Saturday, February 02, 2008

Joe Casey Comics: Cable #56

[Continuing my look at Joe Casey's run on Cable. New posts Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.]

What an unremarkable issue. I blame fill-in artist Ryan Benjamin, because, well, I don't like his work. Benjamin was a Wildstorm mainstay and has that style--one that I cannot stomach. Women are twigs, lots of little lines equal realism, and the interesting moments involving dialogue are squeezed between the looooooooong fights. Compared to last issue where Ladronn aptly drew pages of dialogue and made it interesting, the art here is immature and... well, ugly.

Blockade nearly kills Domino and Cable takes his revenge. A simple plot.

There's another Casey moment in this issue where Blockade is playing cards with Hydro-Man and Stilt-Man and there's some of that lovely supervillain-as-real-people banter. Of course, it's crammed into a single page and slows the issue down a lot. The few bits of character development and dialogue slow this issue down a lot because of the horrible pacing of Benjamin (at this point in his career, I believe Casey was writing in the "Marvel style" of scripting as "full script" hadn't yet become the standard--as displayed by the fact that Casey did scripting work around this time). When you have page upon page of fight scenes that you breeze over, cramming the talking scenes into a page fucks with the reader. That's one of my main problems with the Marvel style and this type of artist.

Cable's revenge on Blockade is cold and methodical: he uses his telepathy to make it so Blockade will forever live out his own personal hell without end. Casey ties this to Cable's past (aka the future) where this sort of revenge is a tradition he learned from the enemy forces--and one that he respects. Casey places Cable within the realm of the soldier rather than the superhero and, again, the fight between the two is far too long. The physical confrontation between the hero and the villain is out of place here, particularly one that takes up nearly a fifth of the issue when, really, the emphasis is on how skilled and determined Cable is, focused on obtaining his revenge more than anything else--the physical element seems so out of place because it's unnecessary to his goal and seems inserted merely to satisfy genre concerns--and to keep the artist entertained.

There is also a brief one-page encounter between Blaquesmith and Cable that barely has time to accomplish anything. As well, the final page sets up a future confrontation between SHIELD and Cable.

Compared to other issues of the run, this one is a disappointment, but Benjamin does prove himself more able in the next issue--although, that may be to Casey's credit. But, that will have to wait until Tuesday.