Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Ballad of
Nathan Christopher Charles Summers Dayspring Askani'son

I bid you come and listen to my fable,
A story told about a man named Cable,
Soldier from the future, soldier from
The past, veteran of a million wars, numb
And cursed to see his past - our future - play
Before his weary eyes, one bright, one gray.
It was the age of Bush the elder when
This man emerged from obscurity, then
Rose to fame, a warrior in a land
Of boys and multi-colored clowns. A hand
Of Steel, a heart of stone, called to lead
New Mutants in their time of dire need.
Pursued by Freedom Force, government
Goons who served as cannon fodder, sent
To bring down the future mutant Christ.
(Suffice to say the all wound up on ice.)
In the beginning he was a man
Of mystery and of few words. But fan
Enthusiasm called this warrior to
Stand among the vanguard of a new
And thrilling tide that crested fast
Across the rocky shore that housed the last
Arbiters of tastes and fashions fallen
Into disrepute. From this day when
He first took aim at the collective zeal
Of boys and men as yet to young to feel
The touch of woman or caress of age -
Who turned with grim excitement every page
In hopes of seeing Cable wield a gun
Weighing perhaps almost just a ton
To blow away the enemies of right
Those evildoers against whom the fight
With bloodthirsty and cruel tactics is waged
(The surrogacy of a giant gun
A firearm to stand in for the one
Thing yet undreamt of by the scores of fans
Held prisoner by overactive glands),
Cable was a man apart, a hero
Made for modern times and built to fight
The endless ambiguity of nigh
Encroaching cultural oblivion,
Last avatar of the fallen eighties,
Half robot and half commando, all
Designed to conjure memories of Arnold
The man who would be governor but who
Was in actuality better
Suited to wield a sword and cleave in twain
Evildoers, and to hear the laments
Of the women and the children of
His prey. Just like Arnold, Cable was
Eventually domesticated.
In his first year Cable was a killer,
Shooting unarmed foemen in the back,
Stabbing fools like it ain't no thing,
Fighting Sabretooth and Wolverine
One after another, a literal
Cavalcade of badasses intended
To strengthen the badass bonafides
Of a character designed to be
Explicitly and unambiguous
The hardest man of all, a man of men
Without so much as the intimation
Of homosexual implication.
(There is a distinction between flamboyant
"Gay" and flamboyant "metal," but you
Could be forgiven for obscuring the
Finest of fine lines. When in doubt
It's good to remember "metal" is
A bit more feminine and sensual,
As only unselfconscious latchkey boys
With imaginary father figures
Can fantasize the alien feeling
Of being held by strong and granite arms
With the appropriate patina
Of childish yearning and adolescent
Desire to present an unquestioned
Surface sheen of masculine cool.)
Eventually metal daddy became
Soft and yielding - just as Batman learned
To holster his gun and take up the use
Of a small child, parental surrogate
To generations of boys with a lack
Of positive reinforcement from
A masculine role model - in a pinch
The man in the bat costume will do -
So to did Cable eventually change
From a murderous mercenary
Bent on annihilating every
Threat to cross his path, and teaching his
Pupils to do the same, to a new age
Ambassador from a war torn future
Sent back to the present in order to
Preach love and tolerance, albeit
Occasionally from the barrel
Of an unrealistically drawn
Firearm of dubious make.

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