When you are on a time travelling manhunt, there are worse places to look for the person you are tracking than medieval Japan, I guess. Well, unless the guy you are hunting also appears to be hunting you. You know it is all going to hell when he arms a band of wandering warriors with laser swords.
One less arm later and Cable is being held captive of the restless ronin. But this is Cable starring in his eponymous book. It would take massive cojones to kill him in the second issue. But let’s be honest, if you think that a couple of samurai with laser swords will succeed where Stryfe, Apocalypse, Wolverine, Red Skull and many others have failed, you have not read any other Cable stories.
And that is okay here.
To their credit, James Robinson and Carlos Pacheco have crafted a story where you don’t have to know ANYTHING about Cable to enjoy. If you do, you get added insight into the character, but you aren’t getting a lot of advanced information about the plot. There is the added bonus for newcomers that by bouncing from the American old west to feudal Japan and onto the post-classical Maya that Cable is completely cut off from the X-Men so you don’t have to know their history either.
What Robinson (Starman, Felix Leiter) leaves the reader with is Cable on his own hunting for someone around the globe through time. You get to see him at his most resourceful. He’s not a teacher or teammate or leader or partner. He’s just Cable.
I actually prefer Cable when he goes rogue. Some of his best stories are when he goes solo (or as solo as Marvel has let him.) Like Wolverine, when he’s gone solo in the past, that means that two or three other characters have tagged along instead of a whole team. But so far, this solos adventure is just Cable.
We are beginning to see some development of the guy Cable is chasing this issue. I don’t mind the slow burn, but really we should start to get an idea of why Cable is hunting him down and soon. This is something that can be drawn out to the point of who cares. We aren’t there yet, but we can sense where that border is.
I really love the art by Pachero (Occupy Avengers, Trinity) and Rafael Fonteriz (Occupy Avengers, Eros Comix). It is clearly contemporary but it does hearken back to the late 80s/early 90s when Cable debuted. Thankfully they didn’t go all crazy and give us a book with McFarlane/Liefeld levels of body dismorphia. Pachero and Fonteriz are always a good team and their skills compliment each other in ways that make this book a joy just to page through.
Clearly, if you are curious about the X-Men or haven’t read one of their books for a long time, this series is one place to start. I’m not sure how much of the other X-Men we’ll see, but you’ll at least get to know one of their cornerstones. If you have been missing Cable, this should be a natural pull for you.
Writer: James Robinson
Penciler: Carlos Pacheco
Inker: Rafael Fonteriz
Colorists: Jesus Aburtov with Federico Blee