X-Man #3

Issue Date: 
May 1995
Story Title: 
Turning Point

Jeph Loeb (writer), Steve Skroce (penciler), Sellers, Larosa (inkers), Mike Thomas (colors), Richard Starkings / Comicraft (letters), Lisa Patrick (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

As Domino demands that Forge hand over the telepath, Forge tries to pass off Mastermind as Nate. In response to Dom’s disbelief, Mastermind attacks her with an illusion of Apocalypse, but Domino sees through it and kills the illusionist. As a battle ensues, Nate hurries to help Forge, but gets his butt kicked by the more experienced Domino. Toad wins his duel against Caliban but his victory is cut short as Grizzly tears him apart. Grizzly in turn is killed by Sonique and Forge. Distracted by Grizzly’s death, Domino forgets about Nate for one moment – he uses this advantage to gain the upper hand and makes her relive the deaths of all her victims. Nate and Forge make up and Nate decides that Forge was right – he is not yet ready to confront Apocalypse. Forge, in the meantime, discovers the dead Brute and confronts the murderer - Essex. Nate telepathically feels the dying Forge, who, with his last words, tells him to find Magneto. Nate angrily lashes out as Essex, who doesn’t die, but instead transforms into Sinister and promises him answers.

Full Summary: 

Apocalypse’s assassin, Domino, orders Forge to hand over the telepath – or else. Forge assures her there is no need for violence. He is sure they can accommodate her in some way. Domino points out that somebody already lopped off a good chunk of him. So, she’d be asking herself how much longer does he want to keep that tongue!

Essex, in the meantime, slips away, recognizing Domino as Apocalypse’s most dangerous assassin. He fears his plan has been found out.

Pointing her weapon at him, Domino informs Forge she knows who he is. How he used to run with the traitor Magneto and now, using a theatre troupe for cover, he likes to blow up trains and factories; strictly small potatoes. But when he added the telepath to his little ragtag band he made the big time and the spotlight has fallen on him.

Which brings to mind an old theatrical expression, Forge announces: “Exit stage left!” Forge uses a dazzling grenade to divert Domino and her gang and runs off, while warning Nate telepathically to keep away. Inwardly he swears, certain Essex has something to do with this. He vows he won’t let Apocalypse take away the boy.

Finding Toad and Mastermind, Forge quickly schemes. He gambles that the hunters don’t know, which of them is Nate and asks Jason for help, then presents him to Domino.

Nate, having received Forge’s warning, of course does the opposite of what he’s been told. Theresa notes that he’s heading towards Forge and is worried that something bad’s about to happen to his friends.

Domino suspiciously examines Jason; she has a hard time believing he’s supposed to be an incredibly powerful telepath.

In response, Jason creates a huge nightmare image of Apocalypse that belittles and attacks Domino. Unfortunately, the assassin realizes that Jason is an illusionist and shoots him, intending to make Forge her next kill. At that moment, they are intercepted by Nate, who telekinetically propels himself towards Domino and flies away with her from Forge.

Unfazed, Domino strikes Nate, causing him to crash, while she somersaults safely to the ground. Nate furiously attacks the assassin with energy blasts, vowing he’ll put her down forever but she dodges his telekinetic blasts and counters with an attack of her own. His telekinetic shield barely holds her back.

Unexpectedly, she drops her gun, jumps at Nate with a sword and hits him with its hilt. Does he want to know how she got the name Domino? ‘Cause things have a nasty habit of falling into place for her. Now surrender or die! she orders.

In the meantime, Caliban and Toad are dueling. Toad manages to stab Caliban, but is in turn torn apart by Grizzly. Forge and Theresa attack with Sonique’s wail keeping Grizzly off-balance and Forge finishing him off.

Grizzly’s deathcry distracts Domino for a split-second, time enough for Nate to freeze her telekinetically. He realizes that Domino gets off on others’ suffering and decides to give her a taste of her own medicine, by making her relive the deaths of all her victims from their side. Domino screams and sinks down, catatonic.

Nate frantically runs towards the battlefield, worried about his friends. Relieved, he sees that Forge is all right and hugs his foster father. He admits that he was wrong to believe that he could do anything with his powers and that he is now willing to wait, before taking on Apocalypse.

Forge is relieved and proud that Nate is finally starting to act like a responsible adult. He heads towards the stable, where he finds the dead Brute.

Essex turns up, claiming that Domino murdered him. He tried to stop her but she was too swift. However, Forge is aware that Essex is the true killer and tells him to stay away from the boy or he’ll fight him to his last breath. An amused Essex replies, this shouldn’t take long.

Outside, Soaron whines about their taking time to bury the dead when Apocalypse himself could be on their heels. It’s a wonder he has any friends at all, Theresa remarks while Nate wonders, what’s taking his friend so long. As if on cue, he feels terrible pain through the rapport he shares with Forge and runs into the stable to find Forge dying in a pool of his own blood.

He’s sorry, Forge thinks, he only wanted more time with Nate to get him ready. With his last thoughts, Forge tells the boy to find Magneto. As he dies, Nate experiences Forge’s life in memory flashes: his time working with Magneto, finding Nate, his love affair with Storm that ended badly, losing more and more of his body parts, his role as Nate’s foster father and finally the face of his murderer. “Please don’t go!” Nate begs and, in despair, he destroys the shed with one telekinetic outburst.

Essex coming up behind him is impressed. But then he would have expected nothing less. Perhaps with these… distractions out of the way they can get down to work.

Nate telekinetically attacks him, seemingly destroying him. Forge was the only one who ever loved him, he shouts. He cared for him, no matter what mistakes he made, and Essex took all of that away!

But then, out of nothing, Essex reshapes himself in his true form as Mr. Sinister. If he’d known Forge meant that much to him, he would have killed him sooner… Nate wanted answers. Now he shall have them, Mr. Sinister promises.

Characters Involved: 


Forge, Mastermind, Soaron, Sonique, Toad (Forge’s rebel band)

Domino, Grizzly, Caliban (Apocalypse’s assassins)

Essex / Mr. Sinister

in Forge’s memory:



Storm, Magneto (both X-Men)

Story Notes: 
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