Cable (2nd series) #2

Issue Date: 
June 2008
Story Title: 
War Baby: Chapter Two

Duane Swierczynski (writer), Ariel Olivetti (artist), VC’s Joe Caramanga (letterer), Will Panzo (assistant editor), Axel Alonso (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), David Finch and Morry Hollowell (variant cover)

Brief Description: 

Bishop recounts how he traveled forward in time to find Cable. After losing his arm to Predator X, he cauterizes the wound using heat from Sunfire’s body. Then he steals Scalphunter’s gun and fires at Cable. Cable disappears into the timestream at that exact moment, causing the bullets to hit Charles Xavier. Realizing his mission is incomplete, Bishop travels back to Forge’s lab in Dallas. He knocks Forge unconscious, steals one of his prosthetic arms, incorporates one of Forge’s time-travel units into its machinery, and travels to the future in search of Cable. He tracks him down to a small diner in Newark in the year 2043. Bishop ambushes him at the diner, and the two men fight before getting interrupted by some cloaked vigilantes who protect that neighborhood. They take Cable’s side, as he is in possession of a small child. Bishop dispatches them with a bio-energetic blast while Cable runs for cover. Then, Bishop charges himself up and hurls a large semi-truck at Cable, just as Cable realizes he can no longer time-jump.

Full Summary: 

Cable, lying amidst the shattered remnants of a diner window, stares up in disbelief at his attacker. When he last saw Bishop, his arm had just been ripped out of its socket. Somehow, Bishop has replaced his arm with an oversized, robotic prosthetic, and has found Cable in the year 2043.

Cable checks to make sure the baby is uninjured from the fall. She’s fine. When he looks back up at Bishop, the man is only a few feet away and has already drawn his gun. Cable kicks Bishop’s hand just as he fires the gun, causing the shot to miss. Cable cannot help but notice that the gun fires some sort of energy beam, and the missed shot has left a large, smoldering crater in the concrete. He looks back up at Bishop just in time to see two mechanical tentacles emerging from his new arm. These tentacles quickly wrap themselves around Cable’s neck, choking him.

“It’s over, Nathan,” Bishop tells him as he picks up his gun off the ground. He begins to point it at the baby, but Cable forces it out of his hand. Then, using his free arm, he unsheathes his hunting knife and plunges it into Bishop’s side. The tentacles retract, Bishop stumbles backward, and the two men put some distance between themselves.

Right when they separate, they hear the sound of a shotgun being cocked. “That’s enough now. You two back away from one another. Now,” a voice says. The two soldiers turn and see a group of cloaked vigilantes, all armed with guns. “Yo, baldy, you say you were a cop? You must be lost,” the leader continues. “Haven’t seen a cop around here for years. No cop’s that stupid.”

Bishop tries to tell the men that this is none of their business. He reassures them that the situation will be resolved in sixty seconds, after which he will be on his way. The cloaked men do not care.

Cable realizes this diversion may give him the diversion he needs to escape. As he formulates a plan, the baby makes some noises, drawing the attention of the militia men. “Aww, lookee here…” one of the female soldiers says, noticing the helpless baby strapped to Cable’s chest. This revelation quickly casts Cable in a sympathetic light. The militia men turn their guns on Bishop.

It all comes down to luck, Bishop thinks to himself. He then recalls the series of events that led him to this particular point in time. Looked like mine had run out on Muir Island.

Bishop’s flashback…

Predator X tears off Bishop’s arm and leaves him for dead. Bishop gets up off the ground and stumbles around aimlessly. Suddenly, Sunfire comes crashing down from the sky. Bishop takes advantage of the extreme heat emanating from the Marauder’s body and cauterizes the wound on his shoulder. At a certain point, when your nerve endings are pushed past their limits, they stop transmitting pain, Bishop thinks. Which leaves you free to focus on other things. Like finding a weapon. And finishing your job.
Bishop then grabs a gun from Scalphunter, who has fallen in battle. He takes aim at Cable and begins firing right as Cable vanishes into the timestream with the baby. The bullets sail past the spot where Cable stood, and instead hit Charles Xavier in the chest and head. Cyclops nails Bishop with a high-powered optic blast.

Bishop does not die, however. He realizes he can still complete his mission, so he picks himself up and sneaks away. He travels back to Forge’s laboratory in Dallas and knocks him out. Then, he raids Forge’s armory for the technology he needs. He selects one of Forge’s prosthetic arms from the wall, choosing the “nuclear-powered battle-ready arm.” He fits the arm to his socket, makes a few alterations with some of Forge’s time-travel technology, and enters the timestream in search of Cable.

The first place Bishop visits in the future is Muir Island, noting that this is where Cable must have arrived when he jumped into the future. He searches the entire island for clues before jumping ahead again in time. He does this over and over again, traveling to various years in a desperate search for any sign of Cable’s presence. 2019, 2024, 2037, and finally, 2043. Arriving at Muir Island in the year 2043, Bishop spots an empty bottle of milk lying half-buried in the encroaching sands. He picks up the bottle and decides it had to be for the baby; it is too large of a coincidence to be otherwise. So, he decides to track the bottle to its source.

His search leads him to an abandoned supply depot on Muir Island. Checking with the building’s manifest, he learns that a break-in occurred recently. The robber took weapons, supplies, baby food and diapers. It had to be Cable, Bishop concludes. He learns from a barge captain named Al Buchanan that a man fitting Cable’s physical description had left Muir Island about a month prior. According to the captain, the man and his infant daughter disembarked all the way over in Newark.

The barge captain reminds Bishop that he missed the man by weeks. Bishop tells him it will not be a problem. Arriving in Newark, he simply travels back in time to the time of Cable’s arrival. He visits the first diner he finds, figuring Cable must have stopped there for food. He learns from a waitress named Sophie Pettit that he has just missed Cable.

Bishop checks the time-stamp on Cable’s check and finds out exactly when he needs to be at the restaurant. The waitress asks why he wants to know. He tells her that the man is just an old friend of his. “But don’t worry, I can just catch him in the morning,” he adds. The morning to which he refers, however, is actually that very morning. Bishop then steps outside and travels back in time to 8:57 a.m., eighteen minutes before Cable’s arrival. He enters the diner, sits at the same table, gets greeted by the same waitress, and waits.

End flashback…

Bishop, holding the knife-wound in his torso, looks back at Cable and the baby. I don’t have time for this, he says to himself, referring to the men with their guns aimed at him. I’ve got a job to finish. He charges a bio-energy blast and unleashes it at the gun-toting vigilantes. They fall the ground.

Cable takes this opportunity to slip away, but the cloaked men begin firing at him. He takes cover behind a parked car. Realizing they cannot hit him without exposing themselves, one of the vigilantes asks if their friend Homler has returned from patrol yet with their grenade launcher. The female soldier interjects at this point, commenting that the man has a baby. “Ain’t that a bit of overkill?” she asks.

One of the vigilantes decides it is, so he devises a new plan: kill Bishop first, take the baby, then kill Cable. “That okay with you?” he sneers.

Meanwhile, Cable crouches behind the car and tries to decide what to do. His right arm is useless due to its wound, so all he can do is hold the baby or shoot at this point. He decides he needs to time-jump again, this time back one day. See how Bishop likes being ambushed, he smirks.

As the vigilantes turn all their attention toward Cable’s position, Bishop crouches behind a large semi-truck and frantically tries to build up another charge. Somehow, he builds up enough charge to lift the semi-truck up over his head.

Meanwhile, Cable tries to time-jump again, but realizes something is wrong. My time mechanism – it’s broken, he says to himself. A confused look forms on his face.

Bishop propels the semi-truck through the air, and drops it above Cable’s hiding spot behind the car. As the truck begins bearing down on him, Cable comes to the horrible realization that he can no longer jump through time.

Characters Involved: 


Mutant baby



Al Buchanan (barge operator)

Nondescript Waitress

In Flashback:

Cyclops, Forge, Professor X,

Scalphunter, Sunfire (Marauders)

Predator X

Story Notes: 

Cable killed the man named Homler, who was armed with a grenade launcher, in the previous issue.

Issue Information: 

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