Credits: Rob Liefeld (plot), Fabian Nicieza (script), Mark Pacella (pencils), Dan Panosian (inks), Chris Eliopoulos (letters), Steve Buccellato (colors)
Cable, Warpath, Boom Boom, and Cannonball carry Thornn, Masque’s cloak, and Sauron’s dead body into the Morlock tunnels to “send a message” that they’re not to be messed with. Back at X-Force’s headquarters, Deadpool takes out Siryn and Shatterstar and threatens Vanessa (in disguise as Domino) not to betray Mr. Tolliver. Inside Tolliver’s headquarters, the real Domino is chained in a dungeon. Meanwhile, Kane has formed Weapon Omega to stop Cable, who he wrongly believes is Stryfe.
The Image X-odus
Cable remarks to Cannonball that “Image is everything, Sam.” I’m assuming that this is a Peter David-style meta-reference from Nicieza. Youngblood #1 was already on sale at this point, with a million copies in print. Liefeld was still drawing covers and plotting this book, and many fans were under the assumption that he wasn’t really leaving. Years later, in the first issue of Fantastic Four after Heroes Reborn, Reed would tell Johnny that “Image isn’t everything.”
The title of this issue is a little amusing. Nicieza does seem to have some fun with this book occasionally. Pacella’s art has improved a little since the previous issue, maybe because he has fewer characters to draw. It’s still typical of the lower standards of the era, though. This is another X-Force issue that focuses entirely on the new Liefeld characters, even ignoring Cannonball who is supposed to be in the middle of an important storyline. This issue reveals that the Domino we know is an imposter, and that the real one has been kept prisoner for over a year. I’m not quite sure what the point of this is since Domino is still a new character and the audience knows nothing about her anyway. Who cares if she’s an imposter? She’s the imposter of a character we haven’t actually seen yet. That’s either really brave or really inept plotting. Making this even worse, there’s already a storyline going on with Stryfe impersonating Cable, so I’m not sure why the book introduces another imposter plot before the first one is resolved.
The highlight of this issue is Deadpool, who always stood out amongst the sea of early ‘90s characters. His personality is basically “evil Spider-Man”, but at least he has a personality. He’s also one of the few characters Liefeld created for Marvel who still has his original design. He’s gone on to appear in over a hundred comics, often as a headliner or a co-headliner, so I think his creators must’ve been on to something.