CABLE #4-8 (1993-1994): Tolliver revealed

Art Thibert, Rob Liefeld, James Reddington, Bill Wylie, & Scott Koblish – Penciler

Dwayne Turner / Aron Wiesenfeld – Penciler

Here’s the problem: Cable’s solo book has a cast of dozens of people with vague backstories and who all look very, very similar–often distinguishable only by an eyepatch or bionic limib. And I don’t really care about any of them. It’s very hard to get invested when I only see someone for two or three pages per issue.

Anyway, Kane and Cable (just realized how close that sounds to Cain and Abel) are back from the future, and they have an altercation with SHIELD agent GW Bridge until Cable agrees to use his futuristic tech knowledge to help their former “Six-Pack” teammate Hammer walk again. And in order to do that, they have to fight and yell a lot. Sometimes with each other, sometimes with Sinsear, Vanessa “Copycat” Carlysle, Deadpool, etc. Hammer it turns out doesn’t want Cable’s help, so they fight with him, too. Hammer doesn’t want to be part machine, like Cable. He’d rather not walk than have fake implanted legs. Which is, frankly, just a stupid thing that makes no sense. It might make sense if Hammer had been developed as a character, but that’s not going to happen.

At the same time, Cable’s space station, Graymalkin, has been blown up and X-Force has tech from it.  At Cable’s request (before he got lost in time), Domino is hunting down X-Force, but now Bridge tells Cable that Hammer and Grizzly–the last two 6-packers–are working with Domino, along with Vanessa-the-Domino-impersonator, so Cable’s afraid they’ll get their hands on Graymalkin and use it to attack him.

Confused?  Me too.  Everyone is friends and everyone is enemies.  But don’t worry, none of it really matters.

At the end of #5, we’re reminded that it’s been over a year and we still have no idea who Tolliver is.

It’s good we’re reminded because I forget all the things I’m supposed to care about.

So, Cable decides to go after Tolliver, Deadpool’s employer, after learning he’s a time-traveler too.  This begins the “Fathers and Sons” arc, which spans issues #6-8.

Domino is going to help, but then Mr. Sinister shows up.  But don’t worry.  By the end of these issues, we know that Tolliver is Cable’s own son, Tyler.

And they have to argue with Mr. Sinister about that/

Somehow Sinister makes Cable fight his friends, we learn that Cable got the Legacy Virus as a kid and was cloned, and the clone was raised by Apocalypse, and grew up to be Stryfe, who is now back in the “present time,” just like Cable.  So they’re clone bros.  And Stryfe has the cure for the Legacy virus.  Oh, and Sinister tells Cable how he altered Madelyn Pryor, Cable’s mommy, which we already knew.

We really should care that Cable is Madelyn’s son–and not Jean’s kid. Jean cares.

But, again, there is SO MUCH crammed into every issue that I just…Don’t. I don’t care.

So there’s a lot of “information” in these issues, but not much actually “happens.”  Just lots of dramatic talk….

Meanwhile, since he is Cable’s clone/twin, Stryfe uses misdirection to kiss Siryn. Which constitutes sexual assault.

And also to shoot Richter in the face.

Of course Richter doesn’t die. Tons of guns but nobody ever dies.

These are just toxic masculinity comics. Steroids on steroids. Endless violence.

Not much more than that. The writing is fine, but Nicieza is a scene writer not a script writer (at least for this series he is), making stuff just not hang together. There’s just too much of everything here, and the good parts are swallowed up in the chaos.

There’s also a crapload of artists, which further indicates that these issues were developed piecemeal and rushed. Tony Daniel does a pin-up for #7.

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