Wednesday, September 12, 2007

X-Force #76, 1998.

The battle I never expected to see...Domino™! Vs. Shatterstar™! To tha def! Nineties comic awesomeness! A dead giveaway that this issue was produced in the Nineties book are all of the Trademarks on the cover. Marvel was really protective of their trademarks in the Nineties. To the point of obsession.

Anyways, this one starts off with Cannonball hanging out with the team. He was dating Tabitha or Boom-Boom or Boomer or Meltdown or whatever she was calling herself back then, and he had left the team to join the X-Men. So he was spending some time with his girlfriend and his peeps. Recently, Dani Moonstar had returned to the team a couple of issues before this one, so the New Mutants connection was back in full effect. Several other things had happened in the previous couple of issues, Domino was captured and operated on and it somehow effected her powers, and the team also finally broke away from Cable's leadership. At this point in time, Cable had his own book and was barely featured in the pages of X-Force, so it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that there was a break coming.

So being a team composed of young adults that have some time on their hands, they like to go out and do things that normal kids like to do, and I guess kids still like bowling. The title page features Sam concentrating right before his shot. He ended up with the dreaded 7-10 split. Ouch. He didn't pick up the spare either. Boom-Boom spoils everything by using one of her timebombs as a bowling ball and they end up having to leave because she's blown their cover as normal teenagers/twenty-somethings. On the way to the car, Cannonball starts talking about coming back to the team and everyone thinks it's a good idea. Well, almost everyone. But more on that later.

The scene then switches to an oil tanker floating off the coast of Mexico, where Domino is beating the crap of out some dude for no real reason. We then find out she's on a freelance mission. Her assignment is get next to a reclusive european crimelord, who just happens to be holding a cage-match style tournament to determine his new bodyguard. I am not making any of this up. I'm also not making up the fact that Arcade is the special guest MC/matchmaker. God I hate Arcade. I'll probably devote an entire post to my hatred of that character at some point.

Anyways, Arcade announces that Domino's next opponent is...Shatterstar! Oh, Snap! This one features Shatterstar in his purple costume with the weird neck head condom. It's a weird looking costume, just trust me on this one. Anyways, they fight and eventually, Domino kicks him in the head and wins. SO finally, that question is answered, even though I don't really remember anyone raising the question in the first place.

So at the end of the story, we get to the dramatic, shocking, twist ending. Sam walks in on Boomer in a full on makeout session with his best friend, Sunspot! Dude, that is not cool! It turns out that they been seeing each other for awhile and Sam's not too happy about it. Tabitha decides to break up with him right there. Classy move right there. What a bitch. Sam is pissed and flies off and almost flies through Bobby when he tries to get in his way. I don't blame him, Bobby would have totally deserved it.

It ends with some uncertainty about X-Force's future and with Tab and Bobby feeling like crap for screwing their best friend over (as they should feel for tearing out a dude's heart and stepping on it). This was kind of the start of a different direction for the title, as they were transformed from a strikeforce into a group of young carefree mutants on a perpetual roadtrip. I think it would get retooled a few more times and somehow stuck around for another four years before Marvel finally folded the book. R.I.P. - X-Force, you kinda, sorta earned it.


chris said...

Wow. This was after I stopped collecting this book. Looks like I missed out on some gold. And by "gold" I mean crap.

And Sunspot - what happened to "bro's before ho's"? Tsk, tsk.

Tyler said...

Yeah, it really started going downhill at about the issue #50 mark. Too many crew changes.

I think Bobby was sick the day Professor X covered bro's before ho's and cockblocking at the school.