One of my favorite sci-fi tropes is time travel, and if there’s any comic book character who embodies time travel, it’s Cable. The character has been through a lot of timey-wimey goodness the last twelve months, with a younger version of himself killing him and replacing him. X-Force #5 finally explains exactly why.
Ed Brisson is joined by Damian Couceiro, Jesus Aburtov, and Cory Petit to tell the story of young Cable’s origins, which complicates one of the most complicated characters in comics even more.
On the heels of Stryfe’s reappearance at the end of last issue, we flash back to what caused Cable to blast into the past. When chronal shockwaves interrupt a mission, Blaquesmith shows him what he’s destined to become, and teaches him what is happening. With his timeline coming unravelled around him, Cable jumps into the past (just before Extermination), not knowing that it will bring him face to face with Stryfe!
Brisson does a lot in this issue to make Kid Cable sympathetic. He not only shows that this is still the Cable we know and love (even if he still very green), but also that this version of the hero has suffered immense loss. It’s the spotlight the character needed to make him more interesting and sympathetic for we readers.
However, now that he’s gotten this spotlight, I hope that Brisson can pull back to give similar spotlights to the rest of the cast. He’s assembled one of the most interesting X-Men teams in a long time, and many of them have been little more than set dressing. There’s promise in what he’s done with Domino, and moments with Cannonball, but I want to see the rest of the team get the same treatment.
Couceiro’s work here is a major departure from regular artist Dylan Burnett, but it’s a great move for this issue. He has very fluid character work, and has a great eye for using layouts and character placement to guide you across the page. He’s able to sell the pathos Cable is feeling and it really helps the issue shine.
Even with its flaws, this series quickly has become one I enjoy each month. I really invested on where Brisson and team are taking us.
X-Force #5 is available now from Marvel Comics.