Author: James Robinson
Pencilers: Carlos Pacheco & Thony Silas
Inkers: Rafael Fonteriz & Thony Silas
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov, Federico Blee, and Dono Sanchez-Almara
Look at that! We actually get some story to go along with the beautiful art!
Previously: Cable has traveled to the Old West and ancient Japan after another time traveler. In each time period, he has been assaulted by natives wielding futuristic weaponry. Now he has traveled to the Mayan civilization and found more of the same.
Currently: A few seconds before Cable lands in the Mayan civilization, a young man, Kagan, is running from other Mayan soldiers, who wear wings made of energy (or something like that). They corner him and prepare to kill him when suddenly Cable lands in their midst. All of those present recognize Cable, including Kagan, as they were all told to expect him (much like the other two time jumps). The warriors ignore Kagan and attack Cable, but he easily dispatches them. Once he is done, he turns to Kagan, demanding how he knows who Cable is (except…considering the past two issues, Cable should be well aware of how Kagan knows his identity).
Here we finally learn that the man Cable is seeking is named Conquest. Kagan agrees to explain everything but first they must have privacy. Kagan takes Cable to his temple (he’s a priest) which is filled with much more advanced technology left by the Eternals. Kagan activates the temple’s “computer”, which is essentially what the Mayan calendar is based on. Kagan and Cable discuss the temple and what Conquest was after: the Time Sword. Kagan explains how the sword was broken into five pieces but was originally created during the legendary “War of Eterninhuma” (or, as Cable explains, the Eternals/Inhumans War). Conquest is after the five pieces and has already obtained three of them.
Kagan and Cable are able to figure out where the other two pieces are. Cable hopes to get ahead of Conquest and lay in wait. But he doesn’t know which piece Conquest is after next, so he takes a chance. Unfortunately, he’s wrong and is struck down by Conquest, leading Russian soldiers in 1908.
Thoughts/Reviews/Snide Comments: This…was a breath of fresh air. I mean, it’s not perfect. Still a lot of flaws, and didn’t make up completely for two issues with almost no plot, but we get enough now that as a whole, the series is starting to come together.
There’s plenty of action to be had, as Cable beats the crap out of a bunch of Mayan warriors. I still think their wings of energy are ridiculous, but Pacheco’s art is beautiful (as always), so I can overlook it. Plus, I only have to deal with a couple pages of it.
I think Conquest, as a villain’s name, is quite silly. Almost reek’s of 90’s nostalgia (i.e. “Stryfe”) and I’m a little disappointed it’s not Cable’s deranged clone, but I’m willing to see if Robinson does anything with it. This issue has a lot of exposition in it, but I think it’s needed considering the last two issues had almost none. As a result, we get almost the other end of the spectrum, but it’s not all bad. We find out that the story is nothing unheard of: Conquest is trying to assemble the Sword of Time (think Legend of Zelda but in reverse…this time the bad guy’s assembling the relic). I liked the idea of tying in the Eternals and Inhumans back stories (although as I read neither, I can’t say if this is truly part of the established canon or if this is the first mention of them). Anytime we’re reminded the X-Men are part of a larger universe is good with me.
I also need to take a moment to call out something that has been phenomenal in both prior issues but really stood out in this one: the color. The color is amazing and the contrast works so incredibly well. The scene inside the temple, where Kagan is accessing the computer, really seems to glow. The color just astounds me. I don’t often pay that much attention to it, but here, it’s just…wow.
Final Thoughts: I was pleased with this issue…but not entirely blown away. I’m hoping we’re moving in the right direction. This one is a definite improvement over the previous two, even if the wings on the soldiers were silly. But “Conquest”??? Really?
Rating: 6.5/10. Pretty solid above average book.