Although “Battle of the Atom” is just now dealing with the far future of the X-Men, Dennis Hopeless has been teasing the future since the inception of “Cable & X-Force.” With a team roster including Domino, Colossus, Boom Boom, Dr. Nemesis and Forge, Cable’s X-Force squad has taken on missions specifically designed to improve the future. Recently, readers discovered that Cable’s visions were projected to him from a future version of Hope Summers and Cable’s longtime ally Blaquesmith. As present-day Hope learned about the universe’s possible future, she returned to the present to reunite with her surrogate father and help him continue his fight against a nigh-apocalyptic future.
Hopeless joined X-Position this week to explore the recent fight between Cable’s squad and the Uncanny Avengers, answer a number of reader questions and tease the future of the series — which includes an altercation with Sam Humphries’ “Uncanny X-Force” squad.
CBR News: Dennis, let’s kick off this week’s X-Position with Alex Summers’ acknowledgement of Cable’s mission. How valuable will it be moving forward that Cable has an ally in Havok on the Uncanny Avengers?
Dennis Hopeless: Havok made it pretty clear at the end of #14 that he can’t do much to actively help Cable’s cause. He’s the leader of a very visible Avengers team and from the world’s perspective Cable still leads a group of wanted criminals. That said, I think not having a high profile Avenger obsessively chasing your team all over the globe would probably go a long way toward increasing general productivity.
The relationship between Hope and Cable is one of the most stable in the Marvel Universe — especially with all of “Battle of the Atom” and “Infinity” happening at the moment. With Hope back in the present and Cable somewhat cured of his debilitating vision aftershocks, how do you plan to further explore and integrate this relationship into the series?
Their relationship is one of the main focuses of these next two arcs. Cable is beginning to accept who his daughter really is. Like it or not, Hope is very much her father’s daughter. You can strap her in a backpack and enroll her in intramural volleyball but it’s never going to take. She’s a gun-toting badass super hero raised in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Cable has made his peace with this and now it’s time to embrace Hope as a teammate. At the start of issue #15 we see him doing just that. Cable has taken Hope to Australia to run a solo op against a few dozen brand new Reavers.
It was very cool to see your “Dune” reference in the most recent issue, especially given that Dr. Nemesis was riding a giant sandworm. What kind of reading background do you envision Nemesis has? He’s not exactly a character that one might expect has read “Dune.”
I think we’ve pretty well established Dr. Nemesis as a science fiction fan. He’s been making Star Trek references since issue #1. Frankly, any science fiction fan worth her salt can quote “Dune.” It’s also important to note that we didn’t create Doctor Nemesis’ sci-fi fandom. Si Spurrier and Paul Davidson did. The Doc refers to Cyclops as “La Forge” (as in Geordi La Forge from “Star Trek: TNG”) in their fantastic “X-Club” miniseries. All we did was extrapolate from there.
The team seems to be functioning decently well as individuals, but still have trouble coordinating as a unit. They’re still in a fledgling state in terms of being an actual squad, but how do you hope to help improve their teamwork as the series progresses?
Barely-controlled chaos is kind of this X-Force’s steeze. I wouldn’t hold my breath for them to start running like a Deere. They’re loud and messy. They break things and have to fix them on the fly. But they get the damned job done and frankly that’s all Cable cares about.
You’ve had ample opportunity at this point to explore both Cable’s X-Force as well as the Uncanny Avengers. As the book moves forward, which other Marvel teams do you hope X-Force will come into contact with?
Our big X-Force crossover starts with issue #18 so it’s safe to say Cable’s X-Force will be going toe to toe with those Uncanny impostors out in LA. Fans who have been waiting to find out what Cable and Hope think of Bishop’s reappearance won’t have to wait much longer.
Now, here are a few reader questions from the devoted fans of “Cable and X-Force,” starting with RWS, who wants to know more about how the psimitar might come into play in future issues.
1) With the return of the psimitar last issue, will we be seeing Nathan actually wield this weapon again going forward?
RWS! Unfortunately when the psimitar returned it was promptly stabbed into Cable’s skull. I could be wrong, but I’m guessing he won’t want anything to do with that particular hunk of metal for a good long while.
2) I know we’ll find out soon enough, but can you give any hints as to what the big changes are in Cable’s powers?
Hmm… Okay a hint: Inconvenient.
3) It seems that Cable’s look continues to evolve as well, as evidenced by the new bionic eye. Will we see any additional changes, such as enhancements or streamlining of his “battle arm”?
See now… I think this is your sly way of saying you don’t like the battle arm and want us to do away with it. The only problem with that is me. I do very much like the battle arm so I’m afraid you’re stuck with it. My advice is that you embrace the battle arm. It’s awesome.
Benjamin is up next with a question about where “Cable and X-Force” falls in the timeline of the greater X-Universe.
1) I love what you’ve been doing so far with “Cable & X-Force,” especially Boom Boom. Will we see a point where we can say, “This falls after Battle of the Atom and/or Infinity?”
Benjamin! First off, thank you. I love that you love the book and all the best people love Boom Boom. To answer your question, no, we won’t be tying into those events. For the most part Cable’s X-Force operates off in its own little bubble of the Marvel Universe. We enjoy that distance and so does Cable.
Finally, Marcus puts a bow on this week’s X-Position with a question about Cable, breaking time and “Age of Ultron.”
Given the events of “Age of Ultron” and its effect on the Marvel Multiverse and the timeline of the Marvel Universe, will there be any visible effect on Cable’s mission?
Marcus! You can definitely assume the Age of Ultron time stream damage had an effect on the future catastrophes Cable and his team are fighting to prevent. Time was broken. That affects everyone. But I don’t expect to address it directly in the series. Cable doesn’t care that the old bad turned into new bad. He just wants it stopped.
Thanks to Dennis Hopeless for taking on this week’s X-Position questions!
Next week, it’s a jaunt to join the Merc with a Mouth as X-Position welcomes back “Deadpool” co-writer Gerry Duggan to answer all your questions about the current arc of the series, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” co-starring Wolverine, Captain America and a bunch of genetically modified versions of the X-Men team from “Giant Size X-Men” #1. Have a question for Gerry? send your questions with the subject line “X-Position”, or if your questions are a handy 140-characters-or-less, you can go ahead and send via Twitter — but remember, the deadline is Friday! Do it to it!