So… what’s up with that “Cable” guy Deadpool mentioned after his movie’s credits? The short answer is that he’s another X-Men character co-created by Rob Liefeld. His debut occurred in the same New Mutants volume that introduced DP (though he showed up about a year earlier). Cable has evolved significantly from the character Liefeld and writer Louise Simonson first introduced in the early 90s, and later creators have added a ton of lore into his backstory. However, he’s always been a macho paramilitary commando. Like, even though he has psychic mutant powers, Doom-esque BFGs are still his weapons of choice. That’s Cable, at his most awesome essence.
Deadpool joked about Keira Knightly having enough range to play this dude (who’s always been depicted as a grizzled, middle-aged muscle man) and Stephen Lang’s already campaigning for the part on Twitter. The artist “BossLogic” handily visualized what both actors might look like in the role. However, if you never, ever heard of this guy before and want to know what character lurks behind the guns, scars, and shiny eyes, then we’ve got you covered. Here’s Cable 101.
He’d be able to claim the coveted “most complicated origin” title if he didn’t also have an evil clone (Stryfe) and an alternate reality doppelganger (X-Man) who are that much more complex. Still, Cable’s back-story is a rigorous zigzag. Ready for it? Deep breath, now…
His real name is Nathan Summers and he’s the son of Cyclops and Jean Grey’s clone, Madelyne Pryor. He was infected with a deadly “techno-organic virus” as a baby and transported to the 30th century by Mother Askani, his half-sister, Rachel Summers, from a different future, to be cured of it. This future is literally apocalyptic, because the immortal villain Apocalypse rules all of Earth there.
Young Nathan is trained to become a badass warrior from birth, learning to keep his cybernetic flesh virus at bay with telekinesis, and it turns out he’s actually a prophesied chosen one. The war rages on long enough, though, for him to both make a family of his own and lose them to combat. And even after he seemingly defeats Apocalypse, he still ventures back to the present to fight the mutant overlord’s younger self.
How does all that relate to Deadpool, though?
Photo Credit: Marvel
Well, upon his arrival in the present, Cable promptly co-opts leadership of the X-Men’s junior league of “New Mutants” and rechristens them “X-Force.” Not long before their name change, the team crosses paths with a certain fast-talking mercenary, and that’s where the love/hate relationship more-or-less begins. The two eventually co-stared in a team-up title, Cable & Deadpool, where they enjoyed a kind of Riggs/Murtaugh buddy dynamic. Cable is the no-nonsense hardliner who’s too old for this stuff while DP is the unpredictable loose cannon with a devil-may-care sense of humor.
When or if Cable shows up in Deadpool 2, it’s likely that most of his background will be simplified or left unaddressed so the movie can get straight to these two busting chops and blazing through ammo. Or maybe it will be mentioned, but as part of another meta gag for the audience.
This new First Class timeline has already played around with the Summers family tree a bit, anyway. In the comics, Havok is Cyclops’ kid bro, but the movies have made him the eldest–and by a couple decades, apparently. So, don’t expect any lines about Cable being teen Cyclops’ son, despite him being 40 years older, physically. And though the timing with X-Men: Apocalypse is nice and tidy, don’t bet on Cable’s relationship with that villain to ever be broached, either. Cable history can barely be covered in 50 comics issues, let alone a two-hour movie. So… just prepare to meet one cool, old, mutant, cyborg commando in a couple years.
What other X-Men characters would you appreciate a quick primer on? How pumped are you that Cable’s big screen debut is only a couple years away, now? Hit the talkback!
Featured Image Credit: Marvel