Thursday, March 21, 2013
Cable and X-Force #6 - Diverse Range of Awesome
Maybe it’s the fact I live in a Christian nation according to Fox News, but I’m a big fan of second chances. Even if someone hits me with their car, throws me to the curb, and takes a piss on my face I’m willing to give that someone a second chance if they admit they were truly sorry and agree to give me some of whatever they were smoking. I’m forgiving like that. And that forgiveness does extend to comic books.
Cable and X-Force has been by far one of the weakest X-books to come along since the Marvel NOW! relaunch. Dennis Hopeless was blessed with an awesome cast that features Cable, Domino, and Colossus. You’ve got your rugged badass, your hot gun-toating bitch, and your emo strong man. This is practically a 1 + 1 + 1 = 3 type formula for a successful X-men comics. Yet Cable and X-Force found a way to make it boring, repetitive, and completely unappealing. And it even threw in a jab at fast food. As someone who has lived on fast food and has the taco shits to prove it, I thought that was a very low blow. But like I said, I’m a forgiving guy.
The first arc of Cable and X-Force is over and good riddance. The bullshit flashbacks and repetitive themes couldn’t end fast enough. All you really need to know from those books are that Cable is having visions of the future on par with a shitty hangover, he puts together a team to avoid said hangovers even if it means a liberal application of lethal force, and they all end up as fugitives. Some innocent people got turned into monsters and killed. Hope found some time to be an even bigger whiney puissant bitch. And Colossus’s guilt complex from the events of Avengers vs. X-men made him almost as whiney, yet it still got him some pity sex from Domino. That and Havok got his ass kicked. So in that sense it wasn’t a total loss, but you really don’t need to know much more than that.
So in the spirit of second chances, I’m going to smoke a few extra joints and forget about how shitty the first arc was and try to enjoy this new arc, which begins in Cable and X-Force #6. And the circumstances are still pretty shitty for Colossus, who after banging Domino in the previous issue decided to turned himself in. Maybe he thought that he could die happy now so there’s no point in fighting anymore. That or he’s just being an overly emo douche, thinking he’s a criminal for trying to solve world poverty as part of the Phoenix Five and having to kill a bunch of unlucky security guards that had been mutated into monsters by a fast food conspiracy. Even if he had a shittier reason, he still got to bone Domino. That earns him points in my book. We even get a guest appearance by Wolverine, who tells him his reasons for turning himself in were pretty shitty. But Colossus is committed to punishing himself. Even Domino’s pussy can’t heal a wounded spirit like his.
As this drama is unfolding, Cable and the rest of his team of outlaws are taking the exact opposite approach as Colossus. They’re opting to continue giving the finger to the authorities in favor of finding more things that need killing. To do that, they opt to hijack a SWORD ship that was tactfully hidden as a park guide at a national park. Is it fucked up? Yes, but I admit that is close to the last place I would look for a hidden SWORD ship. I would sooner look under the Pope’s porno stash before I look in a place like this.
While this does nicely indicate that shit is getting serious, it’s hard to figure out just how this factors into Cable’s plan. He’s already assembled a team, made them criminals, and given readers more reasons to not eat fast food. How does unlocking a hidden space ship move things forward? That was one of the many flaws in the first arc, namely the ambiguity of Cable’s mission. We know he’s having visions of the future, but I have horrific visions every time I smoke a bad strain of weed. So like a rash on your scrotum, those flaws continue to persist.
Cable’s little side-mission may not make sense, but the drama surrounding Colossus needs no such ambiguity. As he continues to punish himself and protect the integrity of his asshole in prison, he receives a few letters and visits from Kitty Pryde. I find it troubling that he has to end up in prison before she decides to show that she still gives a damn. But given how upset she was with the whole Phoenix Force date she had with him in Avengers vs. X-men and that he opted to save his sociopath sister, I guess she can be forgiven for such oversight. Yet given their history, she’s still a bitch for waiting until he’s in prison to pay a visit and for hooking up with Iceman in the interim.
It’s not the most dramatic moment. Colossus and Kitty Pryde don’t have a moment, but I think Dennis Hopeless did a good job of addressing the lingering aftermath of their failed relationship. Kitty essentially tells Colossus that she’s proud of him for taking responsibility. She doesn’t explain why he deserves to be in jail for the crap he did with the Phoenix Force, but she respects his decision and his humility. She even brings him some art supply. Personally, I would have asked for some porn and some blow, but I guess an ex-girlfriend can only be expected to provide so much.
But Colossus’s self-inflicted punishment isn’t the only prison-related plot in this issue. Hopeless introduces yet another side-plot into the mix and this one takes the form of a hot blond in a bikini with a bottle of hard liquor. I swear it was taken right from one of my dreams. The hot blond in question is Tabitha “Boom Boom” Smith and like a college girl on spring break in Cancun, she decides test the patience of the authorities by hopping a jet ski and riding into restricted waters. I’m sure the security guards on duty were pleasantly surprised to see that this trespasser was a pretty blond and not Dr. Doom, but they still look pissed as anyone who has dealt with a traffic cop knows their sense of humor is often incredibly limited.
But Boom Boom’s appearance isn’t just Marvel’s attempt to fill the void left by the now bankrupt Girls Gone Wild. It’s actually part of another elaborate plan, courtesy of Domino. She’s looking to break into a high security prison and she understands that few things cause more of a distraction than a pretty blond in a bikini. While Tabitha is being hauled off and detained TSA style, Domino sneaks into the prison. And once she’s in, she meets up with Boom Boom just in time to see her blow shit up. It’s a brilliant scene that makes me wonder how Marvel could not find more ways to utilize a pretty blond that makes shit explode. They do know they’re core audience is young men and young men tend to be horny, right? A story with Boom Boom and Domino practically rights itself and any man who partially thinks with his penis would gladly devour it! Just saying.
Domino reports to Forge to let them know she’s in, which implies this is yet another part of that ambiguous plan that is so poorly explained. And while things are still coming together on their end, Domino non-conjugal visit to Colossus. She makes clear that the mission isn’t to rescue him. She just wanted to drop in and say hi. Why? Because she has big tits and a nice ass, that’s why. She doesn’t need a reason. And given that they bumped uglies in the previous issue, it’s fitting that their paths cross again. But in addition to saying hi, she also informs him that Cable and his buddies aren’t done fucking things up wherever they go. I guess that’s just something to keep in the back of his mind along with memories of her boobs.
What could Cable and his team be up to? Again, I have no fucking clue and this issue did a piss poor job of leaving clues. But for some reason, it involves an alien that happened to be imprisoned at the same place as Colossus. This isn’t as contrived as it sounds. At the beginning of the issue, it was made clear that this prison specializes in housing inmates with powers that are difficult to imprison. So why wouldn’t a place like that imprison an alien-like creature that looks like something that Ridley Scott would sue over? Again, the reason isn’t clear, but Boom Boom is there to set it free. While it may be an alien, I’m sure even it appreciates the value of being freed by a hot blond in a bikini.
However, any possibility of aliens hooking up with pretty blonds will have to wait until future issues. Because at this point, Cable and his team are just about ready on their end to take off in the ship. But before they can depart, they get yet another unexpected guest star from another X-book. This time, it’s Cyclops. He already dropped in on All New X-men. Now he’s paying a visit to Cable. Seeing as how they’re both wanted fugitives and they both pwned the Avengers, they’ve earned some father/son time. It’s not just a fitting way to tie in the events of Cable and X-Force with other X-books. It’s a nice little reminder that these two men were both screwed over by Avengers vs. X-men and they are in a perfect position to screw back.
So how do you judge a book from a series that has set the ball so low that Tommy Lee could top it just by standing on his dick? Even in my most sober moments, I find it hard to be objective for books like Cable and X-Force. When the first arc of a brand spankin’ new series sucks ass, it’s like a botched boob job. It takes something that could have been beautiful and makes it a tragedy. The first arc of Cable and X-Force suffered from repetitive issues, shitty organization, and too much Hope fucking Summers. This new arc takes a completely different approach and since I’m such a forgiving guy with access to hard liquor, I’m willing to give it another chance.
And I’m glad I did because this issue was a considerable improvement compared to the first five issues. It wasn’t overly fancy by attempting to jump around the timeline, making for a lousy comic and an even lousier LSD trip. It was basic in that it focused on various members of X-Force and followed their respective plots, each of which offered something different. It wasn’t the most engaging collection of plots, but it did give this series a badly needed sense of direction. At least now it doesn’t come off as a drunk trying to do the moonwalk down a busy highway.
I still have issues with the details, but the overall theme of Cable and X-Force is still intact. This is a team of outlaws. Hell, one of them is already in fucking prison trying to keep his asshole intact. And what really helped this issue was how it tied the events of this series into other X-books, namely by having Wolverine and Kitty Pryde pay a visit. Also, introducing another hot blond into the series is always a plus. Boom Boom is one of those obscure characters that doesn’t show up unless Marvel wants to throw in some extra T&A. It’s a shameless tactic, but I’m not complaining and fuck anyone who does. It’s not clear if Boom Boom will be a regular member of the cast, but as I’ve said many times before on this blog there aren’t many stories that can’t be made more awesome by a hot blond with a nice rack.
I still can’t be overly generous to Cable and X-Force because I still don’t know what the fuck Cable is hoping to accomplish with this outlaw team of his. However, there are plenty of signs to indicate that there is a story worth following here. The arrival of Cyclops at the end of the issue certainly helps in the sense that it gives it the potential to have an impact on the X-books as a whole. I would much rather have that shit than see more issues of Hope Summers being a whiney little bitch. I give Cable and X-Force #6 a 3.5 out of 5. This series still has a long ways to go before I allow myself to get excited about it. I would love for it to be one of those books I don’t have to read stoned in order to enjoy. But I understand that awesome is a process. So long as I have friends in Colorado and Washington, I can afford to be patient. Nuff said!