Cable (2nd series) #23

Issue Date: 
April 2010
Story Title: 
Homecoming, Part Three

Duane Swierczynski (writer), Gabriel Guzman (pencils), Mariano Taibo (inks), Thomas Mason (colors), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters), Marko Djurdjevic (cover), Sebastian Girner (assistant editor), Axel Alonso (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Upon arriving in the year 2044 Cable and Hope are attacked by the Turnpike Authority. Cable suffering from a heart attack leaves Hope with little options. Using the last few rounds of ammo, Hope fires at a gas tanker, which explodes and takes out most of the opposition. She uses her wiliness to handle the rest. The timely arrival of Sophie Pettit and her freedom fighters doesn’t hurt either. Cable recovers and all of them head to Central Park, the location of Sophie’s base, to get fixed up. Everything would be fine, but the constant thorn in the side Bishop makes it to shore and teams up with his old Turnpike Authority pals. Driving three large vehicles they catch up with Hope and Cable en route to Sophie’s base. Their driver is taken out and Hope has to take the wheel. She does a decent job of maneuvering through Central Park, but is momentarily distracted and hits an outcropping of rocks. As everyone gets ejected Cable only has the opportunity to save one. He grabs onto Hope and teleports to the past leaving Sophie to die upon impact. As soon as they appear in the past Cable mourns his old friend, but quickly pushes those thoughts away and continues the mission of keeping Hope safe.

Full Summary: 

Chapter Six: Girls with Guns

New York City, 2044

“You haven’t paid your toll,” Cable and Hope are told by a costumed crew of thugs dubbed the Turnpike Authority. Cable takes one look at them and remembers running into these punks over a decade ago. Hope was just a baby then.
The penalty for not paying the toll is apparently death as the Turnpike Authority squad quickly opens fire. Cable dives on top of Hope, shielding her from the attack, and taking a few slugs in the back for his troubles.
Hope drags her wounded protector out of the range of fire around the corner of a nearby building. She tells Cable it’s the last time he’s taking a bullet for her. He doesn’t respond to that, but hands over a few Revolutionary War era pistols he snagged on their previous trip and tells her to load them as quickly as she can. Hope loads two of the four rounds he gave her, questioning why he didn’t get more. Cable tells her that’s all they need, but Hope assures him he miscounted.
Nevertheless, Cable orders Hope to bend over and climbs on top of her back. He looks out over the partially toppled wall in front of them and spies the Turnpike crew making their way to their position. He fires his two shots at them and misses. He gives the guns back to Hope who loads the last two bullets. While she’s in the midst of loading Cable feels the onset of another heart attack. Painfully, breathlessly, he tells Hope to shoot the tank.
Hope is frazzled by Cable’s medical emergency, but knows what she has to do. Placing the barrels of the pistols into a small crack in the foundation of the wall she fires the last two shots. She completely misses the toll collectors, but they weren’t her target. She was aiming for the gas tanker not far behind them.
The tanker explodes with a tremendous fury. The Authority militia members are knocked every which way, a few of them set on fire.
At this point Hope steps out from behind the wall arms raised in the air. She states her surrender to the remaining mercenaries. The three remaining men raise their weapons at her and tell her not to move. Fake tears stream down Hope’s face as she tells them her dad’s dead. She offers to do whatever they want as long as they don’t kill her.
One of the men named Ken takes off his goggles and approaches Hope. He asks what she has to offer. She begins tugging at the knife attached to the backside of her belt, but this only serves to agitate the men who think she may be up to something. Hope shows them the knife, holding it upside down by the base of the hilt. She claims her dad made her carry it around and then drops it on the ground.
A bearded member of the group named Jay bends over to pick it up and remarks on the nice tip. Hope goes on to say that he wasn’t really her father anyway. This perks Ken up and he offers to be Hope’s daddy.
Ignoring Ken’s comment for the moment Hope, ever so calmly and elegantly, grabs the bearded Jay by the shoulders and leaps into the air, flipping over his head and landing behind his back. She grabs both of his hands, bringing the one with the knife up to his neck and pointing the one with the gun at his buddies.
Not seeming to mind that his friend is in peril, Ken raises his weapon at Hope. Jay tells his buddy not to shoot, but Ken states that he’s a crack shot and he’s going to “take this bitch out.” Jay argues he’s a horrible shot and tries to wriggle free of Hope. Ken takes the shot anyway, which forces Hope to the ground. She lands on top of her hostage forcing him to take the brunt of the impact. Ken’s shot goes wide overhead and hits a parked car, blowing it up.
Hope looks up at Ken, angry now. It’s not so much he tried to kill her, but that he had no problem killing one of his men if needed. In her rage Hope does a somersault through the air and connects with Ken’s chest, knocking him backward. He retaliates with an overhand right, which Hope blocks. She then hits him in the solar plexus knocking the wind out of him. Ken drops to his knees, literally speechless.
The other remaining survivor of the Turnpike Authority, Reese, takes aim at Hope and tells her not to move. Hope doesn’t want anybody to get hurt and asks if they can just go on their way. Even Jay, whom Hope took hostage moments earlier, agrees they should let them go. Reed starts to remind Jay of their rules, but is stopped mid-sentence when an energy rifle blast enters through one ear and exits out the other. The person on the other end of that head shot is none other than Sophie Pettit.
Sophie’s not alone either. She has a squad of about 11 men working with her. She orders the sergeant to arrest the two surviving Authority members and questions Hope as to who she is and who she’s allied with. Instead of answering, Hope berates Sophie for killing Reed. Cable, who recovered from his cardiac attack on his own, comes out from behind the wall and tells Hope it’s ok. He then introduces her to Sophie and says she just saved her life… again. “N.. Nathan?” Sophie asks disbelievingly.
Chapter Seven: Baby, You’re out of Time

“It’s been a long time,” Cable remarks to Sophie. She agrees sarcastically telling him he could say he’s sorry for disappearing for two years and making her think he was dead. Cable tries to explain the situation, but Sophie cuts him off and starts in on what happened from her point of view.

Sophie and Cable were back to back on 5th Avenue blasting away at Bishop’s Turnpike Authority goons. With Cable as an ally she felt, for the first time, like they had a chance at winning. Then she saw Bishop blast Cable with the baby, knocking them down an elevator shaft. She in return fired four rounds into Bishop’s back. It didn’t stop him, though, and the last thing she remembered was Bishop charging up his arm and telling her she wouldn’t remember anything, if she even really existed.

end flashback
Sophie goes on to explain they didn’t find any bodies in the wreckage and assumed the worst. As her eyes come across Hope again she asks who she is. Hope, arms folded over her chest, grimaces as she tells Sophie her name. Nathan interrupts the tense conversation to ask for some gauze and bandages.
This reminds Sophie of the first time she met Cable who had asked her for medical supplies after an altercation at the diner where she worked. However, instead of fulfilling his request she offers to take them both back to their base in Central Park where he can get cleaned up. Cable declines, but Hope interjects, impatiently reminding him they have to get some distance from Bishop. Upon hearing this Sophie is taken aback to hear that bald bastard is still alive.
Speaking of… on a nearby shore Bishop comes crawling up through the murky waters to the sandy coast. There he collapses from the strain. A different group of the Turnpike Authority come upon him and accuses him of trying to skip the toll by swimming ashore. Never ones to hesitate, they draw their weapons and prepare to fire. That is until one of the men recognizes “Major Bishop.”
A portly member of their squad has no idea who Bishop is, and as Lucas gets to his feet the chubby man gets into it with him. Bishop doesn’t take kindly to his manners and grabs the man’s pointing finger and shoves it back into his flabby chest. He stalks off in pain as Bishop reasserts control over the small group, demanding weapons and the like.
Meanwhile a lone, all-purpose vehicle barrels down the desolate streets nearby. Cable and Sophie are in the back seat discussing Bishop and his mission. When Sophie realizes Hope is the same person as the baby girl she met only a few years ago she’s shocked. Cable, finding this funny, points out she even fed and changed Hope’s diaper. Sophie makes the connection with the green eyes and red hair. She asks how it’s even possible.
Cable starts to explain the nuances of time travel, but spies three large vehicles, one of them a school bus, hot on their trail. Bishop is in the middle with a big rig and orders all of his men to open fire with everything they’ve got. Sophie tells Roland, the driver, to gun it. She and Cable return fire.
They turn the corner by what used to be Radio City Music Hall, their intended destination Central Park. Roland gets hit with a bullet through the back of the skull and dies instantly. Hope grabs the wheel and does her best to regain control of the vehicle. Cable tells her to drive straight into the park where the trees will hopefully give them cover. Hope asks what’s straight with the circle thing (referring to the steering wheel).
As they enter the park, crashing through the brush, Hope asks where the brake is located. Both Sophie and Cable yell at her to not hit the brakes.
Bishop’s big rig is the first vehicle to run into some trouble. With the truck being somewhat unwieldy he’s unable to avoid a large water fountain and smashes into it destroying the statue erected in the middle, and momentarily taking him out of the chase.
Even with a little bit of breathing room between the vehicles Sophie urges Hope to go faster and then asks if she even knows how to drive. Cable admits they didn’t really have cars where they’ve been, but tells Hope she’s doing fine. She turns to thank him and doesn’t notice the slight embankment up ahead. The car goes over and crashes into a pile of rocks. All of the occupants go flying through the air.
Cable realizes he only has time to save one. It’s not like there was even a question as to who it would be. He reaches out for Hope’s flailing arm and grabs her by the wrist. He activates the teleportation device and off they go. Time seems to slow for Sophie as she watches her friend disappear, leaving her behind. A few seconds later her body slams into the ground causing her death upon impact.
Central Park, New York, 1933

Cable and Hope arrive safe and sound in the past. Nathan looks at the outcrop of rocks where their car will hit over 100 years in the future and apologizes to Sophie for letting her down again. Hope says she’s sorry for the loss of his friend. Cable ignores her sympathy and urges her to get moving. Hope places Cable’s arm around her shoulder and asks if they’re in the present yet. Cable takes one look at the slightly antiquated people and cars and says, “No. But we’re close.”

Characters Involved: 


Hope Summers II
Sophie Pettit

Roland (all named freedom fighters)
Corporal Jay, Ken, Reed (all named Turnpike Authority)


Hope Summers II
Sophie Pettit
Turnpike Authority goons

Story Notes: 

Story problem?:

Cable was seen collapsing at the end of the previous issue, but is quite alright at the start of this one. He does however collapse again a bit later, but unlike last issue where Hope seemingly used her mutant abilities to revive Cable, he manages to recover on his own while Hope dukes it out with the Turnpike Authority.
You may remember Sophie Pettit as the waitress seen at the beginning of the series. She helped Cable after his initial battle with Bishop, treating his wounds and helping with the baby. She inspired Cable to help against the corrupt Turnpike Authority and the uncaring government, the State Assembly. After Cable leapt into the future Sophie took matters into her own hands, becoming a vigilante, and assassinating the members of the State Assembly council. The latter part occurred in Cable (2nd series) #5.
In this issue Sophie refers to the Turnpike Authority she and Cable attacked two years earlier as the State Assembly. Maybe she was just grouping them in with the corrupt government they answered to.
After taken prisoner by the Turnpike Authority and subsequently killing his way to freedom Bishop was later able to “convince” the militia group to add him to their ranks of officers. The latter part also happened in Cable (2nd series) #5. He was initially captured in issue #3.

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