Thursday, February 07, 2008

Joe Casey Comics: Cable #58

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

An interesting issue as Casey explores Cable's messianic elements and sets up the four-part "Nemesis Contract" storyline along with laying the foundation for "The Twelve."

After last issue's allusion to the elimination of all psionic powers, Cable lacks telepathy and, more importantly, telekinesis--which keeps his techno-organic virus at bay. Blaquesmith sends him to a small Greek island to retreive an object, the Psimitar, an Askani weapon he used in his youth that allows him to focus his powers--as he still has a shred of telekinesis left.

At the sanctuary on this island is a small cult devoted to Cable and worship him as the "chosen one." Well, except for one member who sees him as a false prophet or something and resents Cable to telling them to leave that life and rejoin the world. I'm not a fan of the doubter because it comes off as cliche and why is there always one in these fanatical cults? It bothers me for some reason.

That part of the issue is drawn by Ed McGuinness with skill. His style is quite different from Ladronn's, but it doesn't feel as out of place as Ryan Benjamin's work on the previous two issues. Of course, McGuinness knows how to tell a story well, so...

The other part of the issue, drawn by Ladronn, has a secret meeting on the SHIELD helicarrier involving shady businessmen and semi-rogue agents that concerns Cable. This allows Casey to recap some of the past events involving the character in set-up for "The Nemesis Contract." The men involved want to capture Cable and attempt to remove the techno-organic parts of his body so they can adapt it for their technological uses. Their solution is using Agent 18, who will be introduced next issue as Agent Jack Truman, the man who will eventually star in Deathlok, which I've already discussed.

The Ladronn pages are set apart from those of McGuinness because they are very cramped with most pages containing nine panels, all small and filled with dialogue. Although, during Agent Quartermain's briefing on Cable's activities, Casey is smart and doesn't put any dialogue in the panels that show Cable's past activities, allowing unobstructed Ladronn action panels--tiny action panels, actually, that show off how good Ladronn is as he fits a lot of detail into those small panels.

This mixture of looser and more compressed storytelling does give the issue and odd feel, but Casey compensates by using Irene's narration in the McGuinness pages.

What I enjoy is that Casey's plans for the character were obviously altered by the storyline where the psionic plane was disrupted, but this issue shows him finding ways around it that push the story forward at the same time. Cable needs the psimitar as part of his mission, but it also allows him to regain some of his lost telekinesis. His lack of telekinesis means the techno-organic virus is spreading, but some guys at SHIELD want it and may just get some of it (oops, spoiled something there, didn't I?). Casey is clearly adept at fitting into the larger Marvel universe while still pursuing his own interests.

Next issue begins "The Nemesis Contract" and introduces Jack Truman.