Issue(s): Cable #33
Anyway, i've definitely always liked the idea. And if Jeph Loeb did indeed just spell it out for the first time, it's the first example of something i've seen about Jeph Loeb's Onslaught issues that i picked up for the crossover*, where he makes several of the nutty things that happened in the early-mid 90s actually make sense and seem cool (i'll point them out when i get there). I've never been a big fan of Jeph Loeb, but i think that may have been because of what books he was writing and what was happening at Marvel when i first started seeing his name. My re-exposure to him for this crossover has me re-evaluating that.
(*technically we're not in the crossover yet; i think of these build-up issues immediately before the crossover as "The Road To Onslaught"; they all have "Special Onslaught Update Inside" banners on the covers and promo material inside.)
This won't be true of the main focus of this issue ("Post") but that i think has to do with the chaotic development of Onslaught.
Cable is at the X-Mansion, having Beast examine his arm. Then Storm, having recently encountered a "herald" of Onslaught named Post (no footnote!), asks Cable to probe her mind to learn more about him. Cable finds that Post has been "psionically masked": he can find no visual memory of Post in Storm's mind. I have aphantasia so i may be missing something, but i think it's weird that Storm didn't know that she couldn't see an image of Post in her head. I mean i also think it's weird for Storm to have Cable scan her head to find out information about a guy that she met so i guess i don't know what's going on.
Anyway, Post's "telepathic echo" is "familiar". This is the kind of drip-drip that passed for development in the X-books at this time.
Dominio interrupt's Cable & Storm's discussion to say that there was an explosion in the Baltimore Harbor, and Cable assumes it involves Blaquesmith (the existence of a character called "Blaquesmith" is a small example of why i wouldn't have liked these issues the first time around). When Cable gets to Boston, he wonders how Blaquesmith's residence, protected with future tech, could have been destroyed so easily. He then has a sudden memory return to him, which shows the Mandarin (!) performing an experiment on someone, who is then rescued by Cable and G.W. Bridge.
The guy being rescued turns out to be "Tremain" aka Post (not to be confused with the He-Man figure Stonedar).
Post is here to "signal the coming of ONSLAUGHT"!.
Which of course makes no sense.
Post beats Cable to a pulp, but hesitates before the killing blow, remembering how Cable once saved him. Onslaught pops up to goad Post on, but Post says that Cable is "no further threat to anyone or anything".
But Cable will actually just pop back up at the beginning of next issue. It's true that Cable has learned nothing useful about Onslaught, though; that was inevitable at this point.
Ian Churchill's art is nice and Jeph Loeb's writing style is very readable (except for that whole bit about scanning Storm's brain to learn about Post). Nothing can be done about the false starts to the Onslaught crossover, though.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Next issue begins not too long after this, with Cable just waking up from unconsciousness. But in the build-up to Onslaught, a lot is going on simultaneously, so i'll be covering other issues in-between.
It seems that for these type of build-up issues, the MCP lists Onslaught as a character but not Professor X. I think, at least until Professor X is separated from Onslaught during the crossover, Onslaught should be thought of as a manifestation of Xavier, not a completely separate character. I'm listing Onslaught separately but also including the Professor.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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