…Cable’s origin?

Figure 00_prophetcable1

Rob Liefeld had originally planned for Cable to be a traveller from thousands of years in the future who journeyed back to our time to combat specific menaces that threatened the future of the Marvel Universe, intending Kang the Conqueror as chief among these threats.  To support this Rob reveals, in Prophet/Cable #1, that Prophet was originally intended to be a police officer from the future sent by Kang, a warlord in his era, to bring back Cable.  While this never came to be, here’s my attempt to increase his importance in the wider Marvel Universe… but with a twist;)

In Chris Claremont’s End of Greys tale the Shi’ar, in an effort to prevent the manifestation of the Phoenix through her descendants, decide to end Rachel Grey’s line by having their Death Commandos slay the entire Grey family (cf. Uncanny X-Men #467-468).

Figure 01_Uncanny X-Men V1 468 - 11

In Uncanny X-Men #468, Rachel wonders why the Shi’ar missed Cable when he’s her carries the genes of her mother’s clone.

Figure 02_Uncanny X-Men V1 468 - 21

We know the Shi’ar have technology far exceeding anything even Mr. Sinister would possess in determining Cable’s lineage, and yet they choose not to involve him in their purge.

Figure 03_Cable V1 06

This would seem to put an end to the erroneous argument that Cable is the offspring of Jean Grey’s clone…

Figure 04_mother of Nathan Summers, Madelyne Pryor_Uncanny X-Men V1 241

…and goes along with his creator Rob Liefeld’s own hope “that one day, the Askani aspect will be revealed as a dream, a hoax or an imaginary story and that Cable’s true identity will be revealed” (Robservations XI: The Secret Origin of Cable)

Interestingly Chris Claremont also contended on Comixfan that it was never his intention for Rachel to evolve into “Mother Askani”!

Figure 05_Rachel as Mother Askani_Cable V1 23

So here I am again with a solution, this time for how the Askani aspect of Cable’s origin can be revealed as inaccurate.

Figure 06_Soldier X 08

I’d do this by firstly suggesting that young Nathan Christopher Summers and Cable are not the same being.

Figure 07_Nathan Summers of Earth-161

Okay then!

Endgame” did happen, and I felt I should make it work, so in line with Fabian et. al., I’d retain the account that young Nathan Christopher Summers was infected by Apocalypse because the Celestial caretaker had been advised that the infant would somehow prevent his ascension.

Figure 08_Nathan infected by Apocalypse

Hence Askani appears on the scene and offers to take him through time to cure him of the infection.

Figure 09_Askani takes Nathan to cure

However, in line with Claremont’s contention that Askani might not have been intended to be from 4000 AD, I’d instead reveal Cable was from the alternate world, Warlord’s Earth, where Nathaniel Richards dwelt.

Figure 10_What If v2 39 p10

I say alternate world because in X-Factor #67 on page 6, the world that Apocalypse rules (and Askani hails from) is referred to as “Sidereal scantime.” So it’s a SIDE REALITY, as Other Earth is.

Figure 11_X-Factor 67_Sidereal

I’d further reveal the Askani Sisterhood as a future version of the matriarchal society of the Eyrie on Warlord’s Earth, as shown by John Byrne in Fantastic Four #273.

Figure 12_Eyriennes from Fantastic Four 273

Upon being cured of his techno-organic infection, I’d propose the Askani placed him in the care of this timeline’s Richards clan who are descendants of this timeline’s Franklin Richards and Rachel Grey.

Nathan Christopher Summers is hence raised as a Richards to protect his identity from Clan Akkaba’s spies who will stop at nothing to kill him since he is destined to become Apocalypse’s greatest enemy.

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Young Nathan is then secretly trained in the use of his powers, in much the same way 1A trained Magnus the Robot Fighter (but perhaps still ignorant of his true identity).

Figure 13_1A training Magnus the Robot Fighter

Upon discovering the truth, he embraces his destiny, and travels back in time to become Rama-Tut with the aim of preventing the High Lord from becoming “all-powerful”.

Figure 14_FF273_Kang

Unfortunately, in an ironic twist, the Fantastic Four return to the same period…

Figure 15_Fantastic Four's arrival in ancient Egypt_Fantastic Four V1 19

…and it is their interference…

Figure 16_Rama-Tut's defeat_Fantastic Four V1 19

…that prevents Rama-Tut from stopping Apocalypse before he begins his meteoric rise to power.

Figure 17_Apocalypse rise to power in Egypt

As for Cable’s true identity, around the same time as his introduction there was another character in the Marvel Universe having similar features.

That is, Nathaniel Richards Senior – Reed’s father.

Figure 18_Fantastic Four V1 375 - 45

In addition, Cable regularly used the Askani curse-phrase “stab his eyes”…

Figure 20_Cable Blood-Metal 02 - 28

…and when Nathaniel was reintroduced during Tom De Falco’s run on Fantastic Four he was teaching Franklin curses including “Stab my eyes”…

Figure 21_Fantastic Force 09 - 16

….which seemed to imply that the reality he raised his grandson in was one where the Askani held sway.

This could further resolve why Cable’s first name is Nathan.

But fret not!  I’m not suggesting this is because he is Nathan Richards Senior…

…rather that he is the unnamed son from Nathaniel Richards Senior’s marriage to Cassandra, Warlord of Otherworld.

Figure 22_Fantastic Four V1 272 - 21

Figure 22_Fantastic Four V1 272 - 22

While completely out there, look at the similarities in their armour; that worn by Cable during New Mutants #90…

Figure 23_New Mutants v1 90

…and moreso during the Sabotage X-Over in X-Force #3…

Figure 24_X-Force v1 03 - 09

…and Spider-Man #16…

Figure 25_Spider-Man V1 16 - 12Figure 26_Spider-Man V1 16 - 13

Figure 27_Spider-Man V1 16 - 16-17

…was almost identical to Nathaniel Richards Senior’s psi-armour worn during flashbacks in Fantastic Four #390 (p. 10)…

Figure 25_Fantastic Four V1 390 - 11

…and #393 (p. 4).

Figure 29_Fantastic Four V1 393 - 04

I would posit that Cable’s armour was meant to be psi-armour rather than generic (which could be used in concert with his telekinesis to absorb Juggernaut impacts), and this is the reason it looked so similar to that worn by Richards.

This would further explain why, as stated in Cable’s costume specifications in his Marvel Universe Master Edition #3 entry, the various suits of body armour he wore were of “unknown composition”.

Figure 25

Furthermore, the armour worn by Reed Richards during his “battle-in-time” with Dr. Doom during Fantastic Four #352 was extremely similar to that worn by Nathaniel and Cable.

Fantastic Four V1 352 - 12

So Cable wears this trademark armour due to his being the son and heir of Nathaniel Richards Senior and a time-traveller like his father, since that would appear to be the function of that worn by both Nathaniel and Reed; and claims affiliation with Cyclops and Nathan Summers as a cover story.

Why?

Maybe Nathaniel Senior discovers the destiny of young Nathan Christopher Summers, and raises his and Cassandra’s unnamed son to travel to Earth-616 and begin involving himself in missions that would eventually suggest to Apocalypse that he was in fact young Nate.

In this way they could prevent Apocalypse from realising what the Richards Clan were really up to.  That is, training Nathan Summers to go back in time and prevent his rise as Rama-Tut.

I feel the revelation of Cable being a Richards would also fulfil Rob Liefeld’s plan of his being a technologically advanced time-traveller with a strong science background (since science certainly runs in the Richards family).

This is why Reed’s father, at times, appears enigmatic and his occasional machinations seem opposed to the Fantastic Four.  Nathaniel Sr. can’t reveal the truth to them for fear that Apocalypse may discover the truth.  That and he is still miffed at their interference in preventing Rama-Tut from putting a stop to Apocalypse.

As mentioned above Claremont’s End of Greys storyline puts an end to the argument that Cable is the offspring of Jean Grey’s clone.

In addition, it is more likely, as I suggest, that Cable hails from an alternate earth, rather than the far flung future of 4000 AD. Cable can still be a time-traveller and travel from Earth-6311 to Earth-616, as time machines have previously been proven to be able to access both realities.

It is further doubtful that Cable travelled from this future to our present, since after Pryde’s Time-Switch, the Hierarchy set in motion appropriate counter-measures installing Ahab and his Sentinels and Hounds at the temporal Nexus to prevent any further time travel from the future back to the modern era…

Figure 29

…so Cable would have been prevented from travelling from the future to our era prior to 1990.

While one could argue that Bishop had done the same, this was only after Claremont had Ahab defeated and Cable had arrived in our era prior to this.

If we maintain Cable was a alternity traveller, this further supports my theory that he did not come from the 4000 AD, but rather the period of Warlord’s Earth that Nathaniel Richards Sr. had settled in (hence my positing above that he is Nathaniel’s other unnamed son, by way of Cassandra).

All that’s left to figure out now is how Cable knew the Master of the Hounds, Ahab in Uncanny X-Men Annual #14 (and no I don’t believe the two were originally intended to be the same character and here is my reason why).

Postscript: What would make this whole scenario perfect for me is for the Shi’ar to eventually make an attempt on one of the incarnations of Nathaniel Richards Jr., whether that be Rama-Tut, Kang or Immortus.

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…Ahab’s origin?

Days of Future Present trade cover by Mike Mignola

Figure 1: Ahab's introduction in the Days of Future Present crossover.

Ahab was the “Master of the Hounds” from the Days of Future Past future – the one that Rachel Grey hailed from.  Hounds were mutants with powers useful for tracking other mutants, who were controlled by Ahab in that timeline.  Back when Cable still didn’t have a past, Ahab was introduced in the Days of Future Present crossover (Fantastic Four Annual #23, X-Factor Annual #5, New Mutants Annual #6, Uncanny X-Men Annual #14).  During one fight scene during this crossover, Cable and Ahab get close to one another, and Cable is shocked to recognise something familiar in Ahab, reinforced to readers further when Ahab says: “What’s wrong Cable? See someone you know?” (cf. Uncanny X-Men Annual #14).

Ahab coming to blows with Cable for the first time?

Figure 2: When Cable meets Ahab face-to-face he appears to recognise him; but how?! from X-Men Annual #14, p.31

Now, although Rictor was the first to point out that Cable looked like Ahab

Rictor being the first to point out Cable looking like Ahab

Figure 3: The panel that started it all - Rictor being the 1st to note a physical resemblance between Cable and Ahab, from New Mutants Annual #6, p.45

I believe his judgement was clouded by his guilt over killing the Hound

Rictor demonstrating a heightened state of stress due to killing one of Ahab's "Hounds"

Figure 4: Was Rictor's judgement clouded by his guilt over killing the Hound? from New Mutants Annual #6, p.31

and his reluctance to trust Cable (cf. New Mutants #89, p.30)

first indications of Rictor's grudge towards Cable

Figure 5: First indication of Rictor's grudge towards Cable, from New Mutants #89, p.30

due to his belief that Cable set his father up to get killed  (cf. New Mutants #90, p. 14 & 18)

Rictor taking Cable on about setting his father up to get killed

Figure 6: The reason for the animosity is that Rictor believes Cable is responsible for killing his father, from New Mutants #90, p.18

and his recollection that when he was a child – prior to manifesting his powers – Cable seemed like such a monster (cf. New Mutants #93, page 14).

Rictor runs ahead of Sunspot and Wolfsbane, but Sunspot tells him to wait up, reminding Rictor that the problem he has with Cable has caused difficulties for them before - Rictor interrupts, telling Bobby to drop it, as it is over, and that there won’t be anymore problems, as they are a team and will stay a team. Rictor wonders however, how Cable fits into this, and remembers that when he was a child, Cable seemed like a monster, but now he isn’t so sure.

Figure 7: Rictor recalls that when he was a child Cable seemed like such a monster, from New Mutants #93, p.14

This along with noticing superficial physical similarities – scar over right eye, and bionic left arm and shoulder (cf. X-Factor #61, p. 6 among others)

Cable tells himself that Wipeout's power blocks somehow makes him unable to control his bionic left arm, rendering it useless

Figure 8: Cable notes his left arm as the bionic arm, etc. from X-Factor #61, p.6

– while experiencing a heightened state of stress, provides a reasonable excuse for Rictor’s misplaced paranoia.

I do think Louise Simonson had somewhat of a plan for Cable negative relationship with Rictor – and no I don’t think it was the later revelation of Stryfe being his doppelganger – which I believe was somehow tied into his having previously worked as a government agent who went “rogue” (cf. New Mutants #88), his past with Moira MacTaggert (cf. New Mutants #89), his past connection with Sunfire and the Yashida Clan (cf. New Mutants #93) and the outstanding scores with Wolverine and his previous link to Madripoor.

However, I’m certain the intention was NOT to impose Ahab’s origin onto Cable to resolve the fact that they didn’t initially have a background for him, but that it was planted as a RED HERRING!

Fabian Nicieza claims the latter, suggesting Bob Harras pushed for the dialogue in Uncanny X-Men Annual #14; though I’m not entirely convinced it was him primarily since the dialogue at the time seemed indicative of Claremont’s well-known catch phrases – which I’ll expound below.

While Cable and Ahab did have some similar features, there are more distinct differences, than similarities, during Ahab’s introduction in the Days of Future Present Annuals.

While both characters had similar scars across their right eyes, Cable’s left eye was the bionic one.

Even though his Physical Description from the Marvel Universe Master Edition #3 at the time suggested otherwise,

Figure 9: Physical Description notes mistakenly that Cable has bionic right eye, from Marvel Universe Master Edition #3.

Figure 9: Physical Description notes mistakenly that Cable has bionic right eye, from Marvel Universe Master Edition #3.

New Mutants #89 (p. 26)

Cable indicates his left eye as the bionic one.

Figure 10: Cable indicates his left eye as the bionic one - unlike Ahab's which is the right one - from New Mutants #89, p.26.

and Uncanny X-Men Annual #14 (p. 17) proved the original intention since Cable’s right eye was blue,

Panel showing the original intention since Cable’s right eye was blue.

Figure 11: Further proof the original intention that Cable's left eye is the bionic one, as this panel shows the right eye is blue, from X-Men Annual #14, p.17

page 18 showing Ahab’s left eye as brown, his right eye being the bionic one.

Ahab’s left eye being shown as brown, his right eye being the bionic one.

Figure 12: Panel showing Ahab’s left eye as brown - the right eye being the bionic one, from X-Men Annual #14, p.18

While the rendering on their bionic left arms was awfully similar, the renderings appeared to suggest Forge’s design, since they were practically identical to how his prosthesis was depicted as in New Mutants #65 (p. 24, panel 4)

Forge’s prosthetic having identical renderings to those of Cable and Ahab's.

Figure 13: Bionic renderings appeared to suggest Forge’s design, from New Mutants #65, p.24

and on the cover of New Mutants #66

Cover of New Mutants #66 with further demonstration of Forge's bionic design.

Figure 14: Further evidence of Forge's bionic design, from New Mutants #66 cover.

(given the similarity of Forge’s design it is most interesting that he claimed credit for Misty Knight’s cyborg arm in UXM #264).

Forge claiming credit for Misty Knight’s cyborg arm

Figure 15: Forge claiming credit for Misty Knight’s cyborg arm in Uncanny X-Men #264, p.8.

In addition, on page 18 of X-Men Annual #14 (1990) Ahab calls Cyclops “laddie-buck”, definitely not indicative of Cable’s speech patterns.

Panel of Ahab calling Cyclops “laddie-buck”.

Figure 16: Ahab calling Cyclops “laddie-buck” - definitely not indicative of Cable’s speech patterns - from X-Men Annual #14, p.18

This was a well-known Claremont idiom regularly used by his Welsh character Dai Thomas, who I might add he originally introduced as an anti-superhero police officer and friend/ member of Joseph MacTaggert’s infantry in the Royal Marine Commandos.

Also, according to Banshee in New Mutants Annual #6 (p. 18) Cable was in Madripoor at the time Ahab was rounding up fellow mutants with Rachel.

Banshee explains that Cable was in Madripoor at the time Ahab was rounding up fellow mutants with Rachel.

Figure 17: Banshee explaining that Cable is in Madripoor at the time Ahab was rounding up fellow mutants with Rachel, from Banshee in New Mutants Annual #6, p.18

What this all suggests is that Cable obviously recognised Ahab in Annual #14, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that he was recognising himself.  It could alternatively suggest that Cable may have encountered Ahab in his former identity, before he became “Master of the Hounds”.

What was that former identity, you ask?

The one thing that has been completely overlooked in the two decades since Ahab’s introduction is his going grey in a really unusual pattern.

I still can’t believe I am the only one who picked this up, but I’ve noted no one else make the same particular reference online over this whole time.

The only question remaining with regard to Ahab is whether he is Rogue’s father, brother or son.

Unlikely that he is her father or brother since Ahab is obviously Welsh or Scottish and Rogue was born in Mississippi.

However, could he be Rogue’s son?

During Uncanny X-Men #278 the Shadow King seduces Rogue.

Panel of Rogue being seduced by the Shadow King

Figure 18: The Shadow King seduces Rogue, from Uncanny X-Men #278, p.17

What if Claremont intended her to become pregnant by him, with Ahab?

When she comes to realise what has occurred, perhaps Claremont didn’t originally intend her to return to the team right away, but rather have her remain on Muir Island to give birth.

She swears Moira to secrecy about the pregnancy (who likely empathises Moira, given the father of her own child was a monster), and after giving birth returns to the X-Men.

But not before leaving the child with Moira to rear (drawing a nice parallel to Mystique’s own giving up of Kurt).

Moira, not unfamiliar with raising other bairns (i.e. Rahne), raises the child, who upon reaching his teens, like Crystal’s child, Luna, goes on to develop no powers.

He develops a crush on Rachel, who rejects him for Franklin Richards!

He takes the rejection harshly, considering the reason being because he is not a mutant, and goes on to develop a burning prejudice against mutants (much like the latter-introduced Graydon Creed).

This anti-mutant prejudice brings him into some conflict, and he is left for dead (without arms, his right eye and left leg).

But like Cameron Hodge before him, he survives, and submits himself to a process developed by the Genoshans, becoming “Master of the Hounds”, going on to enslave and humiliate Rachel; developing the Hound process in tribute to his father the Shadow King.

Note: His being raised on Muir Island would perhaps explain the accent Claremont imbued him with in Uncanny X-Men Annual #14; his crazy hair perhaps be explained by having Legion be the biological father (who was possessed by the Shadow King at the time).