122: X-Force, V1 #39-43 (Reignfire Revealed)

What’s Covered?

X-Force V1 # 39 - 43 (Oct - Nov '94), Cable V1 # 15, 17 - 19 & X-Force Annual # 3


  • XF # 39 - Professor gets a new body and goes by the name Prosh

  • Cable # 15 - Cable and Domino go on a date

  • XF # 40 - 41: The truth about Feral and her sister Thorn are revealed.

  • XF # 42: A quiet issue with Emma Frost and Gen. X setup

  • XF # 43: Reignfire revealed as Sunfire

  • XF Annual # 3: Dani Moonstar's intentions revealed

  • Cable # 17 - 19: The Dark Riders, now following Tyler, attack.


Roster Watch




Synopsis

X-Force # 39: Prosh = Professor + Ship

Writer - Fabian Nicieza

Pencils - Tony Daniel

Directly following the Phalanx Covenant, Cable's AI "Professor" is able to take over one of the machines. He exists throughout this issue as a corporeal being named Prosh, which is a crude combination of Professor and Ship. While everyone is thrilled about this development, it turns out that Prosh is actually disrupting all technology (including Cable) and he decides to leave for the stars. In addition to losing his longtime friend and protector, the loss of Professor means that Cable can no longer bodyslide (teleport).


Prosh's exit results in the destruction of the Apache Camp, forcing the team to relocate. Luckily, Domino had already been scouting out new locations.


Jimmy (Warpath) tries to kiss Siryn, but gets both rejected and a football in the face.


Domino and Cable hold hands for the first time, setting up their date in Cable # 15.


Rictor and Shatterstar are continuing to be quite chummy whole they fix a broken TV.


Cable # 15: Cable and Domino go on a date

Writer - Jeph Loeb

Pencils - David Brewer

Cable decides to officially take Domino on a date. These two are pretty darn cute. Both of them get all dressed up and try to be tough while also being romantic. While on the date, Cable answers who he would take if stranded on a desert island, and he explains it would be his dad, which I loved. Cable also tries really hard to stay focused on Domino, but accidentally makes a reference to Vanessa's favorite music forgetting that it wasn't actually Domino he had has last fling with.


Their date is interrupted by Feral's sister, Thorn. We learn a bit of backstory about her as she survived Mikhail's genocide (as covered in 86: UXM #288-293 (Mikhail, Morlocks, and Marriage?!)). Cable and Dom learn that more Morlocks may have survived, but they might be trapped in some other dimension or something. This is clearly set up for something, and there is a ghost child named Sarah, but I really don't understand what's happening yet.


X-Force # 40-41: The Feral origin story no one wanted

Writer - Fabian Nicieza

Pencils - Tony Daniel

For starters, X-Force officially moves into their new HQ, Arcade's abandoned Murderworld. Excuse me while I roll my eyes because I hate Arcade and this is annoying. I hope they don't stay here long because this is ridiculous.


Most of the action comes out when Gradyon Creed and the Friends of Humanity (who we haven't seen in a while) want Thorn brought to justice, but X-Force fights them to keep her safe while in transit. Feral eventually shows up and Shatterstar is tempted to kill her, which is pretty bold.


This two part issue gives us the Thorn/Feral origin story no one demanded. It basically turns out that Feral killed her mom and mom's boyfriend. It's also heavily implied that she either killed her brother and sister or at least stood by and let them die. So basically, it's confirmed that Feral really is evil and Thorn was the nice sister all around. I'm curious if Thorn will play any more of a role moving forward, however I'm content just to see Feral shows up as a villain from time to time.


We also learn that the team was tipped off about Feral and Thorn by Dani, so this is the beginning of a more explicit journey towards Dani's redemption, which I'm here for!



X-Force # 42: Gen X Setup

Writer - Fabian Nicieza

Pencils - Terry Dodson

This one is basically a slow issue serving as a Generation X introduction. The main part of this story (as depicted on the cover) is Emma talking to Jimmy (which is a nice touch considering he's one of the last surviving Hellions). Emma tells Jimmy that the Hellfire Club didn't kill his family and drops one of the best Emma quotes we've seen so far:

"James, stop your whining please. I’m so tired of people blaming others for their misfortunes. it’s so trendy."

What a bitch! I hope she keeps it up, I love it. Also, it almost seems as though she's talking him out of staying with X-Force. Is he leaving soon!? He hasn't had great characterization yet, so it would make sense if they felt they could focus more on other characters by thinning out the herd (or making room for Dani)! Siryn also admits this issue to her father (who is also on hand for Gen X setup) that she doesn't have romantic feelings for Jimmy, so another sign that Warpath may be on the way out.


Sam has a long conversation with his sister Paige about joining Generation X.


X-Force Annual # 3: Finally, Dani's story

Writer - Fabian Nicieza

Pencils - Mike Wleringo

Following the 1994 theme of focusing the Annual's on villains, Nicieza uses this gimmick to tell a Dani story. Hell yes! Did I mention I love Dani!? So we officially learn that she is a double agent (however we don't learn who she's working for yet). This is a pretty big deal, however it's been foreshadowed more and more that she hasn't really turned evil.


In this issue the MLF double crosses a mutant freedom fighting group called Three Peace in favor of China Force and the Chinese government in exchange for resources for the MLF. Dani refuses to kill and the other members question her allegiance. Also, it becomes increasingly clear that Dani and Reignfire know each other and have a pre-existing relationship.


X-Force # 43: Reignfire Revealed

Writer - Fabian Nicieza

Pencils - Tony Daniel

This is the most exciting issue covered here today, hence why it got the title. We get some backstory about how Sam has been looking for Roberto for 6 months (which is nice since we definitely didn't see the team looking for him) just as Locus shows back up wanting to take X-Force to Reignfire. There is a big battle which results in Brightwind, Dani's Valkyrie winged horse, dying. The big reveal comes out that Reignfire is actually Roberto from 6 months in the future. We don't learn much more about this right now and I'm dying to learn all the details of how this happened, but we'll have to wait because the issue ends with all of them dying as setup for the Age of Apocalypse.



Cable # 17 - 19: The Dark Ride with Tyler

Writer - Jeph Loeb

Pencils - Steve Skroce

A new team of the Dark Riders (Gauntlet, Life Force, Spyne, Hurricane, and Deadbolt) are hunting down former member Foxbat for their new master. Cable, Domino, and Storm go into the sewers looking for the Morlocks (after learning that they might be alive), where they find Caliban being hunted by the Dark Riders. The mysterious new Dark Riders leader claims that Cable isn't to be harmed.


Meanwhile, Cable and Domino were at the mansion having breakfast with Scott and Jean, which is pretty fun because it's like a son introducing her new girlfriend to his parents...just that the son is actually older than the dad. Scott tries to get Cable to use his powers instead of his guns, but Cable is reluctant.


Cable, Domino, Storm, and Caliban chase the Dark Riders all the way to Egypt. Caliban is cracking me up because he keeps calling Domino "Patch Eye," which she does not enjoy. The foursome eventually learn that the Dark Riders now report to Cable's son Tyler, who now goes by Genesis. They learn that Tyler murdered a crapload of people in Akkaba, which happens to be here Apocalypse was born and the site of a massacre in Cable's timeline.


There is a lot of drama, but eventually there is a big battle and the good guys win with the Dark Riders getting away. Cable uses his powers at the end, bringing the whole "dad wanted you to use your powers instead of guns" story full circle. Tyler is convinced that his dad didn't love him, but Cable is able to use telepathy to show Tyler the truth, that he does love him very much.


My Connections


I need to start by talking about how great the Cable series is compared to the Wolverine series. I'm 90 issues into the Wolverine solo comic and I have yet to care at all about any of the new characters introduced there, nor has there been a story that I would strongly recommend to anyone. Cable on the other hand, has been fantastic. Perhaps it's because I love X-Force and appreciate how connected it is. However, this is really the first solo series I've read that I thought was worth my time, with Dazzler, Iceman, Gambit, Nightcrawler, and Rogue all failing to meet that bar.


Time to continue my venting. In spoke earlier about the revelation that Warpath's family wasn't killed by the Hellfire Club. I'm sure Nicieza thought he was being clever by closing the loop on this thread, but I actually think he by made a mistake by bringing this up at all. At the very end of New Mutants (as covered in 75: NM 98 - 100 (From New Mutants to X-Force), Cable recruits Jimmy by promising to help him uncover the truth about this tribe being wiped out, and perhaps to even help him get revenge. By bringing this up, we're reminded that Jimmy didn't hold Cable to that promise. He didn't push to avenge his family (even though he almost killed Xavier for killing his brother), and Nicieza really missed an opportunity to develop the character by utilizing this. This actually makes me hope that Warpath is just written out of the series since Nicieza doesn't seem interested in developing Warpath, with neither this point nor in elevating his relationship with Siryn.


Alright, this is the last time I'll be bitching. We found out in #43 that Reignfire has been Roberto all along, from 6 months in the future. This is another plot development that I just can't support. First of all, we've done the whole "is Bobby evil?" thing with in the Claremont era with the Fallen Angels miniseries. Roberto always had a chip on his shoulder during New Mutants and we explored whether he was destined to be a villain during Fallen Angels, and we learned that he has the heart of a hero. So why would we make him evil here, without even benefiting from a buildup to him going sour. It just seems cheap to me and isn't sitting right with me. We'll see if it's taken anywhere after Age of Apocalypse that changes my mind, but at the moment I'm disappointed.


Oh, you want a positive note? Cable introduces his girlfriend to his parents! It seems like Dani is coming back to the team!



Creators

I don't have much to say about Creators since I just spent the whole last section bitching about Fabian Nicieza. But hey, the Jeph Loeb era is beginning on Cable and it's off to a great start, so that's fun! Jeph Loeb will go on to become the head of Marvel's TV division, so it's exciting to see what he can do at the helm of an X-Comic.


Character Beats


There is a lot of parallel in the dynamics between Cyclops/Cable and Cable/Tyler. When Tyler was young, Cable had to make a tough choice about Tyler's fate which resulted in him abandoning him. It's quite tragic that this happened to Cable, especially considering he didn't even remember his own history. Whereas Cable was able to mostly get on the right track, Tyler appears to be acting an awful lot like Stryfe. During X-Cutioner's Song, Stryfe was convinced that Scott and Jean would abandon a child again and was legitimately surprised when they didn't (which seemed thin at the time). Here we see that Tyler was convinced that his father hated him and it took a powerful dose of telepathy to show him he was wrong. I feel more invested in Tyler and am interested to see where the character ends up.


Speaking of Cable, he appears to be getting closer to learning the truth about Scott and Jean. While in the mansion, Beast casually mentions that they used to call Scott "Slim" and you can see this catching Cable off guard. There was a moment during the Phalanx Saga where Wolverine referred to Jean as Red and it created an equal reaction. Is he figuring it out!?


A few other interesting things took place with Cable while on his date with Domino. First, they were playing a game and he mentioned that he would take his dad (Cyclops) with him if ever stranded on an island. It's great to see Cable go from "considering" coming to his dad's wedding to hanging out with him and thinking so highly of him. Another fun thing took place with Cable trying hard not to mention Vanessa/Copycat, but he accidentally mentions Vanessa's favorite music (country) and it almost ruins their date.


The character I am most excited to discuss isn't even a member of X-Force. Can you guess who it is? Dani Moonstar, of course! Her intentions are finally revealed as we learn once and for all that she is a double agent. She's still a good guy and Warpath is about to be written out (my speculation), so come back in Dani, the water is warm!


Jimmy (Warpath) tries to kiss Siryn, but gets both rejected and a football in the face. This makes it clear that this is a one way relationship and I wonder where it will go. This seems like the death knoll for Jimmy in the series, but we'll see. Also, is Siryn's heart closed to him because she has feelings for Deadpool!? Let's keep reading and find out.


Rictor and Shatterstar are continuing to be quite chummy whole they fix a broken TV. There is a big emotional moment where Shatterstar is in a club with Rictor and a girl touches his junk, causing him to freeze. The X writer's are quite coy about heroes who aren't straight, so this seems like a terribly unsubtle way to show that Shatterstar may not hetero. I'll just keep reading and see where this goes, but this might as overt as it's going to get that these two are a couple.


My Rating


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