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Image: Gerry Dugan, Phil Noto/Marvel

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Cable #1 was inevitable, but it’s also essential

The latest X-title reintroduces the hero’s teen incarnation

The X-Men are so vastly different from how we’ve known them. This goes double for our favorite Summers kid. Cable hasn’t been himself for over a year now, being replaced by his younger self, who also killed him. Yes, it’s that complicated. But a new Cable book makes it much easier to enjoy.

Starting today with Cable #1, Marvel Comics gives readers their first proper look inside this younger Cable’s head. Here’s what you need to know.

Who’s working on Cable?

Writer Gerry Duggan and artist Phil Noto team up for the book, which should excite a potential Cable reader for a lot of reasons. Duggan has already proven himself on the X-Line with Marauders, which is consistently fantastic every issue. On top of that, he’s gotten some well-earned renown from lengthy acclaimed runs on Deadpool, Uncanny Avengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Phil Noto is one of the premiere comic artists of the moment, best known for his work on Star Wars: Poe Dameron and the main Star Wars title, as well as an incredibly deep well of covers. This isn’t his first foray into the X-Line either, with gorgeous arcs of Uncanny X-Force and X-23 under his belt. Noto’s artwork has a bit of an ethereal quality to it, an aesthetic that he pulls off magnificently in Cable.

What’s Cable #1 about?

cable and wolverine pal around in marvel comics’ cable #1 Image: Gerry Dugan, Phil Noto/Marvel

Honestly, this issue is the closest to a Krakoan slice of life comic we’ve gotten since House of X/Powers of X shook up the universe last year. Cable participates in Krakoan culture the way that a teenager would, and gets into trouble in the way only a teenager could. There’s also some really intriguing setup for where the first arc is headed, featuring the cyborg Spaceknights! You know, Rom’s supporting characters? They were a welcome surprise to this story.

Why is the standalone series happening now?

Wolverine was the first solo series of the post-HoXPoX X-Men titles, which makes sense as Wolverine is historically the solo X-title with the best performance. Cable is historically the solo X-title with the second-best performance, meaning that this was always the most likely second solo series.

Cable #1 becomes more essential because Teen Cable is a relative unknown to the X-Line, and in a major position of prominence. He’s been a main character in an issue of the flagship X-Men title, he was one of the main cast members of the short-lived Fallen Angels miniseries, and his last name is Summers. Yet, the readers don’t know very much about this teenaged version of Cable — we all love the gruff grizzled old man, but who is this boy pretending to be him? This was the perfect time to give us a proper look at this new old character and get emotionally attached.

Is there any required reading?

Image: Gerry Dugan, Phil Noto/Marvel

As with every current X-Book, House of X/Powers of X is the closest thing to required reading that there is. The parallel miniseries set up the status quo for the entire line and is also just fantastic. If you want a little bit more context about this new Cable, you could also read Extermination by Ed Brisson and Pepe Larraz from 2018, and the following X-Force series by Brisson and Dylan Burnett. These aren’t mandatory, though — you can enjoy the comic perfectly without them.

Is Cable #1 good?

The short answer is yes. It’s awesome. The long answer is yes! It’s awesome!

In this first chapter of the series, Duggan and Noto do a great job doing everything it sets out to do. We get a really delightful look into Krakoan society in a way that Duggan has done in other corners of the Marvel universe. And the action complements the drama; Cable fights Wolverine in what could only be described as a Krakoan wrestling ring, complete with fans in the stands cheering and booing their favorites. It’s delightful, and that’s just the first 6 pages!

Duggan does a fantastic job showing us how Cable’s thoughts work and what makes him distinctive from his older counterpart. He also shows us what there is to like about this new teen Cable, who is a horrible child, but in the best way possible. He’s the well-meaning idiot teenager who makes mistakes and can be a jerk but is also just a joy to read. He’s resourceful and smart but also very committed to having fun and living his best life. The last page is its own beast, teasing a future for the series that’s incredibly exciting for everyone involved.

Phil Noto brings it all to life with splashy illustrations, and with colors to match. There isn’t a panel that isn’t beautiful.

One panel that popped

Image: Gerry Dugan, Phil Noto/Marvel

Wrestling crowds on Krakoa are the best wrestling crowds.