Thursday, December 13, 2012

Comic Review: Cable & X-Force

Written by Dennis Hopeless

Art by Salvador Larocca & Frank D'Armata
Marvel Comics


    X-Force has had many incarnations since it formed back in the early 90s. It was originally the evolution of the New Mutants to a full fledged military team, lead by Cable. As time went on, Cannonball had become leader for a team. Siryn had taken a stint as leader alongside Sunspot. Pete Wisdom had taken over X-Force for a short time as Warpath was able to fly for a while. Then things changed with a brand new roster that became a fan favorite by Mike Allred. That team became the X-Statix and X-Force disbanded for a time.

  Wolverine had reformed X-Force as the leading tracking and assassination team for mutants, dealing with Black Ops. After his first roster was "disbanded" by Cyclops, Wolverine and Archangel formed a new Uncanny X-Force ... which just recently ended. Now ... X-Force is about to split into 2. And Cable is back.


   The book starts at an interesting point where the team is formed ... and found with a LOT of unarmed dead bodies by Havok and the Uncanny Avengers. Yep ... Cable is stopped by his uncle Alex. And it does not look good. While Alex tries to get Nate to give him the 411 on what's going on, Captain America wants to arrest them fast ... and gets shut down by Alex for it.  Cable and his team doesn't go and then we look to see how that team is formed.

   Plus, we get to see what Hope's been up to since the end of Avengers vs X-Men. Plus, you find out that Cable is having a hard time adjusting to not having the techno-organic virus after so long (since X-Factor #68 to be exact). And while Colossus is the only person we don't really see get thrown into the mix ... we do see that this team is definitely going to be smarter with both Forge and Doctor Nemesis on it.


   The style that Larocca's art has evolved to is beautiful and wonderous to look at. Here ... it seems that he's starting to fuse his current style with some of his older sensibilities. And it looks GREAT. People are really detailed and specific. Emotions and action are wonderfully rendered. D'Armata's colors really help set the tone and mood alongside Larocca's pencils & inks.
  The character's have a slightly darker pitch to them than they did when Larocca's was on Iron Man. Yet, it works every well here. The extra detail helps distinguish age in Larocca's work which is definitely welcome.


  This is my first exposure to Hopeless's writing. And I will admit, I am impressed. He has the character voices down pat. From Domino, to Alex, to Forge to Cable to Dr. Nemesis ... Hopeless has really done a great job showing us these characters in a true light. I loved how Cable decided to watch his daughter from afar ... which definitely fits Cable's M.O. and personality.

   Domino was still Domino and I loved it. The pacing in the issue was good but felt a bit ...incomplete. While I like how the issue ended, it felt like there should have been more to this issue up to that point. Hopeless utilized what he had very well. But I just felt that there was a scene missing. Not necessarily Colossus but something else.

 Otherwise, the issue definitely built itself up as a great start for this new X-Force.


    Hopeless, Larocca & D'Armata bring a fresh new look with some old familiars with Cable & X-Force. Outside of the law again but their formation comes from necessity it seems.  We have some great designs. An interesting group of characters. A familiar looking threat. And some great plot lines starting up for this first issue. Besides that feeling I have of something missing, this was a great, solid issue.

I give Cable & X-Force #1  a 4 ... out of 5. 

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