Credits: Scott Lobdell (writer), Tom Raney (pencils), Hilary Barta (inks), Lois Buhalis (letters), Joe Rosas (colors)
The Morlocks, driven insane by Masque’s manipulation, track down their former leader Callisto and attack. She travels with the wounded Morlock Healer to the X-Men’s mansion for help. The Healer uses the last of his power to heal Callisto’s wounds. He dies, and Callisto’s original body returns. Callisto wants to leave the mansion to face the Morlocks, but Iceman will not let her. Mikhail Rasputin appears and threatens Iceman. Meanwhile, the X-Men travel to the Morlock tunnels to discover that they are all fighting against one another. A group of Morlocks grabs Storm, causing her to panic and fly to the surface, with the Morlocks following behind her.
When Colossus refers to Masque altering Callisto’s face, the footnote actually reads, “We don’t remember exactly when, but trust us – it happened!” Why even write a footnote if you don’t know the issue number?
Callisto’s dialogue on page fourteen: “The Healer…gave the final measure of his power to heal me. It wasn’t nearly enough! All he managed to do was return my body to its original state! My wounds, at least, are healed…” Which is it? His powers weren’t “nearly enough” to heal her, yet she says that he did two sentences later.
This is the start of the “Last Morlocks” storyline, which is in the running for the “Worst Thing Scott Lobdell Has Ever Written” prize. I assume that this arc was done to kill time until Portacio’s replacement was found and the X-Cutioner’s Song storyline could begin. In the first chapter, Lobdell seems to be going in the direction of making this a Storm-centric story, focusing on her relationship with the Morlocks and her failure as their leader. In theory, that’s fine. There was a never much of a follow-up to the Mutant Massacre, and you could a lot of mileage out of Storm feeling guilty about what happened to the Morlocks. However, the Morlocks are all portrayed as mindless lunatics in this story, so why should the reader care about what happened to them? Just because the Morlocks are freakish looking doesn’t mean they have to act like stereotypical movie monsters. If any of the Morlocks in this story could present a rational argument against Storm, that could be an interesting story. Instead, they’re just a group of psychos who grab at her and shout “heal me!” There’s really not a lot to work with here. This is a fairly bad issue, and it’s only going to get worse.