Review: Avengers X-Sanction #2 By Jeph Loeb And Ed McGuinness

Avengers: X-Sanction #2

Written by Jeph Loeb

Art by Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines, and Morry Hollowell


The short of it:


The Avengers continue to face off against the Lethal Legion as they notice the disappearances of Cap and Falcon. Red Hulk is told to handle things, and Iron Man heads off to get looking. Cable reveals that all he did was stun-gun Cap, as opposed to shooting him in the head, and he gets ready for an encounter with Iron Man. Cue the first of several Hope flashbacks to remind us of the more tender moments of his relationship with his daughter than we tended to be subject to in their ongoing series a few years back. She is his cause and determination, and the reason he is able to out-Stark Stark with future Iron Man armor. But just when things seem to be going his way and he seems to have the upper hand, a bigger and badder Avenger comes and smacks him down. As the techno virus seems to overtake Cable, and his clock ticks closer to the end he refuses to fail to live up to his promise to protect his daughter.


What I liked:

  • Cable using future Stark tech against Iron Man seems so simple and obvious, and yet it’s so nicely handled. Loeb was smart with how he handled it, not making either character look foolish in the exchange. Tony’s downfall is his arrogance, but it’s because Cable set him up. The master tactician at work. Subtle, yet awesome.
  • The Hope flashbacks work pretty nicely in this issue. I mean, yes, some of them feel shoehorned in as far as pacing is concerned, but the effect is a good one. I wouldn’t get rid of any of them, just maybe work on the transitions.
  • Loeb just writes a great Nathan Summers.
  • Ed McGuinness drawing a great Rulk isn’t a surprise to anyone, since he did sort of launch the character with Loeb, but it’s definitely appreciated here.
  • Really everything Ed McGuinness adds here is appreciated. The book is lively and exciting with a ton of detail. The fight looks awesome.
  • I still remember the 90’s.


What I didn’t like:

  • Where did Cable get a full arsenal of X-Men torture devices? A Weapon X tube and neural dampener chairs made by Magneto? What next? Does he have an inhibitor collar for Wolverine? The endless guns I can write off as 90’s, but the traps are weird.
  • I don’t really mind yet, but I’d like to have some sort of hint as to what happens to Hope to make Cable need to assault the Avengers. Right now he feels like he’s definitely being played.
  • Cable’s dialog gets a little painful at times. Him detailing a fight or the mission? Fine. The talk about his brutal the T.O. Virus is in him? Works for me. But him playing dad? His narration is the most generic regretful dad stuff ever.
  • I love bad ass Cable, but if he beat Rulk next issue I’ll be bitching about God Mode. Even when he was Jesus Cable and fought the Silver Surfer he still at least appeared like he could lose. Here he is just all kinds of bad ass.


Final thoughts:


The big time action feel of this book is still perfect. Loeb still handles fight scenes like few others, and coupled with Ed McGuinness you really do have a winner. The book is relatively light on plot which, no offense to the creators, plays to their strengths. It doesn’t need to be an overly deep story, it just needs to get the point across, and it’s doing a fine job at that.


How long until Hope actually shows up in this book outside of flashbacks? That is in the plans, right?


If this series actually ends with Cable being dead again, I think I’ll be upset. Loeb is reminding me how much fun the character can be when he’s given the appropriate amount of bad ass credit. Beating Iron Man with Stark Tech written over with Askani was freaking awesome.


So which Avengers are left? Rulk and Wolverine? Spider-Man? Is he going to beat up Spider-Woman, Hawkeye, and the Protector? I know the premise is Cable vs. The Avengers, but that REALLY doesn’t whittle down the options for who it could be. For all I know Thor is going to show up and yell “HAVE AT THEE!” or Namor will bitchslap him with an “IMPERIOUS REX”. I would complain about neither.


I can’t shake the feeling that Cable is being used, and I really want to know more about that. Hopefully next issue will give us those kinds of details so the final issue doesn’t have to rush the conclusion.


Overall: 7.5/10

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