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Cable #22

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First, the good news. After almost two years of “Cable” where Cable and Hope go to a new future zone and hide from Bishop (before having to back on the run again), the story is almost over. Now, the bad news. We’ve still got a couple more issues of time-hopping.

Fortunately, this is the sort of story that we should have had around issue #6. Able to shift backwards in time again, we’re starting to see some cleverness with the main characters, using time travel as an actual tool instead of a random escape pod. I understand why the previous limitation was in the book; Duane Swierczynski was clearly instructed to keep Cable and Hope out of the mix for two years, and giving the characters any way to return to the present would undo that mandate. It’s a shame, though, because Swierczynski is getting to show off more creativity with a full toolbox here than he had for a while in “Cable.” I can’t blame him, either; a story where Cable and Hope have to keep leaping forwards in time is slightly limiting and I’d have been discouraged.

On the downside, though, Gabriel Guzman’s art isn’t terribly attractive. Some panels are better than others, but on the whole it’s uneven; Hope seems to range from teenager to adult in appearance, and Cable’s face ends up looking pinched in places. It’s not bad, but it’s so variable that I found it hard to ever warm up to the visuals of “Cable” #22.

At the end of the day, though, it’s hard to not grieve for what “Cable” could have been. A book with Cable and Hope in isolation from the rest of the Marvel Universe (or at least the X-Men) had a lot of potential, but for whatever reason it ended up being a one-trick pony. Swierczynski has shown with his other comics for Marvel that he’s capable of a lot better than this. I wish his talents could’ve been at their full force here. Still, at least it looks to be ending on a strong note.