“‘Tomorrow’ becomes yesterday.”
Hey, hey. This is D.C. back to throw down on another new series that hit last week, Marvel Comics’ Cable.
Who is this Cable?
Nathan Summers is the son of the X-Men’s (dearly departed) leader, Cyclops, and a clone of Jean Grey. An encounter with Apocalypse forced Nathan to be saved and raised in a dystopic alternate future by the Clan Askani, where he became a hardened warrior named Cable. Cable eventually traveled back to his original timeline, where he lead the New Mutants, X-Force, joined the X-Men, and raised the mutant messiah, Hope.
Marvel’s latest initiative RessurXion includes the third Cable series in the lineup, written by James Robinson and drawn by Carlos Pacheco.
I was hopeful going into this new Cable series, since James Robinson wrote an enchanting Scarlet Witch series just last year. With Pacheco backing him up on art, what could go wrong?
Turns out, plenty. Let’s see…
Plot. What plot? There is nothing good plot-wise. There are references to an individual Cable is hunting throughout time, but what about Cable’s motivations, thoughts? More importantly, what about who Cable is? I have intimate knowledge of Cable, but for the new reader with no experience with the character, this issue does absolutely nothing to get that kind of reader up to speed on who Cable is, what he’s done with his life, where he sees himself (heck, I don’t even know that), and where he is going.
Next to nothing on who he is hunting, why he is hunting him (a “device” is all?), and how he came across this character.
I understand not being given all the answers in the first issue, but this issue gives far too little to be understood. Here, Cable is simply doing. All action, few words, and no depth to his character or his motivations. Here, he is just a man hopping through time, fighting.
Oh, and getting his butt kicked at the end.
If Robinson was going to dredge out another played out version of Cable being a time-hopping tough loner, he could have at least made a more interesting beginning. I’m surprised to say that Robinson’s work here is woefully mediocre.
The only saving grace in this beginning issue is Carlos Pacheco’s art. It’s smooth, modern, and full of beautiful atmosphere and structures that are appropriate for their eras of time. The colors provided by Jesus Aburtov simply dazzle with Pacheco’s art, shimmering and darkening when necessary. These two a quite a pairing.
I can’t call Cable #1 anything but a worthless read and an even more worthless new beginning. I’m disappointed, given how well James Robinson’s Scarlet Witch run turned out. But here, it seems as if Robinson isn’t even trying with the time-hopping mutant. There’s nothing here to help a new reader understand Cable as a character; even a seasoned reader like myself find Robinson’s take seriously lacking.
Carlos Pacheco and Jesus Aburnov’s pencil and color combination is top notch here, but it’s simply not enough in the face of such shallow, mediocre writing. Robinson must invoke the skill he has shown in prior work and step it up.