Ultimate X-Men #76

Issue Date: 
January 2007
Story Title: 
Cable: part 2

Robert Kirkman (writer), Ben Oliver (pencils), Jason Keith (colors), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters), Kate Levin (production), John Barber (associate editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

The mysterious, grey-haired enemy continues his attack on the X-Men. During the battle, he continuously implies that he and Wolverine are one and the same, and even asks Logan if he found out the truth about his wife yet, and if he figured out who Sabretooth’s mother was. Once Logan and the other X-Men are down, the man tells the Professor he knows what he wants, and will contact him again to report the place where to make the exchange. He manages to escape through a portal and kidnaps Jean along with him. After recovering himself, Xavier immediately tends to Kitty, who requires a surgery, due to the knife that’s stuck in her chest. With the forced help and a telepathic session with a surgeon nearby, the procedure succeeds. While taking a rest, Kitty is seriously thinking about leaving the school the moment they have rescued Jean. Xavier and Scott try to use Cerebro to locate Jean’s whereabouts, but fail to do so. At the infirmary, a new portal opens and another, mysterious man steps through it. The older looking man wears a uniform similar to previous guy and introduces himself as... Bishop! Wolverine quickly defeats Bishop in battle and takes him to Xavier, where they interrogate him. Bishop explains that they are dealing with a man called Cable. They both come from the future and Cable wants Xavier dead, while Bishop has come there to save the Professor’s life. Meanwhile, at an unknown location, Cable has put a power-dampening collar around Jean’s neck and tells her that, next time, he won’t be facing the X-Men alone. Cable introduces Jean to his team, who are ready to strike once Cable has given the order.

Full Summary: 

The new and mysterious enemy the X-Men are engaging has, from one hand, just popped his own set of adamantium claws. The foe faces Wolverine, and admits to him it’s not quite as easy to use the claws as it used to be. He looks at the blood coming out of his hand, and says that, without the healing factor, the claws hurt like hell. And the blood really makes a mess. But he’s certain Logan will soon see that himself.

The man strikes at Logan, who blocks the attack using his own claws. Logan jokes he isn’t really impressed by the claws, as nearly every other clown he faces has them. The man asks Logan if he has found out who Sabretooth’s mother was yet. The man’s own timeline is a little fuzzy. He asks Logan if he already figured out the truth about his wife. Logan looks puzzled.

The man attacks Wolverine again, recognizing the point that it’s starting to come around for him. The man wonders if he was really so easy to read back when he was Wolverine. He never even knew it. Logan jumps away from the strike, and slashes his claws through his enemy’s uniform. Logan tells the guy that he’s here attacking Xavier and hurting these kids. Logan doesn’t know a whole lot about this situation, but he knows the man he’s facing isn’t him! The man puts his claws through Logan’s chest, causing him to scream from the pain. The man tells Logan that, if he had any idea, if he could even imagine what he has lived through, he knows Logan would do whatever it took to prevent it. The man kicks Logan away from him, and shouts that for the sake of the future... CHARLES XAVIER HAS TO DIE!

Wolverine gets back up and won’t let that happen. The man takes out a device, which releases a bright light at Logan, and he tells him Logan doesn’t have a choice in that. Logan, despite the pain from the light, does his best to walk through it. Logan wants to know one thing: the man’s face... if he’s truly him... Logan wants to know what the guy did: trip and fall? The mysterious man shuts down the light, revealing to Logan that his one arm’s got claws. People didn’t just throw those away when he lost them. The man never imagined what it’d be like to have the claws turned on him, and guesses Logan is feeling a little bit of that right now. Logan just coughs, trying to catch his breath. The man grins that Logan probably didn’t like his device, and gloats he’s got more of those.

The man places another new device on Logan’s chest, which gives him a powerful electrical shock! Logan still isn’t out yet, though, and shouts at his foe to not use toys anymore: he has to fight like a man! The foe dodges Logan’s attack, saying he can’t do that because Wolverine is too fast. The man knows if he would fight like a man, he’d die. And he can’t let that happen! He presses a button on a control device he holds, and suddenly the device on Logan’s chest explodes! Wolverine is knocked out. The man sheathes his claws, and almost can’t stand the pain. He feels sorry for using them, but they always seem like such a good idea at the time.

He opens the door of the hangar, only to find Rogue and Iceman standing in front of him! Bobby threatens the man not to take another step or he’ll make an iceberg out of him. The man can’t believe he forgot about these two. Of all of the X-Men, he forgot them. He thinks he’s losing his edge. Not paying any attention to what’s happening behind him, the man gets hit by Cyclops’ optic blast. Scott shouts at Bobby to freeze the guy up, which he does. Rogue wonders who this guy is, and asks the others if they fought him while she was gone. Scott fires his optic beams to release Peter from the vines that trapped him. The man takes out a heat device and uses that to melt the ice, causing him to free himself again.

Peter transforms into Colossus, and he and Cyclops rush towards their foe to attack him again, having created a new strategy. The man quickly sticks his heating device on Bobby’s chest, and says that it never ends. Bobby screams in pain from the device, and yells for Rogue to pull it off. As Scott tries to hit the man with his beams, the stranger admits that he wasn’t planning on killing any of the X-Men, but they may not have given him a choice. Colossus grabs the man by his legs and throws him down, noticing that the guy isn’t moving fast enough anymore. The man kicks Peter in his face and releases a bomb, from which gas is released. Peter breathes it in and is quickly knocked out.

Xavier orders Scott to do something, as they can’t let their enemy get away. Scott helps Peter back up, and tells the Professor they’re trying to prevent that. Silently, the man laments to himself that those inhibitor disks of his wear off too soon. Scott fires his beams again, and tells the man to give up. He asks the guy what he’s going to do, as he knows he can’t get through them. He wants to know where the guy wanted to go. The guy tells Cyclops that he would actually be amazed at the many options he has. He places a device on the floor, which releases a green force field between the X-Men and the man. He tells the Professor not to bother, as his powers won’t get through this barrier. He’ll be safe for the next fifteen seconds, and that will be all the time he needs.

The man starts dragging Jean away. He hates that he has to do this, but he doesn’t have a choice. Scott panics and tries to get through the wall, wanting to rescue Jean, but his beams aren’t strong enough. A portal opens behind the man, and he starts stepping through it, taking Jean with him. The man tells the Professor he knows what he wants. He promises to contact Xavier again with details on how to make the exchange. Until then, he promises Jean won’t be harmed. Xavier tries to use his powers to breach through the wall, but he can’t. The foe was right about that. Colossus hits the wall hoping to get through it, but that doesn’t work either. The man and Jean step through the portal, which closes behind him.

Peter keeps hitting the wall again a few times, and until it finally is shut down. The Professor sees Kitty (with the device in her chest) unconscious on the floor, and orders Peter to get her to the infirmary immediately!

Later, at the infirmary...

Kitty has recovered and lies in a bed next to Kurt. Storm is with her, and they are talking. Kitty tells Storm she didn’t know the Professor could do that, and everything felt really intense. Ororo tells Kitty she was a bit out of it, and that the Professor was forcing a surgeon a few miles away to see through his eyes and tell him what to do telepathically. But it really was intense. Kitty, a bit down, says that this place sucks. She came here to learn how to control her powers, and not to fight crazy guys every week. She’s not flling involuntarily through floors like she was, and thinks she doesn’t know if she needs to be here anymore. She certainly doesn’t like it.

Ororo feels the same way, as she just wants to finish her play, but there just never is any time. Kitty didn’t know Ororo wrote her play, and asks her about it. Storm explains that, most of it, she started a long time ago. She let Hank read it, before... she stops her sentence there, as it’s too painful. She adds that she never showed the play to anyone else. Kitty would like to read it. She also promises she’ll be good, and won’t comment on it if Ororo doesn’t want it. Storm smiles that, maybe later, she’ll let Kitty do that, but right now she has some revisions she’d like to do first. Kitty warns Ororo not to take forever on it, because as soon as they get Jean back... she’ll be gone. She’s seriously thinking about leaving the school.

Elsewhere at the school...

Scott asks the Professor what his research with Cerebro indicated. Charles takes off the helmet, and regretfully admits he didn’t sense anything. It’s as if Jean isn’t on this planet anymore, or at least not giving off any life signs. Scott hopes that doesn’t mean what he thinks it does. The Professor tells Scott not to worry, as he’s almost certain Jean isn’t dead. He explains that the technology the man used to fight them, that he must have something that can mask both their presence from Cerebro. He promises Scott that they’ll find Jean, but just isn’t sure on how to do that yet.

Scott asks the Professor if he has any idea who their enemy was, or what he was after. He heard the guy saying that the Professor knew. The Professor thinks their foe wanted him dead. From what he gathered, that man came there to kill him but luckily the X-Men intervened. He thinks he’s going to try to trade his life for Jean’s. Scott realizes that could be the situation. But he knows they can’t let the guy kill the Professor, but they can’t let him keep Jean either. They just need to figure out a way to rescue both. Charles thinks so, too.

Back to the infirmary, where...

Wolverine is sniffing around the room, and Kitty asks what he’s doing. Logan explains that he’s looking for evidence. He drew a circle at the spot in the room where the man came in, and he’s trying to see if he can pick up a whiff or anything else they can use. Kitty asks if he found anything yet, but Logan absolutely hasn’t. All he can smell is himself. Kitty thinks that’s weird, and Logan agrees with that.

Suddenly, another bright, blue light fills the room! Kitty is shocked and Wolverine immediately snikts out his claws.

Another portal has opened, and another man steps through it! The man asks where Cable is. He demands a quick answer, as he wants to know if Cable’s there yet. Did he arrive there before Cable did? Is there still time? He demands an answer now! Logan warns the newcomer, who looks rather old, that he isn’t in a mood to be yelled at.

Xavier’s study...

Xavier is in a meeting with both Storm and Cyclops. Storm asks Scott if he saw the man before he took Jean, as she saw they had him. She saw the man was hurt. He knows the guy isn’t invincible, and saw him limping. He was injured... tired. Scott saw what Ororo saw, and admits that if they were better prepared, all of the team might have been able to stop him. The Professor thinks that what Scott is trying to say is that as much as they learned from this fight, so too, did their opponent. Charles believes the man is going to be prepared for them, as they will be for him.

Scott corrects that he’s just trying to say they have nothing to go on here. He doesn’t want the team lulled into a false sense of security by fooling themselves into thinking they know what the man is capable of. They don’t know anything about this guy.

Wolverine enters the room, dragging the unconscious newcomer over his shoulders. He mentions that, for starters, their foe’s name is Cable. And he’s sure that the guy he’s holding knows a lot more about him than just a name. He puts the guy down, and mentions that he wasn’t as nearly as tough as Cable. Scott shouts at the man to talk to them – he wants to know who he is, where Cable is and where he took Jean.

The Professor asks Scott to calm himself down for a moment. He turns his attention to the man in front of him, and tells him he will tell them everything he knows about Cable. He notices that the newcomer wears a similar uniform like Cable’s, and wonders if they are working together. The man tells the Professor to look at him: does he really look like he came here to hurt him... at his age? He introduces himself as Bishop. He followed Cable here from the future, and confirms that Cable came here to kill Xavier. But Bishop came there to save Charles.

Somewhere else, in a hidden headquarters...

Jean wakes up in a cell but has a power inhibitor collar around her neck. A door opens, and Cable steps through it. Jean asks Cable where they are and what he’s going to do to her. She wants to know why she’s being kept here. Cable asks Jean what makes her think he’s going to answer her questions. Jean tells Cable that whatever he’s planning isn’t going to work. She was there the last time and saw how the X-Men almost took Cable out. She knows the X-Men will know what to expect next time and doesn’t think Cable stands a chance.

Cable appreciates Jean’s concern... he really does. But, he tells her, she shouldn’t worry as, next time, he won’t be facing the X-Men alone. Four people appear behind Cable, all wearing similar uniforms like his! A woman with a white face and black patch over her eye smiles that they’re ready whenever Cable is, and he just needs to give the order!

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Rogue, Shadowcat, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Bishop, Cable (both time travelers)

Four unnamed members of Cable’s team

Story Notes: 

Cable is identified by name for the first time in this issue. It’s also the first appearances of the other members of Cable’s team. None are named yet, though the woman on the final page will probably be called Domino.

Bishop makes his first full appearance in this issue, though another man called Bishop appeared on an photo during a presentation of potential candidate for the president’s now dismantled mutant team, as seen in Ultimate X-Men #43. It’s not yet clear at this point if there’s a connection between the two.

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