REVIEW: Cable #3 Misses Its Target

I was along for the ride in the first couple of issues, but I have to say that Cable #3 has a little too much of some things I am absolutely not fond of. Chief among them? Well, it starts with Dead and ends with Pool.

Cable #3

Gerry Duggan (Writer), Tom Muller (Design), Phil Noto (Art), Joe Sabino (Letterer)
Marvel Comics
August 19, 2020

I have to say that after the whisking-away-by-space-cyborgs of the last issue, I certainly expected more of an adventure than this. Cable and Esme land rather anticlimactically in the North Pole, where the Spaceknights are arguing amongst themselves about a future course of action, since their planet is gone. They decide to transform Earth into their new homeworld, which is very…well, Transformers of them. Cable offers them a deal—if he can get them access to a time machine so that they can return to their still-living homeworld, they’ll agree to leave Earth alone. The Spaceknights agree! Whew.

I don’t know if this was the original plan, or if the original plan was tossed by the wayside as a pandemic and book delays hit, in order to keep things in line with the upcoming X of Swords event, but…well, this isn’t great. They begin working to find Old Cable’s body (there is no guest appearance by him in this issue as in the first two, save a brief cameo in Kid Cable’s memories of murdering him, so no advancement on that mystery), travelling first to his grave, and then to…sigh…Deadpool’s lair. Deadpool is the King of Staten Island I guess? I have no idea what that’s about, and I don’t care. My whole thing about Deadpool is that the more he’s been around, the more insufferable a character he’s become; writing him well is a difficult task that it seems many creators are not up to. I understand the narrative function of having him be annoying as hell to the consternation of a straight-man main character, but…that only works if he’s actually funny, and not also annoying to the reader. He is a seasoning best used sparely, and Duggan tosses him into the pan like a Food Network contestant burning through a kitchen’s entire supply of saffron for garnishes.

If that were all, it would be enough, but of course it’s not. There’s a particular panel here where Deadpool makes reference to Nathan’s age and being “outside his strike zone” and just…can we not? I know that Deadpool is technically pansexual, but he’s very much a straight’s idea of that; male sexuality played for laughs, so that it isn’t threatening. They dress him in effeminate clothing for laughs, they have him hit on the straight characters around him so that those characters can be properly horrified. It is, in short, a longstanding problem, and it’s one we should really, really be past by this point in time. That, of course, is bad enough, but he’s also making sexual innuendo to a character whose age isn’t clear, either to us, the readers, or to  Deadpool himself. I don’t know how much more clearly I can say this, but STOP. MAKING. THESE. JOKES. Queer rep is not your fucking punchline, and we have enough people making bad faith associations between our identities and pedophilia without shit like this being thrown onto the fire.

Just…fuck. I dunno. Noto’s art’s good. So is Sabino’s lettering. The data pages are a letter-writing sequence between Old Cable and Deadpool that is exactly as annoying as his actual appearance in the book. I don’t want to talk about this issue anymore. I didn’t like it, and it was a massive misfire of taste and good sense.

Nola Pfau

Nola Pfau

Nola is a bad influence. She can be found on twitter at <a href="">@nolapfau</a>, where she's usually making bad (really, absolutely terrible) jokes and occasionally sharing adorable pictures of her dog.