Cable has been in for a large pile of awkward conversations for a while now, and he manages to keep dodging them. Last issue, Rachel suggested he go talk to Hope (which, honestly, I need to happen so my heart stops hurting), and in this issue, Cable manages to spend time with Domino without once referring to the elephant in the room. That elephant, if you’re not up on current events, is time-travel-assisted self-murder. Krakoa is a place of forgiveness, however, so let’s maybe not dwell on it.
Domino’s cavalier, “it’ll all work itself out” attitude lands our pair in Japan, at a Galador-themed dumpling restaurant. Her low-stress vibe — based on her probability-altering powers — makes so much sense (so long as we sort of forget the brooding she recently did in X-Force; hey, new body, new you). She becomes the levity of the issue to counterpoint the bleak and frightening reality of the story; Stryfe has kidnapped some children. Given his name, there can be no doubt that said children aren’t in the best of hands.
This time spent with Domino, with the threat of Stryfe looming, brings Cable closer to the world of Old Gruff Cable, creating a narrative harmony that really works; further, Stryfe’s vindictive, murderous presence gives the book a sense of direction that, coming out of X of Swords, reestablishes purpose for our boy. There’s a thrill for longtime fans, knowing that Cable and Stryfe’s conflict is still fresh and present even when Cable and Apocalypse have come to friendlier terms.
The real standout of Cable lies in writer Gerry Duggan’s sense of humor, which, paired with Phil Noto’s endearing and expressive faces, becomes personal, custom-tailored to establish the personal voice and tone of each character. Cable, having never endured The X-Tinction Agenda or The X-Cutioner’s Song (or, indeed, the entire questionable ’90s era), is much less brooding, a lot more capable of seeing things differently. He’s a version of the character better able to roll with the punches rather than needing to be in control.
The book is a quick-moving, surprise-a-minute ride, but there is a certain lack of actual danger. It seems like our heroes are fully capable of overcoming all obstacles—even a wave of clones—without breaking much of a sweat.
It makes us realize that Cable doesn’t need a lot of help to do the dirty work. It’s his complete lack of detective skills that we have to thank for such a delightful supporting cast. It’s hard to tell if we’re meant to read Cable as inexperienced or a little bit dumb.
Either way, he’s fun to be around.
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