Fathers and Sons – Act Two, Illuminated Knights
Credits: Fabian Nicieza (writer), Aron Wiesenfeld (penciler), Al Vey & Jon Holdredge (inkers), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Marie Javins (colorist)
Tyler probes the memories of the Askani, learning that Stryfe was a clone created of Cable when it looked as if he wouldn’t survive. Stryfe heads to X-Force’s headquarters to steal weaponry, attacking Siryn and Rictor. A wounded Domino arrives at the X-Men’s mansion, asking for help against Stryfe. Xavier, Cyclops, and Jean Grey travel to X-Force’s headquarters with Domino. Stryfe is gone, but they help Rictor and Siryn. Domino finds a taped message from Cable, questioning why he suddenly grew a goatee. Zero arrives, asking Cyclops if he’s willing to kill his son in order to put an end to a “weapon of war and destruction”. Stryfe infiltrates Tyler’s headquarters, prepared to kill him.
A flashback scene reveals what exactly happened to Cable after he was sent to the future as an infant. Mother Askani wants to clone him, fearing that he’ll die soon, but the other Askanis object. One claims that “eugenics is for El Nabin Sur, the Son of the Morning Fire” and that cloning would make them as guilty of “forfeiting the value and meaning of life” as Apocalypse is. Mother Askani demands that he be cloned because the “chosen one” must live. She also gives him the name “Dayspring”.
Tyler wants to know why Cable was never told the truth about his parents, but the Askani can’t answer. Tyler says that the Askani was crushed by the “Canaanite hordes”, and speculates that this is why Cable never learned about his past.
The upcoming wedding of Scott and Jean is spoiled by an ad from “Entertainment This Month”. They’re not even engaged yet in the actual comics. Things like this happened all the time in the ‘90s.
A few word balloons have been re-lettered, especially on page 21, when Xavier questions why Stryfe would go to Cable’s home.
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Domino is covered in blood (or is it mud? It’s hard to tell) on page sixteen. On page twenty-three, virtually all of Siryn’s breasts are visible.
Cable’s origin continues, and it’s not really that entertaining. Most of this information had already been heavily hinted at in previous stories, so having characters outright say some of this stuff is just dull. Maybe I’m prejudiced against the “big reveals” because I’ve already known them for almost fifteen years, though. It does seem as if nothing can be fully revealed in the X-books of this time. Even though we finally see what happened to baby Nathan in the future, the Askani are given more cryptic dialogue that hints at more untold stories. Tyler asks some basic questions (why wasn’t Cable told anything about his parents?) that aren’t answered at all. Plus, we see that Tyler is learning all of this information for the first time from the Askani. Last issue, he gave information about Cable to Mr. Sinister, and Sinister soon told Cable that he wasn’t a clone. I assumed that he got this info from Tyler, but Tyler only learns it in this issue. So how does Sinister know if Cable’s a clone or not?
The only scenes that really work for me are the ones between Scott and Jean. The tangled soap opera involving Madelyne Pryor and Nathan Summers was rarely brought up until this issue. Nicieza’s successful in creating an emotional moment between Scott and Jean where they actually talk about these things. It’s the only part of the story where you actually care about what’s going on. The latest rotating artist is Aron Wiesenfeld, still going for that early Image look. The amount of detail lines suddenly disappear by half towards the end of the book, as if the second inker didn’t want to be bothered with all of the unnecessary crosshatching.