Having already taken down The Falcon and Captain America in issue #1 and Iron Man in issue #2, this month, Cable must battle the Red Hulk.  He is assisted by his time traveling ally Blaquesmith.  Cable actually manages to get the upper hand, but Hulk comes back swinging… literally, swinging a huge anchor!  At one point, Cable calls the Hulk “Talbot” as in Glenn Talbot, former thorn-in-the-side for the green Hulk, Bruce Banner.  The thing is, this Hulk is “Thunderbolt” Ross, father of Banner’s ex-wife Betty. Cable defeats the Hulk by infecting him with the techno-virus that is beginning to consume him.

Blaquesmith, however, is starting to doubt Cable’s mission, killing the Avengers because he believes they will kill his adopted daughter Hope.  So Blaquesmith teleports Cyclops (Cable’s father) and Hope to Cable’s base to try and reason with him.  It doesn’t work and Cable and Cyclops almost come to blows.  Enter Wolverine and Spider-Man!

The more I read of this miniseries, the more bored and dissatisfied I become with it.  It doesn’t help that the top of the cover features a huge banner advertising the upcoming ‘Avengers vs. X-Men’ event and the very first page of the comic is an ad for the ‘Age of Apocalypse’ miniseries.  Is that all this book is, a giant ad?  It sort of feels that way.  Cable, the focal character just comes across as an off-kilter paranoid.  I have no sympathy for him.  He’s one of those characters that started off kind of interesting, but got mishandled and re-envisioned so many times, they just killed him off.  Maybe he should have stayed dead.  This series isn’t doing him any favors.

The saving grace is Ed McGuinness’ sweet artwork.  I know he isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I like his massive, bulky heroes.  His work has a lot of detail and energy and flows nicely.  Too bad it’s all wasted on a crappy story.  The one problem I have with his style is too often, as in the case of Hope here, he draws female characters with huge anime eyes, which he doesn’t depict males with.  It’s not a huge turn off, but I don’t particularly care for it.

Honestly, I may just stop reading this miniseries and wait for ‘Avengers Vs. X-Men’, which this is all set-up for anyway.  If I buy the next issue, it’s be strictly for the artwork.

Verdict: Burn

Written by Jeph Loeb
Art and Cover by Ed McGuinness and Dexter Vines