Written by Duane Swierczynski
Art by Ariel Olivetti
I've made no attempt to hide my distaste for Cable or its current creators', Duane Swierczynski and Ariel Olivetti, work on the title and have admitted to a bias and general dislike for this volume on the whole, even as recent as the last issue.
However, this issue actually manages to redeem the much maligned title, at least in regards to its place in the current Messiah War crossover. It is by no means a great issue, but I didn't outright hate it, as I had expected to, either.
What I liked most about this issue is that it significantly progressed the rather slow and plodding Messiah War storyline. We had spent a good three and a half (the prologue was doublesized) issues on this event that amounted to nothing more than handshaking and the odd bit of gore. This issue doesn't let up on the prerequisite gore factor, but it does take steps to providing some conflict to the story. In this case, by bringing the Bishop/Stryfe conflict to ahead and the nice twist with having Hope tricked into believing Stryfe actually is Cable (Stryfe is his evil clone for those wondering, which just sounds silly when I say it out loud).
The biggest let down of this issue is still the artwork. Compare Olivetti's artwork to Crain's work on X-Force, specifically the Apocalypse and Archangel stuff, and Olivetti's shortcomings are apparent, especially when you consider the fact both primarily use digital artwork and colouring techniques. Everyone Olivetti draws comes off stiff and lifeless and any attempts at displaying motion, such as flashbacks of Hope skipping or the random fight sequences in this issue, look like old toys that only move in a few directions at the elbows and knees.
Verdict - Check It. If you're reading this event, you'll be happy to know the story picks up with this issue, but there's not really much here for those uninterested or trade waiting to get excited over just yet.