Who is Worthy to Break the Seals…?
Credits: Joe Pruett (script), Rob Liefeld (penciler), Lary Stucker (inker), Optic Studios (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters)
Summary: Apocalypse taunts Cable, who is now his captive. He leaves Cable’s psimitar in front of him as a final insult and leaves the room. Death enters, shocking Cable. Cable telepathically uses his psimitar to attack Death and free himself. He tries to draw Wolverine’s persona out of Death, but fails. Eventually, Apocalypse returns and fights Cable to a standstill. Cable’s forced to give up when Death appears with Caliban as a hostage.
Continuity Note: Rob Liefeld (or perhaps the inker) is still unable to decide which of Cable’s eyes have pupils. On one page, both of them do. On other pages, neither has a pupil. Occasionally, he gets it right and remembers that it’s Cable right eye, the one surrounded by scars, which has a pupil. (Although the colorist screws this up on one page and gives Cable’s right eye the mechanical glowing effect.)
“Huh?” Moment: Death/Wolverine falls down a seemingly bottomless pit to his death during his fight with Cable. A few pages later, he magically returns with Caliban as a hostage.
Creative Differences: There is no credited plotter for this story, only Joe Pruett and Rob Liefeld as “storytellers.” Pruett was very clear at the time that he did not plot this story and was only responsible for scripting the pages sent to him.
Miscellaneous Note: The title of this issue is a reference to the fifth chapter of Revelation.
Review: Not that Rob Liefeld’s run on Cable was very popular on the internet in the first place, but this issue was especially loathed. This double-sized anniversary issue, the one people believed for years would be the ultimate battle between Cable and Apocalypse, is instead a collection of clumsy fight scenes that advance the ongoing storyline not one inch. Literally -- the first and last page of the story have Apocalypse lording over the restrained Cable, with the same narration detailing Cable’s failure on both pages. And even as a mindless fight scene, this is awful. Splash page after splash page of awkward poses, ugly faces, and nonexistent backgrounds.
As far as I know, no one’s ever taken credit for plotting this issue. The fan theory at the time was that Liefeld was told to just draw a big fight scene for the issue, but I believe Liefeld denied having any role in plotting the story. If the story wasn’t plotted by Pruett or Liefeld, that probably leaves editorial. And since editor Mark Powers already had a reputation as a heavy rewriter, many people just assumed this was something he slapped together during his lunch break. Who knows the truth, but I can’t blame whoever is responsible for not wanting his or her face revealed.