Nathan Summers is one of the least understood characters in the Marvel universe. His powers are unclear, his timeline is one of the wonkiest ever created, and his parentage itself is so confusing even fans get it mixed up. He's also larger than life, typically steadfast while sometimes going insane, and much more complex than he appears on the surface. Many fans are wondering just how David Leitch and the Deadpool 2 writing team are going to handle him in the film, as he almost needs a film of his own to explain his backstory alone.
Is Josh Brolin walking into a trap? We think anyone who faced the Fatellis and came out okay should be able to handle protecting the hope of all mutant-kind, facing end of the world scenarios, and being duped by Deadpool's scheming ex.... right? Just to make sure he knows what he's getting into, perhaps Brolin should check out these 15 Most WTF Things Cable Has Ever Done.
Throwing your baby into a portal as a sacrifice to unleash demons upon the planet does not make for great "Mother of the Year" material, but that is exactly what Cable's mom did.
Madelyne Pryor, AKA the clone of Jean Grey, AKA Goblin Queen, fell into cahoots with a demon lord known as N'astirh during the Inferno story line. In fact, he helped her unleash her powers as the clone of Jean Grey, turning her into the Goblin Queen.
To let his demons into the world, N'astirh needed 13 babies to be sacrificed for a portal (because of course he did) and Madelyne tossed baby Nathan up into the sky to use as part of the mystical pentagram required to open the portal. That's cold, even for a clone.
Cable really has enough parental issues without his mom using him to draw demons to the planet. The X-Men and X-Factor teams were able to stop her in time to save the world, but Cable probably already had enough material for a decade of therapy at this point.
Sometimes it's just easier to pretend to be a cyborg than to answer people's nosy questions. Who are you, where did you come from, are you a cyborg... Who can blame Cable for being so taciturn when faced with such a barrage of questions? Sure, he was a mysterious character who seemed to pose a threat (although not as much as Bishop, another enormous time traveler who really needs his own rap battle against Cable), but he's the son of Scott Summers, which means he's got brooding genes that clam up any time personal information is even hinted at, right? Given the treatment that mutants are accustomed to receiving, it's a given that plenty of travelers (through time or space) would prefer to be labeled as cyborg humans rather than a mutant with robotic parts.
In defense of everyone who assumed he was a human cyborg rather than a mutant, there was plenty of evidence to support the idea. His apparent lack of mutant powers served as his biggest red flag, but in reality his powers were simply not noticeable for other reasons, such as the fact that...
Remember all of that angst that Sam Winchester carried through Supernatural because of some powers he carried that came from his demon blood? Cable's entire existence is impacted by the techno-organic virus he was infected with courtesy of Apocalypse, but you really don't hear him whine about it.
In fact, Cable's life is much worse because he has to spend an intense amount of energy combating the effects of the virus with his own powers, which is why he often seems like he doesn't even have any powers to begin with. The virus is the reason he was sent to live in the future; otherwise he would have died in the present. Much later, Cable goes back in time and gives a younger version of Apocalypse the virus to begin with.
Cable's actual list of powers runs well over a baker's dozen. Aside from his obvious agility and super strength, stamina, mastery of weapons and unarmed combat, he is also able to teleport, cast force fields, use astral projection, and of course travel through time. Cable's skills include everything from superior intellect, leadership and marksmanship, but just some other powers that fans may not realize that he has include precognition, telepathy and telekinesis.
There has to be some kind of psychosis that doctors can diagnose when you are the son of a clone who then gets cloned, right? Cable is a pretty strong and steady man to have withstood all of the trauma in his life. His future guardian, Akani, has him cloned to ensure that he still survives (at least in some way) despite being infected with Apocalypse's virus. Her plan sort of works: Cable's clone keeps him alive, but only byserving as an accidental decoy when Apocalypse tries to kidnap young Nathan.
Cable went through his life without even realizing that he had a clone, so when Stryfe started causing him... strife... he was just as surprised as everyone else. Stryfe, for his part, was raised by Apocalypse, which naturally led to him becoming a violent villain bent on revenge for his very creation. This also echoes Jean Grey's experience with Cable's mother, the Goblin Queen, who once attempted suicide in order to strike both herself and Jean down.
Cable's parentage is one of the most messed up Venn diagrams in Marvel history, but we can break it down like this: he is the son of Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor, the clone of Jean Grey. So far, so good. Then, when he was injected with the tecnho-organic virus, he was sent to live in the future at the behest of Mother Askani from the future, who turns out to actually be Rachel Summers (Cable's half-sister). She is the same person who decides to clone Nathan and create the whole Stryfe mess.
While Scott and Jean are honeymooning, Rachel transports her parents' psyches to the future to raise baby Nathan, who only knows them as Slym and Redd. Known as the Daysprings, Slym and Redd raise him for 12 years in the future, and when they return to the present, he takes back up with the Askani people, where he meets his first wife, Aliya.
When Cable finally came to the present (uh, past-- it's confusing!) he didn't even realize that they were his parents from the future (his past). Whew!
Poor baby Cable. In most universes, he just can't catch a break, and in Cable & Deadpool, it's really no different. In issue #17, Deadpool actually has to hunt him down and rescue him from Mister Sinister while on a mission with Cannonball and his on-again, off-again love interest, Siren. The catch is that it occurs while Cable is an infant.
Sinister claims that he just wants to raise Cable to be the savior of the world, but in reality (and to the surprise of no one), he attempts to drug the team of rescuers and uses Deadpool's healing factor to rapidly grow Cable like one of those little sponge animals that you put in water to grow overnight-- only faster. The fully grown Nate Summers is able to easily handle Mister Sinister and escapes with Deadpool.
Cable also has a strong love/hate relationship with Deadpool, but doesn't everybody? Like pretty much anyone who has ever worked with Wade Wilson, Cable finds him very annoying, but they also have some confrontations in their friendship, such as when they choose opposing sides during Civil War.
There's been a bitter rivalry between Cable and Wolverine for a long time. Some say it's due to Wolverine's callousness after Cable witnessed the death of a close friend, but it's also likely because of their introverted tendencies. Neither likes to work as a team, so it stands to reason they might resent one another when they are paired up. So when Cable actually becomes Wolverine in the future, it's pretty ironic.
This happens in the Earth-2107 timeline when Cable, known as James Howlett, possesses not only a healing factor but Wolverine claws that he can unleash from his human arm, which, also ironically, are revealed during a battle with none other than Wolverine. Although still known as Cable, he also goes by the names Weapon X and Wolverine during this timeline.
Somehow this future is just as weird as Cable being a blob of liquid metal after the virus overtakes his body in Earth-9997.
Plenty of mutants have gone rogue, either to become vigilantes or to explore new powers and abilities they may have for some reason or another. Cable has had a bit of a god complex a couple of times, and during the Cable & Deadpool comic series "Burnt Offering", Cable seems to still be riding the glory train from being the supposed savior of the world in previous comics. He decides that the leaders of the world just aren't doing enough to foster peace and threatens to dump all of their nukes into the sun.
When Pool confronts Cable at the behest of his father Cyclops, Nathan admits that he really wanted to commit suicide to show that the world could work in harmony. He knew that by creating a global threat he could unify each nation against one evil and make them work together. This is pretty much the version of Cable gone round the bend. In order to stop him, Deadpool actually lobotomizes Cable at his own behest.
Once "Slym and Redd" left Cable on his own, he returned to learn from and work with the Askani people in the future timeline of Earth-4935. It was there where he met his wife, Aliya Daspring, a warrior and, like Cable, a telekinetic and telepathic mutant. They fell in love and got married. She had to go back into the past to retrieve Cable for help when her husband was sick, without knowing who he really was. She then adopted the name Jenskot in honor of Jean Grey and Scott Summers. They had a son called Tyler together, but tragedy struck during an attack by Stryfe. Jenskot was killed and Tyler was kidnapped by Stryfe, who raised him to become the villain Genesis.
Stryfe also tells Cable that Tyler was conceived after he posed as Cable and raped his wife, meaning that he was never his son to begin with. Fans speculate on whether or not he is telling Cable the truth with this taunt. Some other WTF moments concerning Cable's love life include the death of his wife Hope and his marriage to Storm in Earth-1020.
Cable's team held a grudge against him for a long time, and for good reason. When he was a member of the Wild Pack (later known as the Six Pack), he made one of the most cowardly decisions of his life. He ordered his teammates to enter a secret hatch following a mission they were on as mercenaries for Tolliver (yep, the same Tolliver who hired Deadpool), which led them right into a conflict with Stryfe's henchmen. Not only did this turn what should've been an easy mission into a disaster, but it meant that the team defied Tolliver, which everyone knows is a suicide pact.
While they're attempting to defeat Stryfe on another occasion, Stryfe himself shows up and takes Wild Pack member Garrison Kane as a hostage. During the altercation, the base starts to blow up and Cable used his powers to bodyslide out of the fight, which left his team for dead. Two members were badly hurt, but the rest survived without much of a scratch. Too bad for Cable, since they all held a pretty heavy grudge against him for a long time afterward. For a guy known for his heroics and selflessness on other occasions, this was just wrong.
Fans of the Deadpool film know his main squeeze Vanessa Carlyle as a funny and irreverent, yet kind person who wants to help her guy cure his cancer. Unfortunately for Pool in the comics, his girl is actually the shape-shifting mutant known as Copycat, and she is prone to cruel notions. She once seduced him as Siren, the woman he loved, just because she could. Copycat did not limit her chicanery to Wade Wilson, however.
When it comes to X-Force, for a while Cable and Domino went together like Scott and Jean did with the X-Men. Poor Cable found out the hard way that Domino wasn't always who she said she was. Copycat began impersonating Domino, Cable's close friend and second in command, in New Mutants Volume 1, #98 in 1991 when Deadpool's employer Tolliver hired her to kill Cable. No one knew about the trickery until a year later, prompting fans to wonder whether or not the switcheroo was actually planned by Rob Liefeld, who was leaving Marvel at the time. The change occurred after Liefeld's time, making it happen beneath Fabian Nicieza's reign.
Copycat grew fond of the team and ultimately did not kill Cable, who didn't find out about the deception until he rescued the real Domino.
Any reader of The Avengers comics knows that the team has had its major ups and downs, including plenty of epic fails. One of those fails nearly included being destroyed by Cable. When Nate is transported to an Apocalyptic future where the world is in chaos because of Hope Summers' death, he vows to prevent her death-- which happened to be caused by an accident with the Avengers. Most of the characters that some would deem nearly invincible-- from Iron Man to Captain America, Falcon to Red Hulk-- are quickly dispatched by an enraged Cable who, as usual, is a man on a mission.
It takes Scott Summers and Hope herself to stop Cable and redirect his attention away from murdering all of the Avengers. Then they help him form a truce as a way of carrying out his mission without so many violent side effects. Hope then causes another huge twist in events by removing the virus that defines Nathan's life from him and dispersing it, changing his life forever.
To be fair, all of the Cable & Deadpool comics are pretty unrealistic. They are as addictive as they are ridiculous. Case in point: the time Cable absorbed Deadpool and puked him back up. During their first story line, "If Looks Could Kill" (issues #1-6), The One World Church hired Deadpool to steal some ridiculous virus to turn everyone on the planet blue for no good reason. Wait, it gets better. Cable and Deadpool contract the virus, and, using his new powers, Cable absorbs Deadpool and pukes him back up in order to combine their DNA and save their lives. It is one of the grossest moments in mutant history.
In more messed up news, Cable took hold of the virus, changed it so it would turn the world pink, used it himself to do so, then undid the effects days later in a power trip to demonstrate his epic powers. All in all, it was one of his more insane moments.
Cable and Bishop have so many similarities that they could be mistaken for one another if you've never seen what they look like. Maybe that's why they fight so much. The first time the two meet, Cable is a suspect for the assassination attempt on Professor X (see below), which makes him number one on Bishop's list of people to hate. In a very surreal turn of events, it takes Wolverine's reasoning to give Cable a chance and prevent Bishop from really doing some damage in the name of the Professor.
The two have had some major fights over the years, but some of the most intense occurred during the Messiah Complex story. Cable is intent upon saving Hope Summers, the first mutant born after the whole House of M tragedy. Cable himself calls her Hope after Hope, the woman he loved and married, who died defending her. Bishop, on the other hand, sees her as a threat to the world and hopes to kill her, prompting a game of cat and mouse between the two over the girl.
It also gives X-fans some really fun images of Cable carrying Hope in rugged, Shoot 'Em Up fashion.
Remember the time everyone thought that Cable was culprit who shot Professor Xavier with the techno-organic virus? It wasn't difficult to believe for anyone, considering that not only did Cable feel that Charles Xavier's methods weren't militant enough to achieve peace between humans and mutants, but he also looked exactly like the man who truly did shoot the professor.
Of course, that's because the man who actually did the deed, Stryfe, was none other than Cable's clone. Because of this, The X-Cutioner's Song saga began with the mission to find Cable and take him out, causing major tension between the X-teams.
The saga led to Cable's apparent demise during a battle with his clone. Stryfe attempted to extract revenge on Cyclops and Jean Grey for his childhood, but his elaborate scheme failed when Cable launched both himself and Stryfe into a time vortex, destroying them both. Later it is revealed that not only did Nathan survive, but his clone's consciousness also survived by leeching into Cable's own mind.
Did we miss any crazy moments in Cable's history? Sound off in the comments!