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Cable #5

Posted: Tuesday, July 1, 2008
By: Ariel Carmona Jr.

Duane Swiercynzki
Ariel Olivetti
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Cable #5 arrives in stores tomorrow, July 2.

"I have always disliked Cable, he's so extreme with his metal arm and his guns, he has too many powers and they are all boring," said a comic book video blogger recently in reference to the former member of X-Force.

All I heard from some people when Marvel first announced the premise of the new Cable ongoing series was that it sounded as though it might be impossible for them to sustain interest in a monthly comic dealing with Cable protecting a baby.

While that may have been an over simplification, I was kind of skeptical myself at first, but after five solid issues, this has been one of the surprise quality reads coming out of the "Messiah Complex" storyline which previously ran throughout all the Marvel mutant titles. The biggest surprise might just be that this title will be appealing to both longtime fans of the characters and to new readers alike.

The latest issue finds Cable in the future of 2043 where he was ambushed by Bishop who's been tracking him through time since he jumped into the timestream following Professor X's shooting. Badly injured and his time mechanism apparently malfunctioning, Cable sought refuge with a waitress named Sophie while trying to avoid capture from Bishop and a violent corrupt regime known as the Turnpike authority.

The Old West-meets-Quantum Leap feeling to this comic continues this issue with the long anticipated confrontation between Bishop and Cable. The funny thing is you will side with one character or the other depending on whether you believe the mutant baby is the salvation of all mutants or the converse: that he will be their source of ultimate demise.

Really though, who cares, right? It's a good pretext for some awesome slugfests and knock down bloody brawls between both characters.

What's funny is that I have never been a huge fan of this type of artwork, but Ariel Olivetti's painted landscapes and distinctive expressions add a great deal to the time travel drama unfolding throughout the comics. His rendition of Bishop is especially well crafted as he conveys a sense of moralistic integrity absent from more cartoony versions of the character.

Sophie's character, though grating at first, grows on the reader as she becomes Cable's follower, and her metamorphosis from secondary character used to fill in expository elements of the story to bad ass gun toting avenger works to advance the plot of this particular issue and hardly feels forced.

The big question is how long can writer Duane Swierzynski maintain the comic's narrative momentum without it sinking into a rehash of past dystopian future science fiction plots. Can a comic featuring a baby and her heavily armed mutant protector work as an ongoing series and as a compelling storyline? Will the pacing of the book which has felt stilted at time hold up? It has worked thus far, but there better be more than old west scenarios and showdowns with Bishop to keep us interested long term.








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