Wednesday, August 12, 2015

FOXFIRE #2 – March 1996

Tunnel Vision
Credits:  Ian Edginton & Dan Abnett (writers), Kevin J. West (penciler), Philip Moy & Bob Almond (inkers), Patrick Owsley (letterer), Rob Alvord & Malibu (colors)

Summary:  Rose convinces Ultraforce that she’s a new hero, Foxfire, and not the runaway Rose.  The team splits up to locate Sludge and the feral monster, which they later realize is former Exiles member Mastodon.  Rose comprehends that Mastodon is only acting out of fear.  She changes back into her human form and encourages Mastodon to revert into his true form, a young child.  Black Knight tells Rose that Ultraforce won’t pursue her and encourages her to continue crime-fighting.  

Continuity Notes:  Another seemingly unrelated one-page scene features an Ultra named Mustang.  He’s apprehended by armed men.

Review:  Well, she does have a name now.  And I have to acknowledge that she didn’t pass out this issue.  Regardless, the series has wasted its opening arc on a series of gratuitous guest stars, while doing nothing to build up the main character or do even the basic things that need to be done when setting up a solo series.  Rose has no supporting cast, no job, no definable goals, and nothing to ground her in the present day.  She might as well be back in the future, fighting alien bugs.  The only real conflict that’s been introduced so far, Rose being falsely accused of her father’s murder, is casually brushed aside by Black Knight this issue.  She seemed to be an okay girl, so he lets her go, conveniently forgetting that she did lie about her identity when they met.  She’s innocent of the murders Mastodon committed, sure, but he has no reason to believe that Rose isn’t involved with her father’s disappearance.

The only moment that alleviated the boredom this issue was Black Knight’s conversation with Rose, which spells out the premise behind Ultraforce.  Per Black Knight:  “Ultraforce has a presidential mandate to police the Ultra community.  That means we get shot at by both sides.  Ultras who think we’re the bad guys and humans who think we’re just a figure head (sic).  … Humans have always been top of the food chain.  The day the Ultras came along, humans found there was something quicker and stronger and better than them suddenly…They’re scared of us.  We’re scared of them.  Unless the balance stays just right, it could tip over into anarchy.”  Get that…Ultraforce is the X-Men!  My natural assumption all along was that Ultraforce was Malibu’s answer to the Avengers, but this was the ‘90s…of course they aped the X-Men instead!  And why is Black Knight the one giving this speech?  He doesn’t have powers; just a magic sword, right?  Humanity’s not afraid of your magic sword and flying horse, Dane Whitman.

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