Despite being old enough to own my own house, I still have a ton of junk in my parents’ attic. I’m slowly moving all of that stuff to my home. Occasionally I come across something fun, weird or amusing from my past. It Came From the Attic is a series of posts about these odds and ends.
I should probably be more ashamed to admit I was totally in to Rob Liefeld and Cable in the early 1990s. We all were – it was one of those collective psychoses that happen from time to time, like the swing revival of the late ’90s or accepting Paul Hogan as a movie star. I loved Cable. Loved him. I owned a copy of New Mutants #87. I bought an extra polybagged copy of X-Force #1. I had some sort of black-and-white art portfolio of Rob Liefeld‘s art. ROB. LIEFELD’S. ART.
Cable was a nine-year-old’s post-Halloween sugar-fueled dream of a superhero. He was a time-traveling cyborg (the Terminator) with telekinesis (Professor X), a mysterious past (Wolverine), tons of guns (the Punisher) and huge shoulder pads (uhhh…Warren Sapp?).* He’s the kind of thing you’d expect to find in a direct-to-video knockoff of The Terminator, not the most popular comics of the era. But I loved him. We all did.
As an adolescent, I certainly didn’t grasp how bad of an artist Rob Liefeld was. I thought he was awesome (just as Rob Liefeld himself did). The only thing I can say in my defense is that I was one of the few people who was happy when Mike Mignola filled in for an early issue of X-Force, because I already loved his art even then.
Anyway, action figures of any Marvel superhero were relatively scarce when Cablemania hit. ToyBiz was in the earliest stages of their Marvel figures, but we did finally get a Cable figure in 1992 and man, did I love that figure. But it was quite a wait for that to come out. How could I cure my jonesing for a Cable figure in the meantime? PVC to the rescue!
I always bought PVC figurines for the exact same reason: because a real action figure was not available. It’s why I also owned a few Batman PVCs before ToyBiz got their line out. In 1991, ToyBiz’s Cable figure was still a year away, but Marvel managed to rush out this cheap PVC. It’s based on Cable’s appearance in the New Mutants, and to my knowledge this is the only toy to feature this look.
Seriously, how bizarre are those shoulder pads? I keep trying to come up with some sort of funny comparison to something else, but I’ve got nothing. Nothing in human history looked like those shoulder pads except maybe - maybe - those harnesses on the sort of rollercoaster where you’re part sitting, part hanging.
The sculpt isn’t too terrible for a PVC figure, but it appears to have been painted with a brush from a Crayola kit for five-year-olds. The eye is actually silver, perhaps to make it look like it’s “flashing,” but I think they should have just gone with the yellow star.
Despite the crappy paint, I’m quite fond of this figurine because I remember my late grandfather buying it for me. I’m sure he didn’t have the slightest idea what the hell it was, but he was always willing to indulge my toy obsession, often to my parents’ chagrin.
It’s not the kind of thing I display very often, but it’s a nice little knick-knack and a reminder of my foolish youth.
* And there’s more. Just as Deadpool was a rip-off of Deathstroke, Liefeld may have partly ripped off Cable from a Marvel Star Wars character named Beilert Valance.