Credits: John Francis Moore (writer), Adam Pollina (penciler), Mark Morales w/Guillermo Zubiaga (inks), Comicraft (letters), Marie Javins (colors)
Summary: While on vacation in Hawaii, X-Force is caught in a conflict between the Lava Men and Risque, Sledge, and Vanisher. They retrieve the mystical Heart of Pele, only to discover that “Risque” has been the goddess Pele in disguise. After Siryn destroys the Lava Men’s Firebringer weapon, Sunspot uses his powers to return the Heart to the depths of the volcano. Pele is made whole again, and thanks the team by granting them a peaceful vacation.
Continuity Notes: The Lava Men discovered the plans for the Firebringer in the ruins of ancient Lemuria. This foreshadows more Eternals continuity making its way into Moore’s run. According to Pele, she took Risque’s place after her partners stole the Heart. She learned of X-Force from Risque, and sensed that they were the “warriors of noble heart” she needed to return the Heart to its proper place.
Gimmicks: This issue has a free poster, in honor of Adam Pollina’s final issue of the title.
We Get Letters: In response to a reader’s comments about Locus’ race swapping: “As far as Locus is concerned, her new look is nothing more than a tan and a wacky new ‘do’”.
I Love the ‘90s: Sunspot tells Siryn that, being Irish, she should know how to “get jiggy with it.”
Review: It’s a vacation issue (literally), although Moore seems more interested in giving the characters a wacky adventure than conversation scenes. The plot has X-Force being forced into helping the Lava Men retrieve an item stolen from them by the Vanisher, only to learn that the Lava Men are pretty awful too. The odd combination of characters, from Silver Age Marvel to Jeph Loeb’s run to ancient Hawaiian folklore, works to the story’s advantage, and Moore as usual handles the cast well. Unfortunately, this marks Adam Pollina’s final issue. Pollina had one of the longest runs on the ‘90s X-books, and it’s to his credit that he stuck with the book for so long when he certainly had plenty of competing offers. I know he did some creator-owned material, and returned for the occasional one-shot or miniseries over the years, but I don’t know why he disappeared from monthly comics after this run. It’s a shame he never had a lengthy stint on Amazing Spider-Man or Superman.