X-Force annual #2
Issue(s): X-Force annual #2
X-Treme is introduced while he's chasing a young woman named Michelle. Michelle calls him "Adam" but at this point he doesn't like that name, because it's what his boss, a man named Martin Henry Strong, calls him. Michelle and Adam fight for a bit, with only Michelle demonstrating obvious mutant abilities (the ability to lock eyes with someone and then send an energy pulse through their optic nerves into their nervous system).
But Michelle yields when Adam cuts her with a razor, because she's afraid that he'll "flash" her. But then (some of) X-Force show up.
Adam continues to show amazing agility while fighting X-Force, but we learn his true power after he's managed to inflict a number of nicks and cuts on the team. He has the power to cause blood to sizzle. He'll set your blood on fire!!!
It's later explained that he can "ignite the electrolytes" in blood after first "oxygenating" it. Or "cut first, fry second", as Shatterstar admiringly puts it.
Despite Adam's move, he withdraws. X-Force take Michelle with them back to their base, aware that Adam is tracking them.
Meanwhile, Cannonball and Siryn have infiltrated Strong's scientific facility. It turns out that Feral has been kidnapped by the organization.
In the rematch fight, Adam X reveals that he's from another planet (he'll later say the planet is called Ch'ylaritha).
But (after he's subdued) he says that he has amnesia. He's been working for Strong, bringing in mutant subjects and runaways in return for gaining more information about his past. Supposedly that's important because if Adam doesn't stop himself from becoming "what I was trained to be" then he'll wind up killing every mutant on the planet.
Michelle says that Strong Industries is working on a way to eliminate mutations. She says that some of the scientists that work there are good people, but Strong wants to eliminate all mutants. Michelle also says that Strong Industries gets funding from Project: Wideawake. Cable says that he knows that Strong is a mutant, meaning that he's a traitor to his own kind.
Meanwhile, Strong discovers Cannonball and Siryn in his facility. Where do people get polo shirts that stretch like that?
Strong turns out to be, er, strong, and while Cannonball is nigh-invulnerable, he's not tie-invulnerable (sorry).
Cannonball and Siryn are captured and put with Feral.
Strong knows Feral's real name: she's Maria Callasantos, born and raised in the Bronx. She's said to be seventeen years old. She stopped going to school in the seventh grade.
Feral notices that Strong has two heartbeats.
Adam X returns to Strong Industries, pretending that he's bringing in Rictor and Boom Boom as captives.
Once they're in, Rictor attacks Strong and then the rest of X-Force bodyslide in.
During the course of the fighting it comes out that Michelle was actually secretly working with Strong because she wants to be cured of her mutant ability. But despite Strong being ready for their ambush, X-Force is able to defeat him. It turns out that Strong was really using an exo-skeleton.
Once Strong is defeated, X-Force decides to leave Strong Industries running after a little debate. Michelle remains behind; we learn that she put her parents in a coma when her powers first manifested.
Adam X decides to not join X-Force at this time.
If nothing else, Fabian Nicieza came up with some unique mutant powers for both Adam X and Michelle (aka Neurotap). But with Adam X's look and attitude, he was just trying way too hard to be hip (and he now feels x-tremely dated).
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Cable being functional here places this after he was repaired in X-Force #26.
Crossover: 1993 Annuals
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAdam X, Boom Boom, Cable (Adult), Cannonball, Feral, Martin Henry Strong, Neurotap, Professor (Prosh), Rictor, Shatterstar, Siryn, Sunspot, Warpath
I've never been able to figure out what the deal was supposed to be with Adam X's speech bubbles. Why were they always done with that weird shape?
Posted by: Ben Herman | January 18, 2017 6:38 PM
I actually liked this one. It did a good job of acknowledging that while some mutants might hate Strong's cure, others might welcome it. And the point that Strong was an outcast from all sides of society was a good one. I don't think that Xtreme was that bad a character- it's just that the name and the look were too "90s". He could have worked with a different name and new costume.
Posted by: Michael | January 18, 2017 9:51 PM
This might be Tony Daniel's first issue; he takes over for a short run while Capullo, I believe, jumps over to Spawn (then iirc after Age of Apocalypse, Tony Daniel ends up jumping over to Spawn. Lol.)
Posted by: George Lochinski | January 19, 2017 5:59 AM
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