Friday, May 17, 2013

Cable and X-Force #8 - Present and Future Awesome

I’ve often wondered what aliens would think of the human race if they ever visited Earth. Part of me thinks that they’ll incinerate the entire planet down to the sub-atomic scale the moment they see the first two seasons of the Jersey Shore and meet the likes of Andy Dick, Pat Robertson, and Kim Jong Un. But another part of me (usually the one that’s not sober) tries to have a more optimistic view of aliens. Maybe when they arrive they’ll be just as fond of football, beer, and boobs as men like me.

For that reason, I relate to the creepy yet cool alien that was introduced in the pages of Cable and X-Force #7. This alien, despite looking like a cross between a shaved monkey and a cold sore on Tommy Lee’s scrotum, comes off as the kind of alien I would have a beer with. When Domino and Boom Boom freed him in the previous issue, his first inclination wasn’t to vaporize them or use them in some twisted breeding experiment as most would be inclined to do. He ended up toying with them, laughing at their pitiful human remarks. So he chose to protect them as they escaped from a high security prison that Colossus was too chicken shit to leave. Plus, he did it while keeping Boom Boom in her bikini. You have to respect that on some levels.

An alien with a fondness for beautiful women in bikinis is just one aspect of Cable and X-Force that makes it appealing. Cable and his team are on the run from the authorities, the X-men, the Avengers, and the imaginary voices in Michelle Bachmann’s head. Yet the amount of fucks they do not give could not be measured with multiple universes. This is because Cable is having visions of the future and those visions are about as appealing as a weekend locked in an Indian public bathroom that hasn’t been cleaned in a decade. That is what led him to both break an alien out of prison and hijack one a ship from SWORD. Yeah, it’s that bad.

The future inches closer in Cable and X-Force #8 as our friendly, bikini-loving alien has Domino, Forge, Dr. Nemesis, and the bikini-clad Tabitha captured in his ship. As you might expect, SWORD is not very happy with this and sends a fleet of attack ships to confront him. But the alien isn’t as interested in them as he is his Domino. I admit she would probably draw my attention more than attacking space ships, depending on what she was or wasn’t wearing. The alien is genuinely curious. Why would X-Force free him when he has already dangerous enough to make it on Abigail Brand’s shit list. Then again she seems like the kind of woman who would put you on her shit list if you looked at her cross-eyed. So that’s still a pressing issue that hasn’t been resolved. But that doesn’t seem to bother Domino, nor should it. When you’ve got a rack like hers, not much should bother her.

Unfortunately for Cable, he doesn’t have a rack like Domino’s. That means he’s going to be bothered/pissed when he arrives at the now damaged prison to find out his team has been abducted by a potentially dangerous alien with a soft spot for pretty Earth women. He’s also going to be bothered/pissed when SWORD confronts him. They tend not to appreciate it when someone frees a dangerous prisoner under their guard. And since they confront him with a big fucking ship, he has no choice but to surrender. Even Colossus, who just stood around like a pussy while the alien got away, gets taken as well. Even if you’re not on Brand’s shit list, she’s not afraid to use the guilt-by-association approach.

Abigail Brand may be a harsh, unfair bitch, but she usually has reasons for being that way. Once she takes Cable and Colossus into custody, she goes through the trouble of explaining those reasons and unlike most vindictive women, they’re actually good ones. We finally find out just who this alien is and why he was locked up. His name is Kliktok the Cruel and aside from being guilty of having a goofy name, he’s also guilty of committing mass slaughter in 12 different star systems. Why? I assume the reason he gives amounts to “Fuck you and suck my six-foot alien dick.” And apparently SWORD had agreed to hold him so that other alien systems could debate on how the torture him to death. Because apparently, the alien justice system is as advanced as the Spanish Inquisition.

Sadly, this means that the alien that I thought I could have a beer with turned out to be a total genocidal asshole. I know I shouldn’t be too surprised, but one of these days I really hope Marvel introduces us to an alien that isn’t afraid to get drunk and fondle boobs. At least with this alien, we have a dangerous threat that only a group X-Force can deal with. You may be able to reason with mutant-hating bigots to a point, but not a genocidal alien. It helps answer a question that was a bit of a plot hole in the last issue and this certainly helps, although it means I’ll have to find someone else to share my beer with.

So Abigail Brand has a good excuse for being pissed. But what about Cable? Why the fuck would he want to free an asshole like Kliktok? Well he actually has a good excuse as well and to get the point across to someone of Brand’s bitchy inclinations, he uses his telepathy to show her part of that horrific vision of the future. And it actually fits in perfectly with the details Brand just gave. He reveals that the aliens that were fighting over how to torture Kliktok couldn’t hold their wad and decided to attack Earth, murder 6 million people, and then torture Kilktok. That essentially means that it’s Brand’s fault for agreeing to hold this alien asshole in the first place and by freeing him from his prison cell, Cable essentially took the target off of Earth.

Again, we finally have a few lingering plot holes filled. Cable’s visions of the future finally actually mean something other than, “we’re fucked and we have to do crazy shit that involves putting Tabitha in a bikini.” Not that I mind the bikini, but it really does help the story in a big way when these sorts of plot holes are filled in. Not only that, they make fucking sense. That means I can read this comic drunk and sober and still get it. And I always give extra points to that, almost as much as I give hot blonds in bikinis.

Since Brand really is the one that fucked up in the first place, she agrees to help Cable. She even lets him and Colossus ride along in her private space ship so that they can catch up with Kiktok and save the rest of the team. However, she makes it clear to them that she wants them punished for their bullshit. Never mind that they may have just saved 6 million lives. They still freed an alien prisoner and fucked up a secure prison. Not only that, they’re still wanted for the shit they pulled in the previous arc. It’s not a fair deal in the slightest, but it’s probably the fairest deal anyone will ever get from Abigail Brand without boning her.

Back with Kliktok, he’s still learning the intricacies of dealing with human women with a great rack. He’s starting to get hostile with Domino, although he hasn’t resorted to probing just yet (although I’m sure it’s on his list). But Domino keeps her cool in a way that just makes you love her even more. She really does shine while the rest of the team is out cold for most of the issue. She shows no fear in the face of an alien mass murderer and why should she? She always has luck on her side. And in this case it helps that Forge planted a bomb in Kliktok’s ship that goes off before he can take them into deep space for more extensive probing. It’s a great moment that feminists will love and men can still jerk off to.

And it isn’t just a bomb going off that Kilktok has to deal with. Now that his ship is crippled, he has to deal with Brand. Her ship is able to catch up with his and now he’s in deep shit once again. And for once, Colossus actually contributes this time in ways that don’t involve whining like a little prison bitch who ran out of band aids to stop the bleeding from his asshole. He still keeps droning on about how this shit is his fault. I’ve long since stopped trying to make sense of his whining, but what does make sense is throwing him into the vacuum of space and having him ram a hole right into Kliktok’s ship. They call it a Spaceball Special and it’s the first time Colossus has shown some testicular strength in quite a while.

Colossus helps add to his still damaged reputation by putting those big muscles of his to good use and beating the shit out of Kliktok. That alien dared to strangle a woman he recently boned. Even if he is a whiney little bitch now, you just don’t do that to a guy like Colossus. It’s a satisfying way to finally get Colossus involved in a story without him whining like a little bitch. He still has a long ways to go before I can respect him again, but this certainly helps.

With Kliktok down, they proceed to toss him to an incoming armada of alien ships. These were the same ships that Cable saw in his vision that would have torched Earth in the same way Sarah Palin torches nature preserves. So that effectively averts that horrible future while ensuring that Kliktok is fucked in whatever holes he has.

But there’s still the matter of X-Force having to turn themselves in after returning to Earth. Abigail Brand made it clear that she was not inclined to let them walk free. Well maybe the X-men would have shown some respect for the law, but these aren’t the X-men. They’re X-Force. They’re already fugitives. They are to SWORD what Mexican immigrants are to Lou Dobbs. And they’re not content to be deported back to prison cells. So in the most kind manner possible, they kick Abigail Brand out of her own ship. If they weren’t on her shit list before, they can be certain they are now near the very top.

Once X-Force ditches her, Brand calls SWORD so they can pick her up. But while floating in space, she also has time to phone the Uncanny Avengers. Because it’s not enough for her to just be pissed enough to make X-Force pay for their bullshit. She needs help making them regret being on her shit list. The first one she talks to is Havok, who Cable already pwned in the last arc. Well now he’s going to get another shot and he’ll also have the full faith and support of Abigail Brand. So even though Cable and X-Force saved 6 million lives, they’re still going to be treated like fugitives. That’s gratitude for you.

So I guess that Kliktok the Cruel wasn’t the kind of alien that guys like me could hang out and have a beer with. He’s yet another alien sociopath who likes to destroy entire worlds, piss on the ashes, and jerk off on the corpses. If real aliens had lobbyists, they would probably blacklist this book until the end of time. However, I’m perfectly fine with Kliktok not being one of those cool aliens I can hang out with. His role in this story and this overall arc came together perfectly in this issue. It may have taken a while, but Cable and X-Force #8 is officially the new high point of this series and I couldn’t be more satisfied.

Shit finally came together in a way that made a wonderful world of sense. We finally see the purpose behind Cable’s visions. We see why X-Force had to free this alien. We see why this alien was locked in a prison cell so deep that he was probably making Jimmy Hoffa his prison bitch. We see Colossus still being a whiney little bitch, yet he actually managed to contribute in a meaningful way. We even get to see Domino be her awesome self and with her clothes on no less. That’s quite an accomplishment for a series that started out more incoherent than my last trip to Amsterdam. Not only that, Tabitha stayed in her bikini. I definitely give this book bonus points for that.

When an arc comes together in such a nice, coherent way it brings a tear to my eye and a shot of tequila to my lips. But when an arc also offers some nice teasers for what the next story may be, more tears and more tequila start flowing. My liver my hate it, but my heart has priority in matters of comics. The Uncanny Avengers, a series that also has been improving lately, is about to get involved in a way that will most likely include Havok being a total douche-bag and X-Force pwning their asses. I know that shit has already been done in books like Uncanny X-men, but I’m still not sick of it so I’m still excited about it.

This book was concise, refined, and everything that I hoped it would be from the beginning. A killer alien and visions of the future is a great backdrop for X-Force. If this book does have a flaw, it’s Abigail Brand being too nice at times in helping Cable. That and Colossus heaping all this needless guilt on himself is getting old fast. If he just spent a little more time between Domino’s legs, he might actually salvage parts of his balls. But he hasn’t and because of that he’s still like that guy at a party who only drinks light beer. Never-the-less, Cable and X-Force #8 is by far the best issue to date thus far. I give it a 4.5 out of 5. Maybe one day X-Force will meet an alien that is fun to hang out with and will also keep Tabitha in her bikini. But until that day, let’s just hope that aliens don’t make friends with Al Sharpton. Nuff said!

1 comment:

  1. So far this is the best issue at the moment of this series... 8 issues but at last things are taking a more interesting turn.

    What happens here is an improvement, Colossus has to stop blaming himself for everything and start doing something, just like Cyclops who lost it all (almost), he has to grow a pair of balls and start kicking ass.

    Abigail Brand doesn't like a bit what X-Force did, and now the Uncanny Avengers are going to step in and try maybe a different approach this time with X-Force, fighting maybe? that would be awesome.

    As always, nice review, cheers!