Deadpool was the unexpected hit of 2016, shocking fans and critics worldwide as it proved a phenomenal box office success. Nobody was surprised when Fox commissioned a sequel (due to release June 1st, 2018). No X-Men fan was surprised to learn that Cable himself would be joining the cast of Deadpool 2. As Tim Miller revealed (back when he was still involved with the film):
"Why he was put together with Deadpool… it’s the same reason we had Colossus; he’s a straight man. And I think Deadpool needs a straight man. Cable is the ultimate, archetypal, silent, strong and cynical warrior, which Deadpool is not."
Josh Brolin Is Officially Fox's Cable
In an exciting twist, Josh Brolin is doubling up on his Marvel roles! Not only is he playing Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, he's also now been cast as Cable in #Deadpool2. Fox is playing the long game, using Deadpool 2 as a launchpad for the inevitable #XForce movie. In light of this long game, they've signed Brolin up for no less than four movies!
It's an inspired casting choice, and even Cable's creator Rob Liefeld agrees; he's created a brilliant piece of artwork imagining just what Josh Brolin would look like playing the part.
But Who Is Cable?
Created by writer / artist Rob Liefeld and writer Louise Simonson back in 1990, Cable has become an iconic figure in #XMen comics. He was introduced as an enigmatic time-traveler who was battling to prevent an apocalyptic future. He became a mentor figure for a group of young mutants who he banded together as X-Force; he repeatedly clashed with the X-Men over his brutal (and frequently murderous) methods.
Behind the scenes, though, Marvel had introduced a character whose backstory had yet to be determined. As the years passed, Cable's history became increasingly head-spinning - he's easily the best example of the overly-complex continuity that plagued X-Men comics back in the 1990s!
To sum up: Cable is the son of Cyclops and a clone of Jean Grey, who was sent to the future to save his life from a techno-organic virus. In the future, he was cloned and raised as a revolutionary, dedicating his life to overthrowing of the monstrous villain Apocalypse. He became a time-traveling freedom fighter, ultimately arriving in the late twentieth century (for reasons that were never particularly clear), and became a mainstay of the X-Men franchise.
You see what I mean? Making matters even more confusing, Cable's backstory was drip-fed as writer and editors made it up. Was Cable the original Nathan Summers, or was he the clone? Why did he head back to the present day? Marvel made it up on the hoof, with countless red-herrings along the way!
Fortunately, Deadpool 2 writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese are choosing to avoid this insanely complicated origin. Wernick explained:
"I think we’re going to distill him down to his essence. It will be authentic and faithful, but it’s not going to include the 18,000 details if you were going to read a Wikipedia page about Cable you’d roll your eyes."
What Are Cable's Powers?
As the son of Cyclops and (a clone of) Jean Grey, Cable is a powerful telepath and telekinetic. He's one of a handful of mutants described as 'Omega Level' - an undefined term that indicates the most powerful mutants of all. Unfortunately, as a child his body was infected with a techno-organic virus that only his powers are able to hold in check. As a result, it's actually pretty rare to see Cable cut loose with all his telepathic and telekinetic might!
More often than not, Cable is portrayed as a powerful and skilled warrior who's been on the front lines of the action all his life. When push comes to shove, he typically carries an armory that would equal the combined armed forces of a small country. On top of this, Cable grew up destined to become the key player in an apocalyptic war, and he learned tactics and warfare the hard way.
How Is Cable Connected To Deadpool?
Back in 2004, Fabian Nicieza came up with one of the most popular ideas in X-Men history. He launched Cable & Deadpool, an unlikely team-up book that allied the messianic time-traveler with the Merc With A Mouth. Sure, these two gun-wielding warriors had been linked before, but Nicieza completely redefined their relationship. He gave them a bromance that became the stuff of legends, with #Deadpool adding wit and humor to Cable's life, while Cable routinely played the straight man to Deadpool's jester.
Rob Liefeld may have created Deadpool and Cable, but this was the book that really crafted the relationship between the two. They've been strongly linked in the minds of fans ever since, and it was frankly inevitable that Deadpool 2 would introduce Cable.
Excitingly, of course, Deadpool 2 will only mark Cable's first appearance - we're headed in the direction of X-Force, where Cable is sure to take on a central role. Deadpool 2 is also set to introduce us to Zazie Beetz's Domino, a character who's been a love-interest to both Cable and Deadpool. That's sure to add another fun dynamic to the film - and, of course, to X-Force...