an explosion and all of a sudden the cavern is flooded with ocean water.

Full Summary: 

Rogue is terrified and running. She is chased by a group of dinosaurs who resemble her teammates. Finally they catch up with her and knock her down. The five creatures feast on her.
Rogue wakes up in the Blackbird, she has had the latest in a series of seizures. Because of Rogue’s condition the team has contacted scientist and former member Hank McCoy, aka the Beast, who since they last saw him has undergone another mutation of his appearance. Rogue tells the others everything she remembers of her dream / hallucination and newbie Thunderbird questions the dinousaurs, yet the others tell him that some really survived till the present day in the Savage Land in Antarctica. Sage evaluates every detail of Rogue’s description and pinpoints the landscape to be that of the southernmost tip of South America, near the Straits of Magellan, so the team heads there.
During the flight Beast, Storm and Bishop discuss the situation. They can’t ignore the possibility that Rogue is receiving some sort of psychic message and that they are needed, however Bishop points out that they can’t be sure of Rogue anymore. Before she only temporarily absorbed other’s powers and personalities, but now she randomly manifests all those that she has ever absorbed in her life. Some of these are serious characters, and strongwilled villains – there is a chance that one of these identities might take over. Unnoticed Rogue heard everything he said and a tear rtuns down her cheek.
Inside Rogue’s head, there is a war going on. She has to fight against the psyches of villains like Magneto, Sabretooth and Mr. Sinister and as she is about to lose, she discovers that she doesn’t have to fight alone. The residue of Captain America, Destiny and some X-Men are there to help her and make Rogue realize that she has more strength and ressources than she suspects.
As the Blackbird reaches it’s destination, the team finds some local army chasing someone. Rogue is immediatly reminded of her dreams and decides that the hunted need help. She hits the controls and the Blackbird dives down in a curve. Rogue gets out and causes some destruction among the army, and Storm causes some bad weather so that pursuit through all the mud is near impossible. Rogue then picks up where the army left off and follows the hunted people, and the team in the Blackbird goes after her. Finally they reach them and are quite surprised.
The hunted people are a tribe of Saurids. For centuries they lived in secrecy in the badlands in the south-west deset of the United States, but when they learned about the existence of the Savage Land, they decided to resettle to it, as there they could hope to live in peace. Along the way they were discovered and perceived as monsters. Thunderbird has soubts about their intentions, but Rogue reminds him that they are no different than mutants – hated and feared for being different. The team decides to help the Saurids get to their destination.
Somewhat later, the group has made it to the Cavern below the Drake Passage that links South America to the Savage Land. The problems is that the Blackbird can’t stay aloft with all of them inside, and bon foot, the journey would take weeks, so the X-Treme X-Men have come up with another alternative. Rogue is carrying the Blackbird through the narrow cavern, with Sage at the controls monitoring the surroundings. Bishop and those Saurids that did not fit into the plane are standing on top of it, with Bishop using his guns on stalagtites that might get in the way. Beast, Storm and Thunderbird are scouting ahead. They pass a waterfall and the team investigates as it wasn’t there when they last crossed the passage, yet there are no fresh fractures in the surrounding rock, and so they proceed. While Neal and Ororo take a closer look to find that the waterfall is saltwater, so derived from the ocean above them, they are being watched. The creature transmits data to Brainchild of the Savage Land Mutates, who is joyful to see Storm among the invading team.
Suddenly a little Saurid and his mother fall off the Blackbird. Beast jumps after them, clinging on a rope, and manages to catch them in time. He lifts the pair up to safety again, but instead of being thankful, the Saurid mother gnarls at Hank. Bishop and Beast wonder why, as two other Saurid come over to explain. The rest of the family of that particular female was killed by humans, and therefore she holds a grudge. C’rel is the leader of the tribe, and the daughter of former leader Arachty’r (who appeared in Ms. Marvel #20-21). She has so far managed to hold her people at bay, but more and more of the Saurids hate the outside world. Having heard the about the inner struggles of the Saurids, Thunderbird realizes that it is no different for mutants like X-Men. They are outcasts and feared and hated by the rest of the world, still they fight in their name. He wonders if theirs is a lost cause.
In the Savage Land, Brainchild thinks that he has let them procceed far enough to give them at least a chance. He then triggers an explosion and the rift to the ocean opens, with lots of water flooding in.

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Bishop, Rogue, Sage, Storm, Thunderbird (all X-Treme X-Men)

C’rel, Khadar (both Sauird race)


Story Notes: 

The Saurid race first appeared in Ms. Marvel #20-21. Carol Danvers had detected their hidden civilisation, but after defeating the best that the Saurid threw at her, she was allowed to leave. Ms. Marvel promised to keep the knowledge about them secret.
The entire mini series is supposed to take place between X-Treme X-Men #4 and #5.

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