Monday, February 25, 2013

X-FORCE #97 - December 1999

Cracked Foundation
Credits:  John Francis Moore (writer), Anthony Williams (penciler), Scott Elmer (inker), Mike Thomas (colors), Chris Eliopoulos (letters)

Summary:  Selene takes Sunspot to the Damocles Foundation headquarters, where the Reignfire symbiote is being injected into a Gatherer in order to reawaken it.  Selene and Sunspot are abducted by Sword and detained.  Meanwhile, X-Force visits Sledge, following the revelation of Cannonball’s forgotten adventure.  Ulysses Dragonblood and Arcadia Deville are with him.  With the help of Veeg, they teleport X-Force to the Damocles Foundation, hoping to stop the reawaking of the Gatherer.  The heroes reunite with Sunspot, but Selene betrays everyone by using magic to reanimate the Gatherer.  Moonstar and Arcadia combine their reality warping powers and destroy the Gatherer and Reignfire.  Furious, Selene swears revenge.

Continuity Notes
  • Following the events of Fantastic Four Annual ’99, Selene now leads the Hellfire Club.
  • Ulysses reveals the origin of his brother, Odysseus Indigo.  Indigo is a Deviant who left the tribe and formed his own splinter group of Eternals, Deviants, and humans, all determined to “create and control the next species that will rule the planet.”  Ulysses was a member until he realized his brother’s interests were “entirely selfish.”  He left with Arcadia. 
  •  Sledge tells Cannonball that he’s a Deviant who also abandoned his people.  He claims that he views himself as an American, and was offered citizenship after he aided the State Department in the 1950s.
  • The Gatherer de-evolves Sword into primitive lizard creatures while under Selene’s control.
  • Arcadia and Moonstar now sense a strange connection following their encounter in X-Force #83.  Arcadia says she’s now having dreams about the Demon Bear.

Review:  Plot, plot, plot, plot.  It’s not necessarily a bad plot, mind you, and this is one of Anthony Williams’ better fill-in issues, so it does look nice enough, but this is yet another issue that’s more about the Damocles Foundation than X-Force.  The character hooks are fairly weak (Cannonball now remembers meeting Sledge, and Arcadia and Moonstar now have a vague connection), so too often this comes across as generic heroes fighting a generic menace.  The one interesting play on past continuity, Selene’s offer to Sunspot to claim his place in the Hellfire Club (presumably a reference to his deceased father’s membership), is quickly ignored so that the multi-faceted uber-plot must be fed.  In a way, it’s impressive that Moore’s brought together almost every aspect of his several years on the title into one giant storyline, but unfortunately, it’s a massive story about a rogue Deviant and his numerous plot devices that doesn’t relate to the characters in an engaging way.


Anonymous said...

Was someone porno tracing that cover long before Greg Land made it cool?

wwk5d said...

Marc Silvestri, maybe.

Anonymous said...

Hah, good one. Must have been where the idea for those 90's Marvel Swimsuit specials came from.

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