Cable leads a new team of X-Force members. You didn't have to be reading CABLE & X-FORCE to really understand anything within this issue. It's quite the fantastic jumping on point for new readers. Anyone who has been even remotely interested in Cable or X-Force finally has a great place to jump on, since both this character and team have been tied up in longer story lines that connected to previous volumes.
The story set-up is quick and painless and lets the reader know what they have coming to them in the upcoming months. Without getting into too much detail or giving away any spoilers, writer Simon Spurrier has this first issue delving deeper into the Marvel Universe and how government agencies deal with the super-heroes living within their borders and how they use them. It's an idea that everyone knows exists, but Spurrier makes this idea into its own story, along with adding a bit more mutant flare to it. Frankly, the story is incredibly intriguing.
The team is pretty stripped down right now: Cable, Psylocke, Fantomex, and Marrow. They actually work pretty well together and all play off of each other well, in combat. As for personalities, there's a bit of clashing, since all these characters have pretty big personalities. There's a few fantastic scenes with Fantomex, who comes off as a bit of a goof, but he's quite enjoyable on the page.
I'm a bit split on Rock He-Kim's art, as a whole, but I really didn't like quite a few things he did on this first issue. I really dislike Cable's design. The tall-collared, sleeveless shirt is weird looking, along with the headband with build in eye patch. There's actually quite a few panels where Cable looks odd because his arms seem too short. He looks too compact. Finally, his eyes are way too big, as is everyone in this book. Frankly, he doesn't look like Cable at all, and that's a bummer because He-Kim's colors are great here, but everything else is a bit tough to read. His line work isn't as strong as it should be to carry the story. He-Kim's art is really the shakiest thing about the issue as a whole.
One complaint about the writing. Marrow's narration is tough to read because it's really awkward and fragmented. The word "baby" is tossed around quite a bit and her narration comes off as free-formed jazz, but that's not how she talks throughout the issue. Maybe I missed something, like it's not her doing the narration, but it seems a bit off. Regardless, even if it isn't Marrow doing the narration, it's still very rough.
X-FORCE is off to a bit of a slow start. The story is a good deal of fun and shows an immense amount of promise, but the art is incredibly rough in numerous aspects. He-Kim's colors are fantastic within the issue, but the layouts, set-ups, and figures are muddled and tough to read. Cable looks a bit silly, and everyone's eyes are gigantic. It's hard to take anyone really seriously. Spurrier does give the reader something to really look forward to, though. He gives us a book that is very new reader friendly and a story that shows potential to be something epic. While I wasn't the biggest fan of the narration coming from Marrow, the rest of the dialogue was great, and I'm looking forward to what they have in store for us next.