X-FORCE ANNUAL #3 (1994)

The 1994 annuals were required to create a new character, and nearly all of them failed to make second or third appearances. This one is no exception, and the mandate is an example of why having blanket rules is poor creative practice. There are so f-in many characters–and teams–already in X-Force, that adding more just for the sake of it makes it that much harder to get to know the ones that are already here.

Moonstar is no longer a New Mutant (there are no New Mutants), but instead of joining any of the many X-teams out there, she joins Mutant Liberation Front. Story One has her thinking about her life while doing combat training with her fellow MLFers. Yes, it is a character piece. That’s nice.

But then China Force (from Alpha Flight) fight 3-Peace (a trio of Collective Man, Jade Dragon, and “Nuwa”–the new characters who is never seen again), and the character piece descends into mindless stupidity. Reignfire reminds us why it makes NO SENSE for Dani to be on this team (and also reminds us why the mid-’90s were a nadir for Marvel).

Too bad.

The second story has Siryn meeting an old woman in a castle who seems to be able to talk to the spirit of her dead baby. Another character piece. It’s not bad. It feels like it was created for Marvel Comics Presents–the anthology book that included short stories by no-name creators about minor characters.

The rest of the issue is filled with a bunch of pin-ups. Like this one of Boom-Boom.

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