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Cable #9

Posted: Tuesday, December 2, 2008
By: Steven M. Bari

Duane Swierczynski
Ariel Olivetti
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Cable #9 arrives in stores Thursday, December 4.

Plot: Cable proves that besides being a cautious tactician, he's also a selfless hero. Meanwhile, Bishop is developing to be just the opposite. Bombs away!

Comments: Although I've had my quibbles with Swierczynski's narrative, this issue restores my faith in the series. Swierczynski has developed Cable's antagonist Bishop into a truly formidable and serious nemesis. For the super solider who has a hundred ulterior plans for every eventuality, Cable now must face the myopic fatalism of his ruthless predator.

Bishop becomes a seriously demented character in this issue. Without spoiling too much, there is a scene where Bishop tortures his fellow mutants while simultaneously giving a remorseful reproach for his actions. "My beloved X-Men," he soothes. "There's one thing you have to know above all else. I didn't betray you… You have to trust that I would never do anything to hurt you." You might believe him too, if it weren't for the tormented faces of his fellow X-Men. Despite losing ethical standards and committing unspeakable acts of violence, Bishop maintains his vigilance against the messiah baby as the good guy.

It's a pretty frightening scenario for our hero, and Olivetti does a great job balancing the devastation and the lighter moments. When Cable meets the woman who would become the messiah child's surrogate mother, the two do not take a liking to each other. Olivetti slowly turns the tension up over a series of panels as the woman nags Cable about raising the child. Cable's attitude is at first aloof, and then becomes more and more aware of her presence until he turns around to tell her off. The little romantic scuffle is nicely paced to balance out the events of the book and gives weight to new character. Yet judging by the fact that she doesn't have name, Olivetti may not be drawing her for long.

Final Word: Overall, Cable #9 settles the series back into the massive conflict between two men and their ideologies. To kill the child or not to kill the child? That should be an easy question to answer but Swierczynski and Olivetti add enough surprises, including bug-human hybrids and cameos from every other X-book, to keep us interested in the eventual solution.

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