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Joe Pruett and Rob Liefeld (writers and pencilers), Lary Stucker (inker), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letterer), Optic Studios (colors), Mark Powers (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)
Cable has been captured. Where could he be? He’s actually in Apocalypse’s lair in Egypt. Cable is bound against a wall. Him and Apocalypse debate over who’s way of life is correct: strongest survive or peaceful coexistence. Apocalypse eventually leaves the captive Cable and tells him he’s about to be tested. In comes Wolverine and picks up Cable’s psimitar. Cable forces it to give off a concussive blast, freeing himself and knocking Wolverine away. They fight for a long time. Cable tries to break Wolvie free of Apocalypse’s control. Eventually, Cable is able to knock Wolverine into a deep shaft. Apocalypse comes in and fights with Cable. They battle for a while until Wolverine comes back, this time with Caliban. He has his fist to Caliban’s throat. He tells Cable to give up or he’ll kill Caliban. Cable reluctantly gives and up and Apocalypse chains him back up. As Apocalypse leaves, Cable wonders if he’ll ever get another chance to stop Apocalypse.
Cannonball, Warpath and Domino are standing around a campfire in San Francisco. Warpath is upset that Cable was captured and they couldn’t help him. He’s afraid they won’t be able to find him. Cannonball tells him not to worry. If Caliban and Deathbird were working for Apocalypse then they most likely took him to Egypt. He reasons this because that’s where Apocalypse was born. Domino agrees with Cannonball, but fears that it may be too late to save him.
Next we’re shown Cable and he’s not enjoying himself. He’s strapped to a wall on a giant metal ‘X’. There are iron clasps at his wrists and ankles. Apocalypse stands beneath him. Cable wonders if everything he’s worked for is now lost. His purpose for coming back to the past was to stop Apocalypse. Now the man he was supposed to stop has captured him. He tells Apocalypse to kill him now because soon he will break free and kill him later. Apocalypse mocks him. At one point he would have believed him, but that was before he started following Xavier’s dream of peace.
He talks of his past when he met up with Nathaniel Essex (Sinister). How he had given Nathaniel the power he has today. Also the fact that Sinister is responsible for Cable’s birth. He knew right away that Scott Summers’ son was dangerous to him. That’s why he infected him with the T.O. virus. To make him succumb to his will, but Cyclops sent his son to the future to be saved by the Clan Askani. However soon after Cable returned, this time as an adult bent on stopping him. He tells Cable that he’s failed and hits him with a left hook.
Cable assures him that if he does fail there will be more to take his place. Apocalypse tells him the X-Men won’t be able to stop him. In fact, he needs them to join his service. Apocalypse starts to leave and threatens Cable, telling him he will destroy everything that means anything to him. He makes fun of Cable’s psimitar and tells him that he’s weak for needing a weapon. In rebuttal, Cable asks him if all the technology he has was originally his (which it’s not). He tells him that he’s weak for leaving him alive. He thinks Apocalypse needs him around for some reason. Apocalypse laughs at the notion and leaves. As he leaves he tells Cable to prepare for a test.
Now that Cable is alone he tries to use his psimitar to help him get free.
Up above, Death watches the show. He compares Cable to his father, Cyclops. They never give up. He heads down below and takes the psimitar. Cable is surprised to see Wolverine has been transformed into Death. He tries to talk some sense into him and break him free of Apocalypse’s control. Nothing he says works. He even tells Wolverine he’s forgiven him for killing his adopted son Tyler.
Wolverine tells Cable that he doesn’t want to be an X-Man again. He feels in touch with himself, now more than ever. He loves being Death ! Suddenly, the psimitar lights up and starts frying in Wolverine’s hands. It sends out an explosive force and knocks Wolverine backwards. Cable is now free. He tells Wolverine that he’s one of the best fighters he’s ever seen, but he will kill him if it means stopping Apocalypse. Snikt goes Wolverine.
The battle starts. Cable goes for Wolvie’s legs with his psimitar. Wolverine leaps over him. He starts swinging away at Cable. Cable tries to get him to snap out of Apocalypse’s control. Wolverine goes berserk and tells him that he likes the way he is. Cable wails on him and sends him flying backwards. He approaches Wolverine and receives a kick in the gut. Cable gets in two good shots and Wolvie misses with a right. The whole time they try to get the other to see their point of view. They end up in a grapple hold. Wolverine doesn’t care if Apocalypse wants Cable alive. He’s going to slash him. Quickly Cable skewers Logan’s shoulder with his psimitar. He goes flying backwards and falls down into a black pit.
Cable wonders if Wolverine is dead. From behind, Apocalypse tells him he shouldn’t care either way. He elongates himself and stands over him. He tells him Wolverine’s death is the way of the world. Cable calls him a cockroach and hits him with an overhand right. Apocalypse talks about his past, growing up as a boy in Egypt. He was treated like an insect. However, he has now risen to great power. Cable tells him it’s over. As they start to battle Cable wonders who will be the victor. He whaps Apocalypse across the face with his psimitar. He starts focusing all his energy into the psimitar. Electric crackles fill the air. He’s about to give the final blow when…
Apocalypse breaks free and knocks him to the ground. He gives Cable an ultimatum. He can either fight him some more or give up. The scene opens up and we see Wolverine is all right. However, he has his knuckles to Caliban’s neck. If Cable continues the fight Wolverine will kill Caliban. Cable has no choice. He gives up.
Not much later, Cable is strung up on the big metal ‘X’ again. Apocalypse questions why Cable chose to give up. Cable tells him that every life is valuable. Apocalypse tells him that killing the weak is the way of the world. Cable is left alone to his thoughts. Once again he wonders if he has failed. He wonders if Apocalypse will emerge victorious.
Cannonball, Domino, Warpath (all X-Force)
Caliban / Pestilence, Wolverine / Death (both Horsemen of Apocalypse)
In flashbacks :
Cable (as an infant)
This issue is part of The Twelve Crossover.
Apocalypse was betrayed by Sinister during the Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix #1-4.
Wolverine killed Tyler (along with most of the Dark Riders) in Wolverine (2nd series) #100.
Special Bonus Feature in the back of the issue telling the life and times of Cable.
Three pin-ups also in the back featuring Cable’s greatest battles (Cable vs. Wolverine, Cable vs. Apocalypse, Cable vs. Stryfe)