Friday, May 16, 2008

X-FORCE #39 – October 1994

Letting Go
Credits: Fabian Nicieza (writer), Tony Daniel (penciler), Kevin Conrad (inks), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Marie Javins (colorist)

After an agent of the Phalanx invades X-Force’s headquarters and tries to infiltrate the Professor’s cybernet, its body unravels. The Professor overtakes the Phalanx’s form and experiences having a physical body for the first time. The Professor, now calling himself “Prosh”, grows close to X-Force over the ensuing weeks, but Cable begins to hide from the team. Cable finally confronts Prosh about his condition. The techno-organic portion of Cable’s body is out of control, due to the energy signatures that keep Prosh alive. With Prosh disrupting all nearby technology, the team prepares to say goodbye to him. Prosh uses Cable’s future equipment, and the abandoned buildings at the camp, to build a spaceship and travel to the stars. With their headquarters and equipment gone, the team prepares to leave for a new headquarters.

Continuity Notes
Cable says that he can no longer time travel because his “time displacement core” was taken off-line. The Professor implies that Cable could time travel on his own if he knew the “true nature of his powers.” This could be a reference to his sister, Rachel Summers’, ability to send her consciousness through time. Since the Professor leaves Earth with all of Cable’s future technology, I would assume that Cable’s no longer able to teleport after this issue, either.

The Professor calls Shatterstar “Gaveedra-Seven”, which was presumably his birth name on his own world.

Commercial Break
There’s an ad for Jurassic Park on video. The copy reads, “Right now, you can be the first on your block to take home a videocassette of Jurassic Park”. This comic came out in late 1994 -- didn’t Jurassic Park come out in summer 1993? Why wasn’t it already on video?

This isn’t a bad idea for a story, but it feels kind of rushed. I wonder if this was intended to be a longer arc, but had to fit into one issue in order to get the team ready for a new start in time for the “Deluxe Edition” era of the X-books. One thing I’ve never really liked about this issue is Prosh himself. From the skinny, ungainly design to the ridiculous name, he seems more like an annoying sidekick than a trusted confidant for X-Force. Nicieza uses the story as a vehicle to advance Cable’s character development, pulling him further away from the gruff, distant portrayal of his earlier appearances. Cable lets go of his equipment and technology in order to give his friend a new start in life, realizing that he now has his own family and a new life to lead, also. This really isn’t the type of Cable story you could’ve gotten away with earlier in the run. It’s surprising that Nicieza didn’t do more stories like this when he was writing Cable’s solo series, since it seems as if he did have a clear arc in store for the character in X-Force. In Cable, though, he just seemed to wander from one pointless story to the next.


matt e. allen said...

I love the fact that you are doing your best to analyze these books, and not have nostalgia get in the way. Sure, that was part of your original mission plan, but it's great that you've stuck to it.

About the Jurassic Park vhs ad: the movie was in theaters for almost a year, then had another run in the summer of 1994.

Teebore said...

I also was bugged by the appearance/characterization of Prosh in this; I enjoyed the "character" from when he was Ship in the old issues of X-Factor, and suddenly, because he got a body, he seemed like a totally different character. I liked the ideas in this story, just not "Prosh" himself.

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