Saturday, February 21, 2009

Old mind control habits die hard

Who says you can never go home again? Chris Claremont proved poet Thomas Wolfe wrong at least twice so far...During his third stint as Uncanny X-men writer, he and long time collaborator Alan Davis created a Savage Land storyline in which the X-men were pitted against a long lost race of saurids. These evolved dinosaur mutants were every bit as powerful and dangerous as the X-men and they had plans to take over the world. During the course of their schemes, the Saurids managed to capture Rachel Grey, aka Marvel Girl... They succeed in freeing her inner dinosaur, and reverted Rachel to a Saurid... thus controlling her mind and making them one of their own...

Which is slightly ironic, considering the X-men once travelled to the Savage Land before in a Claremont penned tale involving the Savage Land mutates and Brainchild... who used his machinery to revert mutants into sub-human barbaric versions of themselves... Years later, Brainchild used the same technique in yet another Claremont created tale over in an Xtreme X-men limited series:

During the course of that same limited series, we were introduced to a 'new' Savage Land inhabitant known as Leash... She is able to mind control people, which is signified by a mental leash appearing around their necks. Leash controlled Beast and now, both Brainchild and Leash were at it again in the Claremont/Davis run in Uncanny... take a look...

... Ow mind control, when will you go out of fashion? Well, considering this is a land that time forgot, not anytime soon... Of course, mind controlling of the Saurid Raiina was key to winning the day and all the players involved lived to tell the tale... but this was one arc that showed just how heavily Claremont relies on one simple and tired storytelling device: mind control!

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