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X-Men: Second Coming

Cable: Hope on the Way

As the young mutant Hope prepares her return to the present, Duane Swierczynski discusses the beginning of her journey

By Marc Strom

Pretty soon, Hope will exist in the present tense.

Before that, however, the young mutant and her guardian must make their way back from the future in a journey that begins in CABLE #21 on December 2, courtesy of writer Duane Swierczynski and artists Paul Gulacy, Lan Medina and Humberto Ramos. The storyline, "Homecoming," will serve as a lead-in to next year's Second Coming crossover between the X-Men titles, pulling together a number of strands from the last two years.

CABLE #21 preview art by Humberto Ramos
"This arc has been in our minds-and by 'our,' I mean me and the boys in the X-office- since the beginning, which was way back in the lazy, hazy, crazy summer of 2007," recalls Swierczynski. "We had a rough idea of where Cable, Hope and Bishop would end up, but of course, the devil's in the details. I didn't know Hope at all back then-she was just a cute little blob of baby. It's been fun getting to know her in monthly installments. And we're really going to watch her bloom in this new arc."

Given the role CABLE has played in the development of Hope's character, prepping her for her role in "Second Coming," Swierczynski always had to keep an endpoint in mind for the larger story he helped shepherd.

"I didn't stress about it too much, because this is how I usually write my novels," the writer shares. "I have a situation, I have characters, and then I have some kind of vague end game in mind. The fun of the storytelling is reaching that end point, surprising and challenging yourself along the way.

"With 'Homecoming,' the pieces really started to fall in place in my mind coming out of the 'Messiah War' crossover [with X-FORCE]. I knew Hope needed some time off on her own, [and] I knew I wanted to trap Cable

CABLE #21 preview art by Humberto Ramos
and Hope in space. From there, it was just a matter of getting them back to Earth for the final round."

According to Swierczynski, Hope has decided to go back to the present for some very basic reasons that most people can relate to.

"I think she's tired of eating fried rat and all of this running," he relates. "But you don't have to be a mutant messiah to feel this way; at some point, most teenagers look around and realize: There's gotta be something else for me out there."

Since her birth, many have theorized on just what Hope's existence means for mutantkind as a whole, though we've yet to hear her own thoughts on the issue.

"Cable's tried to keep as free of that mental baggage as he can, but Hope's not stupid," Swierczynski points out. "She knows she's destined for something. Otherwise, why all of this trouble to keep her alive? And [why] would Bishop be so determined to kill her? You're going to really see her grappling with this in the 'Homecoming' arc, as well the Cable and Hope backup stories over the next few weeks."

CABLE #21 preview art by Lan Medina
For her entire life, Hope has had to look over her shoulder to keep a safe distance between herself and Bishop, the mutant determined to make sure she never lives long enough to see the present. But in this arc, Hope finally stops running.

"[I] don't want to ruin anything, but in [issue] #21 you're going to finally see the Hope and Bishop confrontation that I've been waiting 20 issues to write," says Swierczynski.

Leaving off, Swierczynski hopes fans will have as much of a blast reading this leg of Cable and Hope's journey as he's had writing it:

"This is the most fun I've had with the CABLE series since the beginning. You know how, for 20 issues, Cable's time machine has been broken, kind of limiting the direction he and Hope can slide? That changes with this issue."

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      Yeah im curious as to how Hope's arrival to the present will bring about Jean Grey's resurrection....


      I was wondering why in Messiah CompleX Hope was able to heal Rogue of the Legacy Virus?(couldn't remember if it was the legacy virus but I know it was some virus) but couldn't heal Cable of the Techno-Organic one? The storyline really is tempting. But I've already decided to just go for the trade. Can't wait hint*:phoenix: hint*


      This looks great! To bad I have to wait to get it in trade though.


      So when does this series end?It doesn't seem like a Cable series has much meaning after Second Coming, especially since there have been hints to Cable's death. (Btw, did we ever get an answer to Cable not dying when Providence was blown up?)Is it just me or is 20 issues too long to have Hope grow up and get all the way back around to getting to present day Earth?