Rocks and Waves
Credits: Fabian Niceiza (writer), Art Thibert (art), Miki/Panosian/Scott/Milgrom (art assist), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Marie Javins (colors)
Kane, still stuck in Cable’s future, is studying records of Cable’s battles. Through future technology, he witnesses the death of Cable’s wife, Jenskot. Kane is living with the “Clan Chosen rebellion”, a group of Cable’s allies, while waiting for Cable to return to this timeline. While studying another battle, Kane sees that Styfe brainwashed Cable’s son, Tyler, into joining his side. Tyler “neural-links” to Cable’s teammate, Dawnsilk, and Cable is forced to sever the link, mentally damaging Dawnsilk and apparently killing Tyler as well. After studying this encounter, Kane and his allies are attacked by the Flatliners, soldiers in body armor sent by a mysterious General Haight. Cable suddenly returns and saves his friends from the Flatliners. Cable then reveals his plans to destroy a “time displacement nexus” built by the ruling Canaanites. Meanwhile, General Haight sends the cyborg Sinsear to kill Cable.
This double-sized issue has a cardstock gold-embossed wraparound cover, coming in at $3.50 (Marvel’s standard line of titles cost $1.25 at this time).
This issue was several months late and the letters page apologizes for the delay. It offers a lot of the same excuses we still hear for late books, with the promise that everyone is working hard to make sure that the title ships on time in the future.
Cable’s new look debuts in this issue. The mullet with shaved sides and goatee didn’t catch on for some reason.
Kane was sent into the future to recuperate and find a cure for Hammer’s paralysis after the initial Cable mini-series.
Cable’s allies in the future are also introduced in this issue. Jenskot, Cable’s wife, is killed in a flashback scene. “Jenskot” is a painful reference to Cable’s parents. The other members of Clan Chosen are Tetherblood, Dawnsilk, Hope, Boak, and Eleven. Eleven is virtually identical to Strfye’s robot, Zero. Hope is Jenskot’s sister (even though they’re different races).
Tyler is referenced repeatedly as Cable’s son, while Cable claims in X-Force #1 that he is actually not his son, that they were partners until Tyler joined Stryfe.
It’s the debut of Cable’s long-running solo series, and it’s not very good. I’ve mentioned before that I followed this title for years and don’t remember hardly anything about it. If this issue is any indication of its normal quality, that’s not surprising. I do remember really liking Art Thibert’s artwork and being disappointed when he left for Image after a few issues. He’s still doing a very obvious Jim Lee impression, but it actually looks better than much of what was going on at the time. There were worse guys to mimic during those days.
The flashbacks are successful in making Cable a more sympathetic character, but that’s all that’s really accomplished in this issue. As a full introduction to Cable’s future, it doesn’t work at all. For one thing, it’s initially hard to figure out if Cable’s allies are called the “Clan Chosen rebellion”, or if they’re rebelling against the “Clan Chosen”. This issue is filled with this type of ambiguity. Who is General Haight and why does he want Cable dead? Does he work for the Canaanites? Who exactly are the Canaanites, anyway? This issue doesn’t offer any answers. I realize that a little backstory on Cable’s future was given in previous X-Force issues, but none of its reiterated here, which is a dumb move for the first issue of a new series.
When it comes to time travel, there are also some elements that don’t make sense. Kane’s been stuck in the future for a year waiting for Cable’s return – since Cable can time travel, why didn’t he just come back the next day? Why does Kane need the “time displacement nexus” to return to our time if Cable was the one who brought him to the future in the first place? Why can’t he just take him back? I guess some of the answers relate to Cable’s “death” at the end of the X-Cutioner’s Song and the destruction of Graymalkin, but these are just more questions that the issue doesn’t bother to address. Speaking of Kane, his unbearable catchphrase “Get-Into-The Groove!” shows up yet again, just to torment me.