Cable #20

Cb 20 cvr

“An Hour of Last Things” – Legion Quest part 4.1

February 1995


“It began some time ago, in an exclusive private school in New York’s Westchester County.  Five youths with colorful names.  Cyclops.  Marvel Girl.  Angel.  Iceman.  Beast.  They heard a telepathic voice and responded without question.  “Attention X-Men.  This is Professor Xavier calling.  You are ordered to appear at once.”

As time went on, their ranks swelled.  Some died.  Some married.  Some had children.  But no matter where their lives took them, the badge they wore, a simple “X”, bonded them together as family.  Together they fought for the noblest of causes:  a dream where all men and women, mutant and human alike, would live in peace and harmony.

In the blink of an eye, the dream ends.  The M’Kraan Crystal runs unchecked across the planet.  There will be no tomorrow.  Only the memory of what might have been.”

This is the final narration to end the issue and probably the best ending of any of the X-Men issues that ended with Legion Quest.  I felt that considering the scope of this cross-over and that this was the biggest change to hit the X-Men universe EVER, this review deserved to start a little different.

That's a lot of spit flying back and forth!
That’s a lot of spit flying back and forth!

Let me explain what I mean by the “part 4.1”.  This issue actually runs concurrently with X-Men #41 as the conclusion to the Legion Quest storyline.  There isn’t any real “right” way to read this issue if you’re going for continuity.  On top of that, I’m pretty sure this came out the same week or maybe the week after X-Men 41.  However, this issue really focuses more on Cable, Domino and their relationship with Cyclops and Jean.  Not as much action as the stuff happening in the past is left up to X-Men 41 to tell.

This was also my first experience with Ian Churchill and I was absolutely blown away.  Imagine going from the crapfest that was Uncanny #321 (I bitched about it quite a bit here) to an artist who is very dynamic in his artwork.  He’s not necessarily the best artist, but he’s definitely my favorite Cable artist.


This issue starts off with Cyclops checking on an unconscious Cable in the time device that Cable, Xavier, and Jean are all strapped to.  Not sure why Cyke would be focusing more on Cable than his wife, but we do get to see some fatherly concern (which probably has to do with the time Cyclops recently spent raising Cable as a child – check out one of the issues here).  Cable wakes up with a burst of energy (I’m guessing just some telekinetic surge but we’re never really told what) which knocks Cyclops back into a waiting Gambit.  All three X-Men (the aforementioned Jean, Cable, and also Xavier) are removed from the device, all three weary.  Xavier uses his powers to glimpse into Cable’s mind to discern what he was able to accomplish in the past.  They discover that their friends are still alive and in the past and the Cable was able to get them to remember who they were.

Gambit, of course, points out the obvious in a rather obvious way – he shouts how Cable’s mission was a success but the world is still going to end.  This gets Cable and Gambit into a shouting match at each other until a blast from Cyclops between them shocks them back into reality.  I guess facing the end of the world is kind of hard unless you’re the X-Men’s fearless leader.

As the end approaches, the X-Men attempt to deal with it in their own ways.  Beast and Angel both contemplate their personal relationships, their helplessness, and then they finally take a moment to remind each other just how much they’ve both meant to the other.  Gambit sulks for a bit and when Rogue tries to cheer him up, he blows her off, trying to act like he doesn’t care.  She walks off, looking ready to cry, He chases after her (check out what happens to them in X-Men #41).

Domino faces the end doing what she loves to do:  cleaning her guns.  Cable tries to tell her that he views her as more than a friend but she kind of laughs it off.

Cyclops and Jean lament over the lost opportunities:  the loved ones they’ll never see again, the children they’ll never get to have, the memories they’ll never get to make together.  Xavier approaches them both.  As with the others, he deals with this in his own way, but as he’s always been more of the father, he mostly feels guilt.  Cyclops and Jean both assuage him of that guilt by pointing out that he’s responsible for them finding each other.

Cyclops and Jean then find Cable and reveal to him that they were the ones who raised him as a kid.  In an interesting bit of retcon (one which is not totally believable but oh well) he reveals that he always knew and figured they’d tell him when they were ready.  They embrace and Cable then turns back to Domino.  She insults him and he kisses her.  Sounds right considering their confusing relationship.

Finally, the crystal wave approaches and the X-Men watch it coming.  They face it bravely.  And the world ends.




  • Ian Churchill.  Seriously.  Even today, I love his artwork.  It’s not necessarily the absolute best and I definitely have some issues with it, but it’s incredibly detailed and exciting.
  • Those Interpersonal Moments.  Seriously, I absolutely love the moments between Cable and Domino, Rogue and Gambit, Cable, Jean, and Cyclops, Angel and Beast.  Every single one of those felt like friends and loved ones facing the end of the world, knowing that despite how peaceful it seemed, everyone they knew and loved would die.
  • The Kiss.  I know a lot of readers were rooting for Cable and Storm to get together (Storm featured prominently in the last arc and I guess people really wanted it) but I always felt that those two would be a great match.  Ultimately, that kiss sealed it.  Unfortunately, they never seemed to go anywhere after it.  I don’t remember if Jeph Loeb left the series and maybe that was why?
  • The Final Goodbye.  In one of the last scenes, Xavier uses his mental powers to give everybody a vision of everyone who wears an “X” on their uniforms.  This single image is fantastic and really gives me the chills (granted it had more of an effect back in 1995 because I didn’t know what would happen afterwards, but still).


  • Ian Churchill.  Okay, so as much as I love him, he sometimes seems to have the “Liefeld” disorder.  Some of his characters are bent in ways that are inhumanely possible and also comedic (seriously…everybody seems to be sticking their chests out so much, you’d think they have lordosis).  Plus, he really likes his open mouths and some of the scenes are just funny, even though they shouldn’t be.

I know a lot of people have issues with Jeph Loeb.  Ever read Ultimatum?  Yeah…other than the art, that series sucks.  He’s know for often ruining stories, but here, he really hits…a triple?  Yeah.  a triple.  I wouldn’t call it a home run, but it’s definitely worth reading and one of the best issues to come out of this cross-over, even if it has very little to do with Legion.

Cyclops Jean



Domino:  “Look, Nate, don’t take this the wrong way, but if you ever try a stunt like that again, I’ll kill you!”


Gambit:  “Let me get dis straight.  We pinned all our hopes t’Cable deliverin’ dis message, and dat’s it?!  Well he’s back, and de blasted world is still gonna end!”


Archangel:  “You’ve been a good friend, the best actually, and I…just wanted you to know…”

Beast:  “Warren…  I…  For once find myself without words, other than:  ‘Thanks’.”


Cable:  “By going into the future, you both changed my life.  You gave me a family.  How can that be wrong?”


Xavier:  “I will miss you, my X-Men, terribly…”