Welcome to the five hundred and fifty-fifth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the first five hundred (I actually haven’t been able to update it in a while). This week, was Cable originally intended to be a member of Alpha Flight? Did DC Comics sue a newspaper named the Daily Planet? Did Marvel create an issue of Star Wars out of Al Williamson comic strips?
NOTE: The column is on three pages, a page for each legend. There’s a little “next” button on the top of the page and the bottom of the page to take you to the next page (and you can navigate between each page by just clicking on the little 1, 2 and 3 on the top and the bottom, as well).
COMIC LEGEND: Cable almost debuted as a member of Alpha Flight.
STATUS: I’m Going With True
Some time ago, I did an elaborate Comic Book Legends Revealed delving into the origins of Cable. The basic gist of it is that Cable was born of some Rob Liefeld sketches from 1989.
However, much in the way that Nightcrawler was designed as one type of character before he was retrofitted by Dave Cockrum into the X-Men…
So, too, did the character known as Cable sort of exist out there as a sort of limbo status before he actually became a formalized character in New Mutants, in response to editor Bob Harras’ request for the team to add a new militaristic leader (Liefeld had a bunch of these semi-formalized characters that he mostly ended up using in New Mutants, but some he held on to until Youngblood).
However, as Liefeld told Rich Johnston almost ten years ago right here at Comic Book Resources, Cable almost had another home, but it was lost for the want of a number…a number one.
Cable was in fact first introduced as a character in an Alpha Flight proposal that I gave to Danny Fingeroth that was green lit and moving forward until an Alpha Flight re-launch was ultimately ruled out, a condition necessary for me to jump over from the X-office. Cable walked in the doors with me when I arrived at Marvel, he eventually turned up in New Mutants
After Johnston pressed him for more, he elaborated:
Well, before I was committed to New Mutants, I was looking for a vehicle that I could have more plot input on and it turns out that they were looking for a new team on ‘Alpha Flight.’ I was a huge fan and sent in a two year proposal that pre-dates my start on ‘New Mutants’ by about seven months. Cable was introduced as a soldier from Wolverine’s past, who would have worked with the existing Alpha Flight roster. Danny Fingeroth was eager to get me on the series, but when it wasn’t going to be re-launched I opted for ‘New Mutants’ and was able to do a dramatic housecleaning with editorial’s blessing. My second issue of ‘New Mutants,’ there were several new characters of my design and creation that debuted, including but not limited to Cable. The entire MLF roster was created by me, Thumbleina, Tempo, Fourarm, Wildside, Reaper were among the new villians including Stryfe to appear.
Liefeld’s first issue of New Mutants was a few months before James D. Hudnall’s last issue of Alpha Flight, so the timing checks out (heck, you could argue that Hudnall’s run would have ended earlier had Liefeld agreed to it).
Obviously, Liefeld eventually got to stay in the X-Office AND get a relaunch when New Mutants became X-Force a little over a year after Liefeld took over the book.
Imagine how different things would have been had Cable been an Alpha Flight member!
Thanks to Rob Liefeld and Rich Johnston for the information!
Check out some Christmas-related entertainment and sports legends from Legends Revealed:
Was Stephen Sondheim’s “Marry Me a Little” First Recorded Only as a Christmas Present?
On the next page, did Warner Bros. sue a newspaper for calling itself the Daily Planet?
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