X-Force (4th series) #14

Issue Date: 
March 2015
Story Title: 
No One Ever Told Me That Grief Felt So Like Fear

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: 

The newly-powerful and mad Fantomex fights super-powered secret services over the world. X-Force confronts him again and again, to no avail. When they return to the headquarters, Forget-Me-Not shows himself and asks them to visit Hope. He has Marrow touch the comatose Hope, who then copies her bonespike power and uses it to move her body and activate a video file. The file shows that Cable deliberately goaded Fantomex into attacking all those secret services. Hope then copies Psylocke’s telepathy and shows them images of family and trust. She also telepathically alerts Fantomex to their location. Disgusted with Cable, Marrow kills the current clone. Dejected, the rest of them expect Fantomex and fight him when he arrives. Forget-Me-Not attaches teleport tags to Fantomex and teleports to the sick bay with him. There, he has Hope touch Fantomex and then copy his version of the deciphered Volga virus. Once Fantomex is teleported outside again, Hope is able to awake from her coma and has powers to match Fantomex’s. She telepathically tries to give her team courage, while trying to work on a cure for Fantomex and Cable with Dr. Nemesis. Finally, to keep Fantomex busy, Dr. Nemesis releases all the Cable clones to fight him.

Full Summary: 

X-Force battles Fantomex, who is super-charged thanks to the Volga virus in Paris, while Marrow muses she had a herd name once: Sara. She’s gone now, her baby died and took the name with it. She’s Marrow. She’s fighting the bad man… and better believe he is winning!

They fight him in Bali.

She lost her powers, got them back in an unstable form, made of musical viruses and alien %(#%$&. She’s looking for a through-line. A way to make sense of the ups and downs. Matter of fact, she is thinking so hard, she forgets the bad man (He kills six Balinese supermen while she daydreams).

They fight him in icy Norway.

Marrow thinks that they used her child to make these new powers in her – and in others. They’ve suffered for that. God, they’ve suffered. But not the bad man. He is the last, unpunished piece of her baby’s death. He is cheating and she hates him (He kills eight Norwegian Flott-spies while she is glaring in disgust).

Beaten, they are back in the headquarters.

No one ever told her that grief feels so like fear. But it does and she is afraid now. She is afraid all the time and she’s overcompensating with rage and adrenaline and, if you want a list of side effects to go with the godawful diagnosis of paralyzing terror, it’s this: Fear kills your trust.

Um, hi, a voice calls out. Intruder! Marrow snarls and moves to attack Forget-Me-Not, who pleads he has a message from Hope. Electrified, Cable jumps up and pushes Marrow aside.

Forget-Me-Not explains how his power makes everyone forget him. He’s Hope’s friend. She laid plans before she went back into the coma.

Marrow doesn’t like it. He is too nice. Forget-Me-Not explains she just wants someone to sit with her. She is lonely. He points at Marrow and reveals that Hope wants her.

They all gather around Hope. Forget-Me-Not suggests Marrow hold her hand. She threatens that, if this is some intervention, she will eat his spleen, quietly aware that this is just her fear talking. She complies and the comatose Hope copies her gift, sprouting bone growths all over her body. She uses the bone extensions to move her body towards a computer and activate a video file.

The file shows Cable contacting Fantomex and luring him to certain places by promising X-Force will be there. Basically, Cable is siccing him on dangerous organizations of the covert community, like the French Le Bureau or the Saudi intelligence apparatus in the process.

X-Force stare shocked at this revelation. Dr. Nemesis announces it falls on him to inoculate the helplessly ignorant with the potent meds of explanation. From what they’ve seen, he’d conclude—

Marrow interrupts and shouts at Cable that he’s been baiting that bastard to hit other superspies. Using the &%#$§ bad man as his own private WMD! Y-yes, that, Nemesis agrees surprised.

Silent at first, Cable replies that mutant nation was at the bottom of the pile. Now it’s not. They’ll get no damn apology from him.

Forget-Me-Not addresses Betsy, who asks who he is. He apologizes. Orders. He pushes her toward Hope, who copies her telepathy and shows them mental images of pain and family.

Marrow figures family is giving someone trust without thought. Family’s your role model for God. They pour their trust into authority, into law. They give their faith to those with their best interests at heart. They all make pets of those they respect and they take their trust, those shepherds of men and nobody calls them out when they §$#& it up. Marrow sobs for her baby.

Cable, who wasn’t contacted, asks what happened to them. Not much, Forget-Me-Not replies. They got a little taste of what it’s like to outgrow the folks you look up to, is all. A moment regarding the fallibility of leaders. That sorta thing. Feels, Cable scoffs. Forget-Me-Not agrees and adds Hope also psychically broadcast their true location to Fantomex. All part of her plan. Her plan? Cable shouts in disbelief. He is in charge!

In response, Marrow shoves a bonespike through his brain. Some people don’t deserve children! she snaps. Been waiting to do that a while, she figures silently. It was her turn.

Dr. Nemesis mutters that Fantomex will be on his way. Marrow announces he is too strong. They are all dead. She’s making coffee.

Forget-Me-Not protests there is a plan. Who the hell is he? Dominos bursts out. He tells them all they have to do is weaken him, wear him out. Hope has a plan, if they just work together. The others aren’t interested and walk away. Wrong crowd, Marrow mutters. Forget-Me-Not pleads that they need to trust. Marrow spits on the ground in reply before she leaves.

Soon Fantomex is about to attack and Marrow observes through her disgust how similar they are, because that need to be the strongest is just another absence of trust. Misery and megalomania - weird that such different things should have the same results.

Domino fires her guns at Fantomex. Ignoring Domino’s order, Marrow attacks by herself, even as she knows her mistrustful behavior is wrong. Fantomex easily takes all three of them out and calls them cretins for being unable to cooperate.

Forget-Me-Not runs at him and attaches teleport tags to Fantomex’s shoulders. He is teleported into the lab. Forget-Me-Not grabs Hope’s arm and has it touch Fantomex, then orders Nemesis to teleport him away again. Nemesis tells Fantomex he looks pale, he should get some sun. A moment later, Fantomex is inside the sun… which doesn’t stop him either.

Nemesis tells the three on the poop deck that Fantomex will return. Having something of a breakdown, Nemesis shouts he has no idea what to do. Someone hold him! What will it take to kill this m—

Trust, a telepathic voice tells them all. That’s all. Who just talked in her brain? Domino asks. Take a lucky guess, the voice tells her. Who does she think? This is their leader speaking, Hope announces, now awake and superpowered as the Volga virus in her has been unlocked, thanks to contact with Fantomex.

Hope tries to calm Marrow, then copies Dr. Nemesis’s smartness. They need to cure Fantomex and her dad. Two heads are better than one. While the others attack Fantomex, Hope telepathically tells Marrow she is wrong. Her brokenness isn’t what causes her lack of trust. It’s the other way round.

In the lab, Nemesis and Hope are hard at work but have no idea how to find a cure.

Outside, Domino tells Psylocke and Marrow to get ready. The moment she throws this grenade, with a bit of luck, it’ll throw his concentration long enough. Psylocke worries what if she misses. She won’t. Marrow tells her she trusts her.

Domino fires her grenade and Psylocke throws Marrow in a telekinetic fastback special, her bones extended. She decides she no longer needs to talk to her baby in her head as she slices through Fantomex’s body.

She lands hard. The other two women are worried. Marrow tells them they are totally BFFs now. Let’s go dancing and make out. Domino informs them he is still alive. Skip the dancing, Marrow suggests.

Forget-Me-Not comes up running, greeted by a familiar ‘who are you.’ He tells them to take cover. Hope just sent in the cavalry.

An army of Cable clones storms the deck.

Characters Involved: 

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


On screen:

In flashback:

Story Notes: 

“It’s Marrow’s turn” refers to the team’s very dark hobby of killing the Cable clones, as alluded to in issue #10.

Written By: