X-Force (4th series) #12

Issue Date: 
January 2015
Story Title: 

Simon Spurrier (writer), Rock-He Kim (artist), Jose Villarubia (colorist), VC’s Joe Sabino (letterer), Rock-He Kim (cover artist), Xander Jarowey (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (editor), Mike Marts (X-Men group editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (exec. publisher)

Brief Description: 

Psylocke’s astral form frees MeMe’s consciousness from the bio-psychic computer of Project Yellow Eye. Meanwhile, the others are arguing, as Domino is angry about Cable not coming for her. They soon face the mysterious boss of Project Yellow Eye, who reveals himself as Mojo and who was exiled from Mojoworld. Trying to ingratiate himself with X-Force, Mojo blurts out secrets, including the one that MeMe is really Hope Summers, leading Hope and Cable to argue. As they try to find a way out, they find another Cable clone and Dr. Nemesis, together who secretly had their own mission, pissing the rest of the team even more off. That moment, they are attacked by a resurrected Fantomex, who thanks to his death is now in full control of the synthezised Volga virus, which gives him a battery of powers from which to choose. Fantomex takes them all out and announces that he is the best.

Full Summary: 

Psylocke’s astral form sifts through the bio-psychic computer of Project Yelloweye, trying to find the consciousness of Hope Summers. Beset by images of what is going on with mutants all over the world, Psylocke wonders what Hope will find, namely a billion faces for stupid arbitrary tribalism.

She finally finds Hope, who is overwhelmed with all the anger she senses. Psylocke draws her out, hoping she hasn’t been shattered by her experiences. If she’s lucky, she’ll never know this is how the world feels to psychics all the time, Betsy figures.

Psylocke is back in her head and Hope back in her MeMe form. Hope thanks her. Betsy asks her to stay away for now as she tries to gather herself.

Hope announces she’s back to the others, who are caught up in their own drama. Marrow shouts at Cable he knew how crazy their turncoat teammate Fantomex was and didn’t say. Weapons don’t have to be perfect to be useful, he replies. Long as it does the job, you keep it loaded. It misfires, you dump it.

That go for her as well? Domino demands. Cable doesn’t know what to say. Five months ago, he ordered her to chase a money trail to its source, she reminds him. Rumors of some big-ass anti-mutant thing. He didn’t know what. Told her he was heading to that expo in Alexandria to dig for intel. Set her up with gadgets and gear, a pat on the head and ‘go get ‘em, soldier.’ Where the hell was he? It’s complicated, he replies.

Suddenly, he announces he is getting a precog flash. Fresh goons inbound. So let’s quit with the feels and make with the bullets!

Psylocke never thought too highly of Domino. She doesn’t take things seriously. Her brain is a bouncing ball of lazy coincidences and untidy desires. However, as Cable turns away, Betsy hears her wonder if he didn’t care where she was. A normal person might feel sympathy. Might try to reassure her. Not her. She has a different use for the pain. Psylocke lashes out against their foes, aware of how broken she is. She hurts things. She kills and damages because it makes her feel, and if this team was worth #*&%, maybe their leader would stop her, hold her back, value the sanity of his resources, but Cable’s not the man he was, and in the storm she shrieks in silence and surrenders to the hate that has no name and—

MeMe kindly tells her to stop. And Betsy pauses, impressed that despite the horror she’s been through Hope is still strong enough to take charge to try and make them better. To endure their breakages.

Cable and Marrow face Project Yelloweye’s leader, who babbles and pleads for his life. He can help them, he offers. He could grow the grizzled archetype warrior a new arm. And he has secrets. Delicious scandals slurped from the world. Also naked pictures of them all. They could be rich!

On the other hand, Betsy decides, some things aren’t worth enduring. She moves towards the prisoner threateningly. His voice is like needles and his brain is full of disgusting. She’s just worried he’ll tell the world she’s been boffing Cable clones, he announces. MeMe makes a retching sound. Betsy slices at him with her psychic sword and the being underneath lies revealed – Mojo.

Mojo calls it a tale of Protean tragedy. His ratings fell, the producers moved him to educational broadcasting. Obviously he had to flee. Fortunately, with the technology of Mojoworld behind him, he realized invasive surveillance was a natural progression. He collected assets – swarm demon Be’el here, Sydney, the Soviet Psyker – to perfect his pervy voyeurism and he offered them the incentive of spending their lives in a hallucinatory paradise fantasy of their own choosing. Lastly, with anti-mutant rhetoric at an all-time high, it made sense to concentrate his attention on—

Hey! Psylocke interrupts. Nobody asked for an expository intro. Who is he even talking to? Marrow mutters. He thought people might appreciate the insight. He is the disgusting invertebrate super villain folks hate to love—

Cable interrupts and demands he turn over control of the facility to him or he will hate to love Mojo’s brains all over the wall. MeMe protests that’s not what they are here for. Mojo whines that he can’t. The core shut down the moment they hit the control hub. The files are being purged from the servers as they speak. His funeral! Cable trains his gun on him.

Mojo whines that he has more delicious scurrilous secrets. Bone lady likes to watch science guy while he sleeps. Insane, fake French, evil guy was having a surreal non-physical dalliance with robot girl. Not good enough, Cable replies stonily. And as for her –shocking dramatic twist –

Before Psylocke can stop him, Mojo reveals to Cable that MeMe is his daughter, Hope, in disguise. Cable is surprised and he and Hope begin to argue.

Betsy turns away disgusted. Calling her ‘princess,’ Domino tells her to move a little ass. They’re supposed to be prepping charges to blow this place sky high. “You creepy sanctimonious shut-in.” “Perish in a whirlwind of razors and lemon juice, you unbearably perky irritation bomb,” Betsy shoots back. Both grin and agree it’s good to see each other.

Cable tells Hope once they are home this stops immediately. She shouts back he has no right to tell her what to do and reminds him of her successes. Mojo comically tries to remind them that they are a team here. Marrow laughs about how screwed up they all are.

They make a run for it, taking Mojo along. However, confused as she is, Psylocke leads them down a dead end. Cable suggests they blow their way out. Hope decides this is a stupid idea and tells Domino to pick a door.

They enter a room to find several dead bodies, another Cable clone and Dr. Nemesis. He made him do it, Nemesis points at Cable.

The others begin to argue angrily as Psylocke figures their dysfunction feeds itself. Marrow shouts at Cable for using them as a diversion. Domino asks what happened to his honor. Psylocke realizes the team is falling apart and it was rotten to start with.

The newer Cable explains this presented two chances at getting Volga. He is the one to blame and the ends justify the means. Psylocke attacks him and screams her denial. Hope gets between them and tells Betsy he isn’t worth it. Let’s get out of here.

He doesn’t think so, a new voice announces. It’s Fantomex, still alive, ghostly tentacles coming from his eyes. Because his mask is shattered, Psylocke gets something from his brain. She shouts at Hope to get out of here. Fantomex laughs. That dirty little secret didn’t last long. He knew who MeMe was when he touched her in the datasphere. His tentacles attack the others. He could read her as she read him. She copied a strange version of the Volga effect from her père, non? But her pitiful weak body didn’t know what to do with it and went to sleep. Not like his.

Stay away from her! one of the Cables shouts. Fantomex takes him out with the tentacles. He explains that he realized if in turn he could copy it from her, then with his brain and Eva’s skills he would be able to control it. Rewrite it, make it stable.

Psylocke tries to reach Hope and telepathically tells her he is strength for the sake of strength. He’s the bloody triumph of ego over heart. Don’t let him break her!

Fantomex continues he stole Hope’s little infection under the pretense of romance. But it didn’t work. He was immune. Even in that she was useless. At least he didn’t have to keep pretending to like her.

Psylocke can feel Hope break. Used, lied to. Rejected. Betrayed at every turn. Cable tries to reach Hope. Leave her alone! she shouts.

Blasting the others again, Fantomex laughs it did work. It simply required a little reboot.to correctly configure the new software. Have you tried switching it off and on again? he chuckles. He has hacked the Volga software to become a god. He just had to die first. He points towards his head where Domino shot him.

Cable and Cable look at each other, making calculations. One of them is wounded, the other not. One of them has to die. The wounded Cable whistles Volga’s self-destruct code and tries to tackle Fantomex while the other ushers everyone out.

Unimpressed, Fantomex uses his new power to evolve himself by giving himself dark wings reminiscent of Archangel to torture Psylocke with the memory. For her. A shape she once adored. Can she adore it again?

Hope orders her to stay calm. She has a plan. She reminds Betsy that killing the bad guys isn’t enough. You have to better than them too. So stand down.

But she is too far gone. She attacks. Fantomex grabs her sword and fires the wing flechettes at them all. They go down. Satisfied, he announces that they were beaten by the best.

Characters Involved: 

Cable, Domino, Dr. Nemesis, Marrow, MeMe / Hope, Psylocke (X-Force)



Story Notes: 

“Have you tried turning it off and on again?” is one of the catch phrases of the British TV sitcom “The I.T. Crowd.”

Written By: