Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

246 – Foreshadow Puppets

Art by David Wynne. Wanna buy the original? Drop him a line!

In which Danielle Moonstar is not a master of disguise; the MLF are bad enough dudes to kidnap a guy who works near the president; Tempo wasn’t even supposed to be here today; Reignfire is no Magneto; we now desperately want X-Force matryoshka dolls; Feral quits the team; Henry Peter Gyrich fails to learn from experience (or anything else); small children are bad at everything; Shatterstar gets a tagline; Sam Guthrie REALLY needs a vacation; and it’s surprisingly difficult to choose a favorite resurrection.


  • Cortex
  • The kinder, gentler Cable
  • Several matters related to Nicholas Cage
  • X-Force #27-30
  • Broome jaws
  • The Area jar
  • The Mutant Liberation Front
  • Reignfire (again)
  • Hardaway
  • A cyborg asshole
  • Locus
  • Moonstar
  • “Of Faith and Fable”
  • Foreshadow puppets
  • Bobby da Costa’s greatest fear
  • Dad jokes with Cable
  • X-Force’s day off
  • Shatterstar vs. Adam X the X-Treme
  • Windsong
  • An inevitable team-up
  • A Very Special Episode moment
  • The return of Wine Mom Domino
  • The return of Jean Grey’s telepathy
  • Our favorite resurrections

NEXT EPISODE: Sabretooth

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  1. Sometimes you can disgard the answer to a mystery because it’s too obvious to be correct.

    Trivia: my grandfather had a boat named Windsong. Can’t remember what kind it was, though.

  2. 1. Nobody likes Vulcan.
    2. These issues of X-Force permanently imprinted on me what 90’s comic art looks like.

  3. Scattered thoughts:-

    -I realized while reading the first story that Fabian Nicieza is making a stylistic choice that I’m not sure is well-advised, but is at least interesting. He is using relatively few captions and shoving exposition that might otherwise be in captions into dialogue (seeing as we are well past the thought balloon era). Sometimes this does produce some bizarre “Let me expand on this for a while” speeches, where people dump an awful lot of information on other people in a very awkward way.

    For instance, Moonstar shoots Hardaway, and he says, “What did that mutant witch do?” and then proceeds to tell everybody, at some length. This is exactly the sort of thing for which Claremont would have preferred purple-prosy third-person narration in captions. I am going to have to look out to see if this is something that Nicieza also does in X-Men, where I’ve been perceiving him as doing self-conscious Claremont pastiche. It would be interesting if it’s something that he’s doing that specifically differentiates X-Force from his “main” X-book as less Claremonty.

    -Incidentally, “witch” for the b-word does not work in this context at all. The problem is that this feels horribly fake alongside far too much of the godawful macho posturing dialogue that still infests this book. (And in fact, Nicieza turns the posturing up a few notches in the first story, as if worried that readers have been missing it or won’t accept that these are the real MLF without it.)

    – Except for Adam-X the X-Treme, strangely. In his first appearance, he had this balance between overly formal and archaic language and macho ‘80s action movie in his dialogue, switching at random between two separate registers.

    Now Nicieza seems to have gone for the first: Mr. the X-Treme mostly talks as if he’s wandered in from a somewhat violent Merchant Ivory film. E.g. “Blood has been drawn. If you will recall my mutant abilities from our first encounter… …that means you are defeated!”

    Until the very end, when he suddenly comes out with “I can’t afford to fill out paperwork and have my pictures in the papers, Shatty.” Which, OK, is not the kind of ridiculous Feel The Testosterone, Boys! stuff that came out of Adam-X’s mouth in his first appearance. But it’s much, much more normal than how he’s been talking up till now.

    -“That’s fershoor.” Mr. Nicieza, stop it. Claremontian phonetic accents are a fine art.

    -“Some of their choices will shock you!” Kind of didn’t. But I’m glad that Feral’s main choice was to leave the book.

    – On the whole, I think I might like this book more as a Shatterstar solo title. He’s grown on me.

    -“Next: Siryn and Warpath in Ireland! But so are Black Tom and Juggernaut!” First, the attempt to work up excitement for the mere fact of characters not being in America is amusing. But second, it would be funny if, yes, all four characters were in Ireland, but not in the same part of Ireland. Theresa and James have an adventure in Mayo, and every so often we cut away to a panel of Tom and Cain sitting quietly in a restaurant in, I don’t know, Kilkenny or wherever.

  4. Adam X is now the only character to have his own music bit in addition to Dr. Astronaut Peter Corbeau. I hope he will live to deserve this honor.

  5. Also, I always loved Siryn as a character. She don’t get the exposure she desreves (ever since becoming that weird Celtic goddess – which was a bismol plot point btw). And I loved her ever since reading her in X-Force and her struggle with alcoholism. Maybe I just like the half-broken struggling people in my heroes répertoire. I feel them more. But since then she always stood up for me as someone special, like a more mature and authentic type of hero. And also she has red hair and has a castle and is Irish and can fly with the sound of her voice, so…
    Anyway, I never made the connection between her alcoholism and her Irish origins. I can see why it’s problematic. Still, I’m kinda happy that it came to be this way because in the end we got a really awesome heroine with some powerful stories and moments (that X-Force issue which deals entirely with her past via flashbacks remains one of my most rememberable issues of the entire run).

  6. I do like the low-key momentum Nicieza was building to of Cannonball and Sunspot/Reignfire as the new Xavier/Magneto conflict.

    I doubt he was ever going to be allowed to run with it, but it was a cool idea.

    1. You know, I had never thought of it in that sense, but that would have been a VERY interesting way to move us into the X-Men having a new defining clash between old friends at it’s core.

      Sadly, given the way the team lineups are still stagnant in this day and age (Logan and Scott STILL in charge and Xavier seems to have come back too (?)) it would probably be 2074 before anyone from the New Mutants would achieve the status that they SHOULD have as the leaders of the new X-Generation.

  7. We might not get armed leprechauns, but if ever there was a time for the Elf with a Gun to show up for a crossover.

    I find myself somewhat alarmed that there might be such a thing as a “quintessential Nic Cage movie”.

    Farewell Feral, joining the MLF seems entirely logical for you, and since I never actually liked your character, I can’t say I’ll miss you. (Tempo leaving the MLF also makes sense, though whether the MLF would let her is perhaps another matter)

    The ultimate spike-fight has to be Adam X vs Shatterstar vs Stryfe. I mean ALL the spikes!

    I can understand Domino’s reluctance to join, since she’s never actually even MET any of the team.

  8. I feel someone should speak up for Miles when it comes to Moonstar. I seem to remember the letter column implying that it might not be Dani and this was the era of long lost sisters and evil clones so it isn’t completely incredible to think she might not be Dani. At the time I thought Reignfire had the real Dani held captive and this was a psychic construct who he forced her to create.

    As for Mat Broome he did get to produce some better work in the late nineties for Wildstorm. I suspect he was very young when he did his X-Force issues and was instructed to draw like Jim Lee. I went to the Portsmouth Comicon last weekend and on a panel Tomm Coker talked about being 17 and being told by his editors to draw like Rob Liefeld and as a teen who needed the money he did just that. And look how amazing he turned out to be.

    Having said all these nice things about Broome I should say that the Arcade issue is the best/worst example of civilian clothing being presented as lines on a nude body that I have ever seen.

  9. At the time I thought Locus was Illyana, another New Mutant in a new guise like Dani and Roberto… Was that just me?

    1. Gosh! I’d forgotten about that but yes I wondered that too, especially when the time teleporting was mentioned.

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