Cable is sometimes the closest thing to a slice-of-life comic on Krakoa, often featuring Cable in his day-to-day life, going on dates and trying to please his family. The comic does it to varying degrees of success, and Cable #9 tries to infuse this element with a greater overarching plot about Stryfe, missing the mark in some places and hitting the nail on the head in others.
SPOILERS AHEAD for Cable #9!
The comic opens with a Scott, Emma, Esme, and Cable interaction. Esme and Cable take down some AIM operations and end up kissing afterward. Meanwhile, Scott and Emma have a brief conversation about the kids. But no, not that conversation — the one that mentions how weird it is their kids are dating when all signs seem to be implying Scott and Emma are also still seeing each other. Even Emma’s disapproval of Cable has nothing to with her past or present relationship with his father — both of which make the Cable/Cuckoos interactions quite weird and uncomfortable. It’s hard to find any substance with each of these characters’ dynamics in this title, which is becoming a huge problem for the book.
Fortunately, those opening sequences are the only real weak points of the book, which picks up the more other characters are introduced. Illyana and Cable have by far the most entertaining interaction in Limbo. Illyana is one of those characters that’s just fun and the more writers start to let loose with her, the more entertaining those interactions become. There’s something oddly entertaining about learning Illyana Rasputin makes the demons in Limbo hold concerts where they play “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by the Proclaimers on the recorder. Between Vita Ayala on New Mutants and this, Magik has had quite a few fun pages.
The Summers family moments still continue to be weak, however, even outside of Scott, Emma, and the Cuckoos’ interactions (though it is nice to see Scott’s step-fatherly relationship with the Cuckoos return from the Matt Fraction days). Hope and Cable’s interaction feels like it’s trying to hit some emotional point but just fails to. It’s hard to read this interaction and not want more from it — Hope Summers gave Cable the most prominence he’s had in years during the last decade, and her character’s relationship with him was heartwarming. Uncanny X-Men 2019 tried to touch on Hope’s feelings towards the younger Cable, but through Krakoa those circumstances have changed. In an era of peace and seemingly mutant immortality, has she made peace with the idea of not getting her real father back? What’s that like for her? Is seeing teen Cable still hard? None of these questions are really answered.
The other most noteworthy part of the book comes from Wildside and Cable’s interaction at the end of the book. The two talk about Stryfe and while Cable denounces him, Wildside challenges the idea that perhaps Nathan really is Stryfe. It’s an interesting idea — one that fans have been positing for a while — and one of the more fascinating concepts Cable has introduced in its last nine issues. The pages at the end suggesting old man Cable’s return promise a more engrossing tale is to come.
All in all, Cable #9 is very hit or miss. The series still lacks the emotional depth it strives for but finds its strides in more harmless fun like the Magik interactions. The conclusion to this tale seems like it’s posed to be quite epic through the reintroduction of old man Cable and Phil Noto’s art simply doesn’t miss a beat.
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