On September 2, Marvel Comics releases Cable #4, one the first X-title to carry a “Path to X of Swords” banner on its cover. Writer Gerry Duggan, artist Phil Noto, and letterer VC’s Joe Sabino bring Cable’s current fight with the Knights of Galador to an end while teasing more adventures to come.
Duggan and company open this issue by exploring the background of the Knights of Galador, and their story is indeed tragic, which doesn’t quite matter since they could potentially destroy the Earth.
As Cable and Esme acknowledge that they can’t allow old Cable’s time machine to fall into their hands, they plot their escape through a Krakoan gate, while Cable pulls a neat timey-whimey trick to sabotage the time machine with a nuclear bomb.
There is also a fun sequence at the end of the issue where Nathan returns to the Summers home and tells his parents about his adventure to his Scott and Jean like a kid telling his parents about his day at school. It’s a very playful, humanizing touch in a book that could be dour and serious, but isn’t.
Art & Colors
Cable continues to be one of the best-drawn X-books (perhaps THE best). Noto does exquisite character drawings, and one of the more surprisingly delightful parts of the last few issues has been seeing the facial expressions and interactions between Nathan and Esme. Traditionally, the Stepford Cuckoos were always a bit intimidating and a bit of an add-on to Emma Frost’s character. Noto, however, has helped to flesh out and give expression to Esme’s individual character, and it’s been interesting to watch her be vulnerable with Cable. Also, the look that Emma Frost gives Cable when he brings Esme home a day late from their date is priceless!
In past issues, Noto differentiated the scenes between old and young Cable by the way they were colored in. Usually, the young Cable timeline had a watercolor, brushstroke look, while future Cable was solid colors. Noto switches his color scheme, and it’s unclear if that reflects a change in story focus at all.
Sabino’s letters work well in tandem with Noto’s art in the scene involving Cable and Esme’s return to Krakoa (a day late).
It is quite apparent from the panel before this that Esme and Nathan had planned on “doing it” right before Emma caught them. Sabino’s subtle shrinking of Nathan’s name does a good job capturing the tone of a parent who begrudgingly acknowledges the boyfriend that they don’t care for.
Elsewhere, Sabino’s prose pages set up a future confrontation with the last Knight of Galador. At the same time, a message from the X-Desk serves to remind readers that the missing mutant baby story and the Order of X are still ongoing, although with X of Swords on the horizon, who knows when it might be resolved.
Cable continues to be a fun, well-drawn book. There is a playfulness to this young Cable that was lacking in his older self. He seems genuinely happy, so I’m waiting for the Duggan and company to pull the rug out from under him. This is only the fourth issue, though, so let’s enjoy the good times while they last.
What did you think of Cable #4? Tell us in the comments below!