Cable 20: Waiting for the end of the world, but no one is drinking.


Cable 20 was cover dated February 1995 and was on sale December 1994 sharing the spinner racks with Legend of Supreme 1, Original Doctor Solar 1, Punisher 2099 1 and Showcase ’95 1.

Credits: Writer – Jeph Leob, pencils – Ian Churchill, inks – Bud La Rosa, Hilary Barton, W Cory Mariani and edited by Lisa Patrick.

Cast: Nathan(Cable) Daysping Askani’Son,  Scott (Cyclops) Summers, Jean (Phoenix) Grey-Summers, Domino, Rogue, Warren (Archangel) Worthington III, Dr Henry (Beast) McCoy, Remy (Gambit) LeBeau, Professor Charles Xavier and Majestrix Lilandra Neramani (in hologram form).  

Plot: Cable, Professor X and Jean Grey-Summers are strapped to a machine which is transmitting the message Cable delivered to Bishop in Uncanny X-Men 321 and they are being watched over by a deeply worried Cyclops, who is looking at the three people he loves most in the world, his wife, his father figure and his son who is about 25 years older because that ain’t weird. The message sent, they get out and bring everyone up to date. Gambit, realising that nothing has actually changed loses his cool and barks at Cable, who thanks to his recent psionic work is barely standing. The two are separated by the optic blast of a Cyclops who has had enough of their s**t. The Shi’Ar are observing galaxies being crystallised, whilst Beast looks on morose at the pointlessness of his scientific pursuits, given the current situation. He’s brightened up by Archangel coming by to thank him for his friendship over the years.

Gambit and Rogue have a romantic near-miss as does Cable and Domino, but it’s all a bit rosier for Cyclops and Phoenix, who reaffirm their love for one another and their gratitude at having found one another at Xavier’s school and tell Charles this, validating his worth to them.

The couple then go and find Cable and tell him that they were sent into the future to raise him as his foster parents Redd and Slymm. Cable admits that he already knew that and a mismatched family is put back together again.

Cable is pulled to one side by Domino and after some awkwardly touching words, kiss. Seeing the world crystallise around them, this group of X-Men and their founder say their goodbyes as the world ends around them.

Notes: This is admittedly a text heavy issue. There are SO MANY CAPTIONS. Ian Churchill keeps up and draws a beautiful (if 90’s) issue. The poses are somewhat exaggerated with Archangel looking sweepingly majestic, Cable imposingly large and when Cyclops ends the bickering, he looks bad-ass as f**k. The lesser problems with the art are costume design and anatomy, but that’s 90’s affectation, I mean seriously what’s with Domino’s pants and beret?

This is more of writer’s issue, with emotional beats and character examination. We see Archangel on the verge of losing Psylocke and yet not knowing how deeply they feel about each other. He consoles Beast, but there is a morose tinge to it, because they both wish other people were there. Cable and Domino have an atypical romantic moment, while the doomed romance with Gambit and Rogue is continues to misfire. Cyclops and Jean share some lovely moments both alone and with Professor X and Cable and Churchill adds dimensions to Leob’s work. I was a big fan of the Leob/Churchill team and this was my first exposure to it. It’s a bit of an inconsequential filler, but these quiet moment stories how well the writers knew these characters and how well comics can do things when it’s not all  Fighty McFightenstein (copyright Andy Leyland of the Fantasticast)

I didn’t have to read this as part of Legion Quest, but am glad I came back to this story of closure and goodbyes.

Next Time: Spider-Man and Spider-Man take on Judas Traveller as the first chapter of the Clone Saga comes to an end.

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