Friday, March 07, 2008

Joe Casey Comics: Cable #70

[Concluding my look at Joe Casey's run on Cable. It's been twenty issues of magic, people (twenty-three if you include the James Robinson issues I discussed). On Tuesday, I'll begin looking at another Joe Casey run, which will then run on the usual Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday schedule.]

And so it ends with a kiss, rather than a bang... actually, there's a bang, too. Suh-weet!

Joe Casey didn't have to leave Cable. At the time, the story was setting up the big X-crossover, which was going to feature the Twelve and the X-Men fighting Apocalypse, and Marvel brought back Rob Liefeld to work on the book--kicking Ladronn off of the book. Casey elected to leave with him, staying loyal to his partner-in-crime. (I think Liefeld actually did, like, three issues before leaving again and the shipping on those issues was... well, not timely, if I recall correctly.) Really, it's a case of Marvel (and, more specifically, the X-offices) not realising what they had and the reason why this story was so exciting and gaining buzz was because of the quality of those involved... namely Joe Casey and Ladronn. What eventually got churned out was horrible and not worth the paper it was printed on. Also, it just came out in trade form last week, so go pick it up! (But, really, don't.)

Getting back to issue 70...

Casey and Ladronn rightly ignore the Apocalypse storyline, because why put in work on a story that is out of their hands? Instead, they focus on two elements from their run: Cable's relationship with Stacey, and Caesar, the doubting Thomas of the Askani order Cable disbanded. Doing this leaves the larger picture open, but provides some measure of closure to the run--not as much as one would want, but some is better than none, I suppose.

I'll start with Caesar, only because he ties into what I was just discussing with Batman: Tenses: he kills his "family." We learn that since Cable disbanded the Askani order he found on that small Greek island, Caesar has killed every member as part of his insane epiphany about how worthless their lives were--and how Cable betrayed them all. I'm not exactly sure what to make of this connection between "moments of clarity" and the slaughter of one's family, but since it's come up at least four times in Casey's work (and probably more than I'm forgetting), it's worth some thought. The other element that Caesar mentions is that with each murder, he felt himself stronger, another part of his psychosis.

In the end, Caesar is killed when he jumps in a "time machine" built by a guy who lives in the basement of Stacey's building (more on him in a little bit) and it blows up, nearly killing Cable, Kenny (Stacey's little brother) and the old man, but Cable's telekinesis saves them.

The Stacey situation deals with Cable's mission and life, and if it's fair to subject her to those things. These scenes seem more appropriate for a Spider-Man or Daredevil comic, which, for the last time, accomplishes Casey's goal of integrating Cable into the larger Marvel universe as he takes on similar problems. During the issue, they break up... or, more accurately, Cable dumps her. Before he does, he uses his powers to turn a glass into a rose (made of glass) and comments that he's "NEVER TRIED TO USE [HIS] TELEKINETIC MY [SIC] ABILITIES TO CREATE... / ...UNTIL NOW" and then destroys the relationship they've built together. At the end of the issue, the two reconcile after Cable rescues Kenny from Caesar and Stacey picks up the glass rose, as it symbolises their relationship, and Cable's creation of it demonstrates that he doesn't really want it to end, but he feels it should because that's what he's always done. Just as he's never used his powers to create before (at least in this sense of the word--one could argue he's used his powers to create a better world--or, at least, tried), he grows beyond his normal emotional level and tries to accept another person into his life.

The issue ends with the two reconciled and a splash page of them kissing... the perfect ending of the run, in my opinion.

Now, I mentioned an old man building a time machine in the basement of the building, didn't I? The man tells Cable his story, where he reveals he also comes from the future, a fantastic future with lots of cool science and inventions and technology. However, he and his wife created a time machine that went wrong and sent them both back in time to different points... and he's spent his life in our time working on finding a way back. The time travel obviously links him with Cable, but their stories are very different. This man seeks to regain what he has lost, while Cable seeks to change the future. I'm not sure of the actual connection here... maybe there isn't one.

Anyway, that ends Joe Casey's run on Cable. Tomorrow, I'll do a post on Wolverine/Cable: Guts 'n' Glory, which falls outside of this run... actually, it falls more into the "lesser known" category, honestly. Until then.