Avengers: X-Sanction #1


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Avengers: X-Sanction #1


  • Words: Jeph Loeb
  • Art: Ed McGuinness
  • Inks: Dexter Vines
  • Colors: Morry Hollowell
  • Story Title: Midnight
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Dec 14, 2011

Cable aims to take down the Avengers, but it's really Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness that take aim at the Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

The Avengers, on a regular "take out all the bad guys who are randomly causing trouble" mission, have one of their own taken off the field by an unknown assailant.

As a prelude to next year's requisite major Marvel crossover of Avengers vs. X-Men, Loeb and McGuinness, a team that works great together, set a warrior from the streams of time against the Avengers, a team that works great together. Admittedly, this crew is an odd pastiche of the Avengers, featuring Spider-Man, Wolverine, Red Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, and the Falcon, a character that's largely been absent beyond crossovers and cameos. His inclusion is made all the more clear when he becomes the first casualty in Cable's history-fueled war on his former allies. While Cable has never been an Avenger, he's never notably been at odds with the crew, and largely has fought for the same goals, even if his are more time-oriented than the Avengers, beyond the run-ins with Kang the Conqueror. They tackle trouble in different sectors, and have rarely run in with each other, beyond Cable's involvement in the Superhero Civil War. The premise is set appropriately, with both the readers and the Avengers unsure on why Cable has them in his sights.

The issue is beautifully drawn by Ed McGuinness, a guy who works with these characters oh so well. Cable's appropriately huge (with large guns surprisingly spared, leaving a odd bit of reality), and Red Hulk's veiny and mean, but characters without massive builds, such as Captain America or even the barely-seen Spider-Man keep their unique builds in check. There are no cut-and-paste bodies in this issue. Only supporting him in this issue are Dexter Vines and Morry Hollowell, who get the glean of Iron Man's armor, the slickness of superhero spandex, and both the shadows of a dark alleyway and the blinding white light of the future all in equal balance. While McGuinness' pencils are always extravagant, it's the inker and colorist that make the final page stand out.

Loeb's script fuels the whole book, and it's well-paced and thought out. Cable's not just taking out some aggression against the Avengers, he has his reasons. Like a good crossover, it's hard to root for one faction or another, as each have their own supported arguments. Captain America (taking center stage in this issue) sees Cable as an ally who needs help, but will be put down if necessary. Cable sees the Avengers as ruiners of worlds (oddly enough, much like Wonder Man in the Avengers books themselves) and must put an end to their mission.

X-Sanction looks to be a fun, brief, and enjoyable miniseries. With a stellar crew on the book and no time for extended and pronounced political debates, it's the superhero fight we've needed for a while.

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