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Friday, July 6, 2018

X-amining Cable #12

"Fear and Loathing Part 1: The Quick and the Dead"
June 1994

In a Nutshell
Cable & Lee Forester battle a resurrected Senyaka.

Plotter: Scott Lobdell
Scripter: Glenn Herdling
Penciler: Mike Miller
Inkers: Conrad, Hanna & Sellers
Lettering: Starkings/Comicraft
Colorist: Marie Javins
Editor: Lisa Patrick
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Chief: Tom DeFalco

Lee Forester, the last surviving member of her crew, fights off their killer, Senyaka, until Cable suddenly arrives in response to a distress call she placed to the X-Men. Though Senyaka manages to disable Cable's bionics, Lee knocks the distracted villain out, and she & Cable flee deeper into the Florida Everglades. Unable to teleport them to safety, Cable & Lee brace themselves for Senyaka's attack. When it comes, Cable is able to telekinetically hurl a battery of sharpened sticks at him, killing him. But their victory is short-lived, as Cable points out they're still stuck in the alone in the wild, with no food, supplies, weapons or means of contacting anyone for help.

Firsts and Other Notables
This issue reveals that Senyaka, the former Acolyte/Cortez guardsmen who was killed by Magneto in Uncanny X-Men #304 as an object lesson in loyalty to the other Acolytes, managed to survive that assault.

After appearing briefly last issue, Lee Forester, commercial ship's captain and former paramour of both Cyclops & Magneto, takes center stage here as Senyaka attempts to kill her due to her past relationship with Magneto

At the end of the issue, Cable is able to telekinetically hurl a handful of stakes into Senyaka, seemingly killing him again (but he'll be back...).

Creator Central
Plot credit for this isssue goes to Scott Lobdell, pulling an Exalibur on the series, while Glenn Herdling sticks around from the previous story to script it.

The cover to this issue is from Steve Skroce, who will soon become the series' first regular penciller.

Chronology Corner
Cable's wedding-related appearances in Uncanny X-Men #310 and X-Men #30 occur between last issue and this one.

A Work in Progress
It's said that Senyaka survived by draining psionic energy from the doctors attending him, which is apparently a power he has now (also, maybe those SHIELD doctors could have stored his whips in another location...).

During a lull in Senyaka's attack, Cable tells Lee about how Magneto has changed since she saw him last (which was all the way back in Uncanny X-Men #196, though they didn't directly part ways in that issue - she is also considered present behind the scenes in X-Men #199 - so presumably they split up off-panel sometime after that).

At one point, Cable tells Lee he can’t teleport them because Senyaka’s psionic attack has knocked out his connection to Professor, but Professor exists as part of Cable's consciousness since X-Force #25.

To the EXTREME! 
Lee is shocked that Cable is prepared to kill Senyaka outright.

The Cable Guy
Senyaka is able to sense that Cable’s bionic parts are more than just metal.

Austin's Analysis
Putting aside the resurrection of Senyaka (which is both ridiculous & unnecessary), this is a solid start to a story built around a bit of character interaction that is suprising to see: Cable and the long-forgotten Lee Forrester. Using Lee's past association with Magneto as the inciting incident for her being attacked by a disgruntled Acolyte is a clever use of continuity (even if it means, oddly, that Cable is spending two consecutive stories fighting the Acolytes in some capacity), while pairing up Lee & Cable is similarly inspired, given her past relationship with Cable's dad (if anything, Cable's involvement in this story - in his own series - is the most random part of it: he just happens to have intercepted Lee's call to the X-Men for help and decided to respond). Subsequent issues will explore the Lee/Cable dynamic a bit more, with this one instead continuing the previous issues' occasional horror vibes as Lee & Cable fight off the relentless Senyaka, but in remembering Lee Forrester exists and mining her past relationships for plot & characterization, Lobdell & Herdling help the series continue its gradual improvement.

Next Issue
Next week, Retro X-aminations return with the X-Men fighting the Fantastic Four, the Mad Thinker, the Puppet Master, and the Awesome Android in Fantastic Four #28.

Collected Editions


  1. So this is why Senyaka got an action figure over the other Acolytes?

    1. Could be. I also suspect it had to do with the fact that "has whips" is easier to translate into an action figure than some of the other Acolyte powers.

  2. Wait -- Lee's entire crew was killed? Paolo is dead?!?

    Anyway... I always assumed someone other than Lobdell brought Senyaka back. I'm surprised to learn it was Lobdell himself, and based on this revelation, I'm actually okay with it. If the guy who both created and killed off the character brings him back, that's always less offensive to me than when another writer does it. And Lobdell apparently killing Senyaka again at the end of this one makes me wonder if he planned for that to become Senyaka's "thing" -- like he's the Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees of the X-Men's rogues' gallery. Killed pretty definitively at the end of every appearance, but just keeps coming back. I actually kind of like that idea...!

    1. I can't believe I didn't notice this earlier, but re-looking at the cover, I just realized this may be the very first Marvel comic -- or at least the first one I've seen here -- with a beautiful Comicraft cover blurb. I guess I didn't register it before because it's so small and unassuming... but one of my favorite things about Marvel's all-too-brief Comicraft Age of the mid- to late-90s were the huge, often overly wordy blurbs on the covers.

    2. Paolo is indeed dead. Killed last issue by Senyaka (though we didn't yet know that).

    3. @Matt, check up UNCANNY #300: Wolverine slashes Senyaka's whip noting that biofeedback "temporarily" fried his brain, and Melloncamp says "he was" a devout follower and Wolverine shouldn't mock a man "while" he's down.

      You're onto something.

    4. Though, when your super power is to "siphon psionic energy"... you could find throughoutly dead and mummified Selen somewhere, and touching her would be a very bad idea. Them energy vampires are very much like regular vampire in that respect.

      Apropos of the notion I realize: Snow White has always been described with snow white skin, lips red as blood, and she dies but is revived by the skin contract of the prince.

  3. @Matt, Paolo's away visiting family.

    The final page where Cable says they are hundreds of miles away from civilization while there is an obvious suburbian setting with smoke coming out of houses' chimney's right behind the trees, suggests that his next line will be: "To survive the cold night we must share body heat."

    Would be awkward if Lee all of the sudden would remember who the mystery man in her past was who she struggles to recollect. Summers-Grey kind of awkward.

    I like Senyaka coming up as his own with individual motives.

    I also wish the next chapters would come up quicker. Clearly I was wrong voting retro. Stupid Ant-Man and his catapult.

    1. The final page where Cable says they are hundreds of miles away from civilization while there is an obvious suburbian setting with smoke coming out of houses' chimney's right behind the trees

      Aha, look again - that's actually just more trees in the background. I made a point to look more closely at that final panel because my initial reaction was just like yours - "well, they're not that deep in the woods, there's a town right there!" so I checked to make sure I was write, but it's definitely more trees, and not buildings.


  4. While I don’t necessarily object to the premise*, that was a ridiculously quick and insubstantial read.

    *Cable reminding Lee of someone — with that someone being Scott, although she doesn’t realize it yet, nor does she yet know that Scott is Cable’s father — makes for an interesting story point but it also has me a bit queasy.

  5. The last issue to feature Magneto and Lee together as a couple was Marvel Fanfare 33, which slots chronologically between Uncanny 201 and 202, if anyone was wondering ...

    I liked this issue, although mainly just for putting Lee and Cable together. It's the next two issues that actually surprised me by how entertaining that pairing could be.


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