Check out the nice turnaround from the last issue I reviewed. About thirty issues ago, the team was rededicated to its mission and bidding farewell to founding member Cannonball. Now, with John Francis Moore writing, it is time for another split. Fortunately, Adam Pollina is still around on pencils, although I think he’s getting quite a bit of help from his inkers at this point.
With Zero Tolerance wrapping up, Cable has decided it is time for the team to go underground to continue their mission. The only problem is? He never cleared that idea with the team. So instead of the young mutants taking on new identities and sticking with Cable, instead they strike out on their own. I enjoyed seeing Cable take the news so well; he realizes that the adult soldiers he raised can make their own decisions.
So Cable’s out. But so are some other regulars. Domino is dealing with some pretty brutal treatment from the Zero Tolerance camp, so she needs some time on her own. Worst of all, Ozymandius shows up claiming Caliban for Apocalypse. Cable would have stood up for his teammate, but I guess Ozymandius is sporting some powerful telepathy himself. After slipping Cable a mental mickey, no one even knows Caliban in in trouble. Warpath is trapped in a weird cartoony world with the Vanisher. I can’t really remember what the heck is going on with that weirdness.
Pollina really shows off his skills with the Warpath and Vanisher stuff. The sudden alterations between cartoon-like dogs and savage creatures is jarring, but due to Pollina’s excellent stage-setting, it looks continuous too. Some of the pages look like Pollina spent a good amount of time making folks look great. But other moments… I can’t even recognize Pollina’s art. Siryn is a great example of this; she looks spot-on and charming for most of the issue, but suddenly she loses detail towards the end of the issue. Very strange.
I like where this book is taking the team, and the characters are all developing nicely. But the lack of a clear conflict (including the odd non-confrontation with Cable) keeps this from becoming a really strong comic. FAIR it is.