If you know anything about me, you'd know that I'm a nerd at heart. To put it more pointedly, I tend to freak out every time I hear of a new video game, comic book, and - more relevant for today - comic book movie in the works. There are so many good ones... and bad ones. But regardless, I'm there in the lines, ready to give them my money!
Ever since I was in grade school, my favorite comic book character was mostly the too-often-unknown Cable from Marvel's X-Men multiverse. I would always want to talk to my friends about him and the latest comic of his, but they typically never knew what I was talking about. Obviously... those were sad days.
In short, he is a devoted soldier who can jump through time, tenaciously holding to his objectives, portrayed similarly to an unaging Arnold Schwarzenegger - you know, the one we're all used to from movies like Predator, Commando, and Terminators 1 & 2; NOT the Expendables or Junior versions. As the silent warrior, Cable ultimately represents the Navy Seal of the X-Men world; his "seal team" is called X-Force. To put it simply, like any superhero fan would say about their favorite... he's awesome!
You might hear say that I'm a huge Batman or Captain America fan, having read almost all of their stories. So, why Cable? Why favorite?
The Quiet Stoic Route
In a Jedi-esque way, Marvel's near unstoppable warhorse lives and acts in a secluded Ron Swanson-like state. Stoically processing his given surroundings and contexts, he objectively operates with the primary goal of accomplishing his given tasks with the utmost efficiency. You typically never see him complain or grumble about his circumstances, nor choose to be selfish - he lives to serve.
The thing that I'm most drawn to, and am sadly tempted to camp in, is the storyline of his chronic illness. He has virus, one that looks to destroy him at every turn… like sin. I use the word tempted here because I've learned that this aspect of the warrior-soldier isn't necessarily an obvious thing for me to glean. Here's what I mean, Cable, given the mutant powers unique to him, has the potential to be the greatest and most powerful superhero within the X-Men universe (yes, the same 'verse as Wolverine, Dark Phoenix, and Apocalypse). This is largely due to his shockingly robust telepathy and mental properties, not to mention his uncanny Borne-like tactical responsiveness. The tragedy behind all of this is that he has to exhaust most of that very power to stave off his life-threatening virus, keeping it from reaching his vital organs. So, what could've been the most powerful Marvel superhero is tragically left to be "just" a normal superhero.
I want so badly to relate to this. I want to think that this is me - that I'm an awesome beast of a man, who could be the greatest thing since pants with pockets... yet, I'm tragically left to suspend my potential, and exhaust my energies on preserving my "valor" and "virtue". So, ultimately what Cable's comics have tempted me with throughout these years is to have an over-romanticized view of myself... how I tragically must not be the perfect being that I can, but instead, live in some fantastical idea of my selfless power, and prevent my corruption from happening. This is selfish. This is untrue. This is not Gospel.
Cable: A Tether to Hope
Now, I didn't fully realize the interpretation that I was applying when reading his comics until just a few years ago, that is until I started the Marvel/X-Men storyline, "The Messiah Trilogy". This trilogy - Messiah CompleX, Messiah War, and The Second Coming - is a fun and enjoyable X-Men series, rich with beautiful artwork. Through this series I began to see how I was previously being affected, and subsequently weakening my Christian theology through Cable stories. However, it was also through this that I saw Cable in a different light for the first time: an ambassador of truth. Similar to a preacher of sorts, his job in this series - being one of the central characters in the trilogy - was to preserve the "Hope" that their world had been given; he's a messenger of salvation, or a "John the Baptist". He didn't take to the spotlight, but instead, always considered this "Hope" as being the focal point of their universe.
Now, like all analogies and metaphors, this one too breaks down if you try too hard to force it. But it can be a beautiful representation of our need to not only carry the Truth that is Christ to others throughout our lives, but also the importance of remaining tethered to him. If you like comics, then check it out. It's a fun read (my favorite of the X-Men story lines). If you're not sure that comics allow the reader the chance to glean Gospel truths, then I suggest that you begin here.
A quick post-script: Batman stories are WAY better as a corpus and aesthetic, though.