Cable, A Brief History On The Man Out Of Time

Michael Huggins Michael Huggins
May 14th, 2018

Gallery manager by day. Netflix level superhero by night.

Cable, A Brief History On The Man Out Of Time

Cable, A Brief History On The Man Out Of Time

Nathanial "Cable" Summers was initially introduced into the X-Men comics back in 1986, where he was born to Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor (a clone of the late Jean Grey) in The Uncanny X-Men #200/#201. Shortly after his birth, the super-villain Apocalypse infected Nathan with a techno-organic virus, with the hopes of killing him to damage the irreversibly then lead X-Man, Cyclops.

En Sabah's plan didn't work as expected, however, and a time-travelling female called Mother Askani appears to Nathan's parents and tells them that she can save his life, but to do so, she must take him to the future, which would mean they would never be able to see him again. Cyclops and Madelyne agree to Askani's terms, albeit painfully, and Nathan is taken to the future, to a timeline where Apocalypse rules over a barren and cruel world.

In this future, Mother Askani clones Nathan (the clone would later become his adversary Stryfe) in case she is unable to save him. The treatment they give him, however, is a success and the destructive nature of the techno-organic virus is halted. The virus still resides within Nathan and is what gives him his cyborg-like appearance, as well as his increased strength and durability.


Nathan would next fully appear in The New Mutants #87 (March. 1990) as Cable, even though initially Cable and Nathan Summers were not intended to be the same character. The old look of Cable as we know him most commonly was conceptualised by Rob Liefeld, who also created Deadpool, and would go to partner the Merc with a Mouth and Cable many times throughout their history.

Much of Cable's history was not fleshed out between 1986 and 1990, and instead was extended upon after a 13 issue run of The New Mutants, when the team - and the title comic - was changed to X-Force, with the aid of the oh-so-lucky Domino (a character also due to appear in Deadpool 2, portrayed by Zazie Beetz). After the creation of X-Force, Nathan would go on to star in the miniseries Cable: Blood and Metal (Romita Jr. Oct/Nov 1992) a two-issue series that focused upon his ongoing battles with Stryfe, and how it affected the people Cable had around him.

20th Century FOX

This introduction of personal stories set around the time-travelling soldier would lead to his series titled merely Cable in which his backstory was cemented, and Cable was officially accepted and published as the elder, war-torn Nathanial Summers. The cable then carried his series for a massive 107 issues between May 1993 and September 2002 and even garnered a relaunch that ran for a further 12 questions until August 2003.

Nathanial Summers would now become a staple of the Marvel Universe, appearing in the team above up with Deadpool, the X-Men and even the Avengers. His most famous team-up to date remains X-Force, whom he has regularly returned to and aided across his 30+ year publication history.

This team (or at least a form of it) will be seen in the upcoming Deadpool 2, along with Cable himself (although we're still not sure of his motives), played by Josh Brolin in what is likely to be another home-run comic-book character brought to the big screen. Cable's robust, no-nonsense demeanour, and his penchant for ass-kicking will almost certainly put him centre-stage when he arrives in the Deadpool world, and will likely lead to some of the best moments the franchise will 4th wall us.

See Deadpool 2, complete with Cable, in cinemas worldwide from May 18th.

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