Tuesday, June 3, 2008

CABLE #19 – January 1995

The Dark Ride Part 3 – In the Name of the Father
Credits: Jeph Loeb (writer), Steve Skroce (penciler), Mike Sellers & Kevin Conrad (inkers), Mike Thomas (colors), Starkings & Comicraft (lettering)

Cable tells Tyler that he will surrender if Tyler lets his friends go. He agrees, and Cable gives Storm his X-medallion before teleporting away with Tyler. The medallion is actually a homing device, which Storm and Domino use with Caliban’s tracking abilities to follow Cable. Tyler takes Cable to Apocalypse’s last known base, where he reveals that he slaughtered the residents of Akkaba in order to prevent Apocalypse from doing it in the future. He renounces the name Tyler Dayspring and renames himself “Genesis”. Storm, Caliban, and Domino find Apocalypse’s fortress in the desert and break in. Genesis drains Cable’s power with a siphon machine while Cable tries to telepathically talk him out of following Apocalypse’s footsteps. Storm and the others reach Genesis’ chamber and fight the Dark Riders, enabling Cable to break free in the confusion. As Storm destroys Apocalypse’s machinery, the fortress begins to fall apart. Cable tries to convince Genesis to go with him, but he teleports away with the Dark Riders. After escaping, Domino realizes that Cable’s heart isn’t cold when she sees him mourning over a photo of his wife and son. Meanwhile, a shadowy figure emerges from the ruins of Apocalypse’s fortress.

We Get Letters
On the letters page, there’s a letter from a fan distressed about the rumor that Marvel might cancel the X-books. As odd as that sounds, it really was the early hype sent out to promote the “Age of Apocalypse” story. I remember Wizard running the rumor in their news section, even documenting the time of day they were calling Marvel to get a statement (I think they were calling on a late Friday afternoon and could only get a cryptic comment from Scott Lobdell). After the solicitations for the upcoming Marvel releases came out, the spin was that the story of the X-Men was over and that the new “AoA” titles would represent a new beginning for the line. Marvel really had a lot of commitment to selling this event.

Jeph Loeb’s first arc ends, and even though it isn’t a very compelling story, it does raise the quality of the title to “readable” at least. Instead of just fighting random foes from the various corners of the X-universe, Cable now has an emotional stake in the events of the story, which is a pretty basic element that most issues of this series have missed so far. Cable's son, Tyler, did show up earlier in the series, but it was in the middle of an awkward storyline that mainly served as a convoluted origin story for Cable. This storyline, at least, is a straightforward adventure story that actually focuses on Tyler. Unfortunately, he doesn’t come across as a very engaging character, as he’s just a crazed loon with a nonsensical plan. Because he was brainwashed by Stryfe into becoming this, there is some element of tragedy that the story is able to convey, but it doesn’t make Tyler himself more interesting. Loeb’s real accomplishment is in showing Cable’s reaction to the events, which helps to make him more sympathetic and human. The dynamic between Domino and Caliban also works pretty well, offering the first glimpse of a potential supporting cast for this series. None of this stuff is particularly great, but it is at least competent, and it helps to make the book feel like more than just a flagrant cash grab.

1 comment:

Teebore said...

I remember getting into a verbal fight with a know-it-all friend about the line-wide X-Book cancellation around this time.

He was determined that all the X-Books were getting canceled, and I was just as sure (and a little scared at the prospect of losing my beloved X-Books) that Marvel would never do that, that the books sold too well and were too popular.

Turns out we were both half right.

And I remember a few weeks later my LCS had a big sign up carefully explaining the whole AoA idea, charting which books were being canceled and with what they were being replaced, as though to assuage fan's fears.

What a crazy, fun time that was...

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