Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mojo's Mind Control Mayhem Part I: Be My, Be Mine X-Babies

Our previous entry dealt with the events of 1988's X-men Annual # 12.

As a back up to the main Evolutionary War story, Chris Claremont penned a brief adventure with Mojo that introduced the world to... the X-babies.

Why would the supreme ruler of the Mojoverse even bother to create Muppet Babies-like versions of his enemies? Well, y'see... the X-men had died in their battle against the Adversary and after Roma resurrected them, they decided to keep their continued existence a secret. As an added bonus, they also didn't appear appear on any cameras, including the ones Mojo had installed in the X-man Psylocke's eyes.

And that proved to be a bit of a problem for the lord of lard. He had been producing a hugely succesful reality show based on the X-men's adventures, thanks to Psylocke's, ahum, eye witness footage. Without new material, ratings were dropping and man, was he freaking out about that...

Before deciding on the X-babies concept, Mojo considered many different options during the casting call he held on his floating airship (as one does). An airship with a rather interesting masthead. Here he is, lamenting the loss of both the X-men and his former star Longshot.

"So tell me then... who's the master here and who's the slave?"

The woman dangling from Mojo's mast is Ricochet Rita, a human stuntwoman who got herself on Mojo's bad side in Ann Nocenti's 1985 limited series Longshot. Ever ready to hold a grudge, Mojo had kidnapped her and started using her for a hood ornament.

Why is this relevant? Well, the X-babies immediately rebelled after Mojo recruited them. But before they fled, they also freed Rita who happily joined... Just as the annual's back up strip ended. 

Luckily, the story was continued in the 1989 Excalibur special titled Mojo Mayhem, that picked up where the previous panel left off. Wolverine found a way out and Rita and the X-babies made a run for it, finding refuge in the most unlikeliest of places...

A conveniently marked hideout constructed out of Marvel and DC's best known crossover events?

By now, it ought to be obvious Claremont was just having fun with this. Chris would even appear in the story himself a little bit further down the road.

As the X-babies tried to escape Mojo's forces by entering the house of all things crossover, Rita mysteriously vanished off panel... Just as Mojo decided his usual troops weren't enough to subdue his newest stars. He wanted the X-babies back, by any means possible. Wait, he'll tell you himself...

"We must bind them to you... with unbreakable livestime contracts"

And that meant hiring...

Now, any and all similarities between the Agent and other ruthless, heavy breathing bad guys in capes and black armor are purely coincidental... Though since both Marvel and Star Wars are properties of Disney nowadays, this might actually be their first retroactive crossover. Well done Darth Vader!

With Rita missing, the X-babies were in need of a chaperonne... Luckily, their trip through the portal of crossovers that time forgot dropped them off in the lap of the best babysitter imaginable...

Color Kitty completely surprised.

Continuitywise, Mojo Mayhem fit in between Excalibur # 9 and 10, and Kitty was feeling depressed and bummed out. Still mourning the loss of the X-men and not getting anywhere with her research into the mysterious interdimensional Widget, she took a much needed break from superheroing and left Excalibur's lighthouse to attend a jazz concert in Edinburgh.

Travelling back to London by train, she was surprised by the sudden appearance of the X-babies. But after a little convincing, she agreed to help them find the missing Ricochet Rita...

Just how that search and anything but rescue mission went down, we'll cover in part II of Mojo's Mind Control Mayhem: Sign Your Name And Cross Your Heart... FOREVER!


David said...

I love that in the Crossovers panel, "The New Universe" is boarded up and condemned. Good stuff!

Clarmindcontrol said...

And now it's about to make a return to the Marvel universe proper :) In the end, all the old things are new again.