Cable (4th series) #6

Issue Date: 
January 2021
Story Title: 
X of Swords, Chapter 19

Gerry Duggan (writer), Phil Noto (artist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Sabino (letterer), Tom Muller (designer), Phil Noto (cover artist), Steve Skroce & Chris O'Halloran (variant cover artists), Jonathan Hickman (Head of X), Jay Bowen & Nick Russell (production), Annalise Bissa (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

X-Men Created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby


Brief Description: 

The Quiet Council meets, with Sinister warning them of the horrors coming to Kraoka. Xavier tries to reach Jean to get her to join the meeting, but she doesn't answer him. Kate Pryde tells the Council that if their people are in danger on Otherworld, then they need to get there and rescue them – but Sinister tells her that no one on Otherworld is making it back alive. He proposes that they blow up the gate and prepare for an invasion – but Xavier tells him that harming the gate is not an option. On Otherworld, Saturnyne welcomes several members of the Champions of Krakoa – Cable, Cypher, Apocalypse, Magik and Gorgon, and several of the Champions of Arakko – Bei, Annihilation, War and the White Sword – to the former kingdom of Pryador, where she observes the next battle – Cable against Bei, the wife of Cypher. They battle, but as Cable knocks Bei to the ground, he looks over at Cypher and is unable to deliver the fatal blow, so Bei trips Cable over and starts smashing him into the ground, eventually breaking his arm. Cable cries out for his dad, and before Bei can bring her sword down into Cable's back, Cypher runs between them and pleads with his wife to stop. Bei stays her blade, and Saturnyne decides that although she called this battle to the death, she knows some deaths are of the spirit, and awards the point to Arakko. Cable walks away from the others and telepathically reaches out to Jean, who hears his cry. She is distressed that Cable is in pain and upset. He warns her that they are losing on Otherworld. Cyclops is concerned for his son. Cable is resigned to his fate and starts to ask his parents to tell the Cuckoos something, before Saturnyne ends the telepathic conversation. Cyclops becomes distressed, but Jean tells him that they can fix this. Saturnyne returns to the competition, setting Gorgon up against the White Sword to the death. The White Sword summons the first of his 100 warriors, then more and more, but Gorgon slays them all – until his eyes are poked out and he is skewered with two swords. The rest of the 100 warriors come towards him, and Gorgon lashes out at them, blind, although he narrowed the score, earning the Krakoans a one point lead. War demands that White Sword finish Gorgon off, and as Gorgon stumbles towards White Sword, Gorgon is finally killed when White Sword shoves his large sword through his chest. The score is then even, and Saturnyne declares that the next battle is Apocalypse against his wife – Genesis – who wears the Annihilation mask – and is a battle centuries in the waiting.

Full Summary: 

'Where is he?' Nightcrawler asks as he teleports into the Grove, Krakoa, where members of the Quiet Council have gathered for a meeting. 'Axl Rose would've gone on by now' Kate Pryde mutters as she plays with a knife. Sebastian Shaw declares that itisn't like he doesn't have better things to do, when suddenly, Mr Sinister appears and apologizes for his delay in arriving. 'You were right to send me over I can tell you what an absolute $#%&show is coming our way' Sinister announces, adding that he is sorry for the delay again, but that he needed to stop and fetch a cape. 'I'll be damned if I come into this council chamber not looking my best' Sinister declares, adding that he loves this place too much. Charles Xavier points out that the situation is dire, and asks if the War Captains should be here. But Magneto tells him that he would like to hear from Sinister before matters escalate.

Xavier agrees, but states that he would like Jean to be here. He telepathically reaches out to Jean Grey, informing her that he needs her in the Council. 'Jean?' he asks when he gets no response. 'Strange...she's not answering' Xavier remarks. Emma Frost folds her arms, unimpressed, while Kate Pryde turns to Sinister and declares: 'Excuse me... our people are in a death match with swords, your team was wiped out and you... stopped for a cape?'

Sinister frowns back at Kate and tells her that before Emma took pity on her, she looked like she was dressing herself with the remainders from the Xavier School's lost and found box. 'So I don't think I'll take any fashion sass from you' Sinister snaps. 'Well... that motion is... regrettably seconded' Emma Frost states casually as she rubs a finger and thumb together. Mystique and Exodus remain silent during this exchange while Xavier asks Sinister to continue.

'Yes, yes. To the point: This Council was quite correct in forbidding anyone else to go over there' Sinister confirms as he takes the center of the Council's meeting space. 'Those maniacs have been at war for thousands of years. You should see what they did to the poor fish-people. Actually, you really don't want to see it' Sinister tells the others. Kate stands up declares that if their people are in danger, they should go to get them out. 'You're not listening. Nobody that went over there swinging a sword over their head is coming back...' Sinister responds. Sinister acknowledges that they are already short a few Council members, but tells those who are present that they have a much more immediate problem – namely that once those Arakkii mutants chew through Saturnyne and Otherworld, they are going to come here. He suggests that they should blow up the gate and prepare to be invaded. Xavier states that harming the gate is not currently option, while Krakoa appears nearby and utters something in his native language. Sinister turns and walks away: 'Hoping the External gate will hold is a mistake... that could cost us everything' he warns the Council.

On Otherworld, Saturnyne stands on a barren landscape, a reddish-orange sky overhead. Nathan Summers a.k.a. Cable – the teenage version – stands to one side of Saturnyne, while the Arakkii warrior Bei the Blood Moon stands on her other. Nearby, Cypher, Magik, Apocalypse and Gorgon stand together, while opposite them Annihilation, the White Sword and War are gathered together. Saturnyne welcomes the warriors to the former kingdom of Dryador. She explains that it has seen much violence, and that today the curse continues for two fights to the death. She states that the first contest is Cable of Krakoa and Bei the Blood Moon of Arakko, and that Arakko leads in the tournament 17 to 6. Cable thinks to himself that all he ever really wanted is to make his dad proud – but that there is a big more than Summers family pride riding on him this morning. 'Begin!' Saturnyne exclaims.

Cable's large sword and Bei's blade clang against each other and Cable discovers that Bei is fast – and strong. Cable cries out as he falls backwards, and Bei loom over him, growling, she brings her blade down, but Cable raises his sword to block her attack. 'She's good. She not as good as me' Cable boasts as energy crackles from his sword and strikes Bei, who groans a she falls backwards to the ground. 'One chop under the nose. It'll be a clean kill. Then I'll step between her and Doug so he doesn't have to watch her die' Cable thinks to himself as he raises his sword over  his head. Cypher looks on wide-eyed, while Gorgon shouts 'Go it, boy!' Too late, though, as Bei kicks Cable over into the mud, she climbs on his back and starts slamming his face down into the mud. Cable tries to move his sword, but Bei grabs his arm and holds it down. Cable thinks that he flinched for a split second, and wonders how it could have gone so wrong – when suddenly, Bei snaps his arm, breaking it with a deafening KRAK.

'Dad' Cable utters as he looks up from the mud, while Bei stands over him, ready to bring her blade down into Cable's back. 'Stop!' a voice shouts – it's Cypher, who rushes over and holds his hands up in front of his wife. 'Stop – please!' he tells her. 'Enough. The kid's beat' Cypher pleads with Bei. Bei holds her blade overhead, while Saturnyne reminds everyone that she declared this fight was to the death. Cable turns his head and looks up, 'All I ever really wanted is to make my dad proud' he thinks to himself, as Saturnyne states that some deaths are of the spirit, and informs Bei that she can stay her blade, before awarding the point to Arakko.


Arakko 18 – Krakoa 6


Cable calls out telepathically as he walks away from the others. '... Mom... can you hear me? Please tell me you can hear me!' Cable pleads  as he sits down on some rocks, looking sorry for himself.

Elsewhere, Jean Grey feels Cable's thoughts and moans as she touches her head. 'Is it Charles again?' Cyclops asks as he turns to Jean. Jean telepathically connects Cable and Cyclops as she tells Cable that she is with his father and that he can hear him. She adds that she can feel that Cable is hurt and tells him to breathe into the pain.


Wresting his broken arm in a sling – courtesy of one of his straps – and apologizes for screwing up. 'We're gonna lose. It won't even be close... it's not a fair fight. It's like the witch wants to run the score up against us for some reason' Cable informs his parents, revealing that they are down 18 to 6 at the moment. 'And I'm not...I wasn't ready, Dad, I shoulda been the other guy for this. Things would be different' Cable utters, crying.

Cyclops grits his teeth and tells his on to forget all that, before asking who hurt him.

Cable wipes his tears away as he reveals that he forgets her name, but that it was Doug's large wife.

Jean looks at Cyclops with concern.

Cable hangs his head and tells his parents that they need to prepare for war. 'They're going to invade' he reveals. 'Could you tell Esme and the girls that I -' Cable begins, before Saturnyne walks up behind him, puts a hand on his shoulder and tells him that she has tolerated this spying for long enough. Saturnyne then snaps her fingers, ending the psychic link between Cable and his parents.

'NATHAN!' Cyclops shouts, while Jean declares that Saturnyne severed their connection. Cyclops drops to the ground, while Jean suggests that if they work with Emma and the girls, they might get through. 'What... what have I let happen? I can't lose him again, Jean' Cyclops utters. 'Scott...' Jean calls out. Scott turns to Jean and they kiss, while Jean tells him that they will go fix this.

On Otherworld, Saturnyne returns to where Apocalypse, Gorgon, Magik and Cypher are waiting, while War, White Sword and Annihilation are gathered nearby. Saturnyne tells the champions that the score is 18 to 6, and that the cards have determined the next contest – Gorgon versus the White Sword – to the death. White Sword turns to Gorgon: 'You will face me... after you make it through my swords...all one hundred of them' he boasts, as he shoves his large sword into the dry ground. 'Ha' Gorgon responds, scowling. 'Number one!' White Sword calls out as he sits down next to his sword.

Gorgon spins around as the first warrior rushes towards him – but Gorgon slices his head off with ease. 'Two and three!' White Sword calls out, grinning. Two more warriors run towards Gorgon, but before they can strike him, he drops to the ground, cuts them both off at the knee – slicing their legs apart, then shoving his sowrds into their backs. 'BRAVO!' White Sword calls out, clapping his hands, before he calls for warriors four, five and six. 'THIS ISN'T FAIR!' Cable calls out. War grins and tells him that nothing is fair. Gorgon's eyes glow as an armored warrior rushes towards him, the armor tears away, revealing the warrior underneath as Gorgon cuts away at the warrior. The Warrior falls on top of Gorgon and pokes their fingers into Gorgon's eyes, drawing blood. Gorgon cries out, before he shoves his swords into the warrior's chest.

White Sword claps his hands again, 'Send them all' he orders, as the warrior Gorgon gets to his feet, blood streaming from his eyes, while the remaining 93 warriors make their way towards him. 'Come – AND DIE!' Gorgon starts swinging his blades, sending a spray of blood across the land. Magik watches, concerned, while Cable looks shocked and Cypher covers his mouth. Apocalypse shows no emotion. Gorgon cries out in agony as he becomes overwhelmed by several warriors who use their weapons against him.

Saturnyne then announces that, by her count, Gorgon has slain 13 of the White Sword's champions, which gives Krakoa a narrow lead of 19 to 18. 'Curse you! Finish him, White Sword! Before he does any more damage!' War cries out, pointing at White Sword. 'Please' she begs. White Sword tells her that he was just waiting for her to grovel, and gets to his feet: 'Hold' he calls out. 'The White Sword stands before you, Gorgon. Your life is slipping away' White Sword points out. 'So it is' Gorgon admits. 'In a moment, it will all be over. When it is done, I will restore you, and you will serve me' White Sword tells Gorgon.

'Never... I walk my own path...' Gorgon responds as he holds his sword out front. White Sword smiles as he suggests that he could impose his will, but Gorgon responds 'Not over me' as blood trickles down his face. 'HA! So be it!' White Sword grins as he shoves his large sword through Gorgon's chest. Gorgon drops to his knees, and as Magik, Cypher and Cable look on, Apocalypse tells them 'That is how a mutant dies'.

Saturnyne announces that one point has been awarded to Arakko, and states that the score has been evened at 19. She holds up some cards and reports that the cards will reveal the next contest.


Arakko 19 – Krakoa 19

But, before Saturnyne can read the cards, Annihilation steps forward and tells her that there is no need for her theatrics. Apocalypse steps forward too, holding his scarab blade, he points out that they know what comes next. Annihilation and Apocalypse stand opposite each other, blades held at the ready, as Apocalypse declares that this is a duel fated millennia ago.

Characters Involved: 

Apocalypse, Cable, Cypher, Gorgon, Magik (all Champions of Krakoa)

Exodus, Emma Frost, Jean Grey, Magneto, Mr Sinister, Mystique, Nightcrawler, Kate Pryde, Sebastian Shaw, Professor X (all Quiet Council)




Annihilation/Genesis, Bei the Blood Moon, War, White Sword (all Champions of Arakko)


Opal Luna Saturnyne


White Sword's champions

Story Notes: 

This issue follows Hellions #6 and continues in X-Men (5th series) #15.

Mr Sinister – or rather, one of his duplicates – lost his cape while adventuring in Otherworld in Hellions #5-6.

This issue contains a battle log, which lists all of the battles that have taken place during the tournament, including the name of the battle, the participants and the score.


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