Wednesday, September 4, 2013

CABLE #76 - February 2000

In My Eyes
Credits:  Joe Pruett (writer), Bernard Chang (penciler), Jon Holdredge (inker), Brain Miller & Hi-Fi Design (colors), Comicraft’s Saida Temofonte (letters)

Summary:  Cable wakes to discover he’s being held captive with the rest of the Twelve.  A strange energy signature appears, and suddenly Cyclops and Cable are in Cable’s future.  The two discuss their relationship, and Cyclops reassures Cable that he is the son he’s always wanted.  Suddenly, Cable finds himself in the snow, alone.  He enters a cabin and discovers Madelyne Pryor is inside, holding Cyclops captive.  Madelyne offers to live with Cable in peace within the Psionic Plane forever, but he refuses.  He demands she release Cyclops and allow them to face Apocalypse.  Madelyne agrees and says goodbye.

Continuity Notes
  • This story is continued in X-Men #97.
  • Cable grows progressively younger while talking to Cyclops in the Psionic Plane.  He’s a teenager (virtually identical to X-Man, of course) holding his wife’s body while flashing back through his life.  I don’t think the implication is that Cable actually was a teenager when Aliya died, he just happens to mention her while stuck in this age.  Just to be clear, Cable was well into adulthood when Aliya (then using her codename “JenSkot”) was killed in Cable #1’s flashback.
  • Cable declares himself an X-Man, “just like my father,” which appears to be setting up his membership during Chris Claremont’s brief return to the main titles.

Review:  Following the worst issue of the series’ entire run (and perhaps the worst X-comic of the ‘90s), there’s nowhere to go but up.  And this issue is actually Joe Pruett’s best so far, as he takes the space he’s been given to fill before the next stage of the crossover and simply uses it for a Cable/Cyclops character piece.  In retrospect, it’s obvious that the editorial staff had already decided to kill Cyclops off at this point, which explains his discussions with Cable regarding death and sacrifice.  Of course, we all know that Marvel never had any commitment to this death, so the scenes don’t have the impact Pruett probably thought that they would have, but they stand on their own fairly well.  After reuniting Cable with Cyclops, Pruett then moves on to crazy ol’ Madelyne Pryor.  Madelyne was used horrifically following her resurrection in X-Man, but there is at least a nice sentiment here.  Sensing Cable near death, she’s called him and his father together in the Psionic Plane where they can be reunited as a family.  This is as sympathetic as Madelyne gets, following “Inferno,” and it’s actually a surprisingly sentimental scene.  Cable refuses to hide from his destiny, and the story ends with everyone back in place to be bored by Apocalypse for a few more months.  Unfortunately, this is the first issue in the run to give an indication of what Pruett might be capable of, and it’s almost his last issue.

1 comment:

cyke68 said...

Didn't X-Man also have an issue in this crossover that took place completely in an altered reality/psionic plane/character's mind? I know tie-ins tend to be necessarily inconsequential, but this storyline actually had the meat to justify all the books it took over for those couple of months. It was the resolution to a long (LONG) running subplot and the X-Men's first extended fight with Apocalypse as the Big Bad. (X-Cutioner's Song was just a scuffle and prior to that he was exclusively an X-Factor villain). Characters like Cable, Nate Grey, Cyclops, Archangel, and Wolverine all had personal issues with Apocalypse, and the character selections for the Twelve (which could've been pretty arbitrary at that point) opened up a lot of possibilities for interactions across the extended family of titles. Not to mention whoever 'Poccy roped in as his latest flunkies. I can see leaving out X-Force and Generation X, but basically all the other books could've made pretty substantial contributions to the story. Hell, even a bunch of extended slugfests would've been more entertaining than some of the side dishes they served instead, if only X-Men and Uncanny were "allowed" to advance the plot.

Anyway, I do recall this being an unusually effective sentimental diversion. I can understand wanting to play it straight, but I can't help but think an opportunity for an absurd, perverse family reunion was missed by omitting Jean and Nate Grey from the issue. Imagine. Madelyne is torn by her incestual longings for her alternate reality teen heartthrob genetic son and his silver fox genuine article counterpart. Neither one is the child as she remembers him -- nor the age he should chronologically be -- so they're only *technically* related to her. What's the harm, right?? Meanwhile, Nate gets a "twin sister, just as hot, way less crazy" vibe from Jean that stirs feelings within him. Scott, unexpectedly titillated by her casual exhibitionism and BDSM tendencies, gets a "twin sister, just as hot, way more crazy" vibe from Madelyne that reawakens his inner sub. It could have been a great little addition to NBC's Thursday night Must See TV line-up! Too bad "All In the Family" was already taken.

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