X-Force (2nd series) #1

Issue Date: 
October 2004
Story Title: 

Fabian Nicieza (writer), Rob Liefeld (pencils), Matt Yackey (inks), VC’s Rus Wooton (letters), Stephanie Moore & Sean Ryan (assistant editors), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Cable has a memory flash-back of his future, when he first began his adventures. It was in a time of magick and Cable was known all over the world as the Traveler. He was hiding from the assassins En Sabah Nur send after him and his mission brought him to the Relic of Karanada, a city that needed his help. There he met D’Narda, a mystical woman who feared that her people would be killed, all in order so that a monster named Skornn could arise who would kill all mutants. She was proven right and Cable fought Skornn. In the present day, Cable and Domino are meditating. Cable has dificulties concentrating and fears that someone is messing with the temporal field. Cable is right and he and Domino are attacked by the Helix. Cable and Domino defeat the Helix, who disappear afterward. Cable knows why they came to him, and he and Domino travel to a temple on top of Mount Xixabangma, near Tibet. There, they find Shatterstar, who has come to the temple seeking solace. He’s busy fighting some ninja monks when Cable and Domino approach him. Shatterstar’s surprised to see Cable knowing the monks. Cable explains that they didn’t exactly come for him, but for the Five Fingers of Annihilation, the only thing that can defeat Skornn, their upcoming enemy. The Helix show up again and kill Shatterstar’s sensei, Zed, using the sword. Shatterstar goes berserk and defeats the Helix, retrieving the sword. He swears to Cable that he shall help him protect the sword and promises that all those who want to retrieve it shall have to come through him!

Full Summary: 

It is a time when magic ruled. Cable was called the Traveler, riding on his horse. He is riding towards the city called Relic of Karanada, knowing what dangers await him. He can smell it. The Concil of Nirinthia had warned him several months ago, but he ignored them. En Sabah Nur had sent a kadre of killers after him and it had taken all of Cable’s skills and powers to defeat them all, plus to cloak his presence from the immortal Overlord. And, because of that delay, he feared that he had run out of time.

The Traveler makes it to the castle of Karanada. He’s awaited by a woman and asks if she is part of the Council. After the woman introduces herself as D’Narda, the Traveler asks where all the citizens are. D’Narda doesn’t sense any of them and fears the worst and the priests threaten to awaken Skornn and the lifeforce of the citizens would be needed for that. The Traveler says that he should have been sooner, but D’Narda says that he can’t be at all places at once. The Traveler smiles, saying that she could be surprised. D’Narda fears that Skornn has fed. The Traveler says that there is only one way to find out, and the Relic is this way. D’Narda lightens up a flare and in the castle and the two enter a long, dark tunnel. When the Traveler asks how deep the catacombs go, D’Narda explains that the new village was build on remnants of Karanada after the world had swallowed that whole city. Her magick’s sense naught but silence.

The Traveler prepares himself, saying that he has his own special… readings at his disposal and, unfortunatly, they confirm D’Narda’s mystical impressions. They are too late. D’Narda and the Traveler find the citizens and the priests, dead! This means that Skornn has fed well. Skornn shows up and the Traveler orders D’Narda to stand behind him. Skornn knows that they call his enemy the Traveler, who doesn’t know how far and wide his journeys beckon. From a world, a time, Skornn has tasted where the Travler’s kind rampants. The Travler confidentantly tells the creature that he won’t live to see that day.

Skornn’s surprised that the Traveler calls him a creature now. After all, Skornn claims that he is not that much different than he is: different than diluted flesh. Though apart, but still a part of tapestry. Skornn knows that his enemies only fear what they don’t understand. As they would fear if they knew the truth. Skornn finds humanity just mere morsels, an appetizer to the main course. But mutants, they breed to become the future, and Skornn knows it. But Skornn promises he shall come to call the mutant kind his… food! The Traveler shall never allow that to happen. He takes his sword out and begins to fight, as does Skornn.

In the present day, something has disrupted Cable’s meditation and he harshly falls down on the ground. Domino quickly reacts and realizes that there was more behind it than just “disrupted.” The two mutants don’t realize that their hideout is being watched by three obscure looking characters. Suddenly, Cable’s metalic mesh seems to be fluctuating. Seeing this, Domino jokes a request that he change it back into a backscratcher, as she has an itch difficult to reach. Cable tells her to be quiet, as he needs full concentration to bring his arm back to normal. Domino asks why, because “normal” usually doesn’t last long around Cable.

Cable doesn’t find that funny and also finds it suspiscious as well, because practicually nothing can get through his telepathic shields. However, this sliced the telepathic blocks he had protecting him while meditating and the telekinetic sheath he used to get his techno-organic virus in check. Cable has a hard time concentrating and almost faints. Domino get him, up telling him to take a deep breath. Cable says that she doesn’t understand, because only big trouble can smack him around like that. Maybe it’s Apocalypse, or Magneto, or worse: a tearing of the temporal field. Domino finds that far fetched, as they had such a long, nice time without such a thing bothering them.

Cable holds her back, because they are already there. Three red-armored warriors smash through the window and demand the Askani’Son. They tell Cable that the Order of the Five Blades decrees him dead! Domino asks if they are friends of Cable. Cable explains that they will be… in fourteen centuries! Domino says that she doesn’t have that long to wait for instructions, so she starts fighting them. Cable, who’s better now, starts fighting too, using his Psimitar weapon and some built-in guns from his metallic arm. They each take on one warrior. Domino asks Cable why exactly she is fighting these Power Ranger look-a-likes, and why they make her break a sweat… almost break a sweat. Domino has soon defeated her adversary, and Cable explains that they are called the Helix, genetically modified humans. The Helix are also rabid anti-mutants.

Domino finds it pathetic that, in a thousand years, humans and mutants are still fighting each other. When she asks why the Helix are there, Cable replies that he doesn’t know, but the Helix said they were send by the Order of the Five Blades. He believes that means… that they disappear. Domino asks what he means by that. Cable tells her to just look, the Helix actually are disappearing! Domino knows that time traveling and teleportation usually go together. Cable explains to her that, if the Order is involved, that must mean that Skornn is back. Domino regrets to ask the question, but wants to know who or what Skornn is.

Hours pass and Cable and Domino have flown in their plane towards Mount Xixabangma, on the border of Nepal and Tibet. They see a temple on top of the mountain and Domino asks what’s going on in there.

Inside the temple, Shatterstar is attacked by two ninja monks. The monks ask Shatterstar if it’s true he came her looking solace. He says yes. And yet, the monks say, Shatterstar comes every morning with the desire to kill them all. Shatterstar confirms this too. The monks tell Shatterstar that he has proven to be unable to change and came from another world. The monks tell Shatterstar that his very blood screams the desire to fight. Gaveedra-7 now must leave the sacrarium. Shatterstar takes his swords out, stating he won’t be allowed to leave without quarrel.

The monks call him anti-life, on which Shatterstar replies to the monks that they teach the killing arts. They start fighting and the monks explain him that they only teach the arts of cherising life. Shatterstar finds them fools, and has had enough of useless words. He has grown tired of the monks and everything this fetid world has to offer. Shatterstar hits the monks hard, telling them that they have been trained to fight, but they don’t know what it means to be born to fight! Shatterstar says that the monks are right, and he is made only to fight! Shatterstar has tried but, no matter how hard he tried, he’ll never fit in into this world. Suddenly, his swords are telekinetically ripped from his arms. Shatterstar looks up and is surprised to see the man responsible.

Cable and Domino stand before him in battle armor. Cable greets Shatterstar, saying it’s been a while, and tells him that he won’t get his swords back until he calms down and stops trying to kill the ninja monks. Shatterstar asks what they are doing here. Cable explains that they didn’t came for him, but for the Five Fingers of Annihilation. Shatterstar is surprised that Cable knows of the Five Fingers and is even more surprised that he seems to know the monks. Shatterstar asks what’s going on.

They go into the temple and Cable introduces Domino to Zed, an old friend of his. Shatterstar bows to Zed. Domino asks if she wants to know how much of an old friend Zed is, but Cable says that it’s better she doesn’t know. Zed tells Domino that it is not the durance that matters, but the substance of the friendship. A man finds few in a lifetime that prove able to fight alongside with. Zed asks if he’s right about that and asks for Shatterstar’s name.

Shatterstar, still bowing, agrees and tells his name that has been given to him once. Zed knows that Shatterstar has known many names, but none matter. Only the spirit is true. Not the facade of a label. Cable explains to Zed that Shatterstar came to Earth seeking help and, unfortunatly, he failed to provide that help. Shatterstar cheers Cable up, saying that he didn’t fail and gave him what he always wanted: a family and a purpose. Shatterstar believes that he failed Cable. Cable, surprised, doesn’t know what to say, but tells Shatterstar that it’s useless recriminating each other. What matters now is that they have a purpose and Cable asks Shatterstar if he’s interested in helpin. Shatterstar asks if it involvs mindless violence. Of course, Cable says. Then it’s okay by Shatterstar.

Cable explains to his friends that the Five Fingers of Annihilation is a sword and the only thing on Earth capable of defeating Skornn. When Domino asks what Skornn is, Cable explains that Skornn is a being that feeds on mutants. Shatterstar asks how one sword is able to kill such a beast. Cable doesn’t find that important; what matters is the future. He explains that humans will loose their war against the mutants. In their despiration, they have sent agents back to our time in the hope to resuciate Skornn! As Cable speaks, outside, multiple Helix show up, entering the temple and killing the ninja monks. Cable continues his story, knowing that those agents will come for the sword.

When Shatterstar thinks they mean to destroy it. Cable denies the idea, saying that they’ll come to protect it, because they want to bring Skornn back to life! The Helix smash through the window of the temple and surround the mutants. Domino finds themselves idiots for leading them right to the sword. Cable doesn’t think so, wondering if Domino thinks that the Helix have a way to track the chronal particals in his body from all the time traveling he has done. Some might say that this is a stupidity on his part, but Cable prefers to call it a plan! He jumps into action with his Psimitar. Domino asks Cable why he’s using the Psimitar again. Cable reveals that, with the recent problems he’s had, it helps him to keep his powers focused. Shatterstar notices that nothing has changed and they still talk to much while they are fighting.

Cable apologizes, but says that they do that to prevent them from getting bored. Shatterstar says that Cable always puts such a weight and importance to each fight, and those message always confuse him. Shatterstar stops babbling, because now he is doing the same thing! One of the Helix says he has found a way to keep them all silence. He holds Zed hostage and holds the Five Fingers sword in his hands. The Helix knows that the sword hasn’t been used in a long time and knows how to change that. He stabs the sword in Zed’s back, killing him. Shatterstar screams and has had enough of this mindless killing for all the wrong reasons. This world never sceases to amaze him, seeing how it knows nothing about mettle and justice.

Shatterstar tells the Helix they fight for humanity, but they don’t even know the meaning of that word. The Helix says he knows what he once was, and what he has become… all because of Shatterstar’s kind! Shatterstar doesn’t think so. He wished that he had only an inking of what that trully meant. On his world, Shatterstar explains, he was genetically bred for superiority, like the Helix. And yet, he was also a mutant, apart from his own kind, who were apart from all kinds. Shatterstar tried to understand what it meant to be human on this planet. He was even given a pretense of humanity, only to have it taken away as a lie!

Shatterstar says he came here as a last resort to learn disciple as a context for warfare. And before the Helix arrived, he was told that he had failed. Shatterstar wonders if he should believe that if he is such a failure as a man then he might succeed as a weapon of mass destruction! Shatterstar fights the Helix and kicks him real hard. The battle is short and Shatterstar is the victor. He stands triumphanticaly over the fallen Helix and has retrived the sword. Shatterstar lets the Helix live, so that he can tell that if they want the Five Fingers of Annihalation that they shall have to come through him! Shatterstar asks Cable why he isn’t laughing, because this is funny. Cable comforts Shatterstar, saying that he is not a failure. He’s just… a work in progress.

Shatterstar asks Cable if the sword shall become a lightning rod for bloodshed. Cable confirms this. Shatterstar lifts the sword high up, saying that those who will seek it will get exactly what they want: they will see the Five Fingers drink deep from the well of blood!

Characters Involved: 

Cable, Domino, Shatterstar

Zed (Shatterstar’s sensei)

unnamed ninja monks

multiple unnamed Helix

(in Cable’s flash-back to his future timeline)

Cable (as the Traveler)



Story Notes: 

This story is a limited series that temporarly brings back the X-Force team like they used to be when they were first created, including the same creative team.

Cable and Domino were last seen together after they had formed the Underground in an attempt to dismantle Weapon X. After being defeated and betrayed by Brent Jackson, they were imprisoned. Luckily, Marrow rescued the team and brought them all into safety, though none of the Underground members seemed to have any memory left of the fight. [Soldier X #12, Weapon X (2nd series) #6-13]

Cable first obtained his Psimitar weapon to gain control back over his abscent telepathic powers in Cable (1st series) #57. When he regained the powers, he put it away and returned to guns as weapons. [Cable (1st series) #100]. Now his telepathic powers again seem to be out of control, so it’s only logical that he returns to the Psimitar weapon.

Shatterstar came from Mojo’s world, where he was created to entertain Mojo’s television-loving people. It has been speculated that he is the son of former X-Men Dazzler and Longshot, but this has never trully been confirmed. [X-Men (2nd series) #11]. Gaveedra-7 is Shatterstar’s real name. He came to Earth, seeking the X-Men’s help in defeating Mojo. They weren’t present at the time and Shatterstar found Cable and the New Mutants instead. [New Mutants (first series) #98] Shatterstar quit the original X-Force team in X-Force (1st series) #70 because he felt he didn’t had any friends left there after Rictor left.

En Sabah Nur is the real name of Apocalypse, Cable’s arch-enemy.

First appearance of Skornn and D’Narda.

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