Monday, December 8, 2008

CABLE #32 – June 1996

Credits: Jeph Loeb (writer), Ian Churchill (breakdowns), Scott Hanna (finishes), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (lettering), Mike Thomas & Graphic Color Works (colors)

Summary: After leaving Tyler’s funeral in Kentucky, Cable and Domino return to Camp Hayden to investigate the Sentinel research facility that was penetrated by Onslaught. They encounter hundreds of Nimrod prototypes while Domino tries to talk to Cable about his son’s death. She wonders if Wolverine had no choice but to kill Tyler (a.k.a. Genesis), just as she was forced to kill Grizzly. Cable, who has resorted to using armory after his battle with X-Man drained his powers, refuses to discuss his feelings. They find a computer chip from the surveillance videos that they hope will reveal when Onslaught infiltrated the base, but it’s been magnetized. Cable finally gives in to his anger and begins shooting up the base, declaring that he’ll stop Onslaught before he can harm any innocents like Tyler. They leave the base, as Post watches. Elsewhere, a voice tells Blaquesmith that he can’t allow him to help Cable in the coming days. Blaquesmith’s ship suddenly explodes.

Continuity Notes: According to the narrative captions, Cannonball offered Cable a burial place for Tyler near his home in Kentucky (Wolverine killed him in issue #100 of his series). Cable refers to Tyler as an “innocent” because he was brainwashed by Stryfe and never recovered. Whether or not Tyler is Cable’s biological son is still vague. Domino questions why Cable won’t talk about his death, “even though you promised his mother -- Jenskot -- you’d look after the boy?” I don't think this is the first time it’s been hinted that Tyler was his stepson, or adopted son.

It’s inferred again that Onslaught was the one who broke into Blaquesmith’s home and stole his files on Cable. And I’ll again point out that this makes no sense given the later revelation of Onslaught’s identity, and that the culprit was heavily implied to be the X-Cutioner at the time.

Review: I guess if Cable’s son was going to be killed off in Wolverine, it should’ve been brought up in Cable, too. Instead of devoting a quiet issue to mourning Tyler’s loss, Loeb creates an issue-long fight scene that basically gives Cable and Domino something to do as Cable acts gruff and distant. That’s probably a more appropriate route to take, as Tyler has always been nothing more than a ranting lunatic, so giving him a memorial issue would’ve been a hard sell. Loeb does a capable job with Cable and Domino’s characterizations, even if he’s already done this type of story with the characters before. Connecting Wolverine’s slaying of Tyler to Domino’s forced execution of Grizzly isn’t a bad idea, and it makes the inclusion of a Wolverine storyline feel more organic. Cable’s catharsis at the end of the issue is very predictable and doesn’t exactly convey the emotions it’s supposed to (partly because the art doesn’t even show what he’s supposed to be shooting at). The weak ending emphasizes how much of a time-killer the issue really is. I like the fact that there’s an attempt to show the impact of Tyler’s death on Cable, but there’s really nothing else going on in the issue. It’s another case of the Onslaught storyline becoming an excuse for vaguely defined missions that end quickly and don’t actually answer any questions. The art is presumably a rush job, as Scott Hanna moves from inker to finisher. Rather than going for a sketchy, unfinished look, he buries the entire issue in black. Since Cable and Domino are supposed to be breaking into a secret government facility at night, it’s at least appropriate for the story, and it seems to mesh pretty well with Churchill’s artwork.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure where I picked this up, or why I even care (given that Tyler is an utterly boring non-character), but wasn't he intended to be the result of Stryfe raping Jenskot? Thus, not actually Cable's "son", but the genetic equivalent.

x-man75 said...

Hmm, that's actually the first time I've ever heard about that rumor. I've done some digging, and the only relationship I could find was the fact that Cable was Tyler's adopted father.

Even Stryfe himself refered to Tyler as Cable's son, early on in Cable's series in the 1990's. You'd think that if Stryfe did sire Tyler he would have been happy to rub that fact in Cable's face.

With how crazy Stryfe was, I guess it's a possibility that he did rape Jenskot, but you figure Stryfe would have killed her afterward. Stryfe was pretty dedicated to chaos, destruction and killing. Of course when it comes to Stryfe, who knows?

I could be way off, maybe someone else knows more about this. I'm pretty sure though that Tyler's parentage has never really been resolved. Just another example of an oversite from the X-office in the 1990's.

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