Tuesday, February 10, 2009

CABLE #37 – November 1996

True Lies
Credits: Jeph Loeb (writer), Ian Churchill (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), Comicraft (lettering), Mike Thomas & Graphic Color Works (colors)

Summary: G. W. Bridge and a team of SHIELD agents investigate Canada’s Weapon X facility. The employees and patients inside have trashed the building, and all of the records are missing. Meanwhile, Cable and Domino arrive in San Francisco to visit Kane. The theatre Kane has been living in has been destroyed by an anti-mutant mob. Cable’s surprised to see Kane so distressed. Copycat, Kane’s girlfriend, enters. Domino is angry that Kane would become involved with the spy who impersonated her for a year. Tensions rise, and Cable has to stop a fight between Domino and Copycat. The Psycho Man enters, abducting Kane and shrinking down to an imperceptible height to escape. A giant spaceship suddenly appears, asking Cable and Domino to board. Kane emerges, revealing that Psycho Man actually abducted Copycat. He says that they have to board the ship to save her.

Continuity Notes: I’m assuming that the Weapon X facility here isn’t the same one in the Maverick one-shot. That was the original facility that altered Wolverine, and was established as abandoned going back to Wolverine #48.

According to the narrative captions, Copycat’s shapeshifting skills prevent telepaths from detecting her. This would actually make her more powerful than Mystique, which seems silly. Most likely, Loeb added that line because he seems to think that Cable has always been a telepath, and that’s the only way to justify Copycat’s time undercover in early X-Force issues. I’ll again point out that Cable’s telepathic powers didn’t emerge until the “Child’s Play” crossover, which was almost three years into X-Force’s run.

I don't recall Kane ever being described as a mutant, so I'm assuming the anti-mutant mob targeted the theatre because of Copycat.

Review: Like most of the Loeb/Churchill issues from this run, this is competent but not particularly great. There’s not a lot to criticize, since the story gives just enough information to build suspense around Psycho Man’s plan, and the characters are given just enough room to showcase their personalities. Pitting Cable against a traditional Fantastic Four villain has some novelty appeal, and emphasizing that Domino still hates Copycat is a nice use of past continuity. I’ll also give Loeb credit for not stretching out the mystery villain’s big reveal, which is something the titles often had trouble with during this era. It’s still just a setup issue, though, and even if it’s not quite boring, it’s still bland. The story does what it needs to do, but unless you already have a deep investment in all of these characters, it’s hard to care that much. It’s not quite killing time, but it’s not doing anything interesting with the characters, either.

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