X-Force (6th series) #5

Issue Date: 
March 2020
Story Title: 
Necessary Force

Benjamin Percy (writer), Joshua Cassara (artist), Dean White & Rachelle Rosenberg (color), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Tom Muller (Design), Dustin Weaver & Edgar Delgado (cover artists), Russell Dautermann & Matthew Wilson; Greg Land, Jay Leisten and Frank D’ armata (alternate covers), 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: 

Greenspace, a Krakaoan research facility in California, is currently under attack by mercenaries. They blew up the Krakoan gate when X-Force were in transit, killing Kid Omega and cleaving Wolverine in two. Domino, the only unhurt team member, is still on the Krakoan side. She is joined by Forge, while Sage and Black Tom find Gateway to teleport them to California (as well as Wolverine’s lower half, while Wolverine’s upper half, impossibly still alive, is causing trouble for the mercs). X-Force quickly take care of the mercs, the Krakoan ‘no kill’ rule not mattering. Domino, especially, wants revenge for the torture she suffered. The last surviving merc assures her they didn’t do that and that indeed they were just hired for this job. He is taken as a prisoner to Krakoa, where Beast and Marvel Girl find out they were working for the Man with the Peacock Mask.

Full Summary: 

Greenspace, a clean energy research facility.
Silicon Valley, California:
On the ground lie the upper halves of Wolverine and Kid Omega, who were cut apart when the Krakoan Gate they were walking though was destroyed. The facility was boobytrapped by mercs working for XENO.

On Krakoa, Sage desperately tries to reach Wolverine and Quentin via comm. Dying, Wolverine groans “Dom” and begs her to hurry.

On the Krakoan side, Domino sees the rest of the bodies on her side of the gate and asks him to hold on. She promises she will come and take them out.

She asks Sage for another way out. Sage informs her the closest gate will take her ten miles from her desired location. She suggests another means of transport. Domino asks for Gateway and Sage warns her he isn’t any easier to reach. Domino tells her to call Black Tom and let him handle it. Tom animates part of the island to inform Gateway, who is meditating on a mountain, of the situation. Gateway turns his back on him until Tom kicks him off the mountaintop, forcing Gateway to teleport.

Domino keeps on talking to Wolverine via the comm, asking whether he can hear her or not. She announces she’s been down on her luck lately. Does he know she was a few inches and seconds away from that gate cleaving her body in half? But her power has felt watered down lately.

She tries to drag Wolverine’s body and curses about his weight (thanks to the adamantium in his body). She continues that her luck seems lesser somehow. Like a rabbit foot with the fur off.

That moment, Forge appears, wearing an organic armor, and joins her. He heard they were down a few soldiers. His bioskeleton helps carry Wolverine.

In the meantime, elsewhere, the XENO soldiers have reached the top of the landing and begin collecting. Their leader warns them to be gentle with the organic tech. Anything Krakoan they are after. One of them muses that the way the muties came charging at them the moment they came here, means they were ready for them. Not ready enough, the other gloats. The first man insists that they need to hurry the hell up. The second man points out the mutants have no gate and they will be out in five minutes, so…

Suddenly he is impaled from behind by claws -- courtesy of Wolverine’s upper body. The first man fires his entire ammo at him, until their leader orders him to stop. He is dead. The man reminds her that’s what she said before. He’s got to be dead!

That moment, Gateway teleports in Forge and Domino, who snarls they can kill them again and again, but the mutants will keep coming back to kill them more!

Beast and Sage watch the scene from Krakoa. Beast reminds the team of the chopper overhead. He orders them to neutralize the threat but remember the laws of the Quiet Council. Official X-Force missions may be exempt, but they can’t question corpses. They need enemy intelligence.

Domino runs towards their Forge and asks Forge if the mitten he made her is neuro-responsive. He tells her it will be anything she wants it to be. Domino concentrates and her thoughts shape it into a shield to deflect the bullets fired at her. When the men try to evacuate to the chopper, she reshapes the glove into vines to entangle them, while Forge goes looking for the rest of Wolverine’s body.

Domino captures several men and begins to work out her anger over her torture on them, somewhat to Beast’s concern. He reminds her they need someone alive.

Forge, in the meantime, has found Wolverine’s upper part. He could make a short joke, he observes. Call him half-pint maybe, but he’s too damn nice. He slams the two body halves together and tells him to heal.

In the chopper, the pilot tries to reach his comrades over comm but no one replies. Suddenly, Gateway sits in his cockpit, smiling evilly. A moment later, the chopper crashes and Gateway is elsewhere.

Wolverine asks Forge to let him down so he can fight, but gets ignored as Forge flies them upward.

Domino tells the mercs’ leader that, before she dies, she wants her to see the hurt in her face and swallow her pain. Then she shoots her.

The other man drops his weapon, gets down on his knees and surrenders. Beast calls Domino and urges her to let him live. They need him alive! Domino walks towards the man, organic claws from her glove unsheathed. She announces this guy isn’t human. He is a lab-built nothing, a smear of DNA. Doesn’t matter if he dies because he knows nothing.

The man panics and shouts that’s not true. His name is Bill. He lives in a beachside condo and has a rescue dog named Rufus who is waiting for him. He numerates his likes and dislikes and promises he is as real as she is. He doesn’t know what happened to her but he swears he has nothing to do with it. He’s done plenty of bad things but not that!

Sunset Cliffs, Krakoa:
Domino is sitting on the cliffs. A healed Logan dressed in a Hawaiian shirt joins her and asks how she is holding up. She returns the question. Feels like a piece of &/(+, but he will be all right with time. What about the wounds up here? She points at his head. Those don’t heal quite as good, he admits. Looking at his bottle, he adds that whiskey helps numb what needs numbing. She takes the bottle and asks about Quentin. He’s baking in the oven right now, is the reply, but will be back in no time. He suggests they enjoy the quiet while they can.

In the meantime, the captured merc Bill pleads if he can call his neighbor, so someone feeds his dog Rufus. Unimpressed, Beast tears back his head, reminding him that he killed and maimed people with no qualm, and now he is worried about a dog? He reiterates the points made, Bill’s claim that they were doing this for the money, without any political agenda. Beast states it hard to believe that any attack on the mutant nation right now is not political. Why not? Bill retorts, they are the one percent! They are not at the bottom anymore, they are at the top! The top get targeted. Get used to it!

Beast asks Marvel Girl to join them. She reads the mind of their prisoner. He is not lying, she announces, but not telling the whole truth either. They were transferring funds, but they were also selling what they stole. The petals. the organic batteries. She demands the name of the buyer. Bill groans in pain and admits he doesn’t know his name, but he had a peacock tattoo…

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Black Tom, Domino, Marvel Girl, Sage, Wolverine (X-Force)
Forge, Gateway

Bill and other mercs

Story Notes: 

Text pages:

The Uncertainty of Black Tom Cassidy:

A text page musing on the fact that Black Tom doesn’t just communicate with the island’s vegetation but also seems to exert some kind of control.

As a result of mutant sovereignty, there has been widespread demilitarization, leading to thousands of members of military divisions being pulled from the field. From this grew the top-secret paramilitary organization MERC interested in heavy combat and high payment, loyal to nobody.

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