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Comic Book / X-Cutioner's Song

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X-Cutioner's Song was a 1992 multi-part crossover event running through X-Men, X-Factor, X-Force and Uncanny X-Men, serving as a conclusion to the storyline between Cable and Stryfe.

Things weren't good with the teams — Cable had taken over the New Mutants and rechristened them into the para-militaristic X-Force, X-Factor was co-opted by the U.S. Government, Colossus had just lost his brother Mikhail to suicide and the love lives of many of the X-Men were in disarray — Psylocke was trying to break Cyclops and Jean Grey up, Gambit's estranged wife Belladonna returned into his life only to commit suicide and Wolverine was forced to kill his beloved Mariko after she was poisoned.

Then, suddenly, the X-Men are attacked by the new Four Horsemen of Apocalypse as Cyclops and Jean are kidnapped while Professor Xavier, attending a concert by Lila Cheney, is shot by... Cable?! Now, the X-Teams must find a way to save Xavier, rescue their friends and find out what's going on.

The story ran through Uncanny X-Men #294-296, X-Men vol. 2 #14-16, X-Factor #84-86, and X-Force #16-18 with an epilogue in Uncanny #297.

Tropes Associated with this storyline:

  • Accidental Murder: During one battle, a mutant named Kamikaze attempted to sneak up on and attack Archangel. Unaware of his attacker, Archangel spread his metallic wings, decapitating Kamikaze.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: A minor example. Late in the story, Cyclops and Jean attempt to escape from Stryfe's base on the Moon to another area. The Moon has a minor atmosphere, forcing the two to try and hold their breath and crawl across the ground.
  • Big Bad: Stryfe manipulates both heroes and villains in order to take revenge on Scott and Jean back for "abandoning" him, Cable for being his "clone", Apocalypse for manipulating him, Xavier for being Scott and Jean's mentor...
  • Bittersweet Ending: The mad plans of Stryfe has been stopped, but Cable presumably perishes in stopping him (he returns in Fatal Attractions (Marvel Comics)) and Xavier has been saved from the techno-organic virus inside him. However, the deal between Stryfe and Sinister leads to one of mutantkind's most horrible weapons against them — the Legacy Virus.
  • Clear My Name: Twice early in the story:
    • The real Cable and X-Force are blamed for the events and they really didn't have a shining reputation before the story started.
    • The Horsemen of Apocalypse are duped by Mr. Sinister, disguised as Apocalypse, to capture Cyclops and Jean, forcing the Dark Riders to wake the real Apocalypse to figure out what's going on.
  • Cloning Blues: The main drive of Stryfe's rage and anger — he was created as an identical twin of Cable, intending on replacing him if he couldn't be saved. Then Cable was able to be saved and the clone was taken by Apocalypse and made to believe he was abandoned.
  • Cruel Mercy: Archangel finds Apocalypse near death after he battled his Dark Raiders and loses. Despite Apocalypse wanting to die at Archangel's hand in accordance of Apocalypse's Survival of the Fittest credo, Archangel spares him and leaves him to (temporarily) die as a feeble mess of a man.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Apocalypse is on both ends — he is able to defeat a group of X-Men despite being in a weakened state before Stryfe comes and kicks his ass, forcing him to escape.
  • Enemy Mine: A few examples:
    • X-Force is forced to work with the X-Men and X-Factor despite the teams being on very bad terms.
    • Apocalypse, after having Stryfe kick his ass and stealing his Dark Riders, is forced to help the X-Men save Xavier.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Wolverine, Bishop and Cable are unable to figure out where Stryfe is hiding Cyclops and Jean but are able to pair down to Apocalypse's bases. When none is located, Cable mutters "where on Earth could they be?" Wolverine realizes why when Jean is able to send out a psychic cry for help — they weren't on Earth at all, they were on the Moon.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Stryfe shows a "baby" (really a robot) hooked to a system, saying that if Cyclops and Jean Grey kill it, they'll stop Stryfe. He assumes they'll do it easily...and instead watches in shock as they defend the baby from the robots Stryfe sends after them. Stryfe can't even speak with the narration summarizing his entire world view is being destroyed.
  • Living Lie Detector: When the X-Men were hunting him down, Cable got out of a fight by saying to Wolverine "I did not shoot Xavier." Wolverine's senses correctly told him that Cable was being truthful.
  • Take That!: In part five, Jubilee yells at the captured X-Force team, calling them "head-padded, hyper-thyroid, pig-headded, spoiled brat, poorly dressed, overly accessorized, delusionaly disadvantaged X-Men wannabes who are in need of a major 'tude adjustment!". Being Rob Liefeld creations before he bailed from Marvel, it was obvious there was some sort of resentment there.
  • Wall of Weapons: There's a scene where Cable enters one of his many safehouses to replenish his weaponry. On the wall are dozens of futuristic guns (which, given his origin, actually are from the future), many of them even larger than he is. Naturally, Cable grabs all of them.