X-Force’s new Hellfire Gala costumes are a slick callback to the team’s original pocket-obsessed look from their classic 90s incarnation.
The upcoming Hellfire Gala features mutantkind at the pinnacle of futuristic fashion, but some of these designer clothes contain references to the past. Case in point, the imposing X-Force team charged with guarding Xavier might seem like a standard security outfit, but the costumes actually point to the team’s origins steeped in 90s excess.
The Hellfire Gala storyline will see the mutants of Krakoa gathering for a major event sponsored by the Hellfire Trading Corporation. During this event, the X-Men will find themselves shoulder-to-shoulder with superheroes and world leaders alike, so the characters will be adorned with elegant fashion courtesy of mutant fashion designer Jumbo Carnation. The twelve-issue storyline will also feature announcements of Krakoa’s future intentions, which will doubtlessly change the X-Men’s destiny—and perhaps the Marvel Universe as a whole.
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In a recent Tweet, Marvel Entertainment released images of Professor Xavier and his X-Force security guards. While Xavier’s bombastic new look received a lot of attention, the understated presence of X-Force—including Domino, Wolverine, Sage, Beast and Quentin Quire—contains a subtle in-joke to X-Force’s origin. The team is decked out in black suits for most of the members, with only Sage wearing a dress. However, several of the members have white pouches strapped to them. This is a clear reference to the pocket-heavy character designs that dominated X-Force in their original 90s incarnation.
X-Force first appeared in New Mutants #100 in April 1991, and were largely a revamped version of the New Mutants team. Lead by the time-hopping mutant Cable, the team adopted their leader’s rough and aggressive traits—as well as arguably his fashion sense. Considering the team was co-created by future Image co-founder Rob Liefeld, it’s not entirely surprising that X-Force featured the 90s style that would be come synonymous with many superheroes thereafter. The straps and pouches seen on the various X-Force members in the upcoming Gala seem to be a visual callback to the this very recognizable style of costume.
Of course, it’s also possible that these pouches have some sort of significance in the upcoming story. After all, this mutant team looks to be able to handle just about anything, and given Krakoa’s emphasis on mutant powers, one has to wonder what additional equipment would they even need? However, even as a subtle callback, the costumes provide a fun link to X-Force’s past while acknowledging the team’s own necessary violence in both Krakoa’s present as well as upcoming proceedings at the Hellfire Gala.
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