Flashback to the turbulent adolescence of Kid Cable and discover why he risked everything to travel the time-stream and murder himself! In this issue, Brisson answers several pertinent questions - and one very strange question is introduced.
Ok, I’m just going to say it: there is some very weird Freudian crap going on with Kid Cable. Why does his (sadly disintegrated) ex-girlfriend look exactly like Hope? I mean, her name is Aliya but she’s a gun-toting redhead dressed all in green, except for a ragged shoulder-hugging cloak. The Summers clan has always had doppelganger dating issues (Maddy, anyone?) but this is taking it a bit far. This is probably the least important feature of the issue, but I’ve been thinking about it for daaaaays, so it’s the angle I’m leading with.
Other, less-squicky, more relevant concerns involve the happy fact of Warpath’s survival, the (slight) clarification of Stryfe’s latest homicidal motivation, and (importantly) the revelation of the forces fueling Kid Cable’s perilous desperation. Watching your whole world first re-write itself and then absolutely disintegrate around you would reasonably traumatize a person — even a battle-hardened individual like Nathan. The writing was clear and lucid: dialogue delivered in stuttering pistol-fire coughs which nevertheless appropriately fit the voices of the characters. The plot was complex, but not confusing, expanding on and developing themes begun in the Extermination miniseries but never devolving into incoherence or confusion.
This version of Cable is considerably less certain of himself, his abilities or his motives, and that could prove to be dangerous, certainly it leads to some less-than-thought-through decisions, but Brisson has effectively highlighted the fact that this teenage edgy angst is far less detrimental to the fate of the universe than his older counterpart’s deadly complacency. Kid Cable isn’t just a 90’s time-warp gimmick. He exists for a reason; one which is firmly rooted in the progression of the narrative.
So. The writing is good. What about the art?
Damian Couceiro’s style is less intentionally grotesque than Dylan Burnett’s beautifully-hideous (terribly telling) pencil work, but his work is close enough in style that the shift isn’t too jarring between books. His reality warps were, frankly, terrifying, and his expressions were clear and defined. I particularly loved the shriveled, naked look of Kid Cable’s virus-riddled arm when he inserted his time-travel device. Couceiro did an admirable job as a guest artist. I’ll be glad when Burnett returns, but I am interested in seeing where Couceiro goes in other books. As for the colour; Jesus Aburtov is at the top of his game. His work lends depth and nuance to already wonderful art. Colourists and letterers never get enough credit so I’m also going to say that Cory Petit knows the best way to lend emphasis and personality to dialogue without losing any of the beauty of the panels. That’s a vital part of producing a good book, and Petit nails it every time.
Now that we’ve had our requisite flashback, it will be interesting to see where the future will take us. Personally, I’m waiting (with bated breath) for Rachel to make her appearance. Hopefully, Brisson will undo some of the damage that the disastrous run of Gold did to her character. But we shall see.
Reviewed by Bethany W Pope
Every time-travel story requires a flashback or two to flesh out the narrative. This flashback was set two-thousand years in the future, but despite such timey-wimey shenanigans the story was wonderfully clear. This was a good tale, told with sensitivity, and augmented by some lovely gory art. It has everything you’d want in an X-Force book -- and it’s an excellent jumping-on place for new readers.
X-Force #5: Time Keeps on Slipping…
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 8.5/108.5/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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