By Kevin Mahadeo
For the past two years, writer Duane Swierczynski has sent the young mutant Hope hurtling across time and space in the pages of CABLE. In the far future, Hope and Cable battled against murderous monsters, the Brood and an obsessed fellow time-jumper intent on ending their lives. But all of that will prove just child's play compared to the current "Homecoming" arc, which finally returns the pair to the present and kicks off the final chapter in the Messiah trilogy.
Cyclops believed the baby Hope, the first mutant child born after M-Day, the destined savior of mutantkind and left her in the care of Cable. Between her numerous trips through time, Hope has since aged from an infant to a teen at the cusp of adulthood. Ready to return home, the weary travelers leapt through time once more in order to return to the present-and instead found themselves in the year 1614. To add to the trouble, Bishop arrived to the same time period ready to take one last shot at his targets.
After helping Hope grow up, Swierczynski takes a few moments before sending off his fictional child into adulthood to talk about what it working on the series, shaping the character of Hope from birth and what "Second Coming" means for the future of CABLE.
Marvel.com: You've been working on CABLE building up this story with Hope for almost two years now. What's it been like taking this new character and shaping her since her birth, basically?
CABLE #22 cover by Marko Djurdjevic
Duane Swierczynski: It has eerily mirrored my experience as a parent. There's an old joke about how when you have a kid, you spend so much of your time encouraging him/her to walk and talk only to later turn around and spend much of your time yelling, "Sit down and shut up!" Well, that's kind of what it's been like with Hope. I spent the first arc eager for her to get past all of the baby stuff, so she and Cable could have a conversation. Once she got started, though, she really didn't stop. But it's been a blast, to be able to get to know her one issue at a time.
Marvel.com: When you first started the book, did you know the direction the series was ultimately heading in?
Duane Swierczynski: I met with Axel Alonso and the X-Office early on to plot the major beats out. So yeah, I knew that one day the baby-she didn't have a name until later-would be all grown up and ready to return to the present. And as with a real child, that day came a lot faster than I thought. Has it really been two years? My God. Somebody get me my walker.
Marvel.com: How has Hope changed as a character to you, from being a child with little control over the madness around her to someone now taking control of her own destiny?
Duane Swierczynski: I don't think her essential character has changed; Hope's always been a strong, tough determined kid. Don't forget, she was taking down genetically-engineered cockroach people [when] she was in short pants. Or the post-apocalyptic version of short pants. But over the years she's picked up new skills, and had more time to think about who she is, and what her life's about. Hope's had very little to go on, because Cable's been fairly close-mouthed about everything. From the start, he's wanted to make sure she truly is making her own choices-that's always been the point of his mission to the future.
Marvel.com: What is Hope's current mindset? What made her finally decide she was ready to go home?
CABLE #23 cover by Marko Djurdjevic
Duane Swierczynski: Like any teenager, she's anxious to get on with her life. Enough of this childhood crap-what am I supposed to do? Who am I supposed to be? What's my destiny? She thinks rejoining the X-Men in the present will supply the answers to these questions.
Marvel.com: So, how old is Hope at this point?
Duane Swierczynski: She's 17 when "Homecoming" opens-right at the cusp of adulthood, the age when you make a lot of really big decisions about your life.
Marvel.com: Taking a look at Bishop, he's chased Hope throughout time completely intent on killing her. How many more body parts must this guy lose before he gives up?
Duane Swierczynski: C'mon, it's only been the arm and that happened in Messiah CompleX. And okay, he lost an eye. But he has another one. Seriously, though, Bishop will only give up when he's certain that the horrible time he and his family endured will not come to pass.
Marvel.com: How has Cable's experience with Hope changed him as a character?
Duane Swierczynski: It's made him vulnerable in a way he never knew possible. In "Homecoming" you're going to see Cable acting less like a soldier on a mission, and more like a father hell-bent on protecting his daughter.
Marvel.com: "Homecoming" leads directly into the upcoming "Second Coming" crossover event, which completes the Messiah trilogy. What can you say about the future of CABLE during and following all this?
Duane Swierczynski: There are big things in mind for Cable, but I can't reveal anything yet. Keep your eyes peeled on "Second Coming."
CABLE #24 cover by Marko Djurdjevic
Marvel.com: The most recent issue of CABLE showed Hope exhibiting telekinetic powers of a sort. Red hair. Green eyes. Telekinesis. Born in fire. Anything you can say about all this?
Duane Swierczynski: What can I say? I have a thing for women with red hair and green eyes who can move objects with their mind.
Marvel.com: To close out, what has been your favorite part of working on this series?
Duane Swierczynski: Being able to write about parenthood, which is something I really haven't done in any of my novels. There's a lot of my own daughter in Hope; time will tell if she thinks this is cool or a total freakin' embarrassment.
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