X-Force (6th series) #4

Issue Date: 
February 2020
Story Title: 
Blood Economics

Benjamin Percy (writer), Joshua Cassara (artist), Dean White & Guru eFX (color), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Tom Muller (Design), Dustin Weaver & Edgar Delgado (cover artists), Nick Russell (production), Jonathan Hickman (Head of X), Chris Robinson (assistant editor), Jordan D. White (editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

Professor X introduces the idea of X-Force as a mutant CIA to the Quiet Council. Forge outfits the team with several weapons. Meanwhile. XENO has attacked one of Xavier’s holdings on the eastern seaboard. When X-Forces learn there is another attack in San Francisco, Wolverine and Kid Omega head to a gate there. Domino follows to find she actually can’t teleport there. They realize that means XENO were expecting them. The attackers detonated a bomb, killing Quentin and Logan the moment they arrived.

Full Summary: 

Xavier’s Pharmaceutical Distribution Site, off the Eastern Seaboard:
During a bad storm, men in black come from the ocean, infiltrate the site and take out the Jaimie Madrox dupes staffing the site.

On Krakoa, the Quiet Council is convened. The resurrected Professor X discusses the recent attack on them that caused a dozen deaths, his included. He is glad this happened because it strengthened their own unity, but questions regarding their vulnerability have arisen. He himself wants to answer these questions by telling a story of the gods:

Xavier’s narration:
Everyone knows Hercules for his strength, But did they know he spent his early years in hiding? Living among mortals for fear of being killed by those who were jealous of him? Of course, he didn’t fit in on the earthly plane. And when his true nature was revealed to him, he hoped to become immortal and achieve divinity. So began the twelve labors… a gauntlet of adventures the demigod would have to survive. Probably this sounds familiar, but here is what they do not know: Hercules would have perished if not for his half-sister Athena. The goddess of wisdom. She scared away the Stymphalian Birds. She returned the Golden Apples of Hesperides. She saved Hercules from the madness and escorted him out of Hades. He had the muscle but she had the mind.

Marvel Girl, Beast and Sage are looking at the attacked pharmaceutical company. Jean telepathically shows them via her interview with Madrox prime what happened. Watching the psionic replication, Beast muses, the attackers are expertly efficient, same as the crew that attacked Krakoa and assassinated the professor. But not the same weapons. And their tactical gear is brand name. The assassins were outfitted with custom-manufactured tech. Sage asks if he thinks they are not the same group. Beast admits he doesn’t know, though he would prefer one threat to two, given that they have no new leads on the assault on the island.

The chopper flew in from a western heading. How far offshore are they? Beast asks. New York is sixteen miles away, but Sage suggests the chopper came from a ship. They planned for the storm to cover them, but they couldn’t have fared well in high winds and their scuba gear could only accommodate a short distance.

They know already that they stole a shipment of petals. Sage suggests they were really after data. They used the hub to access Krakoa’s central intelligence, and she sees transfers of large sums of money.

Later, at a Quiet Council meeting:
A bored Shaw announces that Xavier gets shot. But he gets resurrected. Xavier gets robbed, but he’s a billionaire They’ll probably all veto. Ask Apocalypse to know for sure, but this hardly seems like the end of the world to him.

Apocalypse stonily replies that an assault on Xavier is an assault on all of them. Just as an assault on Sebastian Shaw is an assault on all of them. Shaw asks for his suggestion then. Send out a sandstorm and a thousand beetles to take their revenge? Storm stresses this is the Quiet Council and suggests Shaw shut up.

Apocalypse pronounces the humans are not worthy. When you let someone who is not worthy have a taste of power, they will gluttonously and poisonously seek out more.

Mr. Sinister cheerfully suggests they hunt them down and kill them. It’s as simple as that. No, it’s not! Marvel Girl declares. She saw Charles die! They can make jokes or deny it, but she knows for 24 hours they felt the same panic and grief she did.

She projects telepathic images of what they have learned since of the factory-made soldier. And there is a masked council - probably a little like this one - trying to undermine everything they have built. She warns them not to assume they are invulnerable.

Exodus deduces the enemy has their council and their soldiers. He assumes they are here to formalize the same. Who are their soldiers?

Charles begins that X-Force has had many iterations. Magneto adds this is a nation. So X-Force is not a team or a militia but a… Mystique interrupts: …a mutant CIA! How very gross of him.

Nightcrawler interjects that, if they are talking a mutant CIA, they have to talk about its moral compass. Mystique grins. If they are talking about a CIA, there is no moral compass except for nationalism. Bring on the blood and blackmail. Charles protests it is more complicated. Storm suggests they stop arguing semantics. The humans are after them, so they need to fight back.

Domino announces that, if Athena is their CIA, then Hercules is their Delta Force. So they’ve gathered their intelligence, now they need the arms!

So soon, Domino, Wolverine and Quentin pay Forge a visit at the armory. He hears Forge’s got some toys for them to play with, Logan challenges him. Forge retorts that, if they are looking for stuffed animals and wiffle balls, they came to the wrong place, but if they want to be outfitted with the very best in blades, bullets and bombs he’s got them covered.

Wolverine and Forge using his bionic hand press arms. Forge remarks that they should find it reassuring; his tech always wins. Logan feints, then threatens him with the claws of his left hand. Not always.

What are they up against? Forge asks. Heavy firepower, Domino replies. They treated her like a lab experiment, carving her up and she wants to return the favor. Forge is sorry that happened to her but assures her they will be sorrier. He demonstrates a gauntlet, a hybrid of Krakoan organics and his usual tech, a gun with renewable ammo that can also bet turned into a blade. It’s versatile - anything you want it to be. He demonstrates by having it turn into ropes that tie up Quentin, who orders Forge to let him go, calling him a lowly mechanic. Forge adds it’s neuro-responsive and hands the device to Domino. He wishes her good luck. Not that she needs it. He asks Quentin what he needs and gets a huffy reply that he already is the ultimate weapon and needs no accessories. Having lost interest, Forge turns away, leaving Quentin a bit insulted.

Wolverine looks at some fluid metal in a vat. That what he thinks it is? Punchbowl of Adamantium, Forge agrees. There for whenever they got to put him together. Wolverine has an idea but, before he can tell Forge, Sage orders X-Force to suit up and head to the gate hub. Sensors indicate another heist is underway.

The Pointe:
Sage and Beast had examined all of Xavier’s businesses. Minutes ago, the surveillance went dark on a facility outside San Francisco. Beast introduces Greenspace, a clean energy startup that experiments with Krakoan tech. The staff are human allies, many of the Xavier scholars from Stanford. If they die, there is no coming back.

Wolverine, Domino and Kid Omega race for the Krakoan gate that is to take them to the heart of the facility which is currently under attack.

In the meantime in San Francisco, the Xeno agents fire upon the helpless staff members and use explosives. They press a button.

Domino is the last to enter the gate. She looks around and finds she was not transported and is still on Krakoa. A moment later, she realizes what this means.

On the other side: The detonation destroyed the gate and tore apart Wolverine and Quentin. Pleased, the attackers note the threat has been nullified. Time to empty the pockets of those so-called gods…

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Domino, Kid Omega,  Marvel Girl, Sage, Wolverine (all X-Force)

Apocalypse, Black King, Exodus, Magneto, Mister Sinister, Mystique, Nightcrawler,  Professor X, Storm, White Queen (Quiet Council)




Members of XENO


Story Notes: 

Text pages:

The Portfolio of Charles Xavier

He is considered one of the wealthiest and most powerful men alive

Forge’s daily planer

Written By: