SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for "Uncanny Avengers" #2.
Following an intense battle with the Shredded Man in "Uncanny Avengers" #2, wherein the Avengers Unity Squad succumbs to fractured strategies, writer Gerry Duggan and artist Ryan Stegman take us to 2087 where it's revealed that Rogue's team ultimately lose the battle.
The five page coda to the action-packed issue lay out the status quo: Boston has been destroyed, the M-Pox introduced in "Extraordinary X-Men" has taken its toll, and it's been revealed that the Kree have transformed the Earth "but not claim[ed] it." All this comes to light as a mysterious figure roams through the remains of Boston. After four pages in the wrecked future, we meet the mystery man -- and he's no stranger to apocalyptic timelines. As revealed on the final page of the issue (again, spoiler alert), Cable has returned.
Or rather, returned again. This actually marks the mutant's second big return in as many months; Cable's currently the co-lead of the digital-first series "Deadpool & Cable: Split Second." His inclusion at the end of this week's "Uncanny Avengers," as well as his placement in the year 2087, are worth noting because of a few hints dropped by "Split Second" writer Fabian Nicieza during his X-POSITION interviews.
"I cannot drop any hints whatsoever, because I haven't been told very much (or asked too much for that matter)," said Nicieza back in September. "I know where he will appear but not how or why. I was asked to bridge the status quo between 'X-Force' and his next appearances and stabilize aspects of his power, so that's what I'm doing." Based on that comment, it's possible that the current "Split Second" series will end up serving as a prequel of sorts to Cable's appearance in today's "Uncanny Avengers."
It's also worth noting that the cover for "Uncanny Avengers" #3 (seen above to the right) puts Cable in the spotlight -- and he has a noticeable Avengers "A" on his suit instead of the usual X-Men "X." Whether or not this change in his look will be reflected inside of the issue, or if it hints at the time-traveler's allegiances upon returning to the present day, remains to be seen.
"Uncanny Avengers" #2 is in stores now. The first two chapters of "Deadpool & Cable" are available digitally.