Welcome back to X-Men: Bland Design, the column where we rip off Ed Piskor’s X-Men: Grand Design, except instead of recapping the good old issues of X-Men, we’ll recap the new ones that come out each week.
This week, there are six X-issues on the stands, if you count The Despicable Deadpool as an X-book, which we do. Despicable Deadpool #292, Old Man Logan #33, X-Men Blue #19, Cable #153, and X-Men Gold Annual #1, and Phoenix: Resurrection #3. Total cover price: $25. Total time it would take you to read those decompressed stories? Probably shorter than it took to read this introduction. So technically, you won’t be saving any time by reading these recaps, but at least it can help you decide which of these comics to take out a second mortgage to follow on a regular basis.
Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Jon Malin
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Leterer: Travis Lanham
Cable #153 is part 4 of the Newer Mutants storyline, in which Cable gathers various X-Men from the timestream to help him solve a murder mystery involving the Externals, an immortal cabal of mutant antagonists from the Rob Liefeld era with suitably extreme names like Gideon, Crule, and Absalom. Someone is killing the Externals, but they aren’t supposed to die yet, so Cable needs to set things right like an ultra-violent Doctor Who. X-23, Shatterstar, Longshot, Armor, and Doop are on Cable’s team. Blink is working with Selene, but she’s on the cover like she’s part of the team anyway. The previous issue revealed that it was Gideon who was murdering the Externals, and ended with Cable’s team mid-battle in Gideon’s bunker.
The issue starts by explaining that Gideon, who was previously believed dead along with a bunch of Externals killed by the Legacy virus, survived in some kind of regeneration chamber for thousands of years into the future, then got ahold of Cable’s metal arm and used it to return to the present and start murdering Externals. We see Cable’s team trying to fight their way out of Gideon’s base, ending with an explosion that kills everyone. Or not. We’ll find out soon.
Meanwhile, Gideon teleports to a face-off with Selene, Absalom, Crule, and Nicodemus, the remaining Externals. A battle ensues, naturally, and Absalom reveals he’s a traitor by killing Crule. Absalom wants to die, and Gideon will kill him, once he’s served his purpose. Gideon kills Nicodemus, and Selene and Blink escape. Back at the destroyed base, the gang is all alive, as Armor used her powers to protect everyone and escape from the rubble. Then Selene and Blink show up, fresh from their battle with Gideon, to team up with Cable and the Newer Mutants to take on Gideon and Absalom in one final battle… next issue.
This comic is nineties as @#$%, in the best way. Instead of having characters standing around explaining things for an entire issue like certain other comics we recapped this week, all of the dialogue happens amidst exciting if anatomically questionable action. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, though. The book is an unabashed love letter to 90s X-Men, so if you’re into that, this is the X-book for you.
Check back later today for the next exciting installment of… X-Men: Bland Design!