Current Reviews


Cable #7

Posted: Tuesday, September 30, 2008
By: Christopher Power

Duane Swierczynski
Ariel Olivetti
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Cable #7 arrives in stores tomorrow, October 1.

I must admit, I am enjoying the current Cable series. It seems to have infused the character with more energy than previous series have, and certainly with more direction. Indeed, I have not seen this much direction of the character since his stint in Hell's Kitchen in the late 1990s when he hooked up with a spiritual guide in the form of a diner waitress.

This series actually reminds me of those days very much. It is largely about Cable trying to find peace. Previously, it was peace for himself, but now it is for him and his little girl. I notice that there are some similarities even in the presentation of the "guide" if you will, in the form of the woman Hope. She is someone who can ground Nathan, who is becoming older and more grizzled as the series goes on. I do wish the writer would do a little more with this, and generate some real energy from it. Unfortunately, the relationship falls a little bit flat.

Most of this issue does not deal with Cable. Instead it deals with that other time traveling mutant Bishop, who has made the wonderful blunder of going back in time to the "present" of the Marvel Universe. I was impressed that the writer strove to actually have time travel make some sense, and had Bishop age a longer period than he was actually away. I was also impressed that the writer had Beast mention to Scott Summers that in a world where time travel is common, the girl who comes back to him may not be a baby, but instead a grown woman.

As an aside in my review: I note that the little girl still has no name, which is mildly concerning when combined with this foreshadowing. I think I know where this story is ultimately heading, and I largely don't care about a Phoenix returning to the Marvel Universe. I was really hoping the child was someone else, but I'm honestly resigning myself to it being Jean.
The exceptional part of the book is that the writer is actively following a time travel paradox. Nathan comments that New Liberty is a legend in his time, and it appears that he may be the reason why it falls off the map. I am curious to see exactly how this story plays out, and in particular how Bishop sent people to New Liberty. How did he know Cable is there? This hole in the story is a little troublesome at the moment, but I am hoping it will be explained in future issues.

The art in the book is delivered competently, with the presentations of the main continuity X-Men being consistent with other titles. That is enjoyable, and makes the book feel like it fits within the larger context of the X-Universe. Previously, some of Olivetti's art has presented indistinct features on the characters. I am pleased to say that this book does not suffer from this flaw.

I would like to end my review with the only major niggling detail, and I will phrase it in the form of a piece of creative fiction from father to wayward son:
"Dear Nathan,

I note that you have not returned to the present. I have since learned that this is because you have had your time travel device damaged and you can no longer jump backward. If I could make a suggestion: jump forward to where you have allies, you dunderhead! Get the time travel device fixed and then jump backward. I mean really how did you survive this long? No wonder I was taken over by Apocalypse. If you were on watch, I'd have been better off with Dazzler, for crying out loud.

Love always, your father,
Scott (Cyclops)"
And yes, I see Summers feeling it necessary to sign a letter to his son with his call-sign.

What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!