Wednesday saw the release of Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness’s Avengers: X-Sanction #1 (look for our review of the issue here). The book features the return of the X-Men’s Cable that was teased at this year’s San Diego Comic Con and is the first appearance of the character after his noble death during X-Men: Second Coming. As a fan of Cable, I have very mixed feelings about his resurrection, but with the recent announcement of next Summer’s blockbuster Avengers vs. X-Men series this series’ importance has seemingly increased. As a high profile book, Marvel has seen fit to ship seven different covers for the first issue ranging in price from its $3.99 cover price to over $200 from Midtown Comics’ online store.
More variants are planned for each issue of the series and we’ll have updates here they ship.
Interior artists Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines and Morry Hollowell provide the regular cover for the book as well as one of the variants (1:15). It’s honestly nice to see the interior art team providing the regular cover on a Marvel limited series since that isn’t always the case. I’m more interested in their variant image even though it features Cable with the largest guns of the set creating a bit of concern for what lies within. Cable can’t seem to ever really be separated from giant guns as its part of his ’90s origin and while some would argue the character represents a lot of what was wrong with comics at the time he’s grown to become a character that I really do appreciate. Seeing him pictured this way has me fearing the worst especially since the book is in the hands of Jeph Loeb.
A somewhat less common variant (1:25) from Lenil Yu, Gerry Alanguilan and Jason Keith serves as the first in a series of interlocking images that will span the four-issue limited series. The assembled image is nice, but it doesn’t allow for very compelling images when separated as other similar efforts have in the past. It’s still something I would consider picking up, but committing to a set of variants for the entire series is a tough choice.
The Joe Quesada, Danny Miki and Richard Isanove variant seems to be the most rare of the set and commands the highest price. The color version of the variant (1:100) is listed for $125 through Midtown with the black and white sketch version (1:200) at $250. Even for a 1:100 variant, a $125 price tag seems steep. A random sampling of sellers on eBay puts the price in the $50-$60 range.
Another rare “battle” variant was limited to 500 copies and features Captain America versus Cable with a billboard prominently featuring the logo of online comics marketplace, Comic Collector Live. Details on the artists for that cover were hard to come by yesterday, but expect an update here once it’s confirmed. UPDATE: Carlo Pagulayan is the artist for the Comic Collector Live exclusive, which is available for $5 through December 31st or while supplies last. Thanks to Steve Boyd at CCL for providing the art credits.
Marvel is obviously heavily promoting this series especially since it’s been connected to 2012′s Avengers vs. X-Men. How tightly this series will tie in is difficult to assess at this point, but it’s a fair bet that Cable is going to be involved with Hope Summers and she’s a big part of “AvX“. It’s a distinct possibility that this series will put Hope where she needs to be at as the two super teams face off in a similar way that Avengers: Children’s Crusade is bringing the Scarlet Witch back into play.
As far as Cable, I was really hoping we might be seeing a version of the character from an earlier point in his timeline before his death (he is a time traveler after all) rather than return from the dead, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.
Avengers: X-Sanction #2 covers by Ed McGUinness, Stephen Platt and Lenil Yu:
Avengers: X-Sanction #3 covers by Ed McGUinness, Ian Churchill and Lenil Yu:
Avengers: X-Sanction #4 covers by Ed McGUinness, Steve Skroce and Lenil Yu: