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Deadpool 2: Who Is Cable?

Sure, Josh Brolin looks awesome as Cable in the new movie trailer, but what are this Marvel character's origins and why does he have so many pouches?

A live-action version of Cable blessed homes across the world recently when the trailer for Deadpool 2 hit the internet, and oh boy, Josh Brolin looks awesome as the time-travelling leader of X-Force. He's going to be a major part of the newest superhero starring super-powered mutants.

But who is Cable, and where does he come from? Those answers aren't simple, as many characters from the X-Men comics have overly complicated and convoluted backstories, especially Cable. We'll do out best to fill you in and let you know everything you need to know about Cable.

Nathan Summers--the baby who would eventually become Cable--made his debut in The Uncanny X-Men #201 in 1986. His parents were Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor, a clone of Jean Grey. During the child's early years, Mr. Sinister wanted to use Nathan as a weapon to destroy Apocalypse.

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However, things didn't go exactly as planned, and Nathan fell into the hands of Apocalypse. Being a bad guy in the X-Men world, Apocalypse infected Nathan with a techno-organic virus. It was incurable. In order to save the boy from dying, Askani--a women from the future who leads the fight against Apocalypse--instructs Cyclops to take Nathan 2000 years into the future.

It turns out Askani is Rachel Summers, the daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey from an alternate reality. Askani clones Nathan in case he doesn't survive the virus. That clone was abducted by Apocalypse loyalists during an attack (more on that later). The real Nathan survives the disease and for some time, is raised by Askani.

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The version of Cable we all know and love (created by Louise Simonson and Rob Liefeld) debuted in New Mutants #87 in 1990. He was a really cool-looking character with a military mindset, who tried to take down the Mutant Liberation Front. Cable has several confrontations with the leader of the MLF, Stryfe. In issue #100 of New Mutants, Stryfe removed his helmet to reveal that he looks exactly like Cable. You probably know where this is going.

Cable moved on to lead a new X-Force team, with a slew of new mutants. During X-Cutioner's Song, Stryfe goes undercover as Cable and attempts to kill Professor X. Meanwhile, Cyclops and Jean Grey get kidnapped, and the X-Men learn that Stryfe is behind it all. It turns out that Stryfe was that cloned baby of Cable from the future, which, at the time, was a shocker. Eventually, the story leads to an epic battle on the Moon where Cable seemingly sacrifices himself in order to kill Stryfe.

However, it turns out Cable wasn't dead, and he was displaced in the future. For more than 20 years, there are stories with Cable teaming up and fighting other members of his lineage, taking on a new Mutant Liberation Front, and working with unlikely foes. It wasn't until 2004 that comic fans got one of the character's best series: Cable & Deadpool.

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While the two characters met during Deadpool's first appearance in New Mutants #98 back in 1991, the 2004 Cable & Deadpool series explored the relationship between them. It's funny, bizarre, and while there aren't any Earth-shattering stories that completely change the course of either character, it's widely considered to be a brilliant, entertaining, and engaging series.

Back to the serious part of Cable's history, one of his bigger stories comes in the aftermath of "Decimation," a storyline where Scarlet Witch said the words "No more mutants," thus causing all but 198 mutants in the Marvel Universe to disappear. Then, one day, a new mutant was born named Hope. Her town was attacked by The Purifiers--yet another anti-mutant terrorist group--but Cable showed up and saved her. He believed Hope was destined to save all of mutant-kind. However, others--like Bishop--thought differently, so Cable was tasked with taking care of her.

During this story, Stryfe shows back up and tries to kill Hope. He was stopped time and time again by Bishop, Cable, and the X-Force. After saving Hope again, Cable parted ways with her and went on to start a new X-Force team.

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Cable's abilities are a mixture of mutant powers and technological enhancements. As a mutant, he has telepathy and telekinesis, much like his mother--minus the whole demonic black magic thing Madelyne had as Goblin Queen. Cable's mutant abilities are extremely powerful, and he has variations on both telepathy and telekinesis that many other mutants with his abilities don't have, like precognition: being able to get visions from the past or--on occasion--being able to transfer his mind and powers into other people.

On the tech side of things, Cable has a metallic arm which gives him enhanced strength. In addition, he has a force field that protects him, like we saw in the Deadpool 2 trailer when someone shoots at him. (Depending on the comic, some creators have said this is part of his telekinetic powers though) Cable has a cybernetic eye. This eye allows him to see different spectrums that a human eye wouldn't be able to see, and in addition, he's been known to fire a laser out of it. Of course, he has other technological advantages, but none of them is more important than being able to travel through time, which doesn't happen as often as you'd think in the comics.

Looking for some recommended reading? Check these storylines out!

  • Adventures of Cyclops & Phoenix: Cyclops and Jean Grey travel to the future to raise Cable. They meet Askani and Cable gets cloned in case he dies from the virus infecting him. Takes place in The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix #1-4.
  • X-Cutioner's Song: A man named Stryfe is trying to tear the X-Men apart and kill Cable. It's a major story for the character that journeys through all the X-Men titles. Takes place in Uncanny X-Men #294-#297, X-Men #14-16, X-Factor #85-86, X-Force #17-19, and Stryfe's Strike File.
  • Cable & Deadpool: If Looks Could Kill: Cable and Deadpool's first story from their new series. Deadpool is hired by a religious group to steal a virus, and Cable is learning how to used his newly-enhanced abilities. Of course, the two end up working together, and it's just as bizarre as you think it is. Takes place in Cable & Deadpool #1-6.
  • Messiah War: Set 1000 years in the future, X-Force is on a mission to retrieve Cable and Hope--the baby Cable has been protecting. However, Bishop, Apocalypse, and Stryfe are all after them as well. Takes place in X-Force/Cable: Messiah War, Cable #13-15, and X-Force #14-16.
  • Ultimate X-Men: Cable: Cable appears in the Ultimate Universe, but with a big spin on the character. Takes place in Ultimate X-Men #75-78.
Avatar image for asgaard
Posted By Asgaard

Nice article...

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Posted By MasterSkywalker

Deadpool 2 is gonna be great.

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Posted By Bl00dwerK

Uncanny X-Men #201 is DOPE! Read it several times since it came out. Mohawk Storm forever!

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Posted By Farkam

Cable sux.

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Posted By Outside_85

Basically he is Marvel's Mr. 90'ties.

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Posted By Rustlingjimmy
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Posted By jb681131

When I was looking for good X-Men stories to read, I was recommended a few Cable ones:

  • Cable Volume 1: Shining Path - Cable I #97-100
  • Cable Volume 2: End - Graphic Novel
  • Cable: The Nemesis Contract - Cable (1993) #59-70, annual '99 + X-Man #45-47
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Posted By Eto

@masterskywalker: damn right. I wonder if Infinity War will affect the box office for Deadpool2. It most likely will, but hopefully not by a huge margin.

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Posted By SuperGoku17

Cable is one of my favorite xmen alongside jean and logan.

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Posted By deactivated-5bb52f8f25413

He's a pretty cool character.

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Posted By JakeFuryV2

How's the new series by James Robinson? Been tempted to check it out.

Avatar image for guardiandevil83
Posted By Guardiandevil83

@jakefuryv2: The first arc in the run is pretty meh. It's just Nate jumping from time period to time period hunting this dude, who's muddling with Time.

While searching for an item of great power.

Basic Time Cop stuff.

The second run is a bit more enjoyable. Some of the X Force get back together to help Cable figure out what the deal is with the Exiles.

See, some of the Exiles are dying. And well, they aren't supposed to do that.

(No Spoilers)

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Posted By JakeFuryV2

@guardiandevil83: thanks! 2nd arc does sound much more appealing. Might wait for the trade.

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Posted By Renchamp

My three favorites in one movie. This is a great time to be alive.

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Edited By ToRANBlAk

Hope Deadpool 2 match all expectations.

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Posted By cosmicallyaware1

@renchamp said:

My three favorites in one movie. This is a great time to be alive.

Well, whom would those be? Cable, Deadpool, and who else?!

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Posted By Renchamp
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Posted By Owie

I am very glad to see articles return. Hope your time off with the baby went well.

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Posted By _KingofLatveria

Really cool character. I hope they stay away from having his origin from Apocolypse. I'd prefer it related to Days of Future past AKA just make her the male Rachel Summers

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Edited By x23forever

Time travel and teleportation! One of my absolute favorite parts of the Cable & Deadpool series (and the only real reason they hung around each other for the length of the series anyway...) was the teleporting mix up that mixed all their bits with each other. I laughed so hard at those scenes when I first read them. I really hope they do something that stupid and fun for the movie.

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Posted By Renchamp

@_kingoflatveria: It was rumored for a while that he was Ahab from that timeline, which would have been pretty jacked up enslaving his sister and all.

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Posted By MainJP

Cable's one of my faves.

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Posted By olichodus

Who else thinks Shatterstar's gonna have a cameo?!

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Posted By phisigmatau

is he gonna be a summers or wha

and what about sinister

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Edited By The_Titan_Lord


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Edited By amazing_webhead

(warning: profanity)

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Avatar image for thorson

i gotta better one. Why is Cable?

Avatar image for renchamp
Posted By Renchamp

@thorson said:

i gotta better one. Why is Cable?

Why is that a better question? Context, man!

Avatar image for thehunter
Posted By thehunter

Cable is cool. Glad his character's staying for the next film.