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Comic Book / Cable (2020)

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Speak softly and carry a big $&%@ gun.
Cable is a 2020 comic book series, and the fourth volume of the title starring the titular character. It is part of the Dawn of X relaunch, and is written by Gerry Duggan (Marauders) and drawn by Phil Noto (Star Wars: Chewbacca, Star Wars: Poe Dameron). Unlike previous series, this volume stars the "Kid Cable" incarnation introduced in Extermination.

Following his time briefly working with Psylocke and X-23 in Fallen Angels (2019), Cable has gone solo and is living life as the chosen son of the Grey-Summers clan. After a brief sparring session with Wolverine (in which Nate cheats to claim victory), Nathan responds to a young mutants' distress call regarding an injured creature roaming Krakoa. Nate, Pixie and Armor fight the monster, leading the telekinetic teen to see a piece of metal sticking out of its paw. Pulling it free, Nate realizes that it is a sword belonging to one of the Space Knights. Hoping to disassociate himself from the old Cable, Nate decides he's a sword guy now. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people wanting that sword too...

The book ended with Issue 12.

     Collected edition 
  • Volume 1 — Collects Issues 1-4.

Cable provides the following tropes:

  • Adult Fear: The child of Omerta and Stinger, who had been living in a human suburb for some time, is kidnapped by the Order of X, a cult that worships mutants.
  • Age Lift: Cable is a teenager in this volume after decades of being decades older than his own father Cyclops thanks to time travel.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: When Stryfe is finally killed by both of the Cables, the demons he conquered loudly declare his death and immediately walk away from fighting the Grey-Summers clan without further incident.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Cable begins the story freeing a Kaiju of Monster Island of the Space Knight sword jammed into its paw.
  • Back from the Dead: Issue 11 sees the resurrection of Old Cable, who surprisingly doesn't hold a grudge towards his younger self for killing him. He was brought back to stop their evil clone Stryfe.
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  • Becoming the Mask: Esme admits to Kid Cable that she and the other Cuckoos were told to date him by Scott and Jean under the precaution that he was too good to be true and might be a Stryfe plant. She fell in love with him long before they proved telepathically that he was who he claimed to be.
  • BFS: Part of Nate's attempts to differentiate himself from his older counterpart is picking up a fallen Spaceknight's sword and declaring the weapons of his old, future self to be outdated. It's certainly big enough to give a Kaiju severe distress after years of being dislodged in its foot.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Kid Cable gave up his resurrection rights to bring Old Cable back, so that they could defeat Stryfe together. However, this also means that Teen Cable has to go back to the future.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Issue #7 is about Cable teaming up with Rachel Summers to find ten missing mutant babies. They end up finding five of them, leaving the other five missing.
  • Call a Human a "Meatbag": The Spacekight attacking Cable in #2 informs his allies that the "meatbag" has telekinesis.
  • Call-Back: The fears that Kid Cable might be a young Stryfe are a repeat of the X-Men originally fearing the same about Nate Grey - who Kid Cable looks exactly like, except for the metal arm.
  • Chick Magnet: Like father, like son. Young Cable is quite successful with the ladies. He's palling around with Armor and Pixie in the first issue and become the boy toy of all five of the Stepford Cuckoos in the second. There's even a brief joke in Wolverine setting up his status, where the Cuckoos do the unthinkable (flirting with Quentin Quire for a few minutes) just to get a shot at dating Cable. This is ultimately subverted when it turns out that the Cuckoos were dating him to keep an eye on him in case he turned out to be Stryfe, then Double Subverted when it turns out that Esme really is into him.
  • Clones Are People, Too: Played around with. Stryfe is Cable's evil clone and creates more Stryfe clones in an attempt to replace Cable in Krakoa, but they are able to kill them all. Then it turns out that since Stryfe needed ten babies for his sacrifice, but only had five, he cloned them, so when the babies were returned to their parents, they each had a twin. The parents, however, were just happy to get their babies back alive and considered the twins to be a bonus, showing that they don't really care if their kids have a clone.
  • Close to Home: Cable takes it VERY personally after learning about a mutant baby kidnapped from his parents. It's pretty obvious he still has some issues from his own kidnapping as an infant which left him stranded thousands of years in the future. His dad is similarly pissed.
  • Dump Them All: Inverted. The Cuckoos all break up with Nathan at once. They send Sophie to inform him of this.
  • Flash Forward: Played With. Issues #1-2 ends with the future version of Cable (as in, the one we are used to after 30+ years of comics history and therefore our past Cable) wandering through the wasteland.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Firmly averted. While previous writers have frequently forgotten about Cable's incredibly powerful telekinetic and telepathic abilities, which are still usually available even he has the virus, here they are on full display, such as in the first issue when Cable uses his telekinesis to gain a combat advantage over Wolverine. In #6, he manages to use his telepathic abilities to contact his parents, Jean and Scott, on Krakoa while he's on another plane of existence. Even they're amazed he was able to reach them.
  • Gladiator Games: The Quarry is one for the mutants of Krakoa. So far there has been one draw (Nightcrawler vs. Blink) and one disqualification (Magik did something to earn it) among the straight victories in its history. Given Apocalypse's status as one of the three most influential mutants on Krakoa as part of the "Autumn" branch of the Quiet Council it is likely he played a large part in crafting these games.
  • Harmful to Minors: Cable's ordeal in #6 (an X of Swords tie-in) leaves him so thoroughly traumatized that Opal Saturnyne rules that that the death of his spirit counts as a defeat in his and Bei's duel to the death.
  • History Repeats: Cable is dealing with an evil clone that's attempting to sacrifice mutant babies in a demonic ritual to open a portal to Hell, just like his parents.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Cable's never been immune to objectification by the fairer sex, but almost every scene in this volume involves other mutants (Armor, the Stepford Cuckoos) Eating the Eye Candy whenever Kid Cable is involved.
  • If You Ever Hurt Her: Emma Frost warns Cyclops not to let his son break her daughters' hearts. (Cable is, however, allowed to break Esme's heart.)
  • Lighter and Softer: Relatively as a premise. Since this is a Cable that hasn't spent over half a century wandering a hellscape this Cable still has the mindset of a teenager wanting to get into skirmishes with fellow mutants and dating pretty girls. Since it's a teen X-Men title, things are likely to get rather darker soon enough.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Cable and his dad Cyclops both independently confront the police in separate scenes, but it's framed the same way both times.
    Detective Molina: Say, is your son still missing?
    Detective DiStefano: 'Cause we might got a hot lead for you.
  • Mythology Gag: Cable tells Fauna he admires his pouches. This is probably a nod to Rob Liefeld's reputation for drawing a ridiculous amount of pouches on his characters, with Cable being no exception.
  • Noodle Incident: Magik did something to get disqualified from the games at the Quarry.
  • Police Are Useless: Cable offers his assistance to the Philadelphia police in tracking down a missing mutant baby, but the cops write him off as a dumb teenager.
  • Polyamory: Cable dates all of the Stepford Cuckoos. Also he dated Armor and Pixie together.
  • Post-Modern Magik: It's revealed that half of the ten mutant babies are clones of the only five they could acquire, so that Stryfe could fill the quota needed to perform his magical ritual. He tells his demonic underlings "it's probably fine".
  • Retcon: Likely due to Screwed by the Lawyers, the Light of Galador is said to belong to the Morn, the first Spaceknight. However, ROM, where the Spaceknight mythos was created, established that ROM himself was the first of the Spaceknights. This is likely because ROM, in his Spaceknight form, is owned by Hasbro and the comic book license for him now belongs with IDW Publishing — this is also what kept him from appearing in his Spaceknight form in other series and has kept any of his Marvel appearances from being reprinted.
  • Retraux: Much like how New Mutants (2019) has an 80s-era aesthetic matching its comics root, Cable has a late 80s action movie style poster reflecting its protagonist's origins.
  • Rogues Gallery Transplant: Aside from their constant enemies, the Dire Wraiths, appearing in the original Lifedeath storyline, the Spaceknights of Galador have rarely interacted with the X-Men in a notable fashion. Here, they're the primary antagonists of the first arc thanks to Cable grasping the Light of Galador.
  • Sequel Hook: The last issue leaves some seeds to be picked up later:
    • The last Space Knight of Galador is transformed by the Light of Galador into literal seeds in order to grow a new Galador.
    • It's revealed in a flashback that Old Man Cable is still with (an older) Esme Cuckoo.
    • One of the clone babies flashes a yellow eye, indicating it might be Stryfe.
  • Shout-Out: Pixie's new uniform seems to be a Shout-Out to the Bride, whose outfit was itself a reference to Bruce Lee's in Game of Death.
  • Take That!: In issue #9 we learn that in Limbo, they torture demons with The Proclaimers songs.
  • Villains Want Mercy: When both Cables take the upper hand on Stryfe he hastily and rather smugly tries to claim amnesty from Krakoa. The two Cables pretend not to hear it and kill him while he's in the middle of pleading for his life.