Credits: John Francis Moore (writer), Adam Pollina (story idea), Mike S. Miller (art), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters), Marie Javins (colors)
Summary: In Texas, Cannonball spends time with X-Force. When he walks in on Meltdown and Sunspot kissing, he flies away in anger. Meanwhile, Domino competes in one of Arcade’s fighting tournaments. Arcade pits her against Shatterstar, threatening to kill Rictor if the former teammates refuse to fight. Domino wins the battle, and decapitates Arcade’s imposter robot. She takes his client, Etienne Rousseau, into custody, revealing that she’s been working undercover for the UN all along. Elsewhere, Mojo and the real Arcade monitor the events.
Continuity Notes: When Domino steals one of Shatterstar’s swords, she feels as if it’s “fighting against” her. Shatterstar reveals that his blades are “charged with a bio-electric current to make them unwieldy to anyone but myself.” Mojo is adamant that Shatterstar is his property, although Shatterstar comes from a future Mojoworld, ruled by Mojo V.
I Love the ‘90s: Siryn wants another quarter to play “that Chumbawumba” song. Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s credit for this issue reads “Tubthumping.”
Review: The “Domino tries to prove she hasn’t lost her skills” arc continues, as Moore answers fan requests and also brings back Shatterstar for one issue. Even if editorial turned his origin story into an unholy mess (as Domino says here, his background is filled with “mystery and contradiction”), Shatterstar goes back to the very first issue of the series, and he shouldn’t just be forgotten about. Although Moore is flagrantly turning the book into a New Mutants reunion title, I’m glad he’s at least making an effort to acknowledge the more recent history. Meanwhile, the Sunspot/Meltdown romance subplot continues, culminating in Cannonball pitching a fit and running away, or flying away at supersonic speeds to be more precise. This storyline doesn’t really make any of the participants look very good, but it’s presumably all a part of Moore’s plan to make the cast more realistic teenagers/twenty-somethings. Still, it’s a little too soap opera-ish, or Real World-ish (before the show devolved into indiscriminate hookups between virtually every cast member), for my tastes.