Credits: Fabian Nicieza (writer), Matt Broome (penciler), Bud LaRosa (inker), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Marie Javins (colorist)
Shatterstar is kidnapped by Arcade, and must defend an innocent family from Mojo V’s soldiers. After defeating them, Arcade reveals to Shatterstar that he was hired by Mojo V’s “master programmer” Major Domo to ensure that he never returns to threaten them. Arcade decides to pit Shatterstar against another mutant he’s been hired to test, X-Treme. Meanwhile, Cable asks Tempo to stay with the team but she refuses. Warpath confronts Siryn about her drinking, Cannonball and Boomer go to Kentucky, and Domino agrees to join the team.
Mojo V rules the future world Shatterstar comes from.
I Love the ‘90s
Tempo sarcastically suggests watching “Beavis and Butthead” (sic) with X-Force.
On page 29, Major Domo is revealed to be the mystery client…except he’s not anywhere on the page. Shatterstar has a dramatic response to a revelation that’s totally off-panel.
This is mainly an attempt to develop Shatterstar as a character, and it does raise a few decent ideas. Shatterstar never had much of a personality and he existed, by his own admission, solely to fight. The early issues of X-Force treated this as a really cool personality trait, but Nicieza realized that it needed to be addressed once he began plotting the book. Rather than radically altering Shatterstar, Nicieza tries to use his one-dimensional attitude as a starting point to develop his character. Shatterstar now knows that he should find a cause to fight for, but he doesn’t know what that is. This could have been an interesting character arc, but Nicieza was forced off of the title before it could go anywhere. I can remember liking Shatterstar as a kid (although I might’ve lost interest in him by this point). I think I was mainly drawn in by his swords, and the fact that he had a mutant power that he never felt the need to use.
This is an action-heavy issue, and it’s not helped by Matt Broome’s poor artwork. It’s not as bad as his previous issues, but it’s still ugly to look at and the action scenes don’t really work. The off-panel revelation of Major Domo that I mentioned above is really sloppy and distracting. Broome’s art always seems to drag the coloring down as well, because the unfinished linework gives the colors a blurry look.