Posted - November 10, 2016
Looks like they've been rummaging around Nick Fury's armory.
After they shoot up the place, Cheney teleports the X-Men away sans Psylocke and Wolverine. What's going on?
Xavier didn't survive Wolverine's attack - I would be disappointed at Logan if Xavier did survive.
If things arent' confusing enough here's another panel that adds to the smoke.
'Kill the males and spare the females'. What the? And why is Corsair so bleh at following such an order? He's being ordered to hunt down and kill X-Men? What's going on?
Looks like Ororo is as confused as we are.
Ok, so fact no. 1: Xavier slaughtered an entire planet.
Not the only genocide, and all of them blamed on Deathbird. But then again, this information is from Deathbird.
Amidst all the confusion, Storm looks amazing.
Deathbird attempts the near impossible: Enlisting the aid of the X-Men.
The Starjammers are on the hunt. It's subtle but they're behaving strangely, as if they're not really the Starjammers.
Back with the X-Men, Forge has created some equipment for his team.
Deathbird's mind is attacked and she orders Cheney to teleport her out. After they leave, Forge is stuck with one fork of a two-pronged attack. Man, this is crazy.
These panels show something really is up and Psylocke is not who she seems.
Villains reveal themselves.
Some kind of green alien - apparently with a whole 'host'- is at the heart of the deception. I can't place this alien race.
These aliens make, yes make, another Xavier who holds Lillandra (the real Lillandra) in thrall in this way.
The initial confusion is lifting but the situation is getting dire. Still, the comic ends on a high note as it focuses on the real Charles Xavier, imprisoned in some kind of alien web.
Thank God we don't have to wait a month before opening issue 277.
The Starjammers, hunting the X-Men, have two of them in sight.
Banshee is in danger of being killed as Corsair gives the fire order. Fortunately, Gambit has infiltrated the Starjammer ship and has interfered with a timely 'card throw'.
We get a beautiful two-page spread of what the attack looks like from the outside.
As the Starjammer ship nears a planetary atmosphere Storm is able to summon her namesake. The power of the storm accidentally destroy's Forge's space sled. Forge does some fast acting and thinking and is forced to board the Starjammer ship.
With Gambit on the inside and Forge on the outside it is the Starjammers' turn to be on the defensive.
Hepzibah, informs her teammates, that she can take on Gambit on her own.
Admittedly, I'm not familiar with Hepzibah's powerset. She can use weaponry but I think that's about it. I don't think the energy mutant Gambit will have a problem with her.
As this panel confirms . . .
. . . Forge in the bowels of a ship (any ship really) can prove to be a formidable foe.
It is just too bad that the Starjammer giant, Ch'od discovers Forge. Forge shoots Ch'od point blank on the head but Ch'od just smiles it away (impressive). Forge is not in a good place./p>
Lucky for him that his imminent demise is interrupted by the one X-Man who's scream is more then just an expression of emotion.
Banshee or Black Bolt Lite.
This is very interesting.
The Starjammers are referring to themselves as "the host"; an inkling that they are not in control of themselves.
We're getting a pattern here. Just as Banshee is about to die, Storm comes in.
Finally, the true enemy reveals itself.
We switch our attention to the Maul.
Not the mall, the Maul. There is another place called the 'Maul' in the pages of Conan, referring to a dangerous place in one of those Hyborian cities. Anyway, trapped behind Deathbird and Lila Cheney are the real X-Men. They are very soon confronted by the fake X-Men.
Deathbird can now boast that she has been attacked by both the real Wolverine and a fake one.
Just as Gladiator attacks, Professor X (the real one) orders Lila out of there.
If Professor X has a plan then i'm expectant that things are going to turn.
As all of this is happening, the X-Men in the Starjammer ship manage to take control and we are witness to a timely arrival.
The dangerous thing about these Skrulls is that as they 'imprint' the X-Men they also copy their powers.
It's Gambit vs. Gladiator and Gladiator gets the 'full deck'.
Fake Psylocke goes against Forge. As Forge gets hit with the Psychic Knife in the head, I wince - Forge needs that brain.
It's not so bad though, that Forge can't counterattack.
Fake Wolverine gets stabbed by Gambit.
Then he gets hit by a Banshee attack.
Is it enough to keep him down?
The ace-in-the-hole for the Skrulls seems to be the fake Professor X.
The fake Professor X's gloating is interrupted by a 'problem'.
And just like that it's over. Except for some Imperial matters.
The stolen kiss is an adolescent move but I like the complicated layer this puts on to Deathbird. She's getting more real; not a 'cut-out' villain.
Look at this.
Ever head one of those? Just as you think you can get some rest after the resolution of one problem another one presents itself tagged 'Urgent'. Ughh! You're already drained but more is expected of you. Given that, the Professor shows both maturity and stamina by how he reacts.
I think, to react like this, you have to enjoy the problems a little. And with that, the X-Men jump to another adventure. The prologue will be in this very same issue just one panel really as Stevie Hunter faces a confrontation.
This seems to be the season for taking over the X-Men. Patterns. Claremont patterns.
Let's open issue 278. Jim Lee takes a break and Paul Smith gets the art chores.
In a refreshing contrast to the mysterioso treatment of the Skrulls in the previous storyline, we have this storyline's villain front and center: The Shadow King.
His modus operandi dovetails perfectly with that of Psycho-Man.
The Shadow King points to human hate as his power source but he does have a thorn on his side.
I've never heard of W.H.O. before this comic.
I like them immediately because 'Weird Happenings Organization' has a wacky twist to it and also because it's easier to type W.H.O. than S.H.I.E.L.D. Evidently this organization is related to the X-Men offshoot group Excalibur. Anyway, there is an intruder on-base.
Whoever it is is wearing Shi'ar armor.
This intruder is attempting to "steal" the X-Men's Blackbird.
We find Rogue, after her Savage Land adventures , facing a "situation" in Muir Isle.
Some kind of gladiatorial acceptance right against X-Factor's Strong Guy. Moira MacTaggert has sanctioned it and other mutants are enjoying the show.
I'm a bit baffled.
The ending: Rogue takes out Strong Guy.
Oh, so this is the idea.
The Muir Isle Arena is the country-cousin of the urbane Danger Room.
The intruder reveals himself.
Xavier mentions other branches of the X-Men family: X-Factor and X-Calibur. He's rallying all the troops for a showdown with the Shadow King. Here's who he has so far.
While Rogue takes a bath, the Shadow King reveals why the mutants on Muir are getting a little bit more bloodthirsty than usual.
It looks like the X-Men will be going against the Muir Isle mutants. Rogue is definitely a heavy-hitter for the latter group.
As the X-Men attempt to infiltrate Muir Isle we get this interesting dialogue.
The eternal discussion between those who choose to see life as fun and those who take a more serious approach. I need more of Gambit's outlook myself.
On the ground, Banshee makes a nice discovery replete with references to Scottish culture.
Psylocke informs everybody that someone or something very powerful is being held in Muir.
The confrontation begins as Legion lashes out at Storm.
Since Storm has a psylink with Psylocke, Elizabeth also gets a dose of Legion's power. Lucky Legion.
I think this hurts more though. Banshee getting taken out by his own daughter, Siren.
It's Gambit vs Madrox with Madrox giving a nice capsule description of his power.
Wolverine vs. Rogue. Good match.
Amanda (a sorceress) confronts Jubilee in a beautifully done panel.
In a short aside. Professor X reacts to the past destruction of the X-Mansion.
It's more of a nostalgic reaction though, I read somewhere (I forgot where) that the Prof is has a net worth of around two billion dollars. Also, it isn't the first time the Mansion was destroyed and rebuilt. It's like moving house. It's a chore but it's not a new chore.
What follows next is a meeting between two main adversaries.
And a grisly report of the situation in Muir
Well, things are off to a bad start.
The issue ends with Professor X being pitted against a mind-controlled Colossus.
I'm not too worried, it should a simple matter for the Professor to wrest Peter's mind from the Shadow King. Or is it? They're not called cliffhangers for nothing.