With Havok in danger, the Beast seeks out his old allies, the X-Men, to rescue him - unwittingly walking them all into a mesmerizing trap!
Reprint of and retroactive backup story to The X-Men #111 - Mindgames!(June, 1978).
A Taste for Vengeance!
Jean Grey walks down a crowded New York street in the sweltering summer heat. Feeling telepathically overwhelmed and fatigued by the crowd, she uses her new Phoenix powers to dampen her own telepathic abilities. This, however, leaves her vulnerable to an attack by the sinister Mesmero, who catches her unaware from out of an ally.
Hypnotizing her, Mesmero takes Jean back to his apartment where he has other female victims under his thrall, but as he tries to take advantage of her, he finds he is blocked by the Phoenix power; he can't physically touch her without risking losing his hypnotic control of her. Instead, he decides to use her to bring the other X-men under his control.
Gaining all the information he needs to grant him access to the X-mansion from Jean, Mesmero infiltrates the mutants' headquarters and one by one brings each member of the team under his control. As he gains control of Storm, however, she blasts a lightning bolt through the skylight of her attic greenhouse. From a forested hill near the mansion, Wolverine sees the blast and returns home expecting trouble.
As he approaches the house, Wolverine is telekinetically snatched up by Jean's Phoenix claw and brought inside to find Mesmero with all of the other X-men under his control. Mesmero tries to do the same to Wolverine, but finds the X-man's will is too strong, and his mind too fractured, to be properly controlled as the others have been. He sets the other X-men against Wolverine to break his will, but though Wolverine has to be careful not to seriously hurt his friends, he's able to withstand hours of their abuse without breaking.
Frustrated, Mesmero eventually gives up on trying to control Wolverine and comes up with another plan: seeing a picture of Nightcrawler performing on the wall, he hypnotizes the X-men into believing that they are circus performers. Thus he can both humiliate the team for his own amusement and make some money off of them at the same time. Mesmero laughs, pleased with his own brilliant plan.