Thrill of the Hunt: Marvel’s Cable

Thrill of the Hunt: Marvel’s Cable

Thrill of the Hunt is NerdGoblin’s weekly look at comic book back issues that are rising in price, and the big news in the comic world this week concerns Marvel’s New_Mutants_Vol_1_87-minmutant time traveller Cable, emerging from the runaway success of 20th Century Fox’s new Deadpool movie. Of course, Deadpool has been a star on the back issue market for some time now, but the sudden interest in Cable arises from a mild spoiler in the movie’s post-credits monologue revealing that the next Deadpool movie will also feature Cable. In an age where spoilers abound and surprises are hard to manage, this one came out of left field, and promptly sent a shock wave through the comic collecting community.

The first real appearance of the character Cable came in New Mutants #87, cover dated March of 1990, in a story drawn by superstar Rob Liefeld, and co-written by Liefeld and Louise Simonson. The issue was an instant hit, and Cable went on to become one of the most popular characters of the early 1990s. Indeed, his signature look of big guns, trailing bandoliers, shoulder pads and ammunition pouches became a kind of comic book staple for the era. His gruff and gritty demeanour was also much emulated.

Cable’s back story quickly became quite complex… he had travelled to the present from a dystopian future where mutants were all but extinct, and assembled X-Force – a rag tag band of mercenaries and ne’er-do-wells – to try to avert the coming apocalypse. As his tale progressed, fans were shocked to learn that Cable was actually the long lost son of X-Men mainstays Cyclops (Scott Summers) and Uncanny_X-Men_Vol_1_201-minMarvel Girl (Jean Grey).

Cable’s first appearance in New Mutants #87 was one of the hottest comics of the 1990s, jumping rapidly from its $1 cover price to $50 or $60. For the past decade, the book has hovered in the $75 range, eclipsed by more popular characters such as Deadpool. Over the past few days, however, as word of Cable’s pending appearance in the next Deadpool movie makes its way out to the public, the price has doubled from $75 to $150.

Other Cable appearances may follow in its wake… Some collectors have identified New Mutants #86 as a desirable Cable book, as the final panel contains a “coming next month” teaser panel for the character. This issue has jumped from $10 to about $20. The baby 8566_20051113180434_large-minNathan Summers is actually born to Scott Summers and Jean Grey in Uncanny X-Men #201 (from January of 1986), with his parents promptly sending him into the future  to protect him from a deadly virus. This issue has also risen from about $15 to $20. While increases for these two issues have been modest, it seems likely that movie hype will continue to drive prices up over the next couple of years.

Given that Cable will appear alongside Deadpool, key appearances of the two characters together may also attract some attention. They first appear in the same comic in New Mutants #98 (February 1991), which happens to be Deadpool’s first appearance anywhere.  Given the popularity of Deadpool, this issue already commands $300 or more, and interest in Cable is unlikely to drive prices in the long run. However, the duo also shared a comic series – called Cable & Deadpool – that launched in May of 2004, and lasted 50 issues. The first issue of this run will likely see some renewed interest.

To top it all off, the upcoming Deadpool sequel may only be a beginning for Cable… Rumours have suggested that 20th Century Fox is also planning an X-Force movie, which may keep Cable in the public eye for some time to come.

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