Exclusive: Cable’s Conundrum Might Corrupt A Legacy
Jul 12, 2017
by Vince Brusio
To have roots that aren’t grounded in a specific time or domicile is grounds for serious psychological examination. A person who’s an army brat is sure to have a psyche different from someone that's raised in the suburbs, sure. Par for the course. But what if your sole existence became a bargaining chip between warring powers? This jigsaw puzzle background that’s sure to put anyone in a corner to draw Rorschach blots isn’t helpful when you have to be focused like a laser on an imminent threat that’s too big to overcome alone. For this reason, we approach the upcoming Cable #150 like a mine field, and we speak with writer Ed Brisson and editor Mark Paniccia to make sure we don’t get blown to bits or lose our heads as we draw closer to Marvel Legacy.
Vince Brusio: Ed, your take on Cable is going to be different from, say, Rob Liefeld or Chris Claremont. The same could be said of Nathan Summers. Who you see is going to be different from the 20/20 vision of Louise Simonson. So who do you see when you put Cable/Nathan under the microscope? What layers do you want to peel away to reveal more of this time-traveler’s psyche?
Ed Brisson: The thing that I find most interesting about Cable is that he’s a man without a place. He doesn’t have anywhere to hang his hat — be it a literal home or even a specific year. He was born in our present, then promptly shot 2,000 years into the future.
Hell, even at his conception, he was a pawn in a war between Mister Sinister and the X-Men. His sacrifice was meant to open a hole between Limbo and earth. As a baby, he was torn between good and evil. Through his life, he’s split between the future and the past.
What that does to his identity, to his own sense of who he is, is something that I’d like to explore as we get into the series. What’s it like to be a man without a place, without real roots, constantly fighting to maintain the lives of those who do.
Vince Brusio Cable is a formidable opponent, to say the least. The man is a telepath, practiced in telekinesis. He's also an expert marksman, and has a leg up given his cybernetic enhancements. So being self-sufficient is not a stretch for him. Yet he has to recruit "newer New Mutants" to help him take on a mutant killer that is too much for him alone to handle. So how does he reconcile his limitations while still putting on the air of a leader? At what point would he not want to let his guard down, given that he doesn't want the students to see that the teacher would also have a hard time passing the qualifying exam?
Ed Brisson: I think one of the marks of a good team leader is the ability to recognize holes in your team and bringing in members to fill those gaps. Not only fill those deficiencies, but also know the best way to utilize each member in order to get the job done.
Cable is pragmatic. For him, there’s the mission and his only focus is not failing it. He’s not going to let his own ego get in the way of that. Nor is he going to abide by anyone else’s ego. Each member of the team, in this case specifically -- and in a very clinical sense -- is a tool needed to achieve their objective.
In this arc, Cable only knows that someone has leapt to the past and killed a mutant in New Orleans. As he peels back the layers of the case, he starts to understand the larger picture of what he’s against and begins to recruit members based on what he needs to accomplish. The team, consisting of Longshot, Shatterstar, Doop, X-23, Blink and Armor each provide a very important skillset needed to find this killer and stop him or her. You take one of them out of the equation and the mission is doomed.
One of the interesting things in writing this is that we’ve set it in the past, which allows Cable to bring in members who he’s worked with 10, 20, 50 years into the future. He knows that they’re capable of things that they may not even be aware of.
Vince Brusio: Mark, your job is particularly sticky in that Cable steps through time. With that in mind, there are land mines everywhere that he can step on once he intersects with previous continuity. If we got a chance to sneak a peek into your office or study, what particular references do you keep on hand to help you navigate the long, winding road of Marvel history? What books would you consider bibles?
Mark Paniccia: It’s going to be dependent on what each story calls for. For this particular arc we’re cross-referencing a lot of different stuff and that takes time for me, associate editor Mark Basso and assistant Chris Robinson. But like you say, it’s a mine field and you’re gonna get a toe or two blown off no matter how careful you are. Comics history is a very unique thing, ever-flowing and changing. That doesn’t stop us from giving you a great story, though.
Vince Brusio: Alright, gents. If you could go keyboard commando, and rank Cable in the hierarchy of heroes for the Marvel Universe, where might he place on the pyramid of importance? Given how he can traipse through counter-clockwise crosswinds one moment, and spring forward the next, is he closer to the top of the food chain? How hard does he tow the line for the Marvel universe?
Ed Brisson: Considering that Cable has gone toe-to-toe with the likes of Apocalypse, Mr. Sinister, Magneto, Bishop, Hulk, Juggernaut, and The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and lived to tell the tale should show that he’s no slouch.
Given the above and how many times his time-traipsing adventures have saved the Marvel U, I’d put him near the top of the Marvel U food-chain. However, he probably doesn’t get the recognition that he deserves. Like all preventative measures, no one notices when they work.
Mark Paniccia: Yeah, he’s a cop and time’s his beat. So just like real world policemen are super important to our safety, Cable is crucial to the safety of the Marvel Universe.
(W) ED BRISSON
(A/CA) JON MALIN
THE NEWER MUTANTS!
The time-traveling mutant known as Cable has made it his one-man mission to preserve all of time itself. But when a disturbance in the timestream sends Cable back to the recent past, he’ll find a mutant killer he won’t be able to handle alone. Cable’s led teams of X-Men before and he’ll have to turn to some old allies and new friends to stop this deadly threat. Get ready for the newer New Mutants!
Look for it in the August Marvel PREVIEWS!
Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.