The Axe Falls
Credits: Fabian Nicieza (writer), Antonio Daniel (penciler), Kevin Conrad (inker), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Martin Thomas (colorist)
Feral takes Gyrich with her as Cable fights Reignfire. Gyrich continues to provoke Feral until she tries to kill him. MLF member Tempo stops her, saying that she only wants Gyrich stopped, not killed. Reignfire witnesses this and strikes Tempo for betraying the team. Reignfire convinces Feral to join his side, and Cable shoots her before she can attack Gyrich again. Reignfire leaves with Feral, while Moonstar and Locus fire at Gyrich. Sunspot uses his powers to disperse their attack, scrambling Locus’ teleportation powers. He disappears along with the MLF to an unknown location.
Reignfire already knows Cable, but Cable doesn’t recognize him. This is because Reignfire is supposed to be Sunspot, a revelation that wasn’t fully explained for years. I don’t think I ever read the issues that fully explained his origin so Wiki will have to help us out on this one.
Sunspot uses his powers to fly for the first time, which never made a lot of sense to me, but I think it’s become an accepted use of his powers.
MLF member Reaper is apparently killed by Shatterstar in this issue.
Quite a few of the word balloons on the last two pages have been re-lettered. All of this dialogue involves Sunspot teleporting away with the MLF, so maybe there was different explanation for this scene. As it is, the scene is still fairly confusing.
On page 15, Moonstar’s costume suddenly has the X-Men’s “X” logo all over it.
Even though this is an issue long fight scene, it has a surprisingly large impact on the ongoing narrative of the series. It’s kind of a mixed bag, since most of the fight scenes get tedious, and Reignfire is given some ridiculous dialogue, but I like the idea of two team members switching sides in a battle. Nicieza’s able to pull this off since Feral has always been portrayed as a heartless animal, and Tempo’s defining trait is her reluctance to be a true villain. Some might say it’s too obvious, but I enjoy seeing an actual payoff to two long-running subplots. Everyone’s behaving perfectly in character, so the real surprise comes in the story’s willingness to follow through with the idea. This is a sharp contrast to Colossus’ turn in the other X-titles of the time, which required him to behave out-of-character and make incredibly ridiculous decisions. Antonio Daniel begins his stint as regular artist, and even if his work looked better in the annual, it’s certainly an improvement over the previous fill-ins. He follows the house style of the X-books from this era, turning in a few awkward pages, but most of his work is passable. He’ll be the second X-Force artist in a row to leave and draw Spawn for Todd McFarlane.