Thursday, January 9, 2014

Scanned Thoughts: Cable and X-Force #18

Was it really that long ago that Hope fucking Summers was actually a sympathetic character and not some bullshit Jean Grey ripoff? That's not a rhetorical question. I'm serious. I don't know if I've killed too many brain cells, but I really can't remember a time when she actually was sympathetic and not some bratty little bitch who was about as likable as a rectal wart. She is one of the reasons why Avengers vs. X-men sucked so hard that it would have given Larry Flint a boner. She is also by far the least compelling character Marvel has conjured since fucking Geldoff. But once again, she is supposed to be at the center of a big crossover between Cable and X-Force and Uncanny X-Force. These are two books that have never been that awesome. They've been dry-humping the line between mediocrity and awesome for quite some time. Now they're not just crossing over. They’re setting the stage for yet another relaunch and that process begins in Cable and X-Force #18. I want to be excited, but I’m still hung over from the holidays so I’ll just try not to dry heave whenever I mention Hope fucking Summers in this review.

In an effort to keep my hangover from getting any worse, there is a nice little montage of the time when Hope fucking Summers was at least partially sympathetic. It takes the form of a nightmare where she remembers how Bishop dedicated every moment of every second of her life to hunt her down and kill her. If anything, that makes me more sympathetic to Bishop because 16 years of failures would be enough to discourage even the dumbest wannabe assassin. But it’s still more traumatic for her so she wakes up scared, gets herself some ice cream, and joins Boomer. It helps that Boomer also can’t sleep, but she has a much healthier (and sexier) way of dealing with it. She likes to dance around in her underwear to music while playing video from Cable’s apocalyptic visions of the future. Okay, so maybe it’s not that much healthier, but it’s still much sexier.

It only becomes exceedingly unsexy when one of the visions of the future includes Bishop. This naturally causes Hope fucking Summers to freak out and drop her ice cream, thereby insulting ice cream lovers all over the world. She hasn’t seen Bishop alive since before she even returned to the present and learned there was such a wonderful invention like ice cream. I imagine it would be somewhat jarring, but I do have a slight a problem with this. And by slight, I mean it’s enough to make me dry heave again.

Bishop has been back in the present for a while now. I know Cable and his team are on the run, but they do have the fucking internet in the Marvel universe. And I imagine Cable isn’t stupid enough not to keep tabs on the activities of the X-men. If he did, then he would at least have gotten a hint that Bishop has been back in the pages of Uncanny X-Force for quite a while now. Now I understand that time in comics flows more inconsistently than the plot of Inception, but for a guy that tormented Cable and Hope fucking Summers for 16 fucking years, I find it too fucked up that a vision of the future would reveal that he’s back. Hell, I find it hard to believe that Bishop wouldn’t have trended on Twitter in the Marvel universe once he returned. And since Hope fucking Summers has to find new ways to make people hate her, she decides to hit Boomer with a cattle prod when she tries to get her to slow the fuck down after deciding to go hunt down and kill Bishop. There is a short list of unforgivable crimes in the Marvel universe. Tasing a pretty blond in her underwear is definitely top 5 and leave it to Hope fucking Summers to overachieve.

Now the other X-Force team enters the equation. But unlike Cable and X-Force, Uncanny X-Force has been more forgettable than Tim Tebow’s career as a New York Jet. The only noteworthy event that has taken place recently is that Storm recently erased a good chunk of Bishop’s memories, namely those having to do with when he was trying to kill Hope. It was basically something cut and pasted from what Marvel did to redeem Tony Stark after Civil War. When a character is too much of an asshole, just erase their memories. When that fails, make a deal with Mephisto and blame magic. I’m glad they didn’t take it that far, but I can tell they were probably tempted.

It’s a nice little recap for those who boldly followed Uncanny X-Force after it plunged head first into mediocrity. It reveals the bullshit method that was used in Uncanny X-Force to make Bishop at least somewhat less of an asshole. That doesn’t keep him from being an asshole though. He still doesn’t appreciate Storm fucking with his mind. He understands why it was done and he might even concede that it was a good idea. It still pisses him off. I’m not saying he doesn’t have a right to be pissed off, but it comes off as inane and petty. The guy basically just got to reboot the part of his character that made him an asshole without a retcon or clones. That, in and of itself, is an accomplishment.

Back with Cable’s X-Force, Boomer wakes up from Hope fucking Summers’s latest feat of douche-baggery and alerts Cable. She figures he would take a strong interest in his adopted daughter going on a one-man mission to kill a guy who spent 16 years trying to kill her. And she figures right. She even did it while still in her underwear. Again, everything is more awesome when it’s done by a cute blond in her underwear. But Cable’s first reaction isn’t to say, “That’s my girl! I’m going to go help her just in case.” He actually wants to go and stop her and for a reason that’s every bit as fucked up as Bishop’s redemption.

Cable flat out concedes that Bishop probably deserves to get shot in the head and thrown into trash compactor. But he also argues that Hope fucking Summers doesn’t deserve to become a cold-blooded killer. And for that, I say bullshit on a solid gold platter. Cable has taught this girl from birth to be a soldier and to shoot guns. What did he expect her to do with those skills? Only kill for the right reasons? He fucking let her join a team with unapologetic killers, some of whom have probably murdered in cold blood before. And now he’s suddenly concerned about how she employs the skills he taught him? Cable may be badass, but he’s totally full of shit.

I continue to sympathize more with Bishop at this point, who decided he needed some fresh air from the rest of his team. But fresh air can be pretty fucking deadly when he’s a target of Hope fucking Summers. He’s just minding his own business, being pissed off in a way that will only upset a few random bums sleeping on the streets. Then the next thing he knows, Hope fucking Summers shoots an RPG at him. Now I haven’t forgotten that Bishop has tried to shoot her with far worse. I even concede that he probably has this coming. But the way Hope fucking Summers goes about it, trying to sound all brave and bold about confronting her own personal boogyman, only makes her less sympathetic. She’s not a scared little girl anymore. She’s grown into an unapologetic bitch that even my penis can’t respect anymore.

That RPG triggers Round 601 of Bishop vs. Hope fucking Summers and the rest of Storm’s X-Force has no idea at first. They believe for some reason that it’s a good idea for Bishop to just go for a walk and fume on his own because it’s not like anyone has ever gotten into trouble for walking around pissed. Hell, that’s what the entire Grand Theft Auto series is built on. When Psylocke does eventually get around to scanning for his mind, she finds out that he’s neck deep in Hope fucking Summers’s bitch rage. Now they know how fucking stupid it was to just let him wander off, but it’s too late. Now they have to go after him and calmly explain to an unreasonable 16-year-old brat that things are different now and Bishop doesn’t need to be killed. They might as well try to explain science to Pat Robertson.

The battle between Bishop and Hope fucking Summers is pretty predictable. They throw a bunch of punches while Hope fucking Summers bitches and moans about how much she hates him. Again, she has completely shit all over any trace of sympathy that her character once had at this point. Bishop does try to explain himself, but he barely gets out any coherent words. He probably sounds like a drunk James Earl Jones to her at this point. And just before Hope fucking Summers is about to deliver the final blow and cement herself in the little bitch hall of fame, something unpredictable happens in the worst possible way.

Stryfe shows up. That’s really the only way I can describe it. He shows up in a big glowing portal of light. There’s no reason, no buildup, and no logic to it. While Stryfe did show up in one of the visions that Boomer was dancing to earlier, there’s still not a single fucking detail surrounding his appearance. It just fucking happens. If it’s an effort to be shocking, it fails miserably because it didn’t build off anything. Stryfe just stepped in before Hope fucking Summers could finish the job. It’s not just too convenient. It makes no fucking sense.

Naturally, Cable is way too fucking late to stop him. He arrives just in time to see Stryfe take both Bishop and Hope fucking Summers back into the glowing portal he came from. He doesn’t say anything that Dr. Doom hasn’t already said before. He taunts Cable for not being as powerful as he used to be. He basically gives him a big middle finger and claims to have some big, elaborate plan. But if that plans involves abducting Bishop and Hope fucking Summers, I can’t imagine a plan like that making any sense whatsoever. He leaves Cable before he can make it even somewhat interesting. It really is as random and poorly set up as it sounds. The only way I could be more accurate is if I built a diorama out of horse shit.

And as soon as Stryfe disappears, Storm and her X-Force team show up. Like Cable, they’re way too fucking late. Once again, the traffic in Southern California costs lives and fucks everything up. They arrive knowing only that Hope fucking Summers is trying to kill Bishop. They don’t know Stryfe showed up and snuck off with them like a kid in a Hershey’s factory. And since so much of this issue has been built around shit that doesn’t make sense, they decide to gang up on Bishop and blame him. It seems like one of those wrong-place-wrong-time moments for Cable, but it’s still makes too little sense for an unsober mind to read. Hell, even a sober mind couldn’t make sense of it, not that I would know.

I can already see where this shit is going. Storm’s X-Force is going to try and kick Cable’s ass. Cable’s X-Force is going to try and kick their ass in return. Nobody is going to just take a deep breath and try to explain that Cable’s evil clone is back and just took Hope fucking Summers and Bishop. In the Marvel universe, that is actually a valid explanation every now and then. It reeks of the same pointless superhero brawling that turned Avengers vs. X-men into a steaming pile of shit. And seeing Hope fucking Summers take a shit on everything that made her a sympathetic character didn’t help. Hell, the best thing this issue had going for it was Boomer in her panties. That’s inherently awesome in its own right, but not awesome enough to get this big crossover off on the right foot. Cable and X-Force #18 gets a 4 out of 10. I could give it a lower score, but I do give points for effort. This comic at least tried to make an effort to have shit make sense, which is more than I can say for Avengers vs. X-men. It just wasn’t believable or compelling. And somehow, it made me think hate Hope fucking Summers even more and that’s saying something. Nuff said!


  1. Okay, I get your dislike for Hope Summers. I even agreed with it for a while, as she's been largely useless ever since she got "back from the future". However, it's gotten old. This was probably the single best issue with her in years, and you're still so pissed off she's not Jean Grey Reborn you cant' see it. Dude, it's time to spank your inner moppet and get over it. Seriously.

    And actually, Stryfe makes sense too. Because if you remember a little crossover with X-Force called "Messiah War" we had Stryfe hooking up with Bishop to take Hope. Before Apocalypse drug him off, Stryfe was taking a pretty severe interest in her. I'm guess this Dual-X-Force-Crossover is going to be the follow-up to that. Was it kinda sudden? Oh yeah. And I'm not sure I give the writers enough credit to write their way out of "Apocalypse bitches Stryfe" without some kind of cheesy handwave. But this is still a cool development AND call back, and while the issue wasn't perfect, it was a heck of a lot better than a 4.

    1. I can agree with you that the "Hope fucking Summers" thing is old, but this issue didn't help her cause at all. She walks around like a spoiled brat still, acting like a child in calling Bishop boogeyman, pretending she can just do whatever she wants and then basically backstabbing anyone she considers in her way (from a childish point of view) like Boomer.

      With all the training Cable gave her, he never gave her the spankings she desperately needed, and still needs. Until someone puts her in her place where she can't run to daddy all the time, her character will never improve.

    2. Sorry you don't appreciate my hatred of Hope fucking Summers. I would get over it, but she just keeps giving me more and more reasons to hate her even more. Until that stops, she will continue to be Hope fucking Summers on this blog.


    3. the concept itself (mutant messiah) is sound. Also in 2010 you actually praised X2

    4. She had a legit reason to go after Bishop; he made her life a living nightmare for decades. He was an asshole she's trying to gain closure

  2. Wow i couldnt disagree more. Hope was fine in this. also Cable is protective of his daughter. they arent in the future anymore she can live normally plus he didnt want her to kill bishop because he didnt want her to simple as that he doesnt want her a killer thats his burden. Cable wouldnt know about Bishop. No one does except Uncanny X-force since they have only done one mission it hasnt been that long. Stryfe makes perect sense. like the above said Messiah war he met Hope this stryfe knows her so obviously hes the same one. this book was 10/10

  3. "And actually, Stryfe makes sense too. Because if you remember a little crossover with X-Force called "Messiah War" we had Stryfe hooking up with Bishop to take Hope."

    I do recall that and I'm a huge Stryfe fan.But Jack Fisher is totally right, Stryfe shows up out of nowhere after a clumsy reminder of who he is in the opening pages. The heavy implication in Messiah War was that Stryfe was from an earlier timeline (Pre-X-Cutioner's Song) but I didn't expect them to figure that out, just do SOMETHING to give it some tease or buildup. Even Hope-Stryfe from the previous storyline got more buildup than this crap.