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 in 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 seemed to enjoy a lot of mind control. That quickly became clear in Claremont's first issue back on the job, Uncanny X-men # 381. The X-men were still looking for Cyclops, who had gone missing after merging with Apocalypse, don't worry about it. This search took them to the Italian town of Venice, where they suddenly found themselves assaulted by the Shockwave Riders....

... A band of, as it would turn out, Neo who attacked the team for no discernible reason other than to ambush Jean Grey and invade her mind to steal some memories...

The purpose of this engramatic grab & smash is never made clear. It's not like there was any time to figure minor details like logic out, not when the X-men got sidetracked when they were roped into helping to bust up a Russian slavery ring with ties to th the outerdimensional slaver called Tullamore Voge... Who also used the powers of the young mutant girl Sketch to take over innocent victims so they could be sold into slavery more easily... *SNOOZE*...

As forgettable as the Riders were, they're actually the only faction of Neo that, to date, have returned in comics. They showed up again in 2008, in the pages of the Claremont-penned GeNext.

Which is more than can be said for the Lost Souls, a band of Goth-like Neo Claremont introduced a month or so after the Shockwave Riders... The Lost Souls sure loved mind control too, taking over the minds of their victims. They apparently have incredible mental powers which they use to play their mindgames, but for some reason 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 is properly chained up to signify their submissiveness. In this case, having a big metal band choking the life out of them...

In the end, the Neo and the Lost Souls teamed up against the X-men which resulted in a convoluted crossover that saw the X-men fighting their mind controlled teammates.

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


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!

No comments: