Cable and X-Force #12: Dominossus? Colomino?
Cable and X-Force #12 is a Colossus-heavy issue, and since he's been my favorite X-Man since I was a young boy who loved the notion of being able to turn one's entire body into invulnerable metal (like a human robot!), I have to stop and talk about it for a bit. I also happen to be a complete sap for interesting superhero relationships and Dennis Hopeless and his scripter Cullen Bunn are focusing on the major romantic proposition they've been putting forth since issue #5 – that it makes sense for Colossus and Domino to be a thing.
Piotr Nikolievitch Rasputin has had a rough go of it, as writers tend to approach him with wildly inconsistent notions of how he acts, from naive sweetheart to psychotic moron to obsessive creep. As recently as last year's Avengers vs. X-Men, he was shown to be a ridiculous oaf who, when given ultimate power, can think of nothing to do other than put legs on whales, and then go "Oops! Dey not breathe good on land! Hurf durf!" So it's refreshing to see that, in this series, they're treating him like a grown-ass man capable of emotional maturity. It's absolutely necessary to do this, in order to see what it is about this guy that makes him appealing to whip-smart, too-cool-for-cool types like Domino and Kitty Pryde.
Okay, to be fair, Kitty Pryde was a complete dork when she started liking him, mostly because he was a ridiculously strapping young man, but even in the fabled Joss Whedon era of Astonishing X-Men, when they pulled the trigger on a real relationship and were stoked about it for a while, there were times when we couldn't quite see what someone with that acerbic I've-dated-Pete-Wisdom-and-routinely-trade-barbs-with-Emma-Frost type of wit was doing with a famously barbless, often-too-serious guy like Pete. One supposes that Jason Aaron couldn't see it either, since the Schism wrenched that relationship apart with a ridiculous abruptness, reinforced it with crazypants AvXness and he shoved her at Iceman instead.
In Cable and X-Force #12, though, we're finally seeing some of Pete holding his own with Domino, and cutting through each layer of B.S. she throws at him to justify keeping him at arm's length. To be fair, it's not really B.S. – her concerns are legitimate, about how supertype relationships are doomed (which is something Kitty told him as well near the end of the Whedon run, but as a reason to justify reaching for happiness instead of avoiding it) and distracting, and she'd rather get her kicks when she can and be all about the job. It makes perfect sense, and my earlier concerns about Domino being used for "cheap and easy" sex for whoever she's paired with are rendered null and void, and some may have even considered them 'slut shaming' thoughts, but I assure you, I have never understood why the word 'slut' is considered a pejorative term at all. Sluts are awesome! More coitus for everyone! It's just sometimes hard to know where that line is between exploitation and good times is, and as straight white dude #4 billion, I'm not the most qualified judge anyway.
But I digress. Colossus and Domino discuss the future of their relationship while breaking into a high-security vault and putting a stop to an onslaught of demon monkeys before it can really start. Meanwhile, Hope Summers is in the future trying to figure out what's going on with her dad, Cable, and in a surprise to no one, the woman she meets in the Stryfe outfit trying to explain things to her is actually her older self. Now why she's in the clothing of Cable's evil clone is uncertain, but the big reveal at the end was more of a 'oh, I wasn't supposed to have figured that out yet?' kind of moment. But I liked the issue nonetheless, because Peter Rasputin is an adult, he's not obsessing over Kitty Pryde, and he's moving on with his life. I would, however, like to know what Domino fans think of this, because I don't know enough about her history to know how in character this is for her. Seems like it fits, though – she had a thing with Cable, who's another big, burly, stoic type of action guy. Could be her type.
Salvador Larroca's artwork is hit and miss here, as usual – sometimes it looks fantastic, other times it seems a bit misshapen. I do like that he actually made the elder Hope Summers look like an older woman, as there's usually no discerning relative ages in superhero land. But I'm also curious about what the deal is with Colossus kissing people when he's made of metal. Can he vary the softness of his flesh these days, or is Domino somehow enjoying a kiss that feels like making out with a steel girder?
Regardless, thanks to Hopeless and Bunn for maturing Colossus once again after he was torn down to nothingness. Cable and X-Force remains an entertaining read.