Fear and Loathing Part 1 – The Quick and the Dead
Credits: Scott Lobdell (plot), Glenn Herdling (script), Mike Miller (penciler), Conrad/Hanna/Sellers (inkers), Starkings/Comicraft (lettering), Marie Javins (colorist)
Lee Forrester is on the run from Senyaka, who has already killed every other member of her crew. After hitting him with a flare gun and falling into the water, she’s rescued by Cable. Senyaka attacks again, explaining that he wants revenge on Magneto and is killing everyone who was ever close to him. Cable has an opportunity to shoot him, but Senyaka attacks with his psionic coils before Cable pulls the trigger. Lee hits Senyaka from behind, briefly giving them time to run away. Cable tells Lee that they can’t teleport away because Senyaka’s psionic attack knocked out communications with his internal computer, the Professor. The two get closer during the night, when Senyaka suddenly appears. Cable uses his telekinetic powers to drive wooden stakes into Senyaka’s heart, apparently killing him. However, the two are still a hundred miles from civilization with no food or any way to call for help.
Lee Forrester was briefly Cyclops’ love interest after Jean Grey died (the first time). Years later, she rescued a wounded Magneto from the ocean and helped him recuperate. Senyaka wants revenge on Magneto after he “killed” him in Uncanny X-Men #304. Senyaka claims that he was barely alive after Magneto’s attack when SHIELD examined his body. When a medical examiner touched him, Senyaka used his powers to drain his psionic energy and escaped.
I Love the ‘90s
Lee Forrester’s journal says that this story takes place on April 5, 1994, which I believe is the day this issue went on sale (it’s also the day Kurt Cobain killed himself).
And, yet another long-forgotten character from the past returns with this issue. It’s hard to believe that it’s a coincidence at this point. Lee Forrester disappeared from the titles around the time Magneto became headmaster of Xavier’s school (I don’t even remember if their brief romance was ended on-panel). She’s brought back in this issue and almost immediately set up as a potential love interest for Cable. Aside from the absurdity of this “average woman” going from Cyclops to Magneto to Cable, there’s also the unpleasant element that Cyclops is Cable’s father. I think the idea was only introduced for the sake of that shock value, because there’s no real reason for these two characters to get involved. I don’t remember any romance between these two characters going anywhere, thankfully.
Lee does serve one interesting purpose in this issue, and it’s a shame that it didn’t happen sooner. After she learns about Magneto’s actions during the “Fatal Attractions” storyline, Lee reacts with the appropriate shock and disgust. Since the character was only familiar with Magneto during his reformed days, it makes sense that she would react this way. It’s too bad this point of view wasn’t brought up during the actual storyline. I think that Herdling might be sympathetic towards the reformed version of Magneto, because he can’t give Cable any reason to justify Magneto’s behavior in that storyline. At least someone finally acknowledged how wildly out of character Magneto was behaving, even if it is months later in an unrelated spinoff.
This actually isn’t that bad of an issue, especially when compared to the earlier issues of the series. It does suffer from some of the same flaws, since the story isn’t really about Cable as a character at all, and the villain is another castoff from the other X-books, but the execution has gotten better. Miller’s fill-in art is competent enough, even though the overacting he gives Lee Forrester towards the end is ridiculous. Senyaka is given a formidable introduction, and he seems like a legitimate threat for most of the story. Casting him as some sort of monster from a horror movie works pretty well. Having him chase after Lee Forrester, of all characters, due to her short relationship with Magneto is a little much, though. There are probably dozens of characters closer to Magneto than Lee, so singling her out is a stretch. Cable is shown to be willing to kill Senyaka “in cold blood”, which seems to be closer to his original characterization and not in line with what Nicieza was doing at the time, but the story does offer some justification for his actions. It’s not a great comic, but it is an improvement over what came before.