Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka Optimous Douche – Ain’t It Cool news)
As with all my reviews I try to push aside my personal proclivities and focus on the execution of the title versus whether, “would I buy this?” I also try to think about the money strapped collector who simply can’t afford every book on the shelf, and this mantra has never been more prevalent in the new cross-pollinated Marvel Now world of X-MEN & AVENGER co-mingling.
I have always been on the side of X versus A, even before Marvel asked us to pick sides earlier this year. Mutants are my thing and as such I love a world where more mutie titles stuff the shelves. I don’t even mind those damn AVENGERS getting all up in my X-titles, in fact I outright welcome then in their own UNCANNY book especially when Havok gets to call the shots in all mutie affairs, which is exactly how CABLE & X-FORCE opens.
Hopeless opens this book right with five of the new X-FORCEians standing amongst a sea of bodies. Cable, Colossus, Domino and Dr. Nemesis stand toe-to-toe with UNCANNY AVENGERS before a gunshot escape and we are whisked away to the famed “a few days earlier” to unravel the events that led us to this point. It was great to see an underdog escape the AVENGERS and I give huge props to Hopeless for having Alex acknowledge and try to use their loose familial ties to persuade Cable to come peacefully.
Personally, I’ve really missed Cable. I know he has his detractors, but when he’s not a mutant messiah or raising a mutant messiah in the future, he is the Bruce Willis of comics. A man who must always take the hard road forward since he knows the easy path often leads to mutant demise. Also, like his Father (before the Phoenix induced breakdown) he’s a natural leader.
This is truly a back to roots book, with Cable and this new team living inside an abandoned ship in the middle of the dessert. Hopeless spends a fair amount of time reuniting Hope and Cable after Cable’s perceived death and Hope’s reigniting of the mutie gene across the globe. Hell hath no fury like a daughter scorned, and with Hope’s exile into the boredom of a human foster family and Cable’s lack of contact since his return scorn abounds on many pages.
Being an exposition tale and with Hopeless’ backwards story approach there are many puzzle pieces that have yet to fit together (or perhaps I simply have a gap in memory). The only clear membership on the team is Dr. Nemesis who Cable hijacks at gunpoint to help him with the side effects of losing the techno-organic virus. Forge’s presence is still an unknown. Domino, well she goes together with Cable more naturally than Honey Boo Boo with illiteracy. Colossus is still a delta as his only appearance is on the first few pages, we still have no idea how this member of the Phoenix Five actually joins the new team.
I’m OK with questions for now, but this better be a short arc because a cool line-up only gets you so far. Purpose is a necessity, if you don’t believe me, simply look at the rapid dwindling love for JUSTICE LEAGUE.
I would be remiss not to mention Mr. Larroca’s contribution to this title. Any monkey with a pen can emulate characters that have been around for a generation, it takes a true artist though, to make a static image move and Larocca is a wizard in this regard of Daily Prophet proportions. Hope’s tantrum, Domino’s escape act, in every instance blurring is used to make the panel whiz by.
I won’t say CABLE & X-FORCE is for everyone. If you are only a casual mutie observer with enough room in your wallet for just one X-Book, that book should be ALL NEW X-MEN. If you’re a mutie zealot like yours truly though, this branching of mutant wetworks is exactly what the Dr. Nemesis ordered.