After learning last issue, from the somewhat dubious source Blaquesmith, that The Avengers would somehow harm his adopted daughter Hope and in doing so cause the destruction of the Earth, Cable has declared a one-man war against the super team, effectively taking out both Captain America and The Falcon.  This issue, it’s Iron Man’s turn. Still battling the Lethal Legion, specifically its member Laser, Iron Man learns that an EMP shorted out the criminals’ transport vehicle and inhibitor collars, allowing them to break free.  After dispatching Laser, Iron Man, like Cap before, sees Falcon’s pet bird Redwing and also like Cap, follows him to Cable’s hide out, a mysterious ocean liner.

Cable ambushes Iron Man, utilizing Stark’s own armor… except from the future, so it’s more advanced than his present suit.  They slug it out in the “Mighty Marvel Manner” with Cable eventually gaining the upper hand.  However, the cavalry arrives when another Avenger enters the fray.  But will it be The Avengers that take him down?  Or will he fall to the effects of the techno-organic virus he was infected by as a baby?

While the idea of Cable taking the various heroes down one by one is fun, I’m not sure it’s weighty enough for an entire limited series.  I think maybe a nice jumbo-sized one-shot would have been plenty.  This is laying the foundation for ‘Avengers Vs. X-Men’ later this year, so it almost reads more as a promotional piece than a strong, stand-alone story by itself.

And honestly, the premise is just so shaky; Cable is taking out The Avengers based solely on Blaqusmith’s warning, with no further investigation or corroboration.  He can time travel.  He had to do so, in order to get the futuristic Stark weaponry.  Yet, he couldn’t track down a future team of X-Men and get their side of the story?  He even thinks to himself that he needs additional information, which is why he is capturing The Avengers rather than killing them.  Why couldn’t he investigate first?  I  know, I know, because then there would be no conflict and therefore no comic.  But for such a high-profile series, there needs to be something meatier and better thought-out on which to base it!

Cutting back to Iron Man battling Laser was a bit baffling.  I thought, “This is still going on?”  It’s was just an awkward handling of time.  Then to have Iron Man “tricked” into finding Cable’s lair by following Redwing again felt lazy.  Is that how all The Avengers will be led there?  If so, Falcon needs to find a new pet sidekick.

I love Ed McGuinness’ cartoon-y, overly muscular art.  It’s super clean and fluid.  The storytelling is just right.  I’d say his biggest strength is rendering massive he-men like Cable and even more so The Hulk, but ironically, the thing he is second best at rendering is the young child Hope Summers (in flashbacks).  She’s just a little baby doll!  Honestly, the art might be worth the price alone.

Beautiful artwork, fun super hero versus super hero battles, but fragile plot… it’s like a summer popcorn flick.  It might appeal to you, if you just want a fun read.  But if you want something deeper and further developed, this won’t be the book for you.

Verdict: Borrow

Written by Jeph Loeb
Art by Ed McGuinness
Cover by McGuiness, Dexter Vines and Morry Hollowell
Variant Covers by Stephen Platt, Yu, Alanguilan and Kieth