Cable (1st series) #57

Issue Date: 
August 1998
Story Title: 
“Nothing Like Caffeine,” “Blast From The Past,” “Is Any House Truly Safe?” & “Some Kind of… Disturbance on the Psychic Plane!”

Joe Casey (writer), Ryan Benjamin (pencils), Scott Hanna & Banning Holdredge (inks), Gloria Vasquez (colors), RS&Comicraft (letters), Mark Powers (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Cable visits Stacey at the Babel’s bar, and they have a nice chat with one another. He later meets up with Irene, where they discuss her role as Cable’s chronicler. They are interrupted by a pleading message from Blaquesmith, who appears in astral form in front of them. Cable introduces Irene to his mentor and friend, and realizes he has to go help him. Cable manages to locate Blaquesmith in Egypt, where he is the prisoner of none other than Pharaoh Rama-Tut! The Pharaoh wishes to return to his own timestream with the knowledge he gained being in this era, but can’t do so with a broken device. Blaquesmith refuses to cooperate, realizing the pharaoh would only use his knowledge for evil. He is tortured until Cable arrives to the rescue. Unfortunately during the fight between the two powerful men, another battle takes place far away between Psylocke and the Shadow King. When their powers clash, it causes all those who have telepathic powers to feel immense pain, and Cable is no exception. It takes a while for him to recover but he recovers enough to hits Rama-Tut in his face, so he and Blaquesmith can escape. They have to go through a portal to get outside Rama-Tut’s sphinx, which is easier said than done, now that Cable has lost his telepathic powers and his telekinetic ones have been severed. However, he succeeds and they both make it out in time before the portal closes it on itself. Blaquesmith worries that Rama-Tut will still make it back to his own timeline due to an intact machine in an underground chamber, however Cable is just glad that they survived all this.

Full Summary: 


Cable holds a defeated and injured Blaquesmith in his arms, joking that the old man’s a lot of trouble but that he probably already knows that. And he’ll also say this: Blaquesmith does make his presence known, wherever he goes. He looks at the room around them and remarks the mess it is. Blaquesmith isn’t amused. Cable asks his friend if he can stand, which he hopes so. It seems like forever since he stood on his own two feet. A loud noise is heard and Cable explains the tremors are getting stronger and stronger. They don’t have much time and he won’t leave Blaquesmith again. Blaquesmith believes him. And now he cannot imagine what Nathan went through to find him. Nathan thinks back about how this all began…

A few days prior…

Cable is at the Babel’s bar again and orders a coffee with Stacey. She remembers that Nathan likes his coffee black, and he says that’s good, to which Irene jokes back that an elephant never forgets. She also remarks she hasn’t seen him around lately. Cable admits he has been a little busy, and that he had a friend at the hospital. Stacey is sorry to hear that. Cable mentions she’s okay now and, last he heard, his friend checked herself out. Stacey understands. Changing the subject, she asks what’s new in Nathan’s life, and if there is anything interesting going on.

Cable thinks about it, and says nothing much is going on, except… work, he supposes. Stacey jokes that it sounds like Nathan needs a vacation. Nathan thinks he’s done traveling for now. Besides, he doesn’t really have a choice in the matter. Stacey doesn’t believe that and says everyone has a choice. Nathan disagrees, explaining that his business dictates certain duties and that he can’t just turn his back on those things. He doesn’t do it, anyway. He supposes he has always been fairly single-minded about what he’s doing here. Stacey asks if by “here,” Nathan means New York. Thinking about his answer for a while, Cable says “right.”

Stacey mentions she shouldn’t go around casting aspersions on other people’s lives. When Cable asks what she means by that, Stacey says, “Who am I to talk?” Cable smiles he doesn’t know about that. She looks like she knows what she’s talking about, to his eyes, at least. Speaking of, Stacey asks what the deal of the scar around Cable’s eye is. Nathan explains he served in the military, and that he got it there. When Stacey asks if he saw some action, Cable drinks from his coffee, again thinking about his answer before saying, “you could say that.”

Egypt, the present…

Cable helps Blaquesmith up, wanting to get out of the temple they’re in. Blaquesmith claims it’s completely unnecessary to treat him like an invalid. Another tremor takes place and Cable warns him to be careful. Blaquesmith mentions to Cable that, like he has no doubt surmised, the tremors will continue to intensify. Though Blaquesmith warned him time and time again, the Pharaoh’s mechanism is beyond repair, but he wouldn’t listen to it. Blaquesmith and Cable look at the Pharaoh, who lies defeated on the floor.

Several hours ago…

Cable tries to use his telepathic powers on the Pharaoh, but he claims Nathan’s power is no match for his. The Pharaoh also claims he is a being unlike Cable ever encountered before. He has sailed across seas of time, and that the centuries are like water between his fingers. Cable mocks he isn’t very impressed by the time travel idea. The Pharaoh doesn’t like that Cable is teasing him, for he is Rama-Tut!

Nearby, Blaquesmith warns Cable that the entire structure is becoming to fall apart, due to the tremors, and that they need to get out of there. Cable hits Rama-Tut in his face and the pharaoh immediately collapses. However, on that moment, a wall falls on Blaquesmith and he is trapped. Cable begins to ask his friend if he’s okay, but behind him Rama-Tut has already arisen and holds a gun ready, mocking Cable that it’s time he joins his friend in death. Cable refuses and calls Rama-Tut arrogant for truly believing that. He fires a telepathic blast at the pharaoh but he still stands. Rama-Tut tries to reach to Cable’s throat, wanting to squeeze the life out of him and tells him to consider that a favor. “Right,” Cable sighs, kicking Rama-Tut in his stomach. \

Rama-Tut promises to make Cable pay for that, but then Nathan turns his attention to something else. While Rama-Tut screams at him, Nathan is feeling something… like a buzzing in the back of his mind. It’s some kind of disturbance on the psychic plane! But what could it be?


Cable mocks Rama-Tut again refused to listen. He asks Blaquesmith if he thinks he’s going to make it. Blaquesmith claims of course he will, but he has to warn Nathan about the tremors… the pharaoh’s time machine apparently suffered significant temporal core damage, and a reactor leak is imminent. They must be cautious, but Nathan already figured that out by himself. A bright light appears and Blaquesmith wonders what it’s about. Cable mentions he already dealt with this once already, on his way inside the temple. And apparently, the thing has gotten worse. In front of Cable and Blaquesmith stands a huge purple portal, completely out of control.

Earlier, after Cable’s visit at the diner, at the Steel Co factory…

Meeting with Cable, Irene asks him what’s with him and that diner. Does he all of a sudden have a bagel-burger jones he can’t deny? Nathan isn’t amused by the joke, but Irene wants to know the answer. Nathan promises to let her know it when he finds out himself. Irene remarks Nathan is evasive, as usual, but Nathan doesn’t think so. He reminds Irene this isn’t therapy. She’s supposed to report, not analyze. That’s fine by her, Irene replies. She calls Nathan the hilarious one there, and that he’s so transparent. She can see him reaching out, grasping to make a connection. She knows he wants to talk, but doesn’t understand why he won’t. For instance, about Domino. Irene wonders what her story is.

As Nathan tells Irene not to mind about Domino, the two are joined by Blaquesmith, or at least his astral form. Irene immediately recognizes him from before, and Blaquesmith says something in Askani to Cable. Nathan refuses to play any more games and wants to know what he wants. And for the last time… he demands that Blaquesmith talks in English! First things first, Blaquesmith points out. He wants to know who Irene is and what she is doing in his safehouse. Irene mocks Blaquesmith sure isn’t the polite one, and reminds Cable she’s got questions of her own.

Cable warns the two to calm down before this gets out of hand. He sighs, explaining to Blaquesmith who Irene is and that they met a few weeks ago. She was a newspaper reporter and is now writing an account of his mission here, just in case he dies before it’s done. Irene doesn’t know if she likes the sound of Cable saying she “was” a newspaper reporter. In exchange, Cable introduces Irene to Blaquesmith. He calls him a teacher and a friend from his past, that is to say, her future. Blaquesmith mocks Cable on the excellent exposition, and that now even he is confused. Cable has had enough and demands to know why Blaquesmith is there, and in his projecting form.

For the record, Blaquesmith is pleased that Cable has finally chosen a chronicler as his mission is far too important to risk it ending with him. The fate of generations unborn rests upon his shoulders. He is here for one purpose: to prevent the rise of Apocalypse, and nothing must ever precedence over that. For that reason alone, Blaquesmith cannot tell Cable where he is now. Cable smiles he doesn’t have to. He tells Blaquesmith he underestimates him, and that it must be the senility setting in. Nathan just got a telepathic fix on his location, and tells Blaquesmith to sit tight… he’s on his way.

The present, Egypt…

Having trapped Blaquesmith in a machine, Rama-Tut reveals a bit more about the history of the ancient land called Giza. There is power there that draws men to the sand and boils the blood in their veins. That boiling blood can transform men into kings, and there have been countless rulers of this place men call Egypt. And of all these rulers, Rama-Tut, of course, calls himself the greatest. There are those who label him a thief, but he sees himself as the light in the blackness of time. The moment he left there after his first visit, the Sphinx, symbolizes strength and wisdom. He knew it would forever stand as evidence of his triumph here. But it is also a symbol of the unknown… everything that mankind, in its current unevolved state, cannot possibly fathom. The desert nomads called his sphinx “the Father of Terrors.”

He asks Blaquesmith if he thinks that’s appropriate, but the mutant still refuses to speak to his captor. However Rama-Tut is certain he will, in due time. He knows Blaquesmith possesses the knowledge to aid him in the repair of his control module. He escaped this land once, after grappling with Reed Richards and his accursed family. But chronal interference, what Blaquesmith might call a time storm, interrupted his intend voyage. He knows Blaquesmith told him the module is beyond repair. The fact Rama-Tut disagrees with that is unfortunate for his prisoner… quite unfortunate.

Outside, Cable stands in front of the sphinx and can feel Blaquesmith nearby. His psi-singnal is weak, but it was enough to trace him back here. Egypt is the last place Cable would have thought to come looking for him. He wonders if this place could have something to do with… but, Cable suddenly senses something and stops talking. He walks through the purple portal around the sphinx and, inside, it disorients Cable’s thoughts. He wonders how that’s possible. Luckily, Cable makes it through the portal inside the sphinx, but has a feeling it will get bigger and more intense from now on. Now, he wants to find the one responsible for this.


Rama-Tut reveals he has come from the twentieth century, the very fuel which fires history itself… and he will not be denied! He says Blaquesmith’s torture has been slow… intermittent, but warns that can certainly be remedied. He knows Blaquesmith isn’t unfamiliar with the rigors of time travel. This much he has admitted. But Rama-Tut’s patience has run thin. Blaquesmith calls this endeavor sheer folly. And he predicts Rama-Tut’s bravado will be his undoing. Rama-Tut isn’t so sure, thinking perhaps Blaquesmith will feel differently after another taste of his ultra-diode ray. He is so weakened as it is, and he wonders if Blaquesmith could survive another blast. He wants to fire the blast, but then notices someone is behind them, and that they are no longer alone.

Cable stands behind them, sarcastically asking if he’s invited to the party. Blaquesmith is a bit upset at Cable and telepathically asks how he dares to presume he needs rescue. Cable takes that as a rescue, and mentions Blaquesmith underestimated him. Rama-Tut points his gun at Cable and admits that, even though he doesn’t know who he is, he’s a trespasser and has made a great mistake by coming here. His destiny awaits him and nobody will stand in his way. Cable tells Rama-Tut when he holds his oldest friend prisoner, his “destiny” will have to wait. At least until he’s done with him. Rama-Tut isn’t intrigued by the threat and promises to end this quickly.


The purple portal has surrounded both Cable and Blaquesmith and Nathan senses the feeling of the portal has gotten worse. It’s like walking underwater and every step is quite an effort. He spots an opening in a wall and hopes that will be their way out. Blaquesmith telepathically confesses to Cable that he can barely stand, but remarks this shouldn’t be so difficult for Nathan. He was certain Cable could get them out of here and wonders what happened to his mutant powers.

Meanwhile, someplace far away…

In an otherworldly place, a place that only exists in our minds, accessibly only to those possessing the gift of telepathy, the battle between Psylocke and the Shadow King escalates. Psylocke confronts the King in her psi-armor, but then a miscalculation is made. She is transformed back into her regular X-Men uniform, and she realizes the mistake will have a dire consequence, with far-reaching effects. She gets hit by a powerful psionic blast, which hits all those with said abilities.

Egypt, earlier…

Cable feels the blast and his head pulses in agony, causing him to fall on his knees. Rama-Tut doesn’t understand what’s going on and Cable too wonders what’s happening, as he can’t get up anymore. Rama-Tut gloats over Cable, saying he fails to explain this turn of events but, whatever the circumstances, Cable’s misfortune is now the pharaoh’s good fortune. He thinks about starting to torture Cable as well. “Oath,” Cable curses to himself, “what was that?” He never felt that kind of pain, like a white-hot dagger was plugged into his brain… into his mind.

Rama-Tut hits Cable in his face, and he is impressed by the mighty blow. His head is still ringing, but Nathan does his best to ignore that, believing a simple TK blast should finish his opponent off. Rama-Tut remarks Cable that doesn’t fight back and already thinks he has won. Cable can’t understand it… nothing happened! He remembers that flash of immense pain, and is shocked to discover his telepathy is gone! And his telekinesis is severely curtailed.

The chamber again trembles, which surprises Rama-Tut, and they’re more violent than before. A brick falls on his head, causing him to lose balance. He also drops his gun, which Cable notices and tries to reach. He succeeds and fires the gun into Rama-Tut’s face, following it with a final punch to end the battle. He gets up but his head is still pounding. He wonders what happened to him and his powers. Cable goes to Blaquesmith and asks his friend if he’s still with them. Blaquesmith mentions he’ll live. Cable helps him up, joking the old man is a lot of trouble.


Cable tries to reach out of the portal, despite the fact he is no longer a mutant. That means he’ll just have to do this the hard way. They make it both out, and Blaquesmith explains it’s just in time too, mentioning the portal is a chronal distortion and that it’s starting to collapse on itself. But he asks Cable if he didn’t hear his thoughts. Cable apologizes for it, but thinks he wouldn’t be able even if he wanted to. He does worry about the pharaoh. Blaquesmith says if he recovered from Cable’s blow and reached his control module, which Blaquesmith knows is still intact in another underground chamber, the temporal feedback will launch him back into the timestream. But he is more concerned about themselves.

Cable gently puts Blaquesmith down in the nightly desert, relieved that they survived… this time.

Characters Involved: 



Irene Merryweather

Stacey (waitress)

Pharaoh Rama-Tut

Psylocke (all X-Men)

the Shadow King

various people at the Babel’s diner (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

Rama-Tut fought the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four (1st series) #19.

The battle shown between Psylocke and the Shadow King occurs in X-Men (2nd series) #77.

Issue Information: 
Written By: