X-Force (1st series) #46

Issue Date: 
September 1995
Story Title: 
Behind Closed Doors

Jeph Loeb (writer), Adam Pollina (penciler), Mark Pennington (inker), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters), Marie Javins (colors), Electric Crayon (separations), Bob Harras (editor, editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

In Siberia, X-Force confront the Mimic with fruitless results. During the fight, Mimic copies James’ powers and asks him how he can handle the strain of such enhanced senses. James has no idea what he is talking about, and can’t wonder for long, as he and Caliban are quickly taken out by the Mimic who somehow permanently absorbed the abilities of the original five X-Men. Sunspot comes to the decision that even though Cable ordered him back, he has to get in there and fight. Unfortunately Mimic copies Sunspot’s power, and them both becoming positively charged solar batteries results is a huge explosion. Once the team comes around, they search for the missing Mimic, but only find a smoking chasm where his trail ends. With the PACRAT trashed during the fight they are now stuck in Siberia. In Westchester, Tabitha continues with her nightly ritual of feeding Creed a bowl of milk. She wonders if she is doing it just to receive someone’s attention and comes to a crossroads where she doesn’t know what to feel about Sabretooth: should she hate him because of his past crimes, or should she take pity on him for his current state. On her way out of the Danger Room, Boomer fails to notice that Creed speaks for the first time since his accident; he says his name. Later that night, Boomer gets a night visit from Wolverine who reprimands her for taking care of Creed. Boomer lashes out at him, angry that everyone is telling her what to do. Meanwhile, Siryn is undercover at the Weisman Institute for the Criminally Insane. Searching through the doctor’s files, she comes up with entries on a boy named Jeremy Stevens and one Benjamin Russell, who looks exactly like Shatterstar. Doctor Weisman catches Theresa in her office and doesn’t believe Theresa that she is there on Professor Xavier’s request. She is sedated and sent back to her room. When the drugs wear off, Theresa tries to contact Cable with an emergency signal, but as he doesn’t answer she becomes desperate and contacts Wade Wilson, the mercenary known as Deadpool.

Full Summary: 

At the Weisman Institute for the Criminally Insane, Theresa Rourke stealthily examines the computer in the doctor’s restricted office. She searches for information on a young boy named Jeremy Stevens, and pulls up his file, seeing that he is institutionalized indefinitely. She takes pity on him as she continues to search through the files, but a sudden noise from the hall jars her attention away from the computer screen. Her elbow knocks computer disks off of the desk as she ducks under it to escape the view of the coming people. Her gaze misses the picture of the next file; a young man named Benjamin Russell who looks identical to Shatterstar. The file mentions Benjamin’s whereabouts as unknown.

Dr. Weisman stands menacingly over Theresa, demanding an explanation for her presence in her office. Theresa picks up the falling disks while Dr. Weisman still waits for her answer. Siryn hurriedly explains herself, revealing herself as an undercover operative for Charles Xavier, a colleague of Weisman. He had not heard from her in quite awhile and sent Theresa to check up on her. Not convinced, Doctor Weisman orders her orderlies to take Siryn back to her room since she has become delusional. Theresa is shocked to hear the doctor’s orders and tries to defend herself with a sonic scream. Nothing happens, and one of the orderlies comments that she seems to have forgotten about the inhibitor collar that she is wearing. The orderlies begin to close in on the defenseless Siryn. She tells them that she is telling the honest truth, but if they don’t chose to believe her… Theresa lunges over the desk, planting her foot into the stomach of one of the orderlies. They end up pinning her down for the doctor, who extracts a syringe full of sedative for Theresa. She injects it into Siryn and as she looses consciousness her last thoughts are of how she is going to kill Cable for getting her into this mess.

In Siberia, the Mimic holds Cable in his telepathic grip. He is angry that they have violated his peace. He only wanted to be left alone! His power is worse than ever and their presence is not helping. In the air, Sunspot looks on helplessly at his leader’s plight, but Cable ordered him to stay back. Caliban and Warpath jump into action to help their leader; they are still psi-linked and they can feel the pain that Cable is in. James uses his super speed to grab Mimic’s leg and hold him still. Caliban tries to grab the other leg but doesn’t get the chance. Mimic has somehow retained the powers of the original five X-Men (Cyclops, Angel, Beast, Iceman, and Marvel Girl), unfortunately for Caliban. Mimic uses Cyclops’ optic blasts to take Caliban out of the fight.

He then swerves around to punch Warpath in the face, effectively knocking him backwards into the snow. Mimic rants about how the recently deceased were friends of his, and how X-Force attacked them for no reason. James questions what Mimic had said; the station was already destroyed when X-Force arrived. He quickly rebounds from the snowdrift and punches Mimic in the jaw. Calvin Rankin screams in agony as his mimicking power continues to absorb Warpath’s abilities. He shrieks at the overload of his senses; the sun is blinding, every sound is bursting. He wonders how Warpath can handle that much power. Warpath has no idea what Mimic is talking about, but as Cable always told him, if your opponent gives you an opening - take it. James jumps onto Mimic and severely thrashes him. Mimic screams at James to get away from him and kicks him a phenomenal distance. Calvin tells himself that since they are not going to listen to him; the only solution is for him to kill them before they do likewise.

Warpath’s invulnerable form crashes into one side of the newly recovered PACRAT and out the other side, effectively totaling it. Mimic turns his attention back to Cable, telepathically battering him with questions. Why did they attack the station? Were they after him? Why did they kill his friends? The only thing that Cable can do is weakly reply that it wasn’t them, that they came to help, following a request from Xavier. Sunspot hovers above and watches helplessly as Mimic moves in on Cable. He questions what he should do, follow orders or help out his leader?

Past midnight in the quiet halls of the Xavier Institute, Tabitha Smith disobeys her commander’s orders. Once again she has prepared a bowl of milk for the formerly savage killer Sabretooth. Creed happily laps up the contents of the bowl while Tabitha chats to the unresponsive Sabretooth. She says that she shouldn’t be here; Cable would kick her butt but he doesn’t need to know. Neither does her boyfriend Cannonball for that matter. At least someone appreciates her, she says as she watches Sabretooth drink. Boomer wonders if that is why she is so nice to Creed, to get some attention. She kneels down next to the man and pets his shoulder, commenting on how the Professor changed the surroundings of his environment from the cottage to a lush jungle. He didn’t believe that it would be prudent to place Creed back to his former setting because of the traumatic event involving Caliban that recently took place. Boomer asks Creed if he even remembers any of it, or anything for that matter.

Sabretooth finishes his bowl of milk and lovingly rubs up against Tabitha with a happy purr. Tabitha is startled by Creed’s reaction, not knowing how to take his actions because of his past. Should she take pity on him after all of the horrible things that he did in his past? But he can’t even remember his own name! Boomer tells him that it is late and that she will see him later. She walks out of the Danger Room and is not in earshot to hear what Sabretooth says. Carefully, slowly he says his name “Vic ... tor“.

One thought races through Roberto DaCosta’s head as he swoops out of the sky; no matter what Cable said he has to get in there and fight. He slams into Mimic full force bringing him into the air, telling him that X-Force is a team and if you take on one you take on all of them. Cable is surprised by Roberto and telepathically orders him to break off contact with Mimic. Sunspot tells Cable that he can handle Mimic and to get out of his head so that he can concentrate. Mimic tells Sunspot that he should have listened to his leader; this conflict was a big mistake. “On your part“, Sunspot replies with a punch to the face. Calvin thinks to himself that Sunspot’s power level is outstanding. It is nothing like he has ever encountered before and may be a little too much. With terror in his eyes, he realizes that Sunspot’s power is too much to contain. The sky erupts in a massive explosion that knocks Cable to the ground as the two men careen towards the ground. Cable had ordered Sunspot back as a precautionary means for Sunspot. He knew that Mimic’s power worked through proximity, and when he mimicked Sunspot he became a solar battery just like Roberto. When the two positive energies collided it would have catastrophic results.

At Westchester, late in the night a lightning bolt tears open the sky. Boomer wakes up in a fright, but not from the storm. She asks the darkness who is there and gets the response of the Xavier Institute’s most enigmatic man. The intruder leaps onto the foot of Boomer’s bed, telling Tabitha that she has been with Creed and he can smell his scent on her. The lightning flashes again, revealing the man to be Wolverine. He tells her that he has come to warn her about Creed; she may think that she knows what she is dealing with, but she doesn’t. Boomer retaliates the only way to which she has been accustomed, with her words. With one hand holding a plasma bomb, she points at Wolverine, telling him that this was her room last time she checked and that he should go back outside where he belongs. Wolverine tells her that so long as they understand each other, but someday he is going to finish his business with Sabretooth even if she is in the way. Wolverine extends his claws to punctuate his sentence. Boomer hurls the plasma bomb at Wolverine, yelling at him that she can take care of herself. No sooner has the bomb left her hand than Wolverine has disappeared through the open window. Tabitha contemplates the way that recent events had been going in the mansion; first Cable, then Sam, and now Wolverine have been telling her how to run her life like she didn’t have a brain of her own.

Beside a smoldering crater in Siberia, Cable slowly rises to his feet and telepathically searches for his charges. He finds that Warpath is still unconscious, and Caliban is coming to. Suddenly he remembers Sunspot and runs over to the stunned youth, pulling him to his feet. Cable promptly reprimands him, saying that when he gives an order in the field he is suppose to follow it because it was always given for a good reason. Roberto sheepishly complies and brings up the subject about the missing Mimic, which is what Cable wants to know. Cable assesses the situation; they have no communications and the PACRAT is thoroughly trashed. Caliban offers to lead Cable to Mimic, if it will make him happy. Since Mimic copied Sunspot’s mutant abilities, Caliban can now follow the trail of Calvin Rankin. He does so to the best of his abilities until the trail ends right before an enormous smoking chasm. How could he have just vanished, they wonder, but it seems that he did. Cable points out with a concerned tone to his voice that it seems that he didn’t do so without a struggle. Cable is worried. Somebody set them up. Mimic didn’t want to fight, but now he is gone and they don’t have any answers. Bobby asks Cable if any of X-Force could ever get to the point with their powers to where they had to be sent away. “I hope not“, he replies with an uncertain tone in his voice.

Siryn nervously paces in her room at the Weisman Institute for the Criminally Insane. She knows that the doctor will be making her morning rounds soon, so she doesn’t have much time. On her desk sits a dismembered alarm clock that doubles as a radio, which she goes over to immediately. She once again tinkers with her makeshift radio, for the nineteenth time sending a signal that her and Cable had agreed upon. He told her that if she sent the signal, he would come and get her out so she tries once more. With her business, she fails to notice that the young boy Jeremy Stevens is watching her through a hole in the wall. Theresa worries to herself what she is going to do, either Cable is out of range of the signal or has given up on her. She can’t call Xavier because Cable didn’t want the professor directly involved, and if she wants to prove herself as the new team captain she can’t go ask her dad, Banshee, for help. Theresa takes a desperate turn and begins to contact someone that she had tried to avoid contacting. If anyone deserves to be in a nuthouse it is he, she thinks to herself as she sends the new signal.

Elsewhere in a secret location the signal comes through. This catches the mercenary‘s attention since very few people have access to his private comm-line. Deadpool answers the signal, making a witty quip about the price of phone calls. Wade leisurely leans back, balancing his sword on his finger as Theresa awkwardly asks him for his help.

Characters Involved: 

Boomer, Cable, Caliban, Siryn, Sunspot, Warpath (all X-Force)

Wolverine (X-Men)




Dr. Weisman

Jeremy Stevens, patient at the Weisman Institute


Story Notes: 

The mystery regarding Benjamin Russell and Shatterstar is picked up again in X-Force #54, 59-61.

Calvin Rankin, aka the Mimic, was a member of the X-Men for a brief time. When he was last seen he had troubles keeping his powers in check, and Logan arranged for him to spend some time in Japan to learn some control techniques. (Marvel Comics Presents #61) Apparently it didn’t work, as he was sent to this base in Siberia to be as far away as possible from any mutants he could accidentally absorb. It has yet to be revealed how he retained the powers of the original five X-Men on a permanent basis.

X-Force came to stay at Xavier‘s mansion in X-Force # 44, the same issue that Cannonball was “promoted” to the X-Men.

The P.A.C.R.A.T. (Personal Assault Carrier for Recon/Aquatic/Terrain) was first wrecked in X-Men Prime and was recovered in Cable (2nd series) #21.

Xavier allowed Sabretooth to live in the mansion to receive some form of therapy in X-Men Unlimited #3, after which Wolverine began to live outside on the grounds. Sabretooth became docile after Wolverine rammed his bone claw through his brain in Wolverine (2nd series) #90.

The disappearance of the Mimic is a precursor to the appearance of the enigmatic super-being known as Onslaught. Mimic shows up next as one of his lackeys in X-Force #52.

On Cable knows of Siryn’s whereabouts, her teammates have not been filled in on her undercover mission.

Deadpool has an interesting past with X-Force’s Siryn. The mercenary had a crush on her for quite some time. Their mutual attraction started in Deadpool (2nd series) #1-4.

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