Evil Geek Book Report – Cable & X-Force #1

Ok, just point to the one that touched you...

Ok, just point to the one that touched you…

Hey there Evil Geeks, it’s been a while since we talked about some comics, so you’re friendly, neighborhood C-Mart is swinging your way with a brand new Evil Geek Book Report!  If I don’t talk about comics every fifteen minutes or so I start to get the shakes, so I figured I best get to business right away! Get out your old slap bracelets and Skids, because we’re jumping into the grave known as 90’s comics to dust off one of Marvel’s more memorable X corpses with their new MarvelNow title: Cable & X-Force by Dennis Hopeless and Salvador Larocca.

Whenever someone mentions X-Force to me, this is the first thing I think of:

We're X-Force and we're here for all the Spandex you have!

We’re X-Force and we’re here for all the Spandex you have!

In case I don’t sound old enough yet, like me explain what it was like for a young fanboy during the early 90’s:  When it came to Marvel – Spider-Man and the various X-Titles were the only things that  moved a massive amount of books every month.  Everything else was just lucky to get published at all, especially if the book couldn’t find a way to shoehorn in an X-Man or two.  It was nearly impossible to not read an X book, because Marvel seemingly had one X title for every man, woman, and child in the US.  One of the X-Clones that always stuck out as one of my favorites was X-Force.  X-Force was like the X-Men’s cool, street-tough cousin.  You weren’t really hanging out with them, so much as they just weren’t telling you to get lost.  Instead of being led by a creepy, old, bald guy, X-Force was led by a creepy, old, buff guy who had a habit of packing guns larger than the building you went to school in.  X-Force didn’t hang around some stodgy boarding school all day, they were on the run from the authorities because they were wanted criminals.  For a while, X-Force maintained its own style, but eventually as would be the fate of all X-Books in that era, it just became another faceless clone and lost its original identity.

When I saw Cable & X-Force on the roster my nostalgia sense kicked into overdrive.  I really dug the Wolverine led X-Force but I was hoping for something along the lines of old school, original X-Force (I had since completely forgotten that god awful reboot that Liefeld and Marvel tried a few years back!).  It’s definitely true when they say that you can never go home again because I didn’t get that rebellious vibe of the original X-Force.  I can see that Hopeless is trying to take it there, so maybe it’ll take a few issues before that vibe is up and running again.  It’s seemed to me that lately Marvel is trying to turn the Avengers into what the X-Men were in the 90’s: a multi-headed cash cow that could be exploited by cranking out as many books as possible with an X-Man or an Avenger in them.  Although there are no Avengers on the team’s roster, Cable & X-Force to me, seems like just another facet of that marketing strategy, although one of the main scenes in the book can be viewed as an attempt for the book to distance itself from the A/X mash-up that’s consuming the Marvel U right now.  In the scene in question, Havok, now leader of the Uncanny Avengers, shows up to a factory/base/complex that has just been attacked by X-Force and appears to be strewn with dead bodies.  Much like the gruff captain from a 90’s buddy cop movie, Havok begins demanding an explanation and also that Cable reassure him that the scene isn’t what it appears to be.  Cable tells him “Sorry”, but it is actually exactly what it looks like and then he tries to shoot Havok in the head, before the team splits the scene.  What’s interesting about this scene is the role that Havok is playing.  I jokingly said that he shows up like a captain in a cop move, but the funny thing is: for the majority of the 90’s that’s exactly what he was.  He was the head of the US Gov’t sponsored mutant team, X-Factor, so in essence his role in the 90’s was that of a cop.  X-Force and X-Factor were complete opposites in their 90’s incarnation, the lawless group of criminals vs. the by-the-book G men and that past relationship is being used to again contrast the roles of Havok’s team and Cable’s team.

Premature discharge happens to a lot of guys Nate's age.

Premature discharge happens to a lot of guys Nate’s age.

After the incident, X-Force once again finds themselves on the run as wanted criminals, but even though the roles of the original team and the current team are the same, the rosters of each are vastly different.  Cable and Domino are definite welcome veterans of the old team, but instead of having a rag-tag team of teens backing them up, this time they’ve got Forge (come on, can someone really tell me when the last time Forge was a relevant character?), Colossus standing in for Warpath, and Doctor Nemesis (Who?  I’ll admit, I’ve been out of the X-Men game for a few years, so I had no idea who this person was and now that I do know, I’m not sure I care).  It looks like Hope Summers will be a member of the team also, although she’s not officially on the roster yet. I’m not sure how I feel about this roster yet, I’d have definitely liked to see some of the other original team members come back, but I’m not going to rush to judgement just yet.  At least not for another couple of issues.  In another nod to the nineties, the big bad shows up at the end of the book and it appears that X-Force will be taking on the Phalanx in this story line, which I will admit that I like.  I was a big fan of the Phalanx Covenant crossover back in the 90’s which eventually gave us one of my favorite books of the of that decade, Generation X.

Overall, I didn’t hate the book, but by no means did I fall in love with it either.  I’m going to stick with it for the next few issues, in hopes that all this 90’s nostalgia will eventually lead to some payoff in the story.  Like I said before, I’ve been away from X-Men for a while, but Cable used to be one of my favorite characters and I’m starting to feel like everything that was intriguing about the character seems to be changed or retconned out of existence.  I’m really not a fan of the non-T.O. Virus version of Cable; I always thought that the constant behind the scenes struggle was one of the most fascinating things about the character, so I’m not really digging the eye-patch and the new robot prosthesis arm.  I’m curious to see if they can bring that air of mystique and bad-assery back to the character, but this Evil Geek has his doubts at the moment.

That’s all I’ve got for today Evil Geeks, but stop by again soon for another Evil Geek Book Report!


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About C-Mart

A true Marvel Zombie, die-hard George Romero fan, Star Wars addict, Whovian, and life-long gamer. I make with the Tweets @CMart0979

Posted on January 23, 2013, in COMICS!, Evil Geek Book Report, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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