Characters Appearing: Black King (Sebastian Shaw), Boom Boom, Caliban, Holocaust, Lou Smith, Shatterstar, Siryn, Sunspot, Tessa, Warpath
Issue(s): X-Force #49
Dodson aside, this issue is a good one to have for non-Holocaust reasons because it shows the return of Sebastian Shaw. His story started last issue but it's in this one that he makes his move. Here, it's simply said that his son's assassination attempt "failed". He's with his "familiar", Tessa, who "once again offers both her loyalty and telepathic abilities".
Tessa did seem to exhibit unexplained telepathic abilities in her last appearance in X-Men #29, and now we seem to have confirmation of that (i have cleverly avoided all the stories that deal with the Sage/Tessa retcon so i'm just going with what i see here; it feels weird to me to see Tessa as anything other than Shaw's admin).
Shaw has also formed an alliance with Holocaust, and provided him with new armor.
Holocaust is unstable (he kills a Hellfire goon while testing his armor), and he's kept under control by Tessa's telepathy. It's said that telepaths were rare in the Age of Apocalypse, making Holocaust more susceptible to Tessa's abilities.
For some reason, Shaw's plans don't involve going directly after Shinobi or anything that might make sense; he's targeting X-Force.
Boomer, meanwhile, is trying to rekindle relations with her abusive father (by making weird Dodson poses). She learns that her mother is still alive.
And Sunspot is hanging out with Caliban.
And Warpath is out shopping with Siryn. Warpath has cut his hair short, an attempt to finally get out of his brother's shadow.
Both Holocaust and Shaw have variants of the "absorb enemy hits and turn them into energy" super-power, making X-Force's initial attempts to fight them a disaster.
And that's all i have, so i'll just have to assume that Shaw and Holocaust kill everyone in X-Force and move on to Shinobi and then the X-Men.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place after Uncanny X-Men #328 (which hadn't been published yet, at least based on the cover dates).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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