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Jul 30

Cable #2 annotations

Posted on Thursday, July 30, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

CABLE vol 4 #2
“The Five In One”
by Gerry Duggan & Phil Noto

BEFORE WE WERE SO RUDELY INTERRUPTED… Cable #1 came out back in March, so over four months have passed between issues, through no real fault of anyone’s. This obviously isn’t ideal for story momentum, though. So… in issue #1, Cable beat Wolverine in a match in the Quarry, so Wolverine owes him a marker (whatever that means). Cable went on a date with Armor and Pixie (at the same time). Cable found a big sword stuck in the foot of a monster from the Arak Coral; the sword belongs to an ancient Spaceknight from planet Galador, and three other Spaceknights are coming for it. And somewhere else, the original Cable is in a demonic wasteland. Alright, let’s go.

COVER / PAGE 1. Cable shows off his new sword, while the Stepford Cuckoos fawn over him. (Except for the one in front, who seems unimpressed. There’s no way of telling which one she is, but see page 11.)

PAGES 2-3. Stinger and Omerta’s baby is missing.

Stinger. Stinger was a henchman of Apocalypse in early issues of X-Factor, who soon drifted into obscurity. This is the first time we’ve seen her in the Krakoa era; she was last seen in Deadpool v Gambit #4, where she was hanging out with some other Z-list villains at a barbecue. She was, however, mentioned in the Sinister Secrets gossip column in Marauders #8, which said that she was the first person to become pregnant on Krakoa. Here, she’s living in suburbia and already has a baby. Could she really have conceived on Krakoa and returned with a baby in this short a time? Or is it just a mistake?

Omerta. This seems to be Paul Provenzano, who was part of the ad hoc mostly-rookie X-Men team from “Eve of Destruction” (X-Men vol 2 #111-113 and Uncanny X-Men vol 1 #392-393), a stopgap arc from just before the Grant Morrison run. His character arc was that he was a homophobe who learned to work with Northstar, so he’s a real charmer. He’s one of the most obscure characters ever to technically qualify as an X-Man. I’m not sure he’s ever appeared anywhere else – the Marvel Fandom wiki suggests that he gets killed in Weapon X vol 2 #5 along with a bunch of other nobodies in a Weapon X concentration camp, but I don’t think he’s identified by name in that issue. At any rate, this story seems to assume that he lost his powers on M-Day.

(It’s just about possible that this is the other Omerta, an Italian superhero who appeared in Alpha Flight vol 1 #108, but he’d taken a vow of silence, so it’s not very likely.)

“At least you can pass for one of them.” Stinger’s bright pink hair and glowing yellow eyes are apparently now permanent. That never used to be the case.

The Daily Bugle is the standard Marvel newspaper from the pages of Amazing Spider-Man. For some reason the copy seen here is dated 10 April 2019.

PAGES 4-5. Recap and credits. The story title, “The Five in One”, is a standard name for the Stepford Cuckoos.

PAGES 6-7. Cable tries to get involved in the investigation into the disappearing baby.

The officers here are named later as Molina and DiStefano. They’re new characters. The basic schtick here is that Cable is trying to play the intimidating hard man role he would traditionally have played, but this kid version just doesn’t have that aura about him yet. They simply aren’t taking him seriously – though by all appearances they really are taking the kidnapping seriously. We’re told repeatedly that Stinger and Omerta were quite popular in this community.

PAGES 8-10. Cable and Esme investigate anyway.

Esme is one of the five Stepford Cuckoos, all of whom are clones of Emma Frost. Apparently Cable is now dating all five of the Cuckoos at the same time. Recall that last issue he was dating Armor and Pixie on the same date. The Cuckoos were angling to be set up with Cable in Wolverine #3. Even though they tend to act as a group, the Cuckoos’ behaviour here is unusual, and Emma will pick up on it later. While nobody seems to take young Cable all that seriously, the young women of Krakoa seem to find him almost implausibly attractive; we’ve seen before some hints that there’s some sort of disinhibition going on with relationships on Krakoa. On the other hand, it’s also possible the Cuckoos are just stringing him along for their own amusement, given the next scene. Is it something to do with Emma and Scott’s relationship?

Where the Cuckoos do get separate personalities, Esme is the “bad” one – as Emma also alludes to later. She’s the one who sided with Magneto at the end of the Morrison run, and tried to force her way back from the dead in X-23.

Celeste is also one of the Cuckoos.

“No knock on your parents.” A lot of early Nate Summers stories involve people trying to steal him as a baby, though he wasn’t stolen away to the future – Cyclops let him go so that he could be cured.

PAGE 11. The other Cuckoos listen in psychically.

One of them – it’s impossible to tell which – doesn’t seem anywhere near as interested as the others, and suggests that “other telepaths” would be more interesting. Wonder who she means? At any rate, presumably she’s the one rolling her eyes on the front cover.

The girls seem to be in Emma Frost’s crystalline home in Hellfire Bay. This is apparently their bedroom, with five beds arranged in a pentagon. (Wardrobes and bedside lights not shown.)

PAGE 12. Cable & Esme break into a house.

The Order of X is, as Cable says, “one of the weird cults that sprung up after Xavier’s message.” In Marauders, it’s been suggested that Xavier’s global announcement caused damage to some people’s minds, and that the Order of X and similar cults are a side effect of that.

Diamond. The Stepford Cuckoos have the same powers as their clone mother Emma, including her ability to turn to diamond – they’re rarely seen using it, but it’s been established.

The sword is drawn by Cable, though since that’s a significant plot point in the next page, it’s maybe not ideal that we don’t see him actually drawing it. I suppose he’s just being cautious on entering the house.

PAGES 13-16. The Spaceknights prompts crash to Earth to retrieve the sword.

They beat up Cable and Esme (who can’t get to grips with their alien minds), take back the sword (which they call the Light of Galador), and haul Cable and Esme off to space with them.

PAGES 17-18. Cyclops offers help to the police.

He gets much the same response as Cable – in fact, the panels of the police officers are repeated – though they take him a little more seriously.

PAGES 19-20. Emma complains to Scott about Nate and the Cuckoos.

Interestingly, even in the very relaxed atmosphere of Krakoa, Scott and Emma both seem to find this relationship surprising. I’ve already covered the reasons why Emma might think Esme needs reining in.

PAGE 21. Data page. Emails from the detectives, which speak for themselves. Reasonably enough, they’ve decided the Spaceknight attack means that maybe they should speak to the X-Men after all.

PAGE 22. Data page. Another excerpt from the older Cable’s diary – issue #1 had something very similar. Mainly, we learn that Cable is fighting demons, he’s trying to rescue some hostages, and that he seems to be in a mirror world where the stars are reversed. The “markers on the ground” are presumably the stones laid out in arrows, which he mentioned in issue #1. The “dog” that won’t talk back to him is apparently the robot vehicle he’s riding.

PAGES 23-25. Cable arrives at a weird spire thing.

Heaven only knows what’s going on here.

PAGES 26-27. Trailers. The Krakoan reads: “NEXT: OLD FRIENDS.”

Bring on the comments

  1. Luis Dantas says:

    This may be an opportunity to use the theme of aversion to technology in Hickman’s setup. The Galadorians are, if nothing else, a reminder of what the Moira, Xavier and Magneto want to avoid. I wonder if Cable’s infection will be brought up; it seems to have been largely forgotten.

  2. The Other Michael says:

    Since there’s more than one Michael here…

    Anyway, thanks, I’d been trying to remember who the hell Omerta was, and hadn’t gotten around to looking it up. I mean that -is- some serious obscure.

    That issue of Weapon X involving the mutant concentration camps and the rounding up of obscure characters like Cecilia Reyes, Maggott, and Diamond Lil, was one of the most annoyingly depressing things I’d read at the time, and I literally threw it across the room in disgust.

  3. Chris V says:

    It wouldn’t be a bad idea to invert the narrative with the Galadorians, if they are meant to be antagonists.

    The pure, noble race of knights fighting the purely evil aliens who can look just like humanoids, but are actually monsters who must be exterminated. It’s sort of scarily similar to Nazi ideology with the Jewish people.
    It might be interesting to see the analogy made between the Spaceknights with post-humanity and the Dire Wraiths with mutants.

  4. Allan M says:

    Other Michael: use an abbreviated version of your last name! Works for us Al(l)ans!

    Part of the backstory of the Spaceknights is that they get their brains put in cybernetic bodies, and their original bodies are cryogenically frozen, with the intent of putting their brains in their original bodies once the war is won. Mind transference between bodies is very DoX, seems like it may come up here. That said, these are a newly-introduced, ancient Spaceknight group so Duggan’s got a free hand to do what he likes.

    As for the Cuckoos, I think it’s partially that Cable is an age-appropriate male Summers, and Krakoa’s internal social order has influential mutant families like theirs becoming powerful. We see this in X-Factor #1 and again in X-Men #10 that certain mutant families have a level of prestige in Krakoan society, and the Cuckoos, being social climbers, undoubtedly see Cable on their radar. Scott is multi-attached, Alex is a pariah, Gabriel’s an alcoholic recluse, Rachel is scary, so Cable is the best path into influence the de facto royal family of Krakoa.

  5. Chris V says:

    I don’t want to give away any spoilers, and I may be misremembering this anyway, but I do seem to remember Mantlo writing a story where ROM discovers that the Spaceknights’ flesh bodies were destroyed.

  6. Luis Dantas says:

    IIRC you are correct, Chris. But that does not necessarily apply to the current generation of Spaceknights.

  7. GN says:

    @Paul, I think the purpose of having individual headshots of each Cuckoo in the recap page is so that we can match the art later in the issue to their name. Usually, the Cuckoos are all grouped together as ‘Stepford Cuckoos’ (see Wolverine 3, for example).

    Esme (obviously) is the one on a date with Cable.
    Celeste is the one in the bathrobe, who suggests the possibility of dating other telepaths. Perhaps she is already bored of Cable after their date the day before?
    Sophie is lying on the bed closest to the bay, while suggesting that they are going to break Cable’s heart.
    Mindee is sitting on the adjacent bed, defending Cable while Phoebe is sitting on the floor next to Mindee laughing at Sophie’s suggestion.

  8. Joseph S. says:

    We’ve seen that bed layout before, haven’t we? If not in the comics then in the TV series The Gifted.

  9. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Noto is fantastic – he somehow made Cyclops attempting and failing to eat a sandwhich hilarious, without exaggerating the action in any way.

    Other than the art, the book’s not doing much for me. I was all for giving Kid Cable a chance, but he’s been with us for two years now and I still don’t see the point of him…

  10. Arrowhead says:

    What’s the current legal situation with the Spaceknights? I know Hasbro/IDW has exclusive rights to ROM, and both publishers are using the Dire Wraiths so I assume there’s a shared custody arrangement there.

    Does Marvel own all the rest of the Spaceknight stuff, or is that shared as well?

  11. Paul says:

    As far as I know, the only thing that Marvel can’t use is Rom himself.

  12. Chris V says:

    I was wondering how the Dire Wraiths worked, since Bill Mantlo created them for Marvel.
    I know that IDW has also been using them.
    I guess that Marvel only owns their appearance, as the Dire Wraiths at IDW look totally different, only using the same name and a similar background.

    I think that both Marvel and IDW have the right to use the Spaceknights (outside of ROM), but that IDW has to create their own versions of the remaining Spaceknights.
    Any of the other Spaceknights used in the Marvel ROM series are owned by Marvel.

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