Nathan Summers, child of Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Jean Grey (Phoenix), came from a possible future into his past in order to fight the forces of Apocalypse and Stryfe. An icon of the 1990′s Rob Leifeld’s Cable was all bulging muscles and little fanny packs strapped to his body. Nevertheless, he took off in a big way with readers and remains popular today.
When he was last seen in Second Coming, Cable was in a bad way. His body overwhelmed by the techno-organic virus, sacrificing himself so that his fellow mutants could live. While he was a big hit with readers when he was initially introduced, his last monthly series in which he protected the first mutant birth since M-Day, Hope, cemented in place his heroic character.
Of course, no one stays dead in the Marvel Universe, least of all mutants. The creative team behind the Red Hulk, Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness, have reunited to bring Cable back to life in a big way. The Cable Reborn series was announced earlier this Summer, but it was hinted that it was more complicated than just a revival of Cable.
Following the release of a mysterious image yesterday that would seem to suggest the Avengers are in somebody’s sights in December, Marvel held its latest “Next Big Thing” press conference call to reveal more details of this project, including who the creative team might be. CBR was on hand to bring you all the updates from the call.
Arune Singh, Marvel’s Director of Communications, took on the role of moderator. SVP of Publishing Tom Brevoort, Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness were all on the call.
“‘X-Sanction’ is sort of the starting gun or the opening flare” for events coming up throughout the Marvel U, Brevoort said. Loeb added, “Ed and I were looking for, as we like to say, the next big thing, and I think a lot of folks who know my work know I have an enormous affection for Cable and not just his role in the X-Men universe but his role in the Marvel Universe proper.” He also said he was “devastated” by Cable’s death.
“I always saw Cable as the Captain America of the X-Men universe,” Loeb said, a soldier out of his own time striving to help people.
He said McGuinness can convey “the Kirby power” inherent in Cable, noting that an important part of Cable’s character is tempering power with heart. The heart of Cable’s return will focus on the idea of “what do you do if you think something’s going to happen to your daughter” — Hope, of course, was raised by Cable, before Nathan Summers sacrificed himself.
As to how Cable’s mission relates to the Avengers, Loeb said he “doesn’t want to give away too much,” but “how Cable survived ‘Messiah Complex’ and ‘Second Coming’ — and I do consider those one big arc — if there had been even a hint that the Avengers had something to do with Hope’s future, he would… do something to them.” Loeb was very cautious, but Brevoort was happy to be slightly more forthcoming with “X-Sanction” details.
Brevoort said the event puts Cable in conflict with characters readers aren’t used to seeing him with. “The definition of Cable as a father out to protect his daughter by any means necessary gives the character a weight and heft you can relate to on a very human level.” There are also “some larger situations going on” for both Nate and the Avengers.
McGuinness said he enjoys drawing these match-ups and team-ups that haven’t been seen before.
Talking about his longtime collaboration with McGuinness, Loeb noted that their first project was the “Wolverine ’96 Annual.” “It’s always dangerous to evoke someone who is a titan in our business as Jack Kirby is, but like Jack, with Ed McGuinness the pages are almost too small for the action he’s putting down.”
Loeb also noted aspects of “Commando” and “Terminator” in Cable’s history, but praised McGuinness for being able to bring out the quiet moments, as well. McGuinness said working with Loeb is “like coming back home.” “We’re really symbiotic with some of the ideas,” McGuinness added. “It’s really fun to see some of the things I’ve suggested, he’s taken and run with them and made them really cool.”
The first press question was on accessibility. Loeb noted that, yes, every comic is some fan’s first, but Cable also has a huge fanbase. “What you really want to know is that this man’s daughter is in danger, and he will do anything to protect her — that’s all you need to know.” He added, “It’s the writer’s responsibility to make it emotionally true,” making “everything else fall together.”
Asked if this would be action-oriented in the way Loeb and McGuinness’ “Hulk” was, Loeb noted that Cable and Hulk are very different characters. “This is a story that has a beginning, middle and end, and a definite arc for who Cable is,” Loeb said. But, “you are talking about a character who is very capable as a soldier, a strategist, and doesn’t play by the same rules the other Marvel heroes do.”
Cable is, Loeb confirmed, “a total badass.”