Template:Featured Articles/22-2009

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Voodoo Child: Selene's cult finally returned with a sprawling plan in which to get back their property to revive Selene, as well as punishing them for their actions against her. Masterminded by Selene's former student, Candra, the plot struck at the school, the X-Men and X-Force simultaneously, their very survival in doubt.

At the heart of the plan was a two-pronged attack against the students, using them as hostages to the co-operation of the rest. A field trip to Las Vegas was captured and placed in Arcade's Murderworld, and the regular bus run driven by Amanda Sefton was ambushed, the participants taken. In exchange for the bus run students and staff, the cult - who had joined forces with Belladonna Boudreaux-LeBeau - demanded the return of the mystical stones taken from Nova Roma the previous year. With the safety of the Las Vegas group unconfirmed, the X-Men had no choice but to comply, only to be double-crossed at the last minute as they were told Amanda was not Xavier's staff, and therefore not part of the bargain. The students (and Dani) were safe, having already escaped, and Angelo Espinosa was handed over, badly beaten for his resistance.

Amanda, meanwhile, had been taken to Louisiana, and Candra's stronghold. Research led Wanda Maximoff and Illyana Rasputin to conclude she was to be used as part of the ritual to raise Selene, necessitating a combined strike with the X-Men - the X-Men would infiltrate the ceremony in New York with the magic stones, and X-Force would retrieve their missing team-mate. The plan went off without a hitch, aided by the escape from Murderworld of the Las Vegas group, breaking into various groups to help each other survive. The ritual disrupted, the cult - led by Karl Mordo and the insane Dr. Peter Alarune from Nova Roma - threatened the X-Men with vengeance, only to be arrested by the FBI for theft of historical artifacts: the stones had been registered as historical pieces by Charles Xavier.

Things turned bloody in Louisiana, with X-Force making no quarter with their foes. Amanda was discovered to have been tortured, her back sliced up as part of the ritual, and very few survived the group's wrath. Candra's death was a temporary respite only, however, as her magical powers mean than she has been reborn and may again surface to trouble the team, in whatever incarnation they might be.