Cable is an interesting character who is mysterious as much as he is badass. It’s possible he’s mysterious because he’s always wrapped up in convoluted mutant story that has no time to give any non main characters a second. Marvel gave him his own time to shine in this week’s Cable Vol. 1: Conquest which captures a time travelling adventure worth reading.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Speak softly – and carry a huge gun! Cable is embarking on a new mission – with the fate of all that is on his shoulders! When he picks up the trail of a threat to the timestream, he sets off on a high-speed, centuries-spanning chase to save reality as we know it. From the dawn of everything to the modern day, Cable is the only man who can keep history from unraveling! Following his target back to feudal Japan, he’s met with decidedly futuristic warriors! Then, with Cable caught in a Mayan death trap, an unlikely ally rears his head! As an army assembles from throughout the ages to fight at his side, Cable will face Conquest in a battle for time itself!
Why does this matter?
This trade paperback collects a five issue story arc; written by James Robinson, with art by Carlos Pacheco and Yildiray Cinar, Cable Vol. 1: Conquest has a fun adventure style story with Cable fighting to save the time stream. Robinson plotted out quite a fun story here as it cuts from different times showing an adventure that’s untethered from the convoluted X-Men storylines — which allows him to be a badass on his own.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Check out that tech!
This story kicks off with a bang, opening in the old West, which suits a character like Cable who sports all kinds of guns. Talk about a natural yet strange thing to see with Cable walking around in a saloon. From there the story cuts to new locations and times in each chapter as Cable chases down a man who wants to conquer everything. Robinson does a good job laying out the stakes and pushing the reader to understand time is of the essence. As the story progresses Cable must fight off warriors from different times sporting futuristic tech. We’re talking Aztes with hologram blades and more. It’s a cool concept and I could easily see it as a solid solo film.
As the story progresses from ancient Japan to the age of dinosaurs the art team does a great job pushing the adventure up a notch. Pacheco draws the first three issues, using interesting vertically long panels that widen the action in a different kind of way. Cinar closes out the last two issues and delivers epic double and full-page spreads that help sell the climactic moments. Overall the art looks sharp and keeps you on the edge of your seat. A major highlight is the futuristic tech the ancient warriors are sporting, which are colored beautifully and set the juxtaposition up of the ancient setting with future influence well.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The story suffers from decompression and probably would have been best as a three issue arc. A lot of pages can be read quickly as there are little dialogue and mostly slow moving action on the page. The fact is, you can read this entire collection in 10 minutes, but that leads to another obvious issue.
The conclusion to the story is a bit of a let down in part because it’s a big twist that ends up feeling a bit cheap. Cable was never a strategist, but he did have great tech, and in this conclusion he has the latter but the strategy element comes as a surprise. That’s because Robinson spends a lot of time setting up the mastery of the villain and his ability to conquer timelines only to have him lose because of a missight. Sure, we know Cable is going to win, but he does so outwitting a villain in a rather simplistic way.
A comic called Cable might make you think it would have some solid character work but unfortunately the fast pace gives Cable zero time to talk or think. Instead he’s reacting to attacks or plotting things without telling the reader. Instead we sort of follow along with a distance from the character in a bit of a cold way.
Is It Good?
If you want a fast paced adventure story that hopes through time you’ll love this. It may be too fast, and it lacks interesting character development, but it’s good for an exciting time travel adventure.