By: Jeph Loeb (writer), Ed McGuinness (pencils), Dexter Vines (inks), Morry Hollowell(colors)

The Story: The Avengers are dealing with a prison break from the Raft when one of their number is split off from the pack and captured by Cable.

The Review: In any series, it is important for the writer to find a story that fits with the nature of the hero. Batman hunts psychotic killers in nighttime Gotham. Thor’s best stories involve the intersection of Norse myth and the real world. Cable is a time-traveling refugee from a future of extreme mutant persecution. And he only comes in badass flavor. So this story, about Cable trying once again to avert a terrible future by changing the past is great grist for this mill.

In this case, it looks like Cable has got to off the Avengers. What’s cool in this story? The very far future with his friend Blaquesmith and their discussion of what happened. It echoed some of the feel of 13 Monkeys. What wasn’t so cool? I followed some of the Hope saga and I get that Cable misses being a dad to Hope, but the writing on this was a bit heavy-handed. Also, the very strong hints (by Blaquesmith and Captain America) that Cable isn’t playing with a full deck really cut the feet out from under this story. A story of conflicting choices, each option with its ethical costs, is the best kind of story. The set-up here with Cable being not-quite-right-in-the-head cheapens the conflict and points to a resolution of “well, he got better now…whew!” I hope I’m wrong.

On art, McGuiness and Vines laid down some fine pencils that suggested different flavors at different times. The opening double-splash felt a bit like the work of Grummett. Later on, especially when Cap was running on the deck of the ship, it had a tinge of Art Adams. This is not to say that McGuinness doesn’t have a style of his own. I just liked some of the resonances my read got me. His style is detailed enough to keep me interested and clear enough to tell an action-filled story.

Aside: Is it me or has the Avengers turned into an all-guy team?

Conclusion: Action and adventure, but this series isn’t going to reshape the comic field or anything. Cable fans may rejoice that he’s got 4 issues of center stage time. Fighting the Avengers is going to be pretty hard and he has some history with more than one.

Grade: C

-DS Arsenault

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