Issue(s): X-Force #32
To be fair, there is a natural connection between the books thanks to Firestar's membership in the Warriors. As a former Hellion, she has a connection to X-Force's Warpath (also a former Hellion). So it's reasonable that a villain might target both teams. But it's not like the Hellions had a lot of known adversaries (since they were themselves sort-of bad guys). Something might have been done with their former headmistress, the White Queen, but Nicieza already did something along those lines in New Warriors #10 and she's currently in a coma anyway. The Black Queen might have come after the characters as revenge for the events of the previous New Warriors/X-Force team-up in New Warriors #31 (something we'd all like revenge for) but the less we reference that story, the better. And the "benefit" of the Upstarts is that they choose their targets more or less randomly, so they are easy (lazy) adversaries for any characters.
Anyway, speaking of the horrible Nova Roma retcon, we begin there, with Magma and Empath being targeted by the Strucker twins, aka Fenris (who are not "official" members of the Upstarts, but Gamesmaster has allowed them to compete).
Empath manages to turn Fenris' goons against them, but it only delays them.
Meanwhile, Shinobi Shaw is throwing a gala at the Hellfire Club. The New Warrior Justice recently defected to Shaw, so he's at the party as well. But as we learned in New Warriors #44, the defection was a ruse so that the New Warriors could learn what the Upstarts were up to. And Night Thrasher meets Justice at the party.
Justice confirms that the Upstarts are going after the former Hellions and New Mutants (this Upstarts game is elsewhere called the "Younghunt").
Justice's intel mostly repeats what he told Night Thrasher over the phone at the end of New Warriors #44. I'd normally attribute that to a lack of coordination between writers, but Nicieza wrote both books. So i guess i'll just write it off as exposition.
Speaking of bad exposition, Siryn makes it sound like her mom died in Ireland a week ago.
Warpath and Siryn have returned from Ireland and joined up with the rest of X-Factor. They are looking for Cannonball and Boomer, who went to Kentucky two issues back.
They were kidnapped by Sienna Blaze. Cannonball's sister, Paige Guthrie, manifested as a mutant during the attack. She seems to have shapeshifting powers.
We learn that the Gamesmaster has created new rules for the Upstarts. Instead of killing their targets, they must first capture them and bring them to him. Only once all of the current targets are captured will they be killed. At a "meta" level, this change makes sense, since there are only so many disposable characters for the Upstarts to kill. And in a large part because of that, the Upstarts haven't done much of note since they were first introduced (a point which the Gamesmaster has made a number of times in subsequent appearances). But it also genericizes the Upstarts even further, turning them into really campy super-villains. We've gone full circle, back to shouting "why don't you just kill them?!" as the villain places the hero in an elaborate death trap.
Paige wants to go with X-Force to search for her brother. Paige's mother asks Cable to forbid it, but he says that he can't control what she does. Then Trevor Fitroy teleports in wearing battle armor, seeking Warpath and Rictor.
Empath continues fleeing from Fenris. He makes it to the Nova Roma resettlement camp, where Sunspot's mother has been helping out. Fenris attacks there, and Moonstar shows up to help out.
And one final cliffhanger: Shinobi Shaw tells Justice that Justice needs to collect Firestar for him, or else one of the other Upstarts will capture her and not be as gentle.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part one of Child's Play. Part two is in New Warriors #45. The gala at the Hellfire Club shown here is also shown in X-Men #29 and therefore the issues take place concurrently.
Based on Siryn's comment about her mom's grave, last issue seems to have taken place about a week ago.
Next issue we'll learn that Bantam is hiding behind Trevor Fitzroy, so he can be counted as a character appearing.
Crossover: Child's Play
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAndrea Strucker, Andreas Strucker, Angel, Bantam (XSE), Boom Boom, Cable (Adult), Cannonball, Domino, Empath, Gamesmaster, Graydon Creed, Husk, Icarus, Justice, Lucinda Guthrie, Magma, Mirage (Dani Moonstar), Night Thrasher, Nina da Costa, Psylocke, Rictor, Shatterstar, Shinobi Shaw, Siena Blaze, Siryn, Trevor Fitzroy, Warpath
This issue came out two weeks late.
Posted by: Michael | October 4, 2017 10:07 PM
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