Review: Avengers: X-Sanction #4 By Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness

Avengers: X-Sanction #4

Written by Jeph Loeb

Art by Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines, and Morry Hollowell



The short of it:


Cable is on his last legs as he fights off Wolverine and Spider-Man, the virus making this crunch time. Hope and Cyclops are there, and obviously they’d rather Cable not die, and nobody has any patience for Spider-Man at all. Nobody knows Cable quite like Hope does, and the Avengers aren’t too happy about being beaten around like amateurs. Cable is willing to take them all with him, or get taken down by all of them, but which winds up happening? By the end of the issue we have a clear answer about whether or not we’ll be seeing him again, that’s for sure!



What I liked:


  • Cable’s never quit attitude. The man will fight until he quite literally dies, that takes some balls. It’s also as in character as you can get with the Askani’son. The man has a purpose, and he will die for it.
  • I knew how Rulk would get out of his Cable trap, and I’m glad I was right. It’s a little thing, but I like being right.
  • I also like how I was right about Blaquesmith, because really, it wouldn’t be a story with Blaquesmith without him being a dubious little bastard.
  • I LOVED the ending! I’ve been a Cable fan for so many years, and the way the book ended I felt was the perfect way to handle the character here. So many writers fall into the same simple traps with the character, and it’s so refreshing to see Jeph Loeb stay so far away from them that he may as well be running the opposite direction.
  • Still digging Ed McGuinness’s art here. He was a great choice for this book.
  • As far as an Avengers vs. X-Men lead in goes, this book was a pretty solid success for me. Cable’s future that led to the events here is clearly a possible outcome of that war, and there really are all the right cues to build towards it. It doesn’t beat your face in (well, until the AvX prelude appears in the later pages), but it gets the point across that there’s an event coming soon.


What I didn’t like:


  • There’s some really bad dialogue at times. Stuff like Cyclops saying “Cable – My Son – Has to be stopped!” It just sounds horribly forced, and it happens a few times. Nobody is picking up issue number four on its own and wondering why Cyclops and Hope care about Cable, and nobody reading the issue is going to forget from page to page that Hope is Cable’s daughter.
  • Spider-Man’s humor was…not so great.
  • Wolverine…kind of a dick. A huge big time dick. To anyone, everyone, and everything. He also made it sound like he was going to be an Avengers to Cyclops’s X-Man which is…really kinda weird since despite being an Avenger, I can’t see Wolverine not making a crack about real X-Men or not bringing kids to fights.
  • While McGuinness’s art was a plus as a whole, I really didn’t like his take on The Thing.


Final Thoughts:


I feel kind of dumb that I didn’t put together that Loeb was treating the techno virus like some sort of cancer the entire time. Really, that’s all it is, and for some reason the idea of a comic book virus never made me think of cancer.


Cyclops got shot and was only woozy and selling it for like, two panels. Huh?


Did Spider-Man even need to be in this issue?


Doctor Doom didn’t do it! Huzzah!


Cable’s new status quo, if not instantly subject to some sort of retcon bomb to get back to normal, is something I’m really amped about. It feels new and different, and more importantly, it feels right. Like when Mike Carey went ahead in X-Men Legacy and let Rogue touch people at will. Sometimes the elements that hindered a character in order to develop them get tired and need to be taken away for the character to keep growing. Cable has long had the familiar trappings of his techno virus and his powers having to be used almost exclusively to keep the virus in check. Every writer has had a spin on it, and to be fair, I got bored with it. Just like Rogue not being able to touch people.


I came into the miniseries with mild expectations built entirely out of nostalgia. I come out of it having enjoyed four really fun issues filled with well written, and even better drawn, action. On top of that, the twist I was expecting is not the one I got. I’m really glad I bought this, and I’m actually anxious to find out what Jeph Loeb will be up to next for the first time in a long time.


Overall: 8/10

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