Too serious about comics.

Cable #11

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It’s hard to shake the feeling that Nathan Summers’ flight is coming to an end in more ways than one. While Bishop’s master plan is proving extremely successful in cutting off the temporal refugee’s options, the cumulative effect of nearly a year’s worth of shoddy plotting and un-engaging storytelling has drained all momentum from the endeavour. Boxed into a hole, Duane Swierczynski manages to pull something of a rabbit of his hat, but it’s a stay of execution at best.

Despite having been comprehensively defeated in the previous issue, those pesky one-dimensional “cockroaches” are at it again, forcing Cable and Hope to take one last desperate jump into a future where all life has been erased from the planet. With nowhere else to turn, Nathan is forced to finally hold a conversation with his daughter, sketching out the tenants of the franchise she’s been born into and misquoting famous poetry. Swierczynski was wise to make a rod for his own back in ensuring that Hope’s upbringing was so divorced from real day life- she’s an engaging creation, but a remarkably unconvincing seven year old. Her arrival as a fully-fledged character just about manages to save this story from irrelevance, but the abandonment of Cable’s previous history, through an aside about being “born to protect” Hope, grates. If an original character was desired, why not create one?

At Comics Daily, we don’t give such weak writing the full review treatment without a good reason, and regular readers of the site will probably have already guessed what motivated us here. It’s a reason that starts on page eight and continues for the rest of the book, in the form of guest pencilling by Jamie McKelvie. Rob Leifeld’s prodigy is possibly the last character you’d expect to find the co-creator of Phonogram working on, but his strengths in conversational expression and personal drama might have found a natural home in a more accomplished version of this script. Even with such a thematic match considered, it’s hard to see the reason for hiring such a distinctive and interesting artist if you’re then going to have his work drowned in digital paint courtesy of Guru eFX. Some of the penciler’s strengths occasionally break through, particularly in Hope’s facial expressions, but this is still watered-down work. When it comes to the title character, McKelvie’s version instantly trumps Olivetti’s by default, by virtue of the fact that he’s clearly a member of the human race as opposed to the troll-like wrestler that the book has featured to date. There’s more than a little of Michael Ryan’s slimmed-down, re-energised depiction of the character in McKelvie’s take on Summers, and it’s impossible to imagine the book’s regular artist making a success of the scene where Cable playfully chases his charge.

Hopefully the forthcoming X-Force crossover will provide the book with a spark of life: it’s hard to imagine a more urgent need for it.

Written by Julian Hazeldine

February 5th, 2009 at 10:56 pm

4 Responses to 'Cable #11'

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  1. > it’s impossible to imagine the book’s regular artist making a success of the scene where Cable playfully chases his charge.

    You’re right. I tried to imagine this and anything my brain comes up with is so hilarious, I almost want to see him try it.

    James Hunt

    6 Feb 09 at 1:16 am

  2. i actually don’t agree with you, i preferred the regular artist to stay, his artwork was much more beautiful and detailed in my opinion, this one feels like…flat, i don’t know.although i will admit he can do better facial expressions.And about cable beeing portrayed like a westler, well, i guess he was going for the looks that he has since he debuted in liefeld’s hands, a big bulky guy..and i like this series, it’s slow-paced, but it’s different, it’s all about them surviving against the odds, and i like the time travel aspect…they’r trying to do something different here, not just hero-vs-villain monthly…but i guess to each it’s one right? carry on ;)

    Pedrom

    6 Feb 09 at 5:48 pm

  3. I’ve no objection to the standard bulked-up depictions of Cable. Ian Churchill and Patrick Zircher’s takes on the character worked brilliantly, but both pencillers managed to capture his abnormal height rather better that Olivetti’s iteration. His version is a bit too stocky, being more of a brawler than the soldier he’s always described as…

    Julian Hazeldine

    6 Feb 09 at 10:34 pm

  4. I don´t agree with the review.

    I liked a lot better the first 8 pages (Olivetti´s) than the other half.
    And regarding the story, yes, it is slow. But slow in a good way. They are building up the relationship over the years, the desolation of the future without hope, without life.

    I really enjoy this title. I believe that both X Factor and Cable are the only titles following the Messiah Complex story line. (which was the best Marvel wrote in years).

    martin

    10 Feb 09 at 1:38 pm

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