The creative team and plot for the 2017 Cable ongoing series has been announced by Marvel. One-time Cable writer James Robinson is returning to the title, with veteran illustrator Carlos Pacheco, in what is the sixth (and final, for now) X-Men book coming as part of the new "ResurrXion" joint line with the Inhumans.
The big conceit of the new Cable book, according to Robinson, is Nathan Summers' expertise as a time traveler, with 'timesliding' as 1990s readers will recall.
"One of the things about Cable is he’s a 'time warrior.' Time travel is part of his make-up in almost every aspect of his history - no pun intended," said Robinson. "This series will be Cable on a race against time to fix time. The reason Cable must take on this quest will reveal itself as the story and mystery unfolds, but he’s doing it for the sake of the Marvel Universe, which will fall apart if he doesn’t take action. And in the course of Cable’s mission, we’ll see him in a lot of great time periods like 15th century Japan, WWI, the Stone Age, Victorian England, and on and on, all with those time periods made more crazy and sci-fi by time being fractured by the villain of our series."
While the X-Force founder has had numerous enemies over the years, Cable's first big bad is someone new.
"This series, while not throwing out any of Cable’s past, will focus on him as a character for new readers as well as old ones. The villain is a new character simply named Conquest. He’s a technocrat from a future where he’s worked out how to manipulate the butterfly effect of times past to make his reality perfect for his wants," Robinson said. "That ripple effect has changed the present. Cable has to stop Conquest. Conquest has no intention of being stopped and intends to use all that history has to offer in terms of warriors and villains to stop Cable at each stop our hero makes in time."
This new Conquest has no connection to the previous Marvel villain of the same, who appeared Avengers/JLA and Thor. One piece of history that Robinson is keeping in mind for Cable, however, is his short run on the character in 1997's Cable #44 - #50. Although its nigh on twenty years since it occurred, Robinson remembers it vividly.
"I remember a great deal actually. I had been invited to a summit by the Marvel powers-that-be at that time. I didn’t have a Marvel book then and was invited just to contribute ideas. It was a lot of fun, sitting down with Chris Claremont, Kurt Busiek and others, planning the new storylines, and it definitely made me want to get on a book and stay a part of Marvel at that time," the writer said. "To an outsider, at that time Marvel seemed to be a place with two fiefdoms. One was the main Marvel characters and the other was the world of X-Men. The two worlds were really apart with many fans only collecting X-books and the continuity being quite separate from the main Marvel U. to accommodate them. I saw Cable as a character that was lost in his own ever-more convoluted back story, and thought it would be great to have him (very much a lone wolf like Logan) as a crossover character that could operate in both the X-world and the main Marvel world–a tired old warrior who’s trying to keep the present day in line and make sense of it for both mutants and humanity."
Robinson said he's returning in part to make up for his abbreviated first run with the character.
"Honestly, leaving Cable when I did was one of the regrets I’ve had with my career. I was overwhelmed with life outside of comics at that time and so I just felt it was one book too many to write," said Robinson. "My leaving helped Joe Casey get a good footing in the industry, which is a great thing, but part of me has always regretted not muscling through and staying on the book for longer. So, when my friend Mark Paniccia recently got the X-books to oversee, we began talking about something for me to do there. Cable’s name came up and an idea began to form almost immediately. And so here I am."
Cable is expected to debut in spring 2017.