Monday, February 23, 2009

Neo Villains Old-o mindcontrol-o

Back in 2000, Chris Claremont made his triumphant return to the X-universe. After several years of dwindling sales and general apathy, Claremont was brought back to get the franchise on track again.

He took over the reigns on both Uncanny X-men and X-men and started a brand new storyline featuring the massive threat of...The Neo.



Introduced as the next evolution, these uber-mutants were supposed to be mother nature's real successors to mankind... According to Claremont, mutants had been nothing but a trial run and a failed one at that. The Neo were the future.

As interesting as this may sound, the Neo turned out to be pretty bland. Apart from the Neo Warclan, led by the female warrior Domina (last name Trix, allegedly!), Claremont had very little time to develop the other Neo groups he created like the Lost Souls, the Crimson Pirates and the Shockwave Riders. They ended up being little more than colorful punching bags for our heroes.

Punching bags that seem to enjoy mind control however. That becomes clear in Claremont's first issue back on the job, Uncanny X-men # 381. The X-men are in the Italian town of Venice where they get assaulted by the Shockwave Riders....

... Who attack the team for no discernible reason and then invade Jean Grey's mind to do this:



Just why they would need to steal some of her memories is never made clear. Its not like there's time to figure it all out, not when the X-men get sidetracked by busting a Russian slavery ring that's also got ties with the outerdimensional slaver called Tullamore Voge... Who also uses the powers of the young mutant girl Sketch to take over innocent victims so they could easily be sold into slavery... *SNOOZE*...

As forgettable as the Riders were, they're actually the only faction of Neo that, to date, have returned in comics... making an appearance in the Claremont-penned GeNext.

Which is more than can be said about the Lost Souls, a band of Goth-like Neo Claremont introduced soon after the Shockwave Riders... The Lost Souls sure loved mind control as well, taking over the minds of their victims. They apparently have the mental powers to take control of other people's mind but they still insist on using slave collar technology... Why?

Well... I guess in Claremont's world it just doesn't count as proper mind control unless the victim has a big metal band around their necks choking the life out of them...




In the end, the Neo and the Lost Souls teamed up against the X-men and a big crossover fight ensued with the X-men fighting their mind controlled teammates.

Needless to say, everyone came to their senses before the end of the crossover and fought against the Neo... but not before we were treated to unforgettably awful scenes like this...


BEHOLD... DIRGE!
BEHOLD... LAMENT!
BEHOLD... REQUIEM!

BEHOLD... Incredibly lazy, tired writing!
BEHOLD... Claremont's second Uncanny and X-men run cut short pretty quickly!
BEHOLD... The next post featuring Claremonts third Uncanny run and even more mindcontrol!

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