ByTom Bacon, writer at
I'm a film-and-TV fan who grew up with a deep love of superhero comics! Follow me on Twitter @TomABacon or on Facebook @tombaconsuperheroes!
Tom Bacon

The shining star of last year's superhero movies, Deadpool was a phenomenal success — and nobody was at all surprised when Fox greenlit a sequel! One of the first things we learned was that Deadpool 2 would introduce us to the Fox Universe version of another Robert Liefeld creation: the walking weapon-of-mass-destruction known as Cable. The bromance between Cable and Deadpool is the stuff of comic book legend, with Cable usually playing the straight man to Deadpool's inane jester. But there's one problem with Cable; his origin.

The Origin of Cable

[Credit: Marvel Comics]
[Credit: Marvel Comics]

In 1990, writer / artist Rob Liefeld was given the task of creating a new leader for Marvel's . The result was Cable — but unfortunately, when Liefeld created the character, he never bothered to think of an origin story. That meant that, over the years, Cable's story became ever more complex. No surprise; it was essentially written by committee.

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 franchise.

If this origin doesn't sound insane enough, the reality is that this was drip-fed as writers and editors made it up. Was Cable the clone, or was his arch-nemesis Stryfe? Why did Cable head back to the present day? Questions like these were put under the microscope countless times, with innumerable red herrings. Matters were made worse by behind-the-scenes drama, with a bunch of the X-Men staff abandoning to form Image Comics, and new writers and artists picking up the ball with very little time to plan out their longer-term strategies.

Introducing Cable to the X-Men Movies

Concept art for an old 'X-Force' project. [Credit: 20th Century Fox]
Concept art for an old 'X-Force' project. [Credit: 20th Century Fox]

We know that Cable is going to appear in , but how in the world do you adapt such a complicated history? Writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese recently explained their ideas in an interview with Collider, and they seem to be taking a leaf from Rob Liefeld's book. While they'll strive to keep Cable as comic-book-accurate as Deadpool himself was, they're going to avoid that origin story like the plague.

Wernick explained:

"So with Cable, he’s got such a convoluted past, and such a convoluted origin story that I think we’re going to try to leave that, not mysterious, but there are a lot of twists and turns, cloning and all this stuff where you go, “Oh my God. How do we get that across in a two hour movie?” 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."

They're right; the reality is that fans fell in love with the character of Cable before Marvel had even started working out his origin story, so that clearly shouldn't be an essential component of Deadpool 2. Frankly, if they tried to tell that origin, they'd end up with Cable pretty much taking over the entirety of the movie, which is supposed to be focused on Deadpool!

Of course, the fascinating problem is this: assuming Deadpool 2 at least hints at a comic-book-accurate origin, that adds a massive new element to Fox's developing continuity. Even assuming Fox simplifies the origin by having Cable be the son of Cyclops and Jean Grey, his existence still carries real implications for the future tentpole X-Men franchise (for example: if Cable is the son of Jean Grey, then she can't die in the next X-Men film, believed to be inspired by the "Dark Phoenix Saga").

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It's pretty clear that Wernick and Reese are making the right call with Cable's origin. That said, given the X-Men movies have never exactly been known for their consistent continuity, I admit that I can't help wondering just what havoc is about to be unleashed! We'll just have to wait for Deadpool 2 to find out...


Do you want to see Cable's origin in the Fox movies?

(Source: Collider; Poll Image Credit: Marvel Comics)


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