Review – Cable vol. 1: Conquest TP (Marvel)

Publisher: Marvel
Writer: James Robinson
Artwork: Carlos Pachelo, Rafael Fonteriz, Yildiray Cinar,

Cable has always been a fairly fascinating character, but some of the titles and stories he has been involved with over the years have been, let’s be honest, more than a little lacking.  And, as a result of this spotty track record, I’ll freely admit that I approached the first collected volume of James Robinson’s new Cable solo series with a healthy amount of trepidation.  However, as it turned out, I needn’t have been too worried.

While it’s not exactly Earth-shattering in its creativity, Robinson has put together a fast-moving, action-packed story which sees Cable hopping around the timestream trying to catch up with a mysterious enemy whose actions are threatening the very fabric of reality.  What’s more, this stranger is also arming the inhabitants of each time period with some of his hi-tech weaponry before moving on, leaving Cable with some fairly difficult obstacles to overcome during the course of his pursuit.

Sure, it doesn’t dig particularly deeply into the Cable character, presenting him as little more than your typical ‘80s action movie bad-ass, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing when we get to see him cutting a swath through Wild West Gunslingers, Samurai and Aztec Warriors over the course of this five-issue arc.

The artwork throughout is suitably bold and bombastic, fitting in with the rapid fire style of the narrative, and the multi-headed monster that includes Carlos Pachelo, Rafael Fonteriz and Yildiray Cinar combine to pack their panels with well-choreographed action set-pieces and hulking, expressive characters.   The colours, provided by Jesus Aburtov, also help to give the book a solid, glossy aesthetic and the action scenes a little extra punch.

The resolution is a little underwhelming, with the journey to the villain providing to be far more rewarding then the eventual face-to-face confrontation, but Robinson does a good job of wrapping things up convincingly, meaning that this five issue collection can be taken in complete isolation without the need to read anything beforehand or afterwards.  Quite whether the latter is necessarily a good thing is perhaps up for debate, but in a Marvel Comics climate where everything seems to be bogged down in a quagmire of continuity and tie-ins, it’s fairly refreshing to see a new series adopting an approach like this.

If you’re a Cable fan you’ve probably already picked this one up, but even if you aren’t, this is still well worth a look, providing you’re not expecting much in the way of character development or nuanced storytelling. Subtle it ain’t, but there’s still a lot to like here for fans of high concept ‘80s action movie bravado.

Rating: 3.5/5.

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ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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