Hand of Providence: Nicieza talks "Cable & Deadpool"

In the South Pacific there's a small man made island that scares the hell out of many of the governments of the world. That island's name is Providence it was created by the soldier from the future turned savior, Cable, as a haven for people who believe that the world needs to change and should be a better place. In the coming months, Cable and his sometime partner, friend, and secret employee, Deadpool, will find themselves busy as some of the Marvel Universe's biggest events impact on duo's book "Cable & Deadpool." CBR News spoke with the book's writer, Fabian Nicieza, about what's in store for Marvel Comics heavily armed odd couple.

In recent issues of "Cable & Deadpool," the loquacious gun for hire has found his services in demand. Unbeknownst to Deadpool, Cable has been behind these mercenary jobs. "I think Nate hopes that Wade can gain some measure of control over himself and some balance to his life," Nicieza told CBR News. "I also think that Nate thinks since it may never happened, better to use the hammer at your disposal to build your own house than leave it lying around for someone else to use."

The jobs that Deadpool has been pulling for Cable are designed not just to help him gain some self control, but also to further Cable's agenda. "I don't know if it's a 'master plan,' so much as an on-going unfolding of what this guy is all about (and in my mind, has always been all about). He started Big Gun '90s because-- well, that was fun back then-- but also because he needed to escalate the level at which his side would fight in order to level the playing field," Nicieza said. "Since he is a lifelong soldier, he is very much in favor of the arms-escalation theory, 'If they take out a stick, you take out a knife. If they take out a knife, you take out a gun. If they take out a Celestial ship, you take out a Really Big Chiclet Gun.'

"Now mind you, Cable knows this doesn't work," Nicieza continued. "He knows it inevitably leads to a path of death and destruction, defeat and domination for one side or the other. But... if you don't fight it to a certain extent, that is going to happen anyway. But after Apocalypse died (okay, for the fiftieth time-- you don't think Cable really believed he was dead, did you? I mean, he basically said as much to Cyclops earlier in our book's run!), Cable wanted to find a better way. That's what he's working towards.

"Why shouldn't the world be a better place? Why should their be skirmishes between 'countries' whose existences are defined by nothing more than illusory borders on a map or cultural differences borne of having lived on a different sides of a mountain centuries ago? Why should there be killing in the name of spiritual faith? (That's always one of my favorites, too). Why should corporations be making billions of dollars in quarterly profits, etc? The answer, in his mind, is: There is no reason why it shouldn't be a better place. And that's what his 'master plan' is-- simply to make the world a better place. Of course, that raises the question, a better place in whose mind? Well... Cable's, of course..."

At the end of "Cable & Deadpool" #24 readers saw that Cable's plans for a better world have drawn the attention and ire of Nick Fury, who sets the stage for a clash between two of Marvel Comics greatest soldiers in #25 by dispatching Captain America to take down Cable. "The issue is a real watershed moment for the book and Cable's status in the Marvel Universe, I think, because in indescribably arrogant fashion, it clearly lays out how much more life experience Cable has than just about any other character in the M.U. and how he thinks on a much, much broader scope and scale than most characters are able to," Nicieza said.

"Cable respects the living crap out of Cap, but it is within the context of understanding the difference between Captain America the man and the symbol. The man lived a finite life of good deeds, but the symbol far outlived him. You'll get some interesting perspectives on all of that in the issue. Like I said, some readers will perceive it as sheer arrogance on Cable's part (or my part for that matter), but the way Cable approaches Cap is very logical to his character."

Issue #25 is also a big event for the look of "Cable & Deadpool," as it features the debut of new regular artist, Lan Medina. "So far, his work has been real nice, clean with excellent storytelling," Nicieza said. "Issue #26 looks better than #25 and I expect #27 will look even better. It usually takes an artist a few issues to feel comfortable with a book's characters and cadence. His work is very crisp and clean, his facial expressions are strong, his detail work is very grounded in realitym but also understands comic book-tech, so I fully expect we'll keep going strong with the artistic tone established on this book first by Mark Brooks and then for a very extended run of monthly issues by the wonderful, dearly-departed Patrick Zircher."

After Cable's confrontation with Captain America, he and Deadpool must contend with the reemergence of Apocalypse. "Cable & Deadpool" issues# 26-27 are a prequel to "The Blood of Apocalypse" storyline that runs through "X-Men" #182-186. "The prequel is a wholly self-contained story that takes place immediately before the rise of Apocalypse in the current X-issues," Nicieza said "It helps explain how Apocalypse resurrected himself and it reveals a pretty startling secret about how Apocalypse became what he is today and what Cable's role in that was."

Some readers might incorrectly expect that the return of Apocalypse will change Cable's mission. "I think the return of Apocalypse only galvanizes Cable's desire to present an alternative to both mutants and humans on Earth," Nicieza stated. "Right now, maybe Cable would agree that the mutants of the world need Apocalypse back, to serve as a lightning rod and call to action. Or maybe Cable is just playing everyone. We'll see."

After the Apocalypse storyline ,"Cable & Deadpool" will find themselves reunited with a familiar face. "Issue #28 starts 'The Domino Principle,' a storyline naturally featuring Domino in a very prominent role that will throw her into a potential assassination plot in the Central European country of Rumekistan," Nicieza explained. "As all six people who read the second 'Citizen V' limited series will recall, that is a country now ruled by the terrorist who hates nations, the Flag-Smasher. What does any of this have to do with Cable or Deadpool? Well, everything!"

Readers can also expect both Cable and Deadpool to become embroiled in Marvel's looming epic story "Civil War." "We'll be very involved in 'Civil War's storyline, not because our characters have to choose a side so much as because they will enjoy playing both sides against the other," Nicieza hinted.

In addition to "Civil War," Cable will be affected by another event, this one occurring not in the pages of "Cable & Deadpool." As writer Mike Carey recently revealed, when he takes over as the regular writer of "X-Men," Cable will be a member of the team. "When I was told this idea was floating around, I was justifiably wary, but also very interested," Nicieza said. "I mean, the team line-up alone made me smile and realize that the Mikes were getting it (Marts and Carey). Everything I've heard so far leads me to believe Cable will be well-handled and that Mike Carey 'gets' Cable -- which I don't mean to sound condescending, but the amount of readers, writers and editors who just don't get him or whose opinions of the character are derived from a very limited exposure almost 15 years ago is always a bit of a head against the wall kind of thing for us as 'CDP' Central."

It's too early to tell how Nate's involvement with the X-Men will affect "Cable & Deadpool" and whether or not his teammates will be appearing in the book. "I'll let that play out as we go along. I'd love to do more with that particular nasty group of X-Men in 'Cable & Deadpool,' but it's gotta all make sense and work out well. We'll see."

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