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Marvel Universe 

Mutant Liberation Front

 

Universe
Marvel Universe

Base of Operations
An unnamed island in the Bermuda Triangle; (formerly) small town of Dust Bowl, Arkansas; ruins in the Yucatan Jungle, Mexico; underground headquarters in Antarctica

First Appearance
New Mutants #86

Current Members:
None



The Mutant Liberation Front (MLF) was a team of superpowered mutants dedicated to performing acts of terrorism in the name of mutant rights. In many ways, the team was a philosophical counterpart to the original X-Force, led by Cable, especially since the original MLF was led by Stryfe, who himself was a physical counterpart of Cable.

The team made their first public appearance by confronting the young mutants Rusty Collins and Skids, who were captured by the government, and were offered membership in the group. The guards, believing this to be a breakout, opened fire, and the young mutants accepted the offer, knowing of no other recourse. Cable, who had taken it upon himself to become the mentor of the original New Mutants, led the youngsters in hunting the MLF. In the confrontation, several New Mutants were captured, and it took teaming up with Sunfire and Wolverine to rescue them, although the MLF escaped. Cable, reshaping the New Mutants into X-Force, hoped to take a proactive, more militant stance with the new team and immediately tracked down the MLF once again to a base in Antarctica. Once again, however, the MLF escaped.

Throughout this time, the Mutant Liberation Front was at its most active, performing acts of terrorism under Stryfe’s command, appearing and escaping with the help of the android Zero. Presumably, they were involved in other criminal activities, too, as they were stumbled onto by Garrison Kane (as Weapon X) when investigating a weapons smuggling operation. Kane managed to follow the MLF agents into Zero’s portal, but was overwhelmed by superior numbers at the Front’s base and was captured, imprisoned for several months. Members of the MLF were also engaged in stealing various artifacts from museums around the world, although Cable managed to thwart their schemes. Kane, somehow escaping the MLF, confronted Cable about the similarity between him and Stryfe, and together the two laid a trap for him. Stryfe, however, turned the tables on the heroes, escaping the Mexican jungle base when Cable sought medical aid for Kane.

Not all members may have believed in all of the Front’s philosophy. Tempo, in particular, was secretly upset at the team’s mission to destroy a clinic where women could test their unborn babies for mutant genes. She tipped off the government-sponsored X-Factor, and the team managed to force the MLF to escape, although unfortunately not before the head doctor was assassinated.

Stryfe eventually launched his biggest gambit thus far, posing as Cable and making an assassination attempt on Professor X during a pro-mutant rights rally. The X-Men and X-Factor track down Cable’s X-Force, briefly battling before teaming up to track down the MLF together. They found the team had taken over a small town in Arkansas. The Mutant Liberation Front was dismantled, its members captured and remanded to custody, although Stryfe would personally battle Cable on the surface of the moon before being defeated.

Reignfire chose to re-form the team, freeing Forearm, Tempo, Reaper, and Wildside from prison and somehow recruiting Moonstar and Locus. Reignfire set himself up as leader, dedicating the team to redressing the oppression of mutantkind. His first mission was to assassinate Henry Peter Gyrich, long a public figure in anti-mutant legislation, and the team succeeded in capturing him only to be confronted by X-Force. During the battle, Moonstone seemed to have pledged herself to the terrorists’ cause, and Gyrich’s comments provoked X-Force’s Feral to defect to the MLF as well. However, Tempo once again betrayed her teammates, as she continued to grow discomforted at terrorist acts, and she sided with X-Force. Ultimately, Sunspot appeared to sacrifice himself to save Gyrich, and the MLF escaped.

A Chinese mutant group, 3-Peace, once sought help from the Mutant Liberation Front to fight the Chinese government over its inhumane treatment of mutants. The MLF at first tried to help, but then Reignfire betrayed the team to China Force. 3-Peace escaped with help of the Moonstar, who was secretly a double agent working for S.H.I.E.L.D. In fact, Moonstar often surreptitiously worked against her team. She tipped off X-Force regarding Feral, who was wanted for the murder of her family, enabling her capture. Another time, when the MLF (with one-time member Selby) fought Excalibur on Muir Island over information about the Legacy Virus, she secretly threw the mission so that the team would have to be extracted prematurely.

During a government mutant crackdown known as Operation Zero Tolerance, the MLF happened to have taken over a laboratory that was working on a version of the Legacy Virus. They became trapped inside and forced to take the scientists as hostages. Moonstar hoped to rendevous with X-Force, but she was discovered by Dragoness and thus exposed as a double agent. At the same time, the scientists that were hostages revealed themselves to be Prime Sentinels, mole agents of Operation: Zero Tolerance, and it took the combined forces of the Front and X-Force to fight them. Ultimately, however, the MLF was captured, and Moonstar and Forearm escaped. Moonstar was abandoned by Forearm, and she returned to her friends in X-Force.

Although Reignfire, Locus, and Forearm remained at large, the Mutant Liberation Front was never reassembled.


Contributors: Zeraphyne