Title: Cable, Vol 1: Messiah War
Related Series: X-Men
Authors: Duane Swierczynski, illustrated by Ariel Olivetti
Rating: 3/5 stars
Challenge: 100 Books 10, 1010 Challenge (Graphic novel category)
Is she mutantkind's last hope... or its final damnation? Cable, the former mercenary and time-traveling X-Man, is given the task of protecting the last offspring of the dying mutant race, but by ensuring her survival, he may also guarantee its extinction. Bishop, the cop from the future and traitor to the X-Men, stalks Cable and the infant in the lawless New Jersey of 2043, determined that the nightmare future he grew up in must never come to pass. Now, aided by an old ally, Cable must decide if he should continue running or face Bishop, while bringing hope to a hopeless land. Crime novelist Duane Swierczynski (Moon Knight: Annual #1) and artist Ariel Olivetti (Punisher War Journal) team-up to put a new twist on a beloved X-Men mainstay, as Cable must balance hard-edged soldier with nurturing father. Collects Cable #1-5.
So, I can imagine that quite a few people will give me crap about reading comics and graphic novels. I'm sure every time one of these posts rolls across on my FB wall or even on my LT thread, there are going to be some that roll their eyes, mumbling something under their breath about comics being for kid and move on. And, you know what? I'm OK with that, because they are missing out on some just plain fun reading.
Like any story-telling medium, there are going to be highs and lows in the story, but when you're working with 40+ years of history behind you, it's just bound to happen. The X-Men have been around since 1963, so there is quite a bit of history and back story that each new creative team needs to try to stay true too, while infusing their own particular brand of creativity into the characters. In most cases, this is what keeps the story and characters fresh. In the case of the stories going on right now within the X-Men titles, there has been a fairly significant event (if you frequent this blog, it's the oft-mentioned Messiah Complex), and even in that one event, you can get highs and lows in the story and its spin off series. However, in some cases, even the lows need to be read and appreciated because they may have repercussions on the overall story that may make their worth more significant in the long run than what the immediate story provides.
This new Cable series is one of those cases. I didn't feel like the story really had any merit other than setting up a larger arena for the story to play out in later. I'm a little behind on some of these side series, but am still somewhat familiar with what is happening in the current stories, so I know that what is happening here may not seem all that interesting, but farther down the road, these stories may mean more.
Cable escapes into the future with the mutant child born during Messiah Complex, to keep her alive since Bishop seems hell bent on killing her, as he sees her as the cause of his alternate reality, while Cable and the rest of the X-Men see her as the beginning of the future for them. Bishop follows Cable, and through some rather too convenient circumstances, tracks Cable and the child to the New Jersey of 2043, and confronts them, trying to kill both. Cable, after several issues of trying to travel back in time even though he seems unable to, finally figures out that he can still forward in time, and jumps just in the nick of time, leaving Bishop behind and having to start his search all over again. So basically, I felt that we arrived right back at the beginning of the story again, just with Cable and the child farther into the future. Did this seem worth it right now? Not really. Will there be some significance to the events in this volume that will be important in later stories? Possibly. And that's why I'm willing to give it a chance into the next volume. It's like putting the pieces of a puzzle together, and you don't always know when one piece that has been eluding you is finally going to come together with the larger picture.