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  1. #16
    Grizzled Veteran Jackraow21's Avatar
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    Cable was super popular in the 90s, so his AoA counterpart/spinoff who was younger and even more powerful took off too. To some extent, however, I think it was dilutive and as Cable became more of the "telepathic soldier-messiah" (as Deniz Camp recently phrased it) during the Casey-Ladronn and Tischman/Macan-Kordey runs on Cable and Soldier X respectively, it left X-man with less of a lane to himself. At least IMO. It also doesn't help that since that time Cable himself has become less popular, and has largely been relegated to time travel stories which take him out of the core 616 Marvel U timeline... and in my mind that's actually a "chicken or egg" problem, because I think Marvel doing that has actively contributed to his decline as a character.

    Cable was at his best when he was "a new Wolverine for the X-books" (as Liefeld described his intention in creating him), meaning a man of mystery who was popping up everywhere (not just confined to the X-books and certainly not off in the timestream in a possible future somewhere), had lots of mysterious ties to various organizations (e.g., Department K which was started to hunt him specifically, and which spun out of Department H which was Canada's superhuman affairs division) and was a dark and dangerous character with his own agenda who was even hunted by SHIELD for a time. That was peak Cable. He was relevant to not just the X-books, but the broader Marvel U. He also ran X-Force, the mutant paramilitary unit or mutant CIA, depending upon which version it was. Now he doesn't even do that anymore, as they've given his old team to Logan while relegating Nathan to a freelance player who spends all his time doing fringe ****.

    While I loved CotV, part of me was disappointed that it took Cable out of the main FoX plot line. Having said that, I thought Camp did a nice job of weaving that in with the inclusion of Orchis (and Cable and Bishop using them to attack the Children). So I'm hopeful that Fabian can artfully pull off the same with his upcoming mini, where Nathan (both versions of him) will fight some new threat called the Neocracy rather than being involved in the main FotHX/RotPX plot. Going forward, though, they should put Cable back on an X-team and make him relevant to the major events happening in the here and now. Make him an integral player in the broader Marvel U too, bouncing him off of non-X-characters (both heroes and villains alike). If they do that, I believe he can see a resurgence in popularity... especially if Brolin comes back and plays him again at some point in the MCU.

    As for X-man? While the factors above certainly haven't helped him out as a character, I will also add that characters like Kid Omega and Kid Cable also contribute to his decline. Both are young, brash powerful psychics who steal Nate's schtick, at least in part.
    “Not as good as I once was… but I’m as good, once, as I ever was.”

  2. #17
    House of Frost NewMutant's Avatar
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    Krakoan X-Factor was shocking as well. Though Trial of Magneto was a let down on multiple levels.

    Sword as shocking sort lived for how good it was. Great cast of Acolytes that got lost post cancellation too.
    I was trying to do too much and not doing any of it as well as I could. But I've had a change of mind... though not everyone shall enjoy it. I will.

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  3. #18
    Fantastic Member Babylon23's Avatar
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    X-Factor vol 3 (2005-2013) The X-Factor Investigations era
    X-Statix

  4. #19
    Incredible Member IN-a-Synch's Avatar
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    Bishop
    Xman
    Generation X
    New Xmen with Hellion and Dust Etc
    "She never loved you, you know you always frightened her"- Cyclops
    "And if she was here right now....Who do you think she would be more frightened of?"- Wolverine

  5. #20
    Extraordinary Member CGAR's Avatar
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    Academy X-Men at their prime when they had the coolest rotating cast.

    Just needed to add Wind Dancer.

  6. #21

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    Of X-books, the cancellation that hit me hardest was Exiles.
    Sandy Hausler
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  7. #22
    Mighty Member Malachi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackraow21 View Post
    Cable was super popular in the 90s, so his AoA counterpart/spinoff who was younger and even more powerful took off too. To some extent, however, I think it was dilutive and as Cable became more of the "telepathic soldier-messiah" (as Deniz Camp recently phrased it) during the Casey-Ladronn and Tischman/Macan-Kordey runs on Cable and Soldier X respectively, it left X-man with less of a lane to himself. At least IMO. It also doesn't help that since that time Cable himself has become less popular, and has largely been relegated to time travel stories which take him out of the core 616 Marvel U timeline... and in my mind that's actually a "chicken or egg" problem, because I think Marvel doing that has actively contributed to his decline as a character.

    Cable was at his best when he was "a new Wolverine for the X-books" (as Liefeld described his intention in creating him), meaning a man of mystery who was popping up everywhere (not just confined to the X-books and certainly not off in the timestream in a possible future somewhere), had lots of mysterious ties to various organizations (e.g., Department K which was started to hunt him specifically, and which spun out of Department H which was Canada's superhuman affairs division) and was a dark and dangerous character with his own agenda who was even hunted by SHIELD for a time. That was peak Cable. He was relevant to not just the X-books, but the broader Marvel U. He also ran X-Force, the mutant paramilitary unit or mutant CIA, depending upon which version it was. Now he doesn't even do that anymore, as they've given his old team to Logan while relegating Nathan to a freelance player who spends all his time doing fringe ****.

    While I loved CotV, part of me was disappointed that it took Cable out of the main FoX plot line. Having said that, I thought Camp did a nice job of weaving that in with the inclusion of Orchis (and Cable and Bishop using them to attack the Children). So I'm hopeful that Fabian can artfully pull off the same with his upcoming mini, where Nathan (both versions of him) will fight some new threat called the Neocracy rather than being involved in the main FotHX/RotPX plot. Going forward, though, they should put Cable back on an X-team and make him relevant to the major events happening in the here and now. Make him an integral player in the broader Marvel U too, bouncing him off of non-X-characters (both heroes and villains alike). If they do that, I believe he can see a resurgence in popularity... especially if Brolin comes back and plays him again at some point in the MCU.

    As for X-man? While the factors above certainly haven't helped him out as a character, I will also add that characters like Kid Omega and Kid Cable also contribute to his decline. Both are young, brash powerful psychics who steal Nate's schtick, at least in part.
    It's odd because I never thought I had to be worried for Cable and his fans. I thought he was to big to fail. But he has had a much more checkered publishing past this last decade then I ever thought he would have. I don't get it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy Hausler View Post
    Of X-books, the cancellation that hit me hardest was Exiles.
    I loved that title but when the cancelation came I was ok with it. For me it had run it's course. At least that version of the team.

  8. #23
    Super Dupont Nicoclaws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewMutant View Post
    Krakoan X-Factor was shocking as well. Though Trial of Magneto was a let down on multiple levels.

    Sword as shocking sort lived for how good it was. Great cast of Acolytes that got lost post cancellation too.
    Yeah Sword got folded a bit into X-men Red. While we lost a great cast there was still continuation.

  9. #24
    Grizzled Veteran Jackraow21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malachi View Post
    It's odd because I never thought I had to be worried for Cable and his fans. I thought he was to big to fail. But he has had a much more checkered publishing past this last decade then I ever thought he would have. I don't get it.
    Well, as I said, it's because they don't really know what to do with him now and they don't lean into what made him cool in the first place. Instead, they lean hard into things that are part of his origin but which shouldn't dominate every Cable story because they are -- at least IMO -- some of the least interesting aspects of Nathan Summers as a character. Those things being time travel and his techno-organic virus.

    Think about it. Starting about 15 years ago in 2008 with the Swiercynski series (which I loved at the time by the way), they shunted Nathan off into the future to protect and raise Hope. Great story, with great art, and well received. But what else did they do at the same time? Well, the X-men still needed a more violent pro-active wetworks squad, so they gave X-Force to Logan to run as field leader. And that Kyle/Yost run was really popular, and that begat the acclaimed Remender Uncanny X-Force run which many modern day fans look at as the definitive X-Force run. So basically Cable lost his team to Logan, as the Logan led teams are more popular and sell better. Leading X-Force was part of Cable's raison d'etre, if you will... at least in the beginning... however even without it he has shown he can thrive on his own as a solo character as he did in the 90s and early 00s... with the Loeb-Churchill, Joe-Casey, Tischman-Kordey runs as well as Darko Macan and Kordey on Soldier X. Followed by Cable-Deadpool, which is still a cult classic and really defined those two characters in the 00s. Also, he got moved up to the varsity and was on a few X-men teams. Notably the Claremont-Kubert Uncanny X-men team during the Revolution era as well as Mike Carey and Chris Bachalo's awesome "Supernovas" run on adjectiveless X-men. So Cable showed he could work as both an X-man and a solo character if you leaned into who he is as a character and what he brings to the table versus just some recycled, stale aspects of his origin story.

    But from about 2008 onwards, that's all we've gotten pretty much related to Cable. He's the guy who jumps through time and whose powers are constantly on the fritz because his T-O virus is always acting up like a futuristic case of herpes. IMO ever since they brought him back after Second Coming, in Avengers: X-Sanction just before the AvX crossover, they have just not known what to do with this man. The Dennis Hopeless Cable & X-Force series, which was fun, leaned into his powers being on the fritz -- and him having no T-O virus for awhile -- in an interesting way. By giving him limited precognition, and the Spurrier X-Force series (which was a commercial bomb but underrated IMO, and which did "mutant CIA" waaay better than Percy's X-Force by the way) continued on with this. It was a decent status quo for him, but we knew it wouldn't last. The T-O virus had to come back because being part machine is just part of Cable's aesthetic and original status quo, and most comic characters eventually revert to their status quo after all. Then we got the James Robinson Cable series which basiclaly made him a one-man, self-appointed TVA as "protector of the timestream" or some dumb ****, which his younger self also adopted and used as a justification for killing his older self in Extermination. Dumb ****. And I was glad Duggan called it out as such in Cable #11 or 12 when he brought the older, OG version of Cable back and he lectured his younger self about this and how stupid it was. The Brisson arc of Cable that followed and dealt wtih the Externals was fun, but suffered from some pretty bad art. But it also involved a time displaced Exiles-like team that Cable assembled from various points in time instead of him just recruiting the same characters in the here and now. Which added nothing to the story and felt like throwing in "time travel for the sake of time travel because, well, it's Cable so it has to be included." Then we got a pretty great story from Nadler and Thompson called "Past Fears" but which dealt with... yep, you guessed it: his T-O virus.

    To me they just go back to those two wells for every story and it's a bit painful, and it tells me that this X-office (outside of Deniz Camp) doesn't know who Nathan Summers is, what makes him cool, or what to do with the character. It would be like, instead of Logan being a character who can be put into all sorts of stories and interact with all corners of the Marvel Universe, someone said, "no, Weapon X is a huge part of his origin story so literally every single story must deal with Weapon X; or his adamantium, and the fact that it's killing him, so throw in some pain and suffering related to adamantium poisoning and his healing factor being on the fritz too." Literally every. Single. Story. While writers are prone to mine those aspects of Logan's past from time to time, he does a **** load of other things too. Very cool things. Cable can do those things too. Just saying.
    “Not as good as I once was… but I’m as good, once, as I ever was.”

  10. #25
    Mighty Member Malachi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackraow21 View Post
    Well, as I said, it's because they don't really know what to do with him now and they don't lean into what made him cool in the first place. Instead, they lean hard into things that are part of his origin but which shouldn't dominate every Cable story because they are -- at least IMO -- some of the least interesting aspects of Nathan Summers as a character. Those things being time travel and his techno-organic virus.

    Think about it. Starting about 15 years ago in 2008 with the Swiercynski series (which I loved at the time by the way), they shunted Nathan off into the future to protect and raise Hope. Great story, with great art, and well received. But what else did they do at the same time? Well, the X-men still needed a more violent pro-active wetworks squad, so they gave X-Force to Logan to run as field leader. And that Kyle/Yost run was really popular, and that begat the acclaimed Remender Uncanny X-Force run which many modern day fans look at as the definitive X-Force run. So basically Cable lost his team to Logan, as the Logan led teams are more popular and sell better. Leading X-Force was part of Cable's raison d'etre, if you will... at least in the beginning... however even without it he has shown he can thrive on his own as a solo character as he did in the 90s and early 00s... with the Loeb-Churchill, Joe-Casey, Tischman-Kordey runs as well as Darko Macan and Kordey on Soldier X. Followed by Cable-Deadpool, which is still a cult classic and really defined those two characters in the 00s. Also, he got moved up to the varsity and was on a few X-men teams. Notably the Claremont-Kubert Uncanny X-men team during the Revolution era as well as Mike Carey and Chris Bachalo's awesome "Supernovas" run on adjectiveless X-men. So Cable showed he could work as both an X-man and a solo character if you leaned into who he is as a character and what he brings to the table versus just some recycled, stale aspects of his origin story.

    But from about 2008 onwards, that's all we've gotten pretty much related to Cable. He's the guy who jumps through time and whose powers are constantly on the fritz because his T-O virus is always acting up like a futuristic case of herpes. IMO ever since they brought him back after Second Coming, in Avengers: X-Sanction just before the AvX crossover, they have just not known what to do with this man. The Dennis Hopeless Cable & X-Force series, which was fun, leaned into his powers being on the fritz -- and him having no T-O virus for awhile -- in an interesting way. By giving him limited precognition, and the Spurrier X-Force series (which was a commercial bomb but underrated IMO, and which did "mutant CIA" waaay better than Percy's X-Force by the way) continued on with this. It was a decent status quo for him, but we knew it wouldn't last. The T-O virus had to come back because being part machine is just part of Cable's aesthetic and original status quo, and most comic characters eventually revert to their status quo after all. Then we got the James Robinson Cable series which basiclaly made him a one-man, self-appointed TVA as "protector of the timestream" or some dumb ****, which his younger self also adopted and used as a justification for killing his older self in Extermination. Dumb ****. And I was glad Duggan called it out as such in Cable #11 or 12 when he brought the older, OG version of Cable back and he lectured his younger self about this and how stupid it was. The Brisson arc of Cable that followed and dealt wtih the Externals was fun, but suffered from some pretty bad art. But it also involved a time displaced Exiles-like team that Cable assembled from various points in time instead of him just recruiting the same characters in the here and now. Which added nothing to the story and felt like throwing in "time travel for the sake of time travel because, well, it's Cable so it has to be included." Then we got a pretty great story from Nadler and Thompson called "Past Fears" but which dealt with... yep, you guessed it: his T-O virus.

    To me they just go back to those two wells for every story and it's a bit painful, and it tells me that this X-office (outside of Deniz Camp) doesn't know who Nathan Summers is, what makes him cool, or what to do with the character. It would be like, instead of Logan being a character who can be put into all sorts of stories and interact with all corners of the Marvel Universe, someone said, "no, Weapon X is a huge part of his origin story so literally every single story must deal with Weapon X; or his adamantium, and the fact that it's killing him, so throw in some pain and suffering related to adamantium poisoning and his healing factor being on the fritz too." Literally every. Single. Story. While writers are prone to mine those aspects of Logan's past from time to time, he does a **** load of other things too. Very cool things. Cable can do those things too. Just saying.
    Well said.

    A shame that they pinpoint him like that. For some characters there are no road maps for the future. They just default into aspects as you say. At least when a character has an ongoing they also have to keep the "Keep telling stories" card into play as well. An ongoing is like a shark, it can't stop swimming. So they can't default the way they do because defaulting means a stop for swimming.

  11. #26
    Astonishing Member davetvs's Avatar
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    X-Factor [Investigations]
    X-Factor [Krakoa]
    X-Men [Brian Wood's Team]

  12. #27
    Extraordinary Member Uncanny X-Man's Avatar
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    Isn't X-Men #66 from 1970 the only correct answer here though?

  13. #28
    Extraordinary Member Factor's Avatar
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    New X-men. Especially as it was cancelled after the book got a major boost due to Second Coming (or some other crossover). But they cancelled it out of nowhere to give Marc Guggenheim of all people the atrocity that was Young X-men.
    Teen X-books have never been as good since.

  14. #29
    Mighty Member scouse mouse's Avatar
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    From the X titles, the original Exiles and very short lived Jeff Parker/Salvador Espin run. Cancelled after only 6 issues. Zeb Wells Hellions would have counted, but I feel that ended rather being cancelled.
    For Non X titles definitely the Blackman/Del Mundo Elektra run. I loved every issue. I was also disappointed Mackay's Black Cat run ended. Though it was good that we got a couple of minis afterwards.

  15. #30
    Fantastic Member Nisus's Avatar
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    In addition to some books already mentioned:
    -Age of Apocalypse (ongoing).
    -X-Treme X-Men (Dazzler).
    -Ultimate Comics X-Men.
    -Avengers Academy.

    I think those books were interesting because they were doing something that made them different and, in some cases, it hasn't been replicated by other books.

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