Unless X-Forced to Read It, Don't Bother
I'll admit, I had my doubts going into this. Maybe it was that the cover to the volume looked to good. Maybe it was the team seemed lacking in many ways in terms of strong characters. Or perhaps it was simply that I hadn't heard much of anything about it. But, I decided to give it a chance; bad choice.
This is, simply put, a bad series.
For starters, none of the characters sound like themselves much at all, particularly Dr. Nemesis, whose language is rather pedestrian in comparison to his usual persona, and Colossus, who doesn't let off a single "da" for the entirety of the book. They all feel stripped of actual personalities, fueled simply by a plot that means little to nothing to the reader by the end. We're given various reasons to care about Cable and the struggles he faces, but it never hits home because he just doesn't feel real or relatable enough. And Colossus, who's been suffering from a lack of character since the start of Gillen's Uncanny X-Men, if not earlier, feels more flat than ever, repeating the same generalized lines over and over again like a scratched record. He also doesn't really do much for the team, making me question why he is even here. Also, it's hinted that there's something wrong with his powers because of the Phoenxi thing, but that's never really shown, only referenced, which is both frustrating and confusing. And Forge and Domino, though moderately better, are still pretty bland, and they only get away with the lack of character because I honestly know little to nothing about them, being generally unpopular characters when it comes to being used in different series; maybe that's why they're riding this shipwreck.
The plot is inconsequential at best. We're essentially told the end result at the start, but the details are so muddled and confused by the end that I'm not even sure Hopeless had a clear idea of what he was writing. The general premise is that, because of various reason, the team needs to stop a virus from being released on the public without being noticed, drawing various comparisons to better works like Ocean's Eleven. The issue is that their actions never feel stealthy, especially with Colossus and Cable running around, and it frequently ends up feeling like a hodge-podge of connected events. There are even some plot points that are concerning, but summed up in a sentence or two later on, as if the author ran out of space to deal with that problem. There are also a couple of threads thrown out there to get us interested in what's going on, but I was so detached by this point that I had no interest in what these might lead to, not to mention they feel so random and vague that they simply don't belong here. And there's a distinct lack of any villain to laytch on to. There's one that is shown lurking in the shadows, but beyond a frickin' virus, we aren't honestly provided much of a person to be rooting against, which, for this genre, is a serious issue. A hero can only be as good as a villain is bad, so, seeing as there's no real villain here, I guess that can explain why this just ends so poorly. This series also has a strong knack of tossing around the word "terrorist," which gets really old really fast, and feels forced in this age when we can't seem to get away from the topic.
There are some really stand-out moments here, like Havoc's concern over his family members becoming terrorists, and some fantastic character work in the fifth issue between Forge and Dr. nemesis, who sounds like himself for once. But they are so few and far between in this dull mess of a story that it amounts to almost nothing. The art's bland, the characters are unrelatable, the plot is inconsequential and uninteresting, and the dialogue feels forced, filled with the occasionally typo and really forced exposition, one of my biggest pet peeves in writing, I think it's fitting that Hopeless wrote this series, as that is very much what it is; hopeless. Do yourself and favor, and stay away from this in favor of much better books.