Sunday, June 16, 2013

Mind The Concealed Controller part II: Neo-thing New, Really...

When we last left the (Uncanny) X-men, the team was in Russia investigating outerdimensional slaver Tullamore Voge's motives for setting up shop in Moscow. During a routine mindscan, Phoenix was contacted by Wolverine back in New York that the Neo had assaulted his X-men team as well.

Before they could compare notes, another faction of Neo called the Crimson Pirates attacked the facility where Voge was being held. At the same time Stryfe attacked from the astral plane and mind controlled Cable, using his abilities to take out and imprison Storm and Gambit. Only Beast and Phoenix managed to escape to fight another day and they did so, showing up in Hong Kong with Wolverine's team in X-men # 104.

Y'see, the slavers in Russia were part of a larger trade system with ties to the Neo. Wolverine's team encountered the Neo in Salem Center, where they kidnapped a huge part of the local population, including Psylocke, Colossus, Archangel and Thunderbird.

There's a similar operation in Hong Kong and by making their presence known, the X-men hoped to provoke a response from either the Neo or the slavers.

They got one.

"We are the Crimson Pirates. Surrender... or die!"

The Pirates attacked the X-men in their own home, which is exactly what they'd hoped for. Rogue took over Phoenix' mental powers and fooled the Neo with mental illusions of the team. They actually were breaking into the Neo's headquarters to find out where their teammates were being held. Rogue escaped after the Neo found out, but not learning the sad fate of one of Nightcrawler's ex-girlfriends...

"And Kymri herself, bound to Killian's pirates as his own personal Hound."

Speaking of costumed heroes in chains... Let's check in on the X-men who got kidnapped by the Neo. Wonder what they're doing...

Chains? Check. Collars? Check. Gimp-esque face masks? Check. Needlessly sexual undertones? Check! For new villains, the Neo sure got the Claremont classics down... Now all we need is some mind control and...

"The cowl will steal away your very thoughts... and replace them with whatever I choose."

... Ahhh, there it is. Right on time. Good ol' mind control, you never disappoint.

Luckily, Gambit's able to use his powers just enough to break free and soon, the X-men are roaming around in the Neo's homebase, wondering where the heck they are and what to do.

"Wouldn't it be more prudent to find out where we are and establish a line of communication with the other half of the team?"

Yeah, what Cable said! ... Hey, waittaminute! Wasn't he supposed to be possessed by Stryfe and working with the Neo to take down the X-men? What was he doing chained up in the basement with them? And erm... why are they still wearing their cowls? Didn't they hear the Neo lady explain it steals away independent thought? 

Still, they were free and the other X-men were on their way as well. Will the two teams reunite and fight together? The answer might surprise you in part III of Mind The Concealed Controller: Goth, Not  This Again!

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