Thursday, April 3, 2008


Credits: Scott Lobdell (writer), Gene Ha (penciler), Al Vey & Terry Austin (inkers), Kevin Somers (colorist), Starkings/Comicraft (lettering)

Five years after being brought into the future, Scott and Jean continue to raise Nathan. Assuming the human identities of "Slym and Redd Dayspring", they travel to the city of Coastcrest to comply with Apocalypse’s law that “every ten years…every non-mutant unit must return to the city of their origin for a genetic scan”. While on the trail, a fellow traveler overhears them speaking in “Old Englishe”. When they arrive at the gates of the city, the guards have been tipped off, believing that only people with something to hide would use the old language. The guards are prepared to kill the Daysprings when the cyborg Prior Turrin appears. Turrin convinces the guards to let the family pass, and allows them to kill the man who turned the Daysprings in. Turrin is apparently a human who has been allowed to oversee the city, which he describes as a morgue. Turrin thinks that Nathan can bring hope to the city of “humans, synthcons, and low-grade mutants”. Meanwhile, Apocalypse (in another new body) has accelerated Stryfe’s power, as Prelate Ch’vayre oversees his education. Stryfe uses his power to disintegrate a teacher he doesn’t like. Ch’vayre tries to discipline him, but Apocalypse encourages Stryfe’s behavior.

Miscellaneous Notes
In order to reinforce the series’ religious imagery, Apocalypse’s men are given designations taken from Christianity. A “prelate” is a high-ranking member of the clergy, and a “prior” is either “an officer in a monastery of a rank below abbot,” or just a religious superior in general.

Continuity Note
The city the Daysprings are traveling to is referred to as both “Coastcrest” and “Crestcoast”.

“Huh?” Moments
There’s an odd use of foreign language brackets (these things: <……..>) during Scott and Jean’s dialogue. In an early scene, only Jean’s dialogue has them when she’s talking to Nathan and Scott. Later on, Scott suddenly has them in the middle of a conversation with Nathan. I understand the idea that our English is supposed to be outdated, but even if the brackets are supposed to represent another language, they’re used totally at random. Why would Jean speak in one language when the two people she’s having a conversation with are speaking another?

In a flashback page set at the Scott/Jean wedding, Ha draws Cable with a short ponytail for some reason.

Wow, this is a dull comic. The creators seem to be under the assumption that they’ve created this enthralling future world, which I guess makes any story set inside of it automatically more interesting. It doesn’t. For some reason, Cable’s future is now portrayed as the New Testament with a few cyborgs thrown in. I understand that casting Scott, Jean, and Nathan as Joseph, Mary, and Jesus is supposed to parallel Nathan’s role as a savior, but this is going pretty far. Not only do Scott and Jean travel to their birthplace, just as Joseph and Mary travel to Joseph's ancestral home in Bethlehem in the Christmas story, but they even dress in ancient Middle Eastern garb and take a mule with them. Good grief, we get the point. I guess Gene Ha’s art is supposed to sell the idea of the past and future coming together, but it doesn’t really look that interesting to me.

The series continues to go in a science fiction direction by giving all of the characters some type of future speak, which mainly serves to distance the reader even further from the story and just get on my nerves. Lines like “be a download if’n we got no more Y chromes” and kid Nathan’s expressions like “Oath!” and “Hyperbolic!” get old fast. Scott and Jean are allowed to still speak normally, but it’s not as if they’re given interesting to say to one another. So far, very little of this story has even focused on the characters. It’s mainly served to establish the setting and to flesh out Cable’s backstory. Scott and Jean do have a connection to Cable, of course, but just placing them in a parental role doesn’t mean the story’s really about the characters themselves or their relationship.

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