Marvel has announced today that the book they teased as Cable Reborn back at Comic-Con is actually going to be a four-issue limited series called Avengers: X-Sanction, and it'll be coming out this December from writer Jeph Loeb and artist Ed McGuinness. This marks Loeb's return to the character for which he wrote his first ever monthly series back in the 1990s.
"How Cable survived Second Coming and what his responsibility is to his daughter, Hope, may have something to do with the Avengers," Loeb said in a live chat today. "I always saw Cable as very much the Captain America of the X-Men. A soldier from out of time who cared deeply for the people he worked with. Cable is not quite as dark as The Punisher, but I think a reason he has resonated and stayed around as long as he has is that he's a total bad ass who believes the ends justify the means."
"There's also a parallel with Tony Stark," Loeb added. "Iron Man thinks of himself as a 'futurist,' Cable is from the future. Both have been at war with their own bodies. We look for characters with touch points to Cable. Their legacy means an enormous amount to him."
"What Cable is up to is not something that can be done quietly," he continued. "It will raise the interest of some pretty important people and leaders in the X-Men community will have to step in at some point in the storyline."
As for bringing on new readers unfamiliar with Cable's convoluted history, Loeb thinks that won't matter. "This is a man who has a daughter and a need to protect her. That's really all you need to know. If you understand Cable's problem, his situation, and what he has to do, the rest will fall into place. This will be a roller coaster ride with an emotional through line."
"This story puts Cable in a situation where he's surrounded by and dealing with characters he doesn't normally. It's not just another story with Cable and the X-Men," added editor Tom Brevoort, who also said this sets the stage for a lot of stuff coming in 2012. "The idea of Cable as a man out to protect his daughter by any means necessary gives the character an emotional heft and underlines everything he does. It's richly fulfilling."
Echoing Brevoort's point, McGuinness said "It's awesome to be able to draw some of this stuff. Interactions I never thought would happen. Jeph is open to not only hearing my ideas, but making them better than I ever thought they could be."
Throughout the chat, the fact that Fear Itself, X-Men: Schism and Avengers: The Children's Crusade are all slated to end at the same time was repeatedly brought up. "This is the first brick in the next road," Brevoort said of A:XS.
"We get to light the fuse," Loeb added. "It's a long fuse. Cable's actions may create their own Schism."
Of course, the mention of Cable is now inextricably linked to a mention of Deadpool, considering the popularity of the Cable/Deadpool series, but it doesn't look like Wade Wilson will be involved. "This is pretty much a solo mission," Loeb said, "but there are some twists along the way that even Cable didn't plan on."
Take a look at this Avengers: X-Sanction art from Ed McGuinness.