Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Phil Noto
Letters: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover Art: Phil Noto
Editor: Jordan D. White
Publisher: Marvel Entertainment
Cable —real name Nathan Summers— is likely something of a household name now, thanks to Josh Brolin’s portrayal of the character in Deadpool 2. His evergreen popularity on the comics side officially brings Cable into the Dawn of X era with a new solo title, but if you were expecting more gruff badassery with this week’s debut of Cable #1, you might be disappointed. For good reason.
For starters, this isn’t your daddy’s Cable, but rather the so-called “Kid Cable” introduced in 2018’s Extermination storyline, who killed his future self for wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey reasons. That alone means a Cable comic with him at the helm will have a different feel than what you’d expect from the character, but that feels like an understatement after reading this first issue. This new (and improved?) Cable is a lot of fun in a way I wasn’t expecting.
Written by Marauders scribe Gerry Duggan, the tone he seems to have settled on here is “Saturday morning cartoon” meets Saved by the Bell, and it’s surprisingly perfect? Straight away on page one, I almost expected him to say something along the lines of “So you’re probably wondering how I got into this predicament,” or, “I’m Cable, and my life is pretty crazy!” Casting Cable as Zack Morris isn’t a take I was expecting to have with the character, but I’m not against it in the slightest. I’m sure some Cable purists are going to be mad about how he’s portrayed here, but those people can suck an egg, because I’m totally into this version of him.
As for the plot itself, it’s fairly straightforward for a character like Cable — he inadvertently gets involved in some weird cosmic stuff, but doesn’t know it yet. A lot of this issue is setup, but it doesn’t feel that way, which is a major plus. I’m also not going to spoil the cliffhanger ending, but let’s just say it’ll dissuade certain people who are against “Kid Cable” as a concept, at least temporarily.
Perhaps interestingly contrasting with Duggan’s zippy script is Phil Noto’s stoic, painterly art. I’ve been a fan of Noto’s for many years, and he was way more of a draw for me here than anything else. There’s definitely been some inconsistent variation in the way this “young” Cable has been drawn since his debut, but Noto’s take is firmly in the “older teenager/early 20s” age range. That feels about right for the way he’s characterized. I don’t know what else to say about Noto’s art other than that it’s good! There’s some interesting page layouts, and he draws certain sequences differently than others (i.e. the aforementioned cliffhanger has thematically appropriate flatter colors and scratchier linework than the rest, while a flashback vision section is colored monochromatically and rendered within gauzy panel boxes) that overall make Cable a handsomely presented book worth the price tag.