X-Force (1st series) #122

Issue Date: 
January 2002
Story Title: 
Lacuna - part 2 : Larry King has the Flu

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

Brief Description: 

Anarchist remembers his childhood and the reason for his continued hand washing becomes clear.
Adopted by a white couple and the only black kid in town, he tried to wash off the color. X-Force turns Lacuna down, as she has no track record. Angrily she leaves, though not before making some more fun of the team. Later Edie hosts the Larry King show as a trial run for her own show. The Spike is her guest and tempers flare as he repeats his accusations of Anarchist being the token black guy. Chaos starts when Vivisector and Phat burst into the studio drunk, trying to get some media attention. Lacuna zooms in, mocking the team by stealing their clothes in front of the cameras. Having made her point she teleports away, her parents cheering for her, as they are always proud of their daughter. Later Lacuna spoils a romantic date between Edie and Guy. Tike likes Lacuna and makes a deal with Orphan, he won’t veto on the Spike’s inclusion, but Lacuna will be allowed into the team too. As X-Force wants to introduce their newest members to the press, Lacuna does not appear. Turns out that she was offered Edie‘s talk show and accepted, having realized that she wants nothing more than embarass her parents. X-Force reviews their tapes again looking for another member.

Full Summary: 

(flashback to Anarchist’s childhood)

As a kid, Tike was adopted by white people who lived way up north, where they have very cold winters. Apparently a black child was unusual in the area, and the other kids made fun of him. As he left muddy footprints in the snow, they said that Tike’s color was coming off. At home Tike started to wash his hands, hoping that if he kept washing them real hard he could wash the color away. To his parents it made no difference, they loved the kid, but when his acid sweat power manifested while iceskating, vaporizing almost the entire lake, the parents were afraid of the kid they had adopted.

While the Anarchist remembers the circumstances that led him to X-Force, the team is discussing with Lacuna, who wants to join. However they tells her that a proven track record is needed, she can’t simply ask to join. Tike thinks that they should consider her anyway, and Lacuna claims that she would be willing to die for the team. The team wonders why, as they aren’t really heroes like the Fantastic Four, but only in it for fame and money, yet Lacuna is convinced that they are only pretending. In fact they are a new kind of hero, adapted to the new world order, and from her mouth it sounds like an X-Force PR release. The Orphan still turns Lacuna down, and she angrily replies that she will prove her use. Lacuna then uses her power to shifts between the moments in time, and wanders around the team that is frozen in motion. Only Doop is unaffected, but he can‘t stop Lacuna from stealing Edie’s script and leaving as quickly as she arrived.
After she has departed everything is back to normal, Edie misses her script, stating that it was for tonight’s Larry King show, which she is going to host, since Larry King has the flu. The others are surprised and U-Go Girl continues that it’s a trial run for her own show, and that her special guest will be the Spike; she invites Orphan and Anarchist as guests and teleports away. Vivisector whispers to Phat that this might be the perfect chance to raise their media profile.
Elsewhere Lacuna talks with her parents. She reveals that she is a mutant, and that she is going to out herself on tonight‘s Larry King show. Lacuna thinks that her parents might be worried or angered, but they are very understanding and proud of their daughter, totally supporting her decision, much to Lacuna’s annoyance.
Right before the talk show, Edie speaks with Guy and Tike. She wants to ask Spike the usual questions, why he should be in X-Force, why he thinks he was rejected, etc. Orphan says that he still thinks they should consider to have the Spike in the team, and Anarchist vetoes it again. Orphan asks what the problem is, and Tike finally admits that it’s because the Spike is black. Edie wants him to repeat that live on TV, but Guy wants to know the full story, and Tike explains that he fears about getting killed. It’s always been that way when a new black character joins the team, the former black member dies sooner or later. Orphan thinks that the Anarchist is just paranoid, but Tike says that this isn’t basketball, and there haven’t been two black characters on the team for long. Since the talk show is about to start, Edie has to leave. In her absence Tike makes a deal with the Orphan, he allows the Spike to join, but only if they have Lacuna aboard too, as he thinks she might like him.
Meanwhile Woodstock and her parents are in the crowd waiting to get into the studio. The parents are really proud of their daughter, thinking she is following in their footsteps. Both were protesters in the 60ies / 70ies and they still are against global capitalism, despite the fact that they themselves are millionaires living in Malibu. Suddenly the get aware of Phat and Vivisector who are entering the studio too. The seem to be drunk or on drugs, though they might only be pretending.
The talk show starts with Edie babbling and then welcoming the Spike, while Guy and Tike watch backstage. In the interview Spike says that he thinks Tike is not to blame, in fact he was brought up by white people, so he acts white, even though he looks and talks like a black person. Angrily Tike storms on the stage, but before a fight starts, Vivisector and Phat burst through the wall. Falling debris is endangering the studio audience and Orphan, Anarchist and Spike work together to take care of the situation. In the meantime Edie lectures Phat and Vivisector for their behaviour. Amidst all this confusion, Lacuna makes her entrance, and steals everyone’s clothes besides their underwear. While Phat covers Edie and Vivisector, and Orphan’s skin is in pain from the exposure to the studio lights, Lacuna appears in front of the cameras and announces her candidacy for X-Force membership, with her parents cheering in the crowd. Then she quickly departs after returning everybody‘s costume.
Later at home, Edie and Guy are having dinner. He opens up to her about his fears that she is only intrested in him because she wants to control the team through him. Edie however says that there is another reason and asks how Guy is able to have sex without hurting from his skin being exposed. He says that Professor X designed a special ointment that numbs the pain for a few hours, and Edie offers to help rubbing it in. Suddenly she has her glass of champagne upside down on her head – Lacuna’s doing.
Edie gets very angry, but Lacuna says that she’ll only stop doing her jokes when she is allowed into the team. Edie gets quite mad, but Orphan says that when they want Tike to be flexible when it comes to the Spike, maybe they should be the same with Lacuna, and so he votes her in. Lacuna thanks happily and leaves, though not before learning that it was the Anarchist who really wanted her in the group. Guy wants to continue the romantic evening, but the atmosphere changes when he asks U-Go Girl if she is jealous. Lacuna is younger than her, can similarly zoom in and out of places and does not tire from using her powers. Edie gets angry and leaves, telling Guy to rub his ointment on himself.
The Anarchist spends some time with Phat and Vivisector in a casino. He wants them to pull him on his side, as he thinks the balance of power is shifting with Spike joining and Guy and Edie becoming a couple. After winning lots of money, he heads to the bathroom to wash his hands again. He excuses it to himself with the money having been in filthy hands. Lacuna zooms in and while Tike is frozen in time, kisses him. After she is gone Tike wonders what just happened, as his lips are still tingling.
A couple of days later, X-Force is about to present the new members to the press. Edie tries to reach the network on the phone, as they haven’t called her back about her show. The team wonders why Lacuna is not there, but they think she just wants to make a dramatic entrance. Vivisector and Phat tell Orphan to publically reprimand them for their outrageous behavior. During the conference Spike is announced as a new member and the press take many pictures of him. Orphan then announces Lacuna, but she doesn’t appear. Right then Edie receives a call from her agent, the TV show has been canceled.
Somewhat later, Lacuna appears in her own show on TV. Turns out that the network offered the TV show to her instead of U-Go Girl. On TV she explains that she was surprised, but then it sounded like so much fun. In her show she will use her mutant talent to sneak on celebrities in their bathrooms, in their wedding nights, in every embarrasing moment. Woodstock goes on that she really thought that she wanted to join X-Force, but then she realized that she wanted something else more – to disappoint her parents. The parents watch the show at home and are seen crying.
X-Force is again reviewing tapes of possible recruits. This time the whole team is allowed to vote. The two names that are mentioned are again Dead Girl and Venus Dee Milo.

Characters Involved: 

Anarchist, Doop, Orphan, Phat, Spike, U-Go Girl, Vivisector (all X-Force)

Lacuna / Woodstock

Woodstock’s parents
In a flashback :

Tike, as a child

Tike’s adoptive parents

Story Notes: 
Issue Information: 
Written By: