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So How DID Cannonball Survive Being Stabbed to Death?

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
So How DID Cannonball Survive Being Stabbed to Death?

In Left Unresolved, I spotlight storylines that have been, well, left unresolved.

A while back, I discussed how Marvel abandoned an’ forsaked the whole concept of Externals, but now, I think it’s worth also asking, then what the heck IS the deal with Cannonball if he is not an External?

The whole thing started in X-Force #6 (by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza), where the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants take on X-Force and after encountering Phantazia, Cannonball’s blast shield is not working, leaving him vulnerable to a fatal attack…

After nothing happened to further this plot along in X-Force #7, X-Force #8 (by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza) features a flashback sequence drawn by Mike Mignola, as we learn Cable’s secret origin for encountering the New Mutants in the first place…

The next issue (by Liefeld, Nicieza and Dan Panosian), there is a shocking ending (yes, this is third issue after Cannonball seemingly died and they just now got around to bringing him back)…

In the next issue (by Liefeld, Nicieza, Mark Pacella and Panosian), Cable spells things out to Cannonball…

Okay, so that was the set-up for a number of years, until “X-Force” #54 (by Jeph Loeb, Adam Pollina and Bud La Rosa), when Selene shows up and basically says, “Nope, none of y’all are externals” and slaughters all of the so-called externals. However, she specifically says that Cannonball is NOT one…

And there’s really no particularly good reason as to why she would lie, as she was super duper intent on killing Externals, so if Cannonball WAS one, then she would sure want to kill him, too, right? By the way, no matter what else, we’ve never seen a resolution to the whole “ask Cable” bit by Selene.

But okay, if she’s telling the truth, then what the heck? How did Cannonball die and then come back to life with his wounds healed?

Many years later, in “New X-Men” #27 (written by Craig Kyle and Chris Yost and drawn by Paco Medina and Juan Vlasco), Cannonball is shot…

and then the next issue…

And that’s it. Was the “there are no Externals” retcon just get retconned itself there? Is Cannonball an External?

If he is, then okay, fair enough. But if he isn’t, then what the heck? This doesn’t make any sense as it currently stands. I mean, I’m down with the general view of “Hey, some stories aren’t worth pursuing, so it’s better to just forget that they ever happened.” And if that’s the case, then that’s okay. I’m not saying that this even SHOULD be resolved. I’m strictly just noting that it HASN’T been resolved as of yet.

If you have a suggestion for a future installment, drop me a line at!

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