Cable & Deadpool #26

Issue Date: 
March 2006
Story Title: 
“Born Again” part 1: With Eyes Closed

Fabian Nicieza (writer), Lan Medina (penciler) Ed Tadeo (Inkers), Gotham (Colorist), V.C.’s Cory Petit (Letterer), Deborah Weinstein (Production), Barber & Macchio (Consulting Editors), Nicole Wiley Boose (editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Patrick Zircher (cover artist), Udon’s Alan Tam (cover inker) Rob Schwager (cover colorist)

Cable created by Rob Liefeld and Louise Simonson

Deadpool created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza

Brief Description: 

Thousands of years ago, a young Cable – then called the Traveler – kills Apocalypse – then simply called En Sabah Nur – in combat. Apocalypse’s followers, the Dark Riders, now wish to follow the Traveler, but he’s not interested in taking En Saban Nur’s place and tells Nur’s chronicler, Ozymandias, that being the most fit to survive means that you should help those who are less fortunate. As he watches the Traveler leave, Ozymandias mingles En Sabah Nur’s blood with the Traveler’s. Again in the past, though in a different time, “the Traveler” finds a caravan with advanced technology that is sent to Ozymandias. The Traveler wants to know how Ozymandias received technology from the future, but Ozymandias corrects him: the technology is from the past. In the present, Cable has been missing for two weeks. Irene Merryweather and Deadpool search for him with a little help from Black Box and Johann Kriek. They learn that Cable has been investigating several museum thefts, so they follow his trail. Later, Deadpool and Irene have tracked the museum thieves to Akkaba, Egypt, where they find a Sphinx with Apocalypse’s face. They enter the Sphinx and Deadpool fights its guardians, the techno-organic Dark Riders. While he does so, Irene has Black Box remotely translate the symbols inside the Sphinx and discovers that they are waiting for the rise of Apocalypse. A smaller Sphinx, made out of various alien technologies, is found within the Sphinx and Cable steps out of it, followed by Ozymandias. The Dark Riders bow to Cable, who tells Deadpool and Irene that he has no intention of stopping the rise of Apocalypse.

Full Summary: 

Ozymandias recalls a mighty warrior, who faced En Sabah Nur and his Dark Riders thousand of years ago. He had a right arm made of metal, long hair in a ponytail and a flashing left eye. He was called the Traveler and roamed through time and space. He was barely a footnote in history, yet he influenced – knowingly or not – the future of the entire planet. He had disrupted the plans of Ozymadias’ master’s plans many times before…

(thousands of years ago)

Ozymandias watches as the Traveler – a much younger Cable – wages battle single-handedly with sword and shield. He’s more than a match for the more than dozen Dark Riders, so En Sabah Nur decides to fight him himself. Ozymandias is worried about his master’s life and what would become of him without En Sabah Nur. He watches as their swords clash repeatedly.

After awhile, the Traveler manages to knock Nur’s sword out off his hand, but Nur quickly picks up an axe. Kicking the Traveler off balance, Nur’s strength allows him to easily disarm the Traveler – and then sever the arm as well. However, instead of seeing blood, En Sabah Nur and his men see a shiny, metal substance; they are shocked to see that the arm is artificial. En Sabah Nur reels at this, telling the Traveler that her has seen similar wonders within the conveyance to the stars. What kind of man is he? On the ground, the Traveler replies that he is the man of tomorrow. With this, he pulls a gun on En Sabah Nur and shoots him in the head, then adding that that makes Nur history.

Rising, the Traveler then grabs his techno-organic arm and reattaches it, the two pieces reconnecting themselves. The Dark Riders stare at the dead body of En Sabah Nur for a minute, and then kneel before the Traveler, accepting him as their new master. However, the Traveler is not interested in them and turns towards Ozymandias. He tells the scribe that he has no interest to take Nur’s place. As he wipes his sword with Nur’s blood on Ozymandias hand, he instructs Ozymandias to remember that there is always somebody smarter and stronger around and that being fit to survive means that you have the responsibility to help those who are not. Ozymandias looks at the blood on his hand and thinks about it. He watches silently as the blood drips down between his fingers and mixes with Cable's techno-organic blood.


Somewhere in Akkaba, Ozymandias watches as blood pours from a fountain into a large container. He has thought of the day that Cable defeated Apocalypse often… especially in the days before another rising

(three weeks ago)

On Providence, Irene Merryweather has gathered Kriek, Prester John, Deadpool and Black Box on the island’s infonet chamber. She has assembled the group to look for Cable, who has been missing for two weeks, though Deadpool seems more interested in the fact that “Who’s the Boss” seems even funnier when it’s translated into Farsi. He then notices a screen showing “the 700 Club” and states that why someone hasn’t elected Pat Robertson president is beyond him.

Returning to the subject, Irene informs the group that Cable has been missing for two weeks, but trail has been negligible. However, Kriek has found out through his Interpol connections that there have been several museum robberies during the last six months. Deadpool tells her that he could follow her up to the point where she said that Cable was on the Goodyear Blimp. Irene pauses for a moment, then realizes that he is mixing up “negligible” and “dirigible” and despairs that she could follow Deadpool’s twisted train of thoughts so easily. Deadpool thinks that they are destined to find great love.

Deadpool thinks that they want his help and therefore tells them to ask him. When Irene asks Deadpool to help them, Deadpool, pleased with himself, tries to bodyslide by two, but nothing happens. Deadpool is confused why their whole “mutual teleporting schtick” they had going on isn’t working, but Irene thinks he’s useless and turns to Black Box. Black Box tells them that Cable had been investigating the museum thefts over the past few months, so he can provide a very faint trail to follow. While Irene wonders why Cable was doing this, Deadpool tells her that this means they are going on a road trip. He turns to exit and announces that he’ll pack the massage oil.

Ancient China, somewhere near the Ho-Lo Shan Mountains and years after his last battle with En Sabah Nur, the Traveler ambushes a caravan. Quickly besting the guards, he finds that they are transporting a large piece of advanced technology. The caravan doesn’t know what it is, but the Traveler tells them that they do know who wants it. He hides himself on the cart until it arrives at its destination: a village where Ozymandias is waiting for them. Appearing from beneath the tarp, the Traveler threatens Ozymandias with his gun and asks him where they found technology from the future. To the Traveler’s surprise, Ozymandias corrects him: this technology was found in the ancient past.

In the present, Deadpool and Irene arrive at Akkaba, where they find a Sphinx, with Apocalypse’s face. They quickly contact Black Box, who confirms that the stolen goods from the museum where heading to the place. Irene and Deadpool wonders why Cable isn’t there if he was ahead of them, or why he hadn’t just destroyed the place.

Unconcerned, Deadpool just pushes onward and cuts a hole in the side of the Sphinx for the two to enter. Once inside, Wade warns Irene that she should have stayed outside. Irene basically agrees, but notes that somebody should be along to stop Deadpool from doing something incredibly stupid that may result in the end of the universe. Deadpool has to admit that she has a point.

On a wall within, Irene discovers hieroglyphs, though to her surprise she sees that the they are actually Chinese. Transmitting the images back to the base, Irene asks Black Box to translate. Black Box quickly complies, informing her that it appears to be derived from the Hakka dialect: “In appreciation of the struggle. In adulation of the onslaught. In preparation for the rising of Apocalypse.”

Deadpool and Irene look at each other in shock. Deadpool thinks it’s cool, though Irene thinks he’s crazy. Running into the dark hallways, Deadpool rushes ahead, with Irene running behind. Entering an illuminated chamber, Irene sees Deadpool fighting strange, armored beings who appear to be techno-organic in nature. Deadpool declares them to be living, breathing, walking McFarlane toys.

While he fights, Irene asks Black Box to translate more. She needs to know what the creatures are protecting. Deadpool doesn’t care, however. He just wants to fight. Running from the fray, Irene hides, but then notices something odd. Black Box sees it also through their Comm-link: a smaller Sphinx floating within the larger Sphinx they are within.

Black Box identifies the technological foundation being Celestial in nature, matching the Celestial Ship Apocalypse used. However, he also notices traces of Badoon and Skrull technology. Whoever built the craft pieced it together from various sources.

Suddenly, the body of one of the armored creatures lands near Irene and she screams as she jumps. Exacerbated, she yells out for Nathan. A moment later, in response, she sees that the Sphinx opening and tells Black Box that she thinks she just wet herself.

Next, also to her surprise, Deadpool appears and asks her if he may see. Irene yells at him, “They are following you!” replying to the armored creatures behind him. When he replies, “I heard you scream,” she yells back again, “But they are following you!” To this, he again yells back: ”But I heard you scream!” Irene decides to stop this conversation, because somebody is coming out of the spaceship. When Deadpool thinks aloud that this is all very cool, Irene calls him an idiot, since he couldn’t stop the “dog soldiers.” To this, Deadpool replies that he’s pretty sure they’re called the Dark Riders. Dismissing this, Irene replies that if he can’t stop them, how does he expect to stop Apocalypse?

To Irene and Deadpool’s surprise, the Dark Riders bow to the man coming out of the tomb: Cable. Cable, with Ozymandias standing behind him, tells her that she is correct… but whoever said he wanted to stop Apocalypse from coming back?

Characters Involved: 

Cable/Nathan Dayspring

Deadpool/Wade Wilson

Irene Merryweather

Prester John

Johann Kriek

Black Box

Citizens of Providence

Dark Riders

(in flashbacks)
En Sabah Nur / Apocalypse


The Dark Riders

Caravan soldiers and staff

Story Notes: 

Apocalypse’s history in this comic is a continuation of his story told in X-Force (1st series) #37.

The “thousands of years ago”- comment by Ozymandias is incorrect, as Apocalypse discovered the Celestial Ship in X-Force (1st series) #37, and that story was stated to happen around 1200 A.D. Hardly thousands of years ago. Black Box also is talking about thousands of years. Either X-Force #37 had a misprint and was meant to be 1200 B.C. or both are wrong.

The Dark Riders in this issue seem to be a precursor to the Inhuman and mutant Dark Riders that served Apocalypse in more modern times. The Dark Riders that guard Apocalypse’s tomb seem to be non-human creatures. This issue seems to imply that the Dark Riders guarding the tomb are the same as the warriors that served Apocalypse back when he was killed by Cable (then called the Traveler), turned into techno-organic slaves, but nothing is openly stated.

During the first fight, Ozymandias appears human. This is probably a continuity error, as Ozymandias was changed in a creature made of living stone in the Rise of Apocalypse mini-series, taking place many years before this fight. When Cable meets him in China, Ozymandias is in his stone form.

Slight continuity mistake: Cable wipes his sword with Apocalypse’s blood on Ozymandias hand, but in the art he never is seen to wound Apocalypse with the sword.

Akkaba is a place in Egypt where Apocalypse was born. He often returns to the place as his base of operations.

Bodysliding is Cable’s means of teleportation. Until recently Cable and Deadpool would teleport both when he activated it, because they had a genetic link.

The Skrull and the Badoon are two alien races in the Marvel Universe. The Skrull are shapeshifters and have one of the most powerful Galactic Empires in the Marvel Universe. The Badoon are reptiles that can turn invisible, their empire isn’t as large as the Skrull, Kree or Shi’ar, but they are very ambitious and want to conquer as much as these others races have. While Apocalypse has been seen to have connections with the Skrulls [the Twelve], he has never been seen working with the Badoon. However, as the Badoon and the Skrulls have had extensive contact with each other, even being at war at one point, it is possible that Apocalypse could have obtained Badoon technology from the Skrulls.

Who’s the Boss was a sitcom of the 1980s, where Tony Danza played the part of a housekeeper to a Connecticut ad executive. Farsi is the language spoken by the people of Iran.

The “700 Club” is a news-talk show broadcast by the Christian Broadcasting Network, which presents news stories from a religious and political perspective. It was co-founded and is continued to be run by Pat Robertson, a Christian conservative who has run for the Republican nomination for president on several occasions. However, he has never gotten far in any primary, as most conservatives view his positions as extreme and overly religious.

This is the first time Cable has been known by the alias of “the Traveler” or that he fought Apocalypse in the distant past.

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