X-Force (2nd series) #6

Issue Date: 
March 2005
Story Title: 
Blood Sacrifice

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

Brief Description: 

X-Force and their allies have been fighting the Skornn for two hours. Though exhausted, Cable manages to distract the Skornn long enough so he and his friends can catch their breath. With that done, the heroes strike again. Meanwhile, some of the already fallen heroes get up again and rejoin the battle. Shatterstar and Spectre point their attention on the Helix, who manages to defeat them both. The Helix’ success doesn’t last, as they are unexpectedly defeated by Meltdown! Cable has had enough of the battle and takes out the Five Fingers of Annihilation, and cuts his hands with it. His blood touches the blade, which then mystically gives him enhanced powers, which, combined with his own mutant powers, give Cable the strength needed to harm the Skornn badly. But it’s still not enough to kill the monster. Cable recalls his first battle with the Skornn, and that in order for the blade to take a life, another should be put in return. Cable decides to do just that, and both he and the Skornn vanish! Sam, Domion and Spectre mourn Cable’s loss, and encourage themselves that Cable must have found a way to survive. Meanwhile, above the Earth in space, Gladiator and the Imperial Guard are informed about the teleportation, and realize that the Terrans have once again found a way to delay the Skornn’s attack.

Full Summary: 

X-Force and their allies have been fighting the Skornn for two hours now. Since then, half of their numbers have fallen, and the Skornn has fed of their mutant energies and the team has found out that the Skornn also has come to like the cosmic radiation that powers the Thing and the Human Torch. Cannonball notices Cable hesitating, but hopes that they’ll eventually find a way to win.

Cable and the Skornn confront each other. The Skornn recalls that Cable killed him before, but realizes that it was only by luck. But not by Cable’s memory, who’s confident that he will do it again. Cable has distracted the Skornn long enough and, now that the heroes have caught their breath, they attack the monster again at full strength! Cannonball knows that it’s never going to end. There will always come another person for them to fight, with the fate of the world on their shoulders.

They notice the defeated Spectre and Meltdown getting up again, and ready to join the battle. Sam is a little tired of the fighting. He used to dream of the stars when he was young, but never thought he would be responsible for keeping them in the sky! The Skornn realizes that this is the endgame, but isn’t scared. He has faced Mycenaean hordes and Macedonian deceits, so why should he fear Cable and his friends?

Every mutant and hero left standing attacks the Skornn with all the power they’ve got, but Cable realizes that it won’t be enough. Sam wonders what it’s going to take to defeat the Skornn. He has fought both Apocalypse and Magneto themselves in his time, and even fought on Asgard, but seeing the Skornn he wonders. Cable catches Sam thinking while they fight. Cable realizes that, though he hates it, Sam realizes that he is born to lead and only thinks about winning this battle.

The Skornn notices Tabitha getting up, so he grabs her and wants to feed off her again. Sam sees and flies at full strength at the monster and slams into him real hard. The Skornn is confused about the thing the humans call “love,” which seems to be enough to enhance their ability to survive. Wolverine takes advantage of Sam’s punch and slashes the Skornn with his claws. The Skornn isn’t harmed by them and tries to slash Wolverine in return, but Cannonball manages to rescue his former teammate just in time.

Shatterstar and Spectre also recover. They notice one of the Helix members still standing and attack him. The Helix tells his foes to accept their fate and surrender. Specter isn’t impressed, as he comes from a time where the Helix are long defeated, so he should accept his fate! The Helix doesn’t let the revelation stop him, as he is here to make his own destiny. The Helix and Spectre fight, and the Helix wins.

Shatterstar confronts the Helix. The Helix still isn’t impressed, and informs Shatterstar that he has studied him in the future and knows every move he has and knows when he’s going to make them, even before Shatterstar does. The Helix throws a Billy club at the warrior, who quickly slashes it using his swords. The two fight each other for a while and, as hard as it is to believe, the Helix is stronger than Shatterstar and swipes the floor with him! The Helix says that he is empowered by the will of humanity throughout time, so no mere mutant shall be able to take him down.

Meltdown picks up Shatterstar’s swords, and two more Helix teleport in. Tabitha quickly attacks and mentions that she has been training. The Helix don’t know what they’re dealing with, when Tabitha defeats them with ease! She channels her timebombs through Shatterstar’s sword, and detonates them inside the Helix! Meltdown realizes that the Helix probably didn’t bother to study her in the future, so that’s why she was able to win.

Cable jams his Psimitar into the Skornn’s body, and green blood comes out of it. Witnessing this, Sam suddenly hears a message in his head from Cable’s thoughts, talking to the Skornn: “I’m die to destroy you!” The Skornn screams and throws Cable away from him. Sam suspects that the Skornn is actually afraid of Cable, but wonders why. Cable takes out the Five Fingers of Annihilation, and cuts his hands with it. The blood touches the blade, and Nathan Summers literally glows with new, wild power! Cable realizes that the power that was given to the blade by the ancients who forged it bonds together with his own mutant abilities.

Cannonball suddenly stands behind Cable. Sam tells his former mentor that he won’t let him do it. Cable realizes that Sam has figured it out, and that the only thing that’s capable of destroying the Skornn is something he doesn’t understand. Everything Cable ever tried to teach Sam and the rest of the team: sacrifice. Cable tells Sam it’s everything he already knew. Cable knows he always did. Sam apologizes for mistrusting Cable. He understands it, as Cable admits that he sometimes got sick of the fighting too when he was Sam’s age. Sam asks what Cable did to get over that. Cable jokes that he traveled back in time, ran away from his misery and ran into the Skornn. They both realize that the fighting is never going to stop, and fly at the Skornn to make one final attack.

Cable strikes the blade through the Skornn several times. The Skornn is hurt by it, but not enough to die. Cable recalls his first battle with the Skornn. He remembers D’Narda explaining to him, that in order for making the blade take a life, another should be put in return. Cable decides to just do that, and both he and the Skornn disappear!

Above Earth’s atmosphere, the Imperial Guard has almost made it to Earth. One of their scientists informs Gladiator that their sensors have picked up a Celestial teleportation matrix that was just opened on the planet. Gladiator fears then that they are too late, and that the Terrans have once again found a way to delay the Skornn’s attack. The scientist agrees with that, and wonders what price was paid.

On Earth, Cannonball, Domino and Spectre mourn about Cable’s loss. Domino and Spectre can’t believe he’s really gone. Sam tells his friends that Cable did what he had to do, but is sure that he managed to survive somehow. Sam recalls what Cable told him once. That this was a “time for men of action.” Sam admits he always thought that was more of Cable’s macho attitude. Sam didn’t get it then, and doesn’t want to now. He knows that there is work to be done. Work no one else wants to do. Hard, ugly work. Sam knows that Xavier fights for a dream. But Cable fought so that they could dream. Both fights never end. And, Sam concludes, both fights are well worth… the cost.

Characters Involved: 

Cable, Caliban, Domino, Meltdown, Shatterstar (all X-Force)

Cannonball, Forearm, Spectre, Stryfe II, one unclear member (all Mutant Liberation Front)

Gladiator, Starbolt (all Imperial Guard)


Human Torch II, the Thing (all Fantastic Four)

three Helix members (unnamed)

Shi’Ar scientist (unnamed)

various citizens of Manhattan (unnamed)

in Cable’s flash-back:

the Traveler (Cable)


the Skornn

Story Notes: 

The story ends here, but a special prequel to X-Force (2nd series), can be found in X-Force: Shatterstar #1-4.

The entire story is told from both Cable and Cannonball’s point of views.

Sam spent his time fighting on Asgard in the New Mutant Special Edition #1. He fought Apocalypse during the X-Cutioner’s Song and Magneto in X-Force (1st series) #94-95. At this point, it’s also unclear if Sam’s going to rejoin the X-Men once more, or if X-Force is going to stay together.

It’s unclear if Cable really is dead or not, because he is still around in Cable/Deadpool.

The unclear member among the Mutant Liberation Front is now shown to be most likely Dragoness, though it’s still unconfirmed.

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