Cable, like most teenagers, thinks he knows everything. Thankfully, also like most teenagers, he is hilariously wrong. After a significant misfire in Cable #3, the series returns to the fun, engaging tone and standard of quality established since launch. While not a perfect tale, the end of Cable’s first arc is satisfying and sets the series up well for X of Swords.
Gerry Duggan (writer), Phil Noto (artist), and Joe Sabino (lettering)
September 2, 2020
Picking up where #3 left off, Cable #4 opens with Cable and Esme Cuckoo, one of his quintet of girlfriends, facing down a trio of Galadorian Spaceknights. Sadly, the cyborg space warriors are the weakest part of the issue. While a neat use of somewhat obscure Marvel cosmic lore, the Spaceknights’ desire to turn Earth into a New Galador is a thoroughly worn-out plot, and their sudden defeat feels unsatisfying. A single dangling plotline hints that a Spaceknight will show up down the line, hopefully, one with a bit more to bring to the table.
Thankfully, where the antagonists faltered, the rest of Cable #4 soars. Cable’s revitalization as a cocky, popular jock teen on Krakoa has been one of the most entertaining additions to the Dawn of X era, and Gerry Duggan continues to mine that story vein to great success. From a hilarious scene where Emma Frost puts her daughters’ new boyfriend on notice to another Summers Family Dinner, the use of well-known teen tropes translated to the comic book sci-fi realm of Krakoa continues to pay dividends.
Phil Noto’s art continues to be both some of the best in the business and a perfect fit for the title. His mastery of expressions and emotion is used to great effect both selling punch lines and ensuring gut punches land where they may not have with another artist. The one quibble I have with Noto’s work lies in his use of a heavily-warm, and soft color palette can make things blend a bit more than I would like and make pages feel flat as a whole.
The highlight of the issue comes from a very clever bit of time travel trickery that sheds some new light on the circumstances that led to teen Cable’s arrival on the scene. For those that don’t know, Kid Cable, as fans have nicknamed him, first showed up by brutally murdering the classic silver (and chrome) fox version of the character for failing to protect the timeline. However, it seems like Cable Classic was a bit more aware of his fate than previously thought. The handful of glimpses at an undefined future timeline with the grumpy old man Cable in previous issues have become much more interesting.
Cable isn’t pushing boundaries or reinventing the X-Men’s very concept like some of its Dawn of X contemporaries, but damn if it isn’t a fun time. You won’t find earthshaking revelations or mind-bending reveals here, but in a line full of challenging titles and aggressive visions, that’s okay. The title’s role in the upcoming X of Swords crossover and the titular lead’s status as one of the X-Men’s sword bearers might change things, but for now, Cable is happy filling the teen comedy niche of the X-Men line. Thankfully, I’m equally happy to keep reading it.