Marvel Comics' Cable series is reloading just like the mutant's famous guns - with an old friend and some new faces.
March's Cable #155 will bring Hope Summers back into contact with her surrogate father, while also introucing the new creative team of writers Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler and artist German Peralta. Picking up from from Ed Brisson and Jon Malin's "Newer Mutants" arc, the new arc titled "Past Fears" will deal with an even older piece of Cable's "Legacy": the Techno-Organic Virus which he was infected with as a child, and a new foe which carries it as well.
Newsarama spoke to Thompson, Nadler, and Peralta about the reunion, the new villain in the story, and how they all grew up on X-Men comic books.
Newsarama: Zac and Lonnie, how did you wind up getting the Cable writing gig?
Zac Thompson: Previous to joining Cable we had been talking to Marvel for a while. Thanks to the relentless support of Matthew Rosenberg, our comic The Dregs wound up in the hands of Marvel editorial. That book is a weird homeless detective story that we did at Black Mask Studios. We honestly never expected anyone at Marvel to dig it but they did. We hopped on a call to discuss The Dregs and that ended up turning into a talk about the X-Men. Lonnie and I both started reading comics with X-Men, so naturally we were eager to work inside the X-Universe. We pitched a few miniseries ideas just to get a feel for the universe and that eventually lead to us landing this new arc on Cable.
Lonnie Nadler: I feel like a lot of people are going to be asking that same question… We feel so fortunate to be working at Marvel in the X-Universe and writing this character in particular. It’s pretty much how Zac laid it out and it was all rather serendipitous. We were lucky to have the support of Axel Alonso, who was Editor-In-Chief at the time, early on. Our editor on the book, Darren Shan, has also been hugely supportive of our work and he’s a big part of the reason why we’re part of we’re writing this crazy story.
Nrama: Cable is a cult favorite for those of us who came of age in the 90s. What’s your relationship like to Nathan Summers, and to the X-Men at large?
Nadler: We both grew up reading comics in the 90s, and X-Men was a huge part of our lives as kids. I loved the animated series with every ounce of my being. I would buy whatever X-Men comics I could find at the corner stores, and had way too many action figures. I had such a strong affinity for these characters and that continues to this day. It was my dream as a child to write stories about them, so I’m not being hyperbolic when I say this is a dream come true. Cable is pretty well the epitome of 90s X-Men, for better and for worse, and to be honest I thought he was pretty goofy at first, but the more I learned about Nathan Summers the more fascinating he became. He’s such a complex paradox of a character, and that’s part of the charm. There are endless possibilities. 10-year-old Lonnie is just squealing inside.
Thompson: Growing up in the 90’s the X-Men were unavoidable and I loved the cartoon way too much but things changed for me when my older brother gave me his old back issues of “Age of Apocalypse.” I started reading through the X books and went back to reread the Jim Lee relaunch stuff. I became obsessed with the action figures and collected everything I could get my hands on. For some reason that love really culminated with the time traveling mutants. Cable has been a personal favorite for years. I loved that he could time travel, I loved the big shoulder pads, the huge guns. It was so 90’s it hurt but it really appealed to my sensibilities as a kid. Now 20 years later, unpacking the history of Nathan Summers has been a joy. He’s an incredibly complicated character and one of the most unique in the Marvel Universe. Every moment we write this book I’m kinda going crazy inside.
Nrama: Cable will be fresh off a time-travel jaunt starting in Cable #155. Where does he find himself when he returns to the present day?
Thompson: Cable finds himself dealing with a lot of regret and fear. He’s been a loner for the last few issues of this solo series but Cable fundamentally defines himself against the backdrop of other mutants and mutant kind. After jumping through time for months Cable is forced to think about his past - particularly his relationship to others. This arc is about Cable coming to terms with the many people he’s called family over the course of his long and varied life. So while we start the series in the present day, each subsequent issue of the arc goes backwards through time (without using time travel) to show a different era in Cable’s history and how the same fears keep cropping up for the mutant out of time.
Nadler: Present day Cable finds himself constantly jumping through time, and although he’s been solving crimes and maintaining the Timestream, he’s also been doing this as a means to run from some of his personal problems. At the start of this arc, which is really like the end since we’re going backward through his history, he realizes it’s time to make amends. As we venture back through time, it becomes clear that he’s been dealing with these issues for a rather long time, until it all comes full circle. We wanted to examine who Cable’s become over the years, how his experience of time influences his choices, and explore what could possible scare such a powerful mutant, and the best way to do that for us was to delve into his past.
Nrama: Cable #155 will reunite Cable and Hope Summers, who he raised. Where has Hope been since the last time we saw her?
Nadler: First off, we’re so thrilled that we’re the ones who get to bring these two characters together again. They share a particularly unusual father-daughter dynamic and they both have such strong independent personalities, and that’s been both fun and challenging to write. Hope’s become more and more like Cable as time goes on and we wanted to draw on that idea as much as possible. But to answer the question, Hope’s been involved in a number of X-Men stints since she and Cable parted ways. Most recently she’s been teamed up with old and young Jean Grey to help stop the Phoenix. Similar to Cable, she’s been isolating herself lately, holing up in a bunker by herself. Without going too far down the rabbit hole, this issue sees her dealing with that self-imposed isolation and feeling the need for company.
Thompson: Despite being at very different points in their respective lives, Cable and Hope are largely dealing with their problems in the same way. Because Hope has become more of a recluse, she and her father have a lot in common when they’re reunited. We’re fully aware of the gravity of this reunion and we want to ensure that readers who’ve been waiting for this get the resolution they’re looking for. This issue is a father, daughter story through and through. It’s about what being a father means to someone like Cable and if he’s ready to face that head on.
Nrama: What can you tell us about the Techno-Organic threat mentioned in the solicitation for Cable #155?
German Peralta: I love to draw expressions, Cable is a character who gives me a lot of opportunities to play with that. If I have to choose the characters to draw I prefer the old ones and tough guys because every line in their face is telling something of their past, and Cable has a lot in his past.
I really enjoy drawing crazy technology too, so I really feel grateful for the opportunity to mix expressions, technology and a lot of muscles.
About what's in my drawing board right now? I can only say that there is a huge threat.
Nrama: Cable has one of the most distinct, iconic designs in Marvel history. There's just no mistaking him from any angle. What's your approach to embracing his distinctive elements, like the big guns, the cybernetics and the pouches?
Peralta: Who doesn't want to put his mark on a Marvel character? I really want people to recognize when a character is drawn by me, but also, I want them to feel that I will not change everything that makes the character what it is. This part of the project is the best, is absolutely fun, I love to search references of big guns and make them bigger and more cybernetic.
I was a young kid when these exaggerated and awesome designs blew up the minds of everyone who loved comics and animation, and I feel a lot of admiration and respect for them. I think I can't explain how happy this makes me feel.
Nrama: German, how has it been working with Zac and Lonnie after doing Jeff Lemire's Thanos?
Peralta: Both showed me that this was love at first sight since the first draft, as a fan and as an artist. When you receive a project like this of course you are excited. But not all the times you have that need to start turning such amazing moments into images. You can imagine all the scenes and feelings between the characters and that's not easy at all. I'm very excited to work with this team.
Nrama: What one thing do readers need to know about why they can’t miss the reunion between Hope and Cable in Cable #155?
Thompson: The reunion between Hope and Cable is a long time coming. In many ways it was inevitable, but we can’t promise they’ll be happy to see one another. This issue proves to be a turning point for both characters - an acceptance of history and an attempted reconciliation of past fears in order to deal with a threat much larger than the distance between them. If you’ve been waiting for Cable and Hope to share the page since Duane Swierczynski’s run a few years back, then you won’t be disappointed.
Nadler: It’s the simple yet everlasting theme of reuniting with an estranged loved one. This is a tough experience that so many people struggle with on a daily basis and that’s the emotional core of this first issue. Sure, they’re both incredibly powerful mutants, but at the end of the day, it’s about a dad looking to reconnect with his daughter... while knowing there’s a threat lurking in the shadows that wants nothing more than to pull them apart forever.
Here is the solicitation for the trio's debut in March 2018's Cable #155:
ZAC THOMPSON & LONNIE NADLER (W) • GERMAN PERALTA (A)
COVER BY DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON
PAST FEARS PART 1
- Cable and Hope Summers reunited!
- But it may be too little too late, as a Techno Organic-like creature wants them dead!
- Who is this strange new creature, and what is its connection to Cable?
- From the new creative team of writing duo Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler (THE DREGS) and artist GERMAN PERALTA (THANOS)!