“…the Morlocks Take Manhattan!”
Credits: Scott Lobdell (writer), Ruirk Tyler (layouts), Tom Raney (pencils), Josef Rubinstein & Al Milgrom (inks), Lois Buhalis & Tom Orzechowski (letters), Steve Buccellato (colors)
The X-Men fight the Morlocks in Times Square, while Xavier explores their tunnels to find the psychic Morlock responsible for inspiring the rampage. Xavier cuts his leg, but finds the Morlock child and calms him down. No longer under his influence, the Morlocks go back underground. Jean Grey feels that they are still out of control and the X-Men follow them down to their tunnels. Meanwhile, Mikhail manipulates Iceman’s form, and leaves him unconscious before leaving with Callisto to aid her revenge on the Morlocks.
Iceman’s altered form, which would define his look for the ‘90s, debuts in this issue. Mikhail alters his body so that it is made completely of ice, rather than simply being covered in it.
This is where this story starts to fall apart. Last issue, the Morlocks were driven mad by Masque altering their forms. Now, it seems as if someone decided that this wasn’t a good enough reason, so instead there’s just one mad psychic Morlock causing all of the others to act out. This is a better explanation, but it comes out of nowhere. It also gives the Morlocks an easy pass; once Xavier helps the kid, they apologize and retreat to the sewers. However, this storyline has to go on for another issue, so the X-Men decide to keep following the Morlocks, dragging this mess out for another month.
All of the potentially interesting elements of this story are shifted aside so the X-Men can fight wacky looking Morlocks in Times Square. The focus suddenly moves from Storm to Xavier in this issue, making things feel even more disjointed. Storm has a connection to the Morlocks and should have an emotional investment in this storyline. Xavier doesn’t, so suddenly shifting the spotlight to him doesn’t work. Archangel is another character who could play an interesting role in this story, but instead he’s just given one page to cry and recap the Mutant Massacre. Of course, considering next issue’s revelation, he would’ve been better off not participating in this story at all.