Core points of Gamers


Core points of Gamers

Marvel’s Freedom Force Helped Shape the Future of Mutantkind

While Marvel’s mutants have provided the world with some of its greatest heroes for a long time, they’ve also been the source of a lot of trouble over the years. Unfortunately, it took decades for the X-Men to become widely accepted as more than just a threat, something they still struggle with to this day. Over the years, great strides have been made in resolving that public tension, although not all of them have been successful. This is especially true of the Freedom Force, who paved the way for momentous change while somehow forgetting themselves.

For decades, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants ranked among the world’s top supervillain teams. Under Magneto’s leadership, the Brotherhood battled human and mutant enemies alike. Over the course of their many missions, they somehow never managed to further Magneto’s ultimate goals in any meaningful way. In fact, many of the Brotherhood members developed a deep dislike for their leader, something that made them more willing to start working against him. In his first appearance in 1985 Uncanny X-Men #199 (by Chris Claremont and John Romita Jr.), former Brotherhood mutants Mystique, Destiny, Blob, Pyro, and Avalanche joined the multi-armed spiral as Valerie Cooper’s officially sanctioned Freedom Force.

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Freedom Force were Marvel’s original Thunderbolts

The Freedom Force’s first order of business was to apprehend none other than Magneto. While this led to Magneto facing trial for his previous crimes in France, it was also the first of many unsettling confrontations the team would have. Over the next few years, the Freedom Force was called upon to take on various threats, such as the then-anti-mutant X-Factor, which eventually put them in direct competition with the Avengers. The divide between the Freedom Force and other heroes only increased when they were hired to enforce the Mutant Registration Act much to the chagrin of various other heroes and anti-heroes.

Despite whatever grudges they might have had, the Freedom Force proved that, given the resources and supervision, even classic villains could put their powers to good use. Although the Freedom Force itself disbanded in the wake of multiple disastrous missions that resulted in multiple casualties, the concept continued under the auspices of Val Cooper in the form of his next government-backed squad of mutants. More importantly, the Freedom Force broke the mold when it came to what it meant to exist as a hero or villain not only in the Marvel Universe, but specifically for mutants.

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How Freedom Force Changed the Marvel Universe

uncanny x-men 225 the world changes

They may not have as much of a reputation as they deserve, but Freedom Force really laid the groundwork for a lot of changes that are still being felt today. In addition to being the prototypical Thunderbolts long before that team came to be, the Freedom Force gave some of the most devious mutants of all time a taste of what real power could do. That’s not to say that everyone on the team has had the same reaction to their time with Freedom Force, but rather that those who were impacted the most have done great things with what they learned from the experience.

In the cases of Mystique and Destiny especially, the Freedom Force was an invaluable source of knowledge, not to mention an opportunity to establish themselves as more than just Magneto’s former lackeys. Being legitimized as such not only removed them from the list of usual suspects, but served to remind the rest of the world that their preconceived notions would only be that. And, while the Freedom Force’s path to the mutant nation of Krakoa certainly has more twists than an all but forgotten team could explain, it still set at least one precedent for that particular path.

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