Cable (comics)

From Academic Kids

Template:Superherobox Cable (Nathan Christopher Summers, also called "Dayspring" and "Askani'Son") is a Marvel Comics superhero, associated with the X-Men and X-Force. He first appeared in The New Mutants #87 (1990).

Cable is often credited as a Rob Liefeld creation, and though Liefeld is responsible for the character's visual design and many of his characteristics, the character was originally conceived (as "Commander X") by Marvel editor Bob Harras and writer Louise Simonson. Other important elements of the character, such as his true identity as Nathan Summers, were later introduced by writer Fabian Nicieza.

A mysterious cyborg, Cable became the leader of the New Mutants, a junior X-Men team. After the New Mutants developed into the harder-edged X-Force in 1991, Cable became one of the most popular superheroes of the 1990s and graduated to his own series in 1993.

However, many comic book fans criticized him as a gun-toting, anti-hero cliché, a critique of several Liefeld-created characters. The writers of various X-Books attempted to flesh out his mythos, revealing him to be the time-traveling son of the X-Men’s Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor, as well as a mutant with great telepathic and telekinetic powers.

In the late 1990s, his popularity waned, despite a brief stint in the X-Men in 2000. His series was remodeled as Soldier X in 2002 to critical panning and cancelled in 2003 as a result. He is now featured in Cable and Deadpool, pairing him with another of Liefeld's X-Force characters.


Character history


Missing image
Cable as a very young child in his own telekinetic forcefield, before becoming infected with the T-O virus
Cable was born Christopher Charles Summers, the child of Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Madelyne Pryor (Madelyne Pryor was later revealed to be a clone of Jean Grey, created by Mister Sinister for the express purpose of mating her with Scott to create Cable. It was she who dubbed him "Nathan," in order to taunt Scott by reminding him of a childhood bully, as she prepared to sacrifice him before the X-Men and X-Factor saved him). Sinister carefully orchestrated Cable's birth, planning to use him as a weapon against his hated master, Apocalypse. Unfortunately, Apocalypse learned of this treachery, and infected the child with a techno-organic ("T-O") virus that would slowly kill him.

When Apocalypse was defeated on the Moon, a woman from the future appeared to Cyclops. Calling herself Askani, she told him that the only way to save his son would be for her to take him into the far future.


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Cable from X-Force #7. Art by Rob Liefeld

In the future, Mother Askani (a time-displaced Rachel Summers) had the child cloned, in case Nathan succumbed to the T-O virus. Minions of Apocalypse attacked and stole the clone, whom Apocalypse raised as his heir, Stryfe.

Using her chronoskimming power for the last time, Rachel pulled the minds of Scott and Jean into the future, where (as "Slym" and "Redd") they raised Cable for twelve years. During their time together, the "family" prevented Apocalypse from transferring his essence into a new body, ending his reign of terror.

The vacuum of power was filled by a group called the New Canaanites, led by Stryfe. Cable was arrested, and learned from fellow inmate Blaquesmith where to find the last enclave of the Askani. Blaquesmith helped him escape, and Cable joined the Askani resistance against Stryfe and the New Canaanites.


When Stryfe travelled to the 1990s, Cable followed him, with the aim of stopping Stryfe's plans as well as preventing Apocalypse's rise to power. Cable formed a group initially called the Wild Pack, but conflict with Silver Sable (who already had a group called the Wild Pack) forced him to change the name to the Six Pack. Cable travelled between the 1990s and his future with his ship Graymalkin, which contained a sentient computer program called Professor (the future version of the program built into X-Factor's Ship).

The Six Pack performed missions for "Mr. Tolliver," which put the group in direct conflict with Stryfe. In their last mission, Cable and the Pack confronted Stryfe, but they refused to fight because they weren't getting paid. Cable did not listen, and even when Stryfe threatened the lives of his comrades, Cable did not back down. He abandoned his team in an underground base in order to follow Stryfe, which resulted in Hammer becoming paralysed from the neck down, and Garrison Kane's bionic limbs being ripped off.

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Foreground: Cable. Background, L-R: Cyclops, Professor X, Jean Grey, Domino, Blaquesmith (stooping). Cover to Cable #29, by Ian Churchill and Scott Hanna.

New Mutants/X-Force

Cable came into conflict with Stryfe's Mutant Liberation Front, the United States government, and Freedom Force. The New Mutants intervened, and Cable saw them as potential soldiers in his war against Stryfe. He became their new leader, outfitted them, and renamed the team X-Force. [The New Mutants #87-100]

Cable rescued Domino from a year of imprisonment, and learned from Kane that Stryfe was apparently his identical twin. In return, Cable took Kane to the future and had him outfitted with bionics to restore his functionality.

Stryfe attacked Professor X while posing as Cable, initiating a series of momentous events. starting the X-Cutioner's Song event. When Cable returned from the future, he found that nearly every super-powered force on the planet was after him, including multiple X-teams. After convincing Wolverine and Bishop of his innocence, Cable battled Stryfe on the Moon, culminating in a temporal explosion that seemed to kill them both. "X-Cutioner's Song" crossover

Cable reappeared in the Clan Chosen future, with Stryfe's consciousness riding along in his mind. He destroyed the New Caananites' time travel device and returned to the present to confront the consequences of the X-Cutioner's song and learned from Mister Sinister that Stryfe was his clone, and not the other way around (as Stryfe had told him).

Cable eventually fulfilled his destiny and killed Apocalypse using a "Psimitar". His purpose in life (as Sinister had ordained it) now completed, Cable rescued Rachel Summers from an alternate future where she had become trapped, then became a globe-traveling mercenary dubbed "Soldier X" for a short time.


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Cover to Cable & Deadpool #7, with Deadpool behind. Art by Patrick Zircher
Recently, however, Cable achieved the peak of his powers. Knowing this could not last long before he burned out as X-Man almost did at those power levels, he arranged for what he thought would be the best thing he could do in his last days. He recreated his long-destroyed spaceship Greymalkin as the airborne city of Providence. Although a mishap meant that the teleportation matrix on board registered Deadpool as him, meaning that he could not use it without taking Deadpool with him (and Deadpool could trigger a "Bodyslide" too), he continued with his plan to espouse a philosophy of moderation, and offering invitations to the world's top thinkers, scientists and philosophers to live on Providence. Delivering a stark message to the world's leaders, he deliberately set them all against him by threatening to throw all their missiles into the sun. Meanwhile, the X-Men, including his father Cyclops, hired Deadpool to put together the pieces of a mini-teleporter that they could use to stop him without quite knowing what it was. After they mounted an attack on Providence, Cable confessed to Deadpool, after DP had declined to play his role and disable him, that he'd wanted him to kill him, expanding on this to Cyclops that he knew he was about to burn out and wanted to set an example of how the world could work together, even if it was against him. However, the Silver Surfer, called by the Fantastic Four, saw his "passion" and, disturbed by it, defeated him in battle and ripped the techno-organic tissue from his body, disabling him. As Providence (supported by Cable's TK) prepared to crash into the ocean, Deadpool teleported to one of Cable's safehouses with him and, at his prompting, used the teleporter to lobotomise him to save him from burning out, giving him a few seconds to lower Providence gently into the ocean and give a final message to the world.

While he was left in a coma, and with many people around the globe now referring to him as "the Saviour" and applications to immigrate to Providence going through the roof, Deadpool hired the Fixer to bond benign techno-organic mesh to Cable, saving him, although he remains hugely depowered.

Powers and abilities

Cable formerly possessed high-level telepathy and telekinesis, which his use of was highly limited by his need to constantly use his telekinesis to retard his techno-organic infection. Currently, after his lobotomy and replacement of the T-O-infected tissue with benign techno-organic tissue, he possesses only very limited telepathy and telekinesis.

He also had the potential for astral time-travel, much as Rachel Summers had. However, he has only used this once, and then under great strain and with help. Whether or not he retains this after his lobotomy is unknown.

He is trained in the use of many futuristic and conventional firearms, as well as guerrilla tactics.

His left eye glows, for some reason related to his mutant powers (quite possibly as a vestigal result of his father's genes). Nate Grey (X-Man) shares this feature.

Appearances in other media

Cable made a regular appearance in the X-Men animated series. Most notable episodes were Time Fugitives, where Cable travels back in time to stop Bishop from stopping an assassination of the president by the mutant Mystique.

External links


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