Sign of the End Times Part 3: Faraway, So Close
Credits: Joe Casey (writer), Jose Ladronn (penciler), Juan Vlasco (inker), Gloria Vasquez (colors), Comicraft’s Saida T. (letters)
Summary: Cable and the Avengers continue to battle the Harbinger. Blaquesmith arrives in New York and uses his thought-projector device to inform Cable of Ozymandias’ prophesy. Cable refuses to allow New York to die, even if it will avert Apocalypse’s rule. Iron Man gives Cable his boots, which Cable uses to fly Harbinger into the atmosphere. Harbinger explodes, while a mystery figure rescues Cable. Stacey watches the skies, convinced that Cable is dead.
Review: It’s another issue of a giant Avengers fight by Ladronn, so this isn’t all bad. Casey can’t seem to craft a story that matches the intensity of the art, though, leaving the “death of New York” concept to sputter out badly. I guess the idea was to emphasize Cable’s evolution as a character through his decision to rescue New York, even if its destruction would guarantee Apocalypse’s defeat. To put it politely, this idea isn’t explored very well. Cable doesn’t even learn of the prophesy until the final pages of the story, the specifics of how exactly the destruction of New York will eventually stop Apocalypse are never given, and at no point does Cable even weigh the options, which makes it a pretty lame ethical dilemma. Some of the character work with Stacey isn’t bad, but the grand tone Casey’s trying to strike with the story just comes across as melodrama. This was a three-issue story about a cyborg fighting some superheroes while he destroys a few buildings. It’s okay to dress it up a bit, but trying so hard to hit the “epic” note just emphasizes how silly the idea was in the first place.