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After teasing the artwork above, today Marvel announced their newest event, a four-issue limited series, Avengers: X-Sanction, by the creative team of Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness coming in December which will set the stage for the Marvel Universe in 2012.

This is the series that was originally mentioned at Comic-Con, originally titled, Cable Reborn and opens in the middle of an Avengers mission that gets “complicated” by Cable’s appearance.

Editor Tom Breevort, Loeb an McGuiness were all on hand to discuss the series.

According to Breevort, “it’s not a coincidence that Fear Itself, Schism, and other big stories end at the same time. This is the first brick in the next road.  The idea of Cable as a man out to protect his daughter by any means necessary gives the character an emotional heft and underlines everything he does. It’s richly fulfilling. Cable knows he’s coming to battle the Avengers, so he comes loaded for bear, with the specific gear he needs.”

McGuiness, who is reuniting with frequent collaborator Loeb, also spoke enthusiastically about the project, “Jeph is open to not only hearing my ideas, but making them better than I ever thought they could be.  The art on this book is much darker. The whole tone is. It’s been fun coming at it from that angle, playing with light and shadow, creating mood.  It’s awesome to be able to draw some of this stuff. Interactions I never thought would happen.”

And as for the lead character? “I have yet to find a gun too big for Cable.”

Fan favorite Loeb, who also currently serves as the Marvel VP of Television, shared his thoughts on the mini-series, “this story in some ways grew out of Ed and I not wanting to repeat ourselves.”

And the first challenge?  Making it accessible to readers who might not know the character.  “This is a man who has a daughter and a need to protect her. That’s really all you need to know.  If you understand Cable’s problem, his situation, and what he has to do, the rest will fall into place.  This is a story that has an impact from the past, but is very much the beginning of what is coming in 2012.  There’s a reason for Cable behaving the way that he does tying into his sacrifice that drives him in a very dark way, even as Hope provides light for him.”

“I always saw Cable as very much the Captain America of the X-Men. A soldier from out of time who cared deeply for the people he worked with.  Cable is not quite as dark as The Punisher, but I think a reason he has resonated and stayed around as long as he has is that he’s a total bad ass who believes the ends justify the means. While I talked about comparisons between Cap and Cable, there’s also a parallel with Tony Stark. Iron Man thinks of himself as a ‘futurist,’ Cable is from the future. Both have been at war with their own bodies. We look for characters with touch points to Cable. Their legacy means an enormous amount to him.  Cable is not a robot. The metal in his body is actually organic tissue. Ed and I have talked about this a lot. We liken it to a cancer that changes your body’s cellular structure. Last time we saw him, his arm had been severed. It’s back with a kind of force that will play a major role in this storyline. This is a battle inside Cable’s body that he has waged since the first time he appeared.”

“What Cable is up to is not something that can be done quietly. It will raise the interest of some pretty important people and leaders in the X-Men community will have to step in at some point in the storyline.  This is pretty much a solo mission, but there are some twists along the way that even Cable didn’t plan on.  How Cable survived Second Coming and what his responsibility is to his daughter, Hope, may have something to do with the Avengers.  This will be a roller coaster ride with an emotional through line (and as a result) Cable’s actions may create their own Schism.”

So how important will Avengers:X-Sanction be to the 2012 Marvel Universe?

“We get to light the fuse. It’s a long fuse.”

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