X-Men Annual #10

    X-Men Annual » X-Men Annual #10 - Performance released by Marvel on 1986.

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    Logan's training continues...and he's got his sights set on Sabretooth.

    The X-Men were training in the Danger Room. Their objective was to catch Magneto. However, all of their attacks proved futile. Cypher, Sunspot & new comer Psylocke watched from the observation room. Sunspot was angry that Shadowcat was classed as an X-Men even though she was younger than some New Mutants members. Psylocke wondered where she would fit in; as an inexperienced X-Men, or a mature New Mutant.

    The training session was also observed by Spiral, Mojo & Major Domo. Domo's accounts showed that the adventure in the Wildways (see New Mutants Annual #2) had cost Mojo greatly. However, Mojo dismissed Poverty and began scheming to have the X-Men as his own performers. Mojo pressed a button on his control display.

    In the Danger Room a magical ball of plasma energy appeared. It caused all of their mutant abilities to go haywire; Wolverine's claws extended & Colossus reverted to human. It exploded, throwing a blond man on the floor and covering everyone in the Danger Room in a strange ectoplasmic goop. Psylocke ran into the Danger Room with a medi-kit. Using her telepathic powers, she could sense that the blond man's memories were jumbled and incoherent. Nightcrawler observed that the mysterious new arrival only had three fingers on each hand, to which Storm reminded him that he only had two. From up in the control room, Cypher asked for a sample of the slime that they were all covered in, but it suddenly disappeared. The X-Men left the Danger Room. Storm carried the stranger, and realised that he was abnormally light for a man of his size. Magneto ordered them all to be decontimated, but Psylocke couldn't shake the feeling that something was horribly wrong.

    As the sun rose the next morning, Storm thought someone had played a pracical joke by swapping her rob for one much larger. She greeted her plants just as a terrible scream filled the mansion. Magik called everyone into her bedroom to see Lockheed guarding a terrified and remarkably smaller Shadowcat. The New Mutants arrived first and were rudely pushed out of the way by the X-Men. All the New Mutants were unaffected, but they quickly noticed the change in height and age of the X-Men. In the secret underground complex, Cypher used a holographic display to highlight the problem. The X-Men refused to accept that they had shrunken in height & age, and continued to display bratty behaviour. Psylocke arrived to notify them that the mystery blond man had woken up.

    In the sick bay, all the girls swooned around the blond man's bed. He was an amnesiac who didn't know his own name. The New Mutants huddled in the corner ,ignored by the increasingly immature X-Men. Cypher and Warlock entered the Danger Room to see if they could find any traces of the slime that had covered the X-Men. Warlock was against a gestalt merge, but Cypher stated it was his decision. By merging, they detected traces of the Transmode Virus. However, it wasn't from Warlock's father Magus, but was similar to the technology responsible for transforming children into Mojo's Bratpack (see New Mutants Annual #2). They went to warn the others.

    Psylocke had used her telepathy to discover the stranger's name, and the location of the creature who was to blame for their current situation. Rogue was smitten with Longshot, and Wolverine was gung-ho for a fight. The ran to the door, but were blocked by the New Mutants. Mirage tried to explain that they shouldn't leave, but was distracted by Warlock & Cypher's arrival. Taking the opportunity, Magneto zapped the New Mutants with an electro-magnetic bolt. The X-Men stepped over the unconscious New Mutants and climbed into the limousine.

    They left the car in central park, but by then many of them had decreased in age to a point that their mutant powers would no longer work. As one of the oldest, Magneto still had powers and used it to distracted mounted police. Kitty and Rogue had de-aged into babies, and were carried by Colossus & Psylocke. As the sun rose, the X-Men ran to the place where they believed Mojo was hiding. However, they had all developed bratty personalities and began to squabble. Storm left them to fight. Longshot suggested that they follow her. They arrived at the Delacorte theatre in Central Park, but Magneto's powers had disappeared so he couldn't open the door. Just as Wolverine was about to cut the lock open, Storm appeared on the inside, having used her thieves' skills to break in. Once inside they were greeted by a dazzling light. Storm asked if they could come in & play, which Mojo gleefully agreed to.

    Back at the school, Mirage was woken by a banging noise. She pulled herself to her feet and put a trench coat over her New Mutant uniform before she answered the door. The Police had discovered the abandoned limousine and wanted to speak to the Head Master. Mirage sent them away saying she was the only one home because she was sick.

    Later, the New Mutants had all regained consciousness. Mirage tried to use Cerebro, but couldn't find any trace of the X-Men. Cypher informed them that if the X-Men had decreased in age to a point before their mutant powers had developed, then they wouldn't be able to find them with a mutant detecting device. They then head up into the attic and opened an old chest. To save the X-Men the New Mutants would have to become the new X-Men. They changed into their graduation outfits with sad trepidation. It should have been a happy occasion for them to wear those uniforms for the first time, but they were all scared. Magik then teleported them all away.

    However, something grabbed them in mid-teleport and they arrived on the Delacorte's stage. Just before they could decide what to do, Spiral appeared to taunt them. She announced that the cast had finally been assembled and introduced the changed X-Men. Most of them were still depowered, but they were already growing in age. All the X-Men were wearing new outfits, and were itching to kill the New Mutants.

    The original Bratpack watched what was happening from their seats in the audience. Just as they were about to sneak away to try and help the New Mutants, Spiral cast a spell over the audience preventing them from moving. Meanwhile, a group of frogs sat underneath their seats wondering what bad things were happening above them.

    On stage, Storm had regrown all her hair and regained control of the weather. Magneto immediately used his magnetism against Warlock's circuitry, while Psylocke struck Mirage with a telepathic bolt. Colossus, Nightcrawler & Shadowcat all attacked Wolfsbane at once, and Magik placed herself between Longshot and the innocent actors who were still on stage. However, Spiral was blocking her mutant power to teleport so she was unable to move them to safety. Sunspot mentioned how dangerous the X-Men were, and they hadn't even reached full maturity yet. Magma worried that the spell would become permanent when the X-Men reached their true ages. Meanwhile, Mojo lapped up the applause from the audience.

    Spiral made an attempt to attack Longshot. She was jealous of the attention he received from the crowd, and her love for him made her hate him all the more. But when she kicked him over, Mojo teleported her back above the stage where he threw her crashing back down on the stage. This drew the New Mutants's attention to Mojo.

    Cannonball tried to blast his way up to Mojo, but Longshot landed on his back sending him off course. Magma created a volcano on stage, but Mirage warned her not to hurt the audience. Sunspot successfully prevented Colossus from using a giant pillar to swat others, but he was caught from behind by Rogue. Her kiss drained him, causing her skin to turn ash black. Mirage managed to kick Rogue away from Sunspot, but Rogue's mind was suddenly filled with Sunspot's memories of the X-Men. She was shocked at images of the X-Men as heroes.

    The fight continued to rage on. Nightcrawler teleported around the stage, and attacked Wolfsbane. Magik conjured up her soulsword. Since Spiral was unconscious Magik was able to teleport for a surprise attack behind Mojo. However, he grabbed her by the wrist instead. Karma attempted to posses Wolverine's mind, which only made him angrier. As he slowly approached Karma ready to pounce, he began to fight Mojo's mind control just as he had fought Karma's. He ripped off the Mojo mask, leaving him completely naked, and in a rage clawed at the wall all around Karma.

    Free from Mojo's control Wolverine tackled Colossus around the knees, freeing Sunspot. Psylocke moved to attack Cypher. He couldn't bring himself to hurt her though, and decided the only thing he could do was leave his mind completely open to her. Just as Wolverine was about to pounce on Psylocke, she was moved by the compassion inside Cypher's mind. Cypher pushed her out of the way before Wolverine skewered her, and she finally regained her own mind.

    Shadowcat phased through the audience, spooking them. She was torn between hating and wanting to save her best friend, Magik. As she floated up to attack Magik, she phased through Mojo. Doing so, she disrupted Mojo's technology, and therefore broke the control he held over the X-Men.

    After they all screamed in pain, Storm became torn between being a weather goddess and a free spirit. She attacked Mojo's tower with her thunderbolts. Rogue flew up and attempted to drain Mojo's strength, but he was full of too much energy and caused her own flesh to swell and bubble. Psylocke used a mind bolt against him, but realised she was too weak. Alone, their attacks had been useless, but the X-Men began to work as a team. Magneto controlled the metal in Mojo's artificial legs and brought him crashing down to the stage. There, Colossus used his might strength to punch Mojo across the stage. Nightcrawler teleported behind Spiral's unconscious body and stole one of her swords. He then teleported to Mojo and was about to plunge it into him when Mojo teleported away.

    Mojo had escaped, but the X-Men still had Spiral. Psylocke woke her with a telepoathic poke. Colossus held all of her arms while Magik and Wolverine threatened to chop her up into pieces unless she co-operated. Spiral called their bluff, and Psylocke called for them to kill her. However, Storm commanded that Spiral should not be killed and so a tentative pact was made. Spiral was set free and began to dance. Her spells restored the Delacorte and the X-Me nto their original forms.

    Back at the mansion, the New Mutants folded up their graduation uniforms and placed them back in the trunk. Sunspot sat sulking, that they hadn't won the day. Mirage pointed out that if it wasn't for them, that the X-Men wouldn't have recovered, and therefore they had turned the ride in the heat of the battle.

    Meanwhile, the X-Men played outside in the pool. Longshot couldn't understand why the floor moved, and Nightcrawler explained that it was water by pushing Longshot in. Wolverine and Psylocke joined Storm on a cliff looking out to sea. Wolverine commented on her haircut and Storm claimed that she would grow it back when she felt like it, not because of Mojo's magic. Psylocke considered how she could not remove the bionic eyes that Mojo had given her.

    As the X-Men reminisced about what made them heroes, the live feed from Psylocke's eyes ended. Crowds of spineless ones applauded demanding more. Major Domo calculated the figures and announced that it had been a huge success. Mojo was offended at the suggestion that he would repeat the adventure next year. He claimed that a true artiste never repeats himself, and that was why he wanted to leave Longshot with the X-Men. He knew that he would bring great adventures, break hearts, and torment Spiral. He then ended the scene with a grotesque pig's head that repeated Porky Pig's stuttered catchphrase 'that's all folks!'.



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    Unexpectedly Awesome 0

    Back in the day, this was one of the first X-Men annuals that I actually read. So imagine my surprise when in fact it wasn't so much the X-Men as it was the New Mutants that made the annual! But it made sense too -- the junior team's most recent annual had touched upon the same issues, with the same villain: Mojo.At the time, I really had little experience with him and the New Mutants both; I hadn't really read much of their series. But if only the whole series could have been as strong as this ...

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