X-Force #89

"Hellions Triumphant"

Last issue we left X-Force trapped and under Paradigm's control. They help him transport Armageddon Man to a Nuclear Power Plant in southern California. The Hellions are happy now that they are close to the victory they crave, but Jesse is on a guilt trip, for in not helping X-Force he betrayed them. They plan to reawaken Armageddon Man and allow him to wreak havoc unless they get what they want, and Jesse seems to now be developing a few doubts. While the other Hellions are working on waking up the man that has been asleep for 40 years so they can use him to fulfill their plans and dreams, Feral kidnaps Senator Owen Danville a former Colonel who was there when Armageddon Man was taken into government 'custody' those forty years ago. Feral isn't the gentlest of mutants and her powers of convincement aren't all that great, so Switch has gone with her and he switches places with the good senator. Scene cuts back to the captured team, where the members of X-Force seem to be under complete control; but Dani has tapped into the emotional core of Paradigm's psyche where she experiences the reality of his past. He spent his childhood in a Hong Kong laboratory. He has tk powers and doctors continually run tests and experiments on him. When he is 13 the doctors inject him with a sample of techno-organic material taken from and alien (I presume that the means Warlock). His powers prevent the virus like T.O. to turn him into a living image of the alien species, but Paradigm is no longer human. He escapes the doctors and is now free and continually changing to survive.

Meanwhile the disoriented senator is brought to the nuclear plant and presented to King Bedlam after Switch returns him to his body. Bedlam shows him the monitor where X-Force is working to awaken Armageddon Man and tells him that he plans to awaken him. The senator is upset, because he knows the damage Armageddon Man caused forty years ago, and he also knows that he is capable of even more damage today. He tells Bedlam that he is mad and that he will cause many people to be killed. Bedlam justs laughs and says that the senator is a strange one to argue the morality of things when his descisions can cause many lives to be taken. He wants the senator to convince the government to give in to the Hellions demands, since the senator knows the destruction Armageddon Man can wreak better than anyone else.

Jesse is regretting his earlier inaction and takes some pills to beat off an oncoming attack. Tarot goes out to see him and pretty much calls him a fool. She tells Jesse that the future is grim, but she owes Bedlam her life. She tells Jesse that he can stop him, but Jesse replies that no matter how wrong his brother is he won't take sides against his own flesh and blood. He tells her he's leaving and asks her to come. She tells him that that isn't in the cards for her. The senator is also trying to convince Feral, Switch, and Magma that this is madness but they won't listen to him. They tell him to convince Washington to give them the money. Outside, Jesse tries to hotwire a truck to get away and his brother Chris finds him. He's angry at him and even threatens him, but when Jesse says he wishes he never found him, Chris backs off and gives him the keys to the car.

Tarot goes into the Reactor building where Paradigm is and thinks to herself that if only Jesse would stand up to her brother she wouldn't have to do this. She introduces Paradigm's computer mind to the abstract imagery of tarot and he loses control. Dani's head clear and she takes a advantage of the situation to KO Paradigm and free X-Force. Bedlam sees them get free on the monitor and Tarot confeses to him that she did it. While the senator is thanking the Lord that someone has some sense, Chris grabs Marie and yells at her. When she stands up to him he makes as to hit her, but Jesse who just came back grabs his fist. Chris hits Jesse hard and tells him that he won't let anything, not even his flesh in blood get in the way of his goal. X-Force bursts onto the scene ready to take the Hellions down. Marie begs Jesse to shut the power plant down but he says he isn't getting in the middle of this and this time he means it when he says he's leaving. Both teams face each other when the Coolant tower start to collapse and Bedlam exhultantly proclaims X-Force to late. Armageddon Man has awoken.

The story for this issue was gripping. I loved the development of Tarot, whom I never got to read in the New Mutants, but now I think she's great. The suspense is well done throught the issue and the art is wonderfull. The art portrays the story perfectly and that is something you rarely see. I loved the bit where we got info on Paradigm, because he was the New Hellions greatest mystery. This creative team gets my highest praises, for issue 89 is excellent!!

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