Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Review # 85: "Cable and X-Force: Dead or Alive"

"Cable and X-Force" is a great series provided you don't care about plot. The second volume is an entertaining read despite its lack of tension while character interaction continues to be a hoot.

In volume one I was a fan of the rivalry pairing of Nemesis and Forge and the romantic pairing of Colossus and Domino. It's the latter of those two that makes Colossus' presence on this C-list team work. Yeah, Peter isn't an A-list character. But he IS an A-list member of the X-Men. He's been fleshed out (or "metalled out") so well over the past 40 years that he's larger-than-life and definitely larger than those he's been surrounded with.

Colossus hooking up with Domino, though, is an effective distraction. Cable, Forge and Nemesis are what they are. Though they aren't necessarily one-note, they're fairly static. Domino, though, is just weird enough and just mysterious enough to keep you guessing and it's a lot easier to buy the idea that she and Peter work within the same pages.

While those two continue to explore each other, Forge and Nemesis fuss'n'feud and Cable meets up with another family member (this time it's his ol' pop Cyclops.) Meanwhile, there is a welcome new addition to the cast: original X-Force member Tabitha "Boom Boom" Smith. Dennis Hopeless makes the right decision and interprets her like Warren Ellis did in the excellent "Nextwave." She uses netspeak and ticks down on her explosions, bringing the same fun she did in the classic cult miniseries.

Unfortunately, the story is lacking. Stretched over several issues, the team rescues an alien in a prison break and puts themselves in intergalactic danger as a result. Despite how big that sounds, it's slow-moving and generally unmemorable. The best story is a one-shot at the end that centres on Hope Summers as she evades capture at the hands of the Uncanny Avengers. Yet another moment where "Cable and X-Force" skirts along the outside of the Marvel Universe's main track.

Ideally, I would like to see "Cable and X-Force" go somewhere in the limited issues it has left, but I doubt it's going to happen. In the meantime, I'm sticking it out. For an X-fan, there's still a lot to enjoy despite not much happening.

Rating: 6.5/10

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