Wolverine/Cable: Guts and Glory
Issue(s): Wolverine/Cable: Guts and Glory
Beyond Batt there are six additional inkers on this story. The interior art is also a 1990s mess, although after the cover nothing really shocked me.
In the Flashback/Minus One issue of Cable, we saw Cable arrive in the past to meet Professor Xavier. He arrived on Muir Island and Moira MacTaggart sent him to the United States. This one-shot, published a year later by an entirely different creative team, follows up on that story by showing Cable's arrival in New York. During the course of the story, he befriends an ex-SHIELD agent named Franklin Rhodes, and is then attacked by a Canaanite warrior from the future named D'Von Kray.
Rhodes is killed in the attack (he rather unnecessarily sacrifices himself, but unnecessary death in war may have been a theme that writer Joe Casey was going for).
When D'Von initially arrived in this time period, he was first defeated by Wolverine and brought to Department H for study. H intended to make him a member of "the new Alpha Flight program".
However, D'Von escapes and tracks down Cable. Wolverine follows and helps Cable defeat him.
It's therefore the two popular 90s characters' first meeting. As far as that goes, it's a fairly insignificant encounter. Prior to this issue, it was hinted that Cable and Wolverine had some history together; this establishes that in a really inconsequential way.
Prior to fighting D'Von, Cable encounters the Vulture but fails to stop him from performing a jewel heist.
Vulture is also supposed to have some really advanced technology; i thought this was going to tie into the rest of the story somehow but it doesn't.
I guess it's just a nod to Adrian Toomes' abilities as an inventor.
Franklin Rhodes' character is meant to provide a veteran's perspective on the horrors of war. Cable doesn't talk much, so Rhodes' job is to illustrate the trauma that Cable is experiencing.
Cable comes off more disoriented from the time travel than anything else, and this story doesn't really do a good job of developing Cable's character beyond that.
He does get a haircut...
...but even that's not interesting because we see in a flashback that he had short hair before.
So this isn't even the Secret Origin of Cable's Hairstyle.
Cable doesn't actually meet Professor Xavier in this story and doesn't really seem too interested in doing so. He spends some time at the library, some time at Rhodes' place, and that's about it. Since neither Rhodes nor D'Von Kray ever appear again (are they even mentioned again? Rhodes tells Cable to "remember my name"), and since Cable's interaction with Wolverine is so minimal...
...the issue doesn't have much of a point. And that's a shame at $6.99 in 1998 dollars. To be fair, i'm not really immersed in Cable's mythos at this point, and it may be more significant than i realize. As a standalone story, i can tell you there's not much to recommend.
Thanks to the sliding timescale, this definitely doesn't feel like Cable showing up in the Silver Age period, despite the appearance of the Vulture. Looking at the style of dress certainly doesn't help.
The opening page shows the Times Square Jumbotron as well as an ad with a logo similar to Apple's.
And when Cable shows up in New York with long hair, a street vendor makes a disparaging remark about Woodstock.
So... i dunno.
There's also the problem of SHIELD. Franklin Rhodes is a retired SHIELD agent who spend an eight year tour of duty on a black ops mission in a Kosovo-like UN peacekeeping mission.
In 1998's Iron Man: The Iron Age, SHIELD was described as a "new international peacekeeping agency", and that was directly prior to SHIELD's first published appearance in Strange Tales #135. I'm trusting that Busiek did the research and knew the history of SHIELD as of 1998. This issue was written a year later, so maybe somewhere something had been written retconning that, but the idea that Rhodes could have been on a mission for SHIELD well over 8 years prior to Strange Tales #135 seems wrong. I guess we just have to assume that SHIELD did exist in some form prior to ST #135 and what we were really seeing there was a refocusing of efforts to deal with Hydra.
I'm also not pleased with Wolverine's activity at this time (i always thought Wolverine's first official action with Department H was tackling the Hulk) and i'm amazed that anyone thought that the costume he's wearing in this issue looks the same as the one in Hulk #180-182.
Overall, as is often the case, the story presented here didn't seem worth the risk of mucking with continuity.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: For Cable, this takes place soon after Cable #-1. Since this is out-of-sequence for him due to the time travel involved, i'm listing him with a separate tag than i do for his regular appearances. The Vulture says his appearance here is his "first endeavor as a master thief", so we'll take that to mean that this is prior to his first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #2. Wolverine has his adamantium and is working at Department H. That caused a shift for me; i originally had Barry Windsor-Smith's Weapon X storyline in Marvel Comics Presents #72-84 taking place much later (about a year prior to Wolverine's first published appearance in Hulk #180). Thanks to the Vulture's appearance, however, this story requires that Wolverine be active with Department H for a much longer period of time.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showCable (Adult), D'Von Kray, Franklin Rhodes, Guardian (James Mac Hudson), Vulture, Wolverine
It's not my fault, remember!
Posted by: Michael | December 2, 2012 9:54 PM
Not only is this issue your fault, but now i have to pick up Wolverine #-1! I actually see now that the same was established in the back-up in Alpha Flight #3, so i've moved back Weapon X accordingly.
(And of course i really do appreciate you pointing out these stories, as awful as they may be. I ought to get all the -1 issues eventually.)
You've also reminded me that i have that Logan series; i'll have to dig that out of my 2008 box and add it to the current back issue add.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 2, 2012 10:43 PM
Is there any hint Franklin Rhodes is related to James Rhodes? Not only are the names similar, but some of those pics of Franklin's helmet look War Machine-like to me.
Maybe the Vulture tech thing was meant to suggest something about Vulture's appearance in Liefeld's first (or second?) New Mutants issue? Retroactively suggesting a Stryfe connection, perhaps? Not that we'll ever know...
Posted by: Walter Lawson | December 3, 2012 12:08 AM
Regarding Rhodes, i had a similar suspicion when he was introduced, but there's nothing in the story to support it that i saw. I also realized i don't know anything about Rhodey's father (in stories i've read/re-read recently, we've met his mother but no father). With the SHIELD history i don't think it could have fit with anything already established. Casey might have introduced the character as something to develop further, but as far as i know it never went anywhere. Or it could just be a coincidence.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 3, 2012 8:45 AM
Comics Should Be Good recently did a feature about how Rhodey's mother went from alive to dead to alive, and in it they note how Rhodey's father appeared in the 1995 War Machine series and was never mentioned again:
Posted by: Michael | December 3, 2012 7:46 PM
There is a S.H.I.E.L.D miniseries in 2010 that reveals the organization has links to the Brotherhood of the Shield, which has a history linking back to ancient egypt. It undergoes a few revisions, with some schism and such... The series has a number of inserts, rather controversially even involving a pre-FF Galactus encounter.
But anyway, Nathaniel Richards and Howard Stark were involved sometime during the hero gap with the organization. The Secret Warriors series picks up on the modern day consequences of pre-Fury history.
May I ask if there was any particular reason to assume Wolverine's first offical mission was against the Hulk other than personal preference? It was revealed in the Wolverine Origins series that Wolverine's battle against the Hulk was intended to be exposed enough for Xavier to catch wind of it while recruiting, but I'm sure that still enables Wolverine to do stuff "off the record" if you get what I mean... Guy was involved in plenty of shady stuff before the X-Men offered him an out.
Posted by: Max_Spider | December 4, 2012 9:18 AM
I'm aware of Hickman's SHIELD series but i thought it really established an Illuminati style organization, not something that would lend to regular soldiers fighting UN peacekeeping missions. I've only read the first trade and i really didn't like it enough to go further (yet) so maybe there's a further development? I also read the Secret Warriors series, which i liked better, but i didn't think it established a history for SHIELD prior to Fury's involvement (i know it implied that Hydra was actually controlling SHIELD from the beginning). I read those issues in real time and haven't done the sort of "analysis" that i do here, so i may again have missed something. In any event those stories were written after this issue and i don't think Casey was deliberately retconning here; i think it's just a mistake. Still if something in either series you mention does establish that SHIELD as a military force was around prior to Strange Tales #135, that would work well.
Regarding Wolverine's first mission, it's just my personal preference. Even Marvel's Wolverine page says, "Wolverine was conscripted by Department H, and for his first mission was sent against the incredible Hulk." but i know Wolverine has an insanely busy backstory and i wouldn't be surprised if that wasn't accurate. Actually, it clearly isn't, based on this story at least. I just have a hostility to the endless retconning of Wolverine and that's what i was griping about above.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 4, 2012 10:45 AM
I hated this comic. Also, I got advice for you on how to do back-ups without any comic stories that take place before FF#1. Only do issues from past publication years that you missed. Work your way to the retcons. That way you don't have to do them until you get to those future publication years.
Posted by: pst1993 | December 4, 2012 9:56 PM
"There is a S.H.I.E.L.D miniseries in 2010 that reveals the organization has links to the Brotherhood of the Shield, which has a history linking back to ancient egypt. It undergoes a few revisions, with some schism and such... The series has a number of inserts, rather controversially even involving a pre-FF Galactus encounter."
Words do not exist to convey just how much I hate that series for the sheer ridiculousness of its premise and how utterly forced most of its retroactive changes are.
It's kind of disjointed even as a stand-alone story entirely outside of canon, but the implication that this is what actually happened in the canon Marvel universe always grates on me so, so much.
It also doesn't help when Secret Warriors used the idea and had the "Great Wheel" Zodiac form as an organization in the 60's prior to the formation of the "public" SHIELD organization.
Posted by: ParanoidObsessive | July 23, 2014 1:58 AM
The Vulture is so cool he doesn't look like sucky 90s art.
Posted by: david banes | July 23, 2014 4:03 AM
I think Vulture's "advanced technology" was supposed to be a reference to John Byrne's Chapter One series, which retconned Toomes as having been receiving equipment from the Tinkerer.
Posted by: Enchlore | September 23, 2014 1:31 PM
He would have fared better if he'd just taken a moment to get the tables.
Posted by: MegaSpiderMan | September 28, 2014 8:55 PM
I just can't see Frank Thomes as anything but a shout-out to Jim Rhodes. Maybe this was what passed in the 1990s for a subtle hint of a future Cable / War Machine team-up?
Posted by: Luis Dantas | September 29, 2014 6:10 AM
Since so many people (rather deservedly) blame Rob Leifeld for bad 90's art, can we blame John Romita Jr for artists wanting to draw Wolverine as ridiculous as he looks in that first panel?
Posted by: Erik Beck | December 5, 2014 8:08 PM
It has stated that S.H.I.E.L.D. was founded in 1955 to combat Hydra. It did not become public until Strange Tales#135.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 23, 2016 9:00 PM
As far as the art here, the Vulture looks great but everyone else looks absurd.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 25, 2016 6:28 PM
Erik, I don't remember John Romita Jr drawing Wolverine to look anything like THAT.
Posted by: JP | October 25, 2016 6:46 PM
I blame Sam Kieth's influence more than JRJR. Platt's stuff always looked like a horrible mash-up of all the worst qualities of the Image artists.
Posted by: Adam Dale | February 27, 2017 7:28 PM
Comments have been disabled for the summer while i'm not around to moderate.
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