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Who the heck is Cable? Everything you need to know before Deadpool 2 is released


Grab your chimichangas, film fans, because Deadpool 2 arrives in Cineworld on 1st June, and this time the title character is bringing a friend.

Cast your mind back to the hilarious post-credits scene in 2016's Deadpool. Not only was it a clever parody of John Hughes comedy classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It also revealed that a character named Cable would be in the sequel.

It was subsequently announced that Cable would be played by actor Josh Brolin (who returns as Marvel super-villain Thanos in this year’s Avengers: Infinity War). Let’s not forget Mr. Pool’s own suggestions for the role were Mel Gibson, Dolph Lundgren, or Keira Knightley.

Having Cable appear in a Deadpool film is kind of a big deal, but newbies may not understand what all the excitement is about, or even know who the heck Cable is. To shed some light, here’s everything you need to know about Cable before seeing him in action.

He’s the son of X-Men’s Cyclops and Jean Grey (sort of)

Brolin is credited as playing Nathan Summers/Cable, which will please comic fans – Summers also happens to be the surname of iconic X-Men member Scott (aka Cyclops).

Cable’s origins can be traced back to the well-known ‘Phoenix Saga’ which ran from 1976-1977 (set to be the basis of X-Men: Dark Phoenix that’s scheduled to arrive in Cineworld this November). To cut a long story short, the end of this story arc sees Jean Grey (aka Phoenix) being presumed dead. Scott, her boyfriend, goes into mourning, and, several years later, meets and falls in love with Madelyne Pryor, who happens to be Jean’s clone created by villainous geneticist Mr Sinister. 

The eventual birth of their son, Nathan Summers, is orchestrated by Sinister with the aim of producing a genetically powerful mutant capable of defeating Sinister’s arch-nemesis, Apocalypse.

Cable’s origins

Apocalypse kidnaps young Nathan and infects him with a techno-organic virus. In later years, as Summers grows to become Cable, his body gradually turns into metal, accounting for his part-cyborg look. (The main side-effect of said virus is Cable will die if it infects his entire body. Therefore, he uses his telekinetic powers to stop it from spreading further.)

With no hope of developing a cure for young Nathan’s deadly virus, Scott and Jean (who returns after Nathan’s birth) have no choice but to leave him in the hands of a member of the Clan Askani, who claim they’re able to train him and possibly even cure him. 

The catch? Nathan is taken 2,000 years into the future where Apocalypse rules with an iron fist. Brought up in the future, Cable (as he comes to be known) has the power to travel through time and change the outcome of any event in the Marvel Universe.

As you might expect, all this time travel inevitably creates dozens of parallel universes and paradoxes within the comics, but let’s not jump down that rabbit hole of confusion here.

He has an evil clone

Because one time travelling mutant isn’t enough, Cable’s also got to contend with an evil clone of himself who follows him throughout time.

After first arriving in the future, the Askani create a clone of Nathan. This is a failsafe: in case the boy succumbs to his disease, they can transfer his spirit into the disease-free clone. (Why they never transferred him into the uninfected body in the first place is beyond us.)

Eventually, after failing to capture the actual Cable, Apocalypse instead captures the clone, subsequently named Stryfe, whom he raises as his own personal super soldier. The latter eventually becomes Cable's sworn enemy – talk about sibling rivalry.

He’s best friends with Deadpool

Believe it or not, but this stoic, time-traveling mutant is best friends with the smart-mouthed and wisecracking 'Merc With a Mouth', Deadpool. They’re widely considered by fans as one of Marvel’s top team-ups.

This unlikely duo joined forces in the comic book series Cable & Deadpool in 2004. In typical Deadpool fashion, this series was full of meta jokes and fourth wall breaks and, within the 50 issues, the pair got involved in numerous arcs, one of which tied in with the 'Civil War' storyline. (This story served as the basis for 2016’s colossal Marvel blockbuster Captain America: Civil War.)

Deadpool and Cable are the ultimate buddy superhero pairing. With Deadpool’s cartoonish antics playing off Cable’s seriousness, they’re just as great a comic duo as they are a crime-fighting team.

Josh Brolin is going to kick ass

Brolin is a veteran of movies including the Oscar winning No Country for Old Men and Men in Black 3 (where he delivered a truly uncanny young Tommy Lee Jones impression). In these films and more, he won us over with his gruff charisma and dry humour, which bodes well for his debut appearance as the no-nonsense Cable. And it seems he may be with us for the foreseeable future…

Brolin revealed to Collider last October: "I’m not going to tell you how much I’m in the film, but it’s his introduction, and I think his introduction, even in the small promos and teasers that [director David Leitch] has shown me, I think it’s a proper reveal. I think we’re not trying to hide the fact that this is the beginning of Cable and absolutely not the end. I think when you’re sensitive about how you reveal this character there’s a sense of mystery in it, so then when we finally get into X-Force, you’re going to be with this guy full blown all the time. There’s a lot to be revealed, but there’s three more movies to reveal more."

The Deadpool/Cable bromance has already started to gain social media traction – remember this Thanksgiving image from last year? We can only imagine what their on-screen chemistry is going to be like.

Can't wait to see Cable in action? Then pencil Deadpool 2 into your Cineworld diary: the movie is released on 1st June.

Andy Murray is an Unlimited card holder who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.