Annual 98: X-Force/Champions Review

Let's take this one step at a time. The art was pretty good. I think Cheung draws X-Force better than Shoemaker, but Shoemaker's art is still ok. My only major problem with it is that Siryn's clothes change from a green tank top and shorts to a pink dress, then back to tank top and then dress again. That's the sort of thing that happens if more than one artist works on a book and the editors fall asleep on the job. Shoemaker is the only one credited with the pencils though. The story is ok. Hades, disguised as the leader of a cult to himseld(to Hades) uses this girl Victoria to lure Hercules and eventually the Champions there. X-Force shows up because they were on their way to Yosemite and come across this problem. The cult leader supposedly tries to kill Victoria for betraying them. He's trying to bring a Titan up out of the ground. She sent word to Hercules and he and X-Force save her. The Titan is still coming out of the ground though, so Hercules calls together the members of the Champions who have faced something like this before. Victoria has given the group the spell used to bring the Titan up, and the Champions have the power to put the Titan back from a previous adventure with Hades and the Titans. They start this ceremony to put the Titan back, but Dani suddenly realizes they are doing just the opposite and cries out a warning. Warpath finds the cult leader with Victoria an punches him hard. But this is when they realizes that he is Hades himself, and Warpath is hit back, hard. The Titan isn't amenable to being awakened, so the Champions trick Hades into saying that the whole thing was his doing by taunting him and saying that Zeus put him up to it. So now the Titan wants to destroy Hades, and Hades who is like many villians a coward, flees. Now the only problem is that the Titan has to be put back in the earth, Siryn figures that the Titan can be put back with the same spell that brought him out if he can be convinced it's better to return. So the Champions start the incantation again while Dani tries to access the Titan's greatest fear and use it to send the Titan back. Dani does her hardest and it works. Victoria, who's job in all this was getting the Champions there so that they could resurect the Titan, is arrested along with the other cult members. The story offers some pretty good characterization, especially when it comes to Meltdown, Sunspot, and Cannonball who came along for the trip. Sam isn't too happy with Meltdown's fooling around in the car, or with the closeness between her and his best-friend. So later when they aren't really trusting Victoria, Sam stands up for her. she starts flirting with him and Tabitha gets mad. Later when the Champions were tricked into raising the Titan, there's a big shake up as it tries to come out of the earth. Sam is knocked unconcious before he can power up and he and Victoria fall into a cleft that opens up in the earth. Victoria can't lift Sam so she saves herself. When Tabitha and Roberto ask her where Sam is the realize she left him down there and go down after him. The bring him up right in the middle of the fight with Hades. Sam is not breathing so Meltdown starts the CPR while Sunspot goes to help Iceman who had just saved there butts from Hades. Cannonball does not die, and as Victoria is arrested she tells him she did care about him, but not enough to change who she was and not as much as Meltdown and Sunspot cared about him. While this does nothing to show us wether Cannonball is an External or not, it does show Sam dealing with his feelings about Tabitha and Roberto. At first he uses Victoria to upset them and make them feel bad and in the end he realizes how much they care. We also see Dani saying that her days as a Valkyrie are over, but then reading the spell and figuring out that the Champions have been tricked. So that leaves for some interesting stories on Dani in the future. Over all the comic is a good one. It has some funny parts, like when Archangel says; "We should have guessed he'd(Hades) be the president of his own fan club!". It's a good buy if you want an interesting story. I've written a ton already so you should have enough to judge for yourself if this comic is worth spending $3.50 on.

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