Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cable and X-Force #7 - Creepy Alien Awesome

Having daddy issues is like the race card in terms of excuses for being an asshole/bitch/douche bag. A girl is shameless slut? Daddy issues. A boy is an undisciplined deviant? Daddy issues. An woman is vindictive and cruel? Daddy issues. A man has severe commitment issues? Damn it, more daddy issues! Now I’m not underplaying the importance of parents in the lives of children. Parents have a lot of potential to help or screw up their kids’ lives. But at some point, it becomes a shitty excuse. Sometimes an asshole is just an asshole because God is not a dipshit. Inspiration for supervillains in comics has to come from somewhere.

You could easily make the argument that many of the characters in X-men comics have serious daddy issues, but these aren’t the kind of issues that turns a girl into a slut and a boy into a star of America’s Most Wanted. The life of Cable is closely tied to daddy issues, both from the perspective of his father, Cyclops, and from the perspective of having raised a puissant little bitch of a rip-off character named Hope Summers. No one should really be surprised that he has a history of being a cold, cruel, gun-toting badass who prefers to solve problems by shooting them. He’s like Ted Nugant if he was fucked up by too much time travel. For that same reason, no one should be surprised that he’s a wanted fugitive in the pages of Cable and X-Force.

The reasons for him being a fugitive are iffy at best and fucked up at worst. The first four issues did an exceedingly shitty job of establishing Cable and his new team as someone the Avengers want to throw in jail, but recent issues have done a better job of making the Cable-as-a-fugitive concept more entertaining. He’s been having visions of the future that require a healthy application of lethal force to solve. So while Colossus let his conscious kick his ass and went to prison, Cable began formulating a plan to deal with these visions. That’s when he got a visit from his dad, who also happens to be a fugitive. There’s something beautifully fitting about a father/son moment like this, but I’ll save that for an episode of Dr. Phil.

It’s not like Cyclops doesn’t have good reasons for seeking out his son. Cable did kind of ditch the X-men in the pages of Avengers vs. X-men. He could have at least explained to the Avengers that he had visions of the future, as documented in X-Sanction, that showed the Earth being torched as a result of them seeking out Hope. This may have at least made them think twice about picking a fight with the X-men in the first place. But for some reason, he just left. Aside from deserving a good whip with the belt, he’s also joined Cyclops on the Avengers’ most wanted list. So I guess that helps make up for it.

Cable and X-Force #7 promises both a father/son moment and more shit blowing up. It starts with an overly casual greeting. If I were Cyclops, I would probably start with something like “Where the fuck were you when everything went to hell with the Phoenix Force?!” But I’m not a father so I guess Cyclops understands the value of being subtle with a time-traveling gun-toting son. Cyclops, being a fugitive himself, just seems to want to know if he’s okay and probably is a little curious as to how he ended up a fugitive as well. They don’t get a chance to really discuss anything because at the end of the previous issue, Cable was jacking a SWORD ship. And as we’ve seen on many occasions, Abigail Brand does not like having her shit stolen. Anyone who has ever borrowed a woman’s deodorant knows the kind of chaos this can cause.

As this father/son moment is being destroyed worse than a child support check from Terrell Owens, Forge and Dr. Nemesis are taking the alien craft they recovered in the previous issue for a joyride of sorts. Dr. Nemesis even finds some time to throw in a insensitive race joke. While it may put Dennis Hopeless on the ACLU’s shit list, it does add a nice element of dialog to the story. That’s one thing this series has done very well since the beginning. Each character has a solid voice. You can literally feel the arrogant prick tone in Dr. Nemesis’s voice and the pissed off minority with Forge.

But what about the alien craft itself? It was somewhat of a WTF moment in the previous issue and was coming dangerously close to being yet another example of this series being more all over the place than a Johnny Depp movie. Is there any hope at all we’ll get some kind of explanation? I’ve got my whiskey and bong handy just in case.

Another side-plot from the previous issue that was chaotic in all the right ways was Domino and Boom Boom’s break-in to a prison. Domino was her usual bonerific self, busting in and kicking ass in ways that you can jerk off to and not feel too disgusted with yourself. But she also met up with Colossus, who is still in his whiney bitch phase after turning himself in. Somehow he still thinks being locked in an environment of monotony and man-rape will help him atone. Domino points out how full of shit he is and even offers to help bust him out. He refuses and she just gives him an attitude that should give any man an even bigger boner before running off to meet up with Boom Boom. Again, the characterization here is spot on, just like Domino’s rack. Alone, they’re pretty cool. But together, they’re truly awesome.

But what about Boom Boom? In the previous issue, she joined the team sporting a bikini, a bottle of booze, and a jet ski. She’s kind of my guardian angel is what I’m saying, but she was supposed to get herself arrested so that she could be in a position to blow some shit up and free an alien prisoner. Well, she did that, but unfortunately the alien prisoner is of a very creepy variety. Not quite anime tentacle rape-creepy, but still rape-creepy in that it apparently tried to put its alien babies in her and she had to blow it the fuck off her. In other words, it’s a perfect meeting of hot chick and creepy alien that will put a smile on your face and a bulge in your pants

The alien may be creepy, but it turns out it isn’t interested solely in breeding with Earth women (although I assume that’s still a high priority). By dry-humping Boom Boom, it was somehow able to learn English in ways that we only wish 7/11 employees would. Even though it understands her now, she doesn’t really get a chance to explain herself. Keep in mind she’s still wearing a bikini. I imagine that is pretty distracting for any species. However, the alien isn’t distracted enough to start blowing holes in the fucking wall. I guess that means Boom Boom needs a tighter bikini the next time she wants to hold the attention of a creepy alien.

Now to this point I’ve been able to criticize Cable and X-Force for doing a shitty job at explaining just what the hell is going on with these characters and the overall plot. It has been part of what has made this series so infuriatingly sub-par. But during Cable and Cyclops’s battle to not become a bug stain on Abigail Brand’s shoe, we finally get an explanation. It took too damn long, but we do get it.

It’s not overly complicated, but it’s not too basic either. That alien that was dry-humping Boom Boom is a war criminal awaiting trial by SWORD. Apparently, he knows some shit that could lead to the death of six million people. At least, that’s what Cable’s vision seems to indicate. And since his visions were so damn accurate for Avengers vs. X-men, I guess Cyclops gives him the benefit of the doubt. We may be able to debate Cable’s vision, but that doesn’t make it any less satisfying to finally have an explanation for this plot. Like a long overdue blowjob, it makes the rest of the story that much more enjoyable.

Armed with this explanation, Domino’s efforts to catch up with Boom Boom and their new alien fugitive become that much more important. She manages to fight her way through the rubble, only to get thrown into the water with Boom Boom. However, the creepy alien is nice enough to create some strange purple bubble that draws them in and allows them to breathe. The alien seems pretty amused, coming that it doesn’t know whether to eat or play with Earth women. I think many men would agree with him. A brief little conversation follows before the alien decides its hungry. Domino tells him they broke him out to free him and they have his ship. For some reason, the alien finds this fucking hilarious and laughs in a way that I can only imagine is as bad as playing Justin Bieber music at the highest possible volume.

By whatever other powers this alien has aside from attracting beautiful women, it is able to take control of the ship that Forge and Dr. Nemesis worked so hard to hijack and draws it right towards its position. It’s not just convenient. It gives a rather graphic display of just how powerful this alien is and offers additional insight into just how pissed off Abigail Brand is going to be. It helps make painfully apparent that an alien this power could easily be involved in something that leads to six million deaths and it doesn’t even have a goofy little mustache. That or it’s just trying to impress Boom Boom when she’s still in her bikini.

As for that father/son moment we were promised…well, the fishing trip will probably have to wait. Both Cyclops and Cable know that when SWORD starts shooting at you, your only chance of survival means being a moving target. We do get some sense of a moment in that Cyclops helps Cable escape and makes clear that he trusts his son. That says a lot, considering this is the same son that did jack shit to help out during Avengers vs. X-men. He says they’ll meet up again, but still a lot of shit was left unresolved.

And that’s somewhat of a letdown. Granted, you can’t discuss everything you want to when the fine folks at SWORD are shooting at you. But still, this could have been a great moment for Cyclops and Cable as well as an opportunity to mix and match the events of this book with that of Uncanny X-men. We really don’t get much from it. They don’t discuss the Phoenix Force. They don’t discuss the O5 returning from the past. It’s still nice to see Cyclops help out his son, but it still ends up feeling underwhelming and a missed opportunity. And that to me like throwing away a perfectly good case of beer. It’s downright tragic.

We may have lost out on bigger father/son moment, but there’s still time to throw in one last middle finger to Colossus for being such a pussy. Now armed with his ship, the creepy alien unites with X-Force and prepares to take off amidst a prison complex that is now badly in need of some remodeling. Colossus is still there, watching as the alien essentially mocks him for not embracing freedom. When a creepy alien thumbs its nose or whatever the fuck it has at you, you know you’ve stooped to a fucked up new low. I want to feel sorry for Colossus, but he turned his ass in while everyone else in the Phoenix Five is finding other ways to be productive. So I’m sorry big guy. I love you, but I can’t have much sympathy for whiney little bitches. We already have Hope Summers. We don’t need anyone else adding to it.

Creepy aliens and hot women are one of those beautiful combinations that go together like peanut butter and jelly, chocolate and marshmallows, or cocaine and whiskey. And like pizza and a blowjob, it’s very difficult to mess up. Dennis Hopeless seemed to understand that with this issue and the intrigue level for this story suddenly went beyond Domino’s boobs if you can believe that. We’ve got a creepy alien war criminal, a renegade ship, and an extremely pissed off SWORD that both Cable and Cyclops just gave the finger to. Throw in Boom Boom in a bikini and you’ve got either the perfect Roland Emerich movie or a kick-ass porno.

Cable and X-Force #7 may not have provided too many father/son moments to give you that warm and fuzzy feeling you hoped. If you really want that feeling, heroin is probably the way. This comic had a lot more action packed into it and the drama, while still present, was secondary. We have Cyclops catching up with his son, but we don’t see them talk at all about the events of Avengers vs. X-men or sharing a good laugh about pwning the Avengers. We also still have Piotr being a self-loathing little bitch who thinks rotting in a prison cell will act as some sort of atonement. So on the drama angle, this issue does fall short. But in terms of action and in terms of moving the plot forward, this issue succeeds like Jenna Jameson at a dick-sucking contest.

I said after the first arc of Cable and X-Force that this was probably the weakest X-book since the Marvel NOW! relaunch. I still stand by that assessment. However, this arc is succeeding in all the ways the first one failed. For one, this arc doesn’t go overboard with flashbacks or time jumping. It actually follows a clear, logical progression. In addition, the seemingly divergent plots actually do come together in the end in a coherent way that allows you to not be sober when you read it. And for any drunken comic fan, that makes this issue a cut above the rest. The creepy alien was just a bonus.

This issue may fail at making much out of Cyclops’s first encounter with Cable since Avengers vs. X-men, but it succeeds in making the overall story much more coherent and exciting. And still, you can’t help but get teary-eyed when you see Cyclops and Cable bonding over being wanted fugitives. They’re both on the run. They really don’t have time for fishing trips or any heart-to-heart for that matter. But they’re trying to make a best of a shitty situation and that alone gives them the kind of balls that Colossus desperately needs right now. Between a more concise story, solid in-character dialog, and hot chicks running around with aliens I have to give this issue high marks. Cable and X-Force #7 gets a 4 out of 5. It’s been a while since a story involving a creepy alien gave me a boner. Depending on this creepy alien’s mating rituals, it may be the first of many! Nuff said!

1 comment:

  1. After reading this issue I was a little disappointed for the big deal of the cover with Cyclops on it. I wanted Scott and Nathan to have more conversation, you know, like the whole Phoenix Five deal and the Avengers, like you pointed out, but well, maybe we'll just have to wait some more for that conversation. They shake hands, and all, but I wonder if that's a sign that they got each other's back, I mean, they are pretty much on the same situation...