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Feb 18

Cable #8 annotations

Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2021 by Paul in Annotations, x-axis

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

CABLE vol 4 #8
“My Dinner with Domino”
by Gerry Duggan & Phil Noto

COVER / PAGE 1: Just Cable with Domino’s face in the background – and her black spot framing his head.

PAGE 2. Straightforward quote from Cable. Of course, Stryfe doesn’t just look like Cable; genetically, they’re identical, so the differences between them should be down to their different experiences.

PAGE 3. A meteorite changes course.

We’ll see it again at the end of the issue. Generally, Duggan writes Domino’s luck powers at a ridiculously high level in this story, more akin to the way Longshot has sometimes been written; traditionally Domino’s powers have been played at a subtler level than that. In voice over, Domino kind of shrugs her shoulders and acknowledges that she can’t really explain how her powers work. Explanations offered over the years have involved things like probability manipulation and subconscious telekinesis, none of which would really account for a bad guy just happening to stand in the right position to get flattened by a meteorite… but whatever. You can only really write Domino this way as a guest star; as a regular character, this sort of thing would break the book rather quickly, or at least wear thin. As a one-off, it’s fine.

PAGES 4-7. Domino takes Nate to a cafe in Tokyo, where they stumble upon the kidnapper.

Domino claims she doesn’t know they’re supposed to be in Tokyo, and that she’s just there because she fancies some gyoza. She might be joking about that, since they are indeed in precisely the location they need to be to advance the plot. At any rate, Domino was presumably drawn here.

“The reason I took over for the other guy is that he failed to clean up his messes.” The “other guy” is the original version of Cable, who this Cable killed and replaced in Extermination (though previous issues have suggested this was engineered by Cable Classic, and subplots have shown us that he’s somehow still around, in a post-apocalyptic wasteland). Kid Cable claimed that his older counterpart had allowed the timestream to deteriorate by failing to take action against such things as the Silver Age X-Men making an extended stay in the present, something that was expanded upon in the previous volume of X-Force.

“I’ve never eaten at Galador’s.” We never actually see the sign, so it’s not 100% clear whether this is the actual name of the cafe or a joke on Cable’s part. Galador is the homeworld of Rom and the Spaceknights, and the “robots” seen here certainly do look a lot like them.

“For most of our lives you were too old for me…” Despite what she says here, Domino and Cable were in fact a couple of some of their time in X-Force.

The kidnapper is, more exactly, a copy of Stryfe’s agent, who was leading an Order of X cell last issue. This issue clarifies that these people are also clones of Nate, apparently at a mid-point in their ages.

PAGE 8. Recap and credits. The title, “My Dinner with Domino”, presumably references the film “My Dinner with Andre” (1981).

PAGES 9-10. Cable gets past the lock.

Presumably, this biometric lock was originally designed for Stryfe, and anyone with the same DNA can get past it. Bit of a pointless security device when your arch-enemy is a clone, so maybe it was conceived as a trap.

“For someone who says they don’t like clones… well, you sure date enough of them.” The Stepford Cuckoos, throughout this series. Keep that point in mind, though.

“I thought I killed Stryfe before I traveled back in time.” Um. We saw Kid Cable’s version of Stryfe in X-Force vol 5 #7-10, and Cable didn’t kill him – he wiped his memory and left him in a cell to avoid time paradoxes. It’s not entirely clear whether we’re dealing with that version of Stryfe, or the Stryfe Classic version (who may be a divergent version, or the same person at a later point in his life).

PAGES 11-15. Cable and Domino defeat the clones.

Stryfe’s interest in cloning is somewhat new; traditionally, his back story was about resentment that he wasn’t the “real” Cable, so his apparent treatment of clones as disposable is somewhat telling.

As Cable says, Apocalypse created the first Stryfe clone; however, that was in the far future timeline where he grew up, as seen in Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix. The Apocalypse who was on Krakoa hadn’t done that yet.

“Remember to aim for the limbs, or you’re gonna end up in the hole with Sabretooth.” Domino is reminding Nate that killing humans results in the very dubious form of incarceration that we saw in House of X #6. The clones here apparently don’t matter to mutants either, though. Given the enthusiasm with which the Krakoans churn out clone bodies for resurrection, it’s rather important to them to maintain that the clones don’t count as people until they get their memories restored from back-up. Several titles have begun flagging the implications of this: in Hellions, Madelyne Pryor’s resurrection was vetoed on the grounds that she was only a clone of Jean Grey, and in New Mutants, Scout (Laura Kinney’s clone) has picked up on the fact that she may be a second class citizen.

And if clones don’t count, where does that leave Cable’s girlfriends, who are all clones of Emma Frost? Stryfe’s clearly a character. The Cuckoos are clearly characters. So why aren’t all of these extra Stryfe clones? I don’t think this is an oversight, particularly given the way this theme has emerged in other books – I think the Cuckoos are in this book for a reason.

PAGES 16-19. Cable and Domino chase down the last clone.

Simple enough, and cheerfully ridiculous.

PAGE 20. Data page. Domino reports back to the Beast on the plot, which is fair enough because she’s a member of X-Force and that’s her job.

“Tempest” is Angel Salvadore (Beak’s partner). It was her codename when she was depowered and a member of the New Warriors, but she’s been using it again over in New Mutants.

PAGES 21-24. Cable Classic finally enters the citadel.

This is the citadel that we saw him approaching at the end of issue #2 (!), and apparently we’re picking up his plotline moments after that. It’s set in a different timeframe, so why not?

PAGE 25. Trailers. The Krakoan reads NEXT: YOUNG LOVE.

Bring on the comments

  1. Rob says:

    Wasn’t Stryfe originally created by the Askani as a decoy for Apocalypse?

  2. Chris V says:

    The Askani did create the Stryfe clone, but I believe it was in case Nathan died of the techno-organic virus infection. They’d have the clone in his place to fight Apocalypse.
    Apocalypse’s forces attacked the Askani and Apocalypse kidnapped the clone to raise as his next host body.

    I am wondering if the post-apocalyptic future that the older Cable is wandering is going to end up being the world after Krakoa fails.

  3. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    I think I’m done with this one, I found this issue kinda baffling.

    I thought it was a dream sequence or psychic vision for the first however many pages.

    But more to the point, is any of this really what people want out of a Cable book?

    Kid Cable comes back in time, kidnaps and mutilates the O5, murders Cable, everyone brushes it off, then he turns into Ferris Bueller.

    He lives on an island with his destined enemy and they barely interact.

    Like John Connor and Skynet living in the same apartment building.

    I just don’t get it.

  4. Chris V says:

    I had to go back to the issue #2 review because it’s been so long.
    Didn’t the spire older Cable come upon look similar to a spire on Krakoa, which was similar to the spire associated with Nimrod in Moira’s earlier life?
    I definitely think that older Cable is wandering a future where Krakoa fails or where Nimrod achieved ascendancy.

    This is going to create problems because Moira doesn’t want to reveal to mutants that “mutants always lose”, but in the far future, Cable sees another timeline where mutants seem destined to fail.

  5. Si says:

    In Domino’s recent solo series she was shown training to gain a better understanding of her powers, and to use them more actively. She was also shown to be luckier than Longshot (which is unwise in my opinion). It sounds like her powers are way too high in this story though.

    Cable being too old for Domino doesn’t mean they never had a relationship, just that it was doomed to fail, or at least doomed to never go beyond a sexual relationship. One would hope she’d draw the line at sleeping with a teenager though. Then again, how old was Warpath?

  6. JD says:

    We never actually see the sign, so it’s not 100% clear whether this is the actual name of the cafe or a joke on Cable’s part.

    For what it’s worth, the visible Japanese part of the sign just says “Robot Cafe”.

  7. Daly Powers says:

    Color me intrigued.

  8. Bengt says:

    Surely they have resurrected some Cuckoos already? Weren’t they down to two or three before Hickman?

    Also monozygotic twins don’t have the same fingerprints or retinas so clones shouldn’t either.

  9. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    There have been only three Cuckoos far longer then there’ve been five. They were down to three by the end of the Morrison run. The last X-23 solo series had a story where the remaining three cloned/resurrected the other two only for them to die again, if I recall correctly. And that was just before Hickman.

    And then there were five, again.

  10. MasterMahan says:

    You’d think multiple Cable clones running around would be a bigger deal, given that Nathan is generally depicted as a cosmic-level being when he doesn’t have the T-O virus. Hell, Nate Grey just got upgraded to full-on reality warper.

    I suppose Stryfe could have had made sure the other clones don’t have powers – none of them use powers in this, including the real Cable – but I imagine that would make the fake replacement a bit obvious.

    Maybe Stryfe is hoping Cable’s family and friends will accept the guy who murdered him as the new Cable? Again, I mean?

  11. David says:

    I generally have liked this book, but this issue was a mess. Cable, Rachel, Domino and Esme have all seen these middle-ages Cable clones up close and failed to recognize them at all? That just makes no sense.

    I get that he’s different age than they’re used to, but come on. It’s unfathomable that not one of these characters would notice these guys look a bit familiar. Frankly, the art doesn’t depict him looking much like Cable either, which is also confusing.

  12. David says:


    Of course Domino draws the line at sleeping with a teen. She thinks Cable is trying to pick her up, which is why she turns him down by saying that he used to be too ole for her, and now he’s too young.

    As for Warpath, he and Domino only hooked up right before the Krakoa era. He’s the same age as the New Mutants. So he’s clearly meant to be in his 20s. Lest we forget, he was sleeping with Hepzibah way back in the Utopia days, clearly meant to be an adult then too.

  13. David says:

    *too old

  14. Jacob says:

    This is still my least favorite book in the line.

    I also wondered about the clone issue when the Cuckoos were immediately resurrected as soon as the whole thing began.

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