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Cable #3

Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2008
By: Steven M. Bari

Duane Swierczynski
Ariel Olivetti
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Cable #3 arrives in stores tomorrow, May 7.

Plot: Cable's got three seconds to think his way out from under a falling truck. Meanwhile, Bishop is captured by the poncho-clad, gun-toting militiamen of the future: the Turnpike Authority.

Commentary: The strongest part of this series thus far has been Swierczynski's thought captions. Used to great dramatic effect in issue #1, Swiercyznski toggles between Cable and Bishop's thoughts to provide both characterization and tension. In that particular issue, the reader was intentionally misled by Cable's thoughts about the messiah baby in his arms and Bishop's own thoughts of the baby to deliver a great final page reveal. Since then, the thought captions have illustrated the characters' experience more so than develop the drama. At the conclusion of last issue, Cable claims he needs to escape from the Turnpike Authority and Bishop, but he can't as his teleportation device is damaged (just as the previously referred to truck is flung upon him).

This issue continues to build that character-cognizant tension and drama, as Cable and Bishop's stories diverge once again. Cable obviously escapes the truck, but not the eyes of a waitress looking for a man with "the stones" enough to save her from a world of guns and the outwardly powerful men behind them. Swiercyznski skillfully introduces her affection for Cable by illustrating the character's legendary experience and intuition. As the waitress Sophie explains the events that left Jersey City, Hoboken, and Newark underwater and hired goons in control of what remains, she comments how not many good men are left. Cable braces himself. "Except you," Sophie exclaims. The interaction isn't hot or steamy, but the injection of femininity in this gruff man series is good and will hopefully persist.

While Olivetti's art is much better than last issue, his annoying implausibility and creative thoughtlessness rears its ugly head again in Bishop's captivity. The Turnpike Authority has our bald attempted-baby killer chained to a wall, and if you haven't been following along with the series, Bishop has a massive bionic arm. How do these Mad-Max rejects keep a gigantic, limp mental arm up, let alone secured? A chain. Not even a big chain. COME ON! What's the likelihood that his bionic arm is battle-comprehensive, extremely durable, AND lightweight? These rough highwaymen could have done a host of nasty inventive things to keep that arm from moving: cement, rivets, and social rebuke. Anything but a chain wrapped around his arm three times.

Overall, Cable has been a fun series with frustrating artistic hiccups. It has sadly not lived up to my expectations of a full throttle action/adventure with strong characterizations.

Final Word: Disappointing art sullies a good comic.







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