With the flawed core concept out of the way, Dennis Hopeless has a much easier time getting his adventure stories across in this trade.
I never bought into the idea that the X-Men and Avengers would suddenly believe that this X-Force team was evil. It is far more likely that most of them would react like Boom Boom does in this story; she trusts that they have reasons for their actions and asks how she can help. By having Captain America, Rogue, and the rest of the “Unity Squad” be such a bunch of hard asses, they end up coming off like villains. (I think I need to devote an entire post to what has happened to Rogue in Marvel Now. Where most characters have been refocused and “fixed” during the relaunches, I’m convinced Rogue has been ruined.)
So, if we accept that Cable is taking action to save the world various apocalypses, and he can’t tell anyone else besides his chosen half-dozen heroes, then at least we know that is the concept going forward. With that out of the way, the stories go a little more smoothly. One story involves breaking into the Raft to get a high-value alien target off the Earth.
I really like the relationship Hopeless has established with Colossus and Domino, so their scenes through the bars of Colossuses’ cell are well played. I also loved the interaction with the two X-bosses. Wolverine trusts Colossus implicitly (as does Shadowcat). As for Cable, when Cyclops comes calling, he’s there to support his son, contrary to the sensational cover.
Hope finally ditches her foster family in the final issue of this collection. We knew it had to happen. She’s too important a character to the X-mythos to retire off-panel so soon.
Are people really in to the banter and rivalry between Forge and Dr. Nemesis? I have to confess it isn’t doing anything for me. I’ve never taken to Dr. Nemesis. I like jerk characters, but he’s too far gone for me.
Salvador Larroca’s art is still a high point for me. I love his shiny take on Colossus, and other than the hand, I like his Cable too. Domino looks fantastic. It’s a little thing, but I like the different hairstyles on different characters. Larroca has a lot of guest-stars to draw, and they really shine. Cyclops’ new ruby visor seems to be a piece of hard plastic wrapping around his head. Abigail Brand has a sci-fi look different than the other characters. The only thing I don’t like is that AWFUL new Captain America costume. It is in the same category as Hawkeye’s current suit; no one draws it well.
This is the definition of a FAIR comic.