Thursday, 20 November 2008

Twelve Vital X-Men Characters You Probably Don't Know

2: Cable

Who Is He?

I’m going to make this short, because frankly Cable’s past history is the most confusing thing to ever happen in comics. Clones are involved, as well as time-travel and robots and aging and de-aging and many, many other things which are incredibly disturbing and impossible to put together. Essentially, and this is going to be such a well-written and coherent section that future comic-readers will flock here in order to better understand their favourite character, Cable is a mutant. His real name is Nathan Summers, which makes him – you guessed it – another relation to Cyclops. His son, to be precise. And in this case, Cable’s parents both were characters who lived in the ‘616’ (that is, the regular) Marvel Universe. No alternate parents here! His dad is Cyclops, and his mother is called Madeleine Pryor, who was a clone of Jean Grey whom Scott married once the original died for the first time. Cable was taken to the future so he could grow up in peace, without being attacked by all the villains who always get in the way with the X-Men, and came back having grown to be about 40ish. He had a robotic arm, and could move things around with his mind, had a psychic shield, and carried very large guns indeed. He looked like this:

He’s sort of a badass. The flipside of his powers were that he has to use them to deactivate a virus which he was injected with as a baby, in order to stay alive. After he returned to the ‘present’, Cable defeated an evil clone of himself and took a place with the X-Men, fostering his own team whom he led and trained, called X-Force. After that, he went solo for a bit, and then he joined up with a character called Deadpool for a long time. Deadpool, of course, is insane, so that relationship was founded on bickering more than anything else. When that split up, Cable got in an incident and was presumed dead for a while.

Why Is He Important?

Should also mention that Cable isn’t averse to pulling double or triple-duties. While with Deadpool he also worked with a team of X-Men led by Rogue, and sided with Captain America during the Marvel Civil War event. Usually the only character allowed to be in so many different stories at once is Wolverine, so hopefully you’ll see that high esteem in which the company holds him. A lot of his appeal comes from his appearance and design – he carries ruddy huge guns, after all – but also from his personality, which is gruff but goldenhearted. As he is the son of Scott Summers, the leader of the X-Men, he’s been one of the main characters in most major X-Men stories by default. Inferno, X-Cutioner’s Song, and so on, are all stories which have centred on Cable and Cyclops. And it was in the most recent event storyline, Messiah Complex, in which Cable made a heroic return. Or at least, somewhat heroic.

The story was that, after The Scarlet Witch made it so no more mutants could be born… a mutant was born. And several different teams of characters went after the child, either to kill it (The Purifiers, The Reavers), study it (The Acolytes, The Marauders), or protect it (The X-Men). All five teams raced to Alaska to try and get to the child first, but they were all beaten to it, and started fighting each other in order to find out who had the kid. Well, and this is obviously a spoiler for the story, the person who had got to the baby first was Cable. At the end of the story, after several other twists and turns, Cable teleported away into the future, so he could raise the child in the same peace that he was raised in.

Y’with me? Basically, Cable is now raising the first mutant to be born since Wanda erased the mutant gene, which makes him possibly one of the most important characters in the Marvel Universe right now. Oh, and do you remember a few weeks ago, I told you about a character called Bishop? Well, that guy is now chasing Cable, because he wants to kill the child. So there you have that. The only thing keeping Cable from being known to the public, is that his backstory is so insanely complicated that no film-maker will probably ever want to touch it. Shame, that, because there’s a lot of potential there.

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