Cable (1st series) #91

Issue Date: 
May 2001
Story Title: 
The Fifth Power

Robert Weinberg (writer), Michael Ryan (penciler), Terry Pertzborn (inker), VLM (colorist), Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Saida! (letterers), Pete Franco (assistant editor), Mark Powers (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Seven days ago, Cable escaped his safe house after a battle with the Sisterhood, while Irene and Blaquesmith were pursued by members of the Sisterhood employed as police officers. Irene and Blaquesmith’s car was shot into a river. Blaquesmith disappears, and Irene, psi-shielded from the Sisterhood, bobs up and down under the dock. Cable’s associate Clarity is also targeted by the Sisterhood, but he and his companions evade capture, and leave a warning for the Sisterhood. Tonight, Cable has arrived at one of the Sisterhood’s bases. Inside, he finds many members of the Sisterhood, and his superb fighting skills takes them down with ease. In another room, numerous crooked gang leaders are being spoken to by one of the sisters, but Cable intrudes on the discussion, and gives them some information about how the Sisterhood became so powerful - because they inflict themselves on as many organizations as they can, influencing many, but giving nothing in return. He tells them that eventually, the world will be living under the rule of the Dark Mother, a tyrannical dictator. The Dark Mother then appears, and murders the gangsters. She disappears when Cable calls her a fool. Cable knows that this is a war, and gives the Dark Mother herself a warning. Meanwhile, GW Bridge is summoned to a hearing regarding why he let Cable escape capture on more than one occasion. One of the generals is clearly under the influence of the Sisterhood, and under pressure to get information from GW. However, all records of Cable have been erased from their database, and GW is excused.

Full Summary: 

Seven Days Ago:

Cable a.k.a. Nathan Dayspring Summers, a mutant gifted with telepathy and telekinesis, has spent most of his life fighting against overwhelming odds. Those who know him consider him the ultimate soldier. Riding a motorcycle through the city, wearing a black costume with various metallic attachments. He has fought battle against a subversive organization called the Dark Sisterhood. In a telepathic clash of wills with one of the sisters, Cable learned incredible secrets about the group - amazing knowledge that will change his life and the lives of those closest to him.

Like, Irene Merryweather and the being called Blaquesmith, who are in a car elsewhere. Irene was once an investigative reporter and now chronicles Cable’s life. Lately, she has been doing more than just recording his fights. She has become part of them. She thinks she knows the risks involved. But she doesn’t. ‘Where’s this new safe house located? And how many buildings does Cable own in the city?’ Irene enquires as she drives the car, adding that it seems like every time they leave a location, he has another headquarters already planned. ‘Dayspring thinks ahead. A good general plans his retreat before the battle begins… especially when that general is here to change the world’ Blaquesmith replies.

Irene sees police officers in the rear-vision mirror, ‘Damn! Just what we need, being pulled over by cops’ Irene mutters, telling Blaquesmith to stay out of sight, as explaining him could be a problem. Wearing a large wide-brimmed hat, Blaquesmith tells Irene to be cautious, as this could be a trap. ‘A trap? Don’t be ridiculous. Not everything is part of some global conspiracy’ Irene replies as she pulls the car over. The police officers approach the car and one calls out ‘Come on out with your hands up, Ms Merryweather!’ Irene asks Blaquesmith how the officer knows her name. ‘There’s nothing to link me with this car’ she points out, before telling Blaquesmith to hold on, as they are getting out of here.


In the still of the night and with various guns, knives and ammunition strapped to his muscular body, Cable stands in the shadows of a tree, on a slope overlooking a large house, surrounded by a security fence. He hasn’t engaged in these types of tactics in some time. Certain skills you never forget though, like riding a bicycle or storming a fortress. He sees security towers around the perimeter. He prefers, if possible, not to use his mutant powers when broaching the citadel’s defenses. A hint of telepathy or telekinesis would alert the Sisterhood to his presence - and he wants to make a surprise entrance. Looking through high-res binoculars he sees the sisters in the towers. Four shots in four seconds, all exactly on target - impossible for an ordinary man…but Cable’s not ordinary, and the sisters are taken down with ease.

Cable makes his way towards the security fence, but it is electrified and wired with alarms. He has no intention of climbing it. Not when the guard towers are so much more accessible. He throws a grappling hook up to the tower. It holds, and he pulls himself up with ease, despite, for a few moments, being vulnerable. If he is discovered now, he will abort the mission. But, once inside the fence, there is no turning back.

Seven Days Ago:

‘The woman and the freak can’t be allowed to escape. The Dark Mother wants them dead!’ one of the policewomen exclaims as she fires her gun at the car driven by Irene which speeds away. The phony policewomen - really members of the Dark Sisterhood - are in pursuit, speeding through the streets. ‘If they don’t die, we will’ the other sister points out. The first states that they are heading for the river, and that she will call I support, so they can trap them on the docks. Soon, a cab, driven by another of the Dark Sisterhood, slams into Irene and Blaquesmith. ‘This can’t be happening! How far does their influence go?’ Irene calls out, before losing control of the car, it plunges off the dock and into the river.

The members of the Dark Sisterhood get out of their cars and stand on the dock, looking down into the water. One of the sisters tells the others that she isn’t picking up any thoughts, so both of them must have died on impact. Another points out that it would be better if they had the bodies, but they can’t stick around, as there is too much chance of them being noticed. ‘Let’s move. They’re finished’ the third declares, adding that, hopefully the other teams were as successful. Beneath the dock, Irene bobs up and down in the water. She clings to a post. The psi-shield given to her by Blaquesmith hides her thoughts from the telepathic sisters. The device has saved her life. She knows that she will remain safe as long as the Sisterhood believes that she is dead. Blaquesmith is missing though - she doesn’t know what has happened to him. What Irene does know is that she has to go underground and then somehow contact Cable.


In Washington DC, Commander GW Bridge stands before three senior military officials, one of whom assures him that this is not a formal investigation. ‘We just have some concerns and hope you’ll answer these questions willingly. Otherwise we’ll have no choice but to hold a full hearing’ he explains. ‘You mean a court martial, don’t you, Sir?’ GW replies. Another of the officials tells him that there is no need for such harsh words. ‘Just tell the truth and we’ll do what we can’ he assures him, adding that pressure is being put on them from on high. ‘If you don’t cooperate, the situation could get messy’ he warns GW. GW replies that he has nothing to hide, and that he is proud of his work for SHIELD. ’Enough bull!’ the third official shouts, telling GW that he is in deep water. ’You know why you’re here: Cable!’ he declares.

The third official remarks that reports indicate that GW could have captured him on more than one occasion, but that he let Cable escape. ’Aiding a terrorist is a serious charge, “nothing to hide”, Commander?’ the third official states. GW tells the generals that during his career he has been forced more than once to make snap decisions in the field, and that he has always made those choices based on the safety of his men and the good of the country. ’I assure you that I never willingly let any terrorist, mutant or otherwise, escape from my custody’ he announces. But, one of the generals replies that the records indicate otherwise. The third general asks an assistant in the room, Murphy, to read that report from the Madison Square Garden incident, and to read it slow so Commander Bridge can explain his actions.

By Murphy replies that he is having a problem downloading the records from the main computer. He asks the general to be patient as it should only be a minute. ‘What’s taking so long?’ the third general demands. Murphy explains that there seems to be some sort of glitch finding the file. ‘Glitch? Hell! Go upstairs and bring down the damned file. Bring down all of Cable’s files!’ the unimpressed general orders. The second general goes over to GW and tells him that he is sorry about this, revealing that word came down from the Defense Department to get Cable, and put the screws on anyone thought to be cooperating with him. ‘Needless to say, you’ve had the most dealings with him of anyone in the service’ the general explains.

Referring to the third general, Cable asks ‘What’s with Deutsch? He seems out for blood’. The general replies that he doesn’t know, and informs GW that Deutsch was drinking last night pretty hard at the officer’s club, muttering something under his breath about his sisters. ‘Maybe he’s having family problems’ the second general supposes. Sweat forming on his face, Deutsch calls out to Murphy, asking him what the meaning of this is. Murphy tells General Deutsch that he is sorry, as it was no glitch, but their computers no longer contain any record of a man named Cable. ‘I had three other operatives perform universal searches. They all came up blank’ he reveals. Deutsch frowns and asks about hard copies. ‘Surely there’s bee reams printed out on this terrorist?’ he asks.

Murphy tells General Deutsch that he doesn’t doubt it, but none of it seems to exist. The first general declares that since there is no evidence at all about the mutant Cable being involved with Bridge, he moves that they formally adjourn this hearing. ‘But - but -’ General Deutsch begins to protest. The other general seconds the motion. ‘Two votes is a majority. Meeting adjourned’ he declares, before telling Bridge that he is free to go about his duties, and to forget that this meeting took place. ‘I know that’s what I plan to do about it’ he adds. Bridge smiles and exits the room, thinking to himself ‘Nathan, I don’t know how you did it or why, but thanks for taking the ghost train when I needed it the most’.

Seven Days Ago:

The mutant called Clarity sits on a chair in a room full of monitors and screens. Clarity is a mutant who absorbs huge amounts of information and finds underlying patters and meaning in it. At this point, he is more digital than human .He communicates to his assistants, Greg and Lea, via keyboard. Clarity knows all the answers - if he’s asked the right questions. ‘It’s an attack in force. I guess our long truce with the Dark Mother is over’ Lea remarks. ‘You should be honored. Finality sends two of her seven to lead the troops - she fears you’ Lea tells Clarity. Greg adds that the Dark Mother obviously hopes to isolate Cable by destroying his friends and associates, which includes Clarity.

Clarity taps into a keyboard: ‘Time for us to depart. I’ve always wanted to visit Australia. Now seems like the right moment’. As the members of the Sisterhood approach, he adds that Finality greatly underestimates Cable. ‘She was arrogant as a child and is even more so as an adult. She will pay for her mistake’. An instant later, the sisters enter Clarity’s monitor room - but they find it abandoned, and all the screens blank, except for one, which reads “Goodbye. I’ll be back” and then flickers to another set of words: “But you won’t be around. You’ll be dead”.


From the guard tower, Cable sees monsters crawling the grounds below. Man-eaters, biological nightmares created in an outlaw genetics lab. They appears as huge feral wolves and radiate a mad lust to destroy. Normally, Cable doesn’t make war on animals. But these beasts exist only to rend and tear. They are abominations against nature - so he fires his weapon and takes them out with ease. But, were there three of them - or four? Cable soon gets his answer as the fourth beast lunges towards him. It is huge, and looms over Cable. Given enough time, the creature would rip Cable apart with its claws and teeth. But the hero doesn’t intend to give it the chance. He knows a hundred ways to kill a human enemy. Against a predator like this, though, only one method works - sheer power.

Cable stands his ground, and knowing that every opponent has their weak point, he simply has to have the nerve to exploit it - and he does, slamming his fists against the creature’s jagged-tooth mouth. The creature falls to the ground. One mistake. Cable knows he can’t afford another. He stands at the door of the large mansion. He tells himself that Irene is gone. And Blaquesmith. And so has Clarity, Greg and Lea. Payback is about to begin. Now that he is at the door, there is no need for surprise. It is time for Cable to use his mutant powers. Enough guns, it is going to be mind against mind. Telepathy and telekinesis used right act as terrible weapons.

Cable blasts the door down, startling two of the Dark Sisterhood who were nearby. He slides into the house, kicks one of the sisters in the face, while firing one of his guns ahead. Normally, he uses his psimitar to amplify and direct his psychic power. But tonight, that is not necessary. His anger is focus enough. More sisters arrive on scene, and he continues his brutal assault against them. The sisters fall with ease. Either due to physical assault or mental. They cannot stop his relentless attack, until each of them lies motionless on the floor.

In another room, one of the Dark Sisterhood is addressing a large gathering of men. She tells them that they know why they are here, as together, they control the major crime families of New York. ‘You pay ten percent of your gross income to the Sisterhood for protection’. She explains that recently, one of their associates, Tony Lobenzano, tried to cheat them, so thirty-two members of his organization died, as did their wives, children and nearest relatives. ‘The Dark Mother…dislikes cheaters. I hope I have made myself clear’ she states, before announcing that tonight, the Dark Mother raises the Sisterhood’s share to fifteen percent of revenue. ‘Are there any complaints?’ the sister enquires.

‘What if we refuse to pay?’ one of the mobsters asks. ‘Ask Mr Lobenzano’ the sister tells him. ‘Understood’ the mobster replies, when suddenly, they hear some crashing. ‘What’s that? It sounds like…fighting’ one of the men points out. ‘Impossible. No one even knows -’ the sister begins, before Cable kicks the door down with brute strength, ‘This a private party, or is anyone welcome?’ he asks as he slams his foot into the sister. ‘You eat lead, mutie?’ one of the mobsters asks as he pulls out his gun and aims at it Cable. The other mobsters follow, but Cable just stands his ground, their bullets bouncing off his armor. Cable puts a foot on the sister and tells the mobsters that they made a stupid move. ‘If I was in a nasty mood, I’d shoot back and see if your force field is working. Oh, you don’t have one? Too bad’ Cable jokes, before telling the mobsters to sit down and shut up.

Cable tells the sister that her mental powers are no match for his, and she shouldn’t bother trying to free herself. ‘You gonna chit-chat with the dame or talk, amigo?’ one of the mobsters asks. Cable tells the mob rulers that they have the reputation of being the most ruthless wise guys in the city. The handsome hero frowns and raises his weapons while announcing that he did a little investigating and learned all about this Dark Sisterhood, and how they infiltrated organized crime, moved into the unions and even into the government. He tells the mobsters that the Sisterhood is involved in every illegal operation in the country, that they get bigger and richer and more powerful all the time.

‘You know how?’ he asks, revealing that the Dark Sisterhood never give their associates anything back. The Sisterhood works hard finding the right cops to bribe, the right congressmen to corrupt. They look for control, because their leader dreams of ruling the world. Cable announces that her first goal is the USA - not to overthrow the government, but to slowly and surely put her people into all the right positions. ‘Until one day we’ll wake up and find ourselves living under a dictator’. One of the mobsters asks who cares, as they are doing just fine running the rackets with the Dark Mother’s protection. ‘We pay her the juice and business is thriving. It don’t matter who’s in charge’ he adds. ‘Right now you’re safe, but what about the future?’ Cable asks, explaining that the war has already begun, and sooner or later, the Sisterhood will be revealed, and then the real carnage will start, and continue until they rule what is left of the world. ‘The one thing the Dark Mother won’t tolerate is competition. This is the fate planned for you’ Cable tells the mobsters, showing them an image of multiple hangings in a ruined world.

‘Never’ one of the mobsters calls out. ‘It ain’t happening!’ another exclaims. The sister calls everyone imbeciles and tells them that the Dark Mother is more powerful than they can imagine. Suddenly, the Dark Mother appears in the room, ‘So, Nathan Summers… we come face to face. So nice to finally see you in the flesh’ she tells him. ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about, witch’ Cable replies. The Dark Mother tells him that of course he doesn’t, but someday he will understand. ‘Mother, I tried to stop him, but -’ the sister calls out, however the Dark Mother interrupts: ‘“But” sister? I only know success and failure. Both bring finality… just as I now bestow it on you.’ The sister goes wide-eyed, as she dies.

‘You don’t tolerate failure’ someone remarks. ‘It keeps the rest of my children on their best behavior’ the Dark Mother replies, before turning to the mobsters and remarking ‘So these are the ones you would have stand against me, Cable? A poor choice. Let me save you the effort’ she declares, raising a hand, she announces that she is the heart of darkness. ‘You’re too powerful for my touch, Cable…but witness what it does to others. And beware’ the Dark Mother tells her hero, as the mobsters all fall to her powerful attack. Wide-eyed and in pain, they fall to the ground. ‘These humans… so frail, so weak, so helpless. Fortunately there are so many of them. I’ll find new puppets, Cable. But where will you find new allies invulnerable to my touch?’ the Dark Mother asks as she vanishes.

‘You’re a fool. A powerful fool, but no smarter than the rest’ Cable remarks. He tells himself that there is a war going on - a secret war, a battle that will determine the course of human history. ‘There are four powers in this war’ Cable knows. He tells himself that the first power is passive man kind, who fear mutants, but have nether the resources nor the drive to act on their fear. Then, there are the humans who hate mutants who do anything to destroy mutants. They are the second power, followed by the X-Men and those mutants who believe in peaceful co-existence, and are hampered by their morality - they are the third power. The fourth power are those mutants who believe mutants and mankind can never coexist, like Magneto, Mystique and Sabretooth. ‘Your dream is a nightmare, a world ruled by mutants, with humanity as your slaves’.

‘These four powers are at war. Most people don’t realizes it yet. A few, like the X-Men, try to deny it. Others revel in it. It’s a war equally balanced with two powers against two others. It’s a war that must come to an end before it destroys all life on this planet’ Cable tells himself. He recalls the visions of his dead wife, Aliya, and wonders if it is his subconscious at work, or something more, he doesn’t know. In these visions, she spoke of a fifth power. Cable now understands what she meant. Holding his weapon, he decides that there must be a fifth power, one that believes in the X-Men’s ideals, but realizes that achieving the dream demands breaking the rules. ‘A power that brings the battle to the enemy’ he tells himself, dividend that the time for negotiating, talking and peacemaking is over.

There is a loud boom, a crash, a crunch and screech, and the Dark Mother holds her ands up to her face, hidden by her cowl, as a psychic vision of Cable appears before her, shouting ‘I AM THE FIFTH POWER!’

Characters Involved: 



Irene Merryweather

GW Bridge


Greg & Lea

Dark Mother

Members of the Sisterhood




Story Notes: 

Mr Lobenzano’s dealings with the Sisterhood can be seen in Cable (1st series) #88-89.

Cable had visions of his dead wife in Cable (1st series) #89-90.

Issue Information: 
Written By: