Issue(s): Cable #1, Cable #2, Cable #3
The series begins with Cable and Kane still in the future, as we saw in the previous two-part mini-series. Cable and Kane are involved in the resistance force in the future. We eventually learn that the rebels are called the "Askani Clan Chosen", who are fighting against the "New Canaanites", who have names like General Haight, Ms. Blue, Mr. Calm, and Mr. Lake and seem to be agents of Apocalypse. Everything is very vaguely defined. The characters have names like Jenskot (with a sister (?) named Hope Jenskot) and Dawnsilk, and i do not care about them. Despite the focus on them in these opening issues, a letter published in issue #3 correctly writes:
...we are not given any clear idea of when the events in this first issue take place. Obviously it is set at some time in the future... But approximately how far in the future? A decade? A century? A millennium? Where's our frame of reference?
The response is that it took fans a while to get used to the X-Men introduced in Giant-Size X-Men, too. Errrrwhat? The point is exactly the opposite: Len Wein, Claremont, and company were able to define their characters, complete with abilities and personalities, within a few short issues (immediately, really). That may have been done through storytelling techniques that might have felt unsophisticated in 1993: exposition and obvious power demonstration scenes, for example. But the alternative here is to drop a load of garbage on us with the expectation that it'll get sorted out eventually. And maybe it does and maybe it doesn't, but i've already lost interest.
I guess the big news is that we learn that Cable sacrificed his son, Tyler, while fighting Stryfe - who is a third party in the Clan Chosen/Canaanites war.
The Canaanites have developed a new time machine and are planning to send someone back in time to "target and terminate anyone in the past who could threaten their control over the multitude of High-Lord ascensions", which is not explained any further than that, although it's later said that the Canaanites are trying to protect the ascension of their "oh-so-beloved" En-Sabah Nur specifically.
Cable thinks he is the next target.
The agent sent back in time is called Sinsear (no, sincerely!), and he seems to actually be targeting Tolliver.
As a means to do that, he starts looking for Deadpool. This is the first appearance of Deadpool's associate ("information broker") Weasel.
The Clan Chosen raid the Canaanites' time machine base - which is at Niagra Falls - and work to send Cable and Kane back to our present day.
The jump is complicated by the fact that this takes place "after" (so to speak) X-Force has destroyed Cable's space station Graymalkin, which has the receiving platform. So Cable and Kane wind up stranded in the remnants of the station at the bottom of the ocean. Luckily, Cable finds a stash of beer, so they sit and talk through most of issue #3 while Cable waits for the system to reboot. While they're talking Cable tells Kane that he thinks Stryfe is the original and he's the clone.
Meanwhile, G.W. Bridge goes looking for Cable at one of Cable's safehouses. We get confirmation that his full name is George Washington Bridge.
The talking voice is "Professor", the AI from Graymalkin, which was thought destroyed. Turns out that was a ruse. At the end of the issue, Cable and Kane teleport to the safehouse and meet Bridge, who tells Cable that he can tell him where X-Force is.
We probably learn more about Cable's origins in this story than i'm getting into, but what i said would happen regarding the Clan Chosen is already true of Cable: when the character was introduced, he was so full of mystery that it got tedious. And at this point we've already pieced together a lot of what we learn here, and the rest is really not all that interesting. What i like about Cable is that he's the grizzled militant "third way" leader of X-Force who happens to come from the/a future. At one point it might have seemed important to know why he had come back in time, but at this point it's moot. His nominal reason for returning to our present this time is to stop Sinsear, but we know that he's here to stay because he's a popular character.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Cable and Kane have been in the future since the Cable miniseries and shouldn't appear elsewhere in between. This takes place after the destruction of Cable's Graymalkin space station in X-Force #20-23. Bridge says that he's quit SHIELD, which is odd since he got reinstated in that same X-Force story. Well, Fury did say he was only temporarily reinstated. The Next Month blurb tells us that Cable appears in both X-Force #25 (which is part of the Fatal Attractions crossover) and Cable #4. The order seems to imply that X-Force #25 comes first, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
I'm placing this before Magneto creates Asteroid M from the remains of Graymalkin in X-Force #24. In this issue the Professor is able to communicate with Bridge at Cable's house, but we'll see in issue #4 that it suddenly gets cut off, which seems to coincide with Magneto's actions in X-Force #24 (and X-Force will retrieve Professor from Asteroid M in X-Force #25).
Stryfe should be considered behind the scenes with every Cable appearance through #6.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I see from fnord's write-up that he had the same problems with and criticisms of these issues that I did. I also see from the Characters Appearing at the bottom that none of Cable's future allies that were introduced in these issues ever appeared again. I cannot say that I'm surprised. They are a very underwhelming, generic group.
Posted by: Ben Herman | October 18, 2016 4:18 PM
Find it hilarious that basically we get a zillion "future people from Cable's past" and no one knows or cares who they are, then or now.
And meanwhile in the midst of it all, we also get Weasel...at least someone emerged from this quagmire.
Posted by: Ataru320 | October 18, 2016 7:47 PM
It wasn't just issue 1 that was late- all of the first 6 issues were very late- Fabian blamed Art Thibert.
Posted by: Michael | October 18, 2016 7:58 PM
Isn't one of the nobodies introduced here supposed to be, like Cabke's wife or something (The "Jenskot" lady?)
Posted by: Jon Dubya | October 18, 2016 10:40 PM
I never made the Jenskot/Jean and Scott connection... must be pretty weird to have your wife take the names of your parents...
Posted by: Berend | October 20, 2016 1:04 AM
Yeah, Jenskot is Cable's wife. A few of those Clan Chosen characters pop up later, but not many, and I don't think any have any lasting impact.
I've always been a little confused as to Cable's chronology at this point in time. The limited series ends with him in the future with Kane, which seems to be where this picks up. But "X-Cutioner's Song" takes place between them (with Cable returning from the future at the beginning of it), at the end of which Cable disappears/get lost in the timestream. So he apparently emerged from the timestream exactly where he last departed from it, picking up right where he left off with Kane?
Posted by: Austin Gorton | October 20, 2016 10:00 AM
Austin- as we find out in Cable 8, Cable was transported very far into the future. Scientists of that period were able to restore him and he believed that Stryfe was destroyed but in reality Stryfe's mind was inside Cable's mind and was able to take control of his body for periods of time. It's not clear how they managed to get back to their home time period- probably through technology they found in that future.
Posted by: Michael | October 20, 2016 8:07 PM
@Michael - I do remember the Cable/Stryfe mind-sharing stuff from CABLE #8 - that is the story that, once and for all, actually lays out their relationship and confirms which is the clone. But I'd forgotten it also dealt with the immediate aftermath of "X-Cutioner's Song".
Posted by: Austin Gorton | October 22, 2016 3:45 PM
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