He has been seen as a time traveller and a terrorist, a freedom fighter and a mercenary and most recently a father. Cable has been many things but now how will he be viewed as the main protagonist in the four part miniseries X-Sanction?
Written by Jeph Loeb, the first issue is a varying storyline jumping from present to future and back again, setting up the story. One thing it doesn’t clearly address is how this has all happened, though considering the last we saw of Cable was being fully consumed and ultimately ended by the technovirus he constantly struggled against. This in itself will leave a lot of fans and followers wondering what has gone on, but I also have to ask is it necessary to explain here?
Loeb works very well with the ambiguous nature of Cable by placing him at odds with the Avengers, starting to take them down individually. It only becomes clear later in the story as to why and after seeing him with Falcon and Cap, claiming he will take them all down, it does start you thinking about how he will if that’s the plan (considering there is a Hulk on the team it is certainly an interesting thought)? Cable is a desperate man willing to die once again for the girl he knew as his daughter.
If I'm honest the premise - especially in Cable’s case - is a well used one but the twist to this is the overriding paternal instinct. As Cable is such an intense character it is only amplified which I don’t find to be a bad thing. Using The Avengers as “the Bad Guys” is an interesting move but one which I can’t see carrying considering their high moral standards.
As I’m also aware of the upcoming crossover where the Avengers will be pitted against the X-Men because of the Phoenix Force and using Hope as a vessel for it, I am left asking if this little series is necessary. I feel that this is going to go one of two ways, either as a vehicle which introduces a key factor or as a pointless filler.
Stalwart Ed McGuinness has provided the artwork which I didn’t think matched up to the story. It is true to his previous work but I just felt it lacked depth. Cable has always been depicted as an overly muscular alpha male type with the virus taking a part of him adding to the detail in his persona but here it feels as if the work is unfinished or lacking further detail. It’s only in the close up shots of any character that you get a better look and feel for them. McGuinness is also a foreground artist. The backgrounds are open and are simply there to provide a loose feel to the frame not adding any value.
I think that regardless of the end motivation of the mini-series, anyone who followed Messiah Complex or subsequent arcs will like this. I wouldn’t say it’s a reasonable jump on point but the story is strong enough to carry a reader and possibly hook them for all four issues.
Matt Puddy is gearing up for the end of the year with a look back at some of the best of 2011