Temple of the Dying Sun
Credits: John Francis Moore (writer), Anthony Williams & Chris Renaud (pencilers), Hector Collazo & Scott Koblish (inker), Kevin Tinsley (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters)
Summary: Astarte and Electryon of the Eternals dupe X-Force into traveling to an island overrun with quantum disruptions. As Moonstar uses her powers to combat the hostile landscape, Astarte and Electryon secretly siphon off her quantum energy. When Moonstar is trapped underground, she meets the alien Ry’lor. He explains that his spacecraft’s quantum drive is responsible for the island’s problems, and shows Moonstar how to make contact with the entirety of the quantum force. Moonstar uses her powers to free her teammates and defeat Astarte and Electryon. Ry’lor repairs his craft and returns to space. Meanwhile, Domino returns home as Sunspot packs his bags.
· Astarte and Electryon are working for Odysseus Indigo, who wants to study the quantum energy wielded by Moonstar.
· Ry’lor claims to be an alien who arrived on Earth thousands of years ago. After being worshipped by primitive man, his followers turned on him when he shared his technology with them. He massacred his disciples in response and has lived in seclusion ever since.
· A mysterious package addressed to Cannonball arrives from Genosha while the team’s away.
I Love the '90s: Jesse Bedlam (perhaps the first time he uses that surname) brags that he can easily shut down the alien technology and be back home in time for Win Ben Stein’s Money.
Review: Unless you really wanted to see a showcase of Comicraft’s variety of fonts (I’d guess around five appear this issue), there isn’t much here. Reader sentiment had solidly turned against the Eternals/Deviants storyline by this point, and I can’t blame them. John Francis Moore is making some effort to connect this story to the actual cast, but the alleged deep conversation between Moonstar and alien sun god Ry’lor is lifeless. Apparently, they’ve both learned a great lesson about the importance of moving on, but the issue is packed so densely the scenes have no impact. The visuals might’ve saved the issue, since the artists are given an entire issue of crazy Kirby-esque images to draw, but this was clearly done as a rush job. Anthony Williams & Chris Renaud are odd choices if the creators were really going for a Kirby vibe, anyway. Was it really impossible to find one of the many artists who specialize in Kirby pastiche to fill in? I would love to see what Mike Manley could’ve done with this material.