Cable and X-Force #8

Issue Date: 
July 2013
Story Title: 

Dennis Hopeless (writer), Salvador Larocca (artist), Frank d’Armata (colorist), VC’s Joe Sabino (letterer), Larocca / D’Armata (cover artists), Jennifer D. Smith (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

The alien Kliktok flees with X-Force as prisoner on his ship. Capturing Cable and Colossus, Agent Brand angrily informs them that they helped an alien sadistic serial killer escape whom 40 planets want executed. Cable shows her his vision, that if the alien Kliktok stayed on Earth, one of these 40 planets would attack Earth, killing millions. They set Kliktok’s ship up so that the aliens would track him off-planet. He asks for Brand’s help in getting his team back and promises they will give themselves up to her afterwards. In his ship, Kliktok tries to frighten Domino when his ship suddenly stalls. When Brand’s ship catches up with him, Colossus is sent over and throws Kliktok out into space where his pursuers get him. X-Force breaks their promise to Brand and leave her stranded in space. Afterwards, she demands of Havok from the Avengers Unity Team that he catch them.

Full Summary: 

The Raft:

Colossus fights off guards, shouting it is his fault this happened. Domino asked him to go with her. He refused and now-- He tries to fight them off until Agent Brand of SWORD tranquilizes him.

SWORD hails the fleeing vessel and warns the alien that they have his ship surrounded. Isn’t it adorable how Brand pretends authority? the alien remarks to the only awake prisoner – Domino. She asks what he is waiting for. Forge did up the specs. He could outrun the SWORD fleet at half speed. There’s no rush, he replies. He hoped they could sit and talk. He’s an intergalactic criminal of some renown and yet they let him out of his cage and gave him back his ship. What was so important for them to get him off Earth? They are Cable’s X-Force, Domino replies. They do inexplicable criminal things for little or no reward. It’s kind of their deal. Fair enough, the alien replies. Now let him show her his deal. The ship’s weapons destroy the SWORD ships chasing them.

Damn it! Cable, who is watching from the Raft, swears. Damn it! he swears again when one SWORD ship, with Abigail Brand aboard hovers in front of him. Brand orders him to put his hands where she can see them. Damn it, Cable swears again as he complies.

Later, Cable and Colossus are prisoners on her ship in space. Kliktok the Cruel, Brand informs them. The Violet Deathbringer. Scourge of the Peptang Cluster. Wanted for crimes against sentient life in twelve different star systems. SWORD was holding him in secret protective custody while trying to work out what to do with a criminal forty different planets want to execute. Mucking up this particular extradition would mean starting several big bloody wars. Only four people in the universe knew they had him.

She is wrong about that, Cable tells her. She agrees. She doesn’t know how X-Force found him or why they released him, and right now she doesn’t have time to care because if Kliktok isn’t back in a cell within the next 96 hours they are all of them screwed sideways! She frees them.
Cable asks Colossus what went wrong. He isn’t sure. There was an explosion. Domino went to… He wouldn’t leave his cell…

Did they think she was done talking? Brand snarls. Let them take a look at what happens when the Violet Deathbringer gets to run free. She shows them a hologram. He preys on systems at war. Attacks the home world when most able-bodied adults are off-planet fighting. She shows the ruin of the planet Peptang Prime. Another one: Kliktok in front of a pile of corpses. Xarkon 3. Kliktok doesn’t just murder. He brutalizes the depleted population, tortures the young, the old and infirm. Makes them watch as he destroys everything they have ever known. Rembus Alpha. The image shows Kliktok feasting on his victims. When last they watched their world burn around them, he eats. That’s what they freed. If she doesn’t get him back immediately there will be war. That’s her job. That’s on her. But if he kills again before she finds him, that’s on them.

Cable shows the images in his mind to explain what happened. Namely that if they hadn’t sprung Kliktok, it would cause aliens to attack Earth. Millions dead right here on Earth. Apparently, one of the forty planets found out Brand had him and didn’t feel like waiting. This is them scorching Earth making sure they get to kill him. The vengeful don’t like it so much when you stand in the way of their vengeance.

Cable explains that Forge rigged up Kliktok’s ship to broadcast its position. These guys are heading straight at Kliktok now instead of Earth. Unfortunately, something went bad and his team are still on the ship. That’s on him. So if Brand could stop preaching long enough to help him with a rescue mission, that would be great.

She can’t, Brand replies. There is no way she can let them leave. Maybe they can sell that to the coalition as a reason they let Kliktok go, but even that… He’s not asking for a pardon, Cable interrupts. He’s saying his guys just saved six million lives. Give him a shot to save theirs!

Soon, Brand transports the two men into space but demands the entire team come back to SWORD custody afterwards. Cable agrees. This is her neck stuck way out, she reminds him.

She explains he can catch up to Kliktok’s ship but his ship is symbiotic - they won’t last ten minutes in a straight fight. Any ideas? Colossus announces this is his fault. He could have prevented this. Instead, he did nothing. Get them there. Let him worry about the fighting.

Kliktok is still fascinated by Domino, who is his helpless prisoner and yet seems completely unimpressed, showing no hint of fear. She’s a mutant, she explains. They have special powers. Hers is fearlessness. Not the flashiest crayon in the box but it sure keeps spindly alien creeps from getting off on her terror.

That moment, there is a small explosion and Kliktok loses his footing. Dom cheerfully explains that was Forge’s timebomb blowing up his engine and stranding the ship in open space. He wanted to know why they helped him escape. That’s why.They see a fleet nearing. They didn’t want him on the planet when a billion bloodthirsty alieny come to get him.

He grabs her by the throat, announcing they will be killed as well. Domino admits they screwed that part up. Angrily, he blasts her and promises he will kill her first. There is time for one last meal. He sniffs, realizing there is some fear, after all. Just a damn good poker face, she admits. Her mutant power isn’t fearlessness. It’s luck.

Colossus comes flying at them, in a spaceball special and smashes right into the ship. He hits Kliktok. Luckily, the walls are self-sealing. They are gonna pretend Pete knew that, Domino decides.

Holding the struggling Kliktok, Colossus announces he is an evil creature and he will not regret killing him. But he also helped him see what’s important. What’s worth fighting for? What he’s not willing to lose? For that he must thank him. He throws Kliktok out of the ship.

He begins apologizing to Dom who interrupts him, telling him she botched the mission. It happens. She is not a damsel in distress. The others are freed as well. Boom Boom asks where they are. Space, the final frontier, Nemesis tells her and Forge swears.

Cable orders Colossus to get the team out. When Kliktok dies, so does the forcefield. Cable thanks Brand who is steering her ship. They’ll see how much they’ll appreciate it after their first night in the brig, she retorts. About that… Cable replies, holding a spacesuit while Forge trains a gun at Brand. Soon they have thrown Brand out in the spacesuit. Angrily, she contacts the Peak to get her.

Soon she contacts Avengers Mansion, specifically Havok, leader of the Avengers Unity Squad. She sends him a tracking code and informs him his nephew just stole her ship. He’s headed his way and she’d appreciate it very much if he could do her a favor: nail his ass to the wall!

Characters Involved: 

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

Abigail Brand (commander of SWORD)



Story Notes: 
Issue Information: 
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