Thursday, May 1, 2008

CABLE #15 – September 1994

Credits: Jeph Loeb (writer), David Brewer (penciler), Conrad/Champagne/Banning (inkers), Marie Javins (colorist), Starkings/Comicraft (lettering)

Cable and Domino go on their first date. During the awkward dinner, Cable spots someone in the bushes who resembles Feral. It turns out to be her sister, Thornn. After a brief fight with Cable and Domino, she asks for their help. Traveling down into the sewers, she explains how she survived the Morlock’s mass suicide, lead by Mikhail Rasputin months earlier. Thornn tells Cable that she sees visions of a girl named Sarah. Sarah tells her that the other Morlocks are too afraid to come out unless they perform the Ceremony of Light. Cable and Domino help Thornn place mirrors and reflective objects throughout the sewers. At dawn, the tunnels are flooded with sunlight for an hour. Thornn says that the Morlocks practiced this ceremony once a year to create a symbolic bridge to the outside world. After the ceremony, Sarah appears. She tells Thornn that the others are still too afraid to leave the other side. Sarah promises to return someday and then turns back. Cable invites Thornn to return to the surface with him, but she refuses.

Continuity Notes
The Morlocks were killed by Mikhail Rasputin in Uncanny X-Men #293. Thornn was already established as a Morlock but didn’t appear in that issue, so her flashback is “behind the scenes”. Her appearance on the cover doesn’t resemble her at all.

Oddly enough, this is the first appearance of Marrow. The little Morlock girl, Sarah, actually turns out to be the future X-Man. Later stories show that she had bones growing out of her body even as a small child, but she doesn’t have them in this appearance.

Creative Differences
The Bullpen Bulletins checklist in this issue lists a totally different plot for this story, promising to reveal “the secret of Jean Grey’s clone”.

This is Jeph Loeb’s debut on the title (even though he doesn’t write the next issue). Loeb does a lot of work for the X-office over the next two or three years, and I think Cable is his first monthly series. This issue doesn’t read that differently from the previous ones, as the title once again has to reference events from other X-books in order to build a story. This connection isn’t too forced, though, as Thornn fought Cable previously in X-Force, and addressing where she was during the Morlock’s mass suicide is a valid idea. Almost half of the issue is dedicated to setting up Cable and Domino’s date, which feels a little padded but it does help to make the story feel more like it’s specifically about Cable and not a generic superhero. This issue finally addresses the “Copycat posed as Domino for a year” storyline, which was never properly developed in X-Force. Loeb gets some good material out of it, but the scenes between Cable and Domino just aren’t that interesting. The idea that the Morlocks performed a yearly ritual that symbolized their dream to connect with the outside world seems hard to reconcile with their previous appearances. Most of the Morlocks, especially their leaders, were pretty nasty people who didn’t care anything about the surface world, so I have I hard time believing that they had an annual feel good ceremony that embraced the light. At any rate, it’s another issue killing time until the crossover starts. It’s not terrible, but it’s certainly bland.

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