X-Force (1st series) #95

Issue Date: 
October 1999
Story Title: 
Magnetic Distraction

John Francis Moore (writer), Jim Cheung & Nelson DeCastro (pencilers), Mark Morales, Rob Stull & Rod Ramos (inkers), Marie Javins (colorist), Chris Eliopoulos (letterers), Lysa Kraiger (assistant editor), Jason Liebig (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Cannonball, Moonstar, Proudstar, Meltdown and Wisdom successfully escape the cybernetics lab with the brain of Archie, Wisdom’s friend. Wisdom recounts what happened to leave Archie as simply a brain, before Magneto arrives on scene. Meanwhile, Domino and Bedlam arrive at the power plant and discuss Bedlam’s life, before Domino catches him taking drugs - which Bedlam assures her are electro-neural inhibitors, which prevent him from going insane if he uses his powers. Magneto and Wisdom discuss the brain, while Magneto remembers his time as mentor to the New Mutants - including Cannonball and Moonstar - and he is amazed at how much they have changed - Moonstar in terms of power and Cannonball in terms of his attitude. X-Force battle Magneto, and eventually Proudstar escapes with the brain. Quicksilver catches up to Proudstar, who quickly explains the situation. Moonstar takes Magneto down, but for some reason loses control over her power. This forces Cannonball to bring plan “B” to the front, and Bedlam shuts down the power plant, plunging Genosha into darkness. This enables the magistrates to attack the capital armory, where Amelia Voght and the Acolytes are barely managing to hold them back. This forces Magneto’s hand - either he squabbles with X-Force, letting the magistrates gain the upper hand, or he lets X-Force leave with the brain and puts a stop to the magistrates. He choses the latter, and X-Force make it to a boat where they leave Genosha, with Quicksilver’s blessing, satisfied the brain is not a threat. Wisdom loads the brain into an artificial body, effectively “resurrecting” his friend. Cannonball is finally given what he wanted - the second part of the mysterious memory of his past - this time he sees his father and uncle seemingly involved in a murder!

Full Summary: 

Getting out of this Genoshan cybernetics laboratory was going to be a lot harder than getting in. Pete Wisdom, an expatriate British spy and former member of Excalibur, had lured us to this tiny African nation - in order to help him retrieve a downed satellite’s black box CPU that had been salvaged by Genoshan scientists. None of us - Wisdom included - expected the computer would activate every piece of high tech military hardwire in the lab.

‘We’re surrounded’ Danielle Moonstar exclaims as she, Sam “Cannonball” Guthrie, Tabitha “Meltdown” Smith, James Proudstar and Pete Wisdom, carrying the brain of his friend, are backed up together and numerous cybernetic droids close in on them. ’Hey, Pete, if that space age brain is kindling the fire under these battle suit bruiser’s butts - maybe you should just…oh I don’t know…pull the plug?’ Meltdown mutters. ’I would if I could, love, but this miracle of modern technology contains a self-recharging battery - whose cells won’t be exhausted until the turn of the next century’ Wisdom replies, to which Cannonball announces that they are going to have to fight their way out of this mess. ’You know the drill’ Sam exclaims.

‘Oh man, do I love going up against a mechanical offense - there’s nothing quite as satisfying as blowing up a rampaging robot!’ Tabitha exclaims as she throws several plasma time-bombs at the robots.

If there’s one thing I can almost always count on from Tabitha Smith, its her unbridled enthusiasm in moments of crisis. Even without her plasma time bombs, she’d still be the first one to jump into the fray. She’s a scrapper at heart. On the other hand, James Proudstar no longer lets rage drive him on the battlefield - instead he fights with an inner calm and economy of movement.

‘This exoskeleton’s arm mounted laser cannon is just what I need - to stop the line of armor coming at me’ James exclaims as he rips the laser cannon from one robot and uses it to take down several others which make their way towards him.

I’d have more faith in Pete Wisdom if he hadn’t tried to extort our help by offering me details of a long forgotten part of my past. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt because he was part of Excalibur for a short time, but his motives are still suspect in my book.

Pete jumps over one of the robots as he attacks it with his flame-knives, while telling X-Force that trying to maneuver all this without damaging the brain is throwing his aim off, and telling the young mutant heroes that he could use a little help. Danielle Moonstar steps forward, telling Wisdom not to worry, as she has his back, using her newfound quantum powers to fuse the robotic spider’s hears and circuitry. ’You’re royalty in my book, Dani Moonstar!’ Pete exclaims.

There’s always been a competitive aspect to my friendship with Dani Moonstar. Recently, she acquired the ability to alter people and things at a molecular level. That puts her in a power class way out of my league. My power is explosive. But limited.

‘Okay, everyone, we’ve got to a clear path to the exit, let’s move!’ Cannonball orders as he blasts through several of the droids. ‘Bravo, Guthrie. I knew I was right to bring you and X-Force in on this job!’ Wisdom exclaims as he, Dani, James and Tabitha follow Sam out of the lab. Wisdom, still clutching the brain, declares that with the right training and a little more edge, this team could be a real threat. ‘And you’re the one who could whip us into shape? No offense, but ah have a hard time seeing you working well in any group’ Cannonball replies, declaring that team work calls for trust. ‘You seem more at ease manipulating others than working side by side with them’ Sam tells Wisdom. The British mutant replies that he spent seven years on Her Majesty’s Secret Service. ‘Cynicism and suspicion are job requirements. Trust is not a luxury you can afford’.

While I continue to jaw with Wisdom, I’m completely ignorant of the fact that inside the cybernetics laboratory the robotic debris we left behind has not stopped responding to signals from the satellite CPU.

‘Explain to me how that computer brain was able to establish a link with every suit of battle armor inside’ Moonstar asks Wisdom as she runs alongside him. Wisdom looks at Dani with his one good eye and replies that the system was designed to operate and repair the satellite remotely if possible. Wisdom exclaims that his guess is that since the satellite’s lying at the bottom of Hammer Bay, Archie is reaching out for the nearest compatible hardware. ‘Archie? This thing has a name?’ Tabitha asks.

Flashback images, narrated by Wisdom:

‘As a matter of fact, yes. Archimedes Fogg was a brilliant young scientist working for MI-6 who developed a process to duplicate a person’s neural patterns into a computer. Unfortunately, Archie’s genius outweighed his common sense. He used himself as a test subject and was killed’. Wisdom explains that the neural duplication however was a success, and Archie’s mind and personality still lived inside this computerized brain, which was later installed into an experimental satellite that disappeared midway through its journey to the far reaches of the galaxy. ‘The satellite and Archie were presumed lost for two years, that is until we unexpectedly began receiving a homing beacon signal - which led me here to Genosha, days before Magneto assumed power’.


Wisdom tells X-Force that there are many individuals and organizations who would pay top dollar to learn the details of Archie’s absence, this has always been a personal mission for him, as Archie was his friend. ‘And if I can get him out of Genoshan waters to the ship I’ve had waiting here all week, he may have a chance at a new life’. Suddenly, ‘Hey, what’s that noise?’ Tabitha asks - her question answered when the cybernetic wreckage, combined into a large robotic juggernaut - bursts through the wall. ‘If this brain’s your friend, why doesn’t it recognize you?’ Sam asks. Wisdom explains that it is possible the circuitry was damaged during Archie’s interspatial detour, but he cannot say for sure. ‘Archie was the one who always explained the technical side of things to me’ Wisdom adds.

Dani tells everyone to stand back as the mass of cybernetics approaches them. ‘I think I can create a subatomic dissonance that will interfere with the signals the brain is broadcasting’ Dani announces as she readies her quantum power. ‘I vote we let me blow the giant robot back into tiny pieces. It’s less subtle but more satisfying’ Meltdown exclaims as she creates a plasma time bomb, when, suddenly, a voice overhead announces ‘That won’t be necessary’. ‘The robot’s being gutted right before our eyes!’ someone exclaims. ‘Aw, no. This is what I was afraid of…’ Cannonball exclaims as he looks up - and Magneto hovers above them all!

Raw magnetic energy coursing through him, the ruler of Genosha exclaims ‘I am profoundly disappointed in you, children. Did you truly think you could enter my country without my knowledge? You should know by now that I do not take being crossed lightly…’.

Oh yeah, boy, do I know that. I was trying my best to avoid a confrontation with Magneto. He’s one of the most powerful mutants on the planet. The United Nations was so frightened of his power - that they ceded control of this country to him in order to pacify and contain him. On a good day, the X-Men have fought Magneto to a draw. I’m not certain that X-Force has any chance against him -

- which is why I split up the team. No sense in sacrificing all the players at the start of the game. My only hope is that Jesse Bedlam, X-Force’s newest member, is up to the challenge. He hasn’t had any of the schooling or experience the rest of us have. I can’t be sure he won’t fold under pressure.

‘HA!’ Bedlam exclaims as he takes down several mutates, asking Domino ‘Did you see that? Those mutates didn’t know what hit them! Somebody call Hong Kong, I am the Master of Kung Fu!’ Jesse boasts. Domino claps her hands and smiles, ‘Not bad for somebody who had zero moves yesterday. But don’t let this little victory go to your head, Jesse. You may have received a quick fix of martial arts training - but to really master any fighting style takes discipline and commitment. Who knows, with some real training, you might not need me anymore’ Domino declares, referring to the fighting skills Jesse was gifted via psychic imprint.

Of course, that’s why I sent Domino with him to make sure Jesse completes the mission.

‘Not a chance, Domino. You believed in me when no one else did and I’m never going to forget it’ Bedlam exclaims, to which Domino tells Jesse not to go sentimental on her. ‘It’s just that my life has turned around one hundred and eight degrees since you agreed to help me find my brother. First, I hooked up with X-Force, then, I finally find my brother - who turned out to be a psychopath - but that’s not the point I’m trying to make - and now, thanks to the memory box Delphi gave me - I possess the memories of a street fighter’s intense training with a martial arts sensei in Madripoor!’

Domino and Bedlam make their way up a flight of stairs, with Jesse exclaiming that, to be honest, even though he remembers the block and kick this fighter made in that sensei’s dojo, he never imagined he could actually fight like that. ‘The connection between mind and body is more powerful than most people know’ Domino explains, telling Jesse that they can talk philosophy later, as right now, they need to get into position. Jesse looks nervous as he tells Domino to go on ahead, and that he will catch up in a second. ‘I’ve got a…um…rock or something in my boot’ he exclaims, while taking a vial of pills from his jacket and thinking to himself ‘Actually, I don’t want you to see me doing this…’.

Suddenly though, ‘HEY! What do you think you’re doing?’ Domino shouts as she hits Jesse in the back. ‘My meds!’ Jesse exclaims as he drops his pills. ‘These aren’t prescription. What are you on?’ Domino demands. ‘Nothing you have to worry about’ a sheepish Bedlam replies. ‘Don’t tell me not to worry. If you’re strung out in the field, you’re risking my life as well as your own!’ Domino snaps. Bedlam hangs his head, telling Domino that he will come clean as he reveals the drugs are electro-neural inhibitors. ‘You see, the bio-electric static I generate messes with my brain chemistry. If I don’t take these and I use my powers, I go insane. Not eccentrically charming insane, but dangerously unstable insane!’.

Back outside, Magneto continues to hover over X-Force and Wisdom.

Face to face with Magneto I understand why the United Nations handed him Genosha with their blessing. This troubled island nation was a small price to pay to avoid war with a man capable of generating an electro-magnetic pulse that would plunge every industrial nation into a technological chaos.

‘You have in your possession an experimental CPU developed by British Intelligence. You will surrender it to me now’ Magneto booms. ‘That’s not gonna happen, Magneto. You’ve got your island. You don’t need this!’ Wisdom snaps, clutching the brain. Magneto frowns as he furiously replies ‘I was not offering you a choice, Peter Wisdom!’. Magneto declares that under no circumstances will he allow anyone to strip Genosha of her resources. ‘And if you believe that your alliance with my former students will lessen the severity of any action I take against you, you are sadly mistaken’ Magneto warns Wisdom.

‘My tenure as Headmaster of Charles Xavier’s Academy for Gifted Youngsters has long since ended - and so has my responsibility to the young mutants that I mentored during that time. Too much is at stake here. I can afford neither kindness nor nostalgia’ Magneto exclaims. Moonstar and Cannonball, the only current members of X-Force who were members of the New Mutants when Magneto was in charge, step forward, ‘You don’t have to tell us, Sir. We’ve all changed since we were part of the New Mutants - but Ah don’t believe that just because we’re not longer your students that we have to be at odds!’ Sam declares. Dani assures Magneto that they are not his enemy as she informs him that they did not come here to undermine his efforts to make Genosha a better place. ‘Let us take the CPU and leave’ Dani asks.

‘This is not a debate, Danielle!’ Magneto exclaims, announcing that Genosha is an island under siege from within and with-out. ‘You cannot be neutral here. Your actions challenge my sovereignty, and that I cannot abide. If you will not give me the brain, I will take it by force.

Magneto yanks the brain out of Wisdom’s hand with the merest gesture. When he was our teacher, Magneto drilled us on the importance of persistence, of never giving up. He’s expecting us to challenge him.

Cannonball blasts up towards the brain, being drawn to Magneto. ‘Ah’m sorry, Sir, Ah know we didn’t have a hound’s chance in a hurricane, but we just can’t walk away!’ Sam exclaims, adding that it is the curse of youth. Sometimes they are just too darn impetuous for their own good. ‘Is that sarcasm, Samuel? Tsk. You were much better mannered when you were younger’ Magneto exclaims. ‘You force me to remind you that I am the Master of Magnetism. I can restrain you by the iron content in your body -’ he begins, as Cannonball grabs the brain.

Suddenly, it’s like the time I backed me Daddy’s ‘73 Mustang into the gravel pit - no matter how hard I accelerate, I’m doing nothing but spinning my wheels.

‘You have so much potential, Guthrie. It would be a shame if I have to cripple you to make my point’ Magneto declares as he holds Sam in a magnetic grasp. Suddenly, Magneto is knocked backwards by several plasma time-bombs which explode in front of him. ’Meltdown…I have killed for less than that!’ Magneto booms. ‘Just trying to get your attention, Maggie. Sometime’s Sam’s way too polite for his own good. Otherwise he’d tell you, we’re not leaving this island without Archie’s brain‘.

Tab’s playing the tough girl, just like I knew she would - and that distracts Magneto long enough for me to put the CPU back in motion.

‘JAMES! You know where to go. Get out of here!’ Sam calls out to Proudstar, throwing him the brain. ‘Got it!’ the handsome young hero exclaims, catching the brain, he makes his getaway.

Delphi gave James a Genoshan cartographer’s detailed knowledge of the island. In combination with phenomenal agility and speed, it gives him the best change of making it to our rendezvous point. Assuming he can evade Magneto.

‘Proudstar, there is not place you can run that I can’t reach you!’ Magneto calls out as he follows James.

With a rivet-popping explosion, Magneto rips steel girders from the frame of a bombed out building - and hurls them like missiles into James’ path. Now the fight turns ugly. Wisdom ups the ante by piercing Magneto’s shoulder with the hot knives that spark from his fingers.

‘ARRGHH!’ Magneto screams, turning to Wisdom, he lifts him off the ground, ‘I will make you hurt as you never have hurt before, you pretentious English braggart!’ Magneto tells Wisdom that whatever chance he might have had leaving this island unscathed is finished, before hurtling Wisdom against the side of a building at full-speed.

I can hear Wisdom’s bones crack from a hundred yards away.

‘Is this the way you intend to deal with all your opposition? With violence and the threat of death? How does that make you different from any other dictator?’ Moonstar asks Magneto defiantly. ‘Save your breath…he’s just another genocidal maniac…ah…must’ve broken half my ribs’ Wisdom mutters as he gets to his feet. ‘I’ve long abandoned any hope of peaceful coexistence with the rest of the world’ Magneto announces. ‘Power is the only currency that matters in this world. The world fears me, as should you. If you continue to oppose me, I will make certain that none of you leave this island’ Magneto warns X-Force, before asking ‘Now, where is Proudstar?’

At that moment, James runs swiftly through a dark sewer, thinking to himself that if Wisdom had not attacked Magneto, he wouldn’t have had time to disappear down the old sewer drain. James tells himself that he is not sure about having another person’s memories, but cannot deny that they have been helpful. ‘And when I see Genosha as the mapmaker did, I understand the tragedy that has befallen his native country. What could have been an island paradise has been ravaged and pockmarked by war’. James tells himself that the tunnel should lead out into the north side of Hammer Bay, where Wisdom said he hid an inflatable rubber boat under an old pier.

Suddenly, James senses something coming up behind him fast - very fast. ‘Hello, Pietro. I wondered what happened to you. I didn’t think it would take you this long to recover’ James exclaims as Pietro “Quicksilver” Maximoff appears before him. ‘It didn’t’ Quicksilver quickly replies, explaining that when he regained consciousness after Cannonball blindsided him he decided that he would wait and see what was so important to X-Force that they would have attacked him. ‘Since my father intercepted you leaving the laboratory with that strange cybernetic brain, I thought it best I continue to observe’ Quicksilver declares, before offering Proudstar one opportunity to tell him why he should not take the brain and return it to his father. ‘I suggest you be succinct. I have a notoriously short attention span’ Pietro adds. James holds a hand up, ‘Okay, I’ll try to be quick’ he exclaims.

Back outside, ‘My patience is at an end, children’ Magneto declares as he traps Sam, Dani, Tabitha and Wisdom in a flurry of scrap metal, swirling around them. ‘He’s got us penned in by flying debris. At those speeds the slightest scrap of metal will go through us like bullets!’ Sam exclaims. ‘I didn’t want to do this. Stand back…’ Dani tells her friends and Wisdom as she unleashes a massive beam of quantum energy at Magneto, knocking him backwards and putting an end to the flying scrap metal. ‘Impressive. You disrupted the magnetic field that keep my aloft. I was unaware of this new ability, Danielle’ Magneto exclaims as he gathers himself, glaring at his former pupil.

Sparkling, Moonstar explains that she is attuned to the quantum reality of the universe now, a panorama of interconnected particles and waves, and that she can affect those connecting, changing the physical nature of things, including the electromagnetic field. ‘This is not possible…’ Magneto gasps as Moonstar continues to hold him in place. ‘Did you know she could do that, mate?’ Wisdom asks. ‘No…Ah had no idea’ Sam replies. ‘Go, Dani!’ Meltdown exclaims.

Ever since Dani crossed paths with Arcadia Deville during our showdown with the Sword in Kentucky, Dani’s been tapped into some kind of universal power source - all of a sudden, that power started consuming her, and for a moment she was like a raindrop lost in the ocean.

‘What’s happening to me…? I can’t control my power any more…it’s sweeping over me…breaking me apart!’ Danielle tells herself, trying her best to stay together. ‘But it’s so hard…’. Suddenly, ‘I am loathe to take advantage of your obvious distress, Danielle - but the power you wield is far too dangerous for me to allow you another chance to attack me’ Magneto exclaims as he casually uses his power to smack Dani in the head with a piece of metal debris. Moonstar falls backwards and Cannonball blasts down to grab her so she doesn’t hit the ground below. ‘DANI!’ he shouts.

I hand Dani to Tabitha. She’s dazed, but otherwise intact. Magneto thinks he’s won.

‘Without Moonstar, you’ve lost the only hope you had of defeating me. It’s time you admit defeat, and take me to Proudstar!’ Magneto orders. ‘Ah s’pose you’re right. Not much we can do against you here…’ Sam replies.

He expects me to fold - but I intend to take the game to another table. I casually touch the “X” on my chest, hoping that Magneto doesn’t know about the transceiver in the medallion. The success of our mission rests on Domino and Jesse Bedlam now.

‘That’s the signal. Looks like the others ran into the big man. Time for you to go to work’ Domino exclaims, telling Jesse not to mess up. ‘I know you think I’m some kind of pill-popping junkie that you can’t trust anymore - but I swear I’ll do everything I can to prove you wrong!’ Jesse exclaims as he begins to unleash his power inside the power plant.

I sent Jesse and Domino to the power plant that provides all the electricity for the island. When plan A - direct contact - fails…there’s always plan B - sabotage.

With that, all of Genosha is plunged into pitch darkness. ‘The entire city is blacked out!’ Magneto exclaims, hovering over Sam, Danielle, Tabitha and Wisdom. ‘Actually, all over the island’ Sam announces, while Wisdom declares that they took out the grid controlling the relay terminals and substations too. ‘A temporary annoyance at best. My technicians will have power restored in no time’ Magneto boasts as he sets down near the others. ‘Ah’m sure they will, but Ah wonder how long it will take?’ Sam remarks. ‘You’d be surprised at the damage that can be done in a few minutes’ Wisdom declares.

‘Are you threatening me?’ Magneto asks, when suddenly, ‘Magneto, we’ve got a problem’ a voice exclaims over Magneto’s communicator. It’s Amelia Voght, one of Magneto’s senior and most loyal Acolytes. ‘Moments after the power went down, the magistrates crawled out of the woodwork and started advancing on the capital armory. Ordinarily, they couldn’t get those close, but half our security system crashed in the outage!’ Amelia exclaims, a battle raging behind her. ‘Until we get backups on line, we’re vulnerable!’ Amelia exclaims.

‘You knew this would happen’ Magneto exclaims. ‘Wisdom sent word to the Magistrates that there might be a blackout tonight’ Sam replies. ‘Then this was your intent all along’ Magneto declares. ‘No, Sir, Ah was hoping it wouldn’t come to this’ Sam tells him. ‘How dare you side with my enemies! I cannot believe you would ever choose those butchers over one of your own people!’ Magneto exclaims angrily, asking Sam if he has any idea the horrors the magistrates subjected the mutates to while they had power. Sam replies that he knows all about what the magistrates did, and he is guessing they are going to answer for their crimes, most likely to Magneto. ‘Now, it’s up to you to decide who’s the more immediate threat. The magistrates or us?’ Sam exclaims.

I see the anger in his eyes. If he directs that anger at us, we’re toast.

Magneto frowns, before taking to the air, ‘Leave Genosha now. Do not come back’ he warns X-Force. ‘That was brilliant. I’ve gotta hand it to you, Guthrie, there’s not too many people who can stand up to Magneto’ Wisdom exclaims. ‘You don’t know how scared Ah was inside’ Sam replies. Dani rubs her head and asks ‘What happened’, to which Meltdown tells her that she missed the best part.

Later, just outside of Genoshan territorial waters, Jesse and Domino are the last of the team to arrive on the fishing trawler, the Sea Turtle.

‘You and Jesse really came through for us, Dom. Good work’ Sam tells Domino as he helps her on board the ship. ‘What’s Quicksilver doing here?’ Domino asks as she sees the former Avenger. ‘He helped James off the island’ Sam explains, while Quicksilver announces that he is satisfied the CPU that X-Force…liberated…is no threat to the Genoshan government. ‘Therefore, I will take my leave’ he announces.

Before I can finish apologizing for clocking him in the research labs, Quicksilver’s gone.

Moonstar announces that Wisdom has everything hooked up down below, and the team makes their way below deck, to a lab, where a humanoid robot is hooked up to various wires. ‘You’re looking at the Grabemann / Mifune template, a variation on the Life Model Decoy that SHIELD developed years ago’ Wisdom announces. ‘After his body was fried, he began dictating the modifications that were to be made on this android when the time came that he would want a body again. All the information contained in Archie’s cybernetic brain is being downloaded into the template now’ Wisdom declares.

Meltdown asks him if he is sure this will work, to which Wisdom replies he is following Archie’s directions, and if it doesn’t, he doesn’t have another body to try a second time. ‘You could always keep the brain in your flat. it would be kind of like having a roommate without all the mess’ Bedlam suggests. ‘Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that’ Wisdom replies, telling Archie ‘It’s all up to you now, mate’ as he presses something on a control panel. A few moments later, the template springs to life. ‘Archie?’ Wisdom asks. But Archie just screams.

Something’s wrong.

‘Archie, it’s me, Wisdom…remember…Wisdom? What say you ease up on the grip. It’s like a vise…’ Wisdom exclaims as Archie grabs his arm. ‘That thing’s crushing Wisdom’s arm. We have to do something!’ Meltdown exclaims as she readies a plasma time-bomb, but Danielle tells her to wait, remarking that she doesn’t think that will be necessary, as the templates body language is changing, relaxing. ‘Petey?’ the template asks. ‘In the flesh, mate, which is more than I can say for you’ Wisdom tells Archie. ‘Good to see you. I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to make it out of the wormhole’ Archie remarks, adding that his defense programming went haywire. ‘You don’t have to tell me, you nearly wiped out your rescue team’ Wisdom exclaims as they hug.

‘You wouldn’t believe what I’ve experienced. I don’t even know where to begin…’ Archie remarks. ‘First things, first, you wouldn’t be here to tell the tale if I didn’t have some help’ Wisdom tells his friend. ‘You must be Excalibur’ Archie exclaims, turning to X-Force. ‘Yeah, right…and I’m Kitty Pryde’ Tabitha retorts, rolling her eyes. ‘Uh-uh, Arch…this is X-Force - a different American mutant team’ Wisdom explains. ‘I’ll have to update my information sources’ Archie tells himself, before exclaiming ‘Listen, Wisdom, there’s something I have to warn you about…’. ‘Don’t leave me in the dark, that sounds ominous’ Wisdom remarks. ‘Part of the data I brought back has been corrupted. Must’ve been the inter-dimensional shift during the return. It played havoc with my circuitry. Ah well, I’ll just have to take that into account for my next trip’.

‘Maybe you should spend some time on Earth’ Wisdom suggests. ‘But the interesting stuff is out there!’ Archie replies. ‘I hate to interrupt your reunion with your friend, Wisdom, but you still owe me something’ Cannonball reminds him. ‘I do. Here you go. Another piece of your past. I’m afraid it will give you some of the answers you want, but it may also create many more questions’ Wisdom exclaims, handing Sam a memory box. Sam opens the box and absorbs the memory…

Flashback images, seen in Cannonball’s mind, narrated by Cannonball:

I’ve done this before, but the sudden change of point of view still spins my head around. It’s like a roller coaster ride drop into another person’s body. I’m back in the same Kentucky cornfield I saw in the earlier memory. The man on the ground is very dead. So is the one I’m carrying.

‘This has been on heck of a night’ the man dragging the dead body remarks as he tosses the body into a shallow grave. ‘This is the last time I help you, Lucas. I never meant to put you and Sam in danger’ a voice replies.

I know that voice. It’s my father - which means I’ve been seeing all this from the perspective of my uncle Lucas.

‘What’s done is done, little brother, but you’ve gotten involved in some dangerous business. I think it’s best you get as far away from here as possible’.


The realization staggers me. I don’t know how to process any of this.

‘Are you all right, Sam? You look kinda of shaken’ Tabitha asks her ex boyfriend. ‘Shaken only begins to describe what I’m feeling right now. I think my father and uncle may be guilty of murder!’ Sam reveals….

Characters Involved: 

Bedlam II, Cannonball, Domino, Meltdown, Moonstar, Proudstar (all X-Force)

Pete Wisdom



Amelia Voght

Archimedes “Archie” Fogg

In Flashback Illustration:

Archimedes Fogg

In Illustrative Flashback Image:

Cannonball, Cypher, Magik, Magma, Mirage, Sunspot, Warlock, Wolfsbane (all New Mutants)


In Cannonball’s Mind:

Thomas Guthrie

Lucas Guthrie


Story Notes: 

Much of this issue is narrated by Cannonball, shown in italics in this summary.

Sunspot is incorrectly depicted on the cover of this issue, when in fact he is no longer a member of the team, and is in Brazil.

Wisdom was actually a member of Excalibur for more than a short time as Cannonball suggests. He began hanging out with them in his first appearance, Excalibur (1st series) #86, joining them officially in #91, lasting until #120.

Cannonball and Moonstar have been friendly rivals since they were both made co-leaders of the original New Mutants.

Magneto was given Genosha to rule at the end of the Magneto War.

Magneto mentored the New Mutants, including Cannonball and Moonstar, from New Mutants (1st series) #35-75.

Moonstar was touched by Acardia Deville in X-Force (1st series) #84.

Arcadia Deville is called “Arcadia Devil” in Cannonball’s narration. That’s either a deliberate error - Arcadia is not a nice person and she and Cannonball did not get on - or an honest spelling mistake.

Error, Archie is drawn in Wisdom’s place when Wisdom hands Cannonball the memory box.

The other part of the memory Cannonball was shown in X-Force (1st series) #94.

Issue Information: 
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