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Thursday, February 6, 2020

X-amining X-Force #46

"Behind Closed Doors"
September 1995

In a Nutshell
X-Force battles Mimic

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciler: Adam Pollina
Inker: Mark Pennington
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Marie Javins
Separations: Electric Crayon
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

At the Weisman Institute, the institutionalized Siryn is caught by Dr. Wesiman searching computer files. Siryn tries to tell Weisman that she's an associate of Professor Xavier's, but Weisman has Siryn knocked out & carried away. Meanwhile, X-Force is attacked by Mimic, who destroys the PACRAT after copying Warpath's powers and being overwhelmed by his heretofore unknown enhanced senses. Back at the X-Mansion, Boomer continues to visit Sabretooth. In Siberia, Mimic turns on Cable, and Sunspot defies orders to engage him, which causes their powers to enter an energy loop, triggering an explosion. At the X-Mansion, Wolverine wakes Boomer up in the middle of the night to warn her away from Sabretooth. In Siberia, X-Force regains consciousness to discover Mimic missing and a massive crater being left in his wake. At the Weisman Institute, Siryn, unknowingly watched by the young Jeremy Stevens, debates her options. With Cable failing to respond to her calls for help and her unwillingness to involve Xavier directly, she makes a call to the only person left who can help her: Deadpool.

Firsts and Other Notables
Mimic disappears at the end of the issue, leaving a massive crater in his wake; Onslaught will later be credited with his disappearance, and Mimic will next be seen serving as one of his lackeys in X-Force #52.

When Mimic mimics Warpath's power, he's overwhelmed by his enhanced senses, something which confuses Warpath, as he didn't know he had them; this kicks off the "evolution of Warpath's powers" subplot that will run through Loeb's run.

This issue introduces Jeremy Stevens, a young patient at the Weisman Institute; he will turn out to be an avatar of the Gamesmaster, responsible for controlling Dr. Weisman. 

The final of the issue teases the return of Deadpool, who will feature in the next issue.

A Work in Progress
The Weisman Institute is said to be near Rutland, Vermont, site of the 70s era Halloween pseudo-crossovers between Marvel & DC.

There’s a file at the Weisman Institute for a Benjamin Russell, who looks a lot like Shatterstar.

Siryn reveals she’s undercover at the institute in this issue, checking on an associate of Xavier’s who works there.

Mimic’s mimic power seems to be contingent on physical contact, which has t been the case on the past. At the same time, he isn’t wearing ruby quartz to control Cyclops’ optic blasts, so that part of is finally being depicted correctly.

The PACRAT gets damaged again.

Boomer wonders if she’s just being nice to Sabretooth because he pays attention to her.

Sabretooth is now living in jungle setting in the Danger Room.

Sabretooth reveals he can remember his first name this issue; given that no one is around to hear his stilted delivery, it seems unlikely this is an act and that he’s still genuinely docile, contradicting his depiction in Wolverine #92.

Wolverine visits Boomer in the middle of the night to warn her off visiting Sabretooth.

Austin's Analysis
X-Force battles Mimic in the first real action-heavy issue of the Loeb/Pollina run, and the result is...fine. Adam Pollina's art is certainly an acquired taste (I have some fondness for weird, melty, stylized figures), but he's not the greatest renderer of action, often crowding the panels with too many lines, obscuring the action and making it harder to follow. But Loeb cuts away from it enough to keep Pollina's foibles from becoming too damaging to the narrative, checking in with the other, quieter, subplots that better fit his abilities. The whole thing, of course, ends in a vague mystery, with Loeb poised to move the Siryn/Deadpool subplot into the A-slot next issue (Mimic deserved better!), but such is the nature of things circa 1995.

Next Issue
Tomorrow, Wolverine gets a drink in Wolverine #93. Next week, Generation X #8 and Excalibur #90!

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1 comment:

  1. Peculiar how your “Featured Post” over on the right always seems to relate to a current post somehow... almost as if it was -- planned that way?!


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