WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Extermination #3 by Ed Brisson, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia and VC’s Joe Sabino, on sale now.
After a version of the team made its big screen debut in Deadpool 2, Marvel is reforming the militaristic X-Force under the helm of writer Ed Brisson and artist Dylan Burnett. The relaunched series will spin out of Brisson and artist Pepe Larraz’s Extermination event, with the team looking for vengeance after their former leader, Cable, was murdered in cold blood by a younger time-traveling Cable.
However, before X-Force can begin, Extermination still has to run its course as the team is chosen to safeguard the original Jean Grey before she can be kidnapped or killed by this alternate Cable. What the members of X-Force don’t realize is Jean read their minds before leaving the Xavier Institute, so she knows what dirty deeds they have in store to avenge their fallen leader.
X-Force Doesn’t Operate Like The X-Men
Whereas the X-Men don’t look to kill their enemies, X-Force has no qualms with shedding some blood for the greater good. It’s been that way ever since Cable took a leadership role with the New Mutants and molded them into X-Force. Now with Cable dead, X-Force is back together with only one goal in mind: getting payback.
Domino lays out X-Force’s entire plan to Young Jean, from putting a bullet or one of Boom Boom’s explosives in Kid Cable’s skull, to Warpath slitting his throat. Surprisingly, Young Jean hears this and doesn’t bat an eye. She even goes so far as to guide Domino on which way they should be heading to find Cable’s young counterpart.
The mystery time-traveler has managed to capture Iceman, Angel and Calvin Rankin (Mimic), though what role Mimic plays in his plans remains to be seen. After an earlier encounter, Jean may have been able to get a psychic reading on Cable, allowing her to be able to track him. Just as he’s searching for the remaining time-displaced X-Men, X-Force storm into his hideout, with Jean front-and-center leading the charge.
It may seem insignificant, but the image of Jean out in front of X-Force is very telling. She could have stayed in the back and let the team have a go at Young Cable, but she chose to stand alongside them. There are two possible scenarios as to why that is: the first is she truly wants to see X-Force kill Kid Cable and is now fine with an eye-for-an-eye mentality. The second and most likely option is Jean needs X-Force’s help to beat Young Cable, but she has no plans to actually see him dead.
Extermination #4 will probably see Jean telepathically stop a bullet from connecting to Cable’s head, leading to a brief physical altercation with X-Force. The cover for the next issue even features Young Cable and Adult Jean Grey side-by-side, though she is currently in Searebro safeguarding the original Cyclops. Adult Jean may have some words for her time-displaced counterpart if she catches her with X-Force.
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