Cable and X-Force #1
By Dennis Hopeless and Salvador Larroca
With the Phoenix Force dispersed, the world has changed. Once hidden in obscurity or hunted like animals, mutants now serve alongside the Avengers. After assuring the survival of Hope, Cable disappeared, thought dead. He has secretly been building a team to run a mission to save the world from a possible cataclysm that Cable has seen in painful premonitions. Alongside Domino, Doctor Nemesis, Colossus and Forge, Cable has rebuilt his team, X-Force. After apparently killing civilians, Cable is confronted by the Avengers but he refuses to give any justification. He just doesn’t have time.
From the time when it took over the New Mutants, X-Force has traditionally been a high-octane balls-to-the-wall comic filled with gritted teeth, explosions and heaving bosoms. It’s a man’s book to end all man books. The new series infuses even more of the Clint Eastwood silent loner type into Cable and ups the ante by placing him in severe pain. One of the most powerful telekinetically skilled mutants ever, Cable formerly used all of his power to keep the Technoorganic virus at bay. Yet after he was healed, his abilities have no focus, hampering his performance and he is plagued by telepathic visions (no idea how that works) of a disastrous future (again!).
With Forge at his side as a kind of cross between James Bond’s Q and the Punisher’s Microchip, Cable has been outfitted with state of the art gear including a weapon/arm that even he calls ridiculous. But that will not be enough. The first issue sees him getting a band together and facing the ire of his former protegee Hope who is furious that he just dropped out of her life with no explanation. On the run from the Avengers (and later the X-Men as well, I wager), Cable’s X-Force is made up of loners with nothing to lose.
Yeah… it’s that kinda book. You can practically hear the metal soundtrack blasting from each page.
The first issue is mainly about Cable and includes his recruitment of Dr. Nemesis (the snarkiest Warren Ellis character that Ellis never created) and Domino who is sometimes Black Widow with a different haircut. I am looking forward to seeing how Colossus is brought in as when we saw him last the normally sensitive farm boy was filled with rage from being manipulated by his sister. When we do see him, I wager he will bear little resemblance to the mutant who served little to no purpose in the X-books. He will be an unstoppable engine of destruction. I’m very excited to see the transformation occur.
Writer Dennis Hopeless explained that he had been approached by editor Nick Lowe with an (almost) clean slate to build from:
When Nick Lowe asked me to pitch the book, he said X-Force has a history of reinvention. Every time there’s a new X-Force title, it’s miles different from the previous incarnation. Then Nick asked, “What would your version of X-Force be?”
That was a really cool and interesting challenge, especially because right after that, he said, “But make it about Cable,” and hung up the phone. I had to figure out a story that would reinvent X-Force while also taking the book back to its Cable roots.
And let’s not forget the X-Force run these new books are following. Rick Remender and company have been kicking us in the brain every issue on “Uncanny X-Force.”
Given that he had to anchor the book on Cable, Hopeless luckily found a solid approach to a character who was once the new Wolverine and later became just another Wolverine.
When Cable is at his best, he’s the Mad Max of the Marvel Universe; Beat to shit. Tank just above empty. Odds always against him. Whether he likes it or not, he’s going to spend the whole movie driving straight at the enemy.
Mad Max meets Steve McQueen as played by the T2 Terminator: That’s my take on Cable. He doesn’t want to sit and chat. He doesn’t have time to explain the plan to you. He just wants whatever horrible thing he has to do done fast, so he can steal five minutes peace after. The fun part is surrounding him with a supporting cast who absolutely refuse to give him that peace.
This is interesting to me because the Cable/Soldier X series along with the post-Messiah CompleX Cable series were both very good and each surprised me in utilizing a character that bored me to tears. If the first issue is any indication, this is could once more raise Cable to the ranks of popularity and deliver a kick-ass action book.
Much like the fallout from Civil War and Dark Reign, the Marvel Universe is completely reshuffled. The X-Men are both heroes and terrorists, the Avengers are policing the entire planet but not much has changed for Cable, who is once more on a secret mission. This is a great testosterone-fueled book that picks up the reigns from its predecessor with style (thanks to the wonderful art by Larroca).
If this is not your thing, you probably already know. But if you enjoy the action movie type of film, this is a great example of how to get it pitch perfect.