Review by Ian Keogh
Cable was a rare misfire among Marvel’s rebooted X-Men franchise series gathering almost every mutant on the island of Krakoa. It’s not that Gerry Duggan didn’t produce what’s essentially a decent long self-contained story over ten chapters, nor that it wasn’t well enough drawn by Phil Noto. The problem is inbuilt when it comes to the basic concept of taking an almost indestructible brute with a massive gun and converting him into an uncertain teenager. While not everyone loves the previous version, the revision isn’t an idea capable of sustaining a series under the Cable title.
This is patched over during the opening four chapters, originally released in paperback as Vol. 1. Duggan instils a joy of life into a character whose previous fixation was ending lives, fixes him up with a telepathic girlfriend and a massive sword, and the assorted guest stars slot in well.
Noto’s precise style on Cable would be at odds with any earlier version, but helps set the tone here, conveying the younger Cable still finding his way in the world, and providing an emotional finesse that surely no earlier version has seen. The worst that can be said about his art is that places sometimes seen woefully underpopulated.
It’s with the middle section that the wheels start to come off, available in paperback as Vol. 2. It follows a detour into X of Swords, not featured here, which has affected Cable, so when he returns to pick up an investigation into missing mutant babies he’s introspective and self-questioning. That’s not what we want from Cable in any version.
A thrilling final chapter wraps everything up neatly and opens the door to new possibilities, but too much before then strikes the wrong note. It makes this hardback possibly worthwhile for Noto’s biggest fans, but otherwise it collects a rare mis-step for the great mutant reboot of 2019.