I was surprised, but not shocked, to find that my friend Sam was going to be a father. The older I get, the more serious my friends’ relationships become. Some are married. Some have kids. So it goes.
Sam’s 32, though I’ve only known him for a few years. I met him in college. Grad school maybe. So that’s 2007-2008. He’s a responsible guy who everyone can count on, but still, a kid? I had some concerns. I know that he’ll be a great dad, but how’s his relationship with the mother? Hell, who is the mother? Did they plan this? Are they a good couple? Does she even deserve someone as good as my boy Sam?
Years ago, my friend Thom passed an ultrasound image around the office saying, “Look what I made.” The way I found out about Sam was more low-key; he didn’t even tell me himself. I found out online, when I saw this:
AVENGERS WORLD #17
BEFORE TIME RUNS OUT!
• How did things get to be the way they are in the “Time Runs Out” story? Find out here in AVENGERS WORLD!
• Cannonball and Smasher face their greatest adventure yet…parenthood!
• Can the new parents survive an encounter with the SHI’AR IMPERIAL GUARD?
My friend Sam Guthrie. My boy Cannonball. New Mutant. X-Man. Avenger. Best guy.
Having a child with Smasher? The Imperial Guard Smasher? She and Sam are a couple? I always hoped Sam and Dani would have ended up together. I loved their chemistry last time I saw them together. And he did have that thing with Lila Cheney, though they may be too different to ever work it out.
So I had to do my research on this Smasher. Izzy. Isabel Kane. Formerly known as Isabel Dare (though no one can really say why). From Iowa. Was an astronomer until she found an Imperial Guardsman’s goggles in her family’s corn field.
She had a good heart. And was up for anything. But I barely knew her. And the next time I heard about her, she was bailing from a dinner with the Guthrie family. “Shi’ar stuff. … An obligation,” she says. So she has a sense to duty, but maybe a work/life imbalance. Hmm.
Art tries to tell us that love is all about grand gestures. So Sam called in few favors, followed his lady into space, and offered to save her ship from attack (and thus prove himself worthy of being the partner of a Smasher). But she wouldn’t hear it.
So, they cannonballed and smashed and of course saved the day. But there’s something scarier than space creatures the size of a Shi’ar ships. Parenthood.
Sam’s a good hero and a good man. Even Mentor of the Imperial Guard had to recognize this: “Sam Guthrie, Cannonball of Earth, you have earned the favor of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard. You are a worthy partner for Smasher, and will being honor to your new family.” You’re goddamn right. But Izzy also proved herself Sam’s equal. They’re partners. They’re a team.
Artwork from Avengers #2 by Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opeña, Avengers #5 by Jonathan Hickman and Adam Kubert, Avengers World #17 by Frank Barbiere and Marco Checchetto, and New Mutants #17 by Zeb Wells and Leonard Kirk.