“One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are, when you don’t come home at night.” –Margaret Mead
In March, Cable and Hope finally return to the mainstream Marvel Universe in Cable #24 but not without cost. The issue, written by series writer Duane Swierczynski and drawn by industry veteran Paul Gulacy, signifies the end of a two year time-spanning odyssey that begins the next chapter in the lives of Marvel’s mutant prodigal son and his charge, the alleged mutant savior, Hope Summers. It also begins the third and final chapter in started by the Messiah CompleX event from two years ago.
So why is everyone so glum?
Because, in April, Cable #25 brings the series to an end…with a twist; it goes all the way back to the beginning. Issue #25 also sees the return of another one of Cable’s former partners—Deadpool. Not only is Marvel’s Merc with a Mouth reunited with Cable, he is making a big splash on the cover of the issue as the series finale is retitled Deadpool and Cable #25. It appears that Deadpool was colluding with Cable all along when Hope was first located. This issue sheds light on the Alaska tragedy and Cable’s fight with the Marauders to save the baby destined to become the mutant savior.
Newsarama contacted Duane Swierczynski to get the skinny on the end of Cable’s run; the return of Deadpool; and the beginnings of the next big X-event, Second Coming...
Newsarama: Duane, in "Homecoming", Cable and Hope are quickly jaunting back and forth and Bishop is tethered to them and a final reckoning is about to take place. Is this a total Thunderdome scenario? "Two men enter, one man leaves!"
Duane Swierczynski: Yes! And we have Tina Turner doing a very special cameo in Cable #23.
Nrama: Hope seems to have developed a very strong sense of character similar to her adopted father; is Hope's unstable upbringing going to come back to haunt Cable and the X-Men?
Swierczynski: That’s been the concern all along, from the very end of Messiah CompleX: What’s going to happen to this baby out there in the hazy, crazy future? She certainly hasn’t had a cushy life full of Pinkberry and 'tween pop, that’s for sure. But then again, maybe her rough upbringing is exactly what Hope needs to endure the trials ahead.
Nrama: You've really ran Bishop through the ringer over the past two years; in a way, he's become somewhat of an antithesis to Cable...and an almost literal mirror image. Will he find some closure before all is said and done?
Swierczynski: Bishop has been the kind of “anti-father” the whole series—his actions have helped to shape Hope’s personality, too. (Though I don’t think Bishop will be receiving a Father’s Day car this June.) Will Bishop have some kind of closure? Yes. But perhaps not the kind you have in mind.
Nrama: Will there be a closer examination of the wear-and-tear Cable has endured over the course of his protection of Hope throughout the timestream?
Swierczynski: You mean, like a medical exam or something? You want cholesterol levels, maybe even an EKG? Hey, if you want to snap on the rubber glove and tell Cable to cough twice and turn his head, be my guest. I’ll be in the other room, listening to the sound of your bones snapping.
Nrama: The April solicits indicate that your series is actually the final issue and it's been retitled Deadpool & Cable #25; what can you tell us about this look back to the beginning of the Messiah Complex?
Swierczynski: This final issue takes us back to the beginning, where we finally get to see an untold piece of the “Messiah CompleX”—namely, how Cable and the newborn (unnamed) Hope made it out of Alaska alive, past all of those Purifiers and Marauders. The simple answer: He hired his old mercenary pal Deadpool to help.
Nrama: It seems that any child of the Summers lineage is destined for a life of suffering and struggle; will there be a silver lining to any of the dark clouds that have hung over Marvel's mutants the past several years?
Swierczynski: The Magic 8-ball says…huh. Weird. Can’t read the message. It’s all dark and cloudy…
Nrama: Looking back at the two years you've handled Cable, was there anything you wanted to touch upon in your stories that you just couldn't get the time or space to write about?
Swierczynski: There are a few things, but that’s always the case with anything I write. When you’re working on a novel or a long series like this, you’re faced with a set of decisions every day. Do you choose this alley, or this door? What would happen if you entered this building instead of that one? Those alleys and buildings will always taunt you.
Nrama: How close were you to throwing your own time-hopping story into a paradox? Is the challenge of circumventing the throes of paradoxical conflict the biggest challenge in this type of sci-fi?
Swierczynski: We were in complete control at all times, Steve. What do you mean?
Actually, that’s what I wanted to avoid early on with Cable—paradoxes. That’s part of the reason I thought I would be cool to have Cable about to travel in only one direction—to avoid those hoary old time travel stories where a character goes back and meets Hitler’s grandfather’s second cousin, etc.
Of course, I completely reversed myself for the final arc…and I’m so glad I did. I think Cable and Hope are darting too quickly through the past for any massive paradoxes—though you do see some of the ripple effect in the present.
Nrama: What's next for Cable? What's next for Duane Swierczynski? Are the two of you heading in separate directions?
Swierczynski: Cable’s headed off into “Second Coming.” Me? I’ve got a new novel out this April called “Expiration Date”, which is a kind of a time-hopping murder mystery set in the Philadelphia neighborhood where I grew up. The brilliant Laurence Campbell—one of my favorite artists—has contributed a dozen original black and white illos for the novel, just like Dennis Calero did with my previous novel, Severance Package. They’re spectacular.
As for comics—I’m halfway through a mini-series right now, though I can’t talk about it quite yet. And another project that’s hopefully about to achieve lift-off soon.
Nrama: Is 2010 the year that curtain final falls on mutantkind?
Swierczynski: With a girl named “Hope” back on the scene, do you really think that’ll be the case?