The Masters of Inevitability (Shattershot Part Two)
Credits: Fabian Nicieza (writer), Jae Lee (penciler), Jan Harps, Joe Rubinstein (inks), Tom Orzechowski, Lois Buhalis (letterers), Joe Rosas (colorist)
Apparently to embarrass Mojo, a rival network sends the Death Sponsors to Earth to retrieve Arize. The Death Sponsors track Arize to the X-Men’s mansion, where they battle the gold team. During the fight, one of the Death Sponsors revives Arize’s memory before they attempt to teleport away. Bishop shoots their teleporter, scrambling the Death Sponsors and leaving Arize behind. Arize decides to travel the Earth to learn more about it and how to improve his own world.
I Love the ‘90s
Bishop actually says “Hasta La Vista, Baby” when he blasts the villains at the end of the story.
Colossus asks if the X-Men were right to prevent the Death Sponsors from taking Arize back to Mojoworld. He really wants to know if they were wrong to stop a group that just tried to kill them, called the DEATH SPONSORS, from kidnapping someone against his will.
After Bishop shoots his gun, he’s asked how he could still use his mutant powers after the other team members had theirs blocked. Shooting a gun is a mutant power? If the idea is that Bishop somehow channels his powers through his gun, that hasn’t been established clearly.
And now I remember why people hate this storyline. The first part works because it’s a basic story about the X-Men protecting someone from a group of villains with a clear motive for capturing him. Now, a separate group of X-Men is protecting the same character from different villains with an unclear reason for kidnapping him. It’s essentially the same story as the first chapter, only it makes less sense. Unlike the first part, the main story only now has one artist, Jae Lee. This was very early in his career (I believe he was only 19), and his work suffers from a lot of ugly faces and weird poses. It’s still better than a lot of early ‘90s stuff, but he would certainly improve in later years.
The TV references have already gotten old. The Death Sponsors consist of Sweepzweak, Deadair, Lead-In, Cancellator, and Timeslot. Most of them look like the monsters from that Fred Savage and Howie Mandel movie from the '80s. The original Mojoworld villains were pretty odd inventions of Ann Nocenti and Art Adams, but they did look cool and have distinctive personalities. These guys just have annoying speech patterns and really ugly costumes.
Bishop also receives some odd characterization in this issue. In his first appearance, he was almost insane (explained away by saying that time travel is “disorienting”). Then, he was in great awe of the legendary X-Men and eager to impress them. Now, he acts like a jerk towards them. Nicieza seems to be under the impression that Bishop would be the same headstrong, arrogant outsider that Cable is during this time, but that’s not consistent with his depiction in the main titles.