Characters Appearing: Boom Boom, Cable (Adult), Cannonball, Feral, Forearm, Professor, Reaper, Reignfire, Rictor, Shatterstar, Siryn, Sunspot, Tempo, Warpath, Wildside
Issue(s): X-Force #26
X-Force are surprised to see how much of Cable is non-organic.
Cable pulls through, and spends the next three days recovering. It seems that he's now integrated with Professor, allowing for a kind of Deathlok situation.
After he's better, Cannonball and Sunspot get ready for a trip to Madripoor to tell Karma about the death of Illyana.
Guest art on this issue and next by Matt Broome, who seems to have a thing about having characters with their pants pulled way up and their shirts tucked in.
Boomer is characteristically jealous and weird about Cannonball leaving to talk to another girl. And after he leaves, Rictor tries to give her a kiss, playing on the idea that now that Cannonball knows that he's an immortal External he's trying to distance himself from normal human relationships.
Another rejected romantic moment occurs between Shatterstar and Siryn. Shatterstar says that he's not "physically receptive" to Siryn's advances.
It's pretty much a rule that if you are shown drinking in a comic book, it means that you are an alcoholic, and the fact that Siryn is Irish means that she had no chance at all.
A fun character moment comes a little later when Shatterstar and Rictor start watching TV together, but Shatterstar - from Mojoland - is an advanced channel surfer.
Cable shows up, but Rictor still harbors a grudge against him even though he acknowledges that it was Stryfe, not Cable, that killed his father. Ofc, it's understandably hard to like anyone who dresses like this.
Cable at least helps Shatterstar out by automating the television's channel switching.
We don't actually see Cannonball and Sunspot's trip to Madripoor, and i mention that in part because the final scene in this issue shows someone breaking the Mutant Liberation Front out of prison (not the Vault). And that someone is Reignfire.
We don't learn anything about Reignfire in this issue, so i won't get into his origin(s) yet.
It is worth observing that Reignfire (seemingly correctly) assumes that the MLF's motivations are legitimate mutant rights issues. This is notable since the MLF were first introduced as working for Stryfe, who was only using mutant rights as a cover for his own plans. It seems that may have been a way for Stryfe to manipulate the MLF into being his henchmen instead of just a way to confuse the public or other Mutants. If that's the case, you'd think the MLF might be gun-shy about falling in line behind another mysterious guy claiming to be for mutant rights, but i guess since he'll deliver on his promise to attack Project Wideawake they trust him.
This may just be a revelation to me, but while the MLF are in prison, they're referred to by the guards as "just a bunch'a punk kid muties". Nevermind the fact that they've been shown to be brutal killer terrorists. It just never really occurred to me to think of the MLF as kids. I guess the idea was to have a group of villains that were "teen" aged, the same as X-Force. Although if anything, X-Force haven't been written as "kids" for a while, either.
In general this is a downtime issue. Fabian Nicieza remains moderately strong on characterization. Broome's fill-in art (understandably) ruins the mood a bit, though.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Cable recovers from the injuries sustained last issue in this story. This issue starts at least 83 hours after last issue, and another three days pass while Cable is resting. This issue has to occur before Excalibur #71, the epilogue for Fatal Attractions, where Cable is uninjured. Cable is also uninjured in X-Force annual #2, which therefore also has to take place after this issue (not before last issue, since Cable is with X-Force)(last issue was a Fatal Attractions chapter and also had Cable reuniting with X-Force).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
"It is worth observing that Reignfire (seemingly correctly) assumes that the MLF's motivations are legitimate mutant rights issues". It was confirmed in Stryfe's Stryke File that the MLF legitimately believed in mutant rights. Told you you should have reviewed that issue. :)
Posted by: Michael | January 18, 2017 8:20 PM
Not only are they not written as kids but yet again Rictor, Sunspot and Boom Boom are drawn as if they are in their late 20s while Kitty and Rahne, who are the same age, are still handled as 16-year-olds in Excalibur and X-Factor ... I'm still not sure what Niceiza's disconnect was with understanding the former New Mutants' ages.
Posted by: Jeff | January 19, 2017 9:31 AM
Cable's "old-man" ways rubbing off on them, maybe?
That's a pretty good point. My impression is that Nicieza writes X-Force at pretty much the same age as he writes New Warriors, and that his approach to both feels a bit like MTV's The Real World (ie early 20-somethings) but with superpowers
Probably goes without saying but this approach can grate at times...
Posted by: George Lochinski | April 15, 2017 4:29 PM
It does, George? I think it makes perfect sense to me (even if the mechanics don't quite match up) There's even some fridge brillance in the portrayals (A lot of "teen" shows at the time had people who were 16-going-on-29 if you know what I mean)
Posted by: Jon Dubya | May 26, 2017 4:39 PM
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