Credits: Joe Casey (writer), Stephen Platt w/Andy Smith (pencilers), Matt Banning w/Rodney Ramos (inker), Gloria Vasquez (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters)
Summary: Cable returns to the diner and reveals to Stacey that he’s a mutant. They talk, and Stacey promises Cable that she can handle his life. Cable returns home to rest and is greeted by Blaquesmith, who sends him on a mission to Latveria to stop Stryfe. Cable arrives, saving Madelyne from a mob and fighting Doombots until he meets Stryfe. Cable tries to rescue X-Man, but is soon defeated by Stryfe. Meanwhile, Irene is hired by the Daily Bugle and Ness meets with Blaquesmith in Tramahoi.
Continuity Notes: X-Man was nude when last seen as Stryfe’s prisoner. Now, he’s wearing the traditional superhero outfit (the one with a giant “X” on his chest) that he’ll later adopt in his regular series.
Review: This advances the plot of “Blood Brothers” by a mere four pages or so, but it does work as a continuation of Casey’s ongoing storylines. Following his near-death at the hands of SHIELD, Cable’s reevaluated his life and decided not to keep secrets from the people he cares about, which now includes Stacey. Casey still isn’t moving them into a romance, but he is building up their friendship in a believable way. Giving Cable a normal person to interact with is a reasonable idea, and using the events of the previous arc as the impetus for Cable to open up to her makes sense.
The story then moves into crossover territory, as Casey addresses what exactly Cable was doing before he abruptly dropped into the previous issue of X-Man. Casey pays some lip service towards Cable’s feelings about Stryfe’s resurrection, and his strained relationship with his mother Madelyne, but doesn’t get a lot of material out of the scenario. This is mostly about the fighting, and getting Cable in place for the final chapter of the story. It’s not as interesting as the first half of the issue, and it goes without saying that Stephen Platt isn’t anywhere near J. H. Williams’ level, making this an odd-looking crossover.