The mutant named Cannonball once trained to use his energy-blasting powers in the same facilities as the X-Men, until he was recruited into a war by time-traveler Cable and his comrade Domino. Now second-in-command of X-Force, Cannonball joined his fellow New Mutants, including the genetically enhanced warrior Shatterstar, in bringing the fight to the Mutant Liberation Front.
Hey Marvel Minimate fans, my first review is of a set that has a lot of nostalgic value to me, the brand new X-Force Four-Pack. This was released in January 2015 as a Direct Market exclusive. This set represents X-Force in their post-Liefeld costumes designed by Greg Capullo of current Batmanfame. These looks were very similar to Jim Lee’s X-Men designs of the same time. This is how X-Force looked right when I started reading comics and I must say I’m always pumped to see these looks done in any line because I always loved these costumes! During the events of the X-Cutioner’s Song, X-Force was held prisoner at the X-Mansion while Cable was wrongly accused of the attempted murder of Charles Xavier. Cable cleared his name and in turn X-Force was released from imprisonment, however Cable was believed to be dead at the end of the event. Without Cable around to led them, and unwilling to become Xavier’s junior X-Team again, the team decided to strike out on their own. To usher in this new direction, Boomer had the team fitted for new uniforms in the mansion’s Shi’ar costume machine. We got Boomer and Rictor from this incarnation in a TRU wave a couple years ago, now finally we have more members to add!
Packaging (sorry I didn’t save it)
Control art for Cable is front and center with the era-appropriate X-Force logo. Control art on the side for each Minimate and an action photo on the back. No surprises here if you’re familiar with Marvel Minimates packaging. It works, and the box is nineties style in your face! On to the figures inside:
Sam Guthrie has the mutant power to propel his body forward like a missile and he’s also near-invulnerable while blasting. He was one of Xavier’s first New Mutants until Cable repurposed the group into X-Force. “External” comes from a story where Sam survived being impaled by Sauron, therefore it was theorized he was an External (the X-Ternal spelling is actually from an unrelated group native to the Age of Apocalypse). Externals were immortal mutants running around the fringes of the X-Books in the early
90’s ala Highlander. Cable also vaguely alluded to Cannonball being alive in his timeline. The storyline was quietly dropped and I don’t think the External/Cannonball mystery was ever solved. Ahh, the unresolved and abandoned plots of the nineties! Cannonballs’ second X-Force costume is pretty much just a flight suit with some superhero flare. The goggles are here re-used from the previous X-Force Cannonball, no complaints there. The collar is re-used from Morbius and it’s a great piece to compliment the look. Back in the old ToyBiz days quite a few members of this version of the team got figures however Cannonball only received a figure in his Liefeld purple duds. I’ve wanted a figure of THIS Cannonball since I was 10 years old and I never got one, until now!
I’ve always preferred this Cannonball costume over any other, it just fits his character so well. He’s got some nice, clean tampos detailing the padding of his suit. Yellow over blue usually gets messy but it’s perfect here. In a nice touch that I can’t recall seeing before, he’s got the padding tampo’d on his glove cuffs. He’s got the flight suit straps detailed on his legs as well. His face looks just like the other Cannonball but with a different expression. I always love how DST pulls that off because if you think about it, that’s not really easy to do with the simplicity of the Minimate aesthetic. The same blast stand is used from the previous X-Force Cannonball. You remove his legs and there’s a peg hole to place the torso on to simulate blast-off. It’s a nice piece in theory, but it’s not very dynamic as he’s stuck looking down and it doesn’t elevate him above the other Minimates. Blast stand aside, this is a great Cannonball figure and you really couldn’t ask for anything else. 9/10
Shatterstar’s origins are really confusing. He’s either Gaveedra-Seven, Mojoverse rebel, or a comatose mutant child named Benjamin Russell, or a combination of their memories, or both, or neither. Trust me, its better left alone. Jeph Loeb who WROTE the Benjamin Russell story couldn’t even comprehend what went to print. In fairness to Loeb, the story he had in mind was so heavily re-worked by editorial that nobody knew what the hell it was supposed to be in the end! We may never know the full truth, but what I do know is that this is one cool Minimate! We got Shatterstar’s debut costume in a previous TRU 2-pack with Cannonball. That costume was mostly white with a bit of a fencing vibe to it while this one has more of a medieval knight influence. ToyBiz did both looks as part of its X-Force line back in the day, and now Minimates are following suit.
I’ll say right off the bat that I wish we got some new tooling on this Minimate as opposed to elsewhere in this box set, but we’ll get to that in a bit. The hairpiece is re-used from the previous Shatterstar and the shoulder pads/neckerchief is re-used from Rictor. The previous Shatterstar’s helmet was padded, whereas in this look it’s supposed to be a smooth metal piece. Think like Magneto’s helmet, but with the top cut off. His shoulder pads are also supposed to be metal, not padding, but he did wear the neckerchief so that’s a point for accuracy. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it deserves mention as I’m a stickler for accuracy. He gets the double-bladed swords again and they fit into his hands much easier now that he doesn’t use the old-style cuff gloves. He now comes with the same wrist gauntlet hand pieces that Wave 47 Colossus used. The red lines on his legs are meant to be raised pieces but that wouldn’t be possible on a Minimate. This is the weakest area of the Minimate as the lines on mine are already coming off. He gets boots from Thunderstrike and they’re a great choice. In a nice touch, he has no pupils. Back in the nineties, we didn’t need them. A good Minimate that needed some new tooling to bump it up to great status. 7/10
We got a “Domino” in the 2010 X-Force box set; however this is the first actual Domino figure we’ve received. Confused? I can explain. The Domino in the previous set was Vanessa Carlysle, aka Copycat. Copycat was a shape-shifter who was sent to infiltrate X-Force as Domino on behalf of the arms dealer Tolliver. The real Domino never wore the costume we got with the previous Minimate. The actual Domino was imprisoned at the time, and this Minimate reflects her look when she makes her real first appearance and joins X-Force, exposing the infiltrator. That’s not complicated at all compared to Shatterstar.
Domino got a figure in this look in ToyBiz’s X-Force series, and this is pretty much a straight representation of that. She’s got a navy blue costume with purple straps, pouches and accessories. The colors are perfect here, and her white skin and jet black hair really pop in comparison. She’s got her trademark black spot over her eye and she’s also misplaced her pupils. Her face tampo is just perfect. It really captures the attitude that made her such a cool character. She wore a Scarlet Witch-style tiara which I’m really surprised is a brand new piece, I guess it warranted new tooling to fit over her shoulder pads? She gets what I think is a new shoulder pad piece. It’s got a little bar in the back that connects the two sides so it’s all one piece unlike previous Wolverine figures. Unfortunately, the shoulder pads slope a little bit when the hairpiece pushes down on the bar in the back. I would have liked to see something similar to the 90’s Jean Grey shoulder padsused instead. She gets the cool side holsters that a few Minimates have had; unfortunately the guns she comes with don’t really fit in them. I’m not sure we’re they’re from, but they’re very round and futuristic, not very mercenary-like. I would have preferred the guns we got with Madame Hydra or Maria Hill used here. Those fit the holsters perfectly and fit the character too. A few strange parts choices keep Domino from being perfect but she’s still an easy thumbs up. 8/10
Heavy Armor Cable
Here’s the reason why most people are buying this set. Lets just get this out of the way first, this guy is absolutely LOADED with accessories. We’ll talk about the armored look first. When Cable was presumed dead after the X-Cutioner’s Song, he actually ended up in the far future which is where his first ongoing solo series starts. This look is based on those comics. He gets an enormous shoulder pad piece that fits a gun in the front and a big laser rifleon the back. The rifle is from Hope Summers and it’s kind of flat but on the plus side he can hold it in his hands. The big blaster that the other Cables came with looked much cooler but the handle was so wide it would not fit in his hand. Something in between would be best. Whether you like the shoulder piece or not probably depends on how much tolerance you have for nineties comics. Me personally, I love it. The thing is very detailed with lots of little pouches and capsules holding it together. He has an alternate goatee head to represent his look from his early solo series however he doesn’t get an alternate hairpiece to compliment it. In the comics, he had a kind of Mohawk with hair on the sides, like the wrestler Road Warrior Animal. That would have definitely required a new piece as there’s nothing like that right now. I like the hairpiece that he comes with and I like that they didn’t reuse the previous Cable hairpiece as Cable wasn’’t drawn with a receded hairline around this time. The piece he comes with is re-used fromChris Redfield and has a nice microphone attached to it. He’s got a couple more guns on the side holsters on his legs. You alos get a few different options for his boots. He gets a big pair of brown padded boots, and a really, really big pair of brown padded boots. The really big ones are a little too big for my tastes but they look decent when he’s all bulked up.
Underneath you get his iconic blue and yellow costume. Most are familiar with the look from the Marvel Vs. Capcom games. It’s a nice look, very reminiscent of the X-Men uniforms of the time. Cable was working more closely with the X-Men at the time so it made sense. This is also probably the costume most people identify with Cable as he wore it (and slight variations of it) longer than any other costume. I would have liked the yellow straps to be a separate piece since he’s a little thin compared to other Minimates but I guess this figure already broke the tooling bank. It’s nice that you get so many different options since Cable didn’t always wear yellow gloves or boots when he rocked the yellow and blue costume. It’s cool you can mix and match to make a perfect Cable. 9/10
Just to wrap up, this applies to all four Minimates so I’ll mention it here. All figures include clear stands. These are of the larger variety and they’re made from the harder plastic. Also worth noting for all figures are that they’re using the newer base molds which I like. They’re a little bit taller than figures from the previous couple years due to the legs being slightly re-tooled; however they fixed the uneven leg problem which is a huge plus in my book. The figures now stand flat, no more crooked stances.
All we need now is Sunspot, Warpath and Siryn to complete the team. We also need Feral, however we got her in her first X-Force costume and I realize asking for two Ferals is probably unrealistic. Feral’s second look wasn’t too different from her first, so I can live with that. When this set was announced, there were many complaints stating we didn’t need these characters since we already got other versions of them. I’m sorry but that’s ridiculous. If a character has different looks for different eras or teams/incarnations/whatever, then I want those alternate looks to have a proper display. I don’t care if the character has already been done. Would you display your Original Team Cyclops with your 90’s X-Men display? Your Extremis Iron Man with your West Coast Avengers display? Your New Mutants Sunspot with these guys? Of course not. I don’t want a hodge-podge X-Force or a hodge-podge version of any team for that matter. If we can get multiple versions of Deadpool, who’s look doesn’t change very much, then we can get multiple Cannonballs. This set is awesome and I can’t wait to get the rest of the team. It could be a while, but I have faith they’ll come eventually. Unfortunately we don’t get too many comic style Minimates these days, so when we do get classic stuff as well done as this I’m ecstatic. Thumbs way up for X-Force!
Review and pictures by Bigvis497