The Sunday Pages #89

10th January 2010 | by | No Comments

This week: Capsule reviews of Cable #22, JSA All-Stars #2, The Mighty #12 and X-Factor: Nation X!

Review: Cable #22
This issue, Cable persists in being the world’s most frustrating X-Men book as once again an entire issue passes in which very little can be said to actually happen. As the book gets precariously close to its ending in issue #25, the threat of things being killed is looming large. The threat of Bishop killing Hope. The threat of Hope or Cable killing Bishop. The threat of Hope killing a million humans, or even the threat of Cable being killed by the sheer stress of so much time travel. Sadly, threats aside, the only thing actually being killed is time. Now that Cable and Hope can actually time travel at will, things are feeling more contrived than ever, while Swierczynski resolutely refuses to deviate from the basic “Bishop pursues a time-travelling Cable and Hope” setup, seemingly mistaking premise for plot one final time. [JHu]

Review: JSA All-Stars #2
Blimey, a comic that manages to fall victim to not one, but two standard DC malaises (one longer-standing, one recent). Firstly, it is – as these things invariably are – practically incomprehensible if you’re not up on the character statuses, movements and indeed identities of the particular corner of the DCU in which it resides. Secondly, it’s yet another book featuring a cast of characters determined to go their own way in doling out “justice”, frustrated as they are with the ineffectiveness of their peers (in this case the “proper” JSA). It’s all very po-faced, and not particularly enjoyable. You sense that both Sturges and Williams are capable of better than this, having both been responsible for good, lightweight superhero fluff in recent years – although I don’t know what’s up with Williams’ art at all here, with everything becoming angular and ugly, characters frequently missing pupils, a terrible rendition of Power Girl, and Stargirl apparently having had a couple of balloons sellotaped to her chest. Weak. [SP]

Review: The Mighty #12
And so Tomasi and Champagne (and Samnee and Snejberg’s) curious little maxi-series (when was the last time you remember a non-DCU book being put out under the main DC imprint?) comes to an end, and rather disappointingly, the ending feels somewhat… lacking. Part of what made it intriguing earlier on was the sense of mystery, but there’s little in the way of answers here – with Alpha One’s origins and motivations still largely unclear, and consequently his end (despite being a mildly clever trick) is quite anticlimactic. The closing pages, meanwhile, simply don’t feel like the ending-slash-possible-future-story-setup that was ever being hinted by the rest of the series. The book began as an interesting melding of a few different ideas, but by the end sadly seems to have been lacking too many of its own. Not a bad comic, but there was strong promise in a lot of the earlier part of the run that doesn’t really seem to have been fulfilled. [SP]

Review: X-Factor: Nation X #1
Despite a confrontational cover, this is a rather reflective character piece, with the X-Factor gang making a social call to the parent franchise’s island home. It’s an entertaining enough little piece, although the ‘menace’ that attacks the island is rather contrived, and leaves the closing section of the story as by far the weakest part of the tale. Despite Peter David’s usually flawless characterisation, it feels like something of a misstep. The fact that the writer has chosen to break X-Factor continuity with a story set after the present arc suggests that the X-Men’s Utopia setting is not long for this world, while the house calls made here are a rather odd choice at a moment when X-Factor is supposed to be establishing itself in the Marvel Universe more generally. [JHa]