Cable and Bishop are two mutants from contradictory futures, although both timelines are unfortunately bleak. The main difference between the two futures revolves around a young mutant - a "Messiah" child. In Bishop's time, this child is the cause of great misery. In Cable's time, the child leads to salvation. How do the two men know which of their futures will come to pass? Or is it possible that they both may somehow happen?
Scientists and philosophers have debated about the future and alternate timelines for years, and today, writer Duane Swierczynski joins us to share his take on those ideas as they apply to the Marvel Comics series he's writing: "The Times and Life of Lucas Bishop" and of course "Cable," issue #12 of which goes on sale this week and features illustrations by guest artist Jamie McKelvie.
So before a wormhole opens up and sucks us into an alternate timeline, let's move on to your questions in this all new edition of X-POSITION.
CBR: First up is Marcus Martin, who starts off with an interesting proposition in visiting past tragedies:
If Bishop and Cable both knew of the events of M-Day (since they are from separate futures), then why didn't either of them try to kill or help the Scarlet Witch when they had the chance?
Duane Swierczynski: But Bishop didn't know about Scarlet Witch or M-Day. Don't forget - he grew up in a world with plenty of mutants running around. But as you'll see in "The Times and Life of Lucas Bishop," he did know about the mutant messiah. At least, what was passed down to him through stories and legends.
As for Cable...well, he's always been kind of a squirrely guy. If he didn't blow away Scarlet Witch with a big-ass Rob Liefeldâ„¢ gun the moment he jumped into the present, I'm sure he had his reasons.
We already know what will happen if Bishop fails in his quest to kill Hope, but what about Cable? I mean, will there ever be a future issue which centers around the reasons why Cable thinks Hope is the key to a better future and what will happen if he fails?
Cable plays his cards very close to his vest. He also sees this story playing out over twenty centuries - unlike Bishop, who only knows about eighty years' worth of future history (at least, the future he knows).
This leaves open the crazy possibility that Cable knows it'll be as bad as Bishop thinks - that a million humans will die and mutant concentration camps will pop up faster than Chick-Fil-A. But to Cable, this scenario may be a necessary tragedy that will have a positive effect centuries from now.
Like I said: dude's squirrely.
MikeyAnd is curious about the familial ties of the characters he's reading. Can you help him out with some hints?
Any chance we can see a flashback of Cable parenting his other child, Tyler Dayspring? Or how about a glimpse of his past life with his late wife Aliya? I think there could be good comparisons/story-points there?
Chances are good, MikeyAnd. And don't forget "The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix." You generally learn how to be a parent from your parents. And sadly, it's all too easy to repeat their mistakes. Cable grew up and became an angry, emotionally distant soldier...so what's that say about how Hope might turn out?
Regarding "The Tines and and Life of Lucas Bishop," are we finally going to get an answer as to Lucas' heritage? Is he related to Storm or M in any way? It would be awesome to find out...
It would be awesome, wouldn't it?
Need a lozenge? DrNoh has one for you, in addition to a laundry list of queries...
It was very nice to have met you on Friday at the New York Comic Convention. Thank you for taking to time to speak with me. Back then, I asked you many questions about "The Tines and Life of Lucas Bishop," but I still have many more...
DrNoh! So we meet again! Tell me, did a letter arrive in the mail a few weeks ago? The one with the words "Restraining Order" in bold print at the top? No? Anyway...Â
Has anyone ever thought about where Rachel Summers' era fits into all of this, since Bishop's timeline is supposedly based off of hers? Has anyone thought to write what she must think of this?
"Supposedly based off of hers" - that's a big supposition. The only person who can really tell us about Lucas Bishop's timeline is Lucas Bishop himself. And he may or may not have told the truth.
Will the XUE and their mysterious founder (who's probably Forge) make an appearance?
When are we ever going to learn why Jubilee was called "The Last X-Man" (re. "X-Men" #4)?
Not in this miniseries.
What of the Great Betrayal of the X-Men, first mentioned by Bishop in "X-Men" #8? Has this become irrelevant now?
Keep reading. (This really isn't your day, isn't it?)
Are we going to see any XSE culture and customs, such as the fact its officers weren't allowed to date anyone (as stated in "Uncanny X-Men" #310)? And regardless of this fact, will Bishop have a love interest in this miniseries?
No time for love, DrNoh.
We all saw Dwayne in the "X-Factor: Layla Miller" one-shot, but will we see the other members of Hancock and Hecate's squad during the Summers Rebellion, such as Pachinko and Southpaw?
Goddam, I'm just disappointing you left and right here.
The most dramatic ongoing continuity problem is the one involving the Legacy Virus causing the capture and branding of mutants vs. the idea of the Messiah being the motivation for this action. The strain of the Legacy Virus that kills humans was the cause behind the mutant roundup in Bishop's era (according to "X-Factor" #143-144). This is the only reason why the XUE arrived to Earth-616 in the first place. Now fans are to believe that the powers of an infant "Mutant Messiah" are the cause of the problems in Bishop's era. This creates a major continuity issue, in my opinion.
When I hear the words "major continuity issue," I can think of only one thing...X-Men Editor Nick Lowe!
Nick Lowe: Here I come! First of all, DrNoh, since when has anything on the Earth been an "only reason?" Second of all, any future is a fluid thing depending on the situation in the present. The events of "X-Factor" #143-144 happened before the Legacy Virus was cured for mutants. Who's to say that this didn't happen in the timeline before the XUE came to the Marvel U? Third of all, even if the whole Colossus cure thing did happen the same way, who are you to say that Hope (that's the Messiah Child's name) had nothing to do with the virus re-emerging?
We finish up today's fun and high jinks with a thoughtful email from Philip A Moore.
Is "Messiah War" the end of the current Cable storyline with the child? I thought one of the editors said "Messiah War" is only part two of a trilogy - is this correct?
Yes. This is the midpoint of the larger story. As we open "Messiah War," Hope is about nine years old, and has yet to manifest her mutant abilities - if she has them.
If you were to press the time machine button on your oversized mechanical arm and jump more or less one year into the future, there's a decent chance you'd be reading an X-POSITION about this third installment. Or at the very least, rumblings about the upcoming third installment.
Will you be writing "Cable" after "Messiah War" is over? It doesn't seem that the title can still be about Bishop chasing Cable and the child after the war event - will the book evolve into something else?
Oh yeah, I'll still be writing "Cable" for the foreseeable future. What, didn't you read my X-POSITION from March 2010? Geez.
In seven days, we'll have for you the deliriously delightful "Deadpool" writer known as Daniel Way. He'll also be discussing his "Wolverine: Origins" and any other related mutant mayhem you choose to ask about. "Deadpool" #8 is in stores this week, so do your homework and get those emails to us quickly. We'll be looking for emails with "X-Position" in the subject line. As for the rest, they'll line the cage of my virtual hamster. See you next week!