Thursday, April 27, 2017

X-Men Issue 21 - From Whence Comes...Dominus?

Ominous Dominus - will the X-Men survive?

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When we last left the X-Men they had hopped into their jet, and were flying off to vaguely stated Southwest Desert.  As they are flying a beam of light comes from the sky and knocks them off their course.  As they steer the jet away from the beam of light, they can see that there are forms inside of the beam, coming down to Earth.

On the outskirts of the desert, a team of cowboys sees the light and decides to investigate.  They mount their horses (under the pretenses that their station wagon won't be able to navigate the rough terrain.  I've seen Vacation, they are correct, station wagons are in fact not off-road vehicles) and make their way toward the beam of light.

Back in the jet, the sun has risen for the day, and giant geysers are shooting up into the air from the top of the rock they spotted the beam coming down on.  As they survey the area, they also find a river flowing into the bottom of the rocky spire, and decide this is where they will make their entrance into the lair of Lucifer.

Seeing as how Professor X has been crippled by Lucifer twice now in his life, he decides to stay behind and let the X-Men check this one out...but they are ambushed by our cowboy friends.  The X-Men make quick work of them, and hop onto an ice raft which Iceman has formed, and ride the river into the bottom of the rock.

Things are going smoothly...too smoothly.  Just as the X-Men get comfortable and think they won't have any issue getting into the lair, a surprise whirlpool forms underneath them, sucking the X-Men into it's watery depths.

As Xavier sits alone in the desert, he senses danger when he realizes that he has lost contact with the X-Men.  As he tries hard to reestablish a connection, he fails to notice two massive robots that approach him from behind and wrap him in big pieces of metal.  They fly him into Lucifer's lair.

Lucifer's lair is surrounded by computers and intense machinery.  This machinery isn't just for looks, this machinery is really the biggest part of Lucifer's plan.  This machinery is Dominus!

Angel has escaped the whirlpool unscathed, but he is the only X-Man who managed to do so.  Not wanting to leave his X-Men in dire straights, Angel dives back into the whirlpool determined to save his friends from a watery death.

Instead - what he finds is that the team has been sucked down into an underwater cavern, but two of the team are missing!  Iceman and Beast are not able to be found!  Cyclops, Angel, and Marvel Girl start searching the area when they see an opening in a rock structure.  However, when they enter that structure, they unknowingly enter into a trap!  This is no mere opening, this is a transparent cage of some sort, and the three X-Men are trapped!

We then see Beast get pulled from the waters by a robot hand.  Beast tries to free himself from their metallic grasp, but the robots won't budge.  Just when Beast thinks he's done for, Iceman surfs over the waters on his ice surfboard and kicks it into the back of the robot's head, causing it to drop the Beast.  The fearsome twosome knock the giant robots over and almost make a fantastic escape, when their escape path is cut off by a large metal wall.

Lucifer, pleased at the fact that he has captured Professor X's team, now decides it's time to reveal his plan to Professor X.  The robots have beamed down from Lucifer's home planet.  They were made to operate the Dominus machine.  This Dominus machine has been used by Lucifer's race on innumerable planets over the eons.  This machine takes away free will from all humanoid inhabitants of the planet.  Lucifer's race then uses those mindless humanoids as slaves to do their bidding, and Lucifer intends to do the same to Earth!

Beast and Iceman have now been placed in the transparent prison along with the rest of the X-Men, and the giant robots are now transporting them, and their prison deeper into the rock fortress for Lucifer to take care of.  However, though the X-Men's powers are useless against this impenetrable prison - Marvel Girl finds out that her telepathic powers are able to extend outside of the prison, and she telepathically flips the switch on a control panel which releases the prison door.

Cyclops blasts his optic beam at a robot's back and it topples to the floor.  Not wanting to push their luck, the team flee deeper into the mechanical cavern.  Lucifer, seeing this transpire on his security monitors, commands the rest of his robot team to pursue the X-Men, and to destroy them on site.

The X-Men hide from the robots in some large mechanical constructions, and just about as they are going to start blasting it to kingdom come, Professor X gives them the order not to attack the building.  The X-Men are in a bind.  They know that Professor X stayed outside of the base in the desert, and that they lost all communications with him.  What they don't know is that Professor X has been captured by Lucifer and is now in his lair.  So the X-Men are now poised with a question - is this really Professor X sending them the mental message not to harm the mechanical construction known as Dominus!

They decide to explore this massive mechanical monstrosity and when they navigate their way down some tubes and hallways they end up discovering the main lair of Lucifer, where Professor X is held prisoner.  To confuse the team more, Professor X is no longer giving them mental communications, nor is he moving at all in the presence of Lucifer.  The X-Men suddenly turn on each other.

Angel decides to attack the machine, but Cyclops disagrees and fires a weak optic blast at Angel's back, stunning him.  Iceman then throws a giant ice ball at Dominus, but Marvel Girl telepathically stops it in mid-air.  Before the arguments can get picked back up, the giant robots attack the team again.

After a quick battle, the X-Men destroy all the robots leaving Lucifer defenseless.

Just as the team is going to attack Lucifer, he gets an intergalactic phone call from his boss.  His boss is furious that the robots have been defeated, and because of this one defeat apparently all the other planets that have been enslaved by Dominus are now able to revolt and overthrow the machines.  So the leader has no choice other than to imprison Lucifer in the nameless dimension where time and space cease to exist.

Professor X now explains to the X-Men that if they would have attacked the machine Dominus it would have reflected whatever attack they sent at it back at the X-Men.  So taking out the robots was the next logical choice.

With the Earth safe from enslavement, the X-Men head back to the jet to go back home.

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