Cable has officially hit its final arc, with only two issues left following Cable #10. As Kid Cable’s (seeming) end nears, the series’ various plotlines are winding up and setting the stage for the showdown with Stryfe. While there are flashes of the charm that carried the previous issues through, the focus on dour plot and some poor storytelling choices, unfortunately, make Cable #10 one of the weakest issues yet.
Gerry Duggan (writer), Phil Noto (artist), Cory Petit (letterer)
April 28th, 2021
Picking up with Cable looking to disable Charles Xavier to get to Cerebro, the first few pages are maybe the strongest in the entire issue, largely thanks to a welcome appearance by Emma Frost. Grounding Kid Cable in the immature rash energy that won me over in the first place, his conversation with the White Queen is full of delightful bits of character work on both ends. It also boasts the funniest beat of the issue, with Charles Xavier walking out of his house having entirely missed the whole affair asking if anyone is out there.
Once the scene is done, however, the issue immediately takes a turn for the serious and fails to stick the shift in any significant fashion. Cable and Cyclops going for some bonding time is something I should be all about, but the combination of a focus on the looming Stryfe conflict and an utterly uninspired use of two new Arakki mutants sucked all of the fun out of it. In the case of the latter, the two new arrivals Castor and Pollux (why two Arakki whose departure of Earth predates Greek and Roman myth by a fair bit are named that, I have no idea) are just one-note brawlers. Having crashed a British pub and caused a stir leading to a police stand-off, the pair are just big fighty idiots for the sake of being big fighty idiots. Compared to the outstanding arrival of fellow Arakki Khora of the Burning Heart over in SWORD, they fall significantly short. Especially from a design front, as Noto’s design for both mutants are dull and do nothing to set them apart as hailing from Arakko.
As for the father-son heart-to-heart, whereas the previous Summers Family conversations found in Cable were grounded in genuine family dynamics, blending superheroics with teen drama, the mid-battle telepathic conversation in Cable #10 is wholly rooted in superhero affairs. From Scott saying Cable should put himself in the running for the X-Men election to the ethics of letting Kid Cable return to the dystopia from whence he came to bring back Cable Classic, none of the whimsical, grounding charm from the previous father-son chats can be found here. The series’ identity, the unique blend of teen comedy and Krakoan heroics, has been left behind as the conclusion approaches and it’s sapped most of my enjoyment along with it.
Sometimes when a comic series’ conclusion is announced, you can see the seams in the preceding issues as the creative team struggles to wrap things up a bit sooner than intended. Cable is, unfortunately, one of those cases. Between a rushed focus on Serious Plot Beats and cramming as much story as possible (most transparently in the form of a data page that serves only to reveal there has been a secret plot involving Old Man Cable’s AI since the book’s launch), the rush to catch all of the still-spinning plates is readily apparent in Cable #10. As someone who has enjoyed a good chunk of Cable, I hope the series finds its footing in the last two issues. It has carved out a charming little niche for itself among its sister titles, and seeing that shed in favor of more standard serious superhero plots is a definite disappointment, to me.