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'Cable: Past Fears' Vol. 3 review: Get a slice of each of Cable's lives

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‘Cable: Past Fears’ Vol. 3 review: Get a slice of each of Cable’s lives

Relive many moments in Cable’s history with this singular narrative time travel story.

It’s easy to compare Cable to Terminator, which is probably why he has some story arcs that were boring and basic. Has guns, time travels, and usually focuses on his mission and nothing else. Then there are times where the man inside the stone cold killer is revealed. It’s one of the reasons I liked Past Fears so much when it was released in single issues, because it does a good job capturing the conflict Cable has had to live with his entire life.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

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Cable and Hope are reunited! It was only a couple of years ago that Nathan and his young ward, the prophesied savior of the mutant race, were fleeing from the murderous Bishop across a barren future wasteland. But now Bishop isn’t the only one hell-bent on hunting down the daddy/daughter duo – as a strange techno-organic creature wants them dead! As fear consumes Cable, can he fend off both Bishop and a bloodthirsty monster – or will Hope be lost? And what is the creature’s connection to Cable? All this, plus a return to the Hellfi re Hunt -and a “reunion” with Cable’s Age of Apocalypse half-brother, X-Man!

Why does this matter?

Collecting the excellent Cable #155 to #159, Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson deliver a story that is self-contained, yet part of the much bigger tapestry of X-Men lore and Cable history. This story is like a love letter to both Cable and time travel, focusing on Cable’s exploits throughout his career from his current status, to a young child, to the leader of X-Force in the 90s. It’s particularly poignant given what happened to him in in the recent Extermination series.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

'Cable: Past Fears' Vol. 3 review: Get a slice of each of Cable's lives

That looks like it hurts. Credit: Marvel Comics

This four issue run reveals something about Cable and his virus, but in large part, each chapter can be enjoyed on its own. That makes this great fun when reading in one sitting since it’s episodic. The beauty of the issues within is that they can more or less stand alone — all you need to know is a monster is chasing Cable, or he’s trying to be a good leader to his team, or he’s attempting to figure out which version of himself is evil. Each story delves into the time travel wackiness with brief scenes of Cable when he was just a boy in the future. Anyone who knows the rich history of the X-Men and Cable should dig the old school feel of the book and the many references either to his parents, X-Force members, or other tidbits.

The book opens with a strong message about his daughter, Hope, and the need to be a good father to her. That’s a good place to start since that’s more or less where he is at character wise. We get all incarnations of this character as the story progresses (even his Nate Grey form), further slicing the character up in each issue to reveal a different side to him. By the end, there’s some closure for Cable too. I’d recommend reading this in one sitting since some of my only gripes while reading it was how disconnected it felt. In one sitting that goes away.

I do not know why people aren’t talking about artist German Peralta more after the work he’s done on this book. He’s great with the little details. It’s especially beautiful when it comes to the techno-organic monster and all its forms he pops in and out of the story as it progresses. It can be incredibly scary one moment, then, when necessary, you’re emphasizing with a beast. Jesus Aburtov’s colors are also stellar, especially with all the little orange lights of the monster or other details like a warm sunset. This work will make you want to see both artists team up again soon.

'Cable: Past Fears' Vol. 3 review: Get a slice of each of Cable's lives

That time Cable was a good leader. Credit: Marvel Comics

It can’t be perfect can it?

The plotting of the story can be jarring between each issue due to an almost smash cut to a new thing. That’s where the episodic nature of the series comes in, and if you read this in one sitting it’s not that obvious, though it can be strange as you try to figure out where you are in the story. As a complete story, it makes sense, but it’s a shock to the system to sometimes pick up where the story leaves you.

Is it good?

A great collection that is one of the best Cable stories I’ve ever read. The art is incredible, especially the color, and as a whole it’s a meaningful Cable story that kicks around his history so anyone can enjoy it.

'Cable: Past Fears' Vol. 3 review: Get a slice of each of Cable's lives
Cable: Past Fears Vol. 3
Is it good?
One of the best Cable runs I've ever read.
The art is great with its detail, fluid natural nature, and great color
The story gives you different snapshots of Cable's life with a meaningful singular story by the end
Like a love letter to Cable
The episodic nature of the single issues can be jarring

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