WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS up to Cable #152
The time-traveling mutant Cable is assembling a new team, but it may be the villain who's actually trying to save the world. That's the unexpected wrinkle coming in Cable #153 releasing later this week. Thanks to our exclusive preview of the story's next chapter, it looks like Cable has just scratched the surface of the real problem at hand, tossing him into the deep end of immortal mutants, resurrected Externals, and the fate of planet Earth itself. But you don't need to be a die-hard Marvel Comics fans to appreciate the real bombshell: that for all his guns and muscle, sometimes Cable has no idea what the future holds.
The creative team of writer Ed Brisson and artist Jon Malin is one of many new combinations assembled for the return-to-roots Marvel Legacy initiative, intended to put the publisher's biggest heroes back into the biggest spotlights. That means bringing Wolverine back to life, the potential return of the Fantastic Four, and for Cable, awarding him a team reminiscent of his original New Mutant strike team. And to give them a challenge worth tackling, some of Cable's earlier mutant enemies have returned: the Externals.
A new Legacy numbering jumps Cable's 'title' run to 150 issues, with Cable #150 kicking off "The Newer Mutants" arc with the death of a supposedly-unkillable mutant External. With the story set thirteen years in the past of Marvel's current universe, Cable decides to augment his team of Shatterstar, Longshot, and Doop with the powers of Armor and X-23 (still years away from becoming an X-Man, and the new Wolverine, respectively). The first three issues of the story saw the remaining Externals circle the wagons against whatever was killing them, with the last issue seeming to reveal the mystery.
The killer is Gideon, who sends an army of monsters against Cable's team while criticizing his "lone authority" to determine the future. The scenes left Gideon enough wiggle room to be more than this story's 'villain,' and in these preview pages of Cable #153, the truth comes out. Apparently, Gideon's role in this story actually began thousands of years... in the future:
It's a nice touch for the story to begin with the husk of Gideon's body, after it appeared in the previous issue (as Gideon in his current state, according to his A.I. servant Eve). As these pages reveal, the Gideon doing the External-killing is the version from the future - the husk after it wakes in the 5300s. To find that the world has ended, and humanity reduced to mindless, mutated creatures, no less. From there Brisson and Malin don't spell Gideon's entire plot out, but it can be inferred. Bending the humanoid creatures to his will and finding evidence of where this apocalypse began, the immortal can have only one objective. Even without the graffiti revealing that the end of the world "STARTED HERE" at the Xavier School, Cable's time-travel-tech arm leaves Gideon with motive, means, and opportunity.
Using the arm to travel back to the current timeline (or thirteen years before it), it's possible Gideon is trying to kill Externals to make the future better. It's hard to say if that argument will sway Cable's mission at all, but we'll need to wait for the rest of the issue to tell.
Check out a full synopsis for the issue below:
CABLE (2017) #153
Published: January 10, 2018
Rating: Rated T+
Writer: Ed Brisson
Penciler: Jon Malin
Cover Artist: Jon Malin
THE NEWER MUTANTS Part 4. EXTERNALS RISING! In the hunt for the EXTERNALS killer, a blast from CABLE’S past is revealed! Have Cable and the New Mutants walked straight into the killer’s trap? And what is BLINK’s role in all of this? Whose side is she really on?
Cable #153 hits local comic shops and digital services on January 10, 2018.