Fans have been waiting a long time to see Cable adapted for the live-action X-Men universe: There was a massive casting search, with everyone from Brad Pitt to former James Bond Pierce Brosnan being rumored for the role at one point or another. Avatar star Stephen Lang was also a longtime fan-favorite nominee for the role, so how does Brolin measure up, now that we are finally seeing him?
In terms of visuals, Brolin looks very much the part of Cable. The eye scar and bionic eye both look on point, and the picture makes sure to include teases of the bionic left hand, as well as the general bionic structure of his left abdomen and chest/neck area.
Where fans may have some criticisms (there are always a few) is with two aspects of the character, as depicted here:
- The haircut, which looks like a 1920s gangster's hairdo.
- The pose of the picture, which is a bit on the playful side, with Brolin giving a smirk with his shushing motion.
Fans who know anything about Cable know: fun times and playfulness are not what the character is about, even if it seems fitting for a Deadpool movie.
Last week, we got our first look at the X-Men movie version of Domino (Atlanta star Zazie Beetz); fan reactions to that image and its differences from the comic books have been buzzing ever since.
Cable made his first appearance under that name in New Mutant #87, but his history actually begins before that in the pages of Uncanny X-Men #201 with the first appearance of Nathan Christopher Summers. Nathan is the son of original X-Man Cyclops (Scott Summers) and Madelyne Pryor, a clone of Jean Grey (Cyclops didn’t know this at the time). The villain called Mr. Sinister had secretly been manipulating the Summers and Grey lineages over generations in order to breed a mutant powerful enough to defeat Apocalypse, and Nathan is that mutant.
During the Inferno event, Madelyne transformed into the demonic Goblin Queen and planned to sacrifice Nathan. Cyclops and Jean Grey rescued Nathan, but couldn’t stop the boy from being infected by Apocalypse’s techno-organic virus. They knew the only way to save Nathan was to send him into the future, where they would have the technology to treat the virus.
Scott gave Nathan over to the care of a mysterious woman called Mother Askani (secretly Nathan’s half-sister, Rachel Summers), who promised to raise Nathan in her future. It was in that future that Nathan was trained to use his mutant power of telekinesis to control the spread of the virus. Though it took constant concentration, so much so that Cable could barely use his powers for anything else, Nathan learned to contain the T-O virus in his left arm, giving it that distinctive, metallic look. With help from Cyclops and Jean Grey, Cable eventually defeats Apocalypse.
Having defeated Apocalypse in the future, Cable decided to travel back in time to prevent his nemesis from ever rising to power in the first place. When he arrives (in New Mutants #87), he takes over as leader and mentor of the Xavier School’s students, the New Mutants. With the help of Domino, Cable reforms the young mutant team into the paramilitary outfit called X-Force. It is during this era (New Mutants #98, specifically) that Deadpool makes his first appearance. Cable seems to recognize Wade, but this recognition isn’t fully explained for nearly 25 years (we’ll get to that).
With Apocalypse defeated, Cable entered a new stage of his life. He turned his spaceship home, Graymalkin, into an island nation called Providence and began teaming up with Deadpool on missions. Cable spent his time trying to make the world a better place, but his forceful methods would bring him into conflict with other heroes, including S.H.I.E.L.D. and the X-Men.
Eventually, Cable joined a team of X-Men led by Rogue. He was believed dead for a time, but reemerged during the events of the Messiah CompleX crossover as the sworn protector of Hope, the first mutant birth since M-Day depowered most of the mutant population.
Cable eventually fled to the future, where he hoped he could raise and train Hope to eventually return and save the present. Bishop followed, forcing Cable and Hope to be constantly on the run. Cable eventually brought Hope back to the present day, during the events of Second Coming, but apparently died when he was overcome by the T-O virus while using all of his power to hold open a portal to allow Wolverine’s X-Force team to return from the future.
It turned out that Cable survived the event and was thrust into the future. There he learned that Hope would die in an incident catalyzed by the Avengers. Cable travelled back in time to defeat the Avengers before they could cause whatever event would lead to Hope’s death, but his plan was foiled when Cyclops and Hope come to the Avengers’ aid. Afterwards, Hope absorbed Cable’s T-O virus, curing him and leaving his left side fully organic.
After the events of Avengers vs. X-Men, Cable formed a new X-force to help him proactively stop threats that he was being warned of in precognitive flashes. The mutant inventor Forge outfitted Cable with a new, robotic left arm that fit over his atrophied biological arm. Eventually, this X-Force would disband and reform when Hope became infected with a new and different techno-virus. Cable, himself infected with the same virus, began a routine of releasing clones of himself every time he died in combat or from the virus, and devoted all of his energy to saving Hope.
Most recently, the miniseries Deadpool & Cable: Split Second restored Cable to his original status quo and power level. Deadpool and Cable teamed up to prevent a time-travel assassination, but the story quickly shifted focus to Cable himself, whose frequent trips though time had begun cracking the fabric of space-time. Deadpool was tasked by a mysterious organization with travelling to all of Cable’s divergent timelines and killing him. Instead, Deadpool went to those timelines and saved Cable in each one, producing the same effect of unifying Cable’s timeline, saving the time stream, and explaining how Cable recognized Deadpool in his first appearance.
Cable’s adventures currently continue in the pages of Uncanny Avengers; he'll enter the X-Men movie universe in Deadpool 2, before possibly being involved in films like New Mutants or X-Force, down the line.
Deadpool 2 will be in theaters on June 1, 2018.