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Lay the Odds for Avengers Vs. X-Force

Writer Dennis Hopeless sums up the chances Cable and his crew stand against the Uncanny Avengers!

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Cable & X-Force #13 preview art by Gerardo Sandoval

By Andrew Wheeler

It’s been a rough year for Cable and his latest unlikely X-Force crew.

With Cable plagued by brain-busting premonitions that seem certain to end his life, his team of Domino, Colossus, Forge, Dr. Nemesis and Boom Boom has been labeled terrorists for their attempts to prevent those predictions from coming true. His adopted daughter Hope currently finds herself stranded in an uncertain future with her dad’s old buddy Blaquesmith, watching the timelines shift before her eyes.

If that doesn’t all sound rough enough, they also have the Uncanny Avengers to deal with. The “Unity Team,” combining X-Men and Avengers under the leadership of Havok, has been hot on the trail of Cable’s X-Force from the start.

Cable & X-Force #14 preview inks by Salvador Larroca

Cable let himself get captured so that the rest of the team could get away, but of course they’re going to want him back, so another confrontation can’t be avoided. The two groups’ collision course ends soon, and in CABLE & X-FORCE #13, the final showdown begins.

Havok’s team boasts a ton of heavy hitters, including Captain America, Thor, Rogue and the Scarlet Witch. That has to make them comfortable favorites for a win. Cable’s guys come in as the plucky underdogs, but can they pull off a victory in this hero-on-hero grudge match? Series writer Dennis Hopeless says we shouldn’t rule them out.

“There’s no denying that the Avengers are the safe bet here but it does say X-Force on the cover,” he notes. “Colossus is no slouch in a brawl, Domino and Boom Boom are both pretty scrappy and the X-Force science team of Dr. Nemesis and Forge always [has] a few tricks up their sleeves. We’ll see what they come up with.”

Cable & X-Force #14 preview inks by Salvador Larroca

Hopeless pegs Thor and Cable as the two teams’ MVPs, but X-Force’s leader being out-of-commission and behind enemy lines could work against them or possibly help them.

“I think underestimation is probably X-Force’s greatest weapon here,” says Hopeless. “Without Cable, they aren’t going to seem particularly dangerous to the Uncanny Avengers. Much to his chagrin, most super heroes don’t shake in fear at the sight of Dr. Nemesis, but maybe they should. The man is an artist when it comes to breeding giant insects and annelids.”

The Uncanny Avengers may be daunting opponents, but Hopeless jokes that he has his own take on writer Rick Remender’s team:

Cable & X-Force #14 preview inks by Salvador Larroca

“Every time I talk to [Rick] about them, he goes on and on about how [the Avengers would] wipe the floor with Cable’s X-Force. So, you know, I just write them as bumbling meat-headed idiots.”

That might help balance the tables, but X-Force still looks outgunned. Their best chance to survive the coming fight, according to Hopeless, could be their desperation.

“X-Force’s strategy here is to throw everything they can think of at [the Avengers] and hope to hell something works,” he explains. “Without Cable and his visions, their whole mission statement collapses. This attack is a last-ditch, eyes closed and fingers crossed sort of deal. They don’t plan to win but they’ll damn sure try.

“The odds are terrible, but it’s me writing the thing. So, sure, they have a shot.”

Pick up CABLE & X-FORCE #13 on Wednesday, August 20

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