In every installment of “If I Pass This Way Again,” we look at odd comic book plot points that were rarely (sometimes NEVER!) mentioned again after they were first introduced.
Today we look at the time that Cable and Storm seemed headed for a romance before they, well, didn’t end up in a romance.
Really, like most of these stories, this all comes down to the creators involved and how creative changes changed the direction of the story. It all really began towards the end of Whilce Portacio’s brief run on “Uncanny X-Men,” where Portacio was drawing the book and he and Jim Lee were plotting it. They decided to break up Storm and Forge. Well, not PRECISELY break them up, but break them up enough that Forge was no longer in the picture. This eventually led to Forge joining X-Factor. So Storm was now without a love interest for a few years in the early 1990s. When she got her own miniseries in 1995, it appeared that writer Warren Ellis (working with artists Terry Dodson and Karl Story) was addressing this with an intriguing new love interest – CABLE!
At this point in time, Storm was dealing with the sad confrontation with the Morlocks in “Uncanny X-Men” #325 where she seemingly pulled the heart out of the Morlock leader, Sarah (who had been a Morlock who survived the Mutant Massacre only to be taken into another dimension by Mikhail Rasputin where time worked differently, so she aged into a teenager before returning as a mutant terrorist because this is comics and plots sound insane when you boil them down like this). She ended up turning to Cable for some moral support regarding the Morlocks, as she planned on paying tribute to the Morlocks in their tunnels. Their interaction here suggested a little something going on…
And then Storm seems to break up with Forge for good later in the issue. Then, though, she is seemingly killed (but in reality, she was transported to the other dimension by Rasputin, who wanted to make her his queen. Seriously, dudes wanted to make Storm their queen ALL THE FREAKING TIME. Amusingly enough, she eventually actually DID become the queen of Wakanda). Cable then spends the next few issues of the miniseries moping over the loss of the woman he barely knows…
Finally, Storm returns and the experience leads to her deciding to get a new look. Now remember how Cable noticed how Storm smelled? Well, dude’s actually sniffing for her scent by the end of the final issue…
That miniseries alone is basically, “Hey, these two might get together,” but the issue is that Warren Ellis was neither the writer of the two main “X-Men” titles (where Storm appeared) nor “Cable” (where, surprisingly enough, Cable appeared). However, the writer of Cable, Jeph Loeb, was right on this with “Cable” #33 (although the artist didn’t get the memo about Storm’s new costume), as Storm and Cable clearly are vibing each other pretty hard (there’s a fun bit where Domino shows up, and she and Cable shared a psychic rapport, so it’s a bit awkward).
The following issue (art by Ian Churchill and Scott Hanna), Storm shows up to save Cable, who just got a beatdown from the Hulk (who was being controlled by Onslaught), the subtext actually becomes text for a bit when the captions explain that Storm might be feeling a little something extra for Cable beyond friendship….
Dude’s even comparing her to his dead wife in his mind!
After Onslaught, “Cable” #36 (by Loeb and guest artist Bernard Chang) has Cable fighting against the techno-organic virus and Storm is right by his side during it all…
Cable gets visions from his dead wife telling him he has to move on with his life, open up his heart, etc. etc.
Next up, in “X-Men” #61 (by Scott Lobdell, Cedric Nocon – who I totally thought was going to hit it big back in the day and inkers Chad Hunt and Mike Miller), Storm is fighting against the villanous Candra (who I never thought was going to hit it big back in the day) and a young mutant whose power is to read people’s minds and create their desires. For Storm, guess who it is?
Okay, but now the problem is that Loeb has since left “Cable,” Lobdell is leaving the books and Ellis is not writing any of these characters, so other than this quick bit in a Todd DeZago fill-in stint on “Cable,” that was it for Cable and Storm interactions for the next few years…
And that was it. This isn’t really even an “Abandoned Love” situation since they never actually got the party started. It was all just ABOUT to begin, but it never happened. It was always a bit of a weird pairing, so I’m not saying I think they missed anything, but it’s interesting how they set it all up and it went nowhere.
If anyone else has a suggestion for a little-remembered short-lived comic book plot point, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe I’ll feature it in a future installment of If I Pass This Way Again!
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