Picking up where ‘Cable and X-Force’ #18 left off, we see that Stryfe has somehow returned to the land of the living (apparently he never died) and has reached back through time to capture both Bishop and Hope. His plan is to use them to, as per usual, destroy Cable.

Just a note here, if you haven’t been following both X-Force titles I could see there being some confusion on what’s going on with one team or the other. Having followed them, this was a pretty fluid issue that, for the most part, worked. My issue stemmed from the fact that the team that was helping Bishop immediately, like every X team in existence, set out to stop Cable from what he wanted to do.

Sure Cable’s plan was to kill Bishop but as usual, he’s got more cards on the table and this time it’s saving his daughter from his madman clone, Stryfe. Even when he starts mentioning this, no one slows to have the mutants all work together. They instead keep up the fighting and while a few of them even say it’s a pointless waste of time they keep at it anyway. A few things did feel out of place such as the Storm/Colossus dialogue during the fight and Colossus ending it by just saying that Cable is their leader. It’s a bit of a stretch from the Colossus from the beginning of this series to the blind loyalty he now seems to have.

While the two teams fight, we also flash to see Hope and Bishop arguing until Stryfe finally says he only wants to give Hope all that she wants. Clearly he’s going to put her into the position of killing Bishop. Clearly she’s also going to not do so at the last moment knowing that while  Bishop is her boogieman, Stryfe is the greater evil. That’ll probably be in the next issue though.

Finally, Cable tricks Spiral to teleport him where he wants to go. His aim is where Hope’s homing beacon is. What he didn’t know is that it would be an old Mutant Liberation Front headquarters that Stryfe has confiscated. While hoping to get in undetected after they ported in, Stryfe almost immediately appears and points out that while he wasn’t expecting him until later, he has no problems dealing with him now.

While I know these events are set to close both books and launch a new X-Force title (With Spurrier at the helm so I’m all for it!), I feel that with a new setup with Stryfe, the line is ripe to be continued. He’s the anti-Cable and while he can make a horrible villain, he’s also such a classic from the 90’s story lines that it’d be easy to bring him back for a good run and not just a few issues. Who knows? Maybe that will end up being part of the point of the next relaunch though I doubt we’ll be seeing Stryfe for quite some time after this one comes to a close.


Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Harvey Tolibao