Cable (The Most Complicated Mutant of All Times)


The Most Complicated Mutant of All Times

by Phil Perich for the True Believers Blog


It was announced last week that actor Josh Brolin would portray the time traveling future soldier/hero Cable in the upcoming Deadpool 2 movie.  Who is this mystery figure with one of the most complicated backstories in the Marvel Universe? While most of his early years were told non-sequentially, I’ll give you the whole story from start to finish.


Early Education

Nathan Christopher Charles Summers was the child of the X-Men’s Scott “Cyclops” Summers and Madelyne Pryor, a clone of Scott’s former lover Jean Grey who at the time was believed to be dead.  Nathan first appeared as a newborn infant in Uncanny X-Men #201 (January 1986). 


Nathan had a rocky first few years with his father leaving to help found the team known as X-Factor with his original X-Men teammates including a returned Jean Grey.  When Madelyne is believed to have been killed along with several members of the X-Men, Jean takes over as a mother figure and helps Scott raise Nathan.  Madelyne is eventually possessed by evil forces and dies during the Inferno crossover.  Nathan is eventually infected with a techno-organic virus by the villain Apocalypse (X-Factor #68, July 1991) who believes Nathan is the figure that is foretold to eventually destroy him.  While nothing can save Nathan in the present, a mysterious woman from the future tells Scott she can take his son to her future and save his life, but Nathan can never return to the present.  Faced with a difficult choice, Cyclops lets his son go.



Nathan is taken 2000 years into the future where he is taken in by the Askani Clan led by a future version of Rachel Summers, a daughter of an alternate timelines Scott and Jean, Nathan’s “half sister”.  The Askani lose hope of saving Nathan and decide to clone him, an act that is against their beliefs.  While the cloning process is successful, it also stabilizes Nathan’s condition.  While not completely healed, the Askani teach Nathan to use his telekinetic powers to keep the techno-organic virus in check, leaving him with the outward appearance of a cybernetic arm and glowing eye.  After an adolescence spent attempting to fulfill his destiny as the ultimate weapon against Apocalypse, including years spent with a time-displaced Scott and Jean, Nathan decides to time travel to the era of his birth, deciding that is the best timeframe to defeat Apocalypse.


The Man Named Cable

Nathan would travel back to a time prior to his own birth,while supposedly operating in secret for years, his first appearance was in New Mutants #87 (March 1990). Nathan goes by the name of Cable and keeps his identity a secret.  Nathan first asks the young New Mutants to help him battle the Mutant Liberation Front, a group led by his evil clone Stryfe.  Nathan would go on to lead the New Mutants and months later transform the team into the mutant strike force known as X-Force.


With Friends Like These…

After a few years, Nathan and X-Force would part ways.  After Apocalypse is defeated and believed dead, Nathan is left without a purpose in life for the first time.  Nathan then decides to make the world a better place, first on his own attempting to take down dangerous dictators and killers, and then creating an island utopia known as Providence Island.  After a period when Nathan had lost most of his powers, at this point his powers were greater than ever, at one point he even used his telekinesis to lift the whole island.  At this point Nathan entered into an alliance with the mercenary known as Deadpool.  After encountering each other over the years as sometime enemies or sometime uneasy allies, Nathan befriends Deadpool hoping to help him becomes more of a positive force in the world.  


Days of Cable’s Future Past

After believed dead for awhile, Nathan would return to protect the young mutant girl Hope, and eventually lead a new version of X-Force.  After losing and gaining his powers several more times and spending time in a closer future, Nathan eventually returned to the present again and has been operating as a member of the latest Uncanny Avengers team along with his friend Deadpool and others.


So there you have it, a quick summary of a very long life story! What parts do you think we’ll see in Deadpool 2?  Let’s speculate together! &


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You can hear me discussing all things Marvel (comics, movies, TV) every week with my friends on the All New Marvel Roundup, Wade’s World and Superconnectivity, all part of the Nuff Said Podcast.  I also write another blog, the Legends of DC and do a podcast of the same name.  You can find all my podcasts, blogs and those of others at You can also find all my creative endeavors at