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[WIR] X-Men: The Strangest Super-Heroes of All!

JJ Hall

Last Red Hot Swami
Validated User
The New Rome thing never made any sense to me. I didn't know that Selene was originally supposed to be of Incan descent - I had actually forgotten that the Inca were a faction within the time-lost South American Rome. Do we see any dark-skinned New Romans?
One of the gladiators, but that's it. And I'm shocked, SHOCKED, that the descendants of New World refugees undermining the institutions of a "free" European settler society to set up a despotic regime gets dropped and never mentioned again.
It does seem like it's possible that all of the strangeness surrounding Madelyne was the work of Mastermind, since IIRC none of the claims of the plane crash and whatnot were ever independently verified. Though when she comes back into the picture those stories will be taken at face value, IIRC.
Well, there was a plane crash, and Madelyne was the only survivor; that's gone over in the scene she has with Mastermind. I suppose it's possible he was messing with Scott's perceptions when he looked into the time of the crash and saw it happened at the moment of Jean's death, depending on how closely he kept an eye on him before he came to Japan for the wedding. If that were the case it would've been established explicitly, I think.

Edit: We're coming up to the thread post limit, I see. I'm leaning toward titling the next one "Focussed Totality Is A Song Within Her When Ah'm Blastin'", but if someone has a better one I'd be happy to steal use it.
 
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Zenio

Registered User
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Say farewell to Mastermind. 175 is his last real hurrah as a super villain. Now he disappears until the early 1990s where he then promptly dies of the Legacy Virus, a.k.a. the Mutant metaphor for AIDS and is still dead and in the ground as of this date unlike countless others in his profession who get resurrections.
 

Wakshaani

Cheesey Goodness
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Say farewell to Mastermind. 175 is his last real hurrah as a super villain. Now he disappears until the early 1990s where he then promptly dies of the Legacy Virus, a.k.a. the Mutant metaphor for AIDS and is still dead and in the ground as of this date unlike countless others in his profession who get resurrections.
But you have to admit, he had a Hell of a run.
 

Evil Midnight Lurker

What Lurks at Midnight
Validated User
Say farewell to Mastermind. 175 is his last real hurrah as a super villain. Now he disappears until the early 1990s where he then promptly dies of the Legacy Virus, a.k.a. the Mutant metaphor for AIDS and is still dead and in the ground as of this date unlike countless others in his profession who get resurrections.
Good.
 

Unka Josh

Social Justice Chimera
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Seriously. Mastermind's obsessive creepiness is really astonishing. Sure, Toad had that doomed crush on the Scarlet Witch, and was clearly bad at consent in the early days. But Mastermind? His level of "I will manipulate the hell out of you" is just... *shivers*
 

Nihtgenga

Actually likes daylight
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Say farewell to Mastermind. 175 is his last real hurrah as a super villain. Now he disappears until the early 1990s where he then promptly dies of the Legacy Virus, a.k.a. the Mutant metaphor for AIDS and is still dead and in the ground as of this date unlike countless others in his profession who get resurrections.
He does pop up briefly in Excalibur.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I love Uncanny #175 as a Cyclops showcase. That's how you send one of your characters off to their happy ending. And let's be fair : aside from Secret Wars (outside of Claremont's control) and X-Men/Alpha Flight (where Scott & Madelyne being a loving couple is key to the plot), Cyclops's retirement and happy marriage stuck for a good two years after this point.

Also, for all that JRJr's art is scratchier and rougher, his action layouts are great.

Say farewell to Mastermind. 175 is his last real hurrah as a super villain. Now he disappears until the early 1990s where he then promptly dies of the Legacy Virus, a.k.a. the Mutant metaphor for AIDS and is still dead and in the ground as of this date unlike countless others in his profession who get resurrections.
I think there are three good reasons for this.
1) There's a limit to how many times you can play his shtick out without diminishing returns. That Claremont already got TWO very good stories out of him is already remarkable. There's no shame in retiring the character after this.
2) There is no shortage in one-dimensional corruptor villains in the X-books ; it's just that at this point Claremont seems to move on from illusionists to telepaths. Part of it is power creep, but I also suspect their faster mode of corruption plays to his fetishes more. Anyway, it's rather obvious that Mastermind can't have been the mysterious telepath involved during Karma's disappearance, so that's one more dangling thread for you.
3) The early 2000s introduced no less than two daughters of Mastermind. IIRC this started as a continuity error (two writers going at cross-purposes at the same time), but there's been some decent mileage out of having two rival heirs who can't stand each other.

So really, at this point there's not much point in bringing the guy back.


As for Nova Roma, this is the kind of crap you get when you go for a "pulp adventure" feel without bothering to filter the genre's racist undertones out. Which is probably why no other writer wanted to touch it even with a ten-foot pole (aside from a botched attempt to write it out of continuity altogether). Even Claremont rarely went back to it either... until the ungodly mess that was 2010's New Mutants Forever.

The gimmick of the Forever titles was to give the X-books' classic writers a sandbox where they could explore what they may have done if they had kept writing their books. So X-Factor Forever was a rather cool look at where Louise Simonson was planning to go with Apocalypse, for example. On the other hand, Claremont's X-Men Forever quickly degenerated into forgettable nonsense. As for New Mutants Forever, he decided that the most logical followup to his run was having the Red Skull trying to conquer Nova Roma and turn half the cast into nazis. It was just godawful.

That said, we'll learn more about Selene in the next few issues ; the gist of it is that she's a lying liar who lies, and I would take any claim about her ancestry with a huge grain of salt.
 
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Pazu

Registered User
Validated User
That said, we'll learn more about Selene in the next few issues ; the gist of it is that she's a lying liar who lies, and I would take any claim about her ancestry with a huge grain of salt.
For some reason, I had gotten the impression somewhere along the line that she originated in ancient Mesopotamia, but I may be completely off-base on that.
 

Elph

Registered User
Validated User
Isn't Selene from the fricking Hyborian Age? Her rivalry with a certain someone from that era should come up in about 20 issues...
 

JJ Hall

Last Red Hot Swami
Validated User
Anyway, it's rather obvious that Mastermind can't have been the mysterious telepath involved during Karma's disappearance, so that's one more dangling thread for you.
Right, that can't have been him. For now I'll stick to my suspicion that it was the Egyptian fellow from Xavier's backstory.

August 23, 1983

At the movies:


On the radio:


New Mutants 10

The kids' fortunes have improved considerably since last time:



The triumph is cheered by the whole city, excepting Amara's dad. He exchanges stink-eyes with Gallio, who rides a chariot behind the team and benefits from the reflected glory bound in bringing Rahne to Nova Roma. Sam catches that, and when they and their host settle down for the evening he asks about it. Gallio claims Aquilla is power-hungry and wants to make himself Emperor; Sam points out that doesn't quite match what Amara said, prompting Rahne to hiss and scratch up the carpet:



Gallio points out that she managed to escape, but left them behind. Since she's demonstrably no friend of theirs, they shouldn't take her word over his. Rahne unwisely jumps on this and promises the New Mutants are true friends and will be happy to help him out with anything he needs for as long as they're in the city. Sam rakes her over the coals for that when they're alone, but she doesn't back down.

Roberto doesn't care about any of that crap and walks the palace corridors alone. He ruminates on the deaths of Juliana and Xi'an, and now his mom too, it seems, and blames himself: 'What good is my accursed power if I cannot use it to help those I care for?! I wish my father was here. When we're together, we talk like pals, not father and son. He would know the answers, he always does--' His train of thought is interrupted when he spots a red-haired woman on the street outside and thinks she looks like his mom, so he rushes to the door.. The guard's been given orders to keep the kids inside -- for their own protection, of course -- and Roberto comes close to losing his temper. He realizes the guy's just doing his job, though, and he probably only imagined seeing Nina anyway, so he backs down and heads back inside, much to the guard's relief.

Dani decides to get a firsthand look at the city, sneaking out on her own only to be immediately kidnapped as soon as she's out of the palace. Rahne worries when she doesn't return after several hours, and also confesses to Roberto that she likes being in her wolf form more than her human form, which she feels is sacrilegious. Roberto doesn't really know how to handle that, so he's probably relieved when a hidden figure shoots him with a pistol from behind a drape. He's not seriously injured, and Rahne easily subdues the culprit:



Gallio threatens to let Roberto question him, so Castro "confesses" that Aquilla sent him after the kids. Sam and Roberto participate in the assault on Aquilla's estate, and Rahne wants to as well, but Gallio insists she stay back where she won't be harmed: "The people consider you the living heart of our city, child. No harm must befall you." Unwilling to let Aquilla be "accidentally" killed in the fighting, Sam and Bobby capture him themselves. Gallio is irritated by this, but remains confident his enemy is toast, boasting in Latin as he's led away by guards, "Rome is mine, to do with as I please." An unlucky slip, as one of the team has kept his mastery of Latin from him:



Hot Stuff

Dani wakes up somewhere unfamiliar and finds that she's dressed for a day at the pool:



This isn't even the first time it's happened to her -- when Viper grabbed her, she woke up in a different outfit in her base as well. She, Amara, and another girl woozily come to and are led down into a stone cavern:



Dani senses a psychic command and realizes Selene must have powers like Professor Xavier. She uses her training to resist, but the unnamed girl is helpless to resist and walks right up to the platform over the lava pit. Selene throws her in, easily suppressing Dani's powers when she tries to help her. She exults in the girl's death, claiming that the sacrifice transfers the victim's "life energy" to her, and that she's "walked the Earth since before the dawn of history. Countless thousands have gone to the fire in my name." Countess-Bathory-But-For-Real calls up Amara next, and apparently has had it in for her specifically since infancy:



Deciding to essentially eat someone at adolescence when they're still a baby isn't the weirdest thing we've seen, but it's up there.

Dani struggles mightily and overcomes Selene's mental block, managing to create a spirit-form that makes the guards let her go. She rushes the platform, but the villain is much stronger than her both mentally and physically. Up close, she feels a bond with Dani and changes her mind about sacrificing her, coming up with a new evil plan on the spot:



Amara wrestles free of Selene's control, thanks to the distraction, but as before the sorceress is OP. She backhands the teenager into the lava pit, but that surprisingly doesn't end the fight -- the ground shakes violently, and Amara rises, looking more than a little different and lifted by a column of molten rock:



Script: Chris Claremont
Pencils: Sal Buscema
Editor: Louise Jones
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Consultant: Diana Schutz

Next Time, To Kick Off The Next Thread:

 
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