PAST FEARS, PART 2: With Cable having absorbed the techno-organic entity known as Metus, we take a look back at how he got to this point. We may know that Hope and Cable survive the future, but find out how Hope first learns of Metus.
Authors: Lonnie Nadler & Zac Thompson
Artists: German Peralta
Colors: Jesus Arburtov
Letters: Travis Lanham
Publisher: Marvel Comics
What You Need to Know:
When there were no more mutants, one was born: Hope. Bishop sought to kill Hope, believing she was the child that would cause his own horrible future, but Cable wanted to protect Hope. To do so, he took her into the future. But Bishop, with an arm stolen from Forge and equipped with a time device, followed them.
In the present day, Cable and Hope have finally reconciled, but a technorganic creature from Cable’s past, Metus, has shown up, using Hope as bait to draw out the future soldier. They fight until Cable absorbs Metus, taking the technorganic body into his own.
What You’ll Find Out:
We don’t get to find out what happens immediately following the last issue. Not yet. Instead, we’re treated to some of Cable’s past. If you’ve read Cable’s last series (I highly recommend it), it jumped around quite a bit. After all, Hope grew from a baby to a teenager during it. And so there’s plenty of room for extra stories.
And so we get some of those. We get Cable taking Hope (only 6-8 years old here) through the apocalyptic future, still running from Bishop, but also keeping her safe from roaming gangs that occupy a country no longer united. Cable and Hope talk about her learning how to fire a gun. They encounter Bishop. For the most part, it’s a grand old time as Cable keeps them on the move, always running.
Sometime later, they hide out in an abandoned gas station. Hope finds Wolverine and is overjoyed…until Wolverine turns out to be some sort of techno organic monster: Metus. Even as Cable and Hope fight a losing battle, Bishop shows up to add an extra level of difficulty, fighting Metus himself as Metus tries to absorb his own metal arm. Cable leaves the two to fight as he grabs Hope and runs outside.
The station explodes with Metus and Bishop inside it, but Hope is furious at her father. She isn’t safe like he promised. They should’ve stayed with X-Force. But now, they’re on their own and on the run. Cable, with a heavy heart at her loss of faith in her father, tries for one last teleport, hoping that they can stop running for a while.
What Just Happened?
So when introducing a villain who is supposedly so ingrained into a hero’s past, you can’t just drop them in without any real backstory. We got a little bit last issue, and we get even more this issue. In fact, we get an entire book devoted to it.
But Metus isn’t the star of this book. It’s Hope and Cable and their relationship. Metus barely shows up, but we do get a lot of Cable and Hope interaction.
And it’s a nice change of pace. So often, Cable is portrayed as a soldier with very little thought given to who he is underneath. We often forget that some of his best character development was when he took on the role as a father. And here, we get to see that almost exclusively (along with a little training under Redd and Slym mixed in).
It’s a great change of pace for Cable, showing that Thompson and Nadler clearly understand who Cable is. He’s more than just a man covered in pouches. He’s more than a caricature with guns. He was a father and while Hope may not be his flesh and blood but she is his daughter. Their relationship is what really drives this book and provides some of the more memorable and touching scenes.
It’s not just their relationship that we experience. We get to see Cable experiencing true fear. As fathers, we all try and keep our worries from our children, especially when they are young. They don’t understand that we all feel fear. And Cable’s better than most at this. But here, he cannot keep his fear to himself. He lets it slip. Fear for Hope. Fear for himself. Fear of Metus.
Amazingly, this may be the most human portrayal of Cable.
Final Thoughts: Nadler and Thompson continues what is turning out to be one of my favorite Cable stories as they offer what is possibly the most human version of the future mutant soldier.
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