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Were the Muir Island X-Men Actually X-Men?

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
Were the Muir Island X-Men Actually X-Men?

Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at brianc@cbr.com).

Reader Greg S. wrote in to ask:

Something that has confused me for years (decades?) started with Uncanny X-Men #254. That issue launched a new era of the team, complete with iconic costumes, the same premise as All-New All-Different (actually one better – they really thought the former X-Men were dead). They even had the obligatory big-muscled-guy death in an early adventure, just like Thunderbird. The Muir Island X-Men were featured or depicted in a few issues… and then the focus totally turned back to Wolverine and friends.

Clearly their tenure was short, but… why have the Muir Island X-Men been completely retconned out as not being official? When Marvel does “complete” ensemble images, they never include characters who were only Muir Island X-Men. Why the snub?

Things began in “Uncanny X-Men” #253 by Chris Claremont, Marc Silvestri and Steve Leialoha, where Sean Cassidy, the former X-Man known as Banshee, rescued former X-Man Polaris, who was going through some weird changes to her powers (she was now super-strong and caused emotional instability in the people around her)…

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At the same time, Amanda Sefton had shown up in England to find Nightcrawler for some help. Instead, Excalibur was out of this dimension, so she instead had to find help with Alysande Stuart, whose brother had been taken with Excalibur….

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The issue ended with Donald Pierce and his cyborg assault team known as the Reavers preparing to attack Muir Island and destroy it and kill both Banshee and his girlfriend, Moira MacTaggert, who is the head of the mutant research facility on the island (the facility held the surviving Morlocks from the Morlock Massacre)…

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In “Uncanny X-Men” #254 (by Claremont, Silvestri and Dan Green), Alysande and Amanda showed up on Muir Island, where Banshee met them. However, in the first barrage of the attack, the Reavers shot Banshee with a sniper rifle. Luckily, Amanda could teleport, so she headed back to the facility with Banshee…

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And so, the siege of the island was on, with the facility being defended by Tom Corsi, Sharon Friedlander, Banshee, Amanda Sefton, Moira MacTaggert and Alysande Stuart (with Sunder and Legion also involved, but Legion was just out of it, so he was alternately saving people and putting them into danger himself).

Luckily, help was called for, so Freedom Force (the United States government sponsored mutant strike force, made up of former members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants) along with former X-Man ally Forge showed up in an awesome sequence by Marc Silvestri in the next issue…

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So Freedom Force helps stop the Reavers, although Forge has to bail the rest of Freedom Force out at one point, in an also awesome sequence…

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The issue ends with Forge and Banshee agreeing to team-up to find the missing X-Men…

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So, Greg, it doesn’t really seem like they actually formed a team. It was just a bunch of people working together to protect the island, with the costumes there just to protect them, not to serve as uniforms as a new team. Heck, Forge and Banshee are very clearly that the X-Men are still out there, so they need to go put the team back together again. So I am going to rule that the Muir Island “X-Men” are not actually X-Men.

Thanks, Greg! If anyone else has a question, let me know at brianc@cbr.com!

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