'Messiah Complex' was the biggest storyline to hit the X-Men franchise since the 'House of M'. It's one of those "must read" story arcs if you intend to follow the adventures of any of the X-Men teams from 2008 onward. Messiah Complex is told over 13 chapters, beginning with the X-Men: Messiah Complex one-shot, and then continuing in four of the X-Men monthlys, Uncanny X-Men #492-494, X-Factor #25-27, New X-Men #44-46 and X-Men #205-207. Following on from Messiah Complex, all four 'X-Books' underwent a relaunch, based upon the outcome of Messiah Complex.

To follow the events in Messiah Complex I'd recommend reading 'The House of M' arc as well as the X-Men 'Supernovas' and 'Blinded by the Lights' collections.

The Messiah Complex story really began at the conclusion of the House of M, and the event known as 'M-Day', in which a vast majority of the mutant population was de-powered. The X-Gene itself has all but disappeared, and there have been no new mutant births since M-Day. With mutants bordering on extinction, Messiah Complex begins with the explosive birth, literally, of a mutant. This sparks a race between the X-Men, Mr Sinister and the Marauders, the Acolytes, the Reavers, the Purifiers, and Predator X to see who will get to the child first. Clearly each group has it's own motivations, and the line between good and evil begins to blur in some cases. » Read the rest of the entry..

When New Mutants #98 first hit the stands in 1991 there was something that set it apart from the other comics around at the time. No, I'm not Rob Liefeld's absurdly over the top characterisations, bulging muscles, and proliferation of pointless pouches*. As you can see from the cover of New Mutants #98, drawing people does not appear to be one of Liefeld's strong points. Some would have considered this to be a major road block on the path to comics stardom. Not Mr Liefeld.

Whilst it is difficult to determine the exact number of atrocities committed on the comic community by Liefeld, it is important to remember that, in 1991, he was one of the most popular artists on Marvel's payroll. Furthermore, Liefeld's legacy is not all doom and gloom, without him, we would be without the teachings of Deadpool.

New Mutants #98 coverWhen we first meet the "Merc with the Mouth", he's a red suit wearing guy with skinny legs and weird feet (thanks Liefeld!). Granted, Deadpool's first appearance is a brief one. Deadpool is contracted to take out would-be world saviour Cable. After dealing out an ass spanking to Cable and a couple of other bit players (Boom Boom anyone?), Deadpool is unceremoniously stabbed in the back, literally, by Cable's on-again/off-again flame, Domino.

What can we learn from this?

Don't turn your back on a women that has a better than average chance at being able to throw knives and have them hit you in the back pointy end first.

Dodgy art work aside, copies of New Mutants #98 in excellent condition have been known to go for upward of $100US on eBay. With Deadpool due to make an appearance in the Wolverine Origins movie, his stocks are most definitely on the rise.

* If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out "The 40 Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings".

The New Mutants #98 (Feb 1991, Marvel) Mint condition
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