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->Who The Fuck is That? He's a man outta time!
->Who The Fuck is That? He likes to fight crime!
->Who The Fuck is That? [[SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}} He hangs out with 'Pool]]!
->Who The Fuck is That? But he ain't a fool!
->He's Fuckin' Cable.
-->--''Videogame/{{Deadpool}}''

Cable is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by Creator/MarvelComics. The character first appeared in ''"The ComicBook/NewMutants''" #87 (March 1990), and was created by writer Louise Simonson and artist/co-writer Creator/RobLiefeld.

Cable, or [[OverlyLongName Nathan Christopher Charles Dayspring Askani'son Summers]], is a time-traveling soldier from the future who is here to prevent his [[BadFuture apocalyptic timeline]] from coming to pass. He is biologically the son of Comicbook/XMen Madelyne Pryor (a clone of ComicBook/JeanGrey) and Scott Summers, a.k.a. ComicBook/{{Cyclops}}, and the step-son of Jean Grey. As an infant, he first appeared in ''Uncanny X-Men'' #201 (January, 1986), though it took years for said infant and the time-traveling adult to be revealed as the same individual.

Thanks to the machinations of Mr. Sinister, he was born with a destiny--to kill ComicBook/{{Apocalypse}}. Not being an idiot, Apocalypse took steps to prevent this at an early stage by infecting Nathan with a special "[[UnwillingRoboticisation techno-organic virus]]" which severely limited his powers and would have killed him if his loving father and, uh, step-mother hadn't sent him 2,000 years into the future to be raised by his [[TangledFamilyTree alternate-universe sort-of-half-sister's]] all-female psychic death cult (it's okay--Scott and Jean spent their honeymoon living in cloned bodies in the future in order to raise little baby Nathan up to be a man).

Once he had grown into a grizzled old veteran, Nathan came back in time to the present in order to kill Apocalypse before he could conquer the world.

Now that Cable has accomplished his mission (repeatedly), he has become a man without a purpose; the character has been bounced around through a variety of new concepts. He's been a member of the X-Men more than once, [[ComicBook/CableAndDeadpool became a messiah figure]] and developed an OddFriendship with [[SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}} a certain psychotic katana-wielding mercenary]], then adopted and raised Hope, the first mutant born after the mass depowering, while traveling through time. After returning to the present with a teenaged Hope, Cable appeared to have made a HeroicSacrifice at the end of the Second Coming X-Men event but has [[UnexplainedRecovery since returned]]. His powers have fluctuated as well, regaining and losing both his techno-organic symbiote and his mutant powers.

Also has the notorious reputation as a GameBreaker in ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom2''. He's also a playable recruit in ''VideoGame/MarvelAvengersAlliance''.

Cable originally got his first ongoing solo series in 1993, which lasted 108 issues before it was cancelled and relaunched in 2002 as ''Soldier X'' that lasted for 12 issues. In 2004, Cable then appeared in the ''ComicBook/CableAndDeadpool'' series that lasted for 50 issues (the last 7 Cable didn't appear in due to the events of the ComicBook/XMen event, ''Messiah Complex''). In 2008 he received another solo ongoing that lasted 24 issues. In 2012 he returned in the ''Avengers: X-Sanction'' mini series and starred in a new series titled ''Cable and X-Force'', which was then followed with him starring in a new volume of ComicBook/XForce. More recently, he's been trapped in the past once again to join forces with [[ComicBook/UncannyAvengers the Unity Squad]], including his old pal Deadpool. He'll get a new title in the aftermath of the ''ComicBook/InhumansVsXMen''.

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!!This comic contains examples of:

* NinetiesAntiHero: Cable is probably the original; if not, he's certainly a major TropeCodifier. However, in a much later [[ComicBook/CableAndDeadpool subversion]] by Fabian Nicieza, he will apparently try to leave the territory entirely at times.
** Magog, the first villain of Mark Waid's ''ComicBook/KingdomCome'', was modeled on Cable's appearance. Waid threw out the design as an embodiment of [[TakeThat everything he hated about modern comics]], though he and Ross eventually admitted to a certain fondness for the guy.
%%* AmbiguouslyBi
* AntagonisticOffspring:
** His son, Tyler, aka Genesis, who was kidnapped by [[EvilUncle Stryfe]] spent several arcs making his father's life miserable before being killed by Wolverine.
** Stryfe himself is arguably this to Scott and Jean.
* AntiHero: Usually type a PragmaticHero, but introduced as type a UnscrupulousHero. (Sticking enemy heads on pikes as a warning, etc)
* {{Archenemy}}: Stryfe and Apocalypse.
* ArchNemesisDad: His son Tyler was turned against him by Stryfe.
* ArtificialLimbs: The [[AppliedPhlebotinum techno-organic virus]] has transformed most of the left half of his body into metal.
** [[spoiler:Even after being cured of the techno-organic virus a few times, he usually winds up losing one of his limbs and replacing it with cyber enhancements.]]
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: Marvel canon states that Cable is biologically the child of Jean Grey-Summers because his actual mother was her clone, Madelyne Pryor. In fact, Nate Grey (X-Man) is his ''ComicBook/AgeOfApocalypse'' counterpart, driving home the idea. However, [[ScienceMarchesOn modern science has discredited that possibility]]. Even if two individuals (such as twins or clones) are genetically parallel, they are not ''identical'', due to the epigenetic markers shaped by the individuals' unique environments. Even a clone that is produced on the spot will not be ''completely'' identical to its progenitor, no less producing the same sperm or egg cells which carry its genetic material.
* BadassBeard: Has sported one on a couple of occasions, but usually sports {{Perma Stubble}}[=/=]{{Perma Shave}}.
* BadassGrandpa: His exact age is hard to pin down due to the amount of time-traveling in his history; he was around 50 in his first appearances as an adult, and must be around (or over) ''70'' at this point after having raised Hope for 17 years on top of that. Being aged and deaged several times makes it a little complicated. He's still ''not'' someone you should mess around with.
* BashBrothers: Occasionally with Nate.
* BigBrotherInstinct: has a degree of this towards Nate, who... well, he doesn't like Cable very much, but in a very little brotherly 'get out of my life and leave me alone' sort of way, and they are more than willing to work together when required.
* BodyHorror: While Cable's body was still infected with the TO virus, he could become [[http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/77/204270-31903-cable_super.jpg hideously distorted]] if it was allowed to run unchecked. At one point in his childhood (as depicted in one issue of ''The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix''), he looked like something out of ''Film/TheThing1982''.
** One typical way of depicting him losing control of the virus was to have his left arm [[http://i.annihil.us/u/prod/marvel/i/mg/9/40/4bb5881d5c4c2/detail.jpg grotesquely]] [[http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/cable17.jpg deformed]]
** And let's not talk about [[AndIMustScream what happens to him]] in ''ComicBook/EarthX''...
* {{BFG}}: One of Cable's trademarks.
* ByronicHero: DependingOnTheWriter. When operating alone Cable has no problem using any means at his disposal to achieve his goals, such as torturing Captain America prior to AvX. But he has a habit of teaming up with morality pets to rein himself.
* CainAndAbel:
** Cable and Stryfe.
** Cable also has an Absalom thing going on with his son Tyler...or at least, he did, until Wolverine killed him.
* TheChosenOne: He's the messianic figure of the Askani
* CloningBlues: Stryfe (Cable's clone) and his mother Madelyne Pryor (Jean Grey's clone).
** [[spoiler:In the latest X-Force series, literally has to have a clone bred everyday with uploaded memories due to being exposed to a genetic virus that turns him and his clones into bombs that blow up at the end of every day.]]
* CockroachesWillRuleTheEarth: There's a storyline in Earth-80521 with a race of humanoid roaches; the Roach Soldiers, and they have their own president.
* CoolOldGuy: Cable's role in many comics.
* CurbStompBattle: In Cable's attempt to unite the world against him in a GenghisGambit, SHIELD and Reed Richards get nervous. So they call in [[spoiler:the ComicBook/SilverSurfer]] to take care of Cable. It... does not end well for Cable. This was a shocking event, given that [[spoiler:the Surfer]] generally does not get involved in Earth's affairs.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Cable's initial appearances.
* DuringTheWar: A lot of Cable's backstory comes from his conflicts in the future against Apocalypse and the [[MeaningfulName New Caananites]].
* EvilTwin: His clone Stryfe.
* FightsLikeANormal: He has powers (very strong ones) but they're largely ignored in favor of his really big guns.
* FutureBadass: He was born "in the present" - roughly five or six years ago in ComicBookTime - and sent to the future to save his life, then growing up to become a warrior and freedom fighter.
* FutureMeScaresMe: In ''ComicBook/UltimateXMen'', a different version of Cable is revealed to be [[spoiler:Wolverine from the future]], sans an arm. (Which Apocalypse tore off and used to fillet his face.).
* GeniusBruiser: He's a huge, intimidating man and a highly experienced, very dangerous warrior and soldier whom some accounts describe as having an intellect rivaling ''[[ComicBook/FantasticFour Reed Richards]]''. He also apparently has a law degree. When he reveals this, he makes an offhand comment about finding the New York bar exam laughably easy.
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: Well, one eye, anyway.
* GoodIsNotNice
* GuileHero: Pulled off some messed up actions sometimes balanced by his OmniscientMoralityLicense from being a time-traveller, to make sure the world doesn't lead to the future he grew up in. Such as turning everyone pink to eliminate racism and changing them back, showing KnightTemplar tendencies and playing up his [[MessianicArchetype role as a messianic figure]] when [[PowerCreepPowerSeep his powers were boosted]] to get the world's leaders to unite against a common enemy: himself. And later reviving his arch-enemy Apocalypse for the same reason when the mutant race threatened with extinction, in the aftermath of the Decimation Wave.
* HamAndDeadpanDuo: is often paired with Deadpool in teamups.
* HarmfulToMinors: Poor Hope lives in constant danger of this.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}}. They are extremely close despite Deadpool's personality being obnoxious even at the best of times, and Deadpool was the first person Cable pictured/made psychic contact with while trying to decide whether to blow himself up. They were genetically commingled, so that "one phone call" would have happened even without intent....And Cable needed to make that contact to manipulate Deadpool into doing the right thing.
* HypotheticalCasting: Watching ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' made Rob Liefeld wish on Twitter that Creator/StephenLang (Col. Quaritch) would play Cable in the ''Film/XMenFilmSeries''. Some of Cable's fans, and even Lang himself, wish the same.
* InformedAbility: In his early years, his telekinesis was so weak that he could only use it to move really small objects[[note]]it's theorized that his mutant power was originally a token power given him by the writers to justify Liefeld's "cyborg gunman" character leading the New Mutants[[/note]]. Later [[RetCon RetConned]] that he was probably the most powerful non-Phoenix telekinetic on Earth, but 99.9999999999% of his power was committed to holding back his techno-organic infection.
* ItsPersonal: Apocalypse and Stryfe have more or less killed everyone that Cable has ever loved.
* KnightOfCerebus: His first appearance in ''New Mutants'' marked the beginning of UsefulNotes/{{the Dark Age|of Comic Books}}.
* KnightTemplar: Cable continually verges on this.
* LighterAndSofter: Over time, he became this thanks to a burgeoning sense of heroism.
* LightningBruiser: Cable's not only huge, he's capable of reacting and moving at higher than normal speed, although it's not really {{Super Speed}} in the traditional sense.
* LoveInterest: His most important relathionship are with Domino and [[HotLibrarian Irene Merryweather]].
* MessianicArchetype: Cable is always like this but totally embraces this role in ''Cable and Deadpool.''
* MoralityPet: Hope; Sam Guthrie (Cannonball); Deadpool (!!).
** Cable and Deadpool seem to function as Morality Pets ''for each other.'' That's the weird part.
*** It could be read as Cable teaching Deadpool about morals and the like, but having to constantly change his own actions so he doesn't end up saying "Do as I say, not as I do.".
** Also [[ComicBook/XMan Nate Grey]], essentially his alternate counterpart, who Cable went to a great deal of effort to try and protect on the grounds that he saw him as having the chance to be his own man that Cable himself never did. Unfortunately, even being in each other's presence was painful for both of them, and Nate wasn't exactly the most trusting individual, having inherited his mother's HairTriggerTemper.
* OddFriendship: Part of the fun of ''Cable and Deadpool'' was the acknowledgement that the two had nothing in common and probably should be mortal enemies.
** Should be enemies? Deadpool debuted as Cable's enemy! Most of the defining aspects of each of their characters didn't get revealed until later, though.
* PapaWolf: Cable is very protective of the new mutant child Hope, raising her as his daughter.
* PlotRelevantAgeUp: Sent to the future as an infant - Returned a few decades older than his parents, before the point he was abducted.
* PowerLimiter: It's stated that Cable's inherent telepathic and telekinetic powers are almost off the charts, but he can very rarely use them to their fullest extent because the techno-organic virus that makes him a cyborg could completely consume him if he wasn't constantly, actively suppressing it. When he broke free of that, he could use his powers to their maximum... and promptly [[DePower burned them out with overuse]].
** Interestingly enough, he has two sets of powers and they ''both'' act as {{Power Limiter}}s to ''each other''. His techno-organic virus has been compared to the virus that created the Phalanx, a HiveMind behind a CrisisCrossover. Phalanx members and a few rare {{Phlebotinum Rebel}}s have shapeshifting powers and {{technopathy}}, and both abilities can be seen in Cable in minor ways: whenever his psychic powers are overtaxed his metal body parts physically grow and start to take over the rest, and he can physically interface with machines. If the virus ever really consumed Cable, his Phalanx-like abilities would be used to their fullest... but presumably he would be patient zero for [[TheVirus a serious threat]].
*** The result of Cable becoming the virus was actually shown in an AU that Deadpool hopped into while he was looking for Cable - it's where the infamous "tentacle scene" comes from.
** [[ComicBook/XMan Nate Grey a.k.a. X-Man]] is the ultimate example of what Cable is capable of without the virus -- he's "the ultimate telepath and telekinetic", "the most powerful psychic in any reality" and comparable to Dark Phoenix even at the age of 17. And this last was said when he was only approaching his full power. By the time he got a full handle on his powers, he was capable of resurrecting himself at will, treating the multiverse as his personal stepladder, stepping outside of time, and being compared by Norman Osborn to Dark Reign era Sentry in terms of raw power (with whom, incidentally, he might have previously taken on Galactus. While Nate could have been lying, his dialogue suggests that he was telling the truth). A possible future showed a fight between Nate and an evil Cable. It wiped out half the planet.
* PsychicPowers: He's both a telepath and a telekinetic. His power levels varies according to the needs of the plot, usually involving his techno-organic virus.
* RedHerring: At the start of ''X-Force'', false hints were dropped that Cable and his arch-enemy Stryfe might be the same person (they use a bunch of the same catchphrases, and Stryfe removes his helmet for the first time showing readers that [[CloningBlues he has the same face as Cable]]), playing X-Force and the [=MLF=] against each other for some reason.
* ReedRichardsIsUseless: The main theme of the David Tischman run was averting this trope, with Cable using his godlike powers to solve real-world problems like terrorism and ethnic conflicts (albeit with decidedly comic-booky twists like [[ThePlague super-plagues]] and [[CloningBlues clones]]).
* RememberTheNewGuy: Cable was introduced in the 1990's, but once he was introduced he was treated as though he had been known for a long time. Justified mostly by TimeTravel.
* RuggedScar: Has a scar (or several, DependingOnTheArtist) over his right eye. It serves to show that he's a FutureBadass from a BadFuture, although his early appearances played up the gruff aspects of his character as well.
* SignatureScent: According to Comicbook/{{Sabretooth}}, he smells of gunpowder and Old Spice.
* SociopathicHero: In his original portrayal. Louise Simonson made a personal statement that this was to introduce a "constructive" youth role model teacher counter to Xavier's "whiny" idealism. He was later clarified as trying to prevent the engineering of an apocalyptic warzone... Then Nicieza turned him into a more moral character instead, and nowadays he seems like a much tamer "general non-bloodcrazed soldier" version of the original.
* StatusQuoIsGod: No matter what changes are made to Cable, be it killing his archenemy, getting a new power, curing himself of the techno-organic virus, getting weapons other than guns, etc. He always comes back to being a white haired, time tossed soldier with the {{BFG}} and metal arm.
* TangledFamilyTree: Cable is a member of the Summers family, and contributes a lot to the complexity of said family tree. His biological parents are Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor (a clone of Jean Grey), he grew up in the future, was raised by Scott and Jean [[MentalTimeTravel inhabiting the bodies]] of people from that period as arranged by his sister from a different future timeline, returned to the present before he was born (or [[TimeTravelTenseTrouble maybe slightly after]], and [[CasualTimeTravel then went back even further]]), and, as of 2011, he seems to have [[spoiler: acted as adoptive parent to the reincarnation of]] Jean Grey (in ''another'' future timeline). He's not [[MyOwnGrandpa His Own Grandfather]], but he might as well be.
* {{Technopath}}: he was this for a little while, when the techno-organic virus got stronger.
* TeleFrag: A problem that Cable has occasionally suffered from.
* TimeyWimeyBall: He's older than his father, mother and step-mother, all thanks to time travel.
* UncannyFamilyResemblance: one alternate reality comic set in the future shows that ComicBook/XMan will grow up to look exactly like Cable, to the point where an elderly Sunfire mistakes him for Cable. Conversely, a de-aged Cable in ''ComicBook/CableAndDeadpool'' looks ''exactly'' like ComicBook/XMan, SkunkStripe and all.
* UsedToBeASweetKid: Back when he was just little Nate Summers. It's been a long time since then.
* WalkingTheEarth: Cable does this whenever the pressures of being a time traveling demigod get to him.

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