Although I wouldn’t call him one of my favourite characters at the moment, I like Cable. To put his backstory as simple as possible, he’s the time traveling son of Cyclops and a clone of Jean Grey. His mutant powers don’t always work, but he’s got Jean Grey’s powers and when they’re fully unleashed, he’s significantly more powerful. He’s kind of the ultimate soldier. He’s cold, calculating and often brutal, but he’s got a soft spot and a sense of humour, even if he hides it.
Despite his massive popularity in the 90’s (his 107 issue-long solo series is second only to Wolverine’s in the X-Men franchise as far as I know), it’s been a while since Cable’s been in anything. His last regular appearance was Simon Spurrier’s all too short X-Force run, well before 2015’s Secret Wars. Now he’s got a new solo series, written by James Robinson. This comic is fairly straight forward. Cable is chasing someone through time, who’s handing loners and criminals futuristic weapons in exchange for their time. We don’t yet know who Cable is chasing or what their intentions are, but we know enough to follow Cable’s goals while giving us a couple fun action scenes and Cable interrogating a Wild West bandit. The ending teaser is pretty intense too.
The art by Carlos Pacheco is great. The opening page in a well-detailed western town is complete with a variety of wooden buildings, scattered civilians looking on and the sun reflecting off the saloon’s windows. It perfectly sets the scene for the opening fight. They way Cable enters the saloon also feels like a Western, just one that happens to star a man with a metal arm, futuristic weapons and a glowing eye. The environmental detail continues throughout the comic, with the rocky desert, fields of grass, giant marks on the ground and debris in a burning village. Facial expression do a good job at conveying emotions, like the fear in the eyes of the cowboy as Cable hangs him upside down, and the sympathetic look Cable gives a mother who’s holding her dead child in the burning village. The colouring by Jesus Aburtov is also great. The western town is mostly brown and yellow, save for the colourful outfits and the energy that Cable’s time travelling throws around. His second location is much more colourful, balancing this issue out well.
Although we don’t know much about what’s going on yet, this comic is fast paced enough that we don’t need to. We know Cable’s basic goals, and that his enemy could cause some serious historic problems if he’s not stopped. If you’re a Cable fan, you’ll likely enjoy this comic. Because the story is straight forward I’m not sure who else to recommend this to, but if you’re interested in a series about a time traveling soldier from the future, this series is worth checking out.
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This was OK, but not great. It avoids getting tangled up in complex continuity, which is a good way to do a first issue. But Cable doesn’t feel particularly interesting here, and lacks any sense of strategy. The art’s great, though. A perfect choice for a Cable series.