X-Force has been the name of several different Marvel Universe Super Hero
teams and comics, with few common members and very little generally to link them except for being closely tied to the X-Men
, with varying degrees of cooperation between the two at different times.
open/close all folders
The original X-Force was created when Rob Liefeld
and Fabian Nicieza were given control of the New Mutants
book and made it Darker and Edgier
. Adding several badasses
and making them more of an "ends justify the means" group, they became a militant strike force very different in attitude from the X-Men. The title was at first extremely popular, with the first issue becoming the #2-selling comic of all time. Liefeld however quickly became frustrated by working with characters he didn't own, and soon left Marvel to form Image Comics
in 1992. Nicieza continued to write up through the Age of Apocalypse
storyline of 1995, afterwards leaving and being replaced by Jeph Loeb.
Loeb moved the team back to the Xavier Mansion and focused more on character development than fighting. After Loeb's departure in 1997, John Francis Moore took over writing duties and sent X-Force on a roadtrip to San Francisco, where they would reunite with former members Cannonball and Domino, but sales of the book began to fall. In 2000, Warren Ellis
was brought in and portrayed the team as a covert group under the leadership of his character Pete Wisdom, but only made the decline worse as far as alienating more fans than before.
The First Series Provides Examples Of:
- Aborted Arc: The infamous fate of the "Externals" story arc once Liefeld left. It was technically resolved... by killing off pretty much everyone involved within the space of a single issue.
- Action Girl: Domino; BoomBoom, Feral and Siryn to lesser extents.
- Anti-Hero: Cable.
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: Feral as the Darker and Edgier Wolfsbane.
- AwesomeMcCoolname: Freaking Shatterstar.
- Badass Normal: Cable, who despite being a mutant, can't really use his powers on any significant scale without risking death. In lieu of reading people's thoughts and throwing them through the air with his mind, he relies on his...
- BFG: Cable had a lot of these, and wasn't shy about using them.
- Big Bad: The MLF, Stryfe.
- Blessed with Suck: Cable, potentially the single most powerful telepath and telekinetic in the Marvel Universe, has to use all but a tiny smidge of those powers to keep the techno-virus infesting half his body from devouring the other half.
- Body Horror: Cable is mostly human on his right side, mostly techno-organic on the left. And if it weren't for his powers, he'd be consumed by the TO virus and die.
- The Marvel NOW Cable X-Force series starts off with people being poisoned with a mutagen which transforms them into horrifying mounds of flesh. One of Dr. Nemesis' attempted cures only makes it worse.
- Briefer Than They Think: Rob Liefeld was only on the book as co-writer for the first year and only on art for the first 9 of those issues. Once he left the book quickly moved away from the three G's (guns, grimaces and grittiness) to more character-based stories culminating in John Francis Moore's Lighter and Softer run.
- Cain and Abel: Cable and his evil clone Stryfe.
- Code Name: Played straight, to the point where Cable and Domino's real names weren't revealed for years. Justified in Cable's case, since revealing his name would spoil a pretty juicy plot twist.
- Covert Group: Its team was portrayed as a covert group under the leadership of his character Pete Wisdom starting in 2000.
- Darker and Edgier: This was the defining characteristic of the comic in the beginning.
- During the War: Virtually all of Cable's backstory relates to his battling the forces of Apocalypse a thousand years in the future.
- Guns Akimbo: Domino was particularly fond of this.
- Gun Fu: Domino, though her "luck" power also had a lot to do with it.
- Gun Kata: This completes Domino's trifecta of gun-related tropes, though again, her powers really helped her out.
- Heroic Albino: Domino is described as being an albino, even though she has black hair.
- It's Personal: Cable's hatred for Stryfe stems only partly from the fact that Stryfe has killed everyone Cable loved; most of it is from Stryfe's raping and impregnating his wife with a son that Cable had mixed feelings towards at best.
- Just Friends: Cable and Domino have a long history, during which they've been everything from genuinely just friends to teammates to Friends with Benefits to fully lovers; currently, they seem to be in a "just friends" phase.
- Knight Templar: Cable was very much "ends justify the means" in the beginning; later writers softened him considerably, though it's still not a very good idea to make him mad.
- Road Movie: Well, road comic. After Operation: Zero Tolerance the remaining members of the team decide to strike out on their own leading to a year long road trip storyline that takes them from New York to their new home in San Francisco.
- Retcon: Cable wasn't Scott and Madelyne's son until plotting an end for X-Cutioner's Song led Fabian Nicieza to realize that making Cable their son would tie up a lot of plot holes very nicely.
- The Something Force
- Superhero Packing Heat: Cable
- Token Evil Teammate: Feral. Nobody was very surprised to see her make a Face-Heel Turn in the middle of a battle.
- Why Won't You Die?: It took Cable several tries to put Stryfe down for the count.
Volume 2 / X-Statix
The second major incarnation of X-Force began in 2001, continuing the same issue numbering. The new creative team of writer Peter Milligan and artist Mike Allred, after the previous creative team ended their run with the team caught in an explosion that led to the media declaring the team dead, created a new team of X-Forcers who were shockingly killed
at the end of the first issue. The series continued, with a famously rapid turnover of characters
, as a satirical superhero series based around the idea of second-division superheroes as vapid and self-centered celebrities out for fame, fortune and kicks. The series explained the change-over with the notion of a millionaire software king creating his own team of super-heroes, with the X-Force name being taken from the previous team without permission. Around a third of the way through the run, the title was changed to X-Statix
when team owner Spike Freeman decided to change it since he had to pay royalties on it to the founding members of the original X-Force to use the name. (in truth however, the revamp was a huge hit and Marvel wanted to cash in on it via a relaunch). Unfortunately, the relaunch came with the killing off of the book's most popular character (U-Go Girl), which became a topic of fairly frequent discussion within the story itself. Further complications involved a planned storyline involving the resurrection of Princess Di, who was changed into a pop idol when Marvel chickened out at the last minute. Sales tanked and led to the book's cancellation in late 2004. Despite the deaths of all the surviving characters in the last issue
, there was a later Dead Girl Spin-Off
mini-series that had many of the dead team members involved in an adventure in the after life
with Doctor Strange
, satirising the Death Is Cheap
nature of the Marvel universe.
Also in 2004, Marvel brought Liefeld and Nicieza back for a six-issue X-Force
miniseries returning to the original characters, which posted decent sales despite a critical drubbing and Liefeld's using some of his previously unused art for other titles in the book. A Shatterstar miniseries followed, but neither was extended.
The Second Series / X-Statix Provides Examples Of:
- All of the Other Reindeer: Inverted, in that this was pretty much the only series that showed how rich, hot teenagers with cool superpowers would be showered with adoration rather than shunned.
- Anyone Can Die: The first issue killed off the entire team except for Tike and U-Go Girl. Then new recruits Bloke and Saint Anna, then the Spike, then U-Go Girl, then the Mysterious Fanboy, then Phat, then El Guapo, until the surviving members were all killed in the last issue of X-Statix.
- Big Damn Heroes: Quite a few times
- The first arc both subverts then plays it straight twice over. Edie intends to go rescue Guy from his daily russian roulette game (which had been rigged so that all chambers had a bullet in them. ), only to be paralyized by the Coach. Guy then arrives to save her from the Coach, revealing he felt the gun was heavier. Finally, after The Coach's two personal goons jump guy, Wolverine shows up on a favor from Doop to rescue him.
- The first arc of X-Statix has Venus Dee Milo gathering the team to pull this towards the end of it, and then pulling it off pages later.
- Bolivian Army Ending: How Mr. Sensitive and the Anarchist die.
- Broken Pedestal: One of the later issues revealed that U-Go Girl, who had been portrayed basically as The Paragon up to that point, was complicit in Spike Freeman selling WMDs to Saddam Hussein.
- When Arnie Lundberg was on the team as the Mysterious Fanboy, the rest of the group had to grit their teeth and pretend to like each other and care about helping people so temperamental Reality Warper Arnie wouldn't see them for what they really are.
- Captain Ethnic: Parodied with EuroTrash, Spike Freeman's side project superteam that he deliberately designed to follow this mold. Also La Nuit, one of the members killed in the first issue, a French mutant with green skin and blemishes that make him look rather amphibian. And Bloke, who was an amalgamation of every gay stereotype you've ever heard. A pink (formerly rainbow) skinned gym rat who lives in San Francisco and has great taste in soft furnishings... yeah.
- Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: There's actually a character named "Surrender Monkey," leader of a team of supervillains whose entire gimmick is being horrible ethnic stereotypes. He has the amazing mutant ability to know exactly the right moment to run away from a fight. Subverted when he comes back later on and is revealed to not be French at all but rather an American Francophile.
- Companion Cube: El Guapo's skateboard may genuinely have a mind of its own, though.
- Dead Star Walking: Literally with Dead Girl, but more traditionally with the entire cast in the first issue.
- Decoy Protagonist: Zeitgeist; later issues would posthumously reveal him to be a huge Jerkass who had deliberately set up several of his teammates to die.
- Dirty Old Man: A running gag has Professor Xavier being depicted, whenever he appears, as having a creepy interest in younger mutants' sex lives.
- Doorstopper: The 2011 omnibus collecting the entire series in a single volume is 1200 pages long, making it at the time the longest book Marvel had ever printed (beating out the Walt Simonson Thor omnibus by a mere eight pages). It also weighs nearly eight pounds, cementing its status as a true doorstopper.
- Drunken Master: Gin Genie's seismic powers were fueled by her alcoholic consumption.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Edie, both in-universe and out.
- Executive Meddling: Marvel initially defended the Diana, Princess of Wales plot, then got cold feet when it was too late to do anything but hastily recolour and rename the character.
- Done frequently in-universe as well, with Spike constnatly trying to get the team to act in the ways that would be the most profitable.
- Fauxreigner: Surrender Monkey
- Foreshadowing: Guy threatening to break Spike's neck shortly after Edie dies.
- I Have No Son: Vivisector's father, Edward Alfred. When his wife pleaded with him to consider letting Myles back into their house and insisting he's your son!, he responded with "That is a matter of opinion."
- Kill 'em All: The way Milligan ended the title, killing off the entire team.
- It's worth noting that Doop has since returned, and that Edie has a way by which she might some day (she was in the casino in The Incredible Hercules).
- Lampshade Hanging: the source of much of the humour.
- Like a Badass out of Hell: In the Dead Girl mini-series, what the Pitiful One and his minions are trying to do.
- Not Now, Kiddo: In the first issue Zeitgeist repeatedly brushes off Battering Ram's attempts to talk to him about his role in the group. And no, he doesn't get heard out before everybody dies.
- Only Sane Man: The Orphan, who's probably the most grounded member of the cast. Spike Freeman lampshades this by saying he's saner than all of them put together (not that it's saying much)
- One Steve Limit: Averted as X-Force, when the team featured the Spike and Spike Freeman. That said, Freeman didn't get half as much screentime as he would later back then.
- Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: Early on, Guy tries to be a moral influence on the rest of the team. Near the end, he quite happily joins in the plan to kill Henrietta just because she's too popular.
- Power Incontinence: Zeitgeist's powers first manifested during an underaged drunken beach make-out session; his acid vomit maimed the girl. (He wonders whether "the doctors ever managed to give her back her pretty face.")
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: the Paco Perez arc.
- Private Military Contractors: In many of their missions, are effectively this dressed up as a superhero team.
- Purity Sue/The Scrappy: Henrietta Hunter (the aforementioned Princess Diana Expy) is an in-universe example.
- Rock Beats Laser: The first stage of the Orphan/Iron Man fight showed the peak of modern technology falling to the peak of smithing equipment, as seen in the page picture.
- Sacrificial Lamb: The entire team barring The Anarchist and U-Go-Girl in the first issue,.
- Satire: Milligan loved making fun of comicbook storytelling.
- Straight Gay: Both Phat and Vivisector eventually realize they are this, though they also realize they are not attracted to each other like they thought.
- Sixth Ranger: Quite a few given the team's high turnover rate, though Venus Dee Milo and Dead Girl are the streightst examples.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork
- Time Stands Still: Lacuna's powers
- To Hell and Back: the Dead Girl mini-series.
- Token Minority Couple: The execs behind the X-Statix movie feel it's more appropriate for Venus Dee Milo to be paired with the Anarchist instead of the Orphan.
- Tonight Someone Dies: Played with for all it's worth in one storyline with the entire team worried about a prophecy to this effect. U-Go Girl dies.
- The Unreveal: twice. When both Mister Code and the Pitiful One are unmasked, the characters see them and recognise them as someone they know, but the knowledge is never passed on to the reader.
- Wing Ding Lish/Cypher Language: Doop's dialog.
- Wolverine Publicity: Parodied.
In early 2006, former X-Men: Evolution
writing team Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost took over the teen team New X-Men
, bringing with them their creation Laura "X-23
" Kinney. They took that team through the aftermath of the House of M
storyline and introduced The Purifiers, Reverand William Stryker's fanatical mutant-hating army of followers.
After the cancellation of New X-Men
, Kyle and Yost launched a third incarnation of X-Force as a black ops team sanctioned by Cyclops to combat The Purifiers in a way that the X-Men — who are trying to re-establish themselves as a respectable, law-abiding superhero team - never could. He puts Wolverine
in charge of the new group, with members James "Warpath" Proudstar, X-23 and Rahne "Wolfsbane" Sinclair, and the team is soon joined by Warren "Angel/Archangel" Worthington, Neena "Domino" Thurman and Josh "Elixir" Foley. Reaction to this series was extremely mixed, with the book consistently rating in the top 30 for monthly sales, but many critics seeing it as an example of Darker and Edgier
taken to self-parodic lengths.
The Third Series Provides Examples Of:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Not only do Wolverine and X-23 have their adamantium claws, Warpath carries several knives and ArchAngel is fond of shooting metal "feathers" through the air.
- Anti-Hero: Pretty much the entire point of the comic.
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: Wolverine and Wolfsbane.
- Badass Crew: With the addition of Domino, six out of seven members of the team have at least double-digit body counts.
- Bare Your Midriff: X-23 exemplifies this trope. So when she joined X-Force, hers was the only uniform that showed off her abs.
- Berserk Button: Wolverine and Warpath both have a couple, though they're metaphorical. X-23, ArchAngel, and Wolfsbane have literal berserk buttons.
- Big Bad: The Purifiers, especially now that they have a high council of techno-organically revived X-Men enemies working with them.
- Black and Grey Morality: X-Force is doing what needs to be done to prevent racial genocide, but they're still killing people left, right and center.
- Boxed Crook: The Vanisher. How does one keep a high-end teleporter under control, you ask? Have the guy with Healing Hands give him an inoperable brain tumor.
- Canon Immigrant: X-23.
- Carnival of Killers: Inverted; X-Force are the heroes, yet they rack up quite the body count.
- Cartwright Curse: Logan's never had a lasting romantic relationship, because someone always kills his lovers. James' entire tribe is dead, and Laura unwillingly killed her surrogate mother and literally put her her aunt and cousin on a bus to keep them safe. This has led to them each having some...issues.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Domino has probability altering powers, but she mainly relies on her marksmanship and hand-to-hand abilities.
- Chekhov's Skill: Warpath learns the mystic Ghost Dance from Ghost Rider in the finale for Necrosha he teaches it to the rest of X-Force so they can attack a now godlike Selene
- Church Militant: Reverand Stryker's(and later Bastion's) Purifiers.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Deadpool joins the team later on.
- Darker and Edgier: As per usual. Also as literal as possible, since the outfits are black and there are a lot of bladed weapons.
- Deadpan Snarker: This is one of Wolverine's defining traits, though on the whole he's more serious in this book.
- Death by Irony: Reverand Craig falls victim to the psychological conditioning The Purifiers put Wolfsbane through, when they were only able to capture her because she was trying to "save" him.
- Evil Costume Switch: Inverted; X-Force are technically "good guys", but their new outfits are grey on black with glowing red-eyed black masks. Just in case you somehow failed to notice that this series is Darker and Edgier. Special points go to Archangel's costume: In this series, Angel can sort of Henshin into Archangel, though it comes with violent personality changes. As Archangel, he has his original, Apocalypse-given costume, which spontaneously manifests when he changes (meaning he really, really shouldn't be able to change its color.)
- Face-Heel Turn: Of the most twisted sort during Necrosha: Many of the dead mutants brought back to life by Bard and Selene were X-Men, their friends and allies, or even just civilians, who now under Selene's power. Their actual loyalties to Selene vary, however. Some, like Caliban and Banshee, suggest Selene have complete control over them. Others, however, such as Thunderbird, are visibly acting against their will but are unable to fight back directly (though Thunderbird was able to warn Warpath how Selene can be defeated). To twist the nice further, those who are aware of what is happening to them are often seen begging and pleading for their friends to either kill them or to run. In a tie-in with the New Mutants, Doug Ramsey is also resurrected and enslaved, but is able to break Selene's control with the help of Warlock. Somehow, Destiny is able to escape Selene's control on her own.
- More traditionally, Wither, who was once one of the New X-Men until fleeing the mansion after accidentally hurting Wallflower. He willingly joins Selene in the interim and becomes her right hand and lover.
- Foreshadowing: Quite a bit of it. Notably, many major plot elements for Necrosha are hinted at in a private encounter between Warpath and Ghost Rider. Particularly the importance of the dagger which turned the spirit animals of Warpath's people into a rampaging demon bear, and the importance of the Ghost Dance.
- The Fundamentalist: The Purifiers consider themselves to be on a holy quest to kill all mutants. And of course Reverend Craig.
- Good Thing You Can Heal: Wolverine and X-23 are often shown recovering from flat-out horrific injuries. X-23 gets the worst of it, though, since her healing factor is better than Wolverine's.
- Healing Factor: Wolverine and X-23, of course. Hers works faster because Wolverine's is compromised by his adamantium-laced skeleton, but the tradeoff is that she doesn't have unbreakable bones.
- Healing Hands: Elixir, a power that is largely redundant when half the team has a Healing Factor or is Made of Iron. Subverted in that he can kill you with those very same hands.
- It Can't Get Any Worse: Subverted; it can and it will.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Played semi-straight with Laura; she'd like to be normal but doesn't know how. Inverted in that Logan is fine with his life, but wants a more normal one for Laura. He's not at all happy about Cyclops recruiting her for the team.
- Just Friends: Wolverine and Domino have had an on and off thing for years, even before this incarnation of the team was formed. Kinda funny when you realized that Dom had the same thing with Cable.
- Love Makes You Evil: You know Eli Bard? The enigmatic chessmaster that is using both Bastion and the Purifiers for his purposes? It seems there is this chick who dumped him some time ago that he is trying to get back into the good graces of....
- Kill 'em All: If there's a group standing in X-Force's way, it's a pretty sure bet that none of them are going to see another sunrise.
- Knife Nut: The initial members either had blades built into their bodies or used knives as their primary weapons.
- Mix And Match Critter: Wolfsbane, who is able to turn into a WolfWoman or a full Were Wolf, but in this series is usually more along the lines of a Woman-Wolf.
- Older Than They Look: Wolverine looks 40ish, but is around 120.
- Selene even has him beat; she looks like a woman in her physical prime, but is in truth over 17,000 years old.
- Omnicidal Maniac: It is hinted by Thunderbird that this is what Selene will eventually become once she becomes a goddess.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Selene's servant Eli Bard and apparently her new protegé Wither are vampires in the sense that they've been gifted with eternal life by Selene giving them a vampire like state complete with fangs and a "game face." However, there's never any mention of any need for blood.
- Our Zombies Are Different: The mutants who are "resurrected" by Eli Bard's corrupted Techno-Organic Virus.
- Painted-On Pants: In full effect, with both Mr. Fanservice and Ms. Fanservice versions.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Neither Wolverine, X-23 or Wolfsbane are especially tall, but angering any of them will probably be the last thing you do.
- Pregnant Badass: Wolfsbane appears to be shaping up into one of these; being that her child is half Asgardian wolf-spirit, Elixir had to alter her DNA to be more like the baby just to keep the pregnancy from killing her. This has given her superhuman strength, bulletproof skin, and more acute senses than Wolverine or X-23.
- Professional Killer: This is what X-23 was raised to be. Not wanting to let that define her life, she's since changed her approach to be more in line with X-family ideals, but her complete ruthlessness makes her at times a more efficient killer than even Wolverine.
- Really 700 Years Old: As noted above, Wolverine is just older than he looks. But he seems like an embryo next to Selene, who physically looks to be in her mid-to-late 30's at the most. Turns out she's really 17,000.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: The entire original group (Wolverine, X-23, Warpath and Wolfsbane) have heightened senses, and Warpath is also an Apache indian.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The mysterious Eli Bard manipulates The Purifiers into recreating genocidal maniac Bastion, then into finding a fragment of the old New Mutants techno-organic enemy Magus, and after Bastion uses it to bring a group of the X-Mens's old mutant-killing human enemies back to life, Bard combines with the entity. Not good.
- Sinister Minister: Reverand William Stryker, then Matthew Risman. The restored Bastion too, though he prefers to stay in the shadows.
- Sociopathic Hero: Most of the team.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Rahne and Hrimhari. They originally met back when Rahne first joined the New Mutants, and though they fell in love, had to part ways. Now they meet again, finally consumate their relationship, Rahne gets pregnant...and Hrimhari has to give up his own life to save Rahne's and their baby's. These two just can't catch a break.
- The Stoic: X-23. Unless it's a threat to someone she cares about, she tends to be very matter-of-fact about any given situation.
- Super Strength: Warpath
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Wolfsbane, when she kills and eats her father. And Selene and her inner circle embody this trope. Each and every one of them are essentially death in human (well, mutant) form
- What the Hell, Hero?: Inverted comically. You start off thinking this about Wolverine and the others. Then you remember that what they're doing isn't really that different from what they've done in the past. Then you remember that they're only together because of Scott "Mr. By-The-Book" Summers. Wolverine calls him on it more than once, and it's insinuated that Wolverine only agreed to do it because he cares for Laura, James and Rahne; and he also realized that if he refused, Scott would just find someone else to lead the team, and that person might not be as concerned as Wolverine would be with keeping them safe (or sane).
- Cyclops has to perpetually keep X-Force a secret from fellow X-Men founders Beast and Iceman because he knows he'll get this reaction from them.
- Winged Humanoid: Angel
- Wolverine Claws: Wolverine and X-23.
- Wolverine Publicity: Wolverine and X-23, though fans seem to be getting more fond of Laura now that she's being used more sparingly.
- The book has lately been subject to some "Deadpool Publicity" as well.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Most of Selene's Inner Circle, excepting Senyaka and Selene herself.
- Zombie Apocalypse: Averted, while Eli Bard does rais an army of dead mutants using the Techno-Organic Virus, he only does so to provide mutant souls for Selene to feast on and become a goddess.
Volume 4 / Uncanny X-Force Vol. 1
Don't mess with them
The title underwent another, albeit smaller, relaunch as the Uncanny X-Force
, continuing on the work done by the previous team but with a slightly different roster consisting of Wolverine, Archangel (the only members retained from the last team) and initially adding Fantomex, Psylocke and Deadpool
. Later members include Deathlok, the Age of Apocalypse Nightcrawler, and EVA. The previous team was disbanded by Cyclops, who decided they are no longer needed, this one is a result of Wolverine and Archangel thinking otherwise. As Logan states, it has only one rule: no one can know about them. While reaction to X-Force
vol. 3 was decidedly mixed, Uncanny X-Force
has been hailed as a modern classic.
The Fourth Series Provides Examples Of:
Volume 5 / Uncanny X-Force Vol 2
The Mutant Nation's Dirty Tricks Team
With the 2012 Marvel NOW!
! relaunch the X-Force brand was used for two different titles. The first is Cable and X-Force
, set in the aftermath of Avengers vs. X-Men
which sees a recently revived Cable leading a team consisting of Forge, Domino, Colossus, and Doctor Nemesis on mysterious world threatening missions of great importance, driven by visions
that are also slowly killing him
while being hunted as fugitives.
The second Uncanny X-Force
series sees Psylocke leading a new group of operatives consisting of Storm, Puck, Spiral, and a new character, Cluster/Lady Fantomex. Continuing some of the story points from the previous volume while crafting its own new stories and using other aspects of X-Men Lore.
Both of these stories came to an end with the crossover "Vendetta" and spun out into a new X-Force series in February of 2014, featuring Cable, Psylocke, Fantomex, and Marrow. The team has assembled in order to keep the Mutant Nation ahead of the curve in the Shadow Game of the world, despite having no borders or government.
The Fifth Series Provides Examples Of:
- The Atoner: Psylocke is trying not to kill anymore, since it has become like an addiction to her.
- Blood Knight: Both Fantomex and Marrow really love the action of combat.
- Cluster Bleep Bomb: Happens a lot with Marrow.
- Convenient Coma: Hope somehow ended up being only "theoretically alive" between the end of Vendetta and the beginning of the new series. She's piggybacking on Meme's power and acting in her places since she's been Brain Dead ever since.
- Covert Group: According to Cable most nations on Earth have their own super powered covert operation units, his intention for X-force is to keep mutantkind in the game against those.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Volga and his super powered goons deliver one on X-force in issue 5. First Volga completely mentaly destroys Marrow by taking away her will for revenge, then the rest of his goons quickly make short process with the rest of the team.
- X-force later returns the favor.
- Demonic Possession: A target tried this on Cable. It failed because the body is that of a clone and would explode in a few hours anyway.
- Dirty Business: Cable assembles them for this reason, calling them the Mutant Nation's Dirty Tricks Team.
- Gratuitous French: Fantomex is throwing a lot of it around, however he admits that he can't actualy speak french, he just loves the accent.
- Heroic BSOD: When Marrow is reminded that she lost her child while pregnant because of the process that gave her powers again, she slumps into this.
- Klingon Promotion: Fiqh becomes the head of his department after having Cable kill his boss.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Marrow's memories are suppressed by her Power Limiter to prevent her from going berzerk.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The team's plan to steal a special cargo from a plane in issue 1, ends up with the total destruction of said plane. This also had the effect of leaving said cargo brain dead, so Hope uses her powers in place of her.
- Send in the Clones: Cable has survived because his original body is in stasis while he makes a clone everyday with the current memories that die in a day.
- Shout-Out: Polaris refers to Cable and his team as "Metal Gear types".
- Volga got his most important technology from the dimension Earth 1287. The official designation of Marvel for the universe of Strikeforce: Morituri.
- Power Limiter: Marrow's headband seems to be one. It's actualy a memory supressor.
- Unwilling Roboticisation: Meme was the victim of this.
- Verbal Tic: Almost every instance of Marrow's narration in the first issue has her say "baby". Turns out this was because she lost her baby as a result of regaining her powers.
- Your Days Are Numbered: As a result of regaining her powers, Marrow has less than a year left to live. Cable was given a similar treatment for some reason and should have less than a day. He cheats with clones.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Marrow, as it turns out, was released by Volga once he had been finished with her and sent to die in Alexandria.