Review by: comicBOOKchris

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Avg Rating: 2.8
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Story by Jeph Loeb
Art by Ed McGuinness
Cover by Ed McGuinness, Leinil Francis Yu, & Stephen Platt

Size: 0 pages
Price: 3.99

I won’t spoil if Captain America really got shot in the face, as per the cliff hanger from the last issue. Granted, the outcome of that cliffhanger wasn’t the one I was expecting, but it was just as lame.

One would read X-Sanguination #2 and assume that it is a simplistic story featuring the two cover characters dueling until one of them is finally “X-Sanctioned”. Well…you would be right. On the whole, I would say your enjoyment of this will vary directly with your enjoyment of seeing Cable in a comic book, and not much else (being a Cable superfan is why I’m a bot more forgiving about this series). But if you dig a a little deeper, you will find that this issues features a few plot threads that would normally give a story depth and gravitas. Somehow, in this case, they weave a tapestry that’s so transparent that all you can see is merely Cable and Iron Man battling to the exsanction.

I covered in my review of #1 of how puzzling it was to bring Cable back from the dead only to immediately put him on a mission that will “surely” result in his death. Characterization wasn’t really apparent in that issue, but now that the story is progressing, it’s becoming clear with how off everyone seems. For instance, we are treated to a “History of Cable and Hope for dummies course”, in which Jeph Loeb tries to convey a complex and wonderful relationship that took 25 or so issues of Cable’s previous excellent series to convey in a page or two. It’s difficult, but not really a fool’s errand since more complex things have been conveyed in a single page in the past. I just feel that this relationship deserved better than being strung through the Loeb ringer of boiling characters down to their most simplistic attributes. It made Cable seem like an uncaring hardass dick of a father, and Hope seem like a dopey numbskull. Everyone else is just boiled to the core as well…especially Radioactive Man, who has had so much of his characterization whittled away that the past 6 or so years of him on the Thunderbolts has been completely forgotten about. True, there was a great fight scene plotted by Loeb and rendered by the always dependable McGuinness, but that really is the yin to the yang. It’s actually quite descriptive of 75% of Loeb’s work…if you want to see the greatest fight scenes between two action figures, then Loeb’s your man.

One more thing that I’d like to touch on, since I believe that it’s pretty noteworthy, is the fact that this is the first time that Loeb has handled Red Hulk in an extended capacity since his run ended. I like the Red Hulk, since unlike many others, I don’t think he’s a flawed character. He’s a character who represents pure penance, since General Ross finally bit off more than he could chew in his Hulk related endeavors, and is now living with the fact that what his dealings turned him and his daughter into the enemy that he hated the most. So since Ross isn’t COMPLETELY a cold hearted bastard, he’s going to try to make things right. The thing is, though, that it wasn’t until after around 25 issues of his series that he became this great character. The Red Hulk in this issue is how Loeb wrote him before he had all of this character work placed upon his, and right away I was reminded about how infuriating of a character he once was. Some people said that he was the Marvel rip off of Hellboy, but his characterization more matched up with an annoying comic fan who happens to have Hulk powers and knows WAY too much about Marvel comics. His fights are usually prefaced with “I read the files on you…” and goes on to wax poetic about every attribute about the character he’s fighting that the audience probably already knows. This is also the reason why he usually always won, since you’ll have a scenario like “So Thor, your file says that no one can pick up your hammer …so I’ll just hit you into space where there’s no gravity!”. It was an incredibly lazy way to make him powerful and battle smart, and it makes its return here where Red Hulk figuratively reads off Cable’s wikipedia page TO HIM. It made me appreciate the work that Jeff Parker and Brian Michael Bendis did with the character now that he’s a bigger fixture in the Marvel Universe, but it’s also making me dread reading the next issue, where Red Hulk and Cable’s fight will begin in earnest.

So like I mentioned before, pick up Avenger: X-Sanguination #2 if you want to see the coolest Iron Man and Cable action figure fight that you’ve ever seen printed on paper. Besides that, your love of Cable and his saga will really determine if you’ll enjoy this series. If your love is any less than my zealot-like love of the character, I don’t know if I can suggest this.

Story: 2 - Average
Art: 4 - Very Good


  1. I liked this issue better than the last one. The chairs that are used to immobilize Cap and Tony really were used by Magneto back in the first Claremont run. I thought that was a nice use of continuity. I suppose this might be the prologue to Avengers vs. X-Men? Of course, McGuinness’ art is gorgeous.

  2. It is indeed one of the 10,000 prologues to Avengers vs. X-Men.

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