Cable (1st series) #18

Issue Date: 
December 1994
Story Title: 
The Dark Ride: part 2: Judgement Day

Jeph Loeb (writer), Steve Skroce (pencils), Sellers, Lowe, Barta, Carani, Ryan, Branch (inks), Mike Thomas (colors), Starkings/Comicraft (letters), Lisa Patrick (editor), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Their hunt for the Dark Riders has led Cable, Domino, Storm and Caliban to Alexandria, Egypt. There, Caliban locates the Rider known as Tusk and chases him into the busy city streets. This causes a lot of commotion and property damage, but luckily Cable and Domino manage to work together so that nobody gets hurt. Eventually, he is successfully captured by Storm and Cable “convinces” Tusk to lead them to his teammates. Tusk leads the four powerful mutants into the desert, where suddenly a sandstorm rises. Unfortunately, Ororo can’t manipulate it, as she discovers the storm is not natural in its making. Suddenly, Tusk betrays them and rejoins the other Riders, where it is revealed that Hurricane is responsible for creating the sandstorm. However, Storm, Cable, Domino and Caliban still manage to defeat some of the Riders. Gauntlet becomes angry at Hurricane for twice promising he could defeat Storm, and twice he has failed to do so. He states that Hurricane has been judged and wants to kill him. Cable uses his telekinetic powers to prevent Gauntlet from doing this. He thinks the Riders had better surrender, but they refuse to even speak the word. Istead, Harddrive teleports them away again, leaving Cable and the others unable to follow. Suddenly, however, Harddrive then teleports them away, too! They materialize in a ruined city, and Cable is naturally shocked at the destruction. However, there is more to this city than meets the eye. They are in Akkaba. Cable reveals that in the future, he and his rebel friends settle in a place called Akkaba. What they didn’t know was that their base was also the birthplace of… Apocalypse! And Cable finds a sign which confirms just that. On that moment, another familiar face appears, someone Cable knew couldn’t be dead. It’s his son… Tyler?!? Tyler greets his father, and the Dark Riders appear behind him.

Full Summary: 

Alexandria, Egypt…

Cable, Storm, Domino and Caliban came to this place to do the unthinkable. With the help of the one time Morlock, Caliban, whose mutant tracking ability they are using, they hunt the foot soldiers in the mysterious mutant known as Apocalypse’s insane war to determine the survival of the hitters. The hunted are known as the Dark Riders. But Cable isn’t concerned about the certain danger that lies ahead. Something else has preoccupied his thoughts since encountering the Riders in the sewers of New York. It’s something disturbing… something… evil.

Domino stands before a market vendor, who is trying to sell her a purple scarf. The man wants to sell it to her for 700 Egyptian pounds. Cable appears behind Domino, and warns her she is being robbed. Hearing that, the salesman quickly changes his mind and tells Domino she can have it for only 200. Ignoring him, Domino asks Cable if he had any word from Caliban yet. He hasn’t, and explains that Caliban and Storm are working the rooftops. Which leaves him with the worst part: the waiting. On that moment, Tusk falls down from a rooftop, breaking the salesman’s merchandise. The salesman fears he is ruined now.

Caliban threatens the Dark Rider he promised Cable he would catch one of them, meaning he can’t escape, as Caliban always keeps his promise. Tusk jumps on the front side of a passing truck, which freaks out the truck driver who thinks he’s seeing a demon. The driver loses control of his truck and crashes into a wall, which collapses. Domino does her best to push the people into safety, but can’t do it alone. She asks Cable for some help, but can’t see him anymore. Bricks star falling down on her and threaten to crush her and a kid. Domino holds her arms over the kid’s head hoping to protect him.

Cable shouts at Domino he’ll be right back at her. In the heat of the moment, Cable dares something with his mutant ability he hasn’t tried before. Taking the idea from the X-Man Cyclops, who has honed his optic blasts to the point where he can send a sharply defined shot, Cable sends out a rapid-fire succession of telekinetic bursts. He combines it with his own innate marksman skills, resulting in a very effective TK shooting gallery! The blast shatters the bricks that were about to fall on Domino and the kid. Domino, speaking in Arabic, tells the kid it’s alright, and sighs in relief.

Nathan helps her up, and jokingly tells Domino they’ve set enough fireworks for one day. He suggests they go before the Egyptian authorities are all over them. The kid thanks Cable and Domino for saving him. With a confident look in his eyes, Cable tells the kid there’s no need to thank them. He wants to make sure nobody else is going to die because of Apocalypse!

Meanwhile, Tusk is still running throughout the city. He finds himself in a dark alley and mocks that Cable and the others are weaklings. He is without his other Tusk brothers and could still get away from them. On that moment, a lightning bolt strikes just near Tusk, which startles him greatly. Storm lands down and warns the little mutant it’s the end of the road. She threatens the Dark Riders have much to answer for, and she and her friends will provide the questions.

Storm recalls she grew up as a thief much like these in Cairo. As a thief, she knew that her life depended on how quickly she could escape through the back alleys to safety. However, she learned then, that no matter how fast you are, if someone has no other purpose than to catch you, you will be caught. Ironically, Ororo learns today that it works both ways.

Cable and Domino catch up on her. Cable moves close to Tusk and threatens the “piece of tusk” to listen to him. He is going to lead them to the other Dark Riders or… Tusk shouts at Cable he doesn’t scare him, because Apocalypse taught them… Cable doesn’t let Tusk finish his sentence, and says Apocalypse is dead, and they can give Tusk a similar arrangement if he wants to. He throws Tusk hard against a wall. Storm notices that Cable was bluffing and speaks to Domino about it, telling her that this is not the way how the X-Men handle things. Domino gives Ororo a reality check: Cable isn’t an X-Man.

Injured from his fall, Tusk agrees to help Cable. Why shouldn’t he? Gauntlet and the others judged and defeated Tusk prime and his brothers. He was the only one to escape. If Cable helps him rescue his brothers, he’ll take him to the heart of the Dark Riders’ stronghold! Cable angrily tells his people to saddle up.

Some time later…

Cable, Domino, Storm and Caliban are riding on camels which follow Tusk through a desert. This desert has swallowed entire civilizations through the ages. But never in its endless history has the desert hosted such a party like this. Holding his gun ready, Cable admits to Ororo he’s curious to know why she agreed to come along. Ororo mocks that, if Cable spent more time with the X-Men, he wouldn’t have had to ask that question. When Cable says he doesn’t understand what that means, Ororo explains that it means each of the X-Men have joined a sort of… family. As a member of that family, Nathan needed help, so she came.

Nathan feels that being part of that family also has its price. Ororo wants to tell Nathan something he may not know about. She reveals she wasn’t the only one they called Windrider… she grew up as an orphan, alone… on the streets… without so much as a face to call “mother” or “father.” Cable knows that pain, too. For so much of his life, he has been alone. He has lost his mother, his wife and his son. He has lost everyone he ever loved. Ororo reminds Cable he hasn’t lost everyone. Not for as long as he has the X-Men.

Caliban, while calling Domino “patch eye,” asks if she wants some water. Domino tells Caliban for the nineteenth time her real name, hoping he’ll remember it this time. Caliban smiles he likes “patch eye,” thinking she is funny. He thinks they could be friends, like him and Kitty Pryde. Domino doesn’t even know who that is. Impatiently, Domino asks Cable how much longer this ride is going to take. “For as long as it has to,” Cable answers. Domino asks if it has occurred to anyone they could be being led into a trap. Cable says it occurred to everyone (except to Caliban, maybe). But they agreed to do this.

Suddenly, Tusk starts running away! A wind appears, causing sand to rise up and making it more difficult to see. Nathan asks Ororo if she can do anything about this wind, but Ororo quickly notices that the wind is not natural in its making and, since they are all aware what Hurricane is capable of doing, this wind could be caused by him. Cable warns his friends they heard Ororo, and they need to be alert for anything.

Suddenly, Cable gets hit by a blast and falls off his camel! Lifeforce quickly jumps at Storm and holds her tightly, while Tusk Prime violently hits Caliban in his face, proudly declaring that the Riders rule the day. Spyne mocks they’ll feast on their flesh, and Domino will be the appetizer. Domino doesn’t think so. She pulls out her gun and shoots her opponent. Cable tries to get up but is too disoriented to do so. He gets hit by another blast, and the shooter reveals himself: Barrage! Barrage mentions they’ve got orders to bring Cable in alive, but nobody said anything about not messing him up a little first.

Cable refuses to let that happen, and hits Barrage with a powerful T.K. blast. The ferocity of Cable’s assault surprises even him. Simultaneously, it is excruciating, invigorating and exhausting. It is becoming Nathan’s secret weapon. It’s like having an atomic bomb in his back pocket. He cannot go to it every time… but it sure can be effective. Barrage lands right in front of Domino’s feet. She jokes that blast must have hurt. She throws Cable a gun and wonders if he still remembers how to use it. Of course, Cable does. He fires the gun and hits Lifeforce, causing her to release Storm.

Even though they’ve known each other a long time, Domino still marvels when she sees Cable’s prowess with a weapon. Cable quickly reacts and also hits Tusk. Storm shouts at Nathan to hold his fire. With glowing eyes, Ororo says they’ve been suffocated by the storm long enough. And, she adds, if Hurricane believes he can wrest control of the elements from her, he is sorely mistaken!

Storm reaches up into the atmosphere and cleaves a wedge of desperately needed air. Within moments, the sandstorm that had robbed them of their sight and senses is dissipated. And with it, any advantage the Dark Riders had. Cable tells Storm he and Domino will hold the defeated Riders, while she has to search for the others, and Hurricane in particular.

An angry Gauntlet points his gun towards Hurricane, and even calls him an idiot. Twice now, Hurricane promised to defeat the Windrider, and twice he failed. That’s two times too many. Gauntlet wants to kill Hurricane for this failure, but then a telekinetic force pulls the gun out of his arms! Cable grabs the gun in the palm of his hand and crushes it. As he and the others stand before Gauntlet, Cable points his gun at Gauntlet, telling him they’re all a little tired of this judge and jury song the Riders have been singing. Cable smiles that it looks like he and his friends are holding the cards now, and asks Gauntlet if he wants to discuss the terms of his surrender. Gauntlet angrily declines, as they Riders don’t even speak the word!

A green light fills the place, and the Dark Riders are teleported away by Harddrive again. Storm asks Cable if they can’t “body-slide” to their co-ordinates. Cable wishes he could, but he can’t do that trick anymore. That gift was lost… along with a friend. Instead, Cable asks Caliban if he can get a fix on the Riders. However Caliban can’t, as he has sand in his nose! Cable asks if anyone else knows a way out of here. On that moment, they are surrounded by a green light as well, and it looks like Cable got his wish: they are being teleported away. This must be Harddrive’s doing.

In a nano-second, the four powerful mutants are hostages to the high-tech kidnapping. Their very molecules are broken down into bits of energy. They’re being rearranged, recalculated and reassembled in the middle of… an unimaginable horror…

Storm and Domino are shocked. Domino wonders who could have done this. Caliban knows this place, but wonders what happened. Cable is furious. He refuses to believe this is Akkaba, but it is. The city has been completely destroyed, and all of its citizens have been killed! Cable shouts out that this isn’t supposed to happen now, and angrily curses Apocalypse.

There is an awful suspicion that Cable has kept hidden. Only someone who has leap-frogged through time would even consider this thought. But… the vile handiwork that lays before him bears only one signature: Apocalypse cannot be dead! The nightmare that has stalked Cable’s entire life continues. How else can he explain that the heinous villain who supposedly died on the moon, could be alive two thousand years from now, bent on the destruction of mankind?

Domino almost begs Nathan to inform them what he knows about this. Cable admits he isn’t sure. He finds a street sign on the ground, which indicates that he’s back in Akkaba. Storm asks Caliban what Cable means. She wants to know where or what Akkaba is. Cable reads another inscription on the sign: “Let all who enter here know this is… the birthplace of the master of the world. En Sabah Nur.” Caliban remembers that is Apocalypse’s real name. Domino wonders why anyone would murder all these innocent people.

Cable reveals that, in the future, there is a place called Akkaba. The rebels – his friends – settled there. But they didn’t know it was also Apocalypse’s birthplace. Apocalypse came there and slaughtered everyone… it looked just like this! Domino believes that means someone came back in time to do this?! Cable further explains he made a promise that day… that it would never happen again.

Suddenly, a mysterious person mocks that’s another promise Cable couldn’t keep. Both Cable and Domino look behind them and are shocked at who they see. Cable knew he couldn’t be dead! A person steps through the fire, and keeps mocking Cable by saying that that’s so typical of him, of always being so certain of things when he doesn’t have the slightest idea what’s going on. Cable can’t believe who he is seeing: Tyler?! Tyler says hi to his daddy, and the Dark Riders stand behind him.

Characters Involved: 





Barrage, Gauntlet, Genesis, Harddrive, Hurricane IV, Lifeforce, Spyne, Tusk (all Dark Riders)

various Egyptian citizens (all unnamed)
lots of killed people in Akkaba (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

In this issue, Harddrive’s codename is spelled with two D’s, while last issue spelled it with only one.

Caliban and Kitty Pryde, aka Shadowcat, were indeed close friends one time. However, Caliban misunderstood Kitty’s feelings, thinking she could be in love with him and wanted her to marry him. More about this can be found in Uncanny X-Men #170 and #179.

More about Cable losing his ability to body-slide can be found in X-Force (1st series) #39.

Apocalypse supposedly died in X-Force (1st series) #18. More about Apocalypse’s plans in the future can be found throughout The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix #1-4.

Tyler’s “death” was detailed in Cable (1st series) #1.

Issue Information: 
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