Soldier-X #1

Issue Date: 
September 2002
Story Title: 
Dear Irene...

Darko Macan (writer), Igor Kordey (artist), Chris Chuckry (colors), Randy Gentile (letters), Lynne Yoshii (assistant editor), Andrew Lis (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Irene Merryweather hasn’t heard from Nathan Summers, aka Cable, in two years. She is working for the Daily Bugle and sent to a Sumo Basho to write up about the event. Whilst in the toilet she is attacked by a couple of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who are after information on Cable, however she knows nothing. Some mystery attackers confront them but they are disposed of by a Sumo wrestler in drag who then hands a computer disc, from Cable to Irene. Irene gets back to her apartment and loads the disc up. On the Disc Nathan starts to explain what has happened since she last met with him. He tells her about a trip to Egypt he took after receiving a letter from a mystery person. Whilst there he meets up some time displaced soldiers, just like him. He saves them from some locals after spiting some of the metal from his arm at their gun. It turns out that the metal is dissolving. After they leave he is reunited with his mentor Blaquesmith who was the person that sent him the letter.

Full Summary: 

“Nathan Summers is one of the worlds mightiest mutants and a soldier. Once known as Cable, he was on a mission to save the future from the present. He defeated his archenemy, and at last succeeded in purging himself of his accursed Techno-Organic Virus. But this purge caused his telekinetic abilities to spin out of control, and Nathan is left unsure of his powers and his place in the world. With the future he knows gone and his body as his enemy, Nathan battles on to save the present, the future, and himself as Soldier x.”

On a plane back to the states a huge, paranoid woman accuses a man, taking his shoes off, of hiding an explosive in his footwear. Soon panic ensues, and a fight breaks out. However, the flight crew just call it “another false shoe alarm” and don’t take it too seriously. The orange haired air stewardess decides to take care of it, but a bag is flung at her face and she falls on Irene Merryweather’s lap, who is busy doing some work on her laptop. In the background a fist fight breaks out between the passengers.
At The Daily Bugle offices in New York, news editor Robbie Robertson calls Irene into his office. He wants to know why she wrote the sloppy article on the copyright conference in Cleveland from internet sources and why she didn’t even attend the conference. She is about to tell him she got a tip on Cable, but he completes her sentence, guessing she would say that. He tells her she has the potential to become a good reporter, but her obsession with “that mutant” is bogging her down. She hasn’t heard from him in two years, not since the explosion in Kazakhstan, and Robbie feels that following a dead lead for that long is not on, and he tells her that Nathan must be dead. But she won't believe that, and begs Robbie to give her another chance. Of course he does just that, and sends her to cover a Basho demonstration. She wonders what Basho is.
Basho is sumo wrestling, much to Irene’s horror. Her friend Helen loves it though, cheering the fight on with much enjoyment. Irene starts to become maudlin, thinking that maybe her search for Nathan really is destroying her. As they chat about Nathan Helen makes comments about how gorgeous Cable is, but she thinks he’s special because he’s so focused on his mission, and very intense. Soon Helen’s mind wanders back to the Basho, and Irene leaves to go to the bathroom. She talks to herself in the mirror, wondering whether Nathan will write, when a small, plump man wearing a fedora and a cream suit walks in. At first she thinks he maybe a pervert, but as she walks out he claims he has a message from a common friend, Nathan. She demands to know where he is when an orange suited ninja storms in, claiming that the woman is going with him. The fedora man screams that this ninja is from “the dreaded Orange Ninja clan”, Nathan’s mortal enemies! He tells Irene to go, as he’ll take care of it; but Irene is not a woman to be messed with, and manages to kickbox the ninja to the floor, where she demands to know what is going on. The Fedora man says he is Dragonfly, and the ninja is Gilbert Jordan, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Irene laughs at the incompetence of these agents. Dragonfly claims they are only low ranking agents, and his job was to be her gallant knight and save her from the ninja, then get data on her about Nathan Summers. Irene learns that Nathan has supposedly killed a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in Kazakhstan two years ago, and they almost caught him in Moscow. They realise that she hasn’t seen him in a while too, and Irene says they should know, as they sweep her apartment every week! Then three street punks barge in, saying they want the girl. But as Dragonfly points out, they are not one of theirs. As they prepare to start shooting, a huge green haired transvestite sumo wrestler barges in, knocking the punks heads together. He/she is revealed to be Sailor Sagittarius from the Zodiac Squadron anime. As the two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents pick up the punk for questioning Sailor slips Irene a disc, saying it has the Zodiac Squadron theme on it. Then she whispers into Irene’s ear “It’s from Nathan.” As Irene returns home, and tells Helen to e-mail her some pointers on the Basho so she can write her story, she loads the CD.
Cable explains that he hasn’t written to her for two years, and that he hasn’t killed a man in that long either. He had received an anonymous letter, telling him to meet someone by the entrance of the Abu Simbel temple in Egypt; Nathan assumed it was from Irene, as she has a fondness for all things Egyptian. He waited inside, looking at ancient hieroglyphs. Thinking she wouldn’t turn up he goes to leave when a man tells him that he’s on the hieroglyphs, pointing to one of the charioteers. Nathan asks whether he called him here, but he didn’t. The man asks what era Nathan comes from. Nathan is perplexed until the man asks about his armor, and wonders whether he’s from the future. The man asks whether there is war in the future too. Nathan says there is. Meanwhile, outside, a man called Kazimierz is raging around drunk on a camel, singing. The man tells Nathan that they are both soldiers from four hundred years ago. Two locals are fighting over a gun. Nathan spits a bolt of steel, breaking the gun. Nathan says that his armor is dissolving, and it’s less painful to eject it through this end! The man says his armor looks useful, and Nathan wishes that he had control over it. Just then Kazimierz falls off his camel and swears at Nafer, Nathan’s new friend. Nafer tells him that Nathan is displaced in time just like they are.
The trio hide inside the temple from the men who Nathan fired a spit bullet at, and who are after Kazimierz. Nafer thinks his friend was trying to get himself killed, but Kazimierz says he can’t , as he’s seen his grave, so he must die when he gets back home. They all agree that home is on a soldier’s mind. Nathan wonders whether his home exists anymore, as the events that created that timeline have been cut off. He also wonders where his mentor, Blaquesmith, has vanished to. Kazimierz and Nafer explain how they ended up here; a time draft that hurled them from the war they were fighting to another war in the future. They decide it’s time to go, and they leave. As Cable hacks up another piece of his armour Blaquesmith appears, the anonymous letter writer. Nathan is overjoyed at seeing him. Nathan tells Irene, in the letter on the CD, that he hopes she would forgive his long silence, and listen to his story.

Characters Involved: 



Irene Merryweather

Dragonfly, Gilbert Jordan (both S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Robbie Robertson, news editor

Helen, Irene’s friend

Sailor Sagittarius, female sumo ringer

several unnamed passengers and crew members of an airflight

Baba, Kazimierz, Nefer, Omar and other egyptians

three unnamed attackers

Story Notes: 

In Cable (2nd series) #91, pursued by the Dark Sisterhood, Irene and Blaquesmith’s car plunged into a river. Using a psi-shield the Dark Sisters thought her dead. In Cable (2nd series) #92 a covert ops group schemed to make her officially dead in the eyes of the law. In Cable (2nd series) #93 Irene was under the identity of Margaret Blundage, an insurance investigator; she used an image inducer to make her appear to be Miss Blundage, a black woman. To all intents and purposes Irene Merryweather was dead, and couldn’t come back; yet here she is, working at The Daily Bugle. We have to assume that, with the Dark Sisterhood destroyed, Irene’s status was changed by the black ops unit back to her being alive.
In the same river crash above Blaquesmith was presumed dead, as his body was never found.
Nathan was not responsible for the death of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Joy Henderson in Cable (2nd series). But that’s what S.H.I.E.L.D. believes anyway.

Issue Information: 
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