Marvel‘s Dawn of X initiative continues to roll along with the debut of Cable #1! Creators Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto are handling the adventures of the recently rejuvenated soldier from the future. Does the first issue of the series set Cable on the right course?
We’ve got a rousing discussion of that title, plus your weekly Rapid Rundown of other new releases from the House of Ideas, all ahead in the latest installment of The Marvel Rundown!
Written by Gerry Duggan
Illustrated by Phil Noto
Lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino
Design work by Tom Muller
Cover by Phil Noto
(Warning: This discussion contains spoilers for Cable #1.)
Joe Grunenwald: Another week means another new X-Men book as Cable gets a solo series! What did you all think of the young Nathan Summers’ debut outing?
Hussein Wasiti: I had a pretty good time reading this. Walking in, I really didn’t know what a book about Young Cable could be about but I walked away kind of excited to read more. If anything, this book could be a spotlight on young mutants that New Mutants isn’t really depicting all to well for me. And of course, this is the most visually distinctive book we’ve had yet with the awesome Phil Noto as artist.
Chloe Maveal: I have to admit, at first I was mostly drawn into the book because Noto is a fantastic artist, so the visuals caught me. But as it progressed I got more into it. I can dig on the idea of more young mutant stories; especially if they’re going to give us a new side of the story. I’m with Hussein in that by the end I was like “yeah, alright, I can see myself reading more of this.” Which is another welcome breath of fresh air considering how exhausted I am by X-Men titles at the moment.
Grunenwald: I also really had no idea what to expect from this book beyond pretty Phil Noto visuals, which is enough to get me interested in just about anything if I’m being honest. This ended up being a lot of fun, though. I’m really enjoying the somewhat more mellow Wolverine that we’ve been seeing around the Dawn of X titles, so having him in the opening scene helped bring me into it. Beyond that, the story and Duggan’s script is just damn entertaining, and unexpectedly funny.
Wasiti: I think in a few years’ time we’ll look over Duggan’s career at Marvel and wonder why the hell we haven’t been singing his praises the entire time. I’ve read a lot of his stuff, and none of it has been bad or mediocre in any way. This guy injects so much humour and heart into his stories and the X-Men is helping him produce the best stuff of his career so far. He has such a grasp on character and subtle humour that I can’t help but be extremely charmed by a book that I kind of had no interest in reading.
Maveal: That’s the one thing I was really hoping to see when I saw his name on the title page. I associate Duggan with being a fairly solid script writer, but ultimately known for his tongue-in-cheek jabs and humor. So it was good to see him playing to his strengths again with this first issue while still delivering on what we’ve come to expect from this new rebirth of X-Men.
Grunenwald: Most definitely. Cable is a surprisingly funny character here, and I also really enjoyed his interactions with his fellow younger mutants like Pixie and Armor, and the way he doesn’t blink an eye at both protecting a younger, weaker mutant and also at disobeying orders when it’s necessary. I feel like I have a really good sense of a character I knew virtually nothing about going in after just reading this issue. There were also several completely unexpected story elements in this issue that delighted me to no end.
Wasiti: I like how it follows grand X-Men tradition and features some weird space plot that will eventually coincide with whatever’s happening on Earth. It feels very true-to-form while also feeling fresh.
Grunenwald: And Cable gets a sword, so this could all just be set up for X of Swords. But the space stuff is the stuff that really delighted me. I don’t know how much has been revealed already but I did not expect to see anything even remotely related to Rom: Spaceknight from Marvel ever again. I have fond memories of that character from when I was a kid, even if I don’t remember all the particulars about him.
Maveal: So they basically made this issue just for you, Joe, haha
Grunenwald: Pretty much! I’ll take it.
Maveal: I have to say that one thing I liked was there was a little bit of fable-like storytelling in there. I picked up a very literal “thorn that gets pulled from the lion’s paw” vibe in there, so I’m interested to see if there’s going to be more ideas like that, that hint at “small things can make a big difference” as a message. I can easily see that being something that could fit into a young Cable story, given the character’s background.
Wasiti: I had the same thought about the sword, Joe. This is totally going to lead into the upcoming summer event, or at least play a part in the lead-up.
Grunenwald: I also appreciated how accessible this was. Aside from providing a good intro for Cable, it also didn’t require a ton of foreknowledge of what’s been going on on Krakoa. I didn’t know the island had, uh, eaten a monster island? But the hows and whys of that don’t feel super-important so much as knowing it happened and getting to the story. Accessibility without a lot of exposition is my favorite kind. Did you find it to be easy to get into?
Wasiti: That happened in an issue of X-Men by Jonathan Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu. But your point still stands, this is almost completely accessible to anyone who hasn’t been keeping up with the Dawn of X books.
Grunenwald: Ha, I’ve read every issue of that series and I have no memory of this. Okay, so that’s on me.
Maveal: Yes…and also no? Like it was easily readable and I didn’t feel like I needed the context for those little tidbits, but I almost felt weird for having not known them? Almost like it felt placed to entice you to go back and read any of the X-books that we may not have picked up. But I guess in that respect, good on them for the upsell. It still makes for a fun, laughable idea even if you don’t get the reference back to the previous X-Men issue.
Wasiti: Exactly. It works as an actual, in-world reference to another event while also coming across as a throwaway joke to those who may not be familiar.
Grunenwald: They could very easily have included an old-school editor’s note saying “It happened in the latest X-Men!” as a way to really blatantly cross-promote the books.
Maveal: I miss those cheeky editor’s notes…
Grunenwald: I know, I joke but that would’ve been kind of nice. Anything else either of you want to add about this book before we get to verdicts?
Wasiti: I want to say again that Phil Noto is a wizard.
Grunenwald: Three words: Hand-lettered. Sound. Effects.
Maveal: We love to see it.
Grunenwald: This might be the most fun Dawn of X book yet. Entertaining characterization and spectacular art make this an easy BUY for me.
Wasiti: This is a clear BUY. It’s gorgeous and entertaining as hell, and it looks like we’re going to get a crazy sci-fi story to boot.
Maveal: I’m very here for young mutant stories and a legitimately playful vibe being brought to Krakoa for a change. Whether you’ve been reading religiously since the beginning or you’re starting to burn out, this is a pretty solid BUY that is easy to enjoy.
Final Verdict: Cable #1 gets a unanimous BUY verdict from the Rundown crew!
- Avengers #32
- In another one-shot, Jason Aaron, Ed McGuinness, and Francesco Manna examine the various enemies the Avengers have faced in recent months and sets the stage for their eventual partnership. This was a fantastic, ominous issue with an absolutely killer ending page that you don’t want spoiled. Aaron’s run has felt a little disjointed but every once in a while he throws out a reminder that it’s all connected. This is one of those reminders. —HW
- Hawkeye: Freefall #4
- Things have gotten out of hand for Clint. This was a hilarious, packed issue by Matthew Rosenberg and Otto Schmidt as Hawkeye tries to juggle his Ronin persona with his own battle against the Hood. Hijinks of the utmost ridiculousness ensue, providing for the best issue of the series yet.
- Marvels Snapshots: Sub-Mariner #1
- Alan Brennert and Jerry Ordway tell a tale of the Marvel Universe immediately post-World War II as the heroes of the All-Winners Squad reckon with what they experienced in battle. This is a continuity-heavy one-shot, with a long-forgotten character — Namor’s human one-time girlfriend, Betty Dean — at the center of it, and virtually no explanation of who she is or how they came to be together. The result feels like exactly what the title of this series of books suggests: a snapshot of a moment in Marvel’s history. In that respect this book is a resounding success. —JG
- Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #1
- The seedy underbelly of the Star Wars universe is the focus of this new ongoing series from Ethan Sacks, Paolo Villanelli, and Arif Prianto. If you’re not already familiar with the character Valance you’re not going to get much of an introduction here beyond ‘cybernetic bounty hunter,’ but then that’s pretty much all you need to know. Sacks, Villanelli, and Prianto set up a story with personal stakes for the three characters at the center of the series — Valance, Bossk, and Boba Fett — and an interesting mystery at its center. If you’re into the non-lightsaber-y part of Star Wars, you’ll enjoy this one a lot. —JG
- Star Wars: Darth Vader #2
- After the bombshell cliffhanger of issue #1, Greg Pak and Raffaele Ienco lead Darth Vader to face his past when he confronts [SPOILER]. As a person who has mixed feelings about the prequels, this storyline helps to smooth some of those ruffled feathers using flashbacks to give Anakin’s romance with Padmé and his transformation into Vader more depth and feeling. In addition, they still propel the current plot of Vader’s journey of vengeance working to uncover the individuals who plotted to keep Luke from him. —GC
- Greg Pak and Raffaele Ienco pick up right where the last issue ended, and the revelation of who Darth Vader is facing is actually much more interesting than it seemed than it did last issue. I don’t want to spoil the reveal, but Pak and Ienco’s use of flashback panels works particularly well in this issue as Vader relives some past events. This is actually a noticeable improvement over the first issue which I already quite liked, so I highly recommend this. —HW
Next week, the young heroes of the Marvel U are Outlawed!