Monday, November 26, 2007

X-FORCE #21 – April 1993

War Machines
Credits: Fabian Nicieza (writer), Greg Capullo (penciler), Harry Candelario (inks), Chris Eliopoulos (letters), Marie Javins & Steve Buccellato (colors)

X-Force battle SHIELD and War Machine inside Graymalkin. The battle causes internal damage to the base and the Professor begins a self-destruct sequence. Cannonball is surprised to discover that Cable granted him the ability to override the Professor’s commands. In order to save Graymalkin, Cannonball attempts to dump as much mass as possible, sending Cable’s weapons depot and other gear to their Arizona headquarters. He dumps Cable’s time travel device into the Pacific Ocean. Suddenly, Graymalkin explodes. Meanwhile, the remaining members of X-Force on Earth (Siryn, Boomer, and Warpath) are ambushed by an External.

Creative Differences
War Machine was referred to as “Iron Man” in the last issue. Now, he’s called “War Machine”, with every use of his name obviously relettered. I’ve read before that the Iron Man creative team just used the title “War Machine” as a cover blurb, but didn’t incorporate it into the comic until fans started using the name.

Continuity Note
According to the Professor, Cable considers Cannonball and Sunspot to be his “spiritual children” and has a history with them that goes back thousands of years.

I Love the ‘90s
Boomer has a Malcom X baseball cap. The very blonde, very white Boomer has a Malcom X baseball cap.

It's a letdown after the previous issue. The opening fight scene isn’t bad, but a lot of this issue consists of Cannonball talking to the Professor, trying to figure which pieces of Graymalkin to drop to Earth. This isn’t exactly great drama, plus the Professor has annoying typographic lettering that’s a chore to read. Some plot elements don’t hold up to a lot of scrutiny. I don’t understand why Cannonball is dumping Cable’s time travel device into the ocean. I realize that everyone thinks he’s dead at this point, but why the ocean? Why not send it home with him with the rest of Cable’s technology? Cannonball also seems to think that the time travel device won’t work outside of Graymalkin, but I don’t know how he came to that conclusion. How exactly dropping all of this junk to Earth is going to help isn’t clearly explained, either. Having to drop weight from an airplane to keep it airborne is a common plot device, but I don’t really see how it’s going to keep a spacecraft from blowing up. I also don’t really understand why Lila Cheney appears and re-appears in the story. This is either an intentional mystery, or we’re really supposed to believe that she’s a coward who teleports away when trouble starts. Claremont did a similar trick during one of his final stories, only to have Cheney return with a large arsenal and back-up to help the X-Men. I don’t really get what Nicieza is trying to do here. It is still a nice looking comic, even if Capullo isn’t up to his usual standards.

1 comment:

Luke said...

Reagrding Rhodey: In the second half of 1992, Tony Stark had gone into cryostasis and Rhodey was Iron Man in a modified "Variable Threat Response" suit, which, yes, was nicknamed "War Machine" on the cover. If going by the cover dates, when this issue of X-Force was published, Tony was back with a new set of red-and-gold Iron Man armor, and Rhodey was officially known as War Machine. Probably a lack of communication between the X-Office and the Heroes Office editors.

I'm with you though: How does dumping mass help anything in this situation?

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