I did skip reading part 1 of this crossover. Readers that are new to both X-Force titles will probably want to pickup Cable and X-Force #18. I was able to follow this issue even though I skipped part 1. I can imagine part 1 set the stage before this crossover. Without spoiling this issue, I can provide some background information. Hope is Cable's daughter and Cable leads the X-Force team. This issue does not give any backstory. It opens with a scene where Cable is being confronted by another group of mutants. This mutant team is lead by Bishop. Bishop was previously hunting Hope. Hope and Bishop are now being held hostage by Stryfe, a clone of Cable.He seeks to end Cable forever. With Hope and Bishop being held hostage, they begin arguing with each other. This argument is fueled by their previous history with each other. Cable is on the hunt for Hope and whoever may have her hostage. While Cable is trying to convince Bishop's team of mutants to let him find her, they inform him she is being held with Bishop by Stryfe. While Bishop's team tries to diffuse the situation, Cable seeks revenge for what Bishop did to Hope when she was younger. Cable now wants to find Hope, Bishop, and his clone they call Stryfe. The story closes with a big surprise.
This issue is setting the stage for this crossover event.The writers do a good job establishing the story.
Readers will find themselves confused by the two teams of characters. I have read a couple issues of Uncanny X-Force prior to this. Readers not familiar with the two series may find it confusing. I myself was jumping back to pages to try and understand what exactly was happening . This issue does stay on point but it feels cluttered. There is lots of dialogue, but it offers very little backstory. In a way I wish the series had come to a conclusion without the crossover event. This was something I was excited for when it had been announced, but I can see now how it may lose some readership.
With these minor issues building for a big event. I don't find it to be a necessary. I don't recommend jumping to this issue first. If you have read Uncanny X-Force for the whole series , make sure you are still familiar with the Cable and X-Force title. I did not read Uncanny X-Force very much but I still find it to be a good series. The massive amounts of characters can be overwhelming. Even with these bad marks I can say that this issue is important for readers following the crossover event. This issue does fall short, and lacks excitement.
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