April 6-7, 2024
Written by Kieron Byatt
Just when your wallet was recovering from seeing Avengers: Infinity War a third time, Ryan Reynolds’ returns as the Merc with a Mouth for Deadpool 2. As if 2018’s slate of comic book movies wasn’t impressive enough, the sequel to Fox’s Deadpool sees the cinematic debut of one of the X-Men comics’ most beloved characters, Cable. But before the movie hits Australian cinemas this month, we wanted to answer some questions you may have about the character and the sequel in general.
Simply put, Cable is a time travelling Mutant from 2,000 years in the future. Birth name Nathan Summers, he is the son of Scott Summers, aka Cyclops, and Madelyne Prior, a clone of Jean Grey created by Mister Sinister. Cable has a convoluted and complicated backstory, so he’ll fit right at home in Fox’s sprawling multi-timelined X-Men universe.
Cable is actually created by Mister Sinister to take on Apocalypse, who infects young Nathan with a deadly techno-organic virus. The young mutant is then sent into the future in the hope he may be cured. As a result of the virus, he essentially becomes a cyborg, sporting a cybernetic eye and bionic arm. This on top of his gargantuan size and military training makes him a formidable mutant. What are his powers? They fluctuate (as does the nature and presence of his cybernetic half) due to the aforementioned techno-virus (and multiple iterations), but have revolved around telepathy and telekinesis.
Deadpool’s first appearance was in New Mutants #98 in February 1991. He was created by artist/writer Rob Liefeld and writer Fabian Nicieza. Intentionally modelled on Spider-Man and Wolverine, and supposedly unintentionally inspired by Deathstroke, Deadpool’s real name Wade Wilson and his character design were knowing winks that he was a pastiche character with a bit of an edge.
In his debut, the Merc with a Mouth was actually depicted as a villain, hired by Cable’s foe Tolliver to assassinate Cable and his team. Deadpool’s appearance in New Mutants was so popular that he became a recurring character in the X-Force title, as well as appearing in The Avengers, Daredevil and Heroes for Hire. In 1993, his popularity was cemented with his own miniseries, followed by a second in 1994 until his first own ongoing title in 1997. So, without Cable, there’s actually no Deadpool. Hence why fans have been giddy with anticipation since Cable’s announcement in the Ferris Bueller inspired post-credits sting in the first Deadpool movie. In the comics the duo were reunited in 2004 for the joint series Cable & Deadpool after each characters’ solo titles were discontinued – so they have always been tied closely together.
Despite the trailers teasing Cable in an antagonistic, T-1000-esque role in Deadpool 2, you can bet that this will be flipped on its ear by the end of the movie and the two will team up to take on the real big bad; perhaps even Mister Sinister himself.
In the comics, Cable is definitely more the heroic type than Deadpool, who is a classic anti-hero, but the two are often depicted at odds with each other. Even when they do join forces it’s usually an uneasy alliance and Cable is the gruff straight man to Wade’s wisecracking meta-chaos.
However, due to Cable being a time-travelling warrior who often jumps into the past to stop some undesirable event from occurring in his future, he has been pitted against the Avengers, and other Marvel heroes several times. Even in his own series’, as well as his team-ups with Deadpool, he tends to take extreme actions to serve an ultimate good. So, no, he’s not a villain, but he’s more interesting than an up-and-down goodie.
While in the comics Cable has direct ties to the X-Men and has been a member of both X-Force and the New Mutants, as the first Deadpool movie made abundantly clear, it’s not so simple as to where these adult-aimed superhero movies take place in regards to the rest of 20th Century Fox’s X-Men movies, which aren’t as risqué as Deadpool, Logan, and, presumably, Deadpool 2.
A quick glance at the cast of the upcoming Dark Phoenix film reveals no mention of Deadpool or Cable, so we can assume Deadpool 2 may not go into length about Cable’s parentage. Additionally, Dark Phoenix stars Daniel Cudmore, the original cinematic iteration of Colossus, while Deadpool 2 stars Supa-Star alumni Stefan Kapicic again as the steel mutant, so it looks like we’re in a different timeline. But we also know that the Regeneratin’ Degenerate loves pointing out the inconsistencies and divergences from the source material in his signature fourth-wall breaking bravado. So there may be a wink or two, along with a possible Thanos reference (or several), as Josh Brolin, who is playing Cable, also suited up in motion-capture to play the Mad Titan in Avengers: Infinity War.
You may expect Cable to have a link to Days of Future Past, as he is also from the future, however, he’s from further in the future and the messiness of that timeline and whether or not it figures into Deadpool’s movie universe is too confusing to unpack in just one article. Don’t hold your breath that it will all neatly tie-in. But while ties to the X-Men movies may be dicey, there could be links to the upcoming horror-inspired New Mutants film, and in regards to X-Force, well…
As mentioned above, Cable was a member of X-Men spinoff team, the New Mutants, which largely consisted of teenagers. The group were actually trained by Cable, all during one of his trips to the past, or the present; again, Cable is confusing. After the end of their first series, the New Mutants were relaunched as X-Force, which has seen multiple versions and iterations, same as Cable. X-Force is a more brutal and militarised version of the X-Men and Cable was their first leader. This makes the trailers of Deadpool 2 all the more interesting as Deadpool appears to be assembling X-Force for the first time, including teaming up with Domino, played by Zazie Beetz, a popular mutant mercenary from the comics with origins in X-Force and New Mutants.
The validity of Deadpool’s X-Force team remains to be seen, but we do know the X-Force movie is in development, with Brolin, Beetz, and Reynolds all attached. So whether or not the X-Force we get in Deadpool 2 will be the real deal, it is definitely setting up the team for their first movie, and if the quality of Deadpool so far is anything to go by, it should be pretty great.
Deadpool 2 opens in Australian cinemas on May 16.