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Left Unresolved – What the Heck Was the “Prize” That the Upstarts Were Playing For?

by  in Comic News Comment
Left Unresolved – What the Heck Was the “Prize” That the Upstarts Were Playing For?

In this feature, I spotlight storylines that have been, well, left unresolved. Click here for an archive of all storylines featured so far.

Today, based on a suggestion by reader Jesse, we take a look at how the group of X-Men villains, the Upstarts, and their sick “game” (which involved killing lots of mutants) and how it sort of fizzled out there in the end without ever actually being resolved, including what precisely was the “prize” that they were fighting over…

The first hint to the Upstarts was in X-Factor #67 by Whilce Portacio, Jim Lee, Chris Claremont and Scott Williams, where we meet Sebastian Shaw’s son, Shinobi, who is specifically referred to as an “upstart” when he kills his father…

Whilce Portacio and Jim Lee introducing young “upstarts” who kill off established older mutants created by Chris Claremont at the same time that they were young men taking control of the X-Men franchise from Claremont? That’s some crazy ass metafictional shit right there.

The Upstarts were officially introduced in Uncanny X-Men #281 (by Portacio, Lee, John Byrne and Art Thibert), where we meet Trevor Fitzroy and learn that Shaw killing his dad was part of some game…

After Fitzroy killed Emma Frost (seemingly) and almost all of Frost’s Hellions, he figured that put HIM in charge of the Upstarts, so he cut off Shaw’s finger to get his ring.

In Uncanny X-Men #283 (by Portacio, Byrne and Thibert), we learn that this whole “game” thing has a Gamesmaster in charge of it all. Shaw captures Fitzroy and then the Gamemaster rules in favor of Shaw…

At the end of the issue, though, we meet the Gamesmaster and learn that he is working along with Selene, the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club.

While it is never made absolutely clear, it seems PRETTY evident that this whole thing is a gambit by Selene to recruit the best possible Hellfire Club inner circle for the future. But notice how Selene is all “They don’t know what the REAL prize is that they’re fighting over,” right? Well, that is made ABUNDANTLY clear as all the various members of the Upstarts kept on saying different things about what the ultimate prize was.

Read on to see what some of the options for the final prize were…

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