Thoughts: "Ya know," Wolverine says to Doop in an interview, "I'm only doin' this to boost sales." This reflects what disgruntled fans and retailers have been saying for years.
Thankfully, the story does not. Putting gratuitous guest appearances of popular characters in an attempt to boost sales of unpopular titles has been a practice of Marvel for years, and thankfully Marvel isn't above poking fun at themselves.
That aside, Wolverine actually does have some level of importance in this issue. Not only proving that this title doesn't take place in an alternate universe (for more on this, also check out New X-Men #116, where you'll see a Doop keychain), this also gives a little more connection to the rest of the Marvel Universe. But at least we are all but assured that further guest appearances from other characters will be kept to a minimum.
X-Force, X-Men and all related characters are trademarked and
copyrighted 2001 by Marvel Characters Inc. All rights reserved
written by Peter Milligan
art by Michael Allred
Short summary: As Coach reveals his hidden agenda, U-Go Girl has to carry out his dirty work. However, it appears Coach also has to answer to his financial backer, who is really the one who's pulling the strings.
Luckily, help comes in the form of a certain adamantium clawed mutant...as well as an unlikely individual who is watching out for their best interests. But they shouldn't get too comfortable...whoever it is seems to be in control as well.
The plot twists continue. In the last issue, The Arm gave the order to U-Go Girl to assassinate The Orphan. As Coach answers to a financial backer, suddenly, the motivation behind supposedly simple missions that are putting team members into bodybags becomes clear.
Or, has been clear all along? After all, we knew before that Spike Freeman, a Bill Gates-esque type software developer has been funding their operation. However, we never knew how deep the guy's claws were embedded. Revealed only in a one-panel cameo in #117, he is slightly more fleshed out here, and is unlikeable as some of the others we've been seeing within the pages of X-Force. As if we were expecting anything less.
As The Orphan no longer fits into Coach and Spike's greater plan, he becomes extremely disposable. Thankfully, that won't occur as long as Wolverine has anything to say about it. While usually nothing more than a ploy to boost sales of the books (as mentioned), it certainly does not feel so in this issue. In the first few pages, he has a pretty intriguing relationship with X-Force's resident videographer, which may date back farther than we realize. This is one of the many intriguing revalations in this issue.
It also raises the question...is there actually more to Doop than just being some little guy with a camera who talks really funny?
As the later pages soon dictate, Coach's scheming and manipulation of the fates of the team members eventually catches up to him, and as a result, the X-Force membership drive is yet again in full swing.
Through all the manipulation, a certain level of humanity is becoming a little more apparent. Despite the obligatory Wolverine Guest Appearance ® and large (but dwindling) cast of characters, Edie Sanyers (AKA U-Go Girl) is starting to become a more human character.
Hinting at the possibility of romance between her and Guy Smith (AKA The Orphan), she drops some of her guard to an extent, and becomes a little bit more likeable.
Although that doesn't stop her from going through a public drunken episode, possibly inspired by similar incidents from other young actresses.
As the photographer guy on the right chastizes Edie's behaviour, it becomes very obvious that the anti-mutant prejudice that we have gotten used to in every X-Men comic book is still very real, despite ocurring in a world that is increasingly similar to our own in the way it treats its respective celebrities.
The creative team continues to impress me with the narrative various twists and turns...can't wait until the next issue!