Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cable 24: The End and the Beginning

Every so often a comic comes along that you don't really appreciate until it's over. I admit that after Messiah Complex, the Cable series wasn't on my pull list. I only started getting interested after Messiah War. Then my interest waned again only to re-emerge with the last few issues. Now issue 24 has come full circle and I have to say, it finally comes together at a level that is worthy of the title AWESOME.

Issue 24 follows Cable and Hope Summers to the end of their time-hopping which takes them everywhere from the 1920s to 1978 to 1990. Nearly every step of the way, Bishop keeps chasing them. It makes for action and destruction that has more depth than previous issues and it really comes together in a way that leaves the door open for more developments. In the end it's not clear how much Bishop succeeds or fails. In the end Cable is able to trick him by re-working his time machine and sending him thousands of years into the future. Yet despite this, Bishop seems certain that he has done the right thing. He seems to know what Hope is and what she's in for. He also feels he's going to be proven right, something that should be settled with Second Coming.

One of the reasons I was turned off early on in this series is how Bishop was portrayed as having gone completely off the deep end. He was no longer the hero. He was the destroyer, trying to doom the mutant race by killing the messiah baby. But at the end of Cable 24 you get the sense that there was a method to this madness. He truly believed that this girl was going to destroy everything and that the life he sought so desperately to escape would be created. The way he fights and the way he muses over his mission helps redeem some of his credibility, but not all. He still has a LONG way to go and if he ever comes back into the fold (which he probably will since time travel is easier than ordering a pizza in Marvel comics), he's going to have to do a hell of a lot to make up for what he did. Even if Second Coming further vindicates him, Bishop has a taint that isn't easy to recover from. I tend to think the writers were a little unfair with him and a lot of what they did in Messiah Complex felt forced. But so long as he's still in the picture, he can be redeemed. It just may take a while.

But what was probably the best and most telling part of the issue was near the end when Cable and Hope prepared to head back to the present to meet up with the X-men. Along the way, Hope nearly ran over a familiar looking redhead. One that Cable seemed to be serious about not hitting. Could that be another Jean hint? Or possibly a reference to Annie, who was part of Jean's history? Then there was the part where Hope actually called Cable her father. It felt very satisfying because Cable really has gone above and beyond to raise her, protect her, and train her in a way that makes him her father in pretty much every meaningful way. If Hope ends up being Jean Grey (which is still possible albeit remotely), it would be ironic yet fitting because Jean did the same for Cable with Scott when they raised him. Could anything be more appropriate? That is, of course, if the writers have more than a three dollar fart for a brain.

Overall, the Cable series has come full circle. The ending has officially made the 23 issues before it more awesome. That's not easy to do and I take my hat off to Duane Swiercyznski for pulling it off! Definitely a five out of five and a nice prelude to Second Coming!

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