Characters Appearing: Boom Boom, Caliban, Domino, Mr. Sinister, Risque, Shatterstar, Siryn, Sunspot, Warpath, X-Man
Issue(s): X-Force #57
Mr. Sinister has knocked out X-Man and most of X-Force and is facing off against Domino. He says it's ironic that Domino of all people should be left to stand against him. But he doesn't have time to say why, because he's attacked by Caliban, and is surprised to learn that Caliban can actually hurt him. And it turns out that it's because Caliban was upgraded by Apocalypse.
And i mean Caliban is really able to hurt Mr. Sinister.
This is all happening at the X-Mansion, and during the fight Domino decides to blow up the mansion. I mean, it wouldn't be an X-Crossover otherwise.
Warpath shows up with someone named Risque just as the mansion is exploding. Risque has it in her contract that her name is always written in cursive and in a different color than the other narration boxes. I imagine we're supposed to sing it. Her name is... Risque!
Anyway, that's the last we see of them. And all of the mauling that Caliban did to Sinister, and the explosion, all only served to slow Sinister down a bit while X-Man and X-Force get away. The team tries to figure out why Sinister is able to shut down X-Man's powers so easily when he can't do that to Cable. (I mean, one possibility is just that Cable doesn't generally hasn't been shown to have much power until recently, and it's not like he's been able to handle Sinister easily.) One theory is that Cable's technovirus locks Mr. Sinister out in some way. Another is that Cable had some training with the Askani and learned to develop a "protective aura". But somehow, pursuing that causes an image of Blaquesmith (who is apparently a Moleoid?) to appear and knock X-Man and Sunspot out.
Sinister attacks again, making cryptic comments about Shatterstar like he did about Domino.
I think Mr. Sinister's actual super-power is the ability to vaguely imply a dark secret about anyone he meets without ever revealing anything.
Sinister knocks everyone out and takes X-Man. Maybe this issue is only an "Impact" and not a "Phase" because it ends exactly as it begins.
One thing i do like, and this dovetails with some things i said on one of Jeph Loeb's issues of Cable, is how Loeb kind of clarifies or highlights some things that i guess were always true or at least assumable but makes a point of emphasizing them. In this case we have both the idea that Caliban's enhancements weren't just random; they were part of a larger plan against Mr. Sinister. And even moreso, the fact that Apocalypse infected Cable with the technovirus specifically as a way to spoil Sinister's long-term plans in breeding a mutant who could stand up to Apocalypse. All together, it makes the often cryptic actions of these uber-villains seem like clear chess moves between two immortal opponents, and it's pretty cool. It's got nothing to do with Onslaught, though!
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Continues directly from X-Man #18 and continues directly in X-Man #19.
The MCP has Blob and Mimic behind-the-scenes for this issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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