No one could have predicted how important Cable would be to the future of the X-Men franchise and the Marvel universe.
He was introduced in New Mutants #87 as a gun-wielding guy with a glowing eye and a fetish for outfits that were covered with pouches. Cable would go on to transform the New Mutants into a new team known as X-Force, which were edgier than the other X-Men teams.
The first issue of the X-Force comic book series would go on to sell five million copies, which makes it the second-highest selling American comic book of all time.
Cable's backstory and motivations would change many times over the years, to the point where he became one of the most complicated characters in the history of the X-Men universe.
This is to say nothing of his tenure as one of the most annoying and powerful video game characters of all time in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, his confusing appearances in the original X-Men animated series and his upcoming starring role in Deadpool 2.
We are here today to look at the strangest aspects of Cable's physiology and powers, which have changed on numerous occasions due to the many different interpretations of the character that have been created by different writers at Marvel.
From the secret plot that led to his birth to the powers he gained as a result of fusing with Deadpool, here are the 15 Crazy Facts About Cable’s Body!
15 The Inconsistent Scars
Cable is meant to have a series of three scars over his right eye which forms a star-like pattern. The reason he has this scar is that he was first infected with the techno-organic virus at that point in his body.
The virus was eventually contained within his arm, but scars of the wound that caused the initial infection have lingered on.
Cable's scars (and the story behind them) have been portrayed inconsistently by the numerous artists who have worked for Marvel.
He was originally depicted with a single scar over his right eye, as the backstory concerning the techno-organic virus had yet to be established. As time went on, this scar changed into the more familiar one without explanation.
The artists have also occasionally screwed up which of Cable's eyes carries the scar. He is meant to have a scar over his right eye, while the left eye is the one that glows whenever he uses his powers. There have been some Marvel artists who have combined the two into one eye that glows, while the other looks normal.
Cable's scars were healed by Hope Summers when she purged the techno-organic virus from his body, though this didn't stick and he showed up later with the original star-like scar pattern again.
14 Cable Only Exists Due To One Of Mr. Sinister's Plots
Mister Sinister has been both an ally and an enemy to the X-Men in the past, as part of his ever-changing plan to become the master of genetics and create the perfect mutant.
He is obsessed with the potential of the DNA of the Summers family, especially the kind that belongs to Scott Summers. Minister Sinister also believes that the union of Scott Summers and Jean Grey could potentially create the most powerful mutant of all time.
The destruction of the Dark Phoenix threw a wrench in Mister Sinister's plan, as everyone believed that Jean Grey had taken her own life.
In order to continue his plans, Mister Sinister created a clone of Jean Grey and sent her to sleep with Scott Summers.
This clone was named Madelyne Pryor and she became Scott's wife, with the two of them having a child that they named Nathan Summers.
The reason why Mister Sinister was so obsessed with creating such a powerful mutant was due to Apocalypse. Sinister had gained his immortality and superpowers from Apocalypse and the two worked together for many years.
As time went on, Sinister realized that Apocalypse would destroy all life on Earth as part of his insane doctrine. Nathan Summers was created to be a foe strong enough to take Apocalypse down, which he eventually did in one of the many future timelines of the X-Men universe.
13 Cable Copied Deadpool's Healing Ability
Cable was once one of the most popular characters associated with the X-Men comic books. Times have changed, however, and he is now best-known for his partnership and numerous team-ups with Deadpool.
The massive popularity of the first Deadpool movie led to many fans predicting that Cable and X-Force would appear in the sequel, which could possibly springboard into their own movie series.
This was eventually proven true, as Cable is going to be one of the main characters in Deadpool 2, though it is still unclear how much of his backstory from the comics will make it into the film.
Cable was able to steal an important part of Deadpool's power set: his regeneration ability. Best of all, he was able to do it without it rotting his skin in the same way that it does to Deadpool.
Cable commonly uses a teleportation device to move around in a process he refers to as "bodysliding." Cable and Deadpool have accidentally fused together due to issues with bodysliding, which gave Cable access to Deadpool's amazing healing factor.
This took some of the pressure off of Cable's other powers, as his body gained the ability to hold off the techno-organic virus on its own and allowed him to use more of his telepathic and telekinetic capabilities.
12 Apocalypse Used The Techno-Organic Virus To Create Super Soldiers
The version of Apocalypse that ruled in the Age of Apocalypse storyline believed in the survival of the fittest, which meant that most of the soldiers in his employ were powerful mutants.
Apocalypse also had a few humans in his army, who had been altered by technology in order to become stronger. Matt Murdock was one example of this, as was given cybernetic implants in order to make him the perfect hunter.
The version of the Reavers that appeared in the Age of Apocalypse were humans who had been infected with the techno-organic virus.
This version of the virus wasn't fatal (like the one in the main universe) and actually granted several powerful abilities to those who submitted to it.
Donald Pierce was the leader of the Reavers (both in the Age of the Apocalypse and the regular continuity) and the techno-organic virus gave him the ability to regenerate from any wound and grow new limbs.
His associates had similar abilities, though they lacked Pierce's ruthlessness and skill in combat.
The Reavers were chosen to assassinate the Human High Council, as they wouldn't be detected by the genetic scanners that were intended to root out mutants who were trying to sneak into Europe. They would have succeeded in their mission if it weren't for the presence of Carol Danvers and Logan.
11 The Omega Level
The reason people are scared of mutants in the Marvel universe is that anyone can be one. The most unhinged person in the world may one day wake up with the ability to control minds or fire bolts of lightning out of their hands. There is no way to tell if someone is a mutant until it is too late.
There is a special category of mutant that is used to define those with the power to cause incredible damage with their abilities.
These are known as Omega-level mutants and their number consists of the likes of Exodus, Iceman, Legion, Mister Sinister, and Proteus.
Cable is considered to be an Omega-level mutant, thanks to his incredible telepathic and telekinetic abilities. This designation has usually only been used to describe Cable during the periods of time when he has been cured of the techno-organic virus, as his powers are needed to prevent it from taking over his body.
Nate Grey and Stryfe are also both considered to be Omega-level mutants for the same reason. They are considered to be even stronger than Cable, due to the fact that they never had to deal with the techno-organic virus.
10 The Techno Telepath
We put so much of our lives into computers that the idea of someone gaining full access to your passwords would essentially give them access to things like your correspondence, finances, and most intimate secrets that you have shared with other people.
There have been quite a few superheroes and villains who have possessed the ability to read the information on a computer in the same way that a telepath can read a mind. This ability is known as cyberpathy and it is one of the most frightening powers to have in a world based on a contemporary setting.
Cable once managed to tap into the mind of the most power cyberpath in the world and was able to use his abilities.
The mutant known as Black Box has the ability to hear and understand every electronic signal sent out in the world, which allowed him to amass the knowledge of the entire Internet, though he almost went mad in the process.
Cable used the power of the Dominus Objective (a device with a function similar to that of Black Box's powers) in order to link up with Black Box and gain incredible insight into the information that was being broadcast across the world at that moment in time.
9 The Rarely Used Growth Power
Cable's main two superpowers are telepathy and telekinesis, both of which he is extremely proficient in.
The thing about high-level telepathy and telekinesis is that they can often be used as a substitute for other powers.
Telepathy could be used to make yourself invisible by convincing the people around you that you aren't there, while telekinesis could give you the power of flight if you were able to use the effect on yourself.
Cable is able to use his telekinesis in many different ways, such as being able to use tactile telekinesis to increase his physical strength and speed. He was also proficient in using his telekinesis to alter states of matter, which he could use to disintegrate objects. Cable likely learned this ability through keeping the techno-organic virus at bay.
One of the most unusual applications of Cable's powers happened in the Soldier X series, as he was once able to increase his physical size to that of a giant, in order to scare off some enemy soldiers and cause a distraction.
It's unknown exactly how he did this, but it was likely another manifestation of his telekinetic ability to alter matter.
8 He Needs The Help Of The Shi'ar To Use His Time-Travel Abilities
Cable first traveled back to the timeline of Xavier's X-Men with the aid of a highly advanced space station that allowed him to teleport and travel through time. This station was called Graymalkin, which was named after the lane that Xavier's Academy was located on.
The technology aboard the Graymalkin gave Cable an almost unlimited ability to teleport across time & space, which he eventually lost when the station was partially destroyed. Magneto would later revive Graymalkin and turn it into Asteroid M.
It turns out that Cable didn't need the machines aboard Graymalkin to travel through time, as he possesses the ability to do it through the use of his mutant powers.
Cable's ability to time-travel became important during the Legion Quest storyline, as a warning message needed to be sent back to the past in order to prevent Legion from harming Magneto.
In order to tap into Cable's latent time-traveling ability, he needed the help of some Shi'ar technology in order to use it for even a few moments.
It's likely that these abilities were suppressed by the effects of the techno-organic virus, as so much of Cable's powers are dedicated to keeping it in check.
7 The Alien Origin Of His Condition
The reason why Cable had a metal arm for most of his appearances was due to the techno-organic virus, which he was infected with at a young age.
The techno-organic virus turns living flesh into organic metal. The virus is normally fatal, but Cable was saved as a child by the time-traveling entity known as the Askani, who had to take him to the future in order to stop the virus from spreading.
This meant that Cyclops had to give up his child in order to ensure that he would survive.
The techno-organic virus was created by a Mister Sinister as a means of assassinating Apocalypse. This plan failed and the virus fell into Apocalypse's hands.
The origins of the virus are actually alien in nature. The techno-organic virus is an artificial variant of the transmode virus, which was first created by the alien race called the Technarcy.
The Technarcy used the transmode virus to turn living creatures into organic machines, which was how they created more of their species. The most famous member of the Technarcy is Warlock, who became a member of the New Mutants.
A group of mutant-hating humans also managed to use the transmode virus to create their own version of the Technarcy, known as the Phalanx. It took an alliance between all of the X teams to take them down.
6 The Unchained Power Of X-Man
Cable is not as powerful as he should be, due to the fact that a portion of his psionic abilities is constantly keeping the techno-organic Virus in check. There have been times when he was cleared of his condition and his telepathic and telekinetic abilities had grown considerably as a result.
We were given a chance to see how powerful Cable would be if he hadn't been infected by the techno-organic Virus in the famous Age of Apocalypse storyline.
The Age of Apocalypse is another reality that was created when Legion went back in time to slay Magneto and accidentally took out Professor Xavier instead. This created a new reality where Apocalypse had taken over most of America and Magneto led the X-Men in a doomed rebellion against him.
The version of Mister Sinister that existed in the Age of Apocalypse became worried that Apocalypse would destroy the world. He created a clone made from the DNA of Scott Summers and Jean Grey, which would theoretically possess the power to defeat Apocalypse.
Mister Sinister's plan led to the creation of Nate Grey, who was one of the most powerful mutants of his world. Like Cable; Nate's powers manifested through his eyes and could be used to influence his own body, such as allowing him to fly.
Nate took on the name X-Man and aided Magneto during his final battle against Apocalypse, though he was sent to the main Marvel reality (thanks to a shard of the M'Kraan crystal) and became the star of his own series.
5 Cable Is One Of The Best Hand-To-Hand Combatants In The World
When Cable was first introduced as an adult, he appeared to be in his mid to late forties, making him older than his father in the era in which he reappeared.
Cable had spent almost his entire life in battle, due to the fact that he grew up in the future where Apocalypse had come into power.
When Apocalypse was dealt with, a power vacuum was created, which led to numerous other pretenders to his throne, including Stryfe, who was a clone of Cable that was intended to become the new host for Apocalypse.
The fact that Cable spent decades engaging in constant battles has turned him into one of the most fearsome warriors in the Marvel universe. He is one of the most skilled hand-to-hand combatants on Earth, as well as one of the most effective marksmen.
Cable rarely needs to use his mutant abilities to win fights.
Cable has defeated the likes of Captain America and Wolverine in melee combat, though both sides would fall back on their equipment went it seemed like they were losing the upper-hand.
Cable fighting Captain America is ironic, as he would become the wielder of Captain America's shield in the future timeline where he used it as a symbol of hope.
4 The Nathan & Nate Connection
Nate Grey was intended to be the Age of Apocalypse version of Cable. They were both born under similar circumstances and were both bred for the purpose of dealing with Apocalypse before he destroyed the world. The Cable comic book series was briefly supplanted by the X-Man limited series during the Age of Apocalypse.
Cable was one of the few Marvel characters to ever be given the chance to meet their Age of Apocalypse counterpart, as Nate Grey was transported to the main reality by a piece of the M'Kraan Crystal.
Nate would go on to become a fairly popular character and would have several team-ups with the X-Men and Spider-Man throughout his tenure as a superhero.
There was a strange connection between Cable and Nate Grey that appeared as soon as Nate arrived in the main Marvel universe. This is despite the fact that Cable is the child of Madelyne Pryor, while Nate was cloned directly from the DNA of Jean Grey.
When Cable and Nate first encountered each other, their minds linked up and shared knowledge of their lives to the other, causing tremendous pain for both of them.
This is due to how similar their minds and abilities are, which led to feedback from their powers. They were eventually able to overcome this problem and approach each other normally.
3 His Design Reflects Everything That Is Bad About Comic Books
The Rob Liefeld aesthetic was incredibly popular with the fans when it first debuted, hence the massive sales of the first issue of X-Force.
This refers to overly-muscled heroes carrying lots of guns and wearing outfits with lots of belts and pouches, while having extremely dumb '90s names, like Bloodwing and X-Cutioner.
The people within the comic book industry hated the Liefeld aesthetic, to the point where it has been ruthlessly parodied by numerous different artists and writers over the years.
The angriest parody of Cable belongs to one of the greatest DC comic book series of all time: Kingdom Come.
Kingdom Come shows a reality where the Joker is slain by a new hero, named Magog, in retaliation for the destruction of the staff of the Daily Bugle.
This causes Superman to quit being a superhero, only to return later when the world has gone to hell, as Magog's actions lead to Kansas being destroyed in a nuclear blast that takes the lives of over a million American citizens and radiates a large part of the country.
Magog was specifically designed to look like Cable and the reason for this was because Mark Waid and Alex Ross wanted him to represent everything that they hated about modern superhero designs.
2 The Terrible Fate Of Being Consumed By The Techno-Organic Virus
Cable was able to keep the techno-organic virus under control for most of his life, to the point where he could contain it within his left arm without it consuming any more of his flesh.
There were moments when he would lose control and the virus would claim more of his body, though he was always able to push it back to its original position.
Cable was totally consumed by the techno-organic virus in the Avengers: X-Sanction series, to the point where his entire body was transformed into metal, which gave him the appearance of a terminator.
Hope Summers was able to purge the techno-organic virus from his body, though it has returned in various forms since then.
We were given a brief glimpse into what would happen to Cable if the techno-organic virus was allowed to consume his body fully in the Earth X reality. This transformed him into a giant metal face, that was left beneath the Sentinel City in the Savage Land.
Cable reached out to Iron Maiden and helped her learn more about the nature of her powers. He mentioned that Sersi of the Eternals possessed the ability to restore his original body, but we do not find out if she ever learned of his condition and helped him.
1 The Summers Retcon
Cable's true identity was a mystery when he was first introduced. The idea that he was Nathan Summers was something that was revealed later and became part of several major storylines, as Cable's battles with Apocalypse and Stryfe in the present were linked to events that would not occur for thousands of years.
The original plan wasn't that he was the time-displaced son of Scott Summers, but that he was the future version of Samuel Guthrie, who is better-known as Cannonball.
Samuel Guthrie was once the leader of the New Mutants and he would go on to become a member of X-Force and the X-Men. It was revealed in the pages of X-Force that Guthrie was also an External, which is a small group of mutants who are immortal.
Rob Liefeld had originally planned for Cable to go back in time and become a mentor for Samuel Guthrie, without realizing that he was actually the older version of Guthrie, due to having his memory tampered with.
This was why it was established that Guthrie was immortal and practically invulnerable, which is something that is rarely brought up anymore.
The idea that Cable was Nathan Summers was revealed in the Cable miniseries that debuted in 1993. Cable originally believed that Stryfe was Nathan Summers and that he was the clone until Mister Sinister revealed the truth: that he was the original all along.
Can you think of any other interesting facts about Cable's body? Sound off in the comments!