Cable - the classic, grey-haired version of the time-traveling mutant - returned from the dead in July 28's Cable #11 (opens in new tab). He was resurrected to fight the one foe his younger self (Kid Cable) couldn't - the misguided clone of Cable, Stryfe. That battle was won, and Kid Cable was transported back into the future with the grizzled original Cable taking his place on Krakoa and with SWORD in Cable #12 (opens in new tab).
And in his first regular mission since his resurrection, in August 25's Cable Reloaded #1 (opens in new tab), Nathan Dayspring Summers is getting to work with a legend in his own future time - someone he's never teamed with before - in the current 'The Last Annihilation' Marvel Comics event.
Spoilers ahead for Cable Reloaded #1.
Who is it that earns the respect to be called "sir" by the time-tossed soldier? None other than Rocket Raccoon.
"Ranger Rocket's a galactic folk hero in my era - even on Earth, people tell the stories," Cable narrates. "He's remembered like Alexander the Great crossed with Jesse James."
This is the first time the idea of Rocket being a legendary hero in the future has come up in Marvel Comics, although he's had his share of memorable adventures since his debut in the mid '80s.
But the future era Cable is talking about isn't just a few years from now. It's been established that Cable grew up in an alternate future roughly 2000 years ahead of modern Marvel time (dubbed Earth-4935). Rocket hasn't been seen in any of the comic stories during that timeline, but there hasn't been a lot from that era.
"He's a legend," continues Cable, referring to Rocket. "And today is the reason why."
Cable frames the entire events of Cable Reloaded #1 as a mission that is part of that Rocket Ranger legend in his era. So what is the mission? To infiltrate the alien planet Breakworld and steal a city that can transform into a giant robot. (Yes, like the Transformers character Metroplex, who transformed from his robot form into Autobot City).(opens in new tab)
Using an X-Force-ish team of Cannonball, Boom-Boom, Wiz Kid, Khora of the Burning Heart, and Lila Cheney, Cable is successful in taking control of the city - called Mark II. Then, using Wiz Kid's mutant abilities to transform tech, they transform it into a "planet-sized super gun".
Let's pause and take stock. A city-sized robot becomes a planet-sized gun. Gotcha.
Then, using Lila Cheney's cosmic teleportation powers, they transport it back to mutantkind's new base on Mars.
You might be wondering, 'where do you get bullets for a planet-sized super gun?' Although Cable reveals that all his Liefeldian pouches are to carry bullets, none of those pouches are big enough for that kind of firepower.
Thankfully, Rocket R-- sorry, Ranger Rocket - has been busy while Cable was away and has built a ginormous bullet tailor made for this planet gun.
This is all a callback to Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's Astonishing X-Men run, which introduced Breakworld and a similarly massive bullet fired by the aliens to assassinate Earth. Thankfully, they failed.
As for Cable and his continuing story of him nerding out over Rocket Raccoon, that remains to be seen. Cable has taken on a role in SWORD as chief of security, while Rocket remains part of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Thankfully, Al Ewing writes both of those and is in the middle of this 'The Last Annihilation' crossover.
And in a bit of coincidence (or weird synchronicity), a similar version of this story popped up in Marvel's Voices: Identity (opens in new tab), released the same day as Cable Reloaded #1.
Spoilers ahead for Marvel's Voices: Identity #1.
In the short story 'Personal Heroes,' the newly-introduced hero Wave accidentally runs across the X-Men Bishop.
(Yes, Bishop, who like Cable is a gun-toting mutant soldier from an apocalyptic future who came back in time to help prevent modern times from going down that road.)
In 'Personal Heroes,' Bishop reveals that Wave is well-regarded in the future timeline he's from.(opens in new tab)
"Wave! From the Agents of Atlas!" Bishop exclaims. "Of course I do! You're a legend in my timeline. My parents used to tell stories about you when I was a child. I've always wanted to see you in action. You're one of my heroes."
Bishop is from an apocalyptic dystopia 80 years in the future of modern time (Earth-1191).
Although Bishop and Cable come from different futures, they originated in one era - the '90s. Follow us as we look back on when Marvel and DC were 'extreme'.