Having survived his seeming death, Cable finds himself in a post-apocalyptic future, where nothing remains, save ash and fellow mutant Blaquesmith, who reveals to him that something dire happened to his “daughter” Hope Summers.  Without Hope, the world was essentially destroyed!  And according to Blaquesmith, the parties responsible were The Avengers!  Thus, Cable travels back in time to destroy the heroes, ensuring Hope’s and the rest of the world’s survival.  In the present, The Avengers (Spider-Man, Red Hulk, Wolverine, Captain America and The Falcon) are battling the Lethal Legion in New York.

In his first strike, Cable takes down The Falcon, but in reality, the flying hero is just bait, used to lure Captain America into Cable’s trap.  The two heroes battle, with Cap noticing Cable’s deteriorated condition.  At one point, the two men trade off weapons, with Cable brandishing Cap’s famous shield and Cap letting loose with Cable’s ray gun.  Ultimately, Cable manages to overpower Cap, but can he really bring himself to murder the Star-Spangled Avenger?

To be continued…

This tale bounces back and forth in time, from Cable’s devastated future and the present day Marvel Universe, with flashbacks to his “death” thrown in for good measure.  The device works well enough, helping to slowly unveil the reason for Cable’s turn against his fellow heroes.  As per usual, Jeph Loeb writes an interesting concept with nice dialogue.  He does perform one of my pet peeves, though; having the heroes refer to one another by their real names in public!  It’s called a “secret identity!”

Further more, considering this is Marvel’s big new event, it doesn’t capture the same “Oomph” as many of Marvel’s recent crossovers.  It certainly isn’t bad by any stretch, but it doesn’t dazzle me either.  I feel Cable’s actions are rather blind.  Blaquesmith simply tells him that The Avengers do something to Hope and he plunges head-first into killing them?  There’s no other discussion or consideration?

And call me persnickety, but I had one major problem with this issue– The Falcon isn’t an active member of The Avengers!  Cable’s entire plot hinged on him being with the team, so Cable could capture him and use his pet falcon Red Wing to guide Captain America into his clutches.  The Falcon shouldn’t have been there!  So the whole plot falls apart for me!  I don’t feel I’m wrong here!  This doesn’t take place outside of regular continuity.  Therefore, the team of Avengers here, needs to reflect the same roster as in the regular monthly books!

Ed McGuinness’ style is over-the-top, in a good way.  It’s very animation-inspired and his heroes are all as buff as ‘Masters of the Universe’ action figures!  But it’s not just pretty.  He moves the story along nicely and uses some dynamic angles and other techniques.  DC issued a line of action figures based on his art style.  I’d love to see Marvel do the same!

There were just too many flaws with this issue for me to give it a ringing endorsement.  I’m still going to read the next issue, at the very least, but for the kick-off to a huge event, this didn’t deliver.

Verdict: Borrow

Written by Jeph Loeb
Art by Ed McGuinness and Dexter Vines
Cover by McGuinness, Vines and Morry Hollowell