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CSBG Archive

Foundationed Deep – Cable and Wolverine

This is the latest in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of pieces looking at particular odd/strange/interesting instances of retroactively connecting different comic book characters (for instance, Uncanny X-Men #268 retroactively established that Wolverine knew both Captain America and the Black Widow from World War II). Here is an archive of all of the past pieces.

Today we reveal the unsurprising connection between Wolverine and Cable.

Wolverine’s healing factor allows him to be alive for decades, so he is an EXTREMELY popular character for writers to retroactively reveal that Wolverine knows people.

Cable grew up in the future but traveled to the past in OUR past, so he also can connect to people in the past easily.

Combine the two and you get New Mutants #93, where the pair meet up…

cablewolverine4

After tangling with each other for a few more pages, the fight ends and we learn that they have a history…

In 1999, Joe Casey and Stephen Platt gave that history in Wolverine/Cable #1, which details when Cable first came into the present, hunting down a bad guy from the future.

Wolverine is sent after the bad guy by Department H…

Cable met an old soldier in the present and they had become friends. The soldier helped Cable fight the bad guy but he is killed by the bad guy. The bad guy prepares to kill Cable, as well, when…

And in the end, Cable and Wolverine get a little moment…

This connection is not a surprising one, but I figured I’d include it as an appetizer to the two Cable connections introduced in New Mutants #93 and Wolverine/Cable #1 that ARE surprising! You’ll see them in a bit…

Meanwhile, if you have a suggestion for a future Foundationed Deep, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com

23 Comments

Wolverine: Comicdom’s answer to Kevin Bacon.

Even through all the bad art and dialogue, this connection is better than their Ultimate Universe connection. Spoiler alert, Cable IS Wolverine. *massive crowd groan* Not child. Not brother. Not even a clone. Him. I didn’t look at the time and I can’t really be bother to look it up, but whatever editor of the Ult X-Men book let that through needs a slap to the back of the head. But at least Liefeld wasn’t drawing it.

The second story here was the very first Wolverine comic I ever read, reprinted in Wolverine Unleashed #50. I was thinking about it just the other day. Ahh nostalgia.

Certainly wasn’t the high point of Casey’s career, was it?

Strange, because I remember his Cable run being really good. It was ubndoubtedly helped by the Ladronn art, and also by having James Robinson set it up.

Off topic… but you should do an article on Who’s artistic flash managed to hold up to the test of time. I Absolutely Loved Leifeld, McFarlane, and Lee… There was a Marvel House style that all had to adhere to, but these upstarts pushed the boundaries…. Who succeeded?

The last speech by Wolverine sums up perfectly why I don’t care for the character. He is all flash and fury with no purpose. He does not even care whether there will be a reason for him and Cable to fight in the future, he just points out that it might easily turn out to be the case.

I think Brian owes us all an apology for exposing us to that much Liefeld art. God. I need a Gravol or something.

In the second to last Liefeld panel, does wolverine have a giant head on a regular body, or a regular sized head on a baby body? Discuss.

I’m seriously doubting that the term “Liefeld Apologist” will ever come to pass.

this just shows wolverine is the mu version of kevin bacon any character is six degress and yes has a connection to him including cable.

Might as well take the obvious ones out of the picture early!

haha liefeld’s tiny feet drawings.. props to giving logan lots of body hair tho

Maybe I am alone in this, but early Liefeld is not that bad. He still has a shaky grasp of anatomy, but I am not someone that considers photo-realism to be a virtue in itself. There are lots of great comic artists that exaggerated their figures. His panel arrangements were fussy, but the story-telling is clear enough. Really, he is no worse than a lot of young artists.

Despite the poor printing and the ancient coloring, the L. Simonson/Liefeld sequence is vastly clearer than the Joe Casey/ Stephen Platt version of the same thing.

Maybe I am alone in this, but early Liefeld is not that bad. He still has a shaky grasp of anatomy, but I am not someone that considers photo-realism to be a virtue in itself. There are lots of great comic artists that exaggerated their figures.

The problem to me isn’t that he exaggerated his figures. Kirby drew people with jagged teeth and fatl fingertips and square knees. He exaggerated foreshortening to ridiculous extremes and it worked. And he was not photorealistic. I don’t think people are bashing Liefeld for not being photorealistic. Many popular artists are less photorealistic but are loved where Liefeld is reviled: Skottie Young, Humberto Ramos, Tim Sale, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, and others. The difference is consistency. Good artists exaggerate in consistent ways from panel to panel, so you can tell the exaggerations are on purpose and calculated. Liefeld’s exaggerations were inconsistent and random, showing it more likely to be a problem with skill. Relative heights change, body proportions, etc. People go from looking 6 feet tall to 9 feet tall. Even inconsistencies like that aren’t bad if the work is meant to be surreal or dreamlike, but that wasn’t the case here.

Really, he is no worse than a lot of young artists.

Look at the foreshortening on Wolverine’s arm in the panel where he’s throwing away the cigar. His hand actually gets smaller as it approaches the reader and his arm looks 12 inches long. I’m sorry but that is worse than a lot of young artists and shockingly amateurish.

I do agree that his work is clearer than Platt’s though.

Sunspot’s dialogue about how Cable is so much greater than Professor Xavier seems like painfully transparent shilling of the then-new character.

I was going to buy that issue of New Mutants back then, but it was sold out!

I’d love to get that Wolverine/ Cable book drawn by ‘Splatt!’

Cable’s outfit looks soooooooo stupid.

Yet I loved it in the 90’s.

@ T.

Actually, I think that panel looks like a giant-headed baby throwing a poop, but that is just me.

I am not saying that Liefeld is great by any stretch. It is just that he was a teenage pizza delivery guy less about a year before this got released. Of course it looks amateurish, he was effectively an amateur that Marvel handed an X-Book almost before he could legally buy a beer.

In the short-run, everyone made money. In the long-run, it wasn’t so great for the comic business.

I am not saying that Liefeld is great by any stretch. It is just that he was a teenage pizza delivery guy less about a year before this got released. Of course it looks amateurish, he was effectively an amateur that Marvel handed an X-Book almost before he could legally buy a beer.

I get what you’re saying, but I guess my problem is threefold. First, yes he was an amateur and just a pizza delivery guy, and a result was amateurish. I get that. But to me, even as an amateur, he was really, really bad. I’m saying this even given the lowered standards one should have for an amateur. If there is such a term as sub-amateur, I would apply it to Liefeld. I’ve seen many first works from authors, and that Wolverine foreshortening, along with many of Liefeld’s other stuff, is incredibly bad. I’ve occasionally seen worse from amateurs but not often. And the amateurs I’ve seen who were worse were often copying Lee or Liefeld anyway.

Second, it’s not just that he’s amateurish, but that he’s amateurish but was getting better money, opportunities, and acclaim than the talented pros. This, however, is not his fault, but in a cosmic justice way it bugs me just the same. Genuinely talented people like Simonson get the shaft in favor of this guy.

Third, his absolute lack of commitment to even TRYING. Yes, he was an amateur, but not only do I think he was bad even by amateur standards, he is incredibly LAZY. He swipes to a huge degree. Instead of trying to improve in any way and challenge himself to learn to draw poses or scenes that posed problems for him, he just kept swiping panels from other artists to get the job done or covering up his flaws by just not drawing feet at all. There are some early works by artists like Barry Smith that were pretty amateurish and unoriginal but that you can see an effort to improve in. Barry Smith kept evolving and improving every year. You could see him trying to push his boundaries and get better and to develop a style more his own. You can see his competence improve. Liefeld you don’t see that with at all.

I’m not gonna lie, I love Stephen Platt, but this Cable and Wolvie one-shot is clearly rushed. Little known fact – Leinel Yu lists him as one of his favorite artists, so much so that he has every book he’s either done interiors or covers for (which isn’t really that hard considering he wasn’t very prolific in the day before going on to become a concept and storyboard artist in Hollywodd, much like Steve Skroce)

Look at the foreshortening on Wolverine’s arm in the panel where he’s throwing away the cigar. His hand actually gets smaller as it approaches the reader and his arm looks 12 inches long.

I just figured that was a baby dressed up as Wolverine.

@ T.

And, on the other side of the fence, I really like him. But then again, I can appreciate a lot of different artists from pretty much any decade. I still say Mike Sekowsky is the most underrated artist of the Silver Age.

I’m not going to say he’s the best Image artist, let alone one of the top 100 artists of all time, but I’d say you can clearly see he’s got potential from these early issues, plus he’s got a cool pop-art/experimental vibe to his work that none of the other Image artists have. His failing is that he tried to go slick and look more like Jim Lee while dropping that more pop-art aspects and never actually receiving formal training.

I like him because of his pure excess, and there’s just something fun and exciting about all of those pre X-odus comics coming out around those time. I’ll admit they’re a guilty pleasure, but I still bristle a bit when people use the same 2 hackneyed, baseless, mean-spirited jokes whenever Liefeld comes up in these articles, as if he’s the worst artist of all time. He did have some solid ideas for characters that are being used well today (Deadpool, maybe not so much, Cable – I don’t think I’ve read a story in the past decade where he wasn’t at least mediocre-level or better written, Peter David has gotten decent mileage out of Shatterstar, Brian Wood and X-Force writers have used Domino to good effect, and fuck the haters, I LIKE Stryfe in post of his post-Liefeld story appearances). Plus, I think there’s a certain energy to his art, specifically action scenes.

Someone this past year (and indy artist, iirc) actually had an excellent series of blog pieces on why Liefeld is cruelly underrated, but for the life of me, I can’t remember who posted them or where to find them. You should check them out; they’re certainly more well written than the 40 Reasons to Hate Liefeld “articles.”

@Saul Goode: I’m no Liefeld fan, but I’ll say two things for the guy.

1) As you mentioned, he created a buttload of characters that later creators made awesome.
2) I loved him when I was twelve. But I think a lot of people would have to sheepishly raise their hands if you asked who was.

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