New Warriors Annual #1

Issue Date: 
August 1991
Story Title: 
Kings of Pain - part 2: Errant Knights (1st story)

First story: Fabian Nicieza (writer), Mark Bagley (penciler), Jeff Albrecht (inker), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Tom Vincent (colors), Danny Fingeroth (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

First story: The New Warriors and X-Force fight, unaware that the events involving Genetech and the Alliance of Evil are nothing more than a setup. They join forces and begin trying to extract information from the imprisoned Alliance members and the IDIC Corporation, a front for Advanced Idea Mechanics. Harness continues beating Piecemeal and forcing him to “eat” ambient energy in locations all around the globe, and the young boy begins to get extremely fat as a result of the experience. The heroes all find out that A.I.M. set everyone up, as they were developing the same thing as Genetech.. The energy matrix that Harness and Piecemeal have been collecting on behalf of A.I.M. is identical to the DNA helix that Genetech has been cultivating on behalf of Ophrah Industries. In order to cross-reference all of the information they have, both teams return to the recently destroyed Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters to use the underground Cerebro computer. There, they find the secret of the DNA helix – A.I.M. is attempting to resurrect Proteus.

Full Summary: 

First story:
Genetech Headquarters:
Both of the superhero teams line up against each other, preparing for a fierce battle. Cable radios to Domino before anything happens, telling her that they have run into a group of super-humans called the New Warriors, and heneeds as much information as possible immediately. Domino asks Cable why he doesn’t just shoot first and ask questions later. Cable says that he is shooting – but he would hate it if he killed any of the punks and it turned out they were supposed to be on the same side. Besides he recognizes one of the members of the New Warriors – actually their mentor Chord - from his stint in Africa. He’s just trying to be polite.

The fighting breaks out, with everyone choosing a partner to face. Nova and Cannonball charge at each other, looking to see whose blast field is stronger. As they collide, both mens’ skulls rattle and they are sent flying in opposite directions. Sam hits the wall without his blast field, and knocks himself out. Firestar calls out to him, asking if he can remember her, and why are they fighting? Before Cannonball notices, Feral pounces on Angelica, hissing in fury: why not? Warpath tells the feline mutant to tear into Firestar, while he goes after the blonde Namorita. Feral straddles Firestar’s back, trying to snap it as she flies around the room. Namorita whales on Warpath, but the burly Native American fights back hard, catching the Atlantean off guard.

Marvel Boy tells Boom Boom that he knows of her. Tabitha asks if Vance knows of her bombs too, and he certainly does – he uses his telekinesis to halt the bombs and hurl them back at her at just the right moment, sending her flying.

Silhouette and Night Thrasher attempt to take down the sward-wielding Shatterstar, and succeed in putting up a considerable fight – but Shatterstar soon yields to the desire to use his hidden power, channeling his will through his sword and sending Dwayne to the floor. Shatterstar tells the New Warriors’ leader that he will be granted a clean death, but Nova saves him at the last second, hitting Shatterstar with a flying punch. Silhouette tells Nova not to get cocky and look behind him, but Rich can’t hear. As it is, Cannonball has gotten up again, and blasts right into Nova’s back.

Several members of both teams are down, and Cable decides to put an end to it – he starts shooting at Speedball. Robbie tells Cable to stop shooting at him, he’s only wasting ammo as Speedball’s bouncing kinetic field is impenetrable. Cable agrees, and stops shooting as he calls for his X-Force to return to him. Cable says that there is nothing to be gained by fighting, and throws down some smoke bombs. However, Chord fires an exploding shell at the mutant group, and Sam extends his blast field quickly, protecting them from the explosion. The blast is deflected back at the New Warriors, but Marvel Boy throws up a powerful telekinetic shield to protect his team. Chord asks Cable how long the old man can keep it up. Cable asks Chord if he remembers North Africa in 1973 – as long as it takes.

Speedball jumps out in front of Cable, asking for an end to the fighting, as they’re all going to kill each other – except for Speedball, as none of it can actually hurt him. Cable says that he will drop his weapon when Chord drops his. Domino calls Cable and tells him that the New Warriors are good guys, some of which are even mutants.

Mr. Furmintz and Mr. Rosen of Genetech arrive, insisting that they stop fighting. The New Warriors explain that Mr. Furmintz hired them to protect Genetech from unwanted guests, as they feared the people who hired them may have been double crossing them. Rosen says that they were hired to cultivate a DNA matrix for a self-replicating growth culture. Cable states that the Alliance of Evil told them that they had been working for Genetech. Rosen exclaims that isn’t true – if it were, why would they have hired the New Warriors instead of using their own super-humans, Psionex? Rosen says that they have done some research, and they have found that the Alliance was collecting energy that is of an identical signature to the DNA matrix they are developing. Marvel Boy says that someone may be playing them all for fools. Cable decides that they need to go back to the source of their information to be sure, and the Alliance are going to be very sorry they lied.

IDIC Corporation, Manhattan:
The board members of the IDIC Corporation meet to discuss plans now that the Alliance of Evil has been apprehended. They are nothing but a front for A.I.M. The chairperson says that Harness and Piecemeal remain at large, and as long as they continue collecting the energy, the plan will move forward.

Vail, Colorado:
The two mysterious men continue to play chess. The short one gloats that the other’s daring maneuver seems to have failed… The tall one agrees that, admittedly, wiping all the pawns off the board in one fell swoop was a gamble. And he’s a gambling man, the shorter one smirks. The tall one says that there are yet many moves to be decided in this game.

Anchorage, Alaska:
Harness and Piecemeal teleport to Anchorage. Piecemeal has gotten quite fat since his stop in Niagara Falls, and is complaining that he is in pain. Harness rips the teleporter from his arm, complaining that the idiots can’t supply a good teleporter. He tells Piecemeal to start walking, and as he cannot, Harness uses his mutant harness ability to snare the boy and drag him along. Harness says that they are a team – he deals with the pain, and Harness makes all the money. Harness draws a blade from his glove, and shoves it into Piecemeal’s face, and the boy says that he promises to be good and take the energy. Piecemeal begins to eat, and says there is a lot of energy nearby. He cries that it is too much, and a brilliant flash appears, and Piecemeal appears much larger than he was. Piecemeal struggles to catch his breath, and Harness goes to find a plane to get out of Alaska.

Quebec Provincial Prison:
This prison is the Canadian penitentiary for super-human villains. Inside is Frenzy, captured by the New Mutants. The angry woman pounds the door, screaming to get out. As she does so, Silhouette appears behind her, telling her to get down. Frenzy spins and tries to punch Silhouette, but she uses her mutant powers to melt into the shadow, just as an explosion sends Frenzy flying across the room.

Frenzy tries to pull her head together, but Cable and a team of his X-Force, along with members of the New Warriors, are outside in a helicopter, ordering her to get in. Cable gives her three seconds to comply, and before Frenzy can fathom Cable’s reasoning, she has to jump – but Chord has already piloted the helicopter away from the cellblock, and Cable catches Frenzy by the arm.

Cable tells Frenzy to tell him who hired the Alliance. Frenzy tells Cable that she already told him. Cable says that she lied the first time, and as he continues to interrogate her, Night Thrasher tells Chord to start flying higher. Cable tells Frenzy to start talking, and Frenzy says she will as long as Cable promises to pull her up. Frenzy says that A.I.M. is behind everything. Night Thrasher says that the New Warriors have data on the terrorist group, but they had yet to follow up on it. Domino says that this is his chance. Cable asks Frenzy why they were hired. Frenzy responds that they were hired to bodyguard two mutants named Harness and Piecemeal, and that Piecemeal was absorbin energy at every stop – though she doesn’t know what for. Domino asks where A.I.M. is operating from. Frenzy says that A.I.M. has dummy corporations everywhere, and the only one she can think of is in Brooklyn on pier 17. She tells Cable to pull her in. Cable drops Frenzy back toward the prison, with Frenzy screaming that he promised to pull her in. Cable says that he lied. Silhouette asks Domino if the woman will survive the fall. Domino says that she will, unfortunately. Cable tells Domino to order the second unit to get to Brooklyn.

Brooklyn, New York:
The second of the hero teams, including Warpath, Shatterstar, Marvel Boy, Firestar, and Speedball, arrives at the designated warehouse. Marvel Boy sees a skylight, and decides that they can sneak in this way. Shatterstar grouches about sneaking in, and uses his sword-channeling ability to blow a hole in the roof for everyone to jump into. Firestar chides that the mutant team isn’t much for subtlety. Speedball says that they are a Reagan-era group – and ironically they find that each of their fathers voted for Reagan.

Warpath dives in and grabs an employee by the throat, while Shatterstar holds his blade at another’s throat. The New Warriors beg for some common sense from X-Force, but Shatterstar says that there is always a need to frighten their enemies. The man facing Shatterstar says that he is the foreman, and to let the other men go and take it up with him. Marvel Boy looks around at the technology – injection molded casings, humanoid molds, and so forth – and tells the foreman that they know he is fronting for A.I.M., but doesn’t know why. Firestar promises not to hurt them, but Shatterstar tells her to speak for herself.

The foreman says that they were paid to make transparent malleable shell casings for a humanoid. Speedball asks why, but Vance replies that A.I.M. pays well wnough for people to not ask too many questions. Vance says that S.H.I.E.L.D. and A.I.M. always competed to make artificial humanoids called life model decoys, basically a glorified automated worker. Firestar asks why they would be hollow. Marvel Boy says to picture Star Thief – a villain who was composed of energy within a containment suit – and imagine that A.I.M. is trying to put some sort of being in a different suit. Warpath asks why they would do this, and for what gain. Vance says that hopefully, the third and final team will find out.

Westchester, New York – former site of Xavier’s school:
The final team of heroes arrives at Xavier’s academy to check the computers. Nova, Namorita, Feral, Boom Boom, and Cannonball search the ruins of the recently destroyed mansion for an entry point, and Sam finds a keypad sitting next to a door. Sam tries to open it, and Namorita grabs the trapdoor and rips it off its hinges. The team jumps in, but Sam warns that they may activate the security systems if they go too fast. Nova isn’t paying attention, and walks right into a laser beam, burning his foot. Cannonball volunteers to go through the lasers with his blast field, but Feral jumps forward and begins leaping and flipping through the lasers. She tells Sam that this is much more fun. Feral deactivates the security, and everyone rushes through.

At the end of the tunnel, in the Cerebro chamber, the grouping of heroes spends some time booting the Cerebro computer, while Feral flirts with Nova. Boom Boom patches in the energy signature that Harness and Piecemeal have been collecting, hoping to fins out if there’s a match in Cerebro’s circuits. Nova wishes that Marvel Boy was around to help, but Namorita says they can figure it out without Vance for once. They know that Genetech was hired to cultivate a cellular network with a living being, and the Alliance was independently seeking an energy wavelength which matched Genetech’s data. Tabitha searches the computer for information. A grid pops up on the screen, pointing out that the most recent match between Genetech’s data and the Alliance’s is located in Niagara Falls. Tracing the pattern, it continues in Alaska, then Tokyo. Sam says that they would be too late to chase them down there. Sam wants to know how Genetech got the info. He tells the computer to access the source of the file, and finds that it is on a shared datalink. He looks for the original source, finding it on Muir Island.

Tokyo, Japan:
As horrified spectators look in downtown Tokyo, Harness forces Piecemeal to continue eating the energy in the area. Harness uses his armor to scan the boy, and decides that he has had enough “appetizers” and that they can go for the main course. Harness says that soon, they will have more power than anyone on the planet has ever seen.

Genetech Research Facility:
Both the New Warriors and X-Force meet up at the facility to discuss the information they have found thus far. Marvel Boy says that they now know that two separate parties – Genetech and A.I.M. - were trying to achieve the same goal. Cable says that if A.I.M. is involved, it must have to do with the invention of superior weaponry. Night Thrasher says that they need to know who or what the energy is. Chord takes the computer disk from Cannonball and tries to punch it up. He tells Cable that he’s still the impatient type, calling Cable “Winters.” Cable says he isn’t surprised, but the name is Cable – this year.

Chord says that the energy is spread unevenly throughout the world, but the locus of activity is in Edinburgh, Scotland. Cable tells Chord to pull up the estimated time of energy dispersal. The computer says that it occurred on October 13, 1987. Cable then tells Chord to pull up the time of death for Kevin MacTaggert. The computer database from Muir Island shows that Kevin died on October 3, 1987, and his energy form dissipated at the same time, on October 13, 1987.

Cannonball explains to everyone else that Moira MacTaggert is a leading specialist in mutants because she learned that her son was one. Vance says that the X-Men fought someone in Edinburgh about the same time as Kevin’s death, and Cable replies that they need to get to Muir Island. Cable says that A.I.M is trying to reanimate the most powerful mutant the world has ever seen – they are trying to re-create Proteus.

Characters Involved: 

First story:
Firestar, Marvel Boy, Namorita, Night Thrasher, Nova, Silhouette, Speedball (all New Warriors)
Boom Boom, Cable, Cannonball, Feral, Shatterstar, Warpath (all X-Force)
Copycat, posing as Domino


Walter Rosen, Harmon Furmintz (both Genetech executives)
IDIC executives (front for A.I.M.)

A.I.M. client
Genetech client

On computer monitor
Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Phoenix II, Wolverine (all X-Men)
Proteus I

Story Notes: 

This issue is part of the Kings of Pain crossover event of 1991, with the story continued in Uncanny X-Men Annual #15, and X-Factor Annual #6. All Marvel annuals published from 1988-1993 were a part of one crossover or another.

Only the first story of this issue is summarized, as the backup stories are not X-related. The issue also contains a Speedball backup story entitled "To Bounce or Not To Bounce" and three-page origin stories for each of the New Warriors. Firestar’s story is an abbreviated telling of the events found in Firestar #1-4.

First story:
The mysterious chess-playing clients of the warring companies are revealed in X-Factor Annual #6 as Gideon and the Toad.

At this point in Marvel chronology, Cable hadn’t revealed his true identity. He had been known as Nathan, Cable, and Winters by others. Eventually it was revealed that he was Christopher Nathan Summers, the son of Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor.

The Westchester mansion was destroyed by Mr. Sinister during the events of the Inferno.

"Domino" tells Cable that some of the Warriors are mutants. This is true – Firestar, Marvel Boy, and Silhouette are mutants.

This group of Cable, Warpath, Domino, Shatterstar, Cannonball, and Boom Boom would shortly leave the remnants of the mansion behind and under Cable’s leadership, became X-Force, as Cable said during this issue. Cable turned the group into a violent assault force, looking to earn mutant rights by any means necessary.

Geographical error: page 17 refers to a Quebec prison 73 miles outside Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls is located in Ontario, and there is no access to Quebec within any distance close to 73 miles. This error reveals another one in the New Mutants Annual #7: If the Alliance prisoners were captured in Canada, they would have been caught on the left side of Niagara Falls. They were clearly drawn on the right side, which would have actually been New York, and thus shouldn’t have been under Canadian jurisdiction.

The X-Men fought Proteus in X-Men (1st series) #125-128.

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