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How Freedom Force Was Wiped Out to Make Room for X-Factor

This is a brand-new featured called "In The Spotlight So Clear." It is a spotlight on times in comics where characters need to be cleared out of the way to make room for a new status quo. Like, for instance, you want to introduce a new Captain Superhero, you might want to first get rid of the previous Captain Superhero. Stuff like that.

Today, we look at how the government's mutant team, Freedom Force, was wiped out to make room for the NEW government mutant team of the time, X-Factor.

One of the funny things about the fact that comic books have been deal with political topics for decades is that you can see certain themes reoccur. One of these reoccurring themes is the idea of the government getting into bed with bad guys if it means getting a job done.

This was the case when Mystique, the leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, approached U.S. Government agent Val Cooper in Uncanny X-Men #199 (by Chris Claremont, John Romita Jr. and Dan Green) to make her an offer...

The team at the time was Mystique, the future-telling Destiny, the fire-controlling Pyro, the earthquake-making Avalanche, the powerful magician, Spiral, and, well, the Blob.

The newly minted "Freedom Force" (predating "Freedom Fries" by nearly two decades) showed their mettle by taking down Magneto later in that issue so that Magneto could stand trial for his crimes against humanity...

Freedom Force became recurring antagonists over the next few years. In a storyline where the U.S. government turns against the Avengers, it is Freedom Force who bring them in (in a ridiculous fight that made no sense. Like we're really supposed to believe that Freedom Force could take down TWO branches of the Avengers at once?).

Later, Spiral, their most powerful member, left the team and she was replaced by a trio of former World War II superheroes who had become vigilantes who hunted down and killed criminals. The new additions were named Crimson Commando, Super Sabre and Stonewall.

In a major storyline in X-Men #255 (by Chris Claremont, Marc Silvestri and Dan Green), Freedom Force is sent to Muir Isle by the government to protect the mutants there by an attack by Donald Pierce and the Reavers. At the time, Rogue (and the rest of the X-Men) were believed to be dead and Mystique blamed Forge for their deaths since they died as part of a spell her cast to defeat the Adversary. He had to survive to complete the spell and Mystique was none too forgiving that he was the only one to make it out alive (besides two reporters).

Mystique asked Forge to guard Destiny, but Destiny convinced him that if he did not go and save the others, they would be killed. She knew that she was about to murdered by Legion, so she wanted to protect Forge (plus, she knew that Forge would save the others, including her lover, Mystique).

During the battle, however, Stonewall first fell before Forge showed up to save the rest of the team...

Forge's attack forced the Reavers to run, but Mystique was none too pleased with Forge, as now she had someone else's death to blame him for...

Okay, so Mystique took a leave of absence to deal with Destiny's death. The remaining team went on another mission...it would be their last.

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