Saturday, March 9, 2013

Mind Control Is Anything But X-Tinct Part III: Don't Rahne On My Mutate Parade

The third part of Mind Control Is Anything But X-Tinct opens on the rooftops of the Genoshan capital city Hammer Bay, with recently depowered mutants Rictor and Boom-Boom delivering some fine exposition.  

Just as the two New Mutants are waiting for Jubilee to return in the opening pages of New Mutants # 96, they notice she's in trouble. While trying to steal some burgers from a local fastfood restaurant, the young fireworks hurling girl gets chased by a group of Magistrates and their pet Mutate, designed to track mutants.

With a little help from Rictor and Boom-Boom, Jubilee is able to overcome the Magistrates... But what of the scared Mutate?

"The Genengineer does something to their brains that makes them docile... so they can't think for themselves."

Unsure of how to deal with the mutate, the trio decides to take him along as they find a place to hide until the other X-men are able to sort out this mess. However, the first appartment they break and enter belongs to an member of the Genoshan magistrate who happily informs them their fellow mutant Wolfsbane is about to be transformed into a Mutate. Fuelled by Rictor's rage, they decided to charge the citadel and free Rahne.

However, somewhere else in Hammer Bay, the members of X-men, X-Force and X-Factor were planning to storm the proverbial castle as well... Albeit in a slightly more subtle way. The key to any victory is proper planning and Cyclops decided to place explosive charges on the outside of the citadel that could provide sufficient distractions. So... who were capable of placing these delicate devices?

Don't let Rob Liefeld's art fool you. While it may look as if Jean's only taking Cable and Beast, that's just a ruse... Because a few pages later this rather covert strikeforce suddenly includes both Forge and Sunspot as well. But let's take a minute to check in on the person they were actually trying to rescue...

This might as well be a mere miscommunication between the different creative teams, but here we have Rahne Sinclaire pre-mutate conversion and already bald. Usually, the transformation process turns them bald. The in story explanation is that Rahne's head was shaven before the procedure but that's neither here nor there.

Of far greater importance is the fact that Hodge insisted on making Rahne's transformation as horrible as possible... By making her an anything but mindless yet still helpless slave...

And while all of this was going down, Jubilee had managed to sneak Rictor, Boom-Boom and the unnamed Mutate to a rooftop close to the Genoshan main citadel. Much to their surprise, they saw Jean, Gambit, their mentor Cable and the others at work to breach the citadel. But before they could run out and join them, Cameron Hodge showed up with you-know-who in tow...

"What is that whisper of voices like an errant breeze? Who is making all that racket?!"

Boom-Boom and Rictor were about to be discovered, but the supposedly mindless Mutate thanked them for their kindness by running out into the open and pretending it was him talking out loud. Falsely assuming a Mutate cannot lie, Hodge and the others departed with their newly captured mutants in tow... But not before completely crushing their hopes...

The public turning of one of their own, let alone the capture of the bulk of their forces, should have had a demoralising effect on the mutants, but the opposite was true as we'll see in part IV of Mind Control Is Anything But X-Tinct: Dramatis Personae Under The Magistrate's Sway  

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