Comics

RessurXion Files: Cable

James Robinson returns to Cable & shares his plans for the time-lost hero!

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When aliens attack, you call the Avengers. Evil mutants? Send in the X-Men! But when all of time hangs in the balance, you need an expert–you call Cable.

Next year Cable embarks on a brand-new mission, as he takes on a foe bent on manipulating the time stream for his own personal gain–to conquer the future! Cable follows the villain to different time periods in attempt to save the past, present and future of the Marvel Universe.

We sat down with series writer James Robinson to find out more about Cable’s mission and this new foe he will face when his series launches this spring.

Cable #1 cover art by Dale Keown

Cable #1 cover art by Dale Keown

Marvel.com: This isn’t your first turn on Cable, as you wrote his book briefly back in the late 1990s. What do you remember about your time on the character back then?

James Robinson: 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.

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.

It’s for that reason that apart from the Hellfire Club, in my run I always had him more in the main Marvel Universe. Union Jack appeared in the book. My plan (that my successor Joe Casey ended up doing) was his first big guest star would be the Black Panther. Definitely not a character you associated with the X-Men at that time. My ultimate goal was to have Cable in the Avengers, which has finally happened, obviously. Still it would be fun to speculate on how the character might have evolved, had I succeeded in getting him into the Avengers all that time ago. I also remember working with my editor at that time, Mark Powers, who was a really good guy.

Marvel.com: And what made you decide to return to the character now?

James Robinson: 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. 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.

Marvel.com: What’s the premise for the new series?

James Robinson: 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. 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.

Marvel.com: This sounds like the type of mission he is uniquely suited for. What’s his state of mind as he takes on this new mission? What can you tell us about the villain he’s pursuing?

James Robinson: 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. 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.