Nightmares & Prophecies
Credits: Joe Pruett (writer), Rob Liefeld (penciler), Lary Stucker (inker), Tanya & Richard Horie (colors), Comicraft’s Saida Temofonte (letters)
Summary: After having a nightmare about Cannonball’s death, Cable visits Stacey in the diner. She explains that she can’t handle Cable’s life at this point and asks for a break. Later, Cable’s visited by Rachel Summers, who takes him to her reality to show him what life was like without him. After rescuing Cannonball from Ahab, Cable’s brought to the rebel camp where he meets this world’s Stacey, a nurse who aids mutants. Soon, the camp is attacked by Sentinels and a mystery figure. Rachel sends Cable back to the present, telling him to use his knowledge of the Twelve to stop Apocalypse.
· A brainwashed Gideon and Sunspot serve Ahab in this reality. Sunspot implies that he murdered Husk months earlier.
· Other mutant rebels Cable encounters include Warpath, Meltdown, and Domino. Domino is apparently killed by the Sentinels.
· The mystery figure who attacks the camp is wearing a helmet reminiscent of Magneto’s, and has a scar over his right eye that resembles Cable’s.
Review: This is Rob Liefeld’s grand return to Cable, even though the cover is by Adam Kubert. And next issue’s is penciled by Andy Kubert. Did Marvel want to make a big deal about this or not? It’s also odd that Liefeld did this run with little-to-no plot input (that’s how I remember him describing his contribution at the time, anyway). Doesn’t that go against the spirit of the Image founders?
Liefeld’s art offers no surprises. If you already hate it, there’s nothing here to change your mind. If you buy into the idea that his “energy” compensates for his lack of technical skills, there are plenty of splash pages and impossible poses for you to enjoy. He’s joined by an inker for this run, Lary Stucker, but Stucker’s style is indistinguishable from Liefeld’s mid-90s inks, and he certainly isn’t cleaning things up by adding backgrounds or varying textures to the inks. I wish someone would’ve caught the lack of a pupil in Cable’s “good” eye (the scarred one, ironically). Cable’s left eye is the bionic one; that’s the one that isn’t supposed to have a pupil. Liefeld gets this wrong not for a panel or two, but for most of the issue.
There’s also a storytelling glitch that has Meltdown, who for some reason doesn’t get an introduction from the narrator with the rest of her teammates, suffering a serious injury off-panel during the Ahab fight. And Cable declaring that the team is horribly outnumbered when we’ve only seen as many villains as heroes during the battle. And Liefeld doesn’t see any reason to age the characters a day, even though the story is set decades in the future. What I’m saying is that perhaps Liefeld’s art ill serves the script.
The story is yet another play on “Days of Future Past” with no real point, unless this was intended to be the “official” explanation of what happened to the assorted X-Force characters in that timeline. Pruett isn’t able to add any drama to the concept, and going for the predictable “Everybody dies!” ending doesn’t do the story any favors. Plus, doing a break-up scene with Stacey has got to be the most obvious move the new creative team could’ve made. Everyone was expecting them to do this, regardless of how much Liefeld claimed to love the Casey/Ladronn run. On top of all of this, Comicraft has somehow discovered an even uglier font than the bizarre one chosen during Ladronn’s run. So, really, this is one bad decision after another, and I’m not sure if anyone is that surprised.