Written by Duane Swierczynski
Art by Ariel Olivetti
Messiah War marches on with this issue of Cable. I originally had no plans to follow the event until I caved to reader suggestions to pick up the prologue last week. Suffice to say, I wasn't blown away with the prologue, but it was enough to hook me in for the rest of the event.
Which brings me to this week's Cable. I now remember why I dropped this title way back at the start of Swierczynski's and Olivetti's run - neither has impressed me with their work on this title of the characters in the various issues I've read and the trend continues here.
Swierczynski's writing is stilted and many of the characters act without any regard to past relationships. For instance, Cable literally tells the X-Force team that they should, and I quote, "gut [Deadpool] and dump him" and that they'd, "be fools to trust him". This is the same Deadpool that Cable shared a comic with and the same character he trusted with his life and was fairly good friends with. He knows Deadpool has mental problems, but was the one person that treated him with respect and like he was an actual hero. Yet here he is outright telling X-Force to kill his friend, who he knows just spent 800 years trapped in isolation. There's odd mischaracterizations and then outright disregard for the characters and their relationships and Swierczynski has never really struck me as caring about any of the characters he writes about in this title, especially when compared to how faithful he seems to be to Brubaker's and Fraction's work on Iron Fist.
In regards to Olivetti, I'm just not a fan of his work. Everyone seems so stiff. It's as if they were all drawn separately and then pasted onto the page. The backgrounds are all plain, washed out landscapes with little to no detail other than a generic mountain or horizon line. This is more of a personal preference, though, so your mileage may vary in regards to how much you enjoy the art.
As for the actual Messiah War storyline, it appears I was both right and wrong about Apocalypse ruling the future Cable and X-Force are trapped in. Apparently, Apocalypse did, at one point, control this timeline and his alien ship is, indeed, located in the city that Cable was showing everyone in the prologue. However, as Deadpool points out to us in this issue, Apocalypse was actually killed by Stryfe and Bishop off-panel and Stryfe is in control now.
Oddly enough, most of the issue was spent recounting Deadpool's misadventures and how he managed to survive into this future. We spent several pages recapping how Wade was trapped in a freezer for the past 800 years. Most of the jokes fell flat, especially compared to Yost & Kyle's dialogue in the prologue, and I was left wondering why we spent so much time on the topic.
The only significant event to occur in this issue was the final page, which had Stryfe's minions tracking down Cable and X-Force. It was a rather oddly scripted scene, which saw Stryfe's attack squad on another mountain top in one panel, Cable cursing over being found and then the next page the Stryfe team has them all surrounded. Other than the odd pacing of that scene, it looks like the next X-Force chapter of this event will be a bloodbath, as I doubt our team will be captured this easily.
Verdict - Check It. Tempted to give an Avoid It to this issue due to very little actually happening, but I'm willing to let it slide as a Check It due to my bias towards the creative team coming in and my not outright hating the issue, despite its flaws.