Future Tense – Avengers: X-Sanction

We love to wax nostalgic at PoP!, but sometimes it’s what’s yet to come that most quickens our nerd pulses. For better or for worse, let’s start the speculation over what’s making us Future Tense

Just last week I was looking forward to the new status quo for the X-Men and waxing theoretical on what it could mean for the books and characters within. Today, I bring you news of one such character’s return, and attempt to discern what it could mean for the Marvel Universe as a whole. I’m talking, of course, about Cable – star of this winter’s Avengers: X-Sanction storyline.

So what IS X-Sanction? It’s the return of Cable. It’s the brainchild of Jeph Loeb. It’ll be drawn by Ed McGuinness. And at its heart? It’s the story of a father fighting for his daughter.

The story spins out of the events of Messiah CompleX and Second Coming, two stories Loeb has said resonated with him. Understandably so… Cable was Loeb’s first ongoing book at Marvel when he first came on board with the publisher. It was some of my favorite work from the writer and featured some of my favorite stories about the character, so the reunion should be a fantastic one. Loeb always seemed to get Cable’s voice in a way many scribes don’t. On the other hand, I’ve never claimed to be a fan of McGuinness’s art, and the teaser image above isn’t doing anything to reassure me. That said, Loeb and McGuinness have worked together on numerous projects from Deadpool to Superman/Batman to Hulk, so there should at least be synnergy, even if I can’t quite get invested in the linework.

But what’s it all about!? Well… that’s what we don’t really know yet. We know Cable is back; somehow. We know the Avengers are involved; in some way. We know the X-Men will be putting in an appearance; at some point. And we know it’s only four issues, so it sure seems like it’s going to be packed tight. Also, thanks to Tom Brevoort, we know this is meant to be the story that sets into motion the next great series of events in Marvel comics.

So it’s about Cable and his daughter Hope, the first new mutant born after M-Day who has the power to awaken new mutants. It involves the Avengers, and specifically has Cable going against them. And it’s going to affect the direction of the Marvel Universe as a whole? This can only be one of two things, in my humble opinion. Either Hope is about to find a way to trigger mutations on a global scale as opposed to a one-on-one basis OR… this will be the first major emergence of her long-hinted at Phoenix persona.

Either story has potential – it’s just that the potential for either is roughly a 50/50 split between fantastic and horrible. A global renaissance of the mutant race could bring us back to the days of mutants being hated and feared – a hallmark of Marvel’s mutant misadventures that has been missing in the wake of the Decimation. OR we could go right back to a world where there are too many mutants for them to be a believable minority anymore, which was the very situation that led editorial to slash their numbers in the first place. The Phoenix certainly offers a wide variety of narrative possibilities, but this is another one of those Onslaught like characters who can all-too-easily become too powerful, too quickly, to the point your only option is for them to sacrifice or exile themselves for the greater good.

I’m cautiously optimistic about this one, PoP!ulation. Mostly? I’m just happy to get Cable back. I want my Cable back, Cable back, Cable back.

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Jason Kerouac is a co-founder of Panelsonpages.com. He spends roughly half of his waking life in servitude to the Giraffe. Raised in a town in New Hampshire you've never heard of, he now lives in Indianapolis, IN and is pretty sure that's a step in the right direction.

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