Cable (1st series) #79

Issue Date: 
May 2000
Story Title: 
A Tale of Revolution! Fire Burn

Robert Weinberg (writer), Michael Ryan (penciler), Andrew Pepoy (inker), RS & Comicraft’s Saida Temofonte (letterer), Gloria Vasquez (colorist), Mark Powers (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Cable is mulling over recent life-altering events when three witches visit him. They warn him of three tests tonight and three tomorrow. Then they show him a vision involving his first test. It’s about a guy named Andy who seems like a great guy, but when he takes his boys camping he suddenly changes. He gets back in his car, purchases weapons and ammos and heads to Madison Square Garden. The vision ends and Cable goes to the rescue, stopping Andy. However, when Cable enters his mind, he discovers an alien presence. The alien identifies himself as Aentaros, one of the Undying. Andy falls to the ground dead, leaving Cable to wonder what happened. Meanwhile, a man by the name of Randall Shire learns he was the target of the assassination attempt from Andy. He also learns Aentaros was behind it and although he knew this day would eventually come, is not happy. However, he will still continue with his plan to make the world his. In the Sinai Desert, Professor Oxton and Berger come across what they believe to be the Lost City of Atlantis. Also happening concurrently, Blockade lies in his hospital bed with no change in his comatose status. That is until Aentaros chooses him as his next host body. Blockade awakens and decides to go after Cable first. And speaking of Cable, as he walks the city streets a woman in front of him is grabbed by two men and taken through a door. He charges to the rescue only to find the place full of military robots and a soldier in futuristic armor. Cable easily dispatches the robots and when he grabs a hold of the soldier he teleports away. Cable heads back to his safehouse, unsure of the day’s events. When he walks through the front door he finds himself transported to a plush, vibrant landscape. The witches tell him this is the “Third Test.”

Full Summary: 

New York City:

Cable wanders the streets of New York City deep in thought. The rain pours down upon him, but he doesn’t seem bothered. He mulls over the recent life-changing events that occurred six months ago. He lost his father, Cyclops, in a desperate undertaking to stop Apocalypse once and for all. Following that tragic event he joined the X-Men in his father’s honor. Cable also broke off his relationship with Stacey Kramer, not wanting to put her at risk from any bad guys with a vendetta. Cable also nearly died from the techno-organic virus inside him when he temporarily lost his mutant powers.
Although six months have passed since these events, Cable is still left wondering what to do next. He spent his whole life preparing to take down Apocalypse. His whole purpose of going back in time was to prevent the tyrannical rule of En Sabah Nur. With that accomplished Cable is now a man without a purpose.
So lost in his own thoughts is Cable he doesn’t notice when the crowds of people walking the streets suddenly stop moving. He finally looks around, noticing the odd situation, and drops his mentally enhanced disguise. He hears the words “Double Double... Toil and Trouble... Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble...” and a greenish mist roils in. From out of the mist appear three women standing around a bubbling cauldron.
Cable recognizes them as the witches from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. He wonders what kind of power they possess to be able to stop time all around him. They begin speaking again, “Three Tests Tonight... Three on the Morrow... Two Tests to Fight... One More for Sorrow.” Then one of them says, “Let the First Test Begin.”
Cable is bestowed with a vision.
Cable’s vision:

He sees a man named Andy leaving work discussing with a co-worker his plans to go camping with his kids. Cable watches as Andy heads home and has dinner with his family, watches TV with his sons (Wing Commander of all movies) and the next morning makes the trip with his two boys to the campgrounds. Upon arrival Andy’s face goes lax. Cable knows something’s gone wrong. Andy’s expression turns to one of snarling hatred. His eyes go wide and angry, his mouth foams with saliva, his nails grow pointed and most curious of all there’s a red circular brand in the middle of Andy’s forehead.
Andy jumps back into his car and peels out. His first stop is at a gun shop where he buys a bunch of guns and ammo. With his duffel bag of goodies, Andy heads over to Madison Square Garden where a Dr. Randall Shire will be discussing his vision of harmony in the world. Andy’s stopped at the front when a lady asks for his ticket. He laughs a maniacal laugh and pulls out an Uzi. Andy tells her it’s his ticket, one way to hell.

The vision dissipates and Cable demands to know why the witches are showing him all this when innocent lives are at stake. Some guys nearby ask Cable if he’s been smoking the wrong stuff and he realizes the witches have disappeared as well.
Cable takes off in a sprint. He leaps through traffic and on top of cars. Cable arrives at his destination and sure enough Andy is standing there muttering stuff about “Death”, “Blood” and “Shire”. Andy takes the two Uzis in his hands and starts blasting at the ticket lady and a security guard. The bullets stop short of their intended targets thanks to a force field surrounding Andy courtesy of Cable. Cable enters Andy’s mind to learn more about his motives. Cable’s shocked to find that a bloodthirsty alien presence has taken over Andy’s mind.
Cable questions the alien entity as to what it is and its purpose. Andy replies, “Murder... Blood... Violence... Killing... Azazel... Blood... Destroy Shire... Destruction...” He swipes at Cable with his arm, which shocks the telekinetic as no human had ever bent his force field.
Andy laughs at Cable, at his fear of death because that’s what makes them strong. Cable orders him to stop, but Andy keeps going. He tells Cable his name is Aentaros and he will return because he is Undying.
Andy falls to the ground, dead. Cable takes off before the police arrive. He pops around a corner and stops to gather his thoughts. He swears he’ll get to the bottom of this mystery and plans to drop an anonymous tip to the police of what really happened. Cable hopes to one day tell Andy’s family the truth. First, though, he plans to uncover the mystery of the Undying.
Madison Square Garden:

Randall Shire sits in his private chamber going over the latest audience numbers with his associate, Key. A man of large girth, Shire’s bodyguard, Wall, stands nearby. Shire asks how many will be in attendance tonight and Key tells him 18,975. He then asks what the monthly total is and Key tells him 74,327 slaves. Shire balks at the word “slaves” and tells Key he prefers to think of them as members of his harmonious family. Key insists they’re still slaves.
Key receives a report over the computer terminal of the foiled attack outside. He tells Shire some guy killed himself with two grenades, but nobody else was hurt. It was like the guy was surrounded by a force field, Key adds. Shire asks if he’s implying a mutant was involved. Key says he’s only stating the facts, but that the police think there was mutant involvement. He also mentions witness reports have the guy saying the name Aentaros before killing himself.
Shire turns away from his friends with a fallen face. He knew this was eventually going to happen and blames Azazel for the complications. Shire approaches Wall and warns him Aentaros will be back, in one body or another. Wall assures Shire he won’t get past him. Shire requests he be kept alive.
The young lady, who was almost shot to death earlier, peeks her head into the room and tells Shire he has five minutes. Shire puts on his best smile and smooths out his suit. He tells Key and Wall that it’s time to stop worrying, his public awaits. All he needs is a few more months and the world is his.
City Streets:

A man with some highly advanced tracking hardware kneels next to the edge of a building rooftop. He stares down at Cable walking on the sidewalk below. The man reports through a radio mike that he has found the source of chronotronic energy they detected from their ship. He asks if the trap is set.
A young woman walking in front of Cable appears a bit wary of the man behind her.
Malan, on the receiving end of the transmission, reminds his squad member the trap has been set at a nearby abandoned warehouse. He tells him Kriven’s the bait and that the target must be alone. He reminds him that Cable cannot be allowed to escape; otherwise their presence in the time period could be discovered.
Suddenly, the lady walking in front of Cable is grabbed by two guys and shoved through a door. Cable charges with his scimitar in hand. He busts through the door, but can’t sense the girl anywhere. Then the lights turn on and the door slams shut behind him. Malan, in white body armor, stands atop a stack of crates. He orders Cable to surrender or die.
Cable stares at the dozen robots surrounding him and then looks up at the stranger. He realizes this is the second test the witches were talking about. Cable tells Malan there’s just one problem, “I hate being ambushed.” Cable leaps into the air, blasting, slicing, hacking and plain old ripping cables out of the robots. He leaps up onto the stack of crates and grabs Malan by the throat. He demands to know what’s going on.
The mysterious man stares at him with an astonished look. “You’re a mutant--? But... Harmony... That can’t be!” the man sputters out. Then just like that he is teleported away. Cable mentally scans the area and finds nothing unusual. Whatever transported that guy away transported everything else.
Sinai Desert:

A man by the name of Professor Oxton and his young associate, Berger, make their way through a cavernous area. Oxton tells Berger he has found proof of a great civilization that once existed when most of humanity was in the Stone Age. He always had a theory Atlantis could be found in the Sinai and after 20 years he finally found it. The two archaeologists walk through an opening and come across a large temple of intricate design. Berger’s shocked expression says it all.
SHIELD Military Hospital:

The guard sitting outside Blockade’s hospital room calls over a nurse and asks for a status update on Blockade’s coma. The nurse tells him there’s no change; he’s still a lying vegetable. She asks the man why he has to stand guard. It’s not like the guy’s going anywhere. He says it’s to make sure nobody comes back to finish the job.
Inside the room, Blockade lies motionless, his eyes devoid of any semblance of awareness. Then he speaks, “I am Aentaros” and his eyes light up like wildfire. Blockade says he’s going after Cable first, then Shire. He sits up and pulls out all the wires. He thinks to himself he needs clothes and a car, but first some life energy to give him strength. Blood and Death.
Outside Cable’s safehouse

Cable heads home for some much needed rest. He’s decided after tonight’s events his new mission in life will be to defend those not able to defend themselves. Cable contemplates the Undying and the android attack and wonders how they’re connected. The link must be the witches, he thinks. Cable decides he’ll start the investigation in the morning.
As Cable opens the door to his safehouse a bright, blinding light envelops him. He finds himself in a plush, vibrant landscape. “The Third Test” he hears the witches say. He looks around and sees no doors, no exit. With the three witches involved he thinks things are only going to get worse.

Characters Involved: 




Randall Shire

Key, Wall (all Shire’s associates)


The Three Witches

Professor Oxton

Andy Carmody

Jane Carmody (Andy’s wife)

Jean Grey

Stacey Kramer


Story Notes: 

A total of six months “comic time” took place between this issue and the last. This was part of Marvel’s infamous “Six Month Gap” that ran across most of their X-Titles. More information can be found here in the Six Month Gap article.

Cyclops merged with Apocalypse and seemingly died during Apocalypse: The Twelve Crossover.

Cable joined the X-Men in Uncanny X-Men #381.
Cable broke up with Stacey Kramer in the previous issue, believing he succeeded in erasing her memory of him.
Cable lost his powers in the previous issue thanks to the experiments of the High Evolutionary as shown in Uncanny X-Men #379. After the High Evolutionary’s satellite was destroyed in Uncanny X-Men #380 all mutant powers were restored.
Shakespeare’s play MacBeth included three witches prophesying to the title character.
Wing Commander did star Freddie Prinze Jr and everyone’s favorite Shaggy, Matthew Lillard.
Malan realized Cable wasn’t a Harmonist because Cable is a mutant. As revealed over the next couple issues the Harmony timeline is a future Earth without mutants.
Professor Oxton must have been sleeping under a rock for many years, as apparently he’s never heard of Namor and his undersea domain, Atlantis.
In an act of dark rage Cable entered Blockade’s mind, essentially destroying it, after the muscle bound assassin nearly succeeded in killing Domino. This all happened in Cable (1st series) #56.

Issue Information: 
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