Issue(s): Cable #16
This dovetails with the revelations in Phalanx Covenant: Life Signs which showed that the Phalanx have deeper designs than those intended by the organization behind Lang.
But as with the previous chapter of Final Sanction, more time is devoted to showing the increasing realization on the part of Cable that Scott and Jean went forward in time into his past (take a breath) to raise him as a child.
This issue also plays up the idea that Cable and Wolverine have longstanding "differences". I point you to the continuity insert Wolverine/Cable: Guts and Glory so you can see what those differences stem from, but i warn you that it's a bit of a letdown.
Also, Wolverine's lack of adamantium proves to be not much of a setback.
The X-heroes are able to sneak into the Phalanx base by avoiding the use of their powers. Which raises a question. Wolverine's healing factor in my opinion should technically be always on, and that's especially the case while he's recovering from his adamantium loss. Similarly, Cable's telekinesis is theoretically perpetually holding back his techno-organic virus, but that also doesn't seem to count. It could be a coincidence, but the art seems to imply that Wolverine sheathing his claws counts as hiding his powers.
The X-heroes also get help from Psylocke, who pretends to be assimilated.
They fight their way through the Phalanx defenses...
...and free the other X-Men.
Although, i don't know. Everyone's looking a little... changed
Bishop ultimately absorbs all the Phalanx's energy.
Steven Lang makes a last ditch effort to destroy the Phalanx and the X-Men at the same time, but it fails and he dies with Hodge.
Out in space, someone notices the failure and decides for a more aggressive tactic.
If that's meant to be a Technarch, it seems to contradict what i quoted from Wikipedia in Excalibur #82.
The Phalanx Covenant is a very mixed effort. Generation Next was a nice introduction to the new characters, and it used the Phalanx well in that regard. I liked the information that was revealed in Life Signs, but the actual story was bad/nonexistent. And Final Sanction basically just does the housework of ending the threat of the Phalanx leaders and freeing the X-Men, but it's very rote, generic action. I think the whole story could have been improved by just working the information revealed in Life Signs into the Generation Next portion, and then dropping Life Signs and Final Sanction entirely (letting Generation X and their chaperones defeat the Phalanx and rescue the X-Men). But then it wouldn't have been a crossover that spilled into every X-title, and of course the sales needs from that outweigh any storytelling concerns.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is the second and final part of Phalanx Covenant: Final Sanction.
Crossover: Phalanx Covenant
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAngel, Beast, Bishop, Cable (Adult), Cameron Hodge, Cyclops, Gambit, Iceman, Jean Grey, Psylocke, Rogue, Steven Lang, Storm, Wolverine
The funny thing is that breaking the story into self-contained chunks made it that much easier to NOT read the other books. I stuck with the Generation X stuff because as a younger reader I loved the idea of a New New Mutants.
They seemed to have been counting on readers being interested in the Phalanx concept as something that would carry people over. But unfortunately, as you note, they're pretty lame villains. Visually, it's all been downhill since JRjr and in most of these issues they just look like yellow-orange Borg Goo -
As an introduction for GenX this was... okay. I wish we got more time with them here as individuals before they're thrust into a crisis situation.
Things like the "Gregor" business show up the limitations of the writing team at this time - is it necessary or interesting to script him as a bad, unconvincing copy by way of "lol, square old-fashioned hero-ness"? Why not have him seem plausibly like an interesting new teen mutant character, so it's more meaningful when he turns out to be a fake?
Posted by: doctorcasino | January 17, 2018 12:15 AM
"I am now a totally submissive pre-programmed tool of the collective consciousness". What a wonderfully Claremontian line! ;)
Posted by: Piotr W | January 18, 2018 6:03 PM
Can't abide most of the art here, but any issue where Wolvie refers to himself as "the Ol' Canuckle-head" will at least get a smile from me, and a bonus point for him calling someone "Twinkle-face" in the same panel. (Cable I think, thought I bet Gambit thought he was talking about him.)
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | January 19, 2018 11:53 AM
I found this whole crossover to be underwhelming and dropped most of the X-books after this.
Posted by: Ben Herman | January 20, 2018 7:28 PM
It's a shame you're not covering (for the time being) the Adventures of Cyclops & Phoenix.
I'd like to hear your thoughts on how the story lines up (or not) with the portrayal of Cable's upbringing shown up to that point
Posted by: Bibs | April 13, 2018 12:33 PM
Comments are now closed.
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