Saturday, January 19, 2008

Joe Casey Comics: Cable #52

[Continuing my look at Joe Casey's 20-issue run on Cable. New posts Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.]

In this issue, Casey draws a subtle connection between Ch'vayre and the old man, Wilhelm. Ch'vayre is a member of the Askani faith and was set upon a path as a young man to help bring about Cable's fate as saviour of the world while Wilhelm was also seduced by an ideology as a youth, becoming the Nazi super-soldier Master Man. Ch'vayre's beliefs drive him to help the Hellfire Club in their quest to harness Apocalypse's power as he hopes that will cause Cable to act and embrace his role; Wilhelm seeks to escape his past crimes by subscribing to a new ideology, calling himself a Believer, one of those who help Cable. I'm not sure if Casey actually intended to suggest that the Askani faith is similar to the ideology of the Nazis, but it comes off that way here. It could just be a suggestion that any ideological system is, ultimately, corrupt and misguided.

That seems likely as Cable is actually portrayed as a less-than-positive force. He uses his powers without any sense of morality, his mission the only that matters. Team-up with a former Nazi super-soldier? Well, if it helps him do what he needs to do, sure thing. Use telepathy to put Irene to sleep against her will? Again, for "the greater good." The fact that Cable is mysterious and closed off to the reader adds to his ambiguity and potential to be considered a villain.

The end of this issue hammers home the point as the Hellfire forces attack Apocalypse's stronghold and fight against its defences as Cable notes that no matter which side wins, everyone is fucked. There is no good or evil, there are only sides in fights and the only way to tell which side is "better" is by which one wins.

German Garcia provides the art on this issue and his work is decent. His figures are a little blocky, but he isn't vastly different from Ladronn--at least as far as storytelling goes. His page layouts are similar here, possibly purposefully so. While having part five of a six-part story drawn by a fill-in artist sucks, Garcia's work doesn't break the flow much.

What does is the lack of narration from Irene. Here, Casey only uses the third-person omniscient narrator and it detracts from this issue. Particularly when Irene wakes up after Cable used his powers to keep her asleep for hours, a moment that would easily lend itself to Irene's narration, but doesn't. Irene has acted as the reader's entry point into Cable's world for this arc and the lack of her voice is very conspicuous.

On Tuesday, we'll conclude this story.