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X-Force / Cable: Messiah War [Hardcover]

Craig Kyle , Christopher Yost , Duane Swierczynski , Ariel Olivetti , Clayton Crain , Mike Choi
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 9 2009 Oversized
It's the exciting sequel to 2007's Messiah Complex! Cyclops has complete faith that his son, Cable, will do everything he can to protect the so-called mutant messiah - who he believes will save mutantkind. But he also knows what havoc former X-Man Lucas Bishop has wreaked in the nightmarish future. So now he's sent his black ops team, the X-Force, on a risky, time-traveling mission to save Cable and the child, completely unaware that there's something else waiting for them in the future. Something not even Bishop was counting on... Collects Cable #13-15, X-Force #14-16, and Messiah War one-shot.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have!! Jan. 6 2013
Format:Paperback
A great continuation to the messiah complex love it, very well written a great read from beginning to end a must have for any x-men fan
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3.0 out of 5 stars Stellar artwork, fast-paced dramatic story Jan. 23 2012
Format:Hardcover
Despite being such a massive tome, this book is a relatively quick read, which goes a long way toward saying what an entertaining, fast-paced action story the authors crafted.
This crossover (i.e., a story developing across issues of different series) brings to a climax the struggle over the purposed mutant messiah, the first mutant baby to be born in years, Hope. The plan was to send her into the future with Cable, a time-travelling mutant soldier, to let her grow safe away from those who'd seek to kill her or manipulate her. However, another time-displaced mutant, Bishop, is convinced she'll usher the horrible future he was born into and is hell bent on killing Hope before that can come to pass, no matter what the cost. His pursuit is now coming to an end, since he's wrecked enough havoc throughout Time to corner Cable and Hope into a single place in a bleak timeline. He's also enlisted the help of Cable's nemesis. In our present though, the X-Men have finally located Hour and managed to send their black-opsstrike team, X-Force, to retrieve her at all costs. The Messiah War is this set to blow up soon...
First off, the artwork is stellar here and mostly very modern, i.e. if you don't like computer-enhanced art, look another way... In any case, the main artists here are among the best in their field (above all, I'm my humble opinion, Clayton Crain) and can also tell a comic story, so I liked the art and I'd recommend anybody to give it a try. There's even some more traditional artwork by returning artist Larry Stroman, who's only gotten better and who has been sorely missed.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Accessible, enjoyable time-travel adventure March 1 2010
Format:Hardcover
While I am an X-fan, I'd never ever read any story with Cable, Deadpool, Stryfe, or Bishop, and I wasn't familiar with their history. I'd not yet read Messiah Complex (which this book is the sequel to). In spite of all this, I still enjoyed this book. Here's why:

Absolutely everything you need to know about anybody in this story is supplied between its covers. There's a bonus feature that explains who's who and what's what. There's a 3-part story of the life of Bishop, from birth 'til the "Messiah War" story. The opening chapter of the main story does a great job of recapping what went on before.

"Messiah War" itself has all the ingredients for success: time-travel, evil clones, double-crossings, and a healthy dose of violence (par for the course for X-Force!). The dialogue is crisp and clever; Deadpool can be hilarious, though by the end of the book I found my patience had run out and he was just annoying. Now let's talk about the art: Ariel Olivetti's is gorgeous and Mike Choi's is just awesome. Clayton Crain's art is an acquired taste; at times, it seems a bit rushed and comes out muddled (especially in the last chapter). Had Olivetti & Choi handled all the art chores, this book would've been so much more enjoyable to read... There are also parts in the story that seem decompressed, as if they had to stretch out some bits to fill six chapters.

Because of this last point and occasional art issues, I have to give this book 3 stars. Still worth picking up, though!

NOTE: This book is part 2 in a trilogy. It follows "X-Men: Messiah Complex" and precedes "X-Men: Second Coming."
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, but still worthy. The only X-men run worth following. Jan. 24 2010
By SB - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I had to write this after reading the other customer review which claims that Utopia is the book to read. Not for this longtime X-men fan. The X-force title is the only vital X-men book in the fold lately, and this book is certainly a worthy follow-up to the Messiah Complex, although not as good as that collection.

The Bishop mini-series included at the end of the book should be read FIRST. It was pretty good-- and certainly a needed primer in X-men past and future history. I enjoyed the refresher course which helped sort out a lot of the mythology around Bishop, Cable, and the Summers' storyline.

The second section of the book focuses on Cable and Hope as they move through time fleeing Bishop. I really liked this segment, as I haven't had much interest in Cable and this was a good way to get back into the character-- the authors really deepened his inner dialog and managed to make some sense of his convoluted history (again providing a needed sorting out of a lot of this messy continuity), while painting a very bleak portrait of the distant future-- an intriguing science ficiton-esque warning of things to come. The character of the child Hope was also well done. The relationship between her and Cable was quite compellingly portrayed.

The latter half of the book depicts X-force hooking up with Cable and a big showdown between them, Stryfe, Apocalypse, Bishop, and Deadpool. This section had a few improbable plot twists involving Angel and Apocalypse, and some hard-to-follow action sequences, but overall it worked. The scripting was great--- Deadpool was hilarious, and the whole X-factor team has a neat dynamic. I enjoyed catching up with Stryfe, who made a interesting villain. The story itself was a somewhat confusing, but still very interesting sci-fi conception of the far future involving some time-travel paradoxes and such. I give the authors credit for really pushing the envelope in portraying very ambitious concepts of time travel and extrapolating the X-men mythology to create a vision of the extreme future.

The book also features some great pages of notes on Cable and X-men mythology and characters-- very helpful in refreshing one's memory/boning up on this incredibly complicated saga.

I thought the artwork was excellent throughout the whole book, although the weirdly cartoony style of the Bishop series took some getting used to.

I hold back from a 5-star rating because of some of the head-scratching moments at the end of the story...there are just a couple plot holes and some annoyingly deliberate teasers about future revelations that left me feeling unsatisfied. But overall this is a very good X-men book, and certainly it is head and shoulders above the idiotic "Utopia" book, which features corny and ridiculous dialog, inexplicable character behavior, horrible and wildly inconsistent artwork, and an utterly stupid plot.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good...But not the Messiah Complex Sept. 2 2009
By Jacob Cowell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This was an awesome crossover event, but for some reason it just didn't keep me turning the pages as quickly as "The Messiah Complex" crossover from a few years back. It wasn't the art, which was outstanding. Choi, Crain, and Oliverti all did an outstanding job. Just beautiful. And it really wasn't the story either. Maybe it was just the rehashing of old villains trying to make a case for themselves in an era where comic readers want something fresh. Not that Apocallypse and Stryfe are boring, but readers crave something new. And the heroes were awesome, but why just limit it to a few of them? With something as critical as saving the mutant "messiah" on the line, wouldn't you want all of your resources on hand? I don't know? It just didn't make sense to me. And Bishop just needs to die. Take what you will from this. I liked it, but something was missing.
Peace and Love,
Jake.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, but still worthy. The only X-men run worth following. Jan. 24 2010
By SB - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I had to write this after reading another customer review which claims that Utopia is the book to read. Not for this longtime X-men fan. The X-force title is the only vital X-men book in the fold lately, and this book is certainly a worthy follow-up to the Messiah Complex, although not as good as that collection.

The Bishop mini-series included at the end of the book should be read FIRST. It was pretty good-- and certainly a needed primer in X-men past and future history. I enjoyed the refresher course which helped sort out a lot of the mythology around Bishop, Cable, and the Summers' storyline.

The second section of the book focuses on Cable and Hope as they move through time, fleeing Bishop. I really liked this segment, as I haven't had much interest in Cable and this was a good way to get back into the character-- the authors really deepened his inner dialog and managed to make some sense of his convoluted history (again providing a needed sorting out of a lot of this messy continuity), while painting a very bleak portrait of the distant future-- an intriguing science ficiton-esque warning of things to come. The character of the child Hope was also well done. The relationship between her and Cable was quite compellingly portrayed.

The latter half of the book depicts X-force hooking up with Cable and a big showdown between them, Stryfe, Apocalypse, Bishop, and Deadpool. This section had a few improbable plot twists involving Angel and Apocalypse, and some hard-to-follow action sequences, but overall it worked. The scripting was great--- Deadpool was hilarious, and the whole X-factor team has a neat dynamic. I enjoyed catching up with Stryfe, who made a interesting villain. The story itself was a somewhat confusing, but still very interesting sci-fi conception of the far future involving some time-travel paradoxes and such. I give the authors credit for really pushing the envelope in portraying very ambitious concepts of time travel and extrapolating the X-men mythology to create a vision of the extreme future.

The book also features some great pages of notes on Cable and X-men mythology and characters-- very helpful in refreshing one's memory/boning up on this incredibly complicated saga.

I thought the artwork was excellent throughout the whole book, although the weirdly cartoony style of the Bishop series took some getting used to.

I hold back from a 5-star rating because of some of the head-scratching moments at the end of the story...there are just a couple plot holes and some annoyingly deliberate teasers about future revelations that left me feeling unsatisfied. But overall this is a very good X-men book, and certainly it is head and shoulders above the idiotic "Utopia" book, which features corny and ridiculous dialog, inexplicable character behavior, horrible and wildly inconsistent artwork, and an utterly stupid plot.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful examination regarding the birth of the messiah and her role in the world, Dec 22 2010
By GraphicNovelReporter.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Messiah War picks up a few months after the close of Messiah CompleX, with Cable having escaped into the time-stream with his adopted daughter, Hope. Hers is the first mutant birth since M-Day, a holocaust that reduced the world's mutant population from several million to fewer than two hundred. She is either the savior of mutantkind or the one that damns them all. Cable believes she is the key to preventing the dystopian future, where mutants are corralled into prison camps in a post-apocalyptic nightmare.

They are hunted across the centuries by another time-traveler and former X-Man, Bishop, who believes she is responsible for the nightmarish future that follows her birth. He has teamed-up with Stryfe, an old enemy of Cable's, and is setting them all on a collision course that could reshape the future-history of all mankind. Working to stop Bishop is Wolverine and his X-Force team, a covert black-ops squad tasking with finding and protecting Hope.

Messiah War is the middle volume of the saga surrounding Hope, the mutant messiah. It's slower paced, allowing for a bit more breathing room and considerations regarding this child and her role in the destiny of mutantkind. Each side has a reason to either protect or kill the young child, and beneath the furious action there is fairly deep mediation on fate and the unknown consequences of choice and the impact of nature versus nurture. Cable does his best to guide Hope and be the father figure she needs, believing that his protection and guidance can prevent a war that will forever destroy the fragile peace and politics between human-mutant relations. Bishop, himself an outcast from the apocalyptic future where mutants are branded and imprisoned, believes he can correct the future-history and that there can be no changing what this little girl will become. She must die.

It's a thoughtful examination regarding the birth of the messiah and her role in the world, taking the time to reflect on the possible repercussions of the decisions made in Messiah CompleX. There are generous amount of violence that have a darker edge to it than the prior book, largely because the writing team for the X-Force sections are skewing toward an older audience. Even the artwork there is darker and dingier than the overall body of work shown in Messiah CompleX, but it works very well and looks beautiful. The art for the Cable issues have a cleaner, painterly effect to them, which is an odd contrast to the grungy, bloody panels of the X-Force chapters.

The book is presented in an oversized hardcover collecting the issues of X-Force and Cable that comprise Messiah War, along with plenty of bonus material. In addition to the main story, Marvel has chosen to also include X-Men: The Times and Life of Lucas Bishop, a three-issue miniseries that chronicles Bishop's childhood in the future concentration camps and his eventual journey through time to join the X-Men. It helps to give a bit more background behind Bishop's reasoning for betraying the X-Men and why he wants to kill Hope. There are also plenty of character bios, dubbed the Cable Files, which flesh out the background to all of the main characters and some closely affiliated people that are mentioned. Also included is an interview with Cable writer Duane Swierczynski, in which he discusses some of the editorial and collaborative decisions in writing for that series in the wake of Messiah CompleX and working with X-Force writers Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost to craft the Messiah War crossover.

While Messiah War has a slower pace than the frenetic Messiah CompleX, the X-Force/Cable crossover serves as a vital follow-up and sets the stage for Second Coming, the third and final part to the saga of the mutant messiah. It is a meditative work, yet filled with the requisite action set pieces and some deft character moments, that helps propel the larger narrative toward its conclusion.

-- Michael Hicks
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't understand the criticism Dec 24 2010
By Zeke63 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Many reviews criticize this title but I think that is because it is a departure from the highspeed mainstream x-men action of messiah complex and second coming. Being the intermitting chapter between these two (complex and second coming) I think that is a good thing. The comic is surreal, initially slow in pacing, and trippy, but gets stellar action quickly. It stars Cable, Hope, X-force (Wolvy in his grey costume is sweet), and oddly enough deadpool since he can't die and so has lived thousands of years into the future. It also features x-men villains not in the rest of the trilogy as the main threats, that being Apocalypse and his son. This comic is great because it adds feelings, situations, tones distinct from the other two of the trilogy, which enhances the diversity of the trilogy overall thus increasing its impact and greatness.

Standalone I'd give it a four, but to its contribution to the trilogy five stars
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