X-Force (1st series) #116

Issue Date: 
July 2001
Story Title: 
Exit Wounds

Peter Milligan (writer), Michael Allred (artist), Laura Allred (colorist), Michael Allred & Blambot (letters), Axel Alonso (editor), Joe Queseda (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

The new X-Force is a media-oriented group. The members are only there to make some personal profit and to become famous, they consider their missions just as the unwanted sideshow. Some members are alcoholics or on drugs and they mostly behave themselves like celebrities and not like heroes. Also they are jealous of each other, as they all try to build a huge fanbase. Having lost Sluk on their last mission, the Coach introduces a new member called the Anarchist. To improove their image, X-Force decides to rescue the member of the pop group Boys R Us, who have been taken hostage. U-Go Girl teleports the team there, but then falls a sleep, she gets very tired with every useage of her powers. At first the team performs well, but then they are massacred by a lethal weapon, released from a helicopter. When Edie wakes up, she finds that only she, the Anarchist, and Doop, the team’s video documenter survived.

Full Summary: 

Axel remembers the day that changed his life. About thirteen years ago, when he was a teenager of thirteen years he was on the beach with a beautiful girl. The full moon is shining and after chasing each other, they kiss. Suddenly his mutant power manifests and he vomits acid or plasma in her face. Hard as he tries, Axel can’t remember her name.
Waking up, Axel finds the video he was watching still running; it’s a tape of X-Force’s last mission, filmed by Doop. The team was in Northern Afrika, fighting some fanatical tribesmen. Zeitgeist watches without expression and thinks about how his team could improove. Plazm for example is too ineffective on the front, so he should be kept for defensive duties, U-Go Girl is falling asleep after her teleportations faster than usual, so this might need some investigating. Zeitgeist is totally unimpressed by watching the death of teammate Sluk, he found his power pretty useless anyway. Gin Genie should review her alcohol mix, as her tremors have nearly killed the team. Two models are in Axels bedroom, asking that he should come to bed with them, as they have to be on the catwalk tomorrow.
The next dayZeitgeist and X-Force’s mentor Coach are holding a press conference. From their talent pool, they have chosen a replacement member for Sluk; it’s Tike Allicar aka the Anarchist. He tells the press that his ability is to release acidous sweat. When asked about the latest addition to his team, Zeitgeist makes aformal speech how great an asset the new member will be, but actually he has his doubts.
Later Tike is in the penthouse suit of the Four Seasons Hotel. While being in a bath with two naked beauties, he gives another interview to a reporter. When she says that it’s too hot in the room, Tike simply blows off the roof with his powers. Also he doesn’t hide the fact that there is a certain enemity between him and Zeitgeist. Suddenly police helicopters arrive, announcing to arrest him, but Tike doesn’t care. He knows that as a member of X-Force he won’t have to face any legal consequences.
Elsewhere another camera team reports from the opening of the twenty-first X-Force café. There merchandise is being sold, for example little dolls of Doop. There also is a statue of the late Sluk, that when money is inserted, gives the customer a pleasently mild electronic pulse. Among the crowd are Cyclops and Wolverine of the X-Men.
Backstage are the X-Force members, ready to join the opening party, but Beckah has some kind of breakdown. She says that she hates the others and when they try to comfort her, she thinks that they are out to destroy her fan base. U-Go Girl makes a comment, that to belong to her fanbase would be the same like admitting to be an alcoholic, which angers Beckah even more. Plazm is able to calm the situation by using his powers in a new way on Gin Genie. He levitates her in the air and stimulates her body to release some endomorphs. She immediatly feels better. Battering Ram wants to spealk with Zeitgeist about his role on the team, but they are interrupted by the TV reporting about the incident at the hotel.
Later Edie and Axel are at a restaurant having dinner. Axel wants to talk about The Anarchist, but stops as he sees Edie breaking an ampule to inhale it’s content. She explains that it helps to stay awake even after teleporting. Zeitgeist wonders where she teleported too, as they had no mission, and it turns out that she was inScotland to buy some land with great potential. Axel thinks she should not teleport on personal buisiness, as she might be asleep when the team really needs her. Edie sees their life different, she is among X-Force only for the personal business, she uses her popularity to have sex, power, fame and money – the missions are only the neccesary sideshow in her eyes. Zeitgeist is not convinced, and she dares him for leadership of the team. Suddenly they receive a distress call.
The Coach has assembled the team to their headquarters. He says that the team needs some good press after the Anarchist having been arrested by the police, and a situation developed that would be the perfect chance. The music band Boys R Us are held hostage by a miltant group in New York. They tried to blackmail 10 million dollars from their record company, but actually the company has no intrest in paying. The band’s popularity was already waning, and if they are all killed now, their sales will be boosted again. X-Force are supposed to rescue sthem, which will make them look good in the public eye. U-Go Girl claims that she has enough energy to teleport the team there and back. Battering Ram wants to speak with Zeitgeist in privatem, but is dismisssed to after the mission.
The team arrives in the middle of the Sonic Television building, where the hostages are held. Edie immediatly falls asleeep, and the rest start to fight the militant group. At first they are doing well, the Anarchist even saves Zeitgeists life during the fight. In midst of it all, Axel wonders about his life, as he is approached by Battering Ram once more. They can’t complete their dialogue, as a helicopter appears in front of the window, and releases some lethal weapon. Upon dying Axel remembers the name of the girl that he accidentally burned on the beach – it was Felicity.
When U-Go Girl wakes up, she finds herself surrounded by various bodyparts of her teammates, besides her only Doop and the Anarchist survived.

Characters Involved: 

Anarchist / Tike Allicar, Battering Ram, Coach, Doop, Gin Genie / Beckah, La Nuit, Plazm, U-Go Girl / Edie Sawyer, Zeitgeist / Axel Cluney (all X-Force)

Cyclops, Wolverine (both X-Men)

Boys R Us, a pop band

Various models

Various reporters
Flashback :

Felicity, Axel’s first love
Via video footage :

Sluk (deceased)

Battering Ram, Doop, Gin Genie, La Nuit, Plazm, U-Go Girl, Zeitgeist

Story Notes: 

The two models in Axel’s bedroom resemble Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell. One is called Cindi, the other is darkskinned and has blue eyes.

Issue Information: 
Written By: