Monday, February 18, 2013

God Loves, But Mind Control Still Kills part II: Haven Knows I Tried To Control You!

In the second part of God Loves, But Mind Control Still Kills, Chris Claremont is hard at work crafting a sequel to his classic 1982 graphic novel. Originally intended to somewhat tie in to the second X-men movie, ol' Chris lost track of that when writing this story.

The reverend Stryker was freed from prison by his associate Lady Deathstrike, who intentionally made sure the blame was placed on the X-men. At the same time, Stryker and Deathstrike kidnapped Kitty Pryde because the reverend felt she'd be instrumental for his mission in the mysterious town of Mount Haven.

However, before Stryker could make his move, an unknown entity from Mount Haven controlled the body of Deathstrike and forced her to chase after Stryker. He cleverly escaped with Kitty by donning adamantium laced body armors and forcing her to phase them to safety by, well, let's have Chris explain this.



However, this process is apparently extremely disruptive to the Earth's energy fields because of the adamantium armor they're wearing. And that's where the X-men come in, because Storm goes completely ballistic when she's caught in the backlash of the trauma Kitty's phasing is causing the Earth. After calming their leader down, the X-men figure out a few things thanks to Sage.  



Believably explaining the connection between Stryker and Lady Deathstrike, Claremont also has the team realise Kitty is involved which only increases the urgency of their mission. Storm uses her powers to follow the trail of destruction left after Kitty's joyride, figuring that she has to be somewhere near where the devastation stops. As they get underway, Kitty wakes up...


Yes, Kitty had managed to lose Stryker along the way but was so exhausted she was almost run over by a family who were on their way to bring their mutant son to... Mount Haven. Which is exactly where Kitty finds herself...


Obviously taken by the charismatic minister calling himself Paul, the confused Kitty follows him on a tour of Mount Haven... which at first glance appears to be the realisation of professor Xavier's dream: a town where mutants don't have to hide who or what they are. However, halfway through the tour, Kitty suddenly falls ill.


It's interesting to note that while Paul dressed Kitty in an outfit that's a cross between elitist WASP and naughty schoolgirl, he didn't bother to remove the armored slave collar Stryker had placed around her neck.

Still, that is of little importance as Paul rushes Kitty to an underground facility in the opening pages of X-treme X-men # 28, where a healer called Cybil tries to treat her. However, Shadowcat is so delirious, she phases through the mutant feline... which leads to several gruesome discoveries.


For one thing, Cybil dies on the spot because Kitty phased through her. Also, the underground clinic is actually part of a bigger lab complex, filled with people who seem to have died instantly... This partially answers Kitty's question why, apart from minister Paul, Mount Haven only seems to be populated by young mutants. But before she could get some answers, the armored form of reverend Stryker pops up out of nowhere, knocking out Paul and going on an extensive rant about the mysteries of Mount Haven... 

Meanwhile, the X-men have arrived in Mount Haven and soon find themselves mind controlled...


After encountering some young mutants, the cold and calculating Sage was suddenly all smiles... which was a dead give away for her fellow teammate Bishop that she wasn't quite in her right mind. Easily taking her out, he soon finds out she wasn't the only one compromised... the hard way.


And there was even more mind control fun to be had... As Wolverine encounters Lady Deathstrike, hot on the trail of Stryker and Kitty. 



Yuriko's cybernetic body was still being controlled, but that didn't exactly dull her fighting instincts. And heck... she didn't mind sharing the experience as she gave Logan some sage advice after a two page spread of bloody battle.


"Embrace Mount Haven as your new home. And Paul as your saviour."


'Savio-u-r'? Never knew Deathstrike was British. Ah well, the cat's out of the bag now...minister Paul is the big bad of this arc. Just how big a threat he is, will become clear in the third and final part of God Loves, But Mind Control Still Kills: Mind Control Is The Opiate Of The People



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