While 22 chapters is daunting for any comic book story to have X Of Swords has been an enjoyable X-Men crossover thus far. The first seven chapters of this crossover have done a good job building up who the champions of Krakoa will be as the X-Men prepare to face off against the champions of Arakko. Now after Magik, Wolverine, Storm, and Cypher have all completed their missions to claim their swords as Krakoan champions it is Cable’s turn. While Cable already has his sword, The Light of Galador, he is currently busy up in space exploring an old S.W.O.R.D space station that has been mysteriously deserted. How will things turn out for the Summers Family up in space? Let’s find out with Cable #5.
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Phil Noto
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Inside Peak (a former S.W.O.R.D space station) Cabel uses The Light of Galador sword to power the station back on. Cyclops, Cable, and Jean Grey then decide to split up with Jean following something she is detecting while Cyclops and Cable go check the barracks to look for any survivors on the space station.
As they explore the space station Magik contacts Cable and Cyclops. Magik tells Cable that they need him back on Krakoa since he is one of the chosen champions. Cyclops tells Magik that they are on a mission right now and will return to Krakoa once they are done.
Cable and Cyclops reach a door that has been welded shut. They use a combination of their powers to open the door. When they enter the room Cable and Cyclops find a science room with something that immediately causes them to contact Jean to come see for herself.
In another part of the space station Jean hears Cyclops message but says she found something herself that she needs to check out before joining them. Jean then tries to talk with an unnamed former S.W.O.R.D agent. The guy talks about how something wiped half the station out in seconds while the rest, like himself, were infected by some sort of virus.
He then turns around and shows Jean his scarred face and eyes that are completely black. Jean tries to read the guy’s mind but is blocked due to his training against psychics. The guy then opens his eyes further and they suddenly glow green. He then tells Jean to look into his mind to know what attack him and the others.
Jean is shocked by what she sees. But before she can fully process it the guy activates the airlock, sending him into space.
Jean rushes to the science lab and lets Cyclops and Cable know about what she found out. Cyclops mentions that they know. When she finally makes it to the room Jean sees Cyclops and Cable in front of a gate that is surrounded by dead bodies.
Jean reveals that what is beyond the gate are beings known as Vescora, a race that invades, replicates, and moves on. Three Vescora suddenly appear. Cyclops, Jean, and Cable are quick to attack and destroy the three Vescora that appear.
More Vescora start appearing out of the gate while chanting that they are there to cleanse through death to learn about the past.
Jean tells Cable to go remove his sword in order to power down the station and gate. Jean then creates a psychic projection of herself to enter the gate. Jean sees a horde of Vescora that are getting ready to invade through the gate.
Jean gets back to her body and immediately tells Cyclops to go all out. Cyclops launches a full power blast that goes through the horde already in the station and into the gate. Jean uses her powers to protect Cyclops from any Vescora that try to attack him while he stands still during his full power blast.
Cable finally makes it to the power source for the station and removes his sword, powering down the station. Cyclops and Jean thank Cable for doing a good job.
Later Cable appears out of a Krakoan gate and stabs The Light of Galador through his symbol on the casting circle.
Cyclops and Jean soon appear and psychically communicate with Magik. Cyclops tells Magik that they have two immediate problems they have to deal with: communication and transportation in Otherworld. Magik says she can handle the transportation part. Jean mentions that while Otherworld is locked down telepathically if there are enough of them they can break through that barrier. Magik then says she’ll leave thing in Cyclops hands as Captain Commandor.
Jean and Cyclops then ask Magik to watch Cable for them. Magik promises to do so.
Cyclops then approaches Cable and tells his son he would wish him luck but trusts that everything will be okay. End of issue.
The Good: After the first two chapters of X of Swords we have seen all the chapters since focused on building up who the different champions of Krakoa are. In the process, while the events of X of Swords is the driving force, these chapters have had a focus on also develop each champions stories. And as we get with Cable #5 some of that development is looking towards the future beyond X of Swords.
Since Cable already had his sword, The Light of Galador, there was no need for a big mission for him to retrieve it. Instead Cable #5 focuses on the dynamic he shares with his parents, Cyclops and Jean Grey, while also setting the stage for why S.W.O.R.D will be brought back as an X-Men property. Going with that direction allowed Gerry Duggan to develop his own narrative for Cable within X of Swords while still keeping in mind the main story.
The mission on the former S.W.O.R.D base worked well to establish how the X-Men have been slowly working there way to have the reach go beyond Earth. Creating a new threat in the form of the Vescora is a good way to further set up new opposition for them. Cyclops and Jean Grey being there for this introduction also made the Vescora a more serious threat as they are two of the leaders on Krakoa. So if those of Cyclops and Jean stature bring forth the threat the Vescora pose the other Krakoan leaders will have to take it seriously as well, leading to why the new S.W.O.R.D will be created.
That aside, what made Cable #5 great was the dynamic with the Summers Family. This younger version of Cable has not always clicked. But when Cable is able to work off his family the character comes across much better. The family dynamic between Cyclops, Jean, and Cable is works incredibly well as they are able to bounce off one another as parents-child.
The back-and-forth between Cyclops and Cable in particular works as we do see how Cyclops still thinks of his son as a kid while Cable is his full overconfident self. That dynamic worked well with Jean playing a sort of peacekeeper role to get both Cyclops and Cable focused whenever they got lost in their argument. It also made the moment they go in full superhero mode together come across better because we know when things do go down Cyclops, Jean, and Cable are able to work effectively as a team.
On that note, it was good to see that Cyclops and Jean are on the same page in watching out for their kids. Both are well aware of how Cable is and having Cyclops ask Magik watch out for Cable when the tournament starts was a nice touch. It shows parental concern that gets over how the Summers Family is a united front.
Duggan also does a good job in setting up how the champions of Krakoa won’t be the only ones taking part of the battle. We already got hints of how other X-Men will be involved but with Cable #5 we see how Cyclops and Jean plan on leading that charge. Cyclops going full Captain Commander role in telling Magik what their plan was a reminder that he is seen as the leader of leaders. And while the champions are busy fighting the tournament that they will be able to trust the other X-Men have their backs thanks to the plan Cyclops and Jean are working on.
Phil Noto’s artwork was as solid as ever. With Cable #5 having more of a horror vibe to it with the adventure in the abandoned S.W.O.R.D space station Noto played well into all of that. From the designs of the Vescora to the former S.W.O.R.D agent’s infected look it all help create a sense of worry for the adventure Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Cable were on.
The Bad: Out of all of the X of Swords chapters thus far Cable #5 is the most skippable chapter we’ve gotten. As mentioned before, there is not much development to the actual X of Swords story in this issue. Cable doesn’t come out looking stronger than he was before this issue. Which is a stark contrast to how we’ve seen Wolverine, Storm, and Cypher all going through tough personal and physical battles to establish themselves as champions of Krakoa. Hopefully future chapters of X of Swords do a better job showing Cable doing things that make him as a Swordbearer be something he is worthy of being.
Overall: Cable #5 does a good job at showcasing the dynamic between Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Cable. The Summers Family work effectively together as they learn about new threats that they’ll have to worry about in the future. Though as a X of Swords chapter Cable #5 does not really advance the plot of the crossover. Which could disappoint readers of the 22-chapter long X of Swords crossover.
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