Thursday, February 28, 2008

X-FORCE #30 – January 1994

Something Worth Fighting For
Credits: Fabian Nicieza (writer), Tony Daniel (penciler), Conrad/Holdredge/Gorder (inkers), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Marie Javins (colorist)

Adam X (X-Treme) explains to Shatterstar that Arcade threatened to kill a young woman if he didn’t agree to fight him. When the woman is revealed to Shatterstar, he recognizes her as Windsong, his wife from his homeworld. Shatterstar convinces Adam X that Windsong would rather die than live as a captive, so they team up to find Arcade. After facing his guards, the pair confronts Arcade and his assistant, Ms. Locke. Locke threatens to detonate the explosives in Windsong’s manacles if they attack. Shatterstar stabs himself in the chest, unwilling to risk Wingsong’s life or fight Adam X any longer. When Arcade prepares to escape, Shatterstar appears from behind and stabs him, revealing Arcade to be a robot. Windsong is exposed as a hologram and Ms. Locke tells Adam X and Shatterstar who hired Arcade to abduct them. Shatterstar explains to Adam X that he avoided hitting any internal organs with his suicide ruse, and that he knew Windsong was a hologram all along. Meanwhile, Warpath and Siryn prepare to visit her home in Ireland, while Black Tom reclaims his castle from the Cassidy family lawyer.

Continuity Notes
A man named “Mr. Milbury” hired Arcade to test Adam X. “Milbury” is a pseudonym for Mr. Sinister. This is the first hint that Adam X might be the third Summers brother, due to Sinister’s interest in Summers DNA.

Shatterstar claims that he’s never met Windsong, and that their genetic material would have been used to create more warriors at the proper time. He also tells Adam X that his body has “restorative abilities”.

Creative Differences
On page fifteen, Black Tom has a few added word balloons, explaining that the person he attacked is his family lawyer.

“Huh?” Moment
Windsong is mis-colored as Ms. Locke on page 26, panel two. Considering that it appears as if the villain is saying, “Please, love, we can be together again!”, someone probably should’ve noticed this.

It’s an entire issue of two “MTV warriors” fighting each other, then fighting some other people, then going home. Nicieza does a nice job with Arcade’s dialogue, but the Murderworld setting is mostly wasted in this issue, as all of Arcade’s elaborate set-ups and traps are missing. Some of the story elements don’t make a lot of sense, either. Adam X is willing to fight Shatterstar to keep a woman alive, but based on Shatterstar’s claim that she’d rather die than be held captive, Adam X suddenly decides to team up with him. Even in if Adam X believed him, wouldn’t he still feel guilty if Arcade decided to kill her as soon as they stopped fighting? Early in the story, Shatterstar is able to recognize Windsong as a hologram, but there’s no explanation given for why. At the end of the issue, Shatterstar knows that Windsong is again a hologram (this time with a reason, she claims to know him when they’ve never met), but he still feigns suicide to save her life. If he knew she was a fake and that no one was actually in danger, why would he stab himself in the chest? Arcade’s no physical threat to Shatterstar or Adam X, so why go through such an elaborate and painful ruse? Tony Daniel shows up as artist, a welcome improvement over the previous issue. His work suffers from multiple inkers again, but it’s not bad. Most of the storytelling is clear and he’s able to pull off a decent cartoonish look on quite a few pages. His work is a little McFarlane-esque, so it’s not surprising that he’ll end up on Spawn in a few years.

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