X-Force: Shatterstar #1

Issue Date: 
April 2005
Story Title: 
World Against One: <BR>Chapter 1: Ultimate Warrior <BR> Chapter 2: Not Always <BR>Chapter 3: Night Of The Red Ninjas <BR>Chapter 4: Times Six Equals

Chapters 1-4: Rob Liefeld (plot), Brandon Thomas (writer), Marat Mychaels (pencils), Matt Yackey (colors), Chris Eliopoulos (letters), Sean Ryan (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (associate editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Shatterstar battles in an arena in Madripoor. After almost killing his defeated opponent, but failing to find honor in it, he just walks away. Later, Shatterstar is tackled by his employer, who wants Shatterstar to lose the next few matches, as people have been asking annoying questions and think he’s a mutant. The boss doesn’t believe Shatterstar isn’t a mutant. They start fighting, and Shatterstar defeats him. Afterward, he is approached by a mysterious woman, who warns Shatterstar of Dominicus Pierce, aka the Destroyer. He just like Shatterstar doesn’t belong on Earth, but has come here to kill everyone, simply because he can. The woman wants to see Pierce killed, and wants Shatterstar to do the job. Shatterstar returns to his apartment, where he meditates a little and thinks about his old allies. Afterwards, he is attacked by three ninjas, and one of them is revealed to be Pierce himself! After calming down, Pierce explains that the woman lied and only wants his weapon, which can end the menace of the Skornn, who feeds on the mutant X-gene to make itself stronger. Pierce hands the Five Fingers of Annihilation over to Shatterstar, and wants him to finish the job when it emerges. Shatterstar senses lies in both stories, and promises to investigate and protect the blade until the day comes the Skornn returns. Meanwhile, the woman has overheard the entire conversation from her lair, and one of Pierce’s ninjas, who is a traitor, informs the woman their plan worked. She is content and is certain that the Skornn will return, as she has glimpsed into the future and watch this event end. The woman steps out of the shadows, and is revealed to be none other than… Spiral!

Full Summary: 

Chapter 1:

Shatterstar finds himself in Madripoor. He is disgusted by our broken world, and the people who live in it. They seem to him only to want materials their lives do not require, and complain about how their lives should have been but are not, but don’t do anything to change all that. Shatterstar finds himself becoming more and more like him. To go against that, he finds himself inside a dimensional pocket arena, beneath the Lotus Café.

While facing his costumed opponent, Shatterstar takes a look at the spectators around them. Disgusted by them as well, as they seem to look at someone trapped in a cage, but doesn’t know it. Shatterstar is well aware that some of them share profit of his fighting: some more than others. He doesn’t realize that he’s correct about that statement, as in the crowd a hooded woman with white hair and glowing eyes carefully observes his fighting.

Shatterstar’s opponent starts the match by taking out his blades and jumping straight at him. Shatterstar easily dodges the attack by pointing his own sword against the blades, and grab his adversary’s arms from behind. Shatterstar feels his opponent’s mood changing, with his fears having become reality: he is facing a true warrior now! Shatterstar jumps over his enemy, and strikes his sword right through the guy’s stomach!

The crow goes wild at the first sight of blood, including the hooded woman, who now seems to pay even more attention. However, Shatterstar fails to find any honor in killing a beaten and humiliated man, so he drops him on the ground and simply walks away.

Chapter 2:

Later that night, the bartender of the Lotus Café orders Shatterstar to lose the next match, as some people have been asking questions about Shatterstar’s constant winning, including his boss, who thinks Shatterstar is someone who’s race group starts with the letter “m.” While drinking, Shatterstar explains that he isn’t a mutant. The hooded woman enters and goes to sit next to him. The bartender gives Shatterstar his money, and suggests that he loses the next match.

Shatterstar wants fate to decide that. After checking his money, he notices it’s not everything and wants to know where the rest is. The bartender becomes angry, telling Shatterstar to get out now or else things will get rough. Shatterstar isn’t impressed, realizing the bartender’s employer has planned this, and starts fighting. The bartender grabs Shatterstar by his neck, but he managed to move himself out of it and slams the bartender hard on the floor, knocking him out!

The hooded woman claps. Shatterstar is curious about her, and asks her if she’s planning on stalking him the entire night. He asks who she is, but she starts explaining things. She mentions that she must be brief, as the Destroyer has agents everywhere. She shows Shatterstar a picture of Dominicus Pierce, who is, like Shatterstar, a man who does not belong on Earth’s plane. She wants Shatterstar to explain that the blood of thousands hang on the Destroyer’s hands, and that he has come to Earth to kill even more, simply because he can and that there exists no one who can stop him.

When looking at Pierce’s photo, the man appears normal, unremarkable like most human beings, but the woman reveals that his speed and strength have been heightened by a process on his homeworld, making him far different from what he was ever meant to be. She ends that the Resistance believes that the Grafting process has even increased the insanity Pierce had before it. And Pierce is in Madripoor as they speak. Shatterstar doesn’t understand why this matters to him, but the woman apologizes for speaking so quickly: she wants Shatterstar to kill Pierce!

Chapter 3:

Later that night, Shatterstar has returned to his apartment, where he takes the quiet time to meditate. He recalls the lessons of one of his best friends, whom Shatterstar values more than life itself, to help him calm the fighting rage in him. After again thinking how Earth disgusts him and the people that are changing him, Shatterstar lets all the dead thoughts float away, and thanks the stars.

He remembers times pasts, when he fought in the Coliseum, the place where he was truly born. He also remembers a small boy asking him if he was strong enough to shatter the very stars. He recalls fighting guards. Then his hands start to bleed, and he is facing the Host once more, in the dark woods of Tazafar, and he remembers how satisfying the blood felt. Shatterstar also remembers happier times, when he was fighting with his allies for the only things of importance: honor, justice, friendship and love. Shatterstar’s thoughts begin to emerge, until he hears a sound coming closer.

Shatterstar isn’t aware that, outside his apartment, ninjas land on his roof. Upon entering, they open Shatterstar’s door, but he is ready for them, and has his swords ready for action. The ninjas try to surround the mighty warrior, and give him the warning to be aware of the Skornn! Shatterstar starts fighting, and the ninja’s add that he doesn’t understand. Shatterstar jumps through a window, and uses a laundry rope outside to glide down.

But the ninjas cut the rope, and Shatterstar falls, but luckily lands on a balcony and isn’t hurt. The ninjas follow him, and sense he’s becoming afraid. The ninjas fight again, explaining that Shatterstar must die so hundreds others can live, and that the Skornn must remain in his cage. Shatterstar isn’t impressed by the ninjas’ failed attempt to distract him, and easily kicks them, adding that he was built to destroy men like them.

They start fighting again and, when the ninjas see an opening, they take it and cut into Shatterstar’s hand, making it bleed. One of the ninjas explain that the Skornn is the end of mutant kind, and that Shatterstar is unknowingly heralding the apocalypse, and he must help them save the Earth by dying. The ninja kicks Shatterstar off the balcony, and he falls on the ground below, further unharmed. Shatterstar senses that the ninja’s words are filled with lies, but the ninja is desperate to kill him so that the Skornn can’t live. The ninja tells Shatterstar he doesn’t understand, and wants him to let them help him. Shatterstar kicks him, telling the ninja to leave Earth now with some of his dignity left. The ninja mentions that things aren’t as they appear to be. He takes off his mask, and is revealed to be… the Destroyer!

Later, when everyone has calmed down, they return to Shatterstar’s apartment. He explains to Pierce about the hooded woman, who described him as the world’s biggest threat ever. Pierce finds that absurd. Shatterstar isn’t certain, as some of the woman’s warnings are correct, as he sensed Pierce really has undergone some manner of genetic modification, and tells him this woman truly believes him to be dangerous, as does he. Pierce thinks that doesn’t matter, only to whom he might be a danger. He explains that the Skornn feeds on the X-gene, as he has long ago discovered that it makes him stronger.

Shatterstar wants to know why the woman wants Pierce. He explains the woman doesn’t want him at all, just a thing he carries. He explains that twelve years ago, his father summoned him to a hidden chamber in the darkest dungeon of their kingdom. He bestowed on Pierce with the same words of wisdom his dad had given to him, and asked Pierce to hold out his hand. He said “there is a thing in he darkness, my son. A thing that lives only to devour man’s hopes and dreams, grinding souls into eternal nothingness. If you ever should encounter this thing in your lifetime, this Skornn of humanity, you must stand before it, alone if necessary, and you must give him this. And if this day does not arrive, consider yourself fortunate, and pray that your son is equally so.

And with a trembling hand, Pierce’s father handed him over the only weapon capable of ending the Skornn. He gives a small, golden, yet heavy blade to Shatterstar. Pierce explains that Shatterstar now holds all the Five Fingers of Annihilation. Shatterstar is almost convinced, but still hears lies in Pierce’s words. He just gave a powerful weapon to a stranger? Pierce responds that there are only a few things more dangerous than he is, and Shatterstar is one of them. He simply gave Shatterstar the Fingers because Pierce himself doesn’t have the skills to end the threat.

Shatterstar thinks for a while. He still doesn’t believe Pierce, but promises to discover the truth behind this. He knows that both Pierce and the woman are lying. And he promises that, if the Skornn really lives and should emerge, it will find him on its path. Until then, Shatterstar will protect the blade.

Chapter 4:

The woman sits in her lair, and has used the various television screens and communications around her to overhear the entire conversation between Pierce and Shatterstar. One of Pierce’s ninjas who secretly works for the woman, approaches her and informs her that he has done as she requested, and that they do not expect a thing.

The woman is aware that Pierce thinks that, by bringing in Shatterstar, he can end all this, but she has glimpsed into the future and has seen the ending. The ninja wants to know what’s going to happen next. The woman steps out of the shadows, and reveals that the Skornn will once again be welcomed into this world. And everything here dies horribly! So says… Spiral!

Characters Involved: 



Dominicus Pierce and his ninja followers (unnamed)

Shatterstar’s combatant opponent (unnamed)

bartender and citizens (all unnamed)

in Shatterstar’s thoughts:

Cable, Cannonball, Domino, Feral, Meltdown, Shatterstar, Siryn, Warpath (all X-Force)
Mojo-World guards (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

Though this limited series has been released after it, it actually takes place before X-Force (2nd series) #1-6 and before Cable & Deadpool #14-15.

First appearance of Dominicus Pierce and his ninjas. So far known, there aren’t any connections between Dominicus and Donald Pierce, the leader of the Reavers Spiral used to work with.

For some mysterious reason, the artist of this issue forgot to include Rictor in Shatterstar’s memories, who was his best friend on the team. Probably it was because he didn’t appear in the X-Force limited series. But then again, Feral didn’t either, so it’s a bit odd.

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