Penciller: Ed McGuiness
Kicking off this year’s massive Avengers vs X-Men mega event, Avengers X-Sanction provides just a taste of things to come. This four issue mini-series acts as a prelude to the main event and gives readers a little background on how the two superhero teams will come to blows over the fate of the mutant messiah, Hope Summers.
Returning from the distant future, Cable (Nathan Summers) is determined to prevent The Avengers from harming Hope and destroying her chance to save the future. But Cable is being ravished by the lethal techno-organic virus and has only twenty-four hours to take out Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Nothing like a ticking clock to get the action moving along at a satisfying clip!
Time travel makes me a little cross-eyed at the best of times and wherever Cable is concerned time paradoxes are a given. Having seen Cable killed at the end of X-Men: Second Coming it did come as a bit of a surprise to find him taking on Captain America and co. here but maybe it shouldn’t have. Time travel is, after all, a tricky beast. Not to mention the fact that there’s nothing mainstream comics love to do more than bring characters back from the dead.
Not only does the time travelling element here manage to resurrect Cable but it also introduces just the hint of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The question the reader is left with at the end of issue four is whether Cable has inadvertently set in motion the very events he originally sought to prevent. See? Time travel is never the answer, people.
Jeph Loeb has struck a nice balance here between Earth-shattering melodrama, the occasional lighthearted moment (mostly involving Spider-Man) and action sequences worthy of some of comic’s most iconic characters. The addition of Cable’s internal dialogue is a nice touch that helps him to remain a sympathetic character even when he does seem to be behaving like a ruthless monster. The big ‘reveal’ in the final pages of the last issue also sets things up nicely for events to come in Avengers vs X-Men.
Now we’re ready to get stuck into the big stuff, starting with issue 0 of AvX. With Wolverine siding with The Avengers I’m particularly looking forward to seeing the tensions between him and Cyclops continue to grow. At this stage it’s fair to say that all bets are off when it comes to picking who will win in a free-for-all between the X-Men and The Avengers! 7/10