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"Because Louise"
written by Peter Milligan
art by Mike Allred
June 2002

Short summary: The Bush Rangers are tough cookies, but definitely nothing that X-Force can't handle. Of course, with Spike conveniently switching sides, stuff could get a little wierd. But fortunately, new member Dead Girl is fitting in quite nicely in the team.

Which is a good thing, considering that the CIA "rescue" team decided that the members of X-Force are expendible...

Holy shoot.

Throwing curveball after curveball, Milligan and Allred have done it again. Bucking the current trend of extremely loose storytelling (in a superhero team book, no less).

The opening page is a shocker, with an "artists rendering" of what may have happened to X-Force on their rescue mission. Little do we know, they're actually chilling out with the Sunday edition on the third page.

Team dynamics change yet again, or more appropriately, back to the way they were -- specifically with Myles and Phat. After "confessing" their feelings for each other, we have the little scene on the right playing out...

Uh oh...
Political correctness takes a backseat.
Bush ranger mutants: a good source of protein!

Dead Girl is proving herself to be one of the more useful members of the team. After virtually taking out all of the Bush Ranger mutants singlehandedly, her place on the team is all but assured.

Which is significantly more than we can say about Spike. While he is playing up the race card a little bit more often than we'd like, it's like we've come to expect -- it's all done for the sake of the cameras. Last issue showed him about to betray the members of X-Force. Oh, what a difference an issue makes.

He does prove himself loyal...a few pages too late. However, one can easily speculate that given the way that he was abandoned, he may have yet another chance to redeem himself.

Turns out that the whole mission wasn't so much as a PR ploy for the government than an excuse for revenge (fortunately, the only foray into cliche that the issue ever explores). Despite saving the day, the members of X-Force are deemed expendable -- especially senior members Guy, Edie, Tike, and Doop.

In a panic, Edie teleports them out of danger. Unfortunately, it was to a space shuttle hurtling towards oblivion, at which point, the remaining members of X-Force cut their losses and leave.

Fortunately, there is an escape pod aboard the shuttle.

Unfortunately, it can only hold two people plus Doop, meaning one of them will be left behind.

Fortunately, Spike (or, at least the real Spike), was left on the space station and is very much a factor in this equation...

Another winner! Can't wait until next month!