Issue(s): X-Force #27, X-Force #28
We learn during this fight that both Wildside and Tempo's powers are actually psionic in nature (i.e. Tempo isn't really slowing down time, she just makes everyone think that she is?). And Hardaway can avoid psionic attacks by switching to cybernetics.
However, Hardawy is beaten by two new members of the MLF, Moonstar and Locus.
Moonstar is of course the last name of Dani Moonstar, the former New Mutant previously known as Mirage. And this will indeed turn out to be Dani (as this later conversation from a little later in the story basically confirms).
Locus has the power to give your guitar a sweet shimmering tone.
Hardaway is killed and Gyrich is taken prisoner.
X-Force learn about this by monitoring conversations between Nick Fury, Val Cooper, Forge, and Professor X. The X-Men are apparently all tired and it wouldn't be good politics to send in X-Factor.
You can almost hear Professor X saying, "So if anyone else is on the line, your help would be appreciated." It's worth noting that X-Force are once again operating more like a black ops team than a pro-active force, even if they're not officially doing work for anyone else.
Reignfire's base is on Magneto's old island at the Bermuda Triangle. X-Force head there and attack, recognizing Dani (the Magnum PI reference is a clincher).
Meanwhile, Cable is confronted by Reignfire.
Reignfire surprises Cable by saying his full name, Nathan Dayspring.
During the fight we also see Shatterstar using his rarely used vibratory shockwave ability (this is seemingly an explanation for the laser he shot from his sword in New Mutants #100).
A lot of boobs in issue #28.
Feral rescues Gyrich and leads him to safety all while making complaints along the "saving a society that hates and fears us" line. Gyrich is well aware of Feral and her history, and he pushes her buttons to the point where she attacks him. She's stopped by Tempo.
Reignfire shows up and convinces Feral that killing Gyrich would prevent millions of mutant deaths in the future. She lunges at Gyrich but this time is stopped by Cable. Reignfire grabs Feral and leaves with Moonstar and Locus. Gyrich is dropped and would have fallen to his death if not for Sunspot learning that he can use his powers to fly (a development coming from his change in powers back in X-Force #13).
But Sunspot's interference causes him to get sucked away with the MLF.
Tempo remains behind with X-Force. Cable gives Gyrich a punch in the nose.
The art quality has declined in this series but it's fairly readable. At an earlier point in X-Force i'd be annoyed by the addition of more mysteries (Reignfire, Moonstar) but X-Cutioner's Song did a good job of closing out some older mysteries and i have more faith in Fabian Nicieza now that he's driving the book without input from Rob Liefeld.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This begins "just days" after the X-Men return from Genosha in the Bloodties storyline.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBoom Boom, Cable (Adult), Cannonball, Feral, Forearm, Forge, Henry Peter Gyrich, Locus, Mirage (Dani Moonstar), Nick Fury, Professor X, Reaper, Reignfire, Rictor, Shatterstar, Siryn, Sunspot, Tempo, Valerie Cooper, Warpath, Wildside
One thing your review doesn't make clear- Sunspot is missing at the end of this story.
Posted by: Michael | February 17, 2017 8:35 PM
Hah, I remember this issue:
Sunspot: "Hey, I can fly!"
Posted by: Vincent Valenti | February 17, 2017 9:14 PM
Obvious Sunspot's sudden flight capabilities were supposed to be a massive clue, hidden in plain sight
Posted by: George Lochinski | February 18, 2017 7:34 AM
Added a note about Sunspot's departure as well as a reminder that his powers had been modified.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 18, 2017 10:49 AM
Reignfire is yet another character whose origins got severely altered due to changes in creative teams. That sort of thing happened a lot in the 1990s, didn't it?
Posted by: Ben Herman | February 18, 2017 5:31 PM
Has FabNic said what he had in mind for Reignfire? Was he Sunspot after being sent to Cable's future timeline, or Sunspot after a while in the Age of Apocalypse? I believe Locus is at some point hinted to have visited the AoA timeline.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | February 18, 2017 7:22 PM
@Walter Lawson: I've searched about the internet, but haven't been able to locate any explanations by Nicieza concerning his intentions for Reignfire. The only thing I came across was this unverified statement on Wikipedia: "Originally, Fabian Nicieza had meant for Reignfire to be a time traveling, slightly older, more mentally disturbed version of Sunspot."
Posted by: Ben Herman | February 18, 2017 7:38 PM
See this site for some more information -
Posted by: clyde | February 18, 2017 10:45 PM
Whoops! Looks like I used brackets that got interpreted as HTML.
What I meant to say was:
Hah, I remember this issue:
Sunspot: "Hey, I can fly!"
Posted by: Vincent Valenti | February 18, 2017 11:50 PM
Another major mystery: Locus suddenly changing her ethnicity in subsequent apperances.
That being said, I really liked this arc. This configuration of the MLF was a lot more interesting than the previous version. (Imagine, the MLF with something resembling a personality!) Plus, this does go well with the previous attempt at characterization for Tempo.
I mentioned this in a previous entry, but keep in mind that there's quite a bit linking this to Dani's last appearance. Not only does it kinda match Dani's claim of "being cast out from heaven" but her costume (and her...figure) is pretty similar to the MCP story as well.
Posted by: Jon Dubya | February 19, 2017 2:11 AM
It is IIRC the second occasion in a short span of time when Xavier chooses to look the other way while X-Force is in effect recruited to do black ops on his or the governments' stead.
Quite worrisome, as it puts his moral integrity in serious question.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | February 22, 2017 6:14 PM
Also the "revelation" that Tempo doesn't actually distort tone is an error because previously any time she used her powers, her teammates would be physically affected (ie feeling "tired" if Tempo was speeding up the area around her team.)
Posted by: Jon Dubya | February 22, 2017 11:37 PM
In addition to the original Reignfire mystery, was it ever revealed why Dani was hanging around with the MLF? I know in John Francis Moore's run she's exposed as an undercover agent. It seems like there was something else going on at the beginning. I distinctly remember trading cards and other promo material from the time treating "Moonstar" and "Mirage" as separate characters.
Posted by: bigvis497 | July 6, 2017 4:59 PM
Comments are now closed.
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