Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Salvador Larroca
I have been looking forward to this series for a while, but have not known what to expect from it. I loved the previous Uncanny X-Force, which finishes next week, and when I heard of the two replacement series this was the one that interested me the most. I haven't read a lot of either Dennis Hopeless or Sam Humphries work, having only read X-Men: Season One from Hopeless, and the recent Ultimate Comics Ultimates issues from Humphries. Apart from the characters the artist also drew me to this series as I love Salvador Larroca's work, mainly on The Invincible Iron Man, but also other stuff like Ultimate X-Men.
This issue sees Cable's X-Force getting stopped and confronted by the Uncanny Avengers, and mainly Cable's uncle Havok, after apparently killing a bunch of innocent people. The story then flashes back to how Cable's X-Force was formed, starting of with just Cable and Forge, and then growing to include Domino and Doctor Nemesis. Also Cable is having severe headaches, Forge builds Cable a new arm, and Hope Summers is living with a new foster family.
This was a very good start to what I hope will be a terrific series. Hopeless has done a decent job of bringing this group together, and seems to understand the characters very well. I like how he's able to show all the different characteristics, and how he leaves a question hanging about Cable's X-Force's motives. I love how he's started this series by developing what happened to Cable since Avengers: X-Sanction, and how he's also managed to include Hope into this series, as with Cable being her father figure it's nice to see her in this series. I also liked how Hopeless has started to show that the hidden pasts of this team, and how they some, mainly Forge, would like to atone for the bad things they've done.
The art in this issue was brilliant, and Larroca brings his fantastic style of art to this series, and doesn't disappoint. As I said earlier I've always liked Larroca's art, and it was the thing that sealed my purchase of this issue. He draws most of the characters perfectly, and I had no doubt that he wouldn't. There were only two small things that disappointed me in his art, but they were only small. First was the way he drew Hope in her foster home, she looked a bit older than she should be, and it actually took me a minute of reading to realise it was her, which wasn't good. He did however do an amazing job drawing her latter on in the issue in her costume. I was also not very fond of how he drew Havok as he just looked to big and muscular, and actually looked bigger than Captain America, which isn't right. Apart from those two minor things Larroca's art was outstanding, and I love how he shows character emotions brilliantly, and I loved how he had Cable going from very happy one minute, to pain the next, with very smooth transitioning.
The choices in characters for Cable's X-Force was brilliant, and I like how it's brought some characters that have been out of the spotlight for the last couple of years alongside some characters that have fallen from grace, and joined this group of fugitives. I've been a fan of all of the characters apart from Dr. Nemesis over the years and am happy to see them all in this series. Now when I say I've never been a fan of Dr. Nemesis, that doesn't mean I dislike the character, I've just never been interested in him enough, and whilst he was with the X-Men he didn't really get chance to shine. The only thing I negatively about this issue, was that despite it showing you some of the team coming together it didn't show all the members joining the team, and also didn't have much time spent showing the team in action. Colossus' lack in appearance was also disappointing, and I would have loved to have seen more of him in this issue. Out of the members that have been in comics recently he was the one I was most looking forward to seeing, as he had a big role in Avengers Vs. X-Men, and has been sulking ever since. I know it's early days, and I anticipate that this team will be great, but so far they're not quite there.
I was also very happy when I noticed that Domino would be in this team. She's one of my favourite female comic book characters, and I've missed seeing her since the Craig Kyle and Chris Yost X-Force series ended, and although I know she's made a few appearances since then, not in any series I've read. Domino is a brilliant addition to this team as she has been in prior X-Force teams, and has prior experience working with Cable. She's also not your typical hero, and more of an anti-hero, not caring whether she sticks to the law.
Hope's appearance in this issue was also a nice addition, and I like how Hopeless is showing how Cable not being in her life is affecting her. It was also nice to see that she wasn't going to sit and do nothing, and that she went looking for Cable. I also loved how Hopeless showed all the training Cable had taught her during this, and how other characters noticed that she was just like Cable. I look forward to seeing her in further issues of this series, and will be interested to see if she ever joins the team properly.
Cable's new arm was a thing that perplexed me. The Marvel NOW! Point One issue showed that Forge was going to build Cable a new arm, and I saw it on the cover for this issue, but I didn't know what it would be like in action. I admit it does look a bit silly, but I have a feeling it will grow on me. It's also smart to have his new arm look like this as it matches the uniforms, and you also don't want something amazing as your first try, as it narrows the room for improvement (although I know Forge is brilliant, and shouldn't need room for improvement). The additions to the arm were also very nice, and I loved how Cable went from saying, "this is the silliest thing I've ever worn," to being to being impressed by the arms fire power.
A very good start, and this series shows a lot of promise. I would highly recommend this issue as fans of all the characters, bar maybe Colossus (as he doesn't appear much in this issue) will enjoy this issue, and new readers will also grow to love the characters after reading this issue. There is still room for improvement but I have high hopes that this series will improve in the next few issues, and hope I'm not disappointed.