Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Deadpool and I, part two

The name for this week's comics was either inspired by the old Archie books that used to have names like "Betty and Me" and weren't really clear who the "Me" referred to; or it's sung to the tune of the Dennis Leary song, "Elvis and I." So yeah, really, there's no telling what I was thinking. As usual.

This one ended up split in two because of computer trouble, but it's longer than the Batgirl/Moon Knight one. I didn't think this was going to be more than four pages at the outside, but with all the snow, there was an opportunity...

That 'Fools Gold' movie sounded funny, until I saw who was in it.  Now, I'd rather see a Kirstie Alley/Jim Belushi flick.
To paraphrase Calvin, the tail is more than just a necktie for the ass.
I swear, it's like I never saw a silent panel I didn't like...
And at least part of Nightcrawler's line with the gun swipes from Homer Simpson, but really, isn't it hard not to?

Holy hell, I wrote this a long time ago. Or at least, started it. The punch line for day two was originally going to be Deadpool complaining that he wanted to watch Tuesday Night Book Club; a dreadful pseudo-reality show that got the ax after maybe two episodes, back in June 2006.

(My wife liked it, and was still mad about it getting yanked when I mentioned it the other day, which was weird, because I always thought that sort of hanging-on was strictly the province of the hardest of hardcore stereotypical nerds trying to get Manimal back on the air or something. I didn't think, I don't know, civilians, got upset because Courting Alex or Love Monkey didn't get a fair chance at finding viewers.)

(I've never seen Love Monkey. I just can't believe CBS thought people would watch a show with that title. A show that didn't have actual monkeys, anyway.)

Anyway...About Cable/Deadpool. For a long time, I didn't even have a Cable figure, even though I remember reading New Mutants way the hell back when he was introduced. And I don't even like the New Mutants. Any of them. Ever. OK, Wolfsbane could almost squeak by, because of her Excalibur and X-Factor tenures. And Rockslide could be the breakout from New X-Men; but otherwise I can't stand these new kids that have been foisted off on the readers as the greatest new X-character since Kitty Pryde, when most of them have been less memorable than Artie and Leech. (Artie and Leech are terrible, no question, but they are their terribleness. Terriblosity?)

Seriously, why is that? I've seen it pointed out that writers taking over Justice League or Avengers usually try to stick at least one new or unusual character in the lineup; either to differentiate their run on the book, or to wave the flag of a personal favorite character. (For the latter, think Firestorm or Spider-Woman.)

But in the X-Books, it's traditionally kids added, and almost invariably god-awful ones. Anybody remember Sammy the fish-boy fondly? Or Rusty? Or Husk or Icarus or any of those horrible Guthrie’s? It's like they were designed to make you think Jubilee really was cool...

We're extra off-topic today. Back to Cable. His back story is almost impregnable, but short form: he's the son of longtime X-Men Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor, a clone of Jean Grey. As a baby, the evil mutant Apocalypse infects little baby Nathan with a techno-organic virus that would kill him, but instead he's taken to the future as a possible savior (OK...) cloned, which stabilizes his infection but his clone is stolen by the immortal Apocalypse and turned into the villain Stryfe (with you so far...) and then raised by the time-traveling consciousnesses of Cyclops and Jean Grey, who were brought there by the elderly Rachel Grey, their daughter from another timeline (I'm losing it...) then as a older man came back from the future to try and stop Apocalypse and Stryfe from rising to power. Mmm, that's good back story!

But what does any of that tell us about Cable, the person? Aside from that he probably has more abandonment issues than Batman, and that he's probably a bit of a hardass since in his timeline, he's been fighting longer than Sgt. Rock and Judge Dredd put together. I also remember a Liefeld picture of Cable in schoolmaster clothes: it was an incongruous image, but Cable had spent some amount of time in the 20th Century, including a period as a mercenary, which is a waste of time for someone with 40th Century technology and superpowers...So, I'm sure he had the whole man-out-of-time thing going for a while, or the "I'm a soldier for the future"/Kyle Reese bit too, but he's been around long enough in this time to get schoolmaster clothes and little glasses.

My point is while I have a vague recollection of Cable's history, I'll be dipped if I can tell you a single thing about Cable the guy. What's he like? Is he nice? A close talker? What's his favorite book? Can he cook? Nobody knows, because it takes too long to establish the other stuff to get to anything resembling character, and most of his fans are fine leaving it at that: a big guy with a metal arm and huge guns.

This is the long way of saying I didn't want Cable, a complicated back story for a character I didn't care about; mucking up Deadpool, whose history is almost as convoluted but is fun so it doesn't matter. But, and I'm pretty sure The X-Axis pointed this out to me before I realized it, the comedy of Deadpool works better if he has a straight man to play against. With Cable out, Deadpool's added Weasel, Bob the Hydra Agent, and a newly-obese Agent X; all mostly comedy relief. I don't have much of a metaphor here, but you don't make chocolate better by adding more chocolate to it, you add nuts or nougat or wafers or something to offset it. Damnit, now I want a candy bar.

I don't know how many issues of Cable's various solo books I have. I did buy a couple where he goes to the Microverse for no apparent reason, there's probably a crossover or two in there, and Nightcrawler guests for a just miserable dealing with grief issue. I don't mean miserable as in Cable and Nightcrawler are sad, I mean miserable that issue stinks like a furnace duct stuffed full of your kid's uneaten dinners. On the other hand, I think Ladronn did some good issues with Joe Casey, but I only have a couple there from the quarter boxes.

Fabian Nicieza almost made me care about Cable when he was writing the book, and I finally got a Cable figure in the Cable/Marvel Girl Wal-Mart set. For five bucks, I couldn't say no, although I think I snubbed the similarly priced Cannonball/Domino set. Cannonball sucks. Of course, now that I have Cable and Marvel Girl, I wish I had bought Bishop to complete my set of doom-saying cassandras from possible future X-Men timelines. Put them all in a room to see which future's the worst...and now I have to look for a cheap Bishop Marvel Legend. Well, great.


CalvinPitt said...

I only saw Artie in one comic (a post-Onslaught issue of X-Men Unlimited where Franklin Richards wants to kill the NotMagneto known as Joseph), but I thought talking in pictures was kind of cool. That was Artie right? Besides Artie, well, Illyana sounded cool in concept, but other than one issue of Uncanny where she tried to fight Dire Wraiths, I've never seen it showcased.

As for Cable/Deadpool, it's the first time I can recall being interested in Cable, and I miss having him for Wade to play off of. I dig Bob and Weaz, but they play off Wade's recklessness by being cowards, while Cable was a little more grounded to contrast with Wade's, uh, loopyness? Plus, Wade seemed to bring a sly sense of humor out of Cable, which was a nice change of pace.

And you know, for some reason, I just had the thought that Cable would be a Barry Manilow fan, like Angel (Buffyverse Angel, not winged X-dude Angel). I don't know why, though.

SallyP said...

This was hilarious as usual, so thank you. And I must blush to admit that I actually...liked...Manimal.

I have to admit that Cable is NOT my favorite character. And I can't even keep track of all the new young mutants that they keep throwing at us, nor do I care to. But it's true that Wade needs a straight man to work off of.

billjac said...

I don't know anything about the Cable era of New Mutants, but back at its start in the early 80's the book had some things to say for it. I liked the rivalry with the Hellions, the art in the Sienkiewicz issues was the first non-straightforward comic art I appreciated, and Magik and Magma were good crushes for a 13 year old boy who found Kitty Pryde a little too white bread.

The Fortress Keeper said...

The Casey/Ladronn issues of Cable were indeed cool. But they were totally unlike everything before or since, although I did like Nathan teamed up with Deadpool.