Iron Studios X-Men Battle Diorama Series – Cable ReviewJose Lopez
In The Beginning
In the last review of the X-Men Vs. Sentinel Battle Diorama Series, I wrote about how Iron Studios was making a big mark in the 1/10th scale statue market. While they’ve been impressing collectors everywhere with their Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse series of statues, its the X-Men series that I’m most looking forward to. The Sentinel #1 Battle Diorama has just started hitting the United States, as have several of the proximity pieces like Pyro, Colossus and Gambit.
We covered the X-Men founder, Professor X, last time. Today, we’re going to concentrate on the next generation of team leaders in the X-Men universe: Cable!
Ah, comics in the 1990s. The decade is known for its excess and over-obsession with grim and gritty characters and tone, thanks to the response to successful late ‘80s comic series like The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen. Perhaps the personification of this so-called “Dark Age” is the mutant commando, Cable. Created by artist Rob Liefeld, Cable is a time-traveling soldier from a post-apocalyptic future in which one of the X-Men’s greatest enemies has become triumphant. Sporting as many pouches and giant guns as possible, the character would influence the comic landscape for years to come. Specifically, Cable would be the impetus behind the long-running X-Men spinoff, The New Mutants, to be transformed into the more hard-edged, action-oriented X-Force. Possessing both telepathic and telekinetic mutant powers, Cable would eventually be revealed to be X-Men royalty of sorts, turning out to be the time-displaced son of original X-Man, Cyclops. As for his mother, that would be a character named Madelene Pryor, who is the clone of another original X-Man, Jean Grey. (Yes, really.) Comics, everyone!
As I have mentioned before, the somewhat-minimal approach that Iron Studios has gone with for the packaging of this X-Men Vs. Sentinel Battle series is a favorite of mine. The uniform design for each release, differentiated by stark colors and images, is such a clean and simple theme that it never gets old. This Cable release is similar to the previously-reviewed Professor X, so there’s not much to say. The differentiating color for this box is teal, which matches Cable’s shirt. Cable does also have an Iron Studios Exclusive badge on the box, marking it as a piece that you could originally only buy at CCPX in Brazil. It eventually became available on Sideshow Collectibles’ website as well.
Cable clearly gave the sculptors at Iron Studios an opportunity to cut loose and show just what they can still achieve despite the smaller 1/10 scale. Even with plenty of larger Cable statutes out there, I’d be comfortable making the argument that this is one of the best. Not only is this Cable a perfect rendition of the character circa the early 1990s, but he’s sculpted in a more realistic style that suits him quite well.
The figure has many different textures, from his leather boots to the patterned pants to the mechanical arm, all masterfully handled. I particularly love the portrait for Cable. Every strand of his tight-cropped hair stands out, which I always find impressive.
Both of the figure’s hands, one holding a futuristic rifle and the others gripping an overlarge knife, are attached securely via magnets. A second rifle is also attached to Cable’s back via magnets.
The figure itself pegs into the base via his right leg. I’ve never noticed any loose connections or wobble-iness.
There are a lot of different colors in action here and they’re cleanly and evenly applied, which is no small feat. We have lots of small details on things like his pouches, ammunition and his cybernetic arm. The different finishes as well as the clean application of the metallic paint in particular make his outfit stand out on various levels.
The portrait is something I want to specifically point out because Iron Studios’ painters have just killed it here. This is a character with a five o’clock shadow, a starburst scar around his right eye, a metallic headset on his left ear, etc. Every one of those elements has been done crisply with no slop that I can find. I am definitely impressed.
While not as visually hypnotizing as the interior mansion bases from some of the other characters like Mystique, the outside courtyard base here is still done with solid effort. I love the subtle weeds and grass growing under and up between the bricks. The broken pedestal that Cable stands upon looks great, even sporting the time-traveler’s subtle footprint. My favorite element has to be the smoke grenade Easter Egg that hints at Cable’s longtime frenemy, Deadpool. The translucent “smoke” works great, as well.
Probably the entry in this series with the most shelf appeal of the three that I’ve reviewed, Cable is without a doubt worthy of the price tag. The sheer amount of detail that has been meticulously crafted in order to recreate Cable’s overly-busy outfit is hypnotic. The heft of the piece as well as the wonderful sculpting of both Cable’s portrait and his futuristic weapons has me constantly going back to pick this guy up. The silly Deadpool Easter egg adds a little extra to the statue and will make the inevitable pairing of this release with the incoming Deadpool one even more of a necessity.
In The End
I can’t get enough of the Iron Studios X-Men Vs. Sentinel Battle Diorama series and revisiting this Cable release is pushing my excitement even higher. While I’m aware that many statue collectors prefer larger scale pieces, I’m of the opinion that the 1/10 scale statues are perfect for the X-Men universe. With a large, colorful cast of characters and a trio of giant Sentinels to battle, this series is perfectly positioned to be the best, most comprehensive X-Men collectible series ever.