Normally, a book that shows off "down time" is one that scores relatively low, because there isn't much plot progression and little character development. Hopeless is surprisingly able to excel in both of these areas, giving us a glimpse into each of the characters through the medium of their relationships and "having fun." I found the pairings of Colossus/Domino and Forge/Doctor Nemesis especially well thought out, as these characters seem to get along perfectly. A, shall we say, match made in heaven?
The penciling by Salvador Larroca was somewhat on-or-off for me. While characters like Doctor Nemesis (a new personal favorite of mine) are drawn pretty well, historically youthful characters like Colossus and Hope look a little "old." I could have sworn that Peter looked about seventy years old in one particular panel. Overall, it doesn't detract much from the writing, but there are little details here and there that just don't seem to fit quite right with some of the characters.
Cable and X-Force #5 is a notably good time for both readers and characters alike. With some great character development and banter-filled dialogue (shots! shots! shots!), I find it hard to believe that anyone would be un-amused by this issue. Hopeless is taking his time with this story, and, with writing like this, I really don't mind at all.