How the X-Men's Most Popular '90s Mutant Leader Lost to a New Marvel Mutant

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for S.W.O.R.D. #10, on sale now from Marvel Comics.

Debuting in X-Terminators #1 (by Louise Simonson & Jon Bogdanove) before making a return to prominence in S.W.O.R.D. as one of Krakoa's resident tech-experts, Wiz Kid has the mutant power of techno formation and technological intuition. This means that the young mutant has the innate aptitude for engineering and computing, and is able to psionically control and manipulate technology in various forms.

While this typically keeps him out of the battlefield and focused on inventing the kind of tools and weapons Krakoa needs, S.W.O.R.D. #10 (by Al Ewing, Jacopo Camagni, Fernando Sifuentes, & VC's Ariana Maher) shows that Wiz Kid's powers are the perfect counter to one the X-Men's most dangerous members: Nathan Summers, aka Cable.

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Cable is one of Marvel's most powerful telepaths and telekinetics, with his powers largely kept in check by the Techno-Organic Virus that has turned one of his arms and eyes into metal. But since they are still technological in nature, Wiz Kid has access to them. While playing his part as an apparent traitor, Wiz Kid must stage an attack on the Peak. This includes bringing down Cable, who's recently returned from the future in his older form and has taken a position on the space station. Approaching Wiz Kid, Cable is caught by surprise when Wiz Kid turns his powers against him and takes command of his TO-affected body parts, turning Cable's own body against him.

Acting before Cable has a chance to respond, Wiz Kid is able to effectively turn the powerful mutant's eye into a taser, quickly knocking out the formidable mutant. Although Wiz Kid admits the future technology and TO-Virus are difficult to master even for his powers, the young mutant was still able to defeat the grizzled soldier faster than perhaps anyone else in the Marvel Universe. It's a shocking and effective way to bring down Cable, and one that Abigail Brand -- who's working directly with Wiz Kid in their plan to trick the anti-mutant organization Orchis -- likely had kept in mind when recruiting the young mutant into S.W.O.R.D. in the first place. Cable presents a unique challenge to Brand, a fellow tactician whose ideals might not line up perfectly with Brand's worldview.

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It makes sense that Brand would want to find a way to catch Nathan by surprise, and would rely on one of her major allies to do so. Wiz Kid -- a younger relatively obscure mutant and nominally a non-combatant with non-offensive powers -- would be one of the least likely figures on Krakoa to take Cable in a fight. That's partly what makes him such an ideal threat and granted him the chance to catch the constantly prepared soldier by surprise.

It's unlikely Cable will allow himself to have a weakness like this going forward, and he will likely create a new backup plan in case someone tries something similar again down the line. Still, Wiz Kid can now say he's one of a handful of characters who've faced down Cable and not only survived, but thrived against the time-hopping mutant.

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Brandon Zachary (4204 Articles Published)

Brandon Zachary is an Associate Writer with Comic Book Resources and has written for CBR since 2018. He covers breakouts on comics, film, television, video games, and anime. He also conducts industry interviews, is a Rotten Tomatoes certified film critic, and knows SO MUCH about the X-Men. For requests, comments, or to hear his pitch for a third Avatar series that incorporates robots, you can contact him through [email protected].

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