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

With the original X-Men, who were starring in X-Factor, headed off to re-join the X-Men, Marvel had an extra mutant title. The solution was to turn X-Factor into a government-sponsored mutant superhero team.

The problem is that they still had a DIFFERENT one, so a three-part story in the 1991 Annuals took care of Freedom Force.

Fabian Nicieza wrote the story, which began in New Mutants Annual #7 (art by Kirk Jarvinin and Joe Rubinstein), with the team, now under the command of Crimson Commando, heading into Kuwait to rescue a German scientist from the Iraqis.

While Super Sabre is on recon, he suddenly has his head sliced clean off...

While they group together, awaiting the next attack, Crimson Commando suddenly has his arm sliced off, as well...

It turns out that it is a group of Middle Eastern super beings, including a conscripted Arabian Knight!

Arabian Knight stabs Avalanche, as well.

In Part Two in Uncanny X-Men Annual #15 (with penciler Jerry DeCaire joining Nicieza and Rubinstein), Pyro and Blob fight back, though, and when Desert Sword recaptures the German scientist, Pyro goes to Plan...probably Plan W and kills the scientist to keep them from getting him...

In the end, though, Desert Sword looks like they're about to wipe out Commando and Avalanche...

In the final part in X-Factor Annual #6 (with Steven Butler now joining Nicieza and Rubinstein), it is lucky for Commando that Avalanche is not dead yet...

Blob and Pyro kill off one of the members of Desert Sword and manage to badly wound the Arabian Knight, as well.

Avalanche then shows off remarkable bravery by deciding to save Commando's life...

Avalanche somehow manages to get the badly wounded Commando to their exfiltration helicopter, but Blob and Pyro are still lost and it is too dangerous for the helicopter to come to them...

When they find out that Pyro has also killed the scientist, Avalanche decides that they're not worth waiting for and thus risking any chance Commando has for living...

So Pyro and Blob have to surrender for now and thus, Freedom Force was through...

This cleared the way for X-Factor to take over their spot as the official government mutant team.

Okay, that's it for this first installment! I'm sure you all have suggestions for future installments of this feature, so feel free to drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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