Tag Archives: mutant liberation front


22 Jul

Subject: Mutant Liberation Front
Roster: Stryfe [team leader], Zero, Wildside, Thumbelina, Forearm, Reaper, Skids, Rusty, Dragoness, Kamikaze, Sumo, Tempo, Strobe
First Appearance: New Mutants #87, March 1990

Note: when this article publishes, I will be attending my very first San Diego Comic Con, something I’ve wanted to do I’m sure as early as when these cards first appeared, when I was enticed by the convention in ads in the comics themselves. I attended my first convention in 1996, New York’s Comic Con at the Javitz Center, but San Diego is of course the holy grail.

I will be spending most of my time digging through the dollar bins and trying to build a full collection of Dazzler comics.

Whereas the last card (Hellfire Club) was notable for two of its members not having individual cards, this card is notable for having ONLY ONE member with an individual card: team leader Stryfe (don’t worry though, there are even more flavor of the month teams coming up, so it won’t be the last, nor worst).

It’s surprising, because at least as far as the heroes went, plenty of oddball teammates got their own cards (like Widget, Kylun, Lockheed, the nonmutant freaks from Excalibur), and with the MLF (hehehe) being a primarily Rob Liefeld creation, it’s incredible they weren’t able to muscle more real estate*.

One of the things that’s at least notable about this card is it’s one of the few team cards that depicts an action composition. Now, Lee turns out some great statuesque hero poses, but there’s something to be said about characters that aren’t just standing around, even if aside from Stryfe all the other (nonmemorable) members are super crammed on the right side of the card.

*Speaking of Liefeld and the MLF, Progressive Boink‘s transcendent article “The 40 Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings” (one of the main inspirations for this blog, actually) does a great write-up on the MLF’s members, specifically Forearm. Check out #35 on the list.


8 Jun

Subject: Stryfe
Real Name: Unrevealed
Height: 6’8″ Weight: 350 lbs
Group Affiliation: Mutant Liberation Front
First Appearance: New Mutants #87, March 1990

Power Ratings:

  • Energy Projection: 1/7
  • Mental Powers: 2/7
  • Strength: 2/7
  • Fighting Ability: 6/7
  • Intelligence: 5/7

Say what you will about Stryfe’s longterm contributions to the mutant mythology, he compellingly held the spotlight from when he removed his mask to reveal Cable’s face, to his defeat at the end of X-Cutioner’s Song (which resulted in the release of the Legacy Virus). It all unfortunately created terrible precedents that would haunt the X-books for years to come, but really, I think it’s hard not to be sucked into it.

I can’t tell whether or not these cards were released after they’d already figured out where this Cable/Stryfe thing was gonna go, but the biography and Power Ratings certainly don’t reveal it. Stryfe (like Cable, whose stats are virtually identical) has no real name, and showed no signs of the vast psionic abilities both he and Cable are supposed to have (in fact since Cable’s mental powers were occupied keeping his virus in check, Stryfe, unburdened, was supposed to be more capable at the time). I understand keeping the big reveal a secret at the time, but giving them high Mental Powers ratings wouldn’t spoil the story at all, which is why I’m suspicious of the editors’ foresight on this.

Art-wise, despite the squiggly mess that is Stryfe’s face, the drawing is tight, imposing, and well-suited for a villain they were grooming to be the next big thing.