Cable and X-Force #16

Issue Date: 
January 2014
Story Title: 

Dennis Hopeless (writer), Gerardo Sandoval (artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (colorist), VC’s Joe Sabino (letterer), Larocca / d’Armata (cover artists), Xander Jarowey, (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

In X-Force’s HQ, the Adversary fools Boom Boom until Dr. Nemesis gets ahold of her and drags her away. He uses the mind transference helmet and enters Forge’s mind to learn who the Adversary is and that he has now taken over Forge’s body. Without Forge’s help, both missions are going awry. In Colorado, Colossus and Domino barely manage to take care of the Sentinel but then face an avalanche. In the Outback, Hope saves them from the bomb blast with the telekinesis she unconsciously absorbed from Cable some time ago and then uses it against the trainee Reavers. However, when the real Reaves return, they have a secret weapon…

Full Summary: 

In Colorado, Colossus tries to shake one of the thieves he hit awake. He comes to, to find that Colossus is trying to stop the Sentinel from killing them all. He is holding back the foot that was about to stomp them while atop the Sentinel sits Domino, who explains that Forge went MIA mid-hack and never got the Sentinel shut down. Which is cool, because she finally gets to find out how many licks it takes to get to the center of an anthropomorphized WMD. Always good to find the silver lining, he agrees wryly. He knows her, she jokes. Betty Bright Side…

In the Australian Outback, Hope, amidst a conflagration, calls for Cable. When the explosion is over, they note they are both all right. Angrily, she lashes out she was innocent. Forge dropped the ball. He was supposed to disarm their bomb, not blow it up! Did he say anything? Cable finally asks. Yes, he said it with his grumpy face. She knows what his disappointed eyes look like. And what took him so long to throw up that telekinetic shield? That was some crazy last minute Boom Boom stuff!

Cable explains he tried right away. Didn’t happen until right at the end. Their weapons are toast. They need to hit the road. Looks like there might be a thing to do first. Hope points out as the young Reavers stare at them. Always is, Cable sighs and tries to use his telekinesis on them to find it isn’t there. He grabs Hope and runs, chased by The Reavers.

Once they have cover, Hope complains there are only like 60 of them. Just tk-blast the punk out of these idiots or turn their brains off telepathically and let’s roll. He can’t! Something’s wrong!

Back at the HQ, Boom Boom finds herself in a dance club. She decides not to be surprised and just enjoy dancing.

Holding two versions of Storm, the Adversary muses amused that he is either getting very good at this or the girl was surprisingly easy to fool.

Dr. Nemesis enters the room with the helmet to find Boom Boom and scolds her. What else was she supposed to do in the club? she asks. Questioning its very existence might have been a start.

The Adversary is disappointed when Nemesis drags his new “toy” away.

Dr. Nemesis brings Boom Boom up to speed, explaining something terrifyingly powerful has seized control of Forge’s feeble mind and is puppeting him about. In the time it took Nemesis to fetch the mind transference helmet, Forge the Better remade reality into a gleaming discotheque cage built just for her. This possessed Forge is quite a bit more impressive than the bumbling tinkerer they’ve all grown to tolerate.

He puts on the helmet and explains that Forge’s brain is still spiked into the mainframe. Nemesis can sync his mind with his, insert his consciousness into his psyche and suss what they are dealing with here.

What is she supposed to do about the scary monster man in Forge’s body? Well, she can’t blow it up without killing Forge. Nowhere to hide, really. Good luck with that, he tells her and starts the connection.

In Colorado, Colossus tries to beat the Sentinel with a 600-pound plasma torch while Domino is still trying to do more damage. Finally, the head comes loose and Colossus can wield the torch. With the Sentinel down, he asks if she is okay. Moments later, they face an avalanche and realize there goes date night…

Back in the Outback, Hope and Cable hide from the Reavers’ fire behind the remains of the truck. What does he mean, his powers don’t work? Hope demands. He minority-reported every one of these missions. His precognitive visions are clearer than ever, he agrees, but nobody thought to test his old powers. Hope reminds him he just erected those TK shields and saved everyone from the bomb. He doesn’t think it was him, he replies. Hope figures he thinks it was her. But she borrowed his powers weeks ago at Avengers Mansion. Her juice runs out way faster than that.

Cable reminds her she stabbed him in the head with a psimitar and spilled out omega-level telekinesis. Chances are she picked up more juice than usual. So here they sit. Pinned down by sixty-something idiots with automatic weapons. Her old man finally ran out of guns and his new mutation is about as useful in a fight as a handful of fortune cookies. This one’s down to her. She ready to take point? Oh hell, yeah! Hope replies and telekinetically throws the truck at the Reavers.

Dr. Nemesis is inside Forge’s mindscape. And here he thought he was original all the times he called Forge’s mind a sputtering mess, he mutters. As it happens, that’s precisely what it is.

Forge comes at him with a knife and pins him down. Well done, Nemesis mocks, when Forge finally recognizes him. As if things weren’t bad enough, Forge sighs. The hell is he thinking coming in here? He was thinking: ‘let’s have a look at the God-level brain beast wearing Forge like a tacky skinsuit’, is the reply.

Forge explains he is called the Adversary, the Great Trickster. A creature of pure chaos with a mad-on on for humanity, obsessed with recreating their existence in his own image. A bit like Q from Star-Trek: The Next Generation? Nemesis suggests. How would he know? Forge snarls. The whole damned world doesn’t revolve around Star Trek! Q’s a pan-dimensional being with god-like reality-altering powers and a penchant for mischief, Nemesis continues. Forge admits it’s a lot like this.

Anyhow, his people have battled the Adversary for generations. He spent half his life training for it. A few years ago he brought the hammer. Thought he had him beat. But some part of him survived, locked away in Forge’s mind. He’s half-convinced the Adversary is what drove him to all that crazy a while back. Running amok in here. Twisting his mind up in knots. But now he’s escaped and taken over.

Any thought on what set him free? Nemesis muses. Forge doesn’t know. Could have been Cable helping him back to sanity. Could have been Nemesis’ brain probe. Might have been just a matter of time. Doesn’t make much difference. He’s loose now, and Forge’s gotta find him or the whole damned world will have to pay the piper.

In the Outback, Hope uses the borrowed telekinesis to finish off the trainee Reavers. She understands now why Cable hardly ever used this power. It’s not even fair. Not against these rubes anyway. Cable agrees, taking them out the old-fashioned style.

They are the only ones left standing and he commends her. She should have probably done it faster, Hope realizes as the real Reavers finally made it back with the beer. Good timing. He was getting thirsty, Cable announces. He tells her not to sweat it. They are tougher than the others, but she just took out an army. He’d say she can handle three middle weight cyborgs.

Bonebreaker and Pretty Boy jump out of the car, asking what happened here. Couple of things Hope and Cable deadpan. They wanna talk about it? What does she think? Bonebreaker asks the female Skullbuster. She touches a device which combines all the younger Reavers into one big monster. Still think she can handle that? Hope asks. Sure, Cable replies.

Back in Forge’s mind, Forge realizes they are turning circles, Things are the same but move around. He should have found him by now… unless… Nemesis demands what he’s talking about, muttering it’s impossible to follow Forge’ erratic trains of thought even when he is standing literally in his mind. That’s the thing, Doc, Forge replies somberly. “This isn’t my mind. Not anymore. It’s his.”

Characters Involved: 

Boom Boom, Cable, Colossus, Domino, Doctor Nemesis, Forge, Hope (all X-Force)

Bonebreaker, Pretty Boy, Skullbuster (Reavers)
Younger Reavers

Story Notes: 

Minority Report refers to a science fiction movie / short story by Philip K. Dick in which by predicting crimes the police was able to make sure they never occurred.

Domino’s quip of finding out “how many licks it takes to get to the center of” an anthropomorphized WMD references a famous animated commercial for Tootsie Pops. In the commercial, a boy asks an owl how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop. After suggesting that they find out, the owl gives up after two licks and bites the Tootsie Pop to its center, promptly declaring three! The narrator then declares “the world may never know.” Originally airing in 1969 as a 60 second commercial, a much shorter, 15-second version still runs today.

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