X-Force #88:

"Armageddon Now: Blood and Betrayal"

Let's start with what I didn't like about this issue. Some of the art was not very good because of exesive use of shadow and lack of details on the characters faces in the shadowy scenes. There are also a few other panels where characters are missing their mouths and one where Siryn has no face! These mistakes could be the inker, the artist or both. I like shadow to give the book a darker look because these are the Hellions here, but I want to see more than shilotutes of the characters too. One other thing that bugged me was the disappearing re-appearing stubble on Cannonball. That boy must shave every other panel and have the fastest growing facial hair ever known, because man! This seems to be a regular mistake for artists, but if they are a little more carefull and pay more attention to the consistancy of their work this wouldn't happen.

The story is pretty good. Christopher Aaronson seems to want a truce of sorts between the Hellions and X-Force by which they wouldn't be on the same side exactly, but they won't interfere with each other either. X-Force is surprised to see Magma there, and when they talk to her she tells them that they don't know her because who she was was all a lie made up by Selene. She is very rude and says she's after life's luxuries. The hellion we were promised to meet last issue turns out to be none other than Feral. Feral and Meltdown are immediently hostile toward each other and when Bobby tells Feral to back off Meltdown gets mad at him. Feral hears them talking and gets a dig in on Sam. Domino surprises everyone by sticking up for Aaronsons statements which, as Terry states, sound like he's planning to start a war. Christopher tells them to think about it and asks them to spend the night there. X-Force gets together in what looks to be the library and starts talking about the Hellions goals and what they should do about it. It's your basic ends never justify the means, and but why should we be the ones to hide from the world talk. Basicaly they agree that Aaronson is up to no good, and when Dani asks Domino what she thinks Domino says that maybe for once they should just step back and stop playing hall monitor to other mutants. That wasn't what Dani expected to hear, but then Terry suggests that they spread out and check out the place. James goes to the gazebo to meet Tarot, because she snuck him a card asking him to meet her there. Tarot tells James she's sorry he got involved in this mess. He asks her to tell him what Aaronson has planned but she refuses. What she does tell him though is that she did die with the previous incarnation of the Hellions but that she came back to life and would continue to do so until she atoned for her past sins. She sees how much James has changed since he was an anger filled Hellion. He begs her to help then stop Christopher Aaronson (or King Bedlam as he claimed to prefer being called) but she tells him that she can't because she loves Bedlam. She leaves. Feral was watching them from a tree the whole time, and he tells her that his senses detected her and asks if she wants to talk or fight. Feral doesn't stick around though. Jesse meanwhile, went to talk to his brother. He asks his brother why he brought X-Force there and he tells him that he wants to keep his enemies close. His brother also tells him that he plans to use a weapon that has the power to level mountains to show the world that the Hellions mean business. Then he tells Jesse that if X-Force tries to stop him, he'll have to choose between the team and his family. X-Force is talking about what to do to stop Bedlam when Domino starts acting really weird. Then Switch, the Hellion we meet in the previous issue, comes in and tells X-Force not to listen to Domino, that he is Domino. Domino, or at least what looks like Domino attacks Switch saying that he has the power to take over his enemies bodies. Siryn stops the fight with a sonic scream, and Switch can't maintain his hold on Domino's body and has to switch back. Now X-Force is mad and they go to fight the new Hellions. Siryn gives out orders which prove useless since the Hellions come out to meet them for the battle. X-Force is overwhelmed by Bedlam's mind disrupting power and them Paradigm gets them all with a techno-organic filament. Domino screams for Jesse to help them, because he stopped Paradigm before but Jesse chooses to stand by his brother instead. X-Force is encased in Paradigms living circuitry and no longer a problem to the Hellions. Feral tells Bedlam to kill them now, but Jesse says that he won't let them. Bedlam says that killing them isn't his plan and that since Paradigm can control them now they'll make excellent drones for their transport. At dawn the Hellions will release Armaggeddon Man on the Summerfield canyon nuclear facility and bring the world to it's knees.

The story then leaves us with Jesse wondering what he has done, until next month. The story was good. The team doesn't seem to be having any leadership conflicts with Siryn, Cannonball, and Domino all being there which shows how much the team is maturing. I like the return of the Hellions so far and think it's very well written. I do hope that we get to see more of Feral in the next issue though and hopefully some questions about her will be explained.

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