Time to check out a collection with good ole Cable as one of the main characters. Despite the title, you really couldn’t say that he was the main character for any of the Phalanx comics. That just leaves the opening one and the comics about the Morlocks. (The first one was about the Morlocks as well so it’s a bit of a trick sentence) Cable has definitely been one of the best Marvel characters when he’s at his best so let’s see if he can live up to that here.
The first comic is about Cable and Domino eating their dinner when they realize that the Morlocks are in trouble. Nothing really happens here, but this plot is resumed towards the end. The first half is mainly about the Phalanx. They have taken out the X-Men and they are ready to start assuming control over Earth. I’m not sure what the Avengers are doing, but maybe they’re just off planet. Regardless, it’s up to Cyclops, Jean Grey, Wolverine, and Cable to take the Phalanx down once and for all. They are prepared to do what needs to be done, but a secret that Cyclops and Jean are keeping from Cable could prove to be trouble.
After that big arc, the final comics involve Cable’s return to the sewers. Domino is still with him and they bring in Storm since she has ties to the Morlocks. They find out that the Morlocks and other mutants are being hunted by the Dark Riders. The heroes manage to fend them off, but the villains retreat for some reason. Cable doesn’t like this so the heroes decide to pursue the villains. Who is their leader and can the heroes really deal with such a powerful group of enemies?
The final comic is a really fitting way to end this collection. Legion has altered the past by destroying Magneto so now the entire universe is shattering because the M’krann crystal is acting up. It’s consuming galaxy after galaxy and the main one is next. Cable goes back in time (off screen) to warn Bishop and the others since the X Men lost their memories, but it’s futile gesture. The universe blows up and we’ll have to read another collection to find out what cop out/retcon allowed the heroes to survive this. I just have to give the collection some credit for ending here. It’s a perfect ending since everyone basically died. Imagine all of the super villains who had been planning to rule the world only to have it snuffed out so quickly. Same with all of the alien races and the Avengers. It’s just a little funny to think that all of their plans were spoiled just because a time traveler went to the past and altered it a little bit.
See, that’s why I’ve always found time travelling to be a little iffy. All it takes is one change for the multiverse to blow up. If you ask me, the multiverse should definitely not exist right now considering how easy it is to wreck time. Unless the One Above All or the Beyonder decide to fix it each time, oblivion should be the current state of the Marvel universe. Anyway, you gotta admit that it’s a pretty great ending.
Cable is a pretty good character here. He’s not quite as awesome as in X Sanction, but that would be almost impossible to replicate. He’s still a pretty determined hero here and it’s cool to see him keep pace with the other fighters when he’s just using his gun. As the issues go on, he starts to use his TK powers a little more, which certainly gives him a better fighting chance. He’s a pretty likable guy and he always puts the team first even if he doesn’t act like it. In his argument with Gambit, I was definitely on Cable’s side. That’s probably not very noteworthy since I really don’t like Gambit and I do like Cable, but it’s worth noting. Cyclops ends up blaming them both, but I think that Gambit was in the wrong. He was basically complaining for no real reason and he was certainly not helping the situation.
Domino gets a pretty large role here. Her luck abilities may not seem directly helpful in combat, but she continues to defeat any and all opponents who get in her way so it’s probably helping a lot in the background. I appreciate the fact that she tries to keep things platonic with Cable since that’s always the best thing to do in just about any situation. You don’t want to complicate things with your allies. The romance isn’t handled badly though so I won’t use it as a strike against the comic. It doesn’t take away from the rest of the collection and it certainly could have been worse. It’s handled in a civil way so kudos to the author. She’s a pretty likable main heroine and she’s always ready for a fight. She seems to be a little less sympathetic to the Morlocks than Cable is, but I suppose that it’s just how it goes when you’re used to being an assassin.
Cyclops is mostly only present in the Phalanc arc, but he looks pretty great. He’s portrayed as a superb leader who is always calm and collected. He makes the right choices and there’s nothing wrong with his character. He’s on par with Captain America on the leader’s best days. It’s easy to see why Cyclops is one of my favorite Marvel characters of all time and his portrayal is spot on here. Jean Grey also looks really good. She seems to have total control over her abilities so she is very good in combat now. She doesn’t get to fight all that often, but she plays a critical role in supporting the heroes when infiltrating the Phalanx. She lives up to her reputation as one of the strongest telepaths on the planet.
Wolverine’s role isn’t very big either, but he looks pretty good. This takes place at a time where he temporarily lost his Adamantium Skeleton so he’s in a weakened state. That’s definitely not great for him since he gets pounded a lot as a result, but he never backs down. Even without hie special abilities, Wolverine is a fighter and you can bet that he won’t go down without a fight. He’s definitely as likable as expected here and he still makes for a good rival to Cyclops.
Storm’s role isn’t huge, but she certainly helps a lot against the Dark Riders. One of those villains has elemental powers as well so it’s pretty satisfying to see her overpower him. Her weather abilities should certainly be a lot stronger than his and the comic doesn’t even make that debatable. She crushes him and she looks very good during all of the fights. As one of the senior X Men members around, I expect nothing less from this fighter!
Tyler gets a decent role as well since he is the final boss of the Morlocks arc. Let’s just say that he went off the deep end and you have to wonder what happened to him. Fans of the 90’s X Men show will definitely remember him and he’s certainly changed a lot since then. I like his new armor, but he’s a pretty generic villain once you get past that. His reasons for blowing up towns and hunting mutants are vague at best and there doesn’t seem to be much of a point beyond his actions. I don’t care for his character, but he makes for an intimidating villain. (When he has his helmet on)
The Phalanx is definitely one of the X Men’s more iconic foes. They usually beat their opponents through sheer numbers. It’s hard to really take them down in a physical fight so usually the X Men have to use some kind of electronic to disable them or just break their psyche. The heroes opt to do the latter this time and they do a good job of getting through the Phalanx’s defenses. I was actually expecting it to be more difficult for the heroes. The Phalanx make for good villains although none of their individual members appear to be likable. Luckily, this may change soon as he get a silhouette of a master Phalanx in space. He doesn’t like that his Earth forces were destroyed so he makes a threat about launching a real offensive there. That’s a cliffhanger that I can’t wait to see resolved since the leader looks really cool. Technically, I don’t see the X Men surviving such an assault so the Avengers better appear this time!
The Dark Riders used to work for Apocalypse and now they work for Tyler. They’re a pretty intriguing group, but I’m not familiar with any of their members. They’re fairly weak, which is why they typically go for Morlocks since those guys typically can’t fight back. I’m confident that the X Men or Avengers would have no trouble for them. None of the members are actually likable, but the designs are pretty good and I always like to see a super villain team.
The art is in that 90’s style so there are a lot of big splash pages where you have to turn your graphic novel. I was expecting it to be a little harder to follow than it was so that’s a good thing. Typically, you miss out on some of the action because it’s too chaotic, but the artist did a pretty good job of preventing that in this volume. Everyone probably looks a little too muscular and they can definitely be pretty exaggerated, but the art actually looks pretty good. This style certainly works pretty well for energy blasts. This will never be my favorite style though. It’s still hard to describe, but everyone is just a little too big and they all look pretty deranged this way. It’s pretty classic and there’s something about it that’s naturally appealing for fight scenes, but I’ll still take the streamlined X Sanction anyway. Long story short, the art doesn’t hurt the story.
The fight scenes are pretty intense. There are no real feats to be found here, but it’s still fun to see the fighters go at it. This collection is definitely a lot of fun. It’ll remind you of the good ole days from the Uncanny X Men. The writing is really good and the opposite of the Avenging Spider Man. It’s the type of collection that would have been a lot of fun even if the fight scenes had not been there, but they certainly help. Good writing plus good fights tends to result in a really good/great array of issues and that’s what happens here.
Overall, Cable Classic is a pretty good collection. The ending was perfect and the writing is really good. Just about all of the characters are likable and in character. The art complements the story pretty well here and it’s a very engaging read from start to finish. All X Men fans should get a kick out of this and I’d recommend it to DC fans as well since it’s a way to get introduced to the Marvel side of things. It may not be quite up to X Sanction level, but it’s definitely one of the better X collections that I’ve read. When you read this, get ready to see Cyclops as he was meant to be portrayed!