X-Force (1st series) #81

Issue Date: 
September 1998
Story Title: 
Hot Lava

John Francis Moore (writer), Adam Pollina (penciler), Mark Morales (inker), Guillermo Zubiaga (background assists) Marie Javins (colorist), Comicraft (letterer), Brian Smith (assistant editor), Bobbie Chase (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

In Hawaii for a vacation, X-Force are enjoying the sun, sand and surf, although Meltdown becomes very confused when she sees “Tiki Gods” marching along the bottom of the ocean floor. When the others investigate, they see nothing. X-Force are later surprised by the rumblings of a volcano, which a local explains to them is the Goddess of Volcanoes, Pele, letting everyone know she is still in charge. The young heroes enjoy the luau later that night, during which Warpath is reunited with Risque. Warpath assures her that he is no longer interested in her after she used him, but Risque explains she is in need of help, this proves true when she is attacked by one of the “Tiki Gods”. Warpath brings Risque to X-Force, where she receives a very frosty welcome from Siryn, before explaining that she, Sledge and the Vanisher stole the “Heart of Pele”, which a group of subterranean lava people also want, and now they have Sledge prisoner, while the Vanisher took off with the Heart. X-Force agree to aid Risque and venture into the volcano, where they are reunited with Sledge - and confronted by the “Tiki Gods” - none other than the Lava Men, foes of the Avengers. Siryn and Sunspot fly to the nearby village where the Vanisher is relaxing, and Siryn seduces the villain, before Sunspot steals the Heart from him. They return to the volcano, where the Lava Men reveal they plan to use the Heart of Pele in their scheme to awaken every dormant volcano on the planet. X-Force battle the Lava Men to get the Heart back, before Risque suddenly vanishes - replaced by the Goddess Pele, who was posing as Risque to have X-Force’s aid. With the Heart back from the Lava Men, Pele guides Sunspot where to bury it in the molten lava of the volcano. Sledge and the Vanisher are banned from ever returning to Pele’s islands, while X-Force are allowed to enjoy the rest of their vacation without interruption.

Full Summary: 

(Re-telling of legend)

Among the pantheon of Hawaiian gods, none is more beautiful and more volatile than Pele, Goddess of Volcanoes, sister of Laka, Goddess of the Hula, Poliuah, Goddess of Snow, and Na-Maka-O-Kaha’I, Goddess of the Sea and Water. Long ago, when Pele was still mortal, she braved the long journey to Hawaii to escape the jealous wrath of her older sister.

Na-Maka-O-Kaha’I was angry because Pele seduced her lover, and could not forgive her younger sister’s transgression. The two sisters fought with ocean and volcano fire for many, many years, and their battle shaped the islands. In the end, Pele’s mortal body was killed, but her death freed her fiery spirit to assume her rightful place as a true god.

Since that time, Pele has appeared to the Hawaiian people in many guises, sometimes as a beautiful girl or an old woman or as a flaming spirit. In an age when many of the old gods have been forgotten, the constant activity of the island’s volcanoes reminds us that Pele will not be ignored.


The eaves at Kahaluu Beach on the big island of Hawaii are small in comparison to the giant swells of Oahu’s North Shore. Still, the challenge of riding a six-foot break shouldn’t be underestimated - especially when two people share the same surfboard. Those two people being Tabitha “Meltdown” Smith and Roberto “Sunspot” DaCosta of the teenage mutant heroes known as X-Force! Sitting on Bobby’s shoulders, Tabitha tells him that she doesn’t know if playing Frankie and Annette was such a good idea. Bobby tells Tabitha to relax, and that surfing is all about balance. ‘You’re not going to fall unless you keep squirming like that’ he tells her as a seagull flies past them.

Even though they were born with extraordinary abilities thanks to a genetic anomaly, those abilities are of little use to them now, as a massive wave rises over them. ‘Um, Bobby, I think this ride’s over. Can you say “wipeout”?’ Tabitha exclaims. ‘Oops!’ Bobby mutters, before the wave hits them, sending them crashing into the water, and flipping the surfboard up into the air. Meltdown sinks in the water, thinking to herself that is the last time she lets Bobby talking her into doing something like that. ‘No more cute couple stunts’ she decides, telling herself that this is their vacation, they are supposed to be taking a break from their normal danger-filled lifestyle. Tabitha decides that the rest of this trip she is going to lie on a lounge chair and let Bobby massage her back with suntan lotion. ‘If he wants to do this girlfriend/boyfriend thing, he’s gonna have to learn it’s a two way street’. Suddenly, on the ocean floor, Tabitha sees several strange creatures, marching back and forth. ‘Huh? Am I hallucinating?’ Tabby wonders.

Nearby, the rest of X-Force - Theresa “Siryn” Rourke, James “Warpath” Proudstar and Danielle Moonstar relax on the warm sand. As members of X-Force, a team dedicated to protecting the rights of mutants in a hostile world, they have stood up against government troops, demons and demi-gods. In some ways, their selfless dedication to their case has cost them a large part of their youth. They’ve earned a break. James leans back and holds up some suntan lotion while remarking that as long as the Impossible Man doesn’t show up like he did the last time they tried a tropical retreat, he is in heaven. ‘Nice of Bobby to foot the bill for this getaway’ he adds.

Siryn leans alongside and holds a large straw hat on her head, remarking that it is great to be here, but she wished Bobby would stop waving his money around, as he doesn’t need to buy their friendship. Lounging on a chair while reading a book, listening to music and sipping a drink, Dani remarks that Bobby is overcompensating for the past few months when his trust fund was frozen. She adds that Bobby has never been comfortable having to depend on anyone except himself.

Along the beach, Bobby emerges from the water, getting the water out of his ears, he remarks that not only did he lose his board, but the undercurrent washed him half a mile down the beach. He wonders where Tabitha is when suddenly, she emerges from the water as well, calling out to her teammates. Moonstar sees her first, while Siryn asks her friends if they think she is in trouble. ‘I’m on it’ James declares, jumping up and racing down the beach, his powerful muscles carry him through the surf, and he reaches Meltdown, asking her if she is okay. Sunspot arrives shortly after and Meltdown exclaims ‘Tiki Gods! There were about a million - okay, maybe half a dozen - Tiki Gods marching across the ocean floor!’ she tells the guys to look for themselves if they don’t believe her. But as James and Bobby look to the ocean floor, they see nothing but sand, rocks, and a lone fish.

Later, the five friends make their way to the village where they are staying, and Bobby tells Tabitha that no one is calling her a liar, but that he and James saw nothing except coral and fish. Meltdown exclaims that she is not making this up, that she know what she saw. ‘There was a…um…flock of Tiki Gods. School of Tiki Gods? Pride of Tiki Gods? Anyway, you know what I mean. They were real, I tell you’. Siryn smiles as she remarks that Tabitha has seen too many episodes of the Brady Bunch, and suggests that perhaps they should be watching out for giant tarantulas and Vincent Price as well. ‘Was that a pop culture reference, Theresa? I’m shocked’ Dani remarks. Siryn explains that Black Tom had a satellite dish installed on Cassidy Keep, so they got a lot of American television.

Suddenly, there is a loud rumbling. ‘What’s that?’ Meltdown asks. Moonstar remarks that it feels like an earthquake, while Warpath explains that these islands are geologically young, so there is still a lot of seismic activity. ‘Maybe I should have booked a trip to Cancun’ Sunspot mutters, while Theresa exclaims that it is not an earthquake, but a volcano. She adds that the flight magazine on the plane said that both Mauna Loa and Kilauea have been more active recently than they have in years. Suddenly, a rather large person sitting under an umbrella exclaims ‘Don’t you kids worry ‘bout no volcanoes. That’s just Tutu Pele - grandmother Pele - letting’ everybody know she’s still in charge!’

Later still, at the Coral Paradise Resort, a musician stands on a stage and sings away, while Moonstar and Siryn mingle amongst the crowd of people, Dani exclaims that she cannot believe they are at a luau. ‘I feel like such a Midwestern tourist’ she exclaims, while Siryn points out that with her red hair and fair skin, no one is going to every mistake her for a local. ‘Play “Tiny Bubbles”’ someone calls out to the musician. Dani motions to Sunspot and tells Siryn that it looks like Bobby is enjoying himself. ‘Yeh, but I don’t think Tabitha is’ Theresa remarks, as Tabitha watches Bobby with a waitress.

‘Just keep those tropical drinks coming, sweetheart’ Bobby tells the waitress. ‘I’ll be happy to, Mr DaCosta’ the waitress replies. ‘Mr Dacosta’s my father. Call me Bobby’ Sunspot tells the waitress. Another waitress walks past Meltdown, thinking to herself that she needs a raise, as she isn’t paid enough to put up with every half-drunk haole. ‘Stop shaking your grass skirt in front of my boyfriend. He doesn’t need the encouragement!’ Meltdown tells the waitress. ‘Second thought. I need a vacation. Maybe I’ll go some place nice and cool’ the waitress tells herself.

Nearby, James gazes out over the beach and decides that the sunset is almost as spectacular as the ones he used to see from the mesas on the reservation. He notices a woman standing out in the water’s edge, and tells himself that something about her looks familiar. ‘Nah, it couldn’t be her. Could it?’ he wonders, before looking away. He turns back, and the woman has vanished. ‘I must be going as crazy as Tabitha and her “Tiki Gods”!’ James tells himself.

James rubs his head and tells himself that he may as well return to the luau. ‘I hope all the mahi mahi’s not gone’ he adds, when suddenly, a voice calls out ‘Looking for someone?’ James turns around. ‘Risque. Gloria’ he exclaims as Gloria Munoz stands before him in a purple dress. ‘I wasn’t imagining things. It is you’ James declares. ‘In the very warm and real flesh. Did you miss me?’ Gloria asks. Risque wraps her arms around Warpath’s shoulders, as James replies’ Tough question. Do I miss the woman with whom I had the most passionate affair of my life? Yes. But do I miss the woman who drugged me and dropped me in Detroit to pay off a debt she owed? No’.

Gloria asks James if he can forgive her. ‘I need you so. I’m in desperate trouble -’ she begins, but James holds his hands up ‘Time out, Gloria’ he declares, reminding her that she already suckered him once, and he is not going to play the fool again. ‘I’m sure you can take care of yourself’ he tells her. ‘James…please…’ Risque calls out as James turns and walks away. ‘Maybe in another life, Risque. This one’s way too short’ James replies, unaware that large bubbles are forming on the surface of the water. ‘There is the one Krotok seeks’ a strange creature exclaims as it emerges. Risque hears splashing in the water, and spins around, seeing the creature standing before her. ‘You will come with Krotok, female. Do not resist!’ the creature exclaims.

A frightened Risque screams for James, who comes running, slamming his fist into the creature, ‘Alright, this qualifies as trouble’ he remarks, before telling Risque not to think that this means he still has feelings for her, as he would have done this for anyone. ‘I’ll take what I can get’ Gloria replies as she moves away from the creature. ‘Aah…you hurt Krotok, human - now Krotok kill!’ the creature exclaims as it falls to the sand on the beach. James remarks that he would like to avoid that, before grabbing Risque and telling her that they can outrun it. ‘And while we do, you’re going to give me the four-one-one on what on Earth you’re involved in this time’ James adds.

Krotok gets up and clenches his firsts, boasting that he will hunt them down if only for the fact he can not be seen by the upholders. ‘The High Priest does not want to attract attention of human warriors called Ah-vehn-jerz’. Krotok boasts that he is not afraid of the “Ah-vehn-jerz”, but admits he is afraid of the High Priest.

Back at the luau, Tabitha and Bobby are dancing, as the former calls out to Theresa: ‘You have appointment on the dance floor to shake your booty’. Sunspot jokes that Siryn is Irish, so knows how to get jiggy with it. ‘Ye’re gonna pay for that on’ Siryn tells Bobby, before exclaiming ‘Oh, no. Not her!’. Siryn puts her hands on her hips as Warpath and Risque approach her. ‘You remember Gloria Munoz’ James tells Theresa, who exclaims ‘Believe me, I haven’t forgotten Risque, or what she did t’ye, Jimmy. Ye’re trouble, girlfriend’ Siryn exclaims.

Risque calls Siryn “Red” and remarks ‘I know you don’t like me’, before asking her to hear her out. Risque explains that she came to the big island with Sledge and Vanisher to obtain the “Heart of Pele” - an allegedly mystical artifact hidden when the first Europeans arrived on Hawaii. She remarks that they did not know a faction of subterranean Lava People also want the “Heart”, and while she and the Vanisher escaped the Lava People, Sledge was not so lucky. ‘Then that’s yuir problem, isn’t it?’ Siryn remarks. But James remarks that according to Risque, the theft of the Heart is responsible for the recent volcano activity, and unless it is returned, Kilauea and Mauna Loa are going to erupt simultaneously in a volcanic catastrophe that will destroy the islands.

Soon, at the Kilauea Caldera in Volcanoes National Park, X-Force follow Risque up the side of the volcano. Someone remarks that the rangers weren’t too happy to see them, as the recent lava flow forced the park service to close off this entire area. ‘Then we’re lucky Risque is so very good at wrapping people around her little finger’ Siryn mutters. Risque tells her companions that when you live in the shadow of a volcano, you must respect the god who calls it home. She adds that the rangers here know that Pele is not simply an old myth dusted off to sell souvenirs. ‘Promise me no one’s gonna be sacrificed to the volcano’ Moonstar asks, to which Sunspot tells Meltdown that she needn’t worry. ’You’re not a -’ he begins, but Tabitha tells him to shut up.

Risque climbs up onto a higher ledge, telling X-Force that Pele never demanded blood tribute from her believers, only Ku, the God of War demanded human sacrifice. She announces that this entrance will take them into the volcano so that they may learn the location of the Heart. Moonstar climbs up to the ledge and remarks that the way Risque speaks of Pele, one might almost think she was one of her faithful. Gloria remarks that Dani is a Cheyenne who has stood in the halls of Asgard, and asks her how she can doubt the existence of other gods.

Moonstar and Siryn make their way down the passage, and Dani quietly tells Theresa that she doesn’t know about Risque, as she gets a really strange vibe from her. ‘I’ve never trusted her’ Siryn quickly replies. ‘No, it’s more than that. Something about her is…well…different’ Dani explains, when suddenly, a large figure looms before the young heroes. ‘Look out!’ Meltdown screams, but as the figure enters the light: ‘Oh, calm down, kid, I’m not the Bogey Man!’ Sledge exclaims. Propped up by two walking-sticks, he tells the heroes that they are a sight for sore eyes, and that he has been wandering around the lava tubes for a day and a half.

‘Sledge!’ James exclaims as Sledge lifts him off the ground. ‘Good t’see ya, Proudstar!’ Sledge remarks, adding that he doesn’t know how Gloria managed to get him and his crew here, but he is glad she did. Gloria hangs her head, while Warpath tells Sledge that the feeling is not mutual, and that from what Risque has told them, he may be responsible for the volcanic destruction of Hawaii, before James asks ‘What happened to the Heart of Pele’. Sledge replies that a cave-in separated Risque from he and the Vanisher, the Vanisher grabbed the stone and disappeared. ‘And after all the trouble I went through to get that crazy S.O.B. outta limbo’ Sledge adds.

James remarks that this thing must be something to get him out of Detroit. ‘I thought you never left your warehouse’ he tells Sledge, who replies that he isn’t a shut-in, but with his legs, he doesn’t get around as well as he used to. ‘Anyway, the chance to snag the Heart of Pele was too enticing to pass up’ Sledge remarks, adding that the stone is said to possess the energy of a thousand volcanoes. ‘Do you know how many clients I got who’ll sell their grandmother to get their mitts on a new, alternate energy source?’ Sledge asks, when, suddenly, ‘THIEF!’ a voice booms. ‘Uh-oh’ Sledge utters.

‘Give us the Heart of the Fire Queen or die humans!’ one of the creatures exclaims. ‘Lava Men!’ Sunspot gasps, identifying the creatures. Siryn orders her team into defensive positions, while Sunspot takes to the air and Moonstar readies a psionic arrow. ‘See, I told you there were Tiki Gods!’ Meltdown mutters, while Sledge tells the Lave Men to take it easy. ‘Let’s be civil about this’ he tells them. One of the Lava Men steps forward, introducing himself as Jinku, High Priest and leader of the Lava Men. He declares that with the Heart of the Fire Queen in his possession, he will unite the lost tribes of Gortokia under his rule. ‘Then you’re the big kahuna we need to talk to. See, if we die, you’ll never see the Heart of Pele’ Sledge exclaims.

‘You dare threaten Jinku?’ the High Priest of the Lava Men asks. Sledge quickly exclaims that Jinku misunderstands, and tells him that he would love to give him the Heart, but that it is no longer in his possession, as his ex-partner absconded with it. ‘Gee. And if you can’t trust an upstanding citizen like the Vanisher, who can you trust?’ Sunspot mutters. Meltdown declares that she will never forgive the Vanisher for conning her and a bunch of stupid runaway mutants into doing crimes for him. ‘That bald creep should be the one with these lava giants breathing down his neck. And by the way, guys, I have two words of advice for you. Breath mints’ Tabitha exclaims.

‘If you do not have the Heart, you are wasting my time!’ Jinku exclaims, before ordering his fellows - Krotok, Styrak and Boraku - to kill them. Risque steps forward, ‘One moment, honoured Jinku’ she exclaims, before informing him that her companions are super-powered humans who can return the Heart to him. ‘Who gave ye the right to speak f’r us?’ Siryn asks Risque, annoyed. ‘Very well’ Jinku declares, telling them that two of them can go, and if they do not return in half of the upworld cycle, then the others will die slowly and painfully. X-Force look wide-eyed at Risque, while James tells her that she has put all of their lives in danger, and that he hopes she knows what she is doing. ‘Trust me. No one will die as long as I’m here’ Risque replies, while Bobby asks how they will know where to find the Vanisher.

Two hours later, above the island of Maui, Siryn and Sunspot soar across the sky, and Theresa tells Bobby that, according to Sledge, this is the hotel the Vanisher always stays at after he pulls a job. Siryn adds that this seems a little too easy to her, and that none of this feels right at all. ‘I think we’re being played like chess pieces’ she adds. Sunspot remarks that he doesn’t get it, as the Vanisher could be anywhere in the world, so why would he book a hotel on another island. The two friends drop down at the resort, and Siryn sees him immediately. ‘There’s the Vanisher. Not hard t’miss someone with his fashion sense’ she tells Bobby, adding that, even out of costume he is creepy.

‘Ah, this is the life’ the Vanisher thinks to himself as he relaxes in a deck chair whilst reading the newspaper and sipping a drink. ‘Everybody figures I teleported to another continent, when I just caught a shuttle over to a nearby island’ he tells himself, while deciding that when he gets back to the States he will call some guys he knows at the Advanced Idea Mechanics and see what they’ll offer him. ‘Let me take him out!’ Sunspot exclaims, clenching a fist, but Siryn tells him to hold on, pointing out that the Vanisher will disappear as soon as he sees Bobby burning up the sky.

Siryn tells Bobby that she will handle this, as the Vanisher doesn’t know her, and if he did, he is not going to be looking her in the face. With that, she hitches up her dress, turning it into a mini skirt and tank top. ‘Theresa, you wild woman!’ Bobby exclaims, to which Theresa tells him to wipe that look off his face, as the only reason she is doing this is to get the Heart back. As she walks over to the bar, Siryn tells herself that she feels like a fool vamping this way, but she is betting that the Vanisher will not be thinking with his head. ‘HELLOOOO…’ the Vanisher exclaims as Theresa leans over the bar, several feet from where he is seated. ‘Men are sooo easy’ Siryn thinks to herself, while the Vanisher calls out to her: ‘How you doing, babe? Can I buy you a drink?’ and he rushes over to her.

Theresa decides to lose her Irish accent, and that she will try her best “Rogue”. ‘That’s awful kind of you, sugah’ she tells the Vanisher as he stands by her. The Vanisher asks her what a fine looking lady like her is doing all by her lonesome, to which Siryn smiles and exclaims ‘If Ah tell you, darlin’, you have to promise to keep it absolutely confidential’. ‘Your secret’s safe with me, sweetheart’ the Vanisher smiles as he leans closer to Siryn, who suddenly unleashes her powerful sonic scream, directly in his ear. The Vanisher falls backwards as he exclaims ‘You’re the Banshee’s daughter! Why -’, but at that moment, Sunspot drops down and grabs the Vanisher by his shirt, ‘You know why, Vanisher. Think about how hot it’s gonna get for you if you don’t give up the Heart of Pele’ Sunspot exclaims. ‘What? I can’t hear anything…’ the Vanisher exclaims, to which Sunspot suggests he read his lips.

Soon, Siryn carries the Heart of Pele back to the Lava Men, while Sunspot carries the Vanisher by his feet. ‘The item you’ve all been waiting for - the Heart of Pele!’ Sunspot exclaims, while Siryn announces that the Vanisher had it packed in his travel bag along with one of the hotel robes and about twenty miniature bottles of shampoo. ‘Proof that he’s nothing but a petty thief’ Sunspot remarks. The Vanisher exclaims that his ears are still ringing, before Sunspot throws him at Sledge’s feet. ‘Serves you right, you double-crossing weasel!’ Sledge exclaims. ‘What’d you say?’ the Vanisher asks. ‘Serves you right, you weasel!’ Sledge shouts.

Siryn stands before Jinku, telling him that they have done their part, and asking him to let them go. Jinku takes the Heart of Pele and tells Siryn to do what she will, as she and her companions no longer concern him. ‘You will perish with the rest of her kind soon enough. Jinku holds the Heart of Pele up and declares that now that the Heart of the Fire Queen is his, he shall destroy the surface world with a purifying rain of molten fire. ‘And when the lava cools, the world will belong to my people!’ he booms.

‘I knew this wasn’t over’ James mumbles, while Siryn asks ‘What do you mean ye’re gonna destroy the surface world?’ Risque tells James that this is why she brought him here, and the heroes enter another part of the volcano - where lava flows beneath them, and a large drill-like construction sits in the middle of the volcano. Jinku exclaims that in the ruins of ancient Lemuria, he discovered ancient texts that described a mighty weapon that leveled continents. ‘I have built that weapon. Behold the Firebringer!’ he exclaims, declaring that once it is activated, it will awaken every dormant volcano on the planet in a symphony of molten destruction. Jinku declares that all that was missing was the Heart of the Fire Queen, Laholana, whom is known by the others as Pele. ‘And now the world ends as it began. In fire!’ he booms as he places the Heart of Fire into the Firebringer.

Risque exclaims that there is not much time, that they must take the Heart and return it to the center of the earth from which it came. ‘If we don’t, there’s no way to reverse the chain reaction the Firebringer will start!’. Siryn declares that Risque has been holding out on them, and asks her how much she knows about all of this. ‘Just do it!’ Gloria exclaims. Dani creates a psionic arrow and declares that it is time to find out of her psionic arrow can penetrate their lava hide, while Bobby tells her that he hopes so, because his solar flares do not mean much to creatures who bathe in molten fire. Meltdown throws some plasma time bombs at the Lava Men, while remarking that they should have invited their former teammate from the New Mutants, Magma, as all this lava reminds her of Amara.

Siryn swoops down and collects the Heart, but Jinku grabs her legs, telling her that she is as annoying as the Avengers, but boasts that this time he cannot be stopped. Suddenly, ‘Leave her alone!’ Warpath booms as he shoves Jinku, causing the High Priest of the Lava Men to release Siryn. ‘We may not be the Avengers, but we’re gonna stop this insane scheme of yours anyway!’. James boasts as he punches Jinku. ‘Blasphemer, you have destroyed my sacred mask!’ Jinku exclaims. Siryn tells Jinku that is not all they are going to destroy, and declares that she is going to put this giant reactor out of commission once and for all, adding that the Heart is useless now, before unleashing her powerful sonic scream, causing the Firebringer to fall into the lava beneath it.

There is a loud rumble, and rocks begin falling from the volcano. ‘This is exactly the reason I swore I’d never live underground again!’ Sledge exclaims, while Vanisher mumbles that the ringing has stopped, but now he hears a rumble. Warpath tells Siryn that he doesn’t know what she did, but now the whole cavern is starting to crumble. Suddenly, a very solemn looking Risque calls X-Force “Children” and tells them that they need not panic, and that they will be safe. She asks Siryn to give Sunspot the Heart, explaining only he can return it to its rightful place. ‘Only he can withstand the heat of the molten lake that feeds this volcano’.

‘James never said you were this spooky. How do you do that?’ Sunspot asks Risque, to which Moonstar exclaims that she should have pieced this together earlier, before announcing that she is not Risque. ‘WHAT?’ James gasps. “Risque’s” hair begins to float upwards and she stares at X-Force, before announcing that Danielle Moonstar is correct. ‘I am not Gloria Munoz’. “Risque” begins to grow in size, before announcing ‘I am Pele’. Standing in the lava of the volcano, Pele announces that long ago she hid her heart in the subterranean labyrinth of her palace her in Kilauea. ‘However, a spell placed by my jealous sister prevented me from reclaiming it for myself’ Pele explains, adding that she had need of warriors of noble heart, and when she found this would-be thief lost here, she learned of X-Force and took her form.

James asks where the real Risque is, to which Pele tells him that his woman is sleeping an enchanted sleep on the black sands of Kamoamoa Beach, unaware of what transpired here, before announcing that they must reunite her heart with the soul of the volcano. Pele tells Sunspot to take the heart, which he does as Siryn hands it to him, and Pele tells him to let her voice guide him. ‘Hard to refuse a god with legs like those’ Bobby remarks, before diving into the lava. ‘You are almost there!’ Pele tells him. ‘Now!’ she announces, enabling Bobby to emerge from the lava. ‘Did it work?’ Bobby calls out.

‘I’ll take that as a great big yes’ he remarks as he sees Pele transformed, and one with the lava. ‘You have my thanks, children. I am whole once again’ Pele declares, before telling them that anything they desire is theirs. Moonstar replies that they have learned that it is better not to take anything from gods, while Meltdown remarks that DanI is the expert. ‘Does this count as a mystical experience or a spiritual one’. Tabitha adds that she is never sure how reverent she is supposed to be when dealing with gods. ‘I mean, I could never sit still in Sunday School’.

Pele turns to the Vanisher and Sledge and tells them to be thankful, for today she feels merciful. ‘Leave my islands and never return’ she tells them. ‘Vanisher -’ Sledge begins. ‘Way ahead of you, Sledge. We’re outta here!’ Vanisher replies. With only X-Force remaining in the cavern, Pele tells them that they are welcome to remain in Hawaii as long as they desire. ‘Settle down, raise children, be happy. You have my protection and my blessing’. Meltdown replies that is a little more commitment than they were looking to make, before asking Pele, if it is not too much trouble, whether she could make sure that the rest of their vacation is uninterrupted.

And so, Pele granted the young mutants’ wish, and all was well on the big island. Sitting on a palm tree, Bobby declares that he hasn’t felt this relaxed since he doesn’t know when. Dani leans in to Bobby and remarks that all the craziness in their lives makes them appreciate these moments of peace more. James declares that the saved the world, so they deserve a little downtime. Lounging in a hammock which swings from the palm tree, Theresa remarks that it is too bad the quiet moments never last. Tabitha splashes around in the water under the tree, exclaiming ‘That’s why I say, enjoy it while you can! Whooo yeah!’

Characters Involved: 

Meltdown, Moonstar, Siryn, Sunspot, Warpath (all X-Force)



Pele II (also disguised as Risque)

Boraku, Jinku, Krotok, Styrak and other Lava Men

Residents and guests at the Coral Paradise Resort

In Legend:



Story Notes: 

Adam Pollina departs as penciler this issue.

The Impossible Man crashed X-Force’s last vacation in the X-Force / Cable 1995 Annual.

Sunspot’s trust fund was frozen from X-Force (1st series) #71-80.

Risque was last seen in X-Force (1st series) #66.

The Lava Men were last seen in Avengers (1st series) #305-308.

Meltdown was involved with the Vanisher’s crimes as seen in the Fallen Angels mini series.

Siryn has actually met the Vanisher - during the Fallen Angels mini series. Sunspot also met him during that time.

It’s unknown why the Vanisher would steal twenty bottles of miniature shampoo. He is, after all, bald.

Meltdown and Magma never served on the New Mutants at the same time.

The true Risque returns to X-Force’s lives in X-Force (1st series) #99-100.

The Pele that features this issue is of no connection to the Pele of the Pacific Overlords from Avengers West Coast #71-74. That Pele was clearly based on the notion of the Goddess Pele.

This issue featured a bonus pull-out poster.

Issue Information: 
Written By: