So far, Duane Swierczynski’s new Cable series has been less than inspiring, but that’s really more to do with the set-up of the book than it is with his skills as a writer, as boy is this book’s set-up dreadful. However, with this issue, Swierczynski appears ready to perhaps take the book in a new direction, and I am quite pleased with that.
I believe I stated that I liked the way Wolfsbane was drawn nowadays as compared to big dumb giant wolf head. I was wrong. Even big dumb giant wolf head is better than her current look. Holy mackerel, that’s ugly!
One of the biggest problems with me about this book (the #1 problem is the tedious set-up of the book – Bishop almost gets him, Cable gets away at the last moment – Bishop almost gets him, Cable gets away at the last moment, rinse repeat) is the portrayal of Bishop. Now don’t get me wrong, as dumb as I think the idea was to turn Bishop into a traitor, I will certainly allow that the whole “Would you kill Hitler as a baby to prevent the Holocaust?” idea is a fair enough idea – you can definitely write a character who thinks it is okay to kill an infant as a noble, if misguided, person.
However, that’s not how Bishop is being handled.
He’s a thug. He’s an oaf. He’s a cretin.
The opening of the comic reflects the cover, where X-Force captures Bishop.
As you can see, Wolverine is sickened by Bishop. Wolverine, who once stabbed a teammate in the chest to keep her from killing a murderous villain, is sickened by Bishop. X-Force, a group Cyclops set up to kill bad guys for the betterment of mutant society is sickened by Bishop, whose goal is basically the same.
Except, of course, it isn’t.
Because Bishop is not allowed to have a hint of nobility – nope, he’s a psychopath who fantasizes about how he’ll murder the baby (and presumably Cable, too).
I think that’s just making things way too simple, storytelling-wise. What’s the point in making things so black and white when the situation could easily be portrayed as gray?
In any event, this issue gets away from the chase a bit, and that’s appreciated. The X-Men capture Bishop and meanwhile we see Cable (who, dude to a malfunction in his time travel equipment, can only travel to the future – not the past), who has basically settled down with a nice woman and is raising the baby, who is now a young toddler. Ariel Olivetti has been doing an absolutely horrid job on drawing the baby so far, but he’s much better with drawing toddlers, apparently, as the girl looks pretty normal.
However, things are coming that will interrupt his tranquil environment – could they have been planned by Bishop?! We shall see.
In any event, the issue was an improvement over the first five, although much of #6 was similar to this one, at least the good parts of #6. Swierczynski is quite adept at character work, which is why I really don’t blame him for the annoying set-up of the book, which does no justice to his character work, because Bishop and Cable are placed in such silly circumstances. I suppose I could blame him for Bishop’s characterization, but who knows how editorially driven stuff like that is.
There is a great bit in the issue where Cable discusses what he calls the kid and what the kid calls him – it’s a nice touch to show how Cable is attempting to maintain his soldier veneer even though he is adjusting to a nice, quiet life.
There’s not really enough of the strong Cable stuff in the issue to recommend it (and Olivetti’s art is still, for the most part, not all that good – which is a shame, as I know the guy can be absolutely brilliant at times), but I will say that I’m interested in seeing what happens next.
Slightly Not Recommended.
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