Mutant Liberation Front

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Mutant Liberation Front (M.L.F.)
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceNew Mutants #86 (February 1990)
Created byRob Liefeld
Louise Simonson
In-story information
Base(s)bases around the world

The Mutant Liberation Front, or MLF, is a fictional supervillain group appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The group has been depicted as primarily enemies of X-Force. Created by writer Louise Simonson and artist Rob Liefeld, the Mutant Liberation Front first appeared in The New Mutants #86 (February 1990).

The Mutant Liberation group consisted of young terrorist mutants, formed under the mutant time-traveler Stryfe. After his apparent death, the group reforms under Reignfire.


The Mutant Liberation Front first appeared in New Mutants #86. In this brief initial appearance only five of the original eight members can be seen clearly; Strobe and Stryfe appear in only one panel each, with their faces obscured, while all that can be seen of Forearm is his two right arms in a single panel. The MLF was primarily the antagonist of the New Mutants and their successor group, X-Force. They are eventually defeated by a consortium of X-Force, X-Factor, and the X-Men during the "X-Cutioner's Song" story arc. A second incarnation is assembled later by a villain known as Reignfire.

The team seemed mainly organized of disillusioned, anarchic mutant youths. Stryfe founded the group sometime after coming to the 20th century (from roughly 2,000 years in the future). They were likely assembled as a tool while Stryfe assembled his master plan which he executed in "X-Cutioner's Song". The exact size of the organization is unknown, but they were seen to have had several advanced bases around the world and employed a number of presumably human guards.

The team's first mission was to rescue Rusty and Skids, two New Mutants who had been captured by the government. Rusty and Skids would not be seen for some time, but when they were it was revealed that they stayed with the group due to mind control devices Stryfe implanted in them. It was never indicated that any of the other members had similar implants.

After the organization was dismantled in the "X-Cutioner's Song", four of the imprisoned members (Forearm Reaper, Tempo and Wildside ) were liberated and recruited by a mysterious villain named Reignfire, who was believed to be a futuristic version of Sunspot. Already among the ranks of the new MLF were former New Mutant Dani Moonstar (undercover on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Locus. X-Force's Feral also defected to the MLF, and Tempo betrayed them and went her own way. After a few minor missions, including a group that infiltrated Muir Island to obtain information on the Legacy Virus, the group was captured by members of Operation: Zero Tolerance and disbanded.

Recently, the team was reformed and faced the X-Men, in the relaunched Uncanny X-Men series.[citation needed]


Character Real Name Joined In Notes
Original Incarnation
Stryfe Nathan Summers New Mutants #87 (March 1990) Team founder and original leader. Stryfe is a clone of Cable and the original leader of the Mutant Liberation Front. Like Cable, Stryfe possesses powerful telepathic and telekinetic abilities.
Rusty Collins Russell Collins New Mutants #88 (April 1990) A mutant with pyrokinetic abilities. Formerly an ally and trainee of X-Factor, Rusty and his girlfriend Skids served with the X-Terminators and the New Mutants prior to being freed from imprisonment by the Mutant Liberation Front. Brainwashed by Stryfe, Rusty was forced into the terrorist organization against his will. Rusty was later freed from his mind control by Magneto, and he and Skids joined the Acolytes. Rusty was killed by Holocaust while serving with the Acolytes, though he was later resurrected by Selene.
Dragoness Tamara Kurtz New Mutants #93 (September 1990) A mutant with the power to generate high levels of bioelectric energy in the form of disruptive blasts. In addition to her powers, Dragoness was equipped with bionic wings that allowed her to fly. Stryfe recruited Dragoness into the Mutant Liberation Front and sent her alongside two other Asian terrorists, Sumo and Kamikaze, to Madripoor to supervise the distribution of a contaminant for the world's water supply. She and her teammates were defeated by Cable, Sunfire, and Wolverine. She continued to work with the group in its second incarnation under Reignfire's leadership. Dragoness retained her powers after Decimation and joined other mutants on Utopia. At an unknown time, Dragoness was turned into a vampire and was killed with a stake by Wolverine. However, she has since appeared in the most recent incarnation of the Mutant Liberation Front in full health, though it is unclear if she retains her vampirism.
Forearm Michael McCain New Mutants #86 (February 1990) A mutant with superhuman strength, stamina, and durability, and possesses an additional pair of arms. Forearm participated in the first mission with the Mutant Liberation Front to free Rusty Collins and Skids from prison. He continued with the Mutant Liberation Front when Reignfire took over the organization. Forearm later joined the Bloodsport Tournament, where superhumans fight to the death. Forearm lost his first match-up against Anaconda, who snapped Forearm's neck. Inexplicably surviving this, Forearm was revealed to be one of the many mutants who lost their powers after Decimation. Under unknown circumstances, Forearm regained his powers and joined the latest version of the Mutant Liberation Front as they battled the X-Men once again.

During the Dawn of X storyline, Forearm was seen among the mutant villains invited to join the X-Men on the island of Krakoa.

Kamikaze Haruo Tsuburaya New Mutants #93 (September 1990) A Japanese mutant who could fly and generate explosive charges upon impact. Kamikaze was first seem with his Asian teammates Dragoness and Sumo as they contaminated the world's water supply in Madripoor, though he was defeated by Cable's team. Kamikaze was later killed when he was unintentionally decapitated by Archangel's wings.
Reaper Pantu Hurageb New Mutants #86 (February 1990) A mutant who emitted a neural disruption force, which, when focused through his scythe, can cause paralysis. During various missions with the Mutant Liberation Front, Reaper's hands were severed by Shatterstar's blades. Reaper served with both the first and second incarnations of the team and briefly joined the Ultraverse's Exiles alongside Siena Blaze and Juggernaut. He was then seen as a member of Weapon X, though a mission with that group left him comatose. After Decimation, Reaper lost his powers. He was most recently seen interrogated by the X-Men, though he confessed he no longer had any part in the MLF's activities.
Samurai Ishiro Tsuburaya Cable: Blood and Metal #1 (October 1992) Twin brother to Kamikaze.
Skids Sally Blevins New Mutants #88 (April 1990) A mutant with frictionless forcefield generation. Often a companion to Rusty Collins, Skids was previously a member of the sewer-dwelling Morlocks. Like Rusty, she later joined the X-Terminators and the New Mutants, and was brainwashed into the Mutant Liberation Front by Stryfe. After her stint with the Acolytes and losing Rusty, Skids attended college and later became an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Strobe Julia Worthing New Mutants #86 (February 1990) A mutant with the ability to emit an aura of intense heat, generate heat beams, and fly. While Strobe participated in many early missions with the Mutant Liberation Front, she was not present when Reignfire took over leadership of the group. She was depowered after Decimation, though she regained her powers under unknown means and rejoined the Mutant Liberation Front.
Sumo Jun Tenta New Mutants #93 (September 1990) A mutant with multiple layers of elastic, fatty tissue which granted him superhuman strength, endurance, and resistance to physical injury. In his first mission, he assisted Dragoness and Kamikaze in Madripoor. His time with the MLF was short-lived, however, as Cable shot Sumo in the head during a skirmish with X-Force.
Tempo Heather Tucker New Mutants #86 (February 1990) A mutant with the ability of flight and time manipulation. One of the most powerful members of the Mutant Liberation Front, Tempo joined the team on several missions, and continued with the group as Reignfire took over. She later betrayed the MLF, prompting an invitation to join X-Force by Cable. Tempo rejected the offer, opting instead to attend college. After Decimation, Tempo was one of the few mutants left on Earth. She joined the Acolytes, and later joined the X-Men in the Age of X storyline. However, her alternate counterpart was killed in battle, and the mainstream Tempo did not reappear when the timeline was restored.
Thumbelina Kristina Anderson New Mutants #86 (February 1990) A mutant with superhuman strength and durability and the ability to shrink her body. An overweight young woman, Thumbelina was often picked on by her teammates, particularly Wildside and Strobe. One of the earliest missions with the Mutant Liberation Front had Thumbelina and her team rescue her brother Slab and his teammate from the Nasty Boys, Hairbag, from prison. Thumbelina left the group after Reignfire took over as leader. After Decimation, Thumbelina retained her powers and joined Nightcrawler's support group for mutants.
Wildside Richard Gill New Mutants #86 (February 1990) A mutant with the ability to disrupt a person's sense of reality. Unrelated to his powers were his sharp clawed gloves he wore, as he preferred to torture and maim his opponents. Wildside participated in all of the MLF's missions and continued to work with the group as Reignfire took over. Later, alongside Reaper, Wildside joined Weapon X. A mission against Cable left the pair effectively brain dead, though Wildside managed to regain his health. After Decimation, Wildside lost his powers, though he regained his powers using the Mothervine. He later rejoined the latest incarnation of the Mutant Liberation Front.

During the Dawn of X storyline, Wildside was seen among the mutant villains invited to join the X-Men on the island of Krakoa.

Second Incarnation
Included original members Forearm, Reaper, Tempo, and Wildside. Later appearances had Dragoness rejoin the team.
Reignfire Unknown X-Force #26 (September 1993) Leader of the second incarnation of the team. Absorbs solar energy, metabolizes it, and uses it to increase his physical strength, project pyrokinetic burst of heat and fire, and utilizes it for flight. Protoplasmic life form patterned after Sunspot. Originally intended to actually be a future version of Sunspot. Crushed by a Celestial Golem.
Feral Maria Callasantos X-Force #28 (November 1993) Cat-like physiology grants her razor-sharp teeth and claws, a furry orange hide, a prehensile tail and flexible spine. Possessed animal-like senses, strength, speed, agility, flexibility, reflexes, and endurance. Depowered. Killed (and partially eaten) by Sabretooth. Later on returns as a ghost to work as an ancor for deities and demons to help them reach the mortal world.
Locus Rayna Piper X-Force #27 (October 1993) Can teleport herself and others, but only to places she has been. Flight and the ability to fire energy blasts. Killed by Sabretooth.
Moonstar Danielle Moonstar X-Force #27 (October 1993) Acting as an undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Can cast empathic-based illusions and concentrates her psychic energy into the form of arrows that can cause severe psychic trauma in her victims. Depowered. Granted powers of the Valkyrior by Hela.
Humanity's Last Stand
In Punisher vol. 3 #12, Humanity's Last Stand created a Mutant Liberation Front as their agents. The team was made up of normal humans given drugs or costumes to empower them and were used to defame mutants. They were able to produce duplicates of an agent when one was killed. Their suits were all equipped with teleportation devices.
Blastfurnace None Punisher #13 (November 1996) A robot that pretended to be a mutant. Resistant to physical and energy-based attacks due to its armor. Could shoot fire from its wrists and mouth.
Blindspot Kylie Kopeikin Punisher #15 (January 1997) Projected intense flashes of light from her hands. Killed by Simon Trask.
Burnout Kristine Calverly & Megan O'Toole Punisher #14 (December 1996) Drugs granted superspeed. Calverly burned up when she was denied more of the drug. O'Toole took over the role on the team, but was probably killed when Trask blew up the compound.
Corpus Delecti Michael Black & Adam Fisher Punisher #13 (November 1996) Black was a re-animated corpse with enhanced strength. Had a personal energy field which shocked anyone who came in contact with it. Black was killed by Blastfurnace. Black's consciousness was transferred into Fisher's body. Fisher was killed by the Punisher.
Deadeye Mark Randall & Jay Burnell Punisher #12 (October 1996) Battlesuit that fired energy blasts from his left eye. Used tiny robotic drones to locate enemies. After Randall was killed, Burnell became the new Deadeye. Burnell was later killed by the Punisher.
Thermal Molly Peterson Punisher #15 (January 1997) Fired blasts of extreme hot and cold. Current whereabouts unknown.
Third Incarnation
Led by the second Stryfe, a clone of Domino. Included original members Forearm, Sumo, Thumbelina, and Zero.
Stryfe Neena Thurman X-Force #4 (January 2005) Believed to have the same probability manipulation powers as her Earth-616 counterpart.
Cannonball Samuel Guthrie Produces thermochemical energy and when he expels it, it propels him through the air. This also forms a blast field, giving him great durability. Currently an Avenger.
Jon Spectre Jon Spectre Could make his body intangible. From a future when mutants, humans and Apocalypse fought with each other. Depowered.
Fourth Incarnation
Led by Hope Summers. Included original members Dragoness, Forearm, Samurai, Strobe, and Wildside.
Hope Summers Hope Summers Uncanny X-Men #15 (June 2019) Joined the Mutant Liberation Front as she thought it was the best way to protect mutants. Left the team and rejoined the X-Men shortly after.
Banshee Sean Cassidy Uncanny X-Men #15 (June 2019) Former X-Man who joined the Mutant Liberation Front alongside Hope Summers. Left the group shortly after.

Other versions[edit]

In the Ultimate Marvel storyling, Ultimate X-Men #81 an unnamed, three-faced mutant identifies himself as a member of the Mutant Liberation Front, a mutant-supremacist group, and is killed by a Sentinel. Since then they have become a major part of the Sentinels story arc, where they are led by the Ultimate version of Stryfe. Pyro, Wolfsbane and Zero are also members. [1]

In other media[edit]

The team of supervillains is mentioned by name in the franchise spin-off television series The Gifted, during the second episode titled "rX".[2]


External links[edit]