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Summary

  • Cable’s origin in the comics differs from his big-screen debut, with complex relationships and a clone mother.
  • The techno-organic virus, a result of Apocalypse’s plan, led to Cable’s complicated history and powers.
  • Cable’s time-travel adventures, including defeating the Avengers and reconciling with Cyclops, showcase his complex character.
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Movie fans got to know Cable when he made his big-screen debut in Deadpool 2. His origin was pretty much out of the comics, with Cable living in a future that was destroyed, so he returned to the present-day to keep it from happening again. However, who he was targeting and why was completely different from the Cable in Marvel Comics.

Cable in Marvel Comics also returned from the future, but he ended up taking over the leadership of the New Mutants and had a very conflicted relationship with his dad, who happened to be the X-Men founding member Cyclops. There were several other changes, which makes Cable one of the most complicated mutants to ever work alongside the X-Men. This complicated history has also given him a complicated morality, which has at times led him to fight against the heroes of this age.

15 His Mother Was A Clone

Cable #6 by Fabian Nicieza, Dwayne Turner, Jon Holdredge, Harry Candelario, Marie Javins, and Chris Eliopoulos

Madelyne Pryor unleashing her mutant powers in X-Men comics.

Cable was actually born in the mainstream Earth-616 Marvel Universe. He was the son of Scott Summers, the X-Men known as Cyclops, and his wife Madelyne Pryor. The story here is that Jean Grey died when she sacrificed herself to stop the Phoenix and Scott left the X-Men and met a woman who looked just like Jean.

The two married and had a baby boy in Nathaniel Summers. However, the truth was that Madelyne was a clone of Jean, created by Mister Sinister to hopefully have a baby with Scott that could one day become the world’s most powerful mutant.

14 He Developed The Techo-Organic Virus

X-Factor #68 by Whilce Partacio, Jim Lee, Chris Claremont, Art Thibert, Dana Moreshead, and Michael Heisler

Cable of the X-Men coming to battle with guns.

After Cyclops learned Jean Grey wasn’t dead, he returned to her and left Madelyne and Nathan behind. When he finally returned, they were gone and this all led to Madelyne learning she was a clone and turning evil. In the end, Scott and Jean got Nathan and began to raise him as their own. The problem is that Apocalypse showed up and infectedCable with the techno-organic virus. It would kill him and there was no cure. But Apocalypse only did this, so Cable could later give Apocalypse the techno-organic virus in the future, due to time travel.

13 Cyclops Sent Him To The Future To Save Him

X-Factor #68 by Whilce Partacio, Jim Lee, Chris Claremont, Art Thibert, Dana Moreshead, and Michael Heisler

Cyclops firing an optic blast into the sky.

The origin of Cable began after his father, Scott Summers, made the most difficult decision of his life. Scott knew his son would die if he remained here, and he met a time traveler from 2,000 years in the future who said that Nathan would become a savior in the future.

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Scott made the decision to send Cable into the future, where there was a cure, but also knowing he would never see Nathan again. Cable would meet his dad when he returned via time travel, and he hated his father for abandoning him.

12 He Had A Clone ‘Brother’ Named Stryfe

New Mutants #87 by Louise Simonson, Rob Lifeld, Bob Wiacek, Mike Rockwitz, and Joe Rosen

Nathan was too far gone so they cloned him to have a backup plan if he died

The future that Scott sent Cable to was one that Apocalypse ruled over. Still a child, Nathan was taken and protected as the eventual savior of their world. While the time traveler had promised a cure, when he arrived, Nathan was too far gone, so they cloned him to have a backup plan if he died.

Nathan lived, but so did his clone. That is when the Canaanites attacked and Cable was rushed to safety. Apocalypse showed up, claimed the clone – thinking it was the same Nathan he infected in the past – and took him to raise as his own. This was the supervillain Stryfe, whom Cable has fought ever since.

11 He Has Another Clone Brother Named Nate Grey

X-Man #1 by Jeph Loeb, Steve Skroce, Mike Sellers, Carn Smith, Bud Larosa, Will Conrad, Mike Thomas, and Comicraft

Marvel Comics' X-Man aka Nate Grey.

Stryfe was a direct clone of Cable, but Nate was something different. Nate Grey was a man created by Mr. Sinister using the genetic makeup of Scott Summers and Jean Grey. Sinister did this, during a rare heroic period, to try and create a hero capable of killing Apocalypse. This was all done in the timeline known as the Age of Apocalypse. While Nate isn’t a clone of Cable, the fact Cable is the son of Scott and Madelyne and Nate has the DNA of Scott and Jean, they’re essentially brothers. Just alternate versions of the same character.

10 Cable Nearly Defeated The Avengers By Himself

Avengers: X-Sanction #1 by Jeph Loeb, Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines, Morry Hollowell, and Albert Deschesne

Cable has traveled through time a lot. He’s also been to alternate timelines, all of this can result in Cable getting a little confused. During one such time traveling adventure, Cable comes to believe that the Avengers will eventually be responsible for the death of his daughter. Not wanting that to happen, he travels back in time and systemically takes down each Avenger one by one. Eventually, this problem is resolved when Cyclops arrives, with Cable’s daughter in tow. Eventually, Cable’s daughter is able to help free the Avengers, and together they bring Cable down.

9 Cable Nearly Dated One Of His Father’s Ex-Girlfriends

Cable #12 by Scott Lobdell, Glenn Herdling, Mike Miller, Will Conrad, Scott Hanna, Mike Sellers, Marie Javins, Richard Starkings, and Comicraft

Cable Meets Lee Forresstor

Cyclops has had tons of love interests over the years. He’s most famously been with either Jean Grey or Emma Frost, but one of his lesser-known love interests was Lee Forrester. During one of his many times quitting the X-Men, Cyclops met Lee Forrester when he signed up to join her fishing crew. The two grew close and Lee even fell in love with Scott. Unfortunately, Scott’s superheroics terrified Lee, and she asked him to choose between her and the X-Men. Unfortunately for her, he chose the X-Men. Much later, Lee would run into Cable, and having no idea they were related, started to get physically close to him, but ultimately nothing came of it.

Lee Forrester also briefly fell in love with Magneto!

8 Cable Is An Omega-Level Mutant

Uncanny Avengers #19 by Gerry Duggan, Pepe Larraz, Rodrigo Zayas, Dono Sanchez-Almara, and Clayton Cowles

Mister Sinister’s goal when he created Madelyne Pryor was to create the world’s most powerful mutant through Scott Summers and Jean Grey’s clone. He got a little more than he bargained for with Cable. The powers of Cable make him an Omega-level mutant who was once the world’s greatest telepath before his powers burned out.

While documents in Krakoa call him an Alpha-level mutant, Red Skull refers to him as an Omega-level, and his powers are stronger as an adult than as the teenage version that lived in Krakoa. Rachel Summers also said that Cable would be the highest-level psionic mutant in the world at the peak of his powers.

7 Cable Formed X-Force

New Mutants #100 by Rob Lifeld, Fabian Nicieza, Rob Liefeld, Brad Vancata, and Joe Rosen

Cable's X-Force team standing at attention.

When Cable returned to the main timeline, he set out to make the world a better place than the one his father sent him to. In order to do this, he began to train the New Mutants, taking over leadership of that team when Professor X left Magneto in charge of the X-Men.

Soon, Cable realized he needed to have a team that was more proactive and deadly and built a new team out of the New Mutants known as X-Force. This was the first mutant black-ops team in comics and Cable was its leader.

6 Cable Was Lobotomized By Deadpool

Cable & Deadpool #10 by Fabian Nicieza, Patrick Zircher, Rob Ross, M3th, Gotham Studios, and Cory Petit

Cable Is Lobotomized By Deadpool

Cable has been to the future several times, and he’s even saved a few versions of it. This has resulted in Cable having a bit of a God complex sometimes. Seeing the state of the world, he decided to announce to the world governments that if they didn’t declare world peace, he would simply take all of their nuclear weaponry and toss them into the sun. Naturally, this scared the leaders of the world and they tried to take Cable down. This was revealed to be Cable’s master plan, he was trying to get the governments of the world to unite against a single enemy, in the hope that they’d realize they could work together. Unfortunately, it didn’t really pan out. In the end, Deadpool uses a device to lobotomize Cable, removing the majority of his psychic powers.

This is one of the few times Cable seems to respect Deadpool as a true friend.

5 Cable Reconciled With Cyclops Before His Marriage To Jean Grey

Uncanny X-Men #310 by Scott Lobdell, John Romita Jr, Dan Green, Steve Buccellato, and Chris Eliopoulos.

Cylcops holding a drink and talking to Cable.

Cyclops and Cable never had a good relationship. When Cable returned, he hated his father, believing he abandoned him and didn’t care. Cyclops never considered Cable to be his son Nathan since so many years had passed and Cable returned even older than his father.

However, things changed right before Cyclops got married to Jean Grey. Cable was in the X-Men mansion and found a video that showed Scott when he sent Nathan into the future. He watched his dad break down and saw how it shattered Scott to lose his son. At that moment, Cable’s hate disappeared and he shared a moment with his dad before the big Marvel wedding.

Cable and Cyclops relationship will always be a bit rocky, but this was their first step to being a true father and son pair.

4 Cable Developed A Precog Power

Cable and X-Force #14 by Dennis Hallum, Salvador Larroca, Frank D’Armata, and Joe Sabino

Cable holding a big gun on his shoulder.

X-Force went through many iterations over the years, and there was one point where Cable reunited the team when he developed a brand-new power. Cable had tried to kill the Avengers, who he believed presented a threat to Hope Summers, but Hope stopped him and finally completely healed him of the techno-organic virus.

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The cure came with new powers, as Cable became a precog. When he reformed X-Force, he had them set out to stop the bad things he saw happening in the future, which, unfortunately, made them look like terrorists.

3 Cable Defeated And Revived Apocalypse

Cable & Deadpool #26 by Fabian Nicieza, Lan Medina, Ed Tadeo, Gotham, and Cory Petit

Cable in battle with Apocalypse.

Nathan Summers became Cable because Apocalypse infected him with the techno-organic virus. Cable ended up being transported into a future where he went on to battle the forces of Apocalypse, which also resulted in his greatest enemy Styfe’s birth. However, Cable knew the mutants needed Apocalypse.

Cable had defeated Apocalypse and eliminated his threat once and for all. However, after House of M, Cable resurrected Apocalypse using the techno-organic virus and he did it to give all mutants a common foe to battle, believing it would unite them and they would be stronger after beating him. It wasn’t Cable’s best plan.

2 An Alternate Universe Version Of Cable Was Revealed To Be Wolverine

Ultimate X-Men #75 by Robert Kirkman, Ben Oliver, Jason Keith, and Joe Caramagna

Cable Is Revealed To Be Another Version Of Wolverine

It’s not unusual for superheroes to swap identities now and again, but it was quite a shock when, in the Ultimate Universe, the X-Men are attacked by a mysterious assassin with advanced weaponry. This version of Cable was eventually discovered to be none other than Wolverine from thirty years in the future. While Wolverine has always been a deadly opponent, this version of Wolverine is far stronger as Cable. Having lived without his healing factor, this version of Wolverine has become significantly more brutal. The X-Men were eventually able to defeat Apocalypse, which resulted in this version of Wolverine never coming into existence, but it was still wild that he existed at all.

1 Teenage Cable Murdered His Older Self

Extermination #1 by Ed Brisson, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, Joe Sabino.

Kid Cable preparing to use his psychic powers in battle.

When the time-displaced X-Men were stuck in the present day, a mysterious figure started trying to kill them. This turned out to be Cable, but it wasn’t the Cable everyone knew. This was a young Cable from the future, tasked with fixing the timelines. He was told that his older self was failing in protecting the timelines.

After Kid Cable resurrected his father, Cyclops, he then sought out and murdered his older self and took his place in this timeline. This story ended in 2021 when Stryfe returned and Kid Cable had Krakoa resurrect his older self to help beat him. After this, Kid Cable returned to the future to continue his battles.



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