Everyone’s favorite “Merc with a Mouth” is returning to the big screen this weekend in Deadpool 2. If you’ve seen the trailer (and I know you have) then it looks like Deadpool’s main threat for this movie is none other than Josh Brolin as the grim-faced, metal-armed, gun-toting Cable. So who is Cable, really?
While I can’t speak for his origins in the movie, I can give you a deep-dive into his comic book origins. So hold your breath, this one’s a doozy.
Who is Cable?
Created by Louise Simonson and Rob Liefeld, Cable first appeared in The New Mutants in March of 1990. With his oversized shoulder pads, excessive straps and pouches, single glowing eye and ridiculously huge firearms, he single-handedly ushered in the “extreme” trends that defined 90’s era comic books.
Initially, his role was to be a mentor to the next generation of mutants (the New Mutants, as opposed to the X-Men). He had a more militaristic approach than his two predecessors, Professor X and Magneto. The New Mutants branched off from Xavier’s school, gained some new members and became the X-Force. (How x-treme!)
It’s eventually revealed that Cable was actually born Nathan Christopher Charles Summers. If you think “Summers” sounds familiar, you’re right. He’s the son of Scott Summers, the X-Men’s Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor, a clone of Jean Grey. But how is this possible? He’s at least ten years older than Cyclops — he even has grey hair.
Two words: Time travel!
So shortly after being born in the current time-line, Nathan is infected with a techno-organic virus by X-Men villain Apocalypse. Cyclops is forced to send him forward in time with Mother Askani (who is the future version of Rachel Summers, the daughter of Scott and Jean from another alternate timeline) as only the technology of the future can save his life.
This future is hardly ideal and more Mad Max than Star Trek. In The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix mini-series, Scott Summers and Jean Grey’s (the real one, not Madelyn the clone, who is now the villainess Goblin Queen) consciences are sent into future to help raise the child Cable.
In particular, they train him to use his telekineses to hold the techno-virus in check, which at this point has only taken over his arm and eye. During these adventures they help defeat Apocalypse and Scott and Jean are returned to present day, but not before Apocalypse acquires Cable’s genetic material and creates his own mutant clone, Stryfe.
So after training his body, mind and mutant powers in the future, Cable came to the present to forge the next generation of mutants into a “force” capable up foiling Apocalypse and Stryfe’s evil machinations. Since then he’s been kind of serving as the Marvel Universe’s Time-Cop, jumping around preventing horrific alternate futures.
Cable and Deadpool have worked together in the past (or is that present?)
He’s teamed up with Deadpool on several occasions and even shared a title, Cable and Deadpool, that lasted 50 issues. At a later point, he is charged with protecting the “Mutant Messiah” by jumping through time while be being chased by fellow mutant, Bishop (Bishop is mistakenly convinced that the Messiah is responsible for his particular, horrible future of mutant persecution).
Cable manages to keep the messiah (a red haired girl he names Hope and has some very similar qualities to a certain Jean Grey, but is not Jean Grey) safe and raises her to be a warrior like himself, eventually returning with her to the present.
Over the years, Cable has been a team player having been on the X-Force, X-Men, the Secret Avengers, The Twelve, Six Pack and even Captain America’s Avengers Unity Squad, a team that unites mutants, inhumans and just plain-old superheroes.
Cable is a lot… like a lot a lot.
Now I doubt that Cable in the Deadpool movie is going to be called out as the child of Cyclops and Jean Grey’s clone, I do think that his mission in the movie will be time traveling to prevent his own, shitty future from happening and he’s going to end up joining forces with Deadpool and his X-Force to defeat the real, as-of-yet unrevealed villain of the movie.
Real Name: Nathan Christopher Charles Summers
Weight: 350 lbs.
Powers: Cable possesses vast psychic power, most often manifested in the forms of telepathy and telekinesis. His telepathy has proven great enough in power and scope as to allow him to read thoughts across vast distances, and even interface with multiple minds, simultaneously. While the full limits of his mental abilities in this area have yet to be disclosed, Cable has also demonstrated the ability to project bolts or blasts of mental energy that are capable of easily killing or rendering unconscious another Human being.
Abilities: Cable is a highly accomplished warrior and battle strategist, highly adept in many forms of hand-to-hand combat and in the use of a variety of weaponry from both the 20th and 40th Centuries. Cable also holds a diploma in Law.