By Ben Morse & Marc Strom
Can you hear the drums of war?
Following up on the smash-hit "Messiah CompleX," X-FORCE/CABLE: MESSIAH WAR #1 kicks off a six-part crossover between X-FORCE and CABLE on March 25. Writers Craig Kyle and Chris Yost, along with new Young Gun artist Mike Choi, fire the first shot in a saga that will mark the next stage in mutantkind's struggle for survival.
"The one-shot gives us a lot of insight into what Cyclops has been planning, and dealing with, since the birth of the so-called 'Messiah Baby' in 'Messiah CompleX,'" sums up editor John Barber. "It'll get you up to speed, remind you where all the playing pieces are, show the larger tapestry that's been weaved through the pages of UNCANNY X-MEN, X-FORCE, CABLE and the other X-books, and let you inside Cyclops' head more than we're often allowed in.
"That's the first part of X-FORCE/CABLE: MESSIAH WAR #1. In the second part, stuff blows up in everybody's faces. Real bad."
Handing out a few more details, Barber explains just what exactly sets off the explosive chain of events in "Messiah War."
"Cyclops and Beast have found Cable and the baby-who's now considerably older than a baby," he reveals. "They've found where Cable is. Remember, when Cyclops sent Cable into the future with the baby, Cyclops expected Cable to return in a matter of weeks, if not days. It's been months now. Something went wrong, and Cyclops wants to know what. He knows Bishop has been chasing after Cable, thinking the baby will bring about the
CABLE #10 cover
by Ariel Olivetti
extermination of the mutant race. The one thing Cyclops can do is send X-Force in to find out what's happening. Unfortunately, the timing isn't great for X-Force."
While the crossover will focus on Cable and X-Force, Barber hints that fans can expect a number of other familiar faces to show up as well.
"Would you believe one former Weapon X subject who is none-the-worse for the wear after a thousand years of being beaten on?" the editor asks. "And he's not entirely happy to see our guys showing up on his turf...
"Plus there are two big, and I mean big
, villains lurking in these pages. They're old favorites, but you haven't seen them like this before."
The crossover will also tap into the past ties between Cable and many of the members of X-Force.
"Cable started the original X-Force," reminds Barber. "Domino and Warpath were on that original team, so they've got some issues with Cable. And of course Wolverine and Cable have a history together.
"It's great seeing all those characters together again. It's great having one of those huge-scale, do-or-die missions, the kind of thing the X-Men are so good at."
Barber remained tight-lipped on many of the story's specifics, though he would offer up a handful of hints as to some of the mysteries readers can expect resolved as it progresses.
"What's happened to the world that Cable and the baby have been traveling through? Who was Bishop talking to in the bar at the end of CABLE #10? Oops-that issue isn't out yet. But rest assured, once it is out, you'll be wondering who it was in the bar. And you'll find out in X-FORCE/CABLE: MESSIAH WAR #1. Whose city is that in Westchester in the future? And why did X-23 make those marks on the ground?"
Finally, with implications for mutantkind as a whole, Barber tells fans they won't want to miss out on this story.
"This is the next huge chapter of the story that began in 'Messiah CompleX.' The future of not only Cable and X-Force, but all the X-Men, is being written here."
Before "Messiah War" begins in March, revisit "Messiah CompleX" with Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!