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Nathan Christoper Charles Summers
The son of Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor (Jean Grey's clone), Nathan Summers was sent to the future as a child to save him from a techno-organic virus he'd been afflicted with, with the understanding that his parents would never see him again. In actuality, Scott and Jean soon followed him thanks to the machinations of Sister Askani, and raised him under the guises of Slym and Redd Dayspring, which is where Nate got his surname. Eventually, Cable would travel back to the past — in actuality his native era — as a grizzled soldier, start up Six Pack, mentor the New Mutants, reform them into X-Force and butt heads with and later join the X-Men — also reconciling with his parents along the way.
Being anything from wanderer to mercenary to mutant messiah, Cable is always willing to be what the world needs him to be, even if the world itself turns against him.
Cable provides examples of:
- '90s Anti-Hero: Cable is probably the original; if not, he's certainly a major Trope Codifier. However, in a much later subversion by Fabian Nicieza, he will apparently try to leave the territory entirely at times.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: Magog, The Heavy of Alex Ross's Kingdom Come, was modeled on Cable's appearance. Ross threw out the design as an embodiment of everything he hated about modern comics, though he and Waid eventually admitted to growing a certain fondness for the guy.
- Ambiguously Bi: Not at all for the first 15 or so years of his existence, then it was added in, though only in his interactions with Deadpool.
- Anti-Hero: Usually type a Pragmatic Hero, but introduced as type a Unscrupulous Hero. (Sticking enemy heads on pikes as a warning, etc).
- Archenemy: Stryfe and Apocalypse. Also Bishop, during the man's "gotta kill Hope" phase.
- Arch Nemesis Dad: His son Tyler was turned against him by Stryfe.
- Artificial Limbs: The techno-organic virus has transformed most of the left half of his body into metal.
- Artistic License Biology: 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 Age of Apocalypse counterpart, driving home the idea. However, 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. The comics have acknowledged this indirectly by having Cable refer to Nate Grey in passing as "my half-brother."
- Badass Beard: Has sported one on a couple of occasions, but usually sports Perma-Stubble/Perma-Shave.
- Bash Brothers: Occasionally with Nate Grey.
- Big Brother Instinct: 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 he does eventually (if somewhat grudgingly) warm up to Cable. Even before that, they are more than willing to work together when required. Inverted with Rachel, who is his older sister (well, the"older" itself is squiffy with all the time travel and deaging), but they still are very protective of one another.
- The Big Guy: At 6'8" and a whopping 350 lbs of muscle Cable is among the largest of X-Men. And is capable of altering his size with his powers, growing into a literal giant.
- BFG: One of Cable's trademarks.
- Blue Is Heroic: Blue is his recurring superhero color for his uniforms and armor, either on it's own or combined with yellow.
- Body Horror: Whenever he loses the ability to keep the T-O virus in check this is the result. Stryfe in particular loves to torment him with this.
- Byronic Hero: Depending on the Writer. When operating alone Cable has no problem using any means at his disposal to achieve his goals, such as torturing Captain America prior to Avengers vs. X-Men. However, he recognises this, and has a habit of teaming up with morality pets to rein himself in.
- The Cassandra: During Civil War, he tried telling the president of the US that the Superhuman Registration Act was a bad thing, and it'd eventually lead to a police state. The president's reaction? "Not my problem." Then he sicced Deadpool on Cable.
- The Chosen One: He's the messianic figure of the Askani.
- Comic Book Death: It happens. He's an X-Person after all. In 1993's X-Cutioner's Song him and Stryfe are apparently killed during a climactic battle on the moon, but reappeared again soon after. X-Men vol 2 issue 204 has him supposedly blow himself up to stop the Marauders getting at his database. He popped up again partway through the Messiah CompleX storyline a few months later. And at the end of Second Coming in 2010, he blew up trying to hold a time-portal open. He got better from that one, too. He was also murdered by his younger self during the 2018 Extermination event. Time will tell if, or when he recovers from it.
- The Comically Serious: When paired up with Deadpool. Or sometimes just in the same room as Deadpool.Captain America: (after having beaten up Deadpool) What do you suggest?
Cable: Duct tape. Lots of duct tape. At least a roll of it for his mouth.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: In Cable's attempt to unite the world against him in a Genghis Gambit, SHIELD and Reed Richards get nervous. So after being effortlessly defeated by Cable, they call in the Silver Surfer to take care of Cable. It... does not end well for Cable. This was a shocking event, given that the Surfer generally does not get involved in Earth's affairs. Nevertheless, part of why he loses is because he didn't prepare for or anticipate the Surfer. Cable still holds his own for a while while simultaneously repairing all the destruction their fight causes, talking to the Surfer, and holding up Providence, and his powers are simultaneously diminishing as he fights the Silver Surfer. He also destroys the Surfer's indestructible board.
- Darker and Edgier: Cable's initial appearances, before his complicated character development/retcons.
- Dead Guy on Display: Early in the pages of X-Force he dragged the bodies of Masque and Sauron down to the Morlock tunnels as a show of force to convince the Morlocks never to go against his team again. Amusingly, both Masque and Sauron returned to life later.
- The Dreaded: Is often this to his enemies. An issue of his series even has Storm and Nightcrawler reveal most of the X-Men considered him this for awhile, were afraid of him being around the mansion. In part because of being a time traveller who knows how terrible the future might be, and in part because of his grim, intimidating, introverted surface.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: In Extermination, he is casually and anti-climatically killed off in the first issue, for cheap shock value and to inspire angst in the rest of the cast. He is then replaced by a younger alternate version of himself, who is the one that murdered him in the first place. To add insult to murder, the X-Men go on to forgive this new version of Cable for murdering him, and sweep Cable's death under the rug.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Despite everything Cable did and sacrificed for them over the years, the X-Men and most of his own family effectively replace him with his own murderer, an alternate universe version of himself.
- During the War: A lot of Cable's backstory comes from his conflicts in the future against Apocalypse and the New Caananites.
- Fair-Weather Mentor: During his time with the Six-Pack he mentored the younger members (particularly Garrison Kane) but remorselessly left them to the mercies of a collapsing base when forced to make a Sadistic Choice by Stryfe. As part of his Character Development he largely grew out of this.
- Fights Like a Normal: He has powers (very strong ones) but they're largely ignored in favor of his really big guns and master hand to hand combat skills.
- Future Badass: He was born "in the present" — roughly five or six years ago in Comic-Book Time - and sent to the future to save his life, then growing up to become a warrior and freedom fighter.
- The Generalissimo: He played as this for a stint, taking over the fictional nation of Rumekistan in the pages of Cable & Deadpool.
- Genius Bruiser: He's a huge, intimidating man and a highly experienced, very dangerous warrior and soldier whom some accounts describe as having an intellect rivalling 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. Easily one of the best fighter, leader, strategist and soldier characters to exist in the Marvel universe, and has easily defeated many notable characters.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Well, one eye, anyway. A vestigial holdover due to being the son of Cyclops.
- Good Is Not Nice: One of the walking epitome's of this trope, particularly when he first appeared in 1990. This trope has stayed with him over the years, but nevertheless he soon went through a great deal of character development, making it less pronounced in time.
- Guile Hero: Pulled off some messed up actions sometimes balanced by his Omniscient Morality License 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 Knight Templar tendencies and playing up his role as a messianic figure when 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 - though that was also part of a complicated Timey-Wimey Ball issue (he had to revive Apocalypse so he could be defeated in the future, which is also Cable's past).
- Ham and Deadpan Duo: Is often paired with Deadpool in teamups.
- Happily Adopted: In a sense. Jean is his biological mother, but she isn't the one who gave birth to him. Though she is the one who raised him in the future and taught him to use his powers to keep back the techno organic virus. He's shown nothing but warmth to her and considers her his true mother, and she considers him her son.
- He Cleans Up Nicely: For a grizzled guy normally covered in guns and pouches, Cable can actually look surprisingly handsome when he puts on a suit and combs his hair.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Like his father Cyclops, the former page image for the trope, the two women he has married were redheads.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With 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. The two even have a secret pact that no one else has be clued in on that says they need to protect each other's loved ones if the other dies by destroying the deceased's safe houses.
- Informed Ability: In his early years, his telekinesis was so weak that he could only use it to move really small objectsnote . Later RetConned that he was the most powerful non-Phoenix telepath/telekinetic on Earth (as routinely demonstrated by his counterpart, Nate Grey, who's created entire planes of existence), but 99.9999999999% of his power was committed to holding back his techno-organic infection. Rachel Summers even states that potentially, he has the power to extinguish a star with barely a conscious effort.
- Insistent Terminology: Though he loved Tyler, he also always referred to him as "Jenskot's son". While never confirmed, it's believed that this might be a hint to Tyler not actually being his son, but rather Stryfe's.
- It's Personal: Apocalypse and Stryfe have more or less killed everyone that Cable has ever loved. Mister Sinister also applies, due to his machinations and role in Cable's origin story.
- Jerkass: 1990 Pre-character development Cable was, put bluntly, sometimes an asshole. And also a bit racist (during a crossover with Uncanny X-Men, he keeps calling the Native American Forge "Indian", and often called Banshee "Irish"). Though he went on to become friends with both men, especially Forge.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: After some time with the New Mutants, they were able to tone him down more to this.
- Knight of Cerebus: His first appearance in New Mutants marked the beginning of the Dark Age.
- Knight Templar: Cable continually verges on this.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: On the occasions he can actually use his full power-set.
- Lighter and Softer: Over time, he became this thanks to a burgeoning sense of heroism, and the revelation of his origin and family.
- Lightning Bruiser: 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.
- Mechanical Muscles: His mechanical arm is extremely jacked, just like the rest of him.
- Messianic Archetype: Cable is always like this but totally embraces this role in Cable and Deadpool.
- Morality Pet: The New Mutants, Sam Guthrie (Cannonball); Hope, Deadpool (!!).
- Cable and Deadpool seem to function as Morality Pets for each other.
- 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 Nate Grey, essentially both his alternate counterpart and little brother (half-brother, technically), 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 (initially) painful for both of them, and Nate wasn't exactly the most trusting individual, having already been subject to multiple attempts to manipulate and control him from all sides by the time they met, and having also inherited his mother's Hair-Trigger Temper. They did end up getting on later on, and Nate reappeared during a flash-back in the Metus arc of Cable's series, almost killing himself to get to Cable in time to warn him that Metus was coming.
- Cable and Deadpool seem to function as Morality Pets for each other.
- My Greatest Failure: It's a tossup between failing to save his son Tyler and abandoning his Six-Pack teammates in a collapsing base. He eventually made amends with the later, and while he was unable to save the former, he guards Hope with his life now so that she never suffers the way Tyler did. For a while the murder of close friend Moira MacTaggert and the assassination of Senator Kelly, who he was trying to protect at the time, were this to him. These events were traumatic enough for him to quit the X-Men afterwards.
- Odd Friendship: Part of the fun of Cable and Deadpool was the acknowledgement that the two had nothing in common and probably should be mortal enemies, but they're not. They're actually heterosexual life partners.
- Old Superhero: 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.
- One-Man Army: Have pity on anyone stupid enough to fight against him. He has single handedly defeated Apocalypse, Stryfe, the X-Men, Avengers and SHIELD, among others.
- Papa Wolf: In his earliest appearances he became the protective mentor, leader and drill sergeant gruff father type figure for the New Mutants. In turn his students, who he considers his children, helped tone him down a bit over time, helping his character growth.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Sent to the future as an infant - Returned a few decades older than his parents, before the point he was abducted.
- Power Limiter: 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 burned them out with overuse.
- Interestingly enough, he has two sets of powers and they both act as Power Limiters to each other. His techno-organic virus has been compared to the virus that created the Phalanx, a Hive Mind behind a Crisis Crossover. Phalanx members and a few rare Phlebotinum Rebels 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 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.
- 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 Stryfe, which wiped out half the planet, and was chicken-feed compared to Nate's later feats as a Reality Warper, including the creation of the Age of X-Man.
- Interestingly enough, he has two sets of powers and they both act as Power Limiters to each other. His techno-organic virus has been compared to the virus that created the Phalanx, a Hive Mind behind a Crisis Crossover. Phalanx members and a few rare Phlebotinum Rebels 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 a serious threat.
- Psychic Powers: 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.
- Really Gets Around: Has had a number of love interests over the years to varying degrees. Including his first wife Aliya Dayspring, Domino (A disguised Copycat as well as the real Domino later on), Lee Forrester, Storm, Stacey Kramer, Irene Merryweather, his second wife Hope Summers Sr and Psylocke.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Deadpool's red. Right down to their respective costume colors.
- Remember the New Guy?: Cable was introduced in 1990, but once he was introduced he was treated as though he had been around and known for a long time. Justified mostly by Time Travel.
- Rugged Scar: Has a scar (or several, Depending on the Artist) over his right eye. It serves to show that he's a Future Badass from a Bad Future, although his early appearances played up the gruff aspects of his character as well.
- Signature Scent: According to Sabretooth, he smells of gunpowder and Old Spice.
- Smug Super: He got this way at points in the pages of Cable & Deadpool. Having his full power unlocked, he was more than willing to use it against anyone that stood against him, particularly his longtime pursuer G.W. Bridge.
- Sociopathic Hero: 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.
- Soldier vs. Warrior: He has this dynamic with Wolverine, with himself as the soldier and Wolverine as the warrior.
- Star-Spangled Spandex: One of his costumes featured a patriotic star on his right shoulder, giving him the appearances of having a bionic arm like the Winter Soldier's.
- Status Quo Is God: He never gets to keep his full psionic powers for long. Mainly because he'd just end any story he's a part of if he had them.
- Tangled Family Tree: Cable is a member of the Summers/Grey family, and contributes a lot to the complexity of said family tree. His biological parents are Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor (a perfect clone of Jean Grey who contained part of the Phoenix Force), he grew up in the future, was raised by Scott and Jean 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 maybe slightly after, and then went back even further), and acted as adoptive parent to Hope, who was at the very least the Phoenix's Replacement Goldfish of Jean Grey (in another future timeline). Then there's his clone, Stryfe, his son/nephew Tyler (whose parentage is ambiguous), and his half-brother/alternate counterpart Nate Grey. In short, Cable's not his Own Grandfather, but he might as well be.
- Technopath: he was this for a little while, when the techno-organic virus got stronger.
- Tele-Frag: A problem that Cable has occasionally suffered from.
- Timey-Wimey Ball: He's older than his father, mothers and big sister (when the latter is in the present), all thanks to time travel.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: one alternate reality comic set in the future shows that Nate Grey will grow up to look exactly like Cable, to the point where an elderly Sunfire mistakes the two. Conversely, a de-aged Cable in Cable & Deadpool looks exactly like X-Man, Skunk Stripe and all.
- Unresolved Tension: Appeared to share this with Moira MacTaggert. She was the first person to find and treat him well when he first came back to the present and washed up in Scotland, standing up for him against an angry mob. She took him back to Muir Island where he saved her life from falling debris, scanned her mind and learned her worst secrets and how to speak English, promising to keep her secrets. In turn she taught him all about life in the late 20th century, literature, and put him in touch with the X-Men. They were quite close and fond of each other ever since, and there was implied tension. He felt guilt over her later infection with the Legacy Virus by his evil clone Stryfe, and privately blamed himself for it, and her murder by Mystique. As such, whatever had been between them was tragically never resolved. It devastated him to the point Storm and Nightcrawler had to stage an intervention for him to confront his grief over her loss. Her death ultimately led to him leaving the X-Men to operate alone again.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Back when he was just little Nate Summers. It's been a long time since then. This is part of why he's so protective of Nate Grey, as he recognises shades of his younger self in the other.
- Walking the Earth: Cable does this whenever the pressures of being a time travelling demigod get to him.
Nathan Christoper Charles Summers
The younger, possible alternate timeline-based version of Cable that debuted during Extermination. In stark contrast to how this usually goes, he's more ruthless than his older counterpart, much more willing to shoot first and talk later. He ends up killing the original Cable as part of his campaign to return the young, time-displaced X-Men to their time, which he succeeds in. Having succeeded in his quest, he vanishes, also being forgiven for his deeds by the X-Men — but not X-Force.
A motivating factor for his plan was the resurrection of his father, Cyclops. Unlike his older self, he was willing to abuse his time-travel to achieve this, eventually succeeding in resurrecting his father. Realizing that Cyclops was unwilling to sit by in safety as mutants were in need, Kid Cable parted ways with his father.
Kid Cable would return to the modern day very soon after, tracking down an arms dealer selling weapons from Kid Cable's own future timeline, in the process gaining an ally in Deathlok and some enemies in the form of the original X-Force.
- Alternate Self: At least at first glance. He makes a trip to the past at a much younger age than the adult Cable did, and Cable himself has no memory of doing so. This means that he's likely an alternate version of Cable... though Jean doesn't seem to think so.
- Darker and Edgier: He hasn't had the life experience to teach him any better, so his go-to move is to shoot and kill.
- Easily Forgiven: Murders the original Cable, and is subsequently forgiven for it by the Summers/Grey Family and X-Men, who act like he's the original Cable. Despite everything the original Cable was to them and sacrificed for them and did for them for years.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Kid Cable, which he is not fond of.
- Hypocrite: He supposedly kills Cable because he failed to safeguard the timeline by letting the O5 stay, and Kid Cable specifically says Cable got sentimental. Yeah, Kid Cable himself abused time-travel, the Phoenix and technology to resurrect Cyclops, and he himself has displayed a very strong affection for his parents. He's called on this by Rachel when he's set to execute a similarly young Stryfe, with Rachel - who has every reason to want to fry Stryfe - stating that he can't, no matter how evil Stryfe is going to be, because it'll screw up history in the same way he's been working against.
- Karma Houdini: He hasn't faced any serious consequences for committing an act that, until revealed to be otherwise, was straight-up murder.
- Momma's Boy: If his interactions with the adult Jean are anything to go buy, he adores his parents. He's also fully aware that she was Redd, something the regular Cable didn't learn until he was much older.
- Skunk Stripe: Only has a tinge of white hair compared to his older self.
- Sociopathic Hero: Like his adult counterpart was originally, he firmly believes that the ends justify the means and is willing to go so far as to kill his own older self for not living up to his expectations.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: For the dark way he went about his plot in Extermination, in the end, all he wanted was to fix the timeline. In addition, he endangers the life of the man who helped him resurrect Cyclops just to make sure his father returned to his heroic roots as a hero (and possibly to avoid Cyclops confronting X-Man with the rest of the X-Men).
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: It's literally what he says to his older counterpart.
- Younger and Hipper: Is described as being a teenage boy, and is repeatedly called Kid Cable.
Modern Day Allies
A reporter that Cable befriends who he asks with chronicling his journeys, as per the Askani tradition. Irene initially worked at a sleazy tabloid, but after the Hellfire Club sends assassins after her and Cable protects her as they uncover the Hellfire Club's plans, she publishes an expose on the group. This gets her noticed by J. Jonah Jameson, who offers her a job at the Daily Bugle, which she eventually takes, while still remaining Cable's chronicler and confidante. She later became the head administrator of Cable's island state of Providence.
- Depending on the Artist: She's been colored with both red and brown hair (she originally had brown hair). It's not even like it's a mistake; whatever color the artist decides she has sticks for tens of issues at a time. Most of her appearances depict her with brown hair, however.
- Dropped a Bridge on Her: Offhandedly murdered by Wade in Despicable Deadpool under orders from Stryfe.
- Hidden Depths: By all accounts, she does an excellent job running Providence, despite having no formal training in governing.
- Hot Scoop: A very attractive reporter.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Mostly during Cable & Deadpool, where she was able to pick up running a sovereign nation incredibly quickly.
- Nerds Are Sexy: Described by Deadpool's dreams as "kittenishly sexy".
- Unfazed Everyman: After some time with Cable, her default setting is to, at worst, grown at the weird shit he gets up to. This later also applies to her relationship with Deadpool.
- Working with the Ex: She becomes Cable's chief of staff on Providence, remained his source of information and he still wrote her so she could chronicle his journeys.
A mysterious Knowledge Broker who lends his assistance to Cable for reasons of his own. Over time it's revealed that he is actually an immortal mutant from the 17th century, and has been helping Cable in order to prepare him for a confrontation with his supervillain sister Finality.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Or "Psionic Analyzation" in the Marvel parlance, but the end result is the same. He has the mutant ability to absorb and process information at a superhuman rate, somewhat akin to Ozymandias of Watchmen fame.
- Blessed with Suck: He's immortal and can process information like a computer, but he's also practically an invalid as he never gets up from his chair, doesn't even speak and is assisted at all times by two faithful assistants who attend to all his, ahem, needs so he can continue to process information 24/7.
- Cain and Abel: He's the Abel, Finality is the Cain. In a slight switch on this trope, however, he is the older sibling.
- Chrome Dome Psi: He's completely bald and while not a traditional telepath, has a psionic-based mutant ability.
- Combo Platter Powers: A rather oddball combo pairing Awesomeness by Analysis with Immortality.
- Intelligence = Isolation: He's superhumanly intelligent thanks to his mutation and spends most of his time alone in a room with hundreds of TVs and radios all blaring information at him.
- Knowledge Broker: How he makes his living in the modern day, and helped along by his mutation.
- Mysterious Backer: This is how he makes his introduction, helping Cable deal with other villains from a distance before being introduced to him properly.
- Put on a Bus: He hasn't been seen since Robert Weinberg's Cable run ended.
- Really 700 Years Old: He was born in 1675 and has survived through the centuries without aging due to his mutation.
- The Voiceless: He can speak (or at least could at one time) but in the modern day communicates through a computer screen printout due to constantly being bombarded by information (by his own choice).
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Has even less appearances than his evil sister. He's only appeared in half a dozen issues since his introduction, all of them part of creator Robert Weinberg's run on Cable.
- Zeerust: He's a product of what was considered cutting-edge during the '90s, and... well, it shows. His website in particular is laughable to anyone who's been on the Internet since the Web 1.0 days.
Nathaniel "Nate" Grey
Cable's alternate-self from the Age of Apocalypse, and technically his half-brother, Nathan "Nate" Grey was created from the genetic material of his universe's Cyclops and Jean Grey by Nathaniel Essex. Possessing no techno-organic virus, he is what would happen if Cable were at the peak of his powers and much, much younger - accordingly, Cable took a special interest in him, seeing him as having the potential to live the life that Cable himself could have had but for the T-O Virus and his destiny. Essentially Cable's "little brother", the two have met numerous times, and despite initial reluctance on Nate's part, always have each other's back. For tropes applying to him, see his page.
A waitress at a diner that Cable frequented, she's the sole carer for her little brother, who has a developmental condition. She and Cable dated for a brief time.
George Washington Bridge
A former mercenary and member of Cable's Six Pack, now a high-ranking SHIELD agent. After being left for dead by Cable, he frequently hunts his former teammate, although they come to an uneasy truce.
- Badass Normal: No powers to speak of, but very effective.
- Crusading Widower: Subverted — he lost his wife to the Serpent Society, but it didn't deter him from his fixation on Cable. Later he would even work with members of the Serpent Society in a reformed Six Pack.
- Humiliation Conga: During the first Civil War he tried to bring in The Punisher, having significantly less luck than he ever did chasing after Cable. After a number of failures, the newly-appointed Director Tony Stark dismissed him from S.H.I.E.L.D. G.W. had the last laugh, though, as Tony later begged him to return to S.H.I.E.L.D., a request he refused with pleasure.
- Implacable Man: His entire existence was just chasing after Cable for one reason or another.
- Killed Off for Real: By Micro to resurrect Frank Castle.
- The Leader: Served this role in the Six-Pack.
- It's Personal: He's a very professional SHIELD agent... until Cable gets involved.
- Mentor Archetype: He and Hammer adopted Garrison Kane and trained him to be a mercenary. Having his best friend and student both crippled by the irresponsibility of the same guy was why it was so personal between him and Cable.
- Punny Name: He's named for the George Washington Bridge, once joking that he was named that because his parents lost a bet.
- Silver Fox: He's of an advanced age compared to the rest of the team but certainly doesn't look any worse for it.
A former member of Six Pack (and in all likelihood the group's namer) who was left for dead by Cable. He was "fixed" by the Weapon X program, which provided him with cybernetic arms and legs, and he went on to hunt Cable before the two reconciled.He made a couple of cameos in X-Men and is named on a list of mutants in X2: X-Men United.
- 10-Minute Retirement: He tried to retire from mercenary work and settle down with Copycat but it didn't last very long.
- Artificial Limbs: His cybernetic arms and legs, as provided by Weapon X. He later gets a bigger upgrade when Cable takes him to the future.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The guy acts like a frat bro, but he's actually an extremely effective soldier.
- The Cameo: His name makes one in X2: X-Men United, being listed on Colonel Stryker's list of mutants. Unfortunately he is The Unseen and missed out on a chance to be in Deadpool, meaning fans will probably never seen him on the silver screen. He also made a handful of background cameos in the 90's X-Men cartoon.
- Child of Two Worlds: Like Lady Deathstrike and a couple of other characters, Kane occupies an uneasy mean where he's torn between the human and mutant communities. Being an ordinary human turned into a cyborg, and later put to work by the mutant-hunting Weapon X, ties him strongly to the human (and specifically the mutant-hating) community, but his time with Six-Pack, travels to the future and relationship with the mutant Copycat give him ties to the mutant community as well. Like Deathstrike, he has been labeled a mutant at least once for the sake of Compressed Adaptation (ironically in the same work she was, even) and like Deathstrike he has fought for both sides. Odds are those two characters would have a very interesting discussion if ever they met...
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Not originally, but after receiving further cybernetic enhancements by Weapon X he played this very straight.
- Detachment Combat: He can fire off both of his arms and both of his legs to attack enemies, though usually he just sends out his hands rather than entire limbs.
- Electronic Eyes: Along with losing all of his limbs, he lost one of his eyes on the fateful mission in Uruguay. This allowed him to have the mechanical variant of Glowing Eyes, a popular comics trope during the 90's.
- Glowing Mechanical Eyes: Well, eye, singular.
- Handicapped Badass: Like Hammer below, he refused to let his injuries hold him back and acquired super-prosthetics to get back in the fight.
- Kid Sidekick: Subverted — he was by far the Six Pack's youngest member, joining when he was just 13 years old, but be always pulled his weight and played in the same class as the rest of his teammates.
- Mega Manning: After rejoining the Weapon X program he was upgraded with the ability to upload and duplicate the powers of mutants Mega Man style.
- Name of Cain: Originally a subversion, as despite his Rage Against the Mentor motivation he was still a hero, and frankly Cable kind of deserved it for leaving Kane and the rest of the Six Pack to die. Later after his original creators left he played his name very straight.
- Red Is Heroic: Red is the predominanting color in his wardrobe. During his FaceHeel Turn phase it was duly switched to orange.
- Revenge: His motivation for hunting down Cable is that he still hates Cable for leaving Six Pack to die.
- Rocket Punch: His favorite move, and a bit of a Running Gag between him and Deadpool (who is thoroughly grossed-out by Kane's detachable hands).
- Same Character, but Different: After reconciling with Cable he disappeared for a time, and when he next appeared he was very nearly a completely different character entirely, having transformed from a mouthy but good-hearted young man into a babykilling nutjob who was obsessed with Deadpool (originally he made fun of Deadpool, but had no serious issues with him) and a downright Sociopathic Soldier.
- Swiss Army Appendage: Both of his arms and both of his legs are these, as he lost the originals and had them replaced with...
- Shape Shifter Weapon: His second set prosthetic arms and legs are capable of technomorphing into various weapons, due to being made from advanced 40th century tech.
- Super Strength: Thanks to his cybernetics. The first set of limbs allowed him to lift 10 tons, and after his upgrade he was able to lift 20 tons.
- Walking Armory: His bionic limbs make him one.
An Australian mutant with a hirsute appearance and Super Strength who served as the Six-Pack's strongman. Sadly he would later fall prey to the schemes of Genesis and died in a confrontation with Domino.
- 10-Minute Retirement: Like Kane, Grizzly tried to retire from the mercenary business. As with Kane, trouble found him anyway, though in his case the trouble was much more dangerous (and ultimately lethal).
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: He took his codename from the grizzly bear and has an appearance to match.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Theodore Winchester.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Genesis turned him into a crazed Serial Killer in one of his more incomprehensible plots.
- Combo Platter Powers: He had the powers and abilities one would expect from looking at him — Super Strength, Super Senses, and so on. He also had a low-level Healing Factor.
- Deadpan Snarker: He took his work in stride and traded quips with his teammates.
- Drop the Hammer: He carried a pair of heavy guns which somehow doubled as warhammers on one mission. They were distinctive enough to be included as accessories on his action figure.
- FaceHeel Turn: In X-Men Legends II his heroic history is Adapted Out and he is reduced to a feral, growling lackey of Apocalypse (which is a Shout-Out to his Evil Counterpart from the Age of Apocalypse).
- Informed Ability: He's supposedly very durable (durability being the highest ranked stat on his power grid) but Domino was able to kill him with a simple firearm.
- Killed Off for Real: Domino gave him a Mercy Kill in Cable #24 and he has remained dead ever since, not being popular or distinctive enough to get a revival.
- Land Down Under: He's from Australia, though it doesn't come up much and he thankfully doesn't drop any trite Australian slang.
- Red Is Heroic: A heroic (well, until he went crazy) mercenary covered in red fur.
- Strike Me Down: He knew how far gone he was at the end and begged Domino to kill him.
- Super Strength: At his peak he could lift 75 tons.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Red actually, and he was covered with it.
A former member of Six Pack who Cable shot in the back and left for dead. The event left him quadriplegic, and he worked to hunt down Cable.
- Badass Normal: Like G.W. Bridge, Hammer is a human with no special powers or abilities besides being a trained and effective soldier.
- Genius Bruiser: He's a huge guy and more than capable of holding his own in a firefight but he's also educated on a level with the likes of Forge.
- Handicapped Badass: He refused to let his quadriplegia hold him back and built himself a battle-worthy hoverchair.
- Momma's Boy: A positive example, as after he is crippled he returns to his mother's home in the South Stickney suburb of Chicago to recuperate. Later he repays her for her kindness by stealing 3 million dollars for her from a Corrupt Church's bank accounts.
- Mission Control: After Cable shot him, he became this.
- Photographic Memory: Has one of these and used it to acquire a doctorate in Theoretical Engineering Design.
- Revenge: Naturally, this was his motivation for hunting down Cable.
- Scary Black Man: He was a massive 6'9" and more intimidating than even the (very slightly) taller Grizzly.
- Super Wheelchair: His custom-built hoverchair, which is "more like a personal tank" according to G.W.
Domino is also a mutant and one of the few members who didn't try to kill Cable. Possessing the ability to alter probability to suit her, she is also effective with weapons and a mercenary. Cable's first love interest in the present, she would also go on to become a founding member of his second outfit — X-Force... kind of (turns out she was being impersonated). For tropes applying to her, see her page.
For the various members and rosters, see X-Force.
A deformed and diminutive mutant from the 37th century who considers it his job to advise Cable into making decisions he will regret later. Despite literally never being right about anything, Cable continues to listen to Blaquesmith and considers him a valuable ally.
- Adventure Rebuff: In his youth he met a time-travelling Rachel Summers, who saved him from being sold as a slave but rejected his request to become her disciple. Given Blaquesmith's later track record, this was probably the correct decision on Rachel's part.
- Ambiguous Situation: Like Mimic, Blaquesmith's mutant status is a matter of dispute. Early on in his history he was emphatically stated not to be one, being given a genescan which pegged him as negative for the X-Factor and biotechs stating his appearance was the result of a "genetic defect" rather than mutation. Later he was given an entry in the All New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, which went back on this and stated that he was in fact a mutant. As he has some degree of telepathy, he is most likely a mutant.
- Born into Slavery: Or close enough, as his own mother sold him to roving scavengers at a very young age.
- Cool Boat: When inhabiting the present day he usually hides out on one. Post sunk it, but Blaquesmith later raised it so Cable could have a hideout to hold the Avengers prisoner in.
- Cool Old Guy: While he has a track-record of giving extremely questionable advice, he can actually handle himself very well in a fight, being willing and able to go toe to toe with a young Nate Grey. Granted, his contribution mostly consisted of successfully avoiding being vaporised by 'stepping between moments' and being on the verge of pulling a Dangerous Forbidden Technique designed to take out someone like Nate at the cost of his own life (derailed by Conflict Killer Exodus), but considering that even as a teenager Nate was an Omega Class power-house with a general battle tactic of 'vaporise everything in sight, then vaporise it again to make sure', it's still impressive.
- Cryptically Unhelpful Answer: When he isn't giving Cable outright bad advice he's giving him these.
- Fish Eyes: Has a big bulging pair of these.
- He Knows Too Much: During the Onslaught storyline the titular villain declared Blaquesmith to be this and sent his minion Post to kill him. While Post managed to destroy his freighter hideout, Blaquesmith himself escaped. Why Onslaught felt the need to do this when Blaquesmith's tendency of steering Cable towards trouble served his purposes perfectly well, the world will never know.
- Horrible Judge of Character: As yet another of his terrible decisions Blaquesmith provided Psimitars and gave Askani training to the Straw Feminist villain Finality and her Dark Sisterhood, intending to create a new Clan Askani in the present day. Instead, Finality and her followers attempted to alter history by assassinating the President to create some sort of future matriarchy dictatorship. Whoops!
- He also repeatedly tries to get Cable to kill Nate Grey and/or let him die on the grounds that he's too dangerous. This was a little better grounded than the above, owing to Nate's twitchy nature and vast and fundamentally unstable raw power (as well as some of the things he later went on to do), but Cable's decision to help him turned out to be justified each time.
- Miniature Senior Citizens: He's a wee little guy and is somewhere around a century old, as he was born in the late 37th century and lived to see his timeline's Apocalypse overthrown in the early 39th century.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: He agrees with Cable on this at all the wrong times. In particular Nate Grey being around is always sure to get his murder itch twitching.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: He provokes a very twitchy Nate Grey at exactly the wrong moment, derailing Cable's attempt to talk Nate down and resulting in Nate going nuclear, which nearly gets Blaquesmith himself fried and wakes up Exodus, who was at that point a psychic vampire.
- Undeterred, he topped himself on a grand scale in Extermination by recruiting Kid Cable and filling the kid's head with horrible visions of yet another Bad Future where Sentinels had exterminated mutantkind. This, along with providing Kid Cable the means to travel through time freely, set into motion a chain of events that led to Cable's death. That's right, Blaquesmith is such a terrible mentor that he actually got his charge killed.
- Nonindicative Name: His name is something between this and Informed Ability, as he is often touted as an inventive genius on the degree of Forge but is hardly ever seen building anything (though, to be fair, his base has a lot of tech in it) and in battle he mostly relies on his Psychic Powers rather than gadgets. One notable subversion of this is when he uses his tech to track down Nate Grey.
- The Obi-Wannabe: He tries to play The Mentor with Cable but his advice usually causes more harm than good, often to an astonishing degree. For example, his advising Cable that the Avengers would go to war against the X-Men in an alternate timeline led him into attacking the Avengers in the present day, setting into motion a chain of events leading to Avengers vs. X-Men. Another time he demanded that Cable murder his genetic twin, X-Man, insisting that Nate would become a danger to the whole world (ironically, this prediction would not only be rejected but outright defied as Nate would go on to become a Messianic Archetype - though considering Uncanny X-Men (2018) and Age of X-Man, where Nate became a well-intentioned Anti-Villain whose actions triggered several disasters for the X-Men, he might have had a point). He told Cable that Exodus was a follower of Apocalypse, when in fact Exodus had rebelled against Apocalypse in the distant past. The list goes on and on. Despite batting zero over and over again, Cable inexplicably continues listening to him.
- The 2018 Cable series indirectly acknowledges this, so far as Nate Grey is concerned: a flashback issue during the Metus arc has Cable respond to Blaquesmith's complaints about helping an injured Nate (who had nearly killed himself coming to warn Cable of Metus) and usual advice to murder him by telling Blaquesmith to shut up and keep making some wound-salve.
- Plot Device: Whenever Cable is making a bad decision, odds are pretty good this little jerk talked him into it.
- Telepathy: A potent mutant telepath, though he primarily uses the ability for confusion and misdirection (and possibly to convince Cable to keep listening to him despite being wrong all the time).
- Time Police: He started the idea of Cable being a time cop, as long before Cable himself considered the idea Blaquesmith considered it his own mission to preserve the timeline, to the degree of sabotaging Cable's efforts to destroy Apocalypse so that Apocalypse's rise to power would happen and their shared future would not be changed. While Cable himself rebelled against this idea at first, in recent years he has gone the other way and embraced it.
- Time Travel: Like Cable he comes from a far future and is capable of jumping between timelines at will.
- Undying Loyalty: Questionable advice aside, he is consistently loyal to Cable.
Ch'vayre is... complicated. Both enemy and ally to Cable, he was The Dragon to the 40th century version of Apocalypse, though prior to this he aided Cable in the present day. A Noble Demon who attempted to curb the excesses of his thoroughly-insane master, he played a pivotal role in the genesis of Cable's arch-nemesis Stryfe and was ultimately killed by the budding Chaos-Bringer.
- Combo Platter Powers: Ch'vayre's a Size Shifter, has Telepathy, and was enhanced into a Cyborg to boot.
- Defector from Decadence: He was born as one of Apocalypse's Chosen, but later turned his back on the mutant tyrant. Then he rejoined him. Then he turned his back on him again.
- The Dragon: To both future Apocalypse and, after his death, to Stryfe.
- Everyone Has Standards: Part of what made Ch'vayre turn against Apocalypse for good was his decision to accelerate the development of Stryfe's mutant powers, an act which Ch'vayre saw Apocalypse betraying his own beliefs (it was, and he was).
- Fountain of Youth: When he was sent back into the 20th century, he inexplicably regressed to boyhood and lost most of his memories, holding onto only the Askani teachings.
- Good Is Not Nice: As an ally of Cable, he was still a Manipulative Bastard who used Sebastian Shaw and Donald Pierce to attempt to awaken Apocalypse and so bring about the prophesied confrontation between him and the Askani'son.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Spent most of his history caught in one of these due to the conflict of being a follower of Apocalypse while also having standards. Rachel offered him a chance to join the Askani, but he refused. Then he joined them later anyway. Then he took The Slow Path back to his time, lost his memories of being a hero, and became The Dragon to Apocalypse upon his return. Then he turned on Apocalypse due to feeling that the latter no longer lived up to his own Social Darwinist principles. Then he tried to undo the damage Apocalypse did to Stryfe, but it was too late by that time, resulting in...
- HeelFace Door-Slam: He tried to stop Stryfe from confronting Madame Sanctity, but Stryfe sensed his intentions and killed him for his betrayal.
- Killed Off for Real: By a teenage Stryfe.
- Large and in Charge: Even by the standards of the jacked-up 90's he was huge. How huge? Try almost 13 feet tall.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: His previously mentioned attempt to awaken Apocalypse early accomplished nothing but giving the Hellfire Club access to advanced 40th century weaponry.
- Noble Demon: One of the few followers of Apocalypse to have any kind of morals or standards.
- Psychic Powers: As part of his Combo Power Platter. On to of telepathy, he was locked in a Psychic Link with Stryfe, which eventually proved to be his undoing.
- Size Shifter: His primary mutant power is this, with the odd addendum that every time he uses it to grow, he'll be a little larger than he was before when he reverts to normal.
- Shoulders of Doom: His armor evoked this look, as seen in his profile image above.
- Skeletons in the Coat Closet: He sports a few skulls on his belt, apparently having picked up some fashion tips from Mystique during his time in the present day.
- The Social Darwinist: Being born and raised in a world ruled by Apocalypse, he buys into Big Blue's survival-of-the-fittest creed. This eventually bit Apocalypse in the butt, though, as he decided that Poccy wasn't living up to his own standards, leading him to help Cable destroy the ancient despot once and for all.
- The Slow Path: Twice. The Askani sent him back in time thirty years before Cable's arrival in the present day. He spent that time organizing an Askani cult in the Swiss Alps to aid him in his mission to help Cable. Then he was sealed into a hibernation pod by Sebastian Shaw and took a much, much longer Slow Path back to his present.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He delivered the infant baby to Apocalypse that would grow up to become Stryfe.
- Villainous Crush: In his youth he had one on Rachel Summers, although he didn't know who she really was.
The son of a high-ranking official in an apocalyptic future where the Earth's days are numbered. As a boy he befriends Hope Summers while Cable is gone, and by the time he shows up, both are teenagers and have feelings for each other. Events separate Emil and Hope, and Emil is tricked by Bishop into helping him hunt down Cable, who Bishop claims is trying to harm Hope. After hunting the two for several years, Emil and Hope are eventually reunited. In the end, Emil sacrifices himself to give Hope a chance to fulfill her destiny and Cable a chance to guide her.
- Did Not Get the Girl: After all he went through, he decides to sacrifice himself to keep Hope and Cable safe.
- First Love: For Hope, she's the first boy she properly meets, and they grow close in the two years they have together before Cable shows up.
- Love Makes You Dumb: Bishop didn't have to try very hard to manipulate him.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The sensitive guy to Bishop's manly man.
- Took a Level in Badass: Bishop trained him during the years they were in space hunting Hope and Cable.
No, not that one. Rather, the adoptive mother of the mutant messiah and Cable's second wife, who he married while in yet another apolcayptic future. She and Nathan raised the then-unnamed child until Mrs. Summers death, after which Nathan names the child Hope in honour of her mother and his wife.
- Damsel in Distress: She's hardly Action Girl material, surprisingly enough.
- Friend to All Children: Despite not being able to stand Cable at first, with little baby Hope it was "love at first sight".
- Happily Married: To Cable. Sadly, it doesn't last.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Like Cable's mother and adopted daughter, she's a redhead.
- Hidden Elf Village: Her hometown of New Liberty is one of these, being described as "another Roanoke" that wasn't rediscovered until Cable's 40th century time. Naturally, it is also a Doomed Hometown for Hope and her family.
- Meaningful Echo: She goes out in the exact same way as Jenskot before her.
- Nonindicative Name: Despite her name, she's not related to the Summers clan other than being Cable's wife. It's possible that she adopted his surname when they married, but if she has a maiden name the writers never see fit to tell us.
- Second Love: Well, the one he saw fit to marry. He never had those intentions with his love interests since Aliya's death (Domino and Irene).
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Apparently in the past, though they certainly aren't like this by the time we meet her.
- Small Role, Big Impact: She only appears in four issues, but she's the reason why Hope Summers is named Hope and not, say, Aliya or Rachel or something.
- Walking the Earth: Spent a little while doing with this with Cable after fleeing her hometown, but it didn't end well.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: She's motherly and... that's it. She gets all of four issues in appearances before she's killed.
Cable's first wife and the mother of Tyler. A former member of the Clan Askani, she possessed telepathy and telekinesis. She would eventually be killed by Stryfe.
- Action Girl: She fought beside Cable in the Clan Chosen.
- Action Mom: After giving birth to Tyler.
- Badass Teacher: She was the one who taught Tyler how to use his powers.
- Church Militant: She's a member of the Clan Askani, a religious sisterhood that deified the X-Men of their distant past and awaited a prophesied "Dayspring" to be their messiah.
- Badasses Wear Bandanas: She wears a green headband and is more than capable of holding her own in a fight.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: How she goes out.
- Facial Markings: She sports triple markings on her right cheek.
- Good Parents: Regardless of the very real possibility that Tyler is the son of her rapist, she doesn't hold that against him and loves him dearly.
- La Résistance: As a member (a founding member, no less) of the Clan Chosen, she fought against Stryfe and his tyrannical New Canaan regime.
- Last Request: She asks Cable to take care of Tyler with her last words, unaware that Tyler has already been captured by Stryfe.
- Legacy Character: What her codename was meant to be, to honor the legendary X-Men of her time: Jean Grey and Scott Summers.
- Motherhood Is Superior: She loves Tyler so much that her last words to Cable are asking him to keep her safe. While Cable grieves over Tyler for some time (and holds a grudge against Wolverine for murdering him) he eventually gets over it, though he does name a stadium on Providence Island after Tyler.
- Rape as Drama: Stryfe claims to have raped her at one point, an event which is used to cloud the true parentage of her son Tyler beyond any way to conclusively settle (being clones, Stryfe and Cable have the same DNA).
- Psychic Powers: She has the usually potent combo of Telepathy and Telekinesis, though neither of these abilities are anywhere near Cable's levels of power.
An agent of SHIELD who was assigned to hunt down Cable. He relishes the chance to hunt down a dangerous and skilled opponent like Cable and accepts without a second thought, though once he learns what SHIELD wants Cable for, he facilitates Cable's escape. He later became the fourth Deathlok.
- Aborted Arc: His name was listed as a potential recruit for the Initiative, but he never appeared in that title.
- The Ace: Nick Fury himself describes Truman as the best manhunter SHIELD's got and says that he was "the one guy I never worried about."
- Badass Normal: Fights Cable evenly without any powers, although Cable was sick and missing some of his powers.
- Blood Knight: The guy loves a good fight and just basically wants to test his abilities.
- Body Surf: He describes this as his "Tibetan mind-trick". Over the course of the Deathlok title he makes good use of it, jumping first into a SHIELD grunt, then into that SHIELD grunt's young son, then into the Deathlok body that was originally intended for him, and finally into Cowboy Cop SHIELD agent Larry Young, the latter of which he kept and still inhabits to this day.
- Hero Antagonist: His role as an antagonist is largely because Cable is the protagonist; otherwise he's an upstanding and moral member of SHIELD.
- Hero of Another Story: Literally. After he was done with Cable, he was the main hero of the 1999 Deathlok relaunch.
- It's Personal: Like G.W. above, Truman is the very model of an effective SHIELD agent... until Cable gets involved, at which point he throws professionalism out the window and becomes a tenacious Blood Knight.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Unlike Billy Bailey, SHIELD agent Larry Young was a Jerkass who earned his bodyjack.
- Kid Hero: The first three issues of Deathlok have him stuck in a 6-year old boy's body. He's no less effective for it.
- My God, What Have I Done?: When he realizes that a rogue faction of SHIELD wants to make killer robots out of Cable, he sets Cable free.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: While inhabiting Billy Bailey's body.
- Shout-Out: His child host's name is a shout-out to the Beetle Bailey comic strips
- Worthy Opponent: Sees Cable as his, and Cable sees him as a very skilled opponent too.
- Would Hurt a Child: While he didn't really mean to do it, hijacking Billy Bailey's body proved very damaging to the host, who was left comatose after Truman left him.
En Sabah Nur
Above all other villains, Apocalypse is Cable's Arch-Enemy. An immortal Social Darwinist who believes that only war, conflict and stife advance civilization, Apocalypse is the Immortal Ruler of the Bad Future where Cable was taken and raised, and indeed it was Apocalypse who infected him with the T-O virus in the first place. Born and raised to destroy this mad tyrant, Cable was clashed with Apocalypse several times, but Apocalypse is as enduring as he is powerful.
See Apocalypse for more on him.
Another time-travelling mutant who traveled to the past to join the X-Men, similar to Cable. While mostly a hero, when Hope Summers is born, he tries to kill her to prevent his own horrific timeline from ever occurring. Failing in his first attempt, he hunts Cable and Hope through time for the first seventeen years of Hope's life. For tropes applying to him, see Bishop.
A Conqueror from the Future who took control of his world but grew hungry for further, uh, conquests, and began traveling through time. Doing this put him at odds with Cable.
- Army of the Ages: Being about as cliché of an evil time traveler as a character can get, he of course organizes one of these.
- Badass Normal: He's a baseline human who still manages to give Cable a challenge.
- Combat Pragmatist: This is why he's a threat to Cable despite being a baseline human. The first time they meet, he sets a trap for Cable with metal Combat Tentacles, and after that encounter he builds himself an army and simply throws them at Nate instead, since there's no way he'd win a one-on-one duel with him.
- Conqueror from the Future: It's both his codename and his raison d'être.
- Cool Sword: The Time Sword, his MacGuffin of choice which is just as boringly named as he is.
- The Cretaceous Is Always Doomed: His (currently as of 2019) final showdown with Cable took place in the North Africa of the Cretaceous, and he tried fusing the Cretaceous with a weird Deathlok future (but of course failed, because, well... see the trope name).
- Didn't Think This Through: So, uh... if he's already conquered the Earth of his future, why doesn't he simply bring his own army instead of going to all the trouble of assembling himself an Army of the Ages? (PS: The answer is Rule of Cool)
- For the Evulz: He wants to conquer all of time and space because... well, just because.
- Just You and Me and My GUARDS!: Played with, as Cable tries to play to his ego by challenging him to a duel but he doesn't take the bait and simply has his troops overwhelm Nate.
- No Name Given: All he's known by is Conquest. Hopefully his real name isn't as boring...
- Pragmatic Villainy: He's Boring, but Practical as time traveling villains go, having little backstory and about as generic a motivation as it gets but compensating by refusing to fall prey to the traditional villain pitfalls. Cable tries to goad him into a fight several times and he refuses, since his goal is to assemble the Time Sword, not to fight Cable.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: His aesthetic of choice, complete with a red Badass Cape.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Conquest's storyline ended with him being Out-Gambitted by Cable and lost in time, a lazy way for the writers to get rid of him while keeping him on easy tap for if they ever need a cliché time travel villain again and Kang isn't available.
- Self-Plagiarism: He's essentially just a Kang the Conqueror knockoff with no backstory.
- Starter Villain: He's the first villain of Cable's 2017 title and pretty much exists solely for that purpose.
A roving gang of killers who believe in the Exact Words of Apocalypse's survival of the fittest philosophy, to the point of betraying their current leader if he is ever beaten by someone stronger. The original group was made up of rogue members of The Inhumans and were mainly foes to X-Factor, but after perennial Cable Big Bad Stryfe fought and defeated Apocalypse they became Cable villains. Generally when Stryfe shows up these lackeys will not be far behind.
- Blow You Away: The second-gen Dark Rider Hurricane had this power as his mutant ability; as his name suggests, he was a low-rent Storm.
- Boss: Tusk appears as a proper boss in X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse and as a Mini-Boss in X-Men 2: Clone Wars.
- The Cameo: Tusk made a few appearance in X-Men and Gauntlet made a single appearance in X-Men: Evolution as a Monster of the Week.
- Cyborg: The first-gen Dark Rider Hard-Drive was one of these, though he was an Inhuman cyborg rather than the usual human one.
- Category Traitor: The first team of Dark Riders was made up of Inhumans who were persuaded by Apocalypse to side with him against their own people.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Their shtick. Because they follow the fittest, whenever their leader is defeated they will defect to whoever it was that beat him.
- Fake Defector: One of Tusk's "underlings" once pretended to betray its boss to Cable, promising to lead him back to the Dark Riders. It did... of course, it also led Cable and his friends into a trap.
- Horned Humanoid: The first-gen Dark Rider Tusk has large horns protruding from his back that were more than a little reminiscent of Wild CATS member Maul.
- The Igor: The second-gen Dark Rider Spyne served this role to second-gen Dark Rider leader Genesis.
- Killed Off for Real: Ironically for a team of villains devoted to survival of the fittest, attrition has winnowed their own ranks over their years. Genesis and most of the second-gen Dark Riders all died at the hands of a berserker Wolverine back in the 90's, while Magneto defeated and then wiped out most of the remaining team via a bomb in the fourth volume of Uncanny X-Men. And then you have the various Dark Riders such as Foxbat and Psynapse who were killed off by their own teammates for being unfit...
- Leeroy Jenkins: Because the Dark Riders consider themselves the fittest of the fit, they will fling themselves at whoever they think needs "testing" with no regard for their own preservation. More than once this has led them into clashes with One-Man Army-level mutants like Magneto and X-Man.
- Me's a Crowd: The first-gen Dark Rider Tusk's terrigenesis ability allowed him to create miniature "Underling" copies of himself that could act with some degree of autonomy (ala the Multiple Man) but were also subservient to Tusk-Prime's will.
- Mission Control: Hard-Drive served this purpose to the team, along with providing them Teleportation to retreat from battles when they were invariably beaten.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: After they were imported as Cable villains they became this, typically showing up in random titles to "test" (i.e. fight and get beaten by) random heroes on behalf of whoever their leader was that day.
- Shoot the Medic First: In their last (as of 2019) appearance this was their goal. Specifically, they were trying to kill off mutant healers trying to abate the M-Pox, since they believed the M-Pox was useful for culling weak mutants.
- Shout-Out: Why, yes, their original moniker was a shout-out to the eponymous The Doors song.
- Too Dumb to Live: Due to their betraying their employers on a dime and predilection to throwing themselves at more powerful opponents, on top of not really having any goals besides "testing" mutants, the Dark Riders are regarded among the most idiotic and self-defeating of X-villains. And indeed, as of 2019 most of the Dark Riders are dead.
- Villain Decay: The Dark Riders were never as deadly as, say, the Marauders, but over time when menace they did have has nosedived.
- Wolverine Publicity: Likely the only Dark Rider most fans remember is Tusk, who bizarrely got a TON of exposure in the '90s for some reason (likely because he was the most physically-distinctive member of the group, even though he was just a Maul ripoff). On top of his appearances mentioned above, he was also the only member of the Dark Riders to ever get his own action figure.
A Straw Feminist from the 17th century who leads a Dark Sisterhood made up of her descendants in the present day. She became obssessed with Cable and Rachel Summers due to seeing visions of them defeating her over the centuries, which they did indeed do despite her best efforts. She then vanished into Comic-Book Limbo for several years before being unceremoniously Killed Off for Real during the Messiah Complex event.
- Aborted Arc: Originally creator Robert Weinberg intended for her to be the maternal ancestress of the Grey family, but he was forced to cancel the story at the last minute. He left it open-ended, however, creating an Ambiguous Situation as to whether or not she's an addition to the Summers Family Tree.
- All There in the Manual: Many of the details of Fiona's past were never revealed on panel and can only be learned by reading her Marvel File entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update.
- An Axe to Grind: Uses one as a weapon, as seen in her profile image. She's also been known to carry a Sinister Scythe.
- Ancient Conspiracy: Her Dark Sisterhood has lurked in the shadows of America's history for over two hundred years and has members placed in "every level of society". Their end goal is to overthrow the "corrupt system" of America and replace it with their own matriarchial dictatorship.
- Arc Villain: She was The Woman Behind the Man to Gaunt below and a few even more forgettable villains, and served as the Big Bad of her story arc.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: She hails from an aristocratic British family living first in Hamburg, Germany, and then in the Virginia colony of what would become the United States.
- Black Widow: She's married three times over the centuries, and each time she killed her husband after they gave her children.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: With her level of power and the conspiracy she's built there's no reason why America isn't already the matriarchy dictatorship she wants, really. She's called on this by Cable, but waves it away by saying that America "wasn't worth conquering" yet.
- Burn the Witch!: Her sister was subjected to this, a tragedy that caused her to hate all men forever.
- Butterfly of Doom: Tries to become one, as she sees a future where her Dark Sisterhood controls America if the current day president is killed. Her assassination attempt fails, however, and her followers are all flushed out and arrested in the aftermath.
- Cain and Abel: She's got a good brother, Clarity, who is also immortal and provides Cable with the information he needs to find her.
- Clock King: Her success rides on her ability to see the future actions of herself and others and choose the best possible course of action based on those visions. But because Cable was raised two thousand years in the future, Finality has never been able to predict his actions.
- Combo Platter Powers: She's got a psychic 3-for 1 combo on top of Immortality.
- Evil Matriarch: One of her codenames is literally "Dark Mother". Ironically, she seems to have been a very good mother to her children — just so long as they were girls.
- Evil Redhead: She looks eerily similar to Jean and Rachel, being their (intended) ancestor.
- For Want of a Nail: Supposedly she had plans to recruit her alleged descendant Jean Grey, but Professor X got to her first.
- Freudian Excuse: She hates all men due to her sister Gloria being burned as a witch during the Salem witch hunts in 1692.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Often comboed with a Sickly Green Glow.
- In the Hood: Particularly on cover art and in her Dark Mother phase.
- Killed Off for Real: By the Marauders Blockbuster, Prism and Riptide, apparently, though her death wasn't shown on panel and it is possible (though very unlikely) that she survived.
- Mad Oracle: Being able to see her defeat hundreds of years before it happens has made her a little batty where Cable is concerned.
- Magic Meteor: Her father Hans Knoblach apparently stumbled upon one in his youth, along with five other children. The other children all died, but Hans lived, and the exposure apparently activated latent mutant genes in his children.
- Meaningful Rename: She was called and referred to herself as Finality in her original story arc, but was referred to as the Dark Mother during Messiah Complex as Cable had put a very decisive end to Fiona as Finality.
- Manipulative Bitch: She convinces Blaquesmith that she and her sisterhood are benign and worthy of carrying on the Askani tradition.
- Mind Wipe: Cable does this to her to neutralizes her threat. It works very well, as even years later when the Marauders come calling Fiona is still incapacitated and unable to defend herself from being killed.
- Offing the Offspring: It's implied that she did this to any male children she had.
- Psychic Powers: Very powerful ones, as she is able to hold her own in a duel with Cable. She's got the always-effective combo of Telepathy and Telekinesis as well as a powerful Precognition that lets her see her defeat at the hands of Cable and Rachel hundreds of years before it happens. She's also capable of Mind Control, though powerful telepaths like Cable and Rachel can resist it easily.
- Really 700 Years Old: She was born in 1680 and has remained in her prime over the centuries.
- Salem Is Witch Country: So much so that all she and her sister had to do was visit Salem (they were originally from Virginia) to be caught up in the witch hysteria of the time.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Both her foreseen defeat and her failure to establish her desired matriarchy dictatorship seem to have been brought about by this, particularly the latter since she didn't act earlier when she could have accomplished her goals because she didn't see herself acting until the present day. Like Dr. Manhattan, being able to foresee the future seems to have paralyzed her to a degree.
- Self-Made Orphan: She arranges the deaths of both her parents in 1705 by having the boat they were on sunk.
- She Knows Too Much: The reason for her being Killed Off for Real, as Mr. Sinister had his Marauders instituting The Purge against all Seers in the prelude to Messiah Complex.
- Straw Feminist: As mentioned above, she hates men, so much so that she married to have children only to kill off all three of her husbands.
- Villainous BSoD: According to Cable, she couldn't handle seeing a future with no possible way for her to win (during their fight), leading her to have one of these.
- Villainous Breakdown: Has a bit of one in her fight with Cable, once it comes out as to exactly why she fears him.Finality: You've haunted my nightmares for three hundred years. I want you out of my DREAMS!
- Villainous Valor: Whatever else can be said about Fiona, she's not a coward. When her plans to assassinate the president fell apart and all the rest of her Dark Sisterhood was panicking and urging her to flee, Finality calmly rebuffed them, telling them that if she killed Cable it would be a greater victory than assassinating any number of presidents.
- Visionary Villain: Finality and her Dark Sisterhood have a plan for America. It involves an immortal leader, a matriarchial government and all men ground under their bootheels.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: She was used as the villain for exactly one story arc in Cable's title, stretching from issue 88 to 95. Outside of that, her only other appearances are a token cameo in the Messiah Complex event to kill her off and a single Marvel Handbook entry.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Despite her best efforts to Screw Destiny and avert her foreseen defeat at the hands of Cable and Rachel, she fails.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Or purple in her case, apparently to obscure her status as an (intended) Summers-Grey ancestor.
A mutant cyborg from two billion years in the future who fought a 10,000 year long war of universal conquest before finally being defeated. He was banished to an even farther future point, but was contacted by time-traveling members of Finality's Dark Sisterhood who promised to release him in exchange for taking care of Cable for them. Despite giving Cable a tough time in their fight, he failed and was slain by the Sisterhood for his failure. Some "great warlord" he turned out to be.
- Aborted Arc: According to creator Robert Weinberg, he was originally going to be a very different character, being described as a tall and thin fellow in 19th century clothing (which would fit with the Sisterhood's leader also having been around during that time period). For whatever reason, this was nixed in favor of making him a futuristic warlord instead.
- Badass Cape: Wears a lilac purple one.
- Conqueror from the Future: Or would have been, had he made it to the mainstream Marvel U.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He's fascinated by good because it's so alien to him, according to Rachel.
- For the Evulz: Yet another Marvel warlord who wants to conquer everything ever just because.
- From a Single Cell: The T-O virus strain he's infected replaces any damaged tissue he was with "living steel", accounting for his long lifespan.
- Informed Ability: His character file gives him high to very high stats in everything but speed and he's talked up as a fearsome warlord who fought a future universe's version of The Federation for thousands of years, but Cable beats him in one hit and he's subsequently slain with little effort by some jumped-up misandrists.
- Informed Attribute: Rachel calls him "the most evil man who's ever lived." So apparently a random throwaway villain is more evil than the likes of Apocalypse, Mr. Sinister and Mojo to a person who's met all three.
- Legend In His Own Mind: He calls himself "the great warlord of human history" but he's clearly no Apocalypse.
- Logical Weakness: Because a more mild version of Cable's T-O virus is the source of his powers, he can't cope with the Cabe's more aggressive strain, leading him to be defeated with just one blow.
- Mind Control: He subjects Rachel to it, but apparently Cable has a stronger mind.
- No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: He greets Cable by offering him dinner and is as gracious a host as one could hope for a throwaway villain to be.
- Nonindicative Name: He's not very gaunt, though as mentioned above he was originally going to be.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: He was banished to a desolate reality called the Borderline, supposedly the endpoint of all of the Marvel U's various timelines.
- Single-Stroke Battle: With Cable. Turns out he's a Man of Kryptonite to Gaunt due to carrying around a deadlier version of the virus that is the source of his abilities.
- Time Abyss: Averted, actually. He's from two billion years in the future, but he's not actually two billion years old. Still, he's at least 10,000 years old, which isn't anything to sneeze at.
- The Unfettered: According to him "no crime was too great and no sin too depraved" to accomplish his goal of ruling the universe.
- Viral Transformation: The source of his powers, apparently, as he was infected by a "more mild version" of Cable's T-O virus.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He's appeared in exactly five issues, one of those simply being his character file in the X-Men: Phoenix Force handbook.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Dark green, actually.
The son of Aliya Dayspring and Cable or Stryfe, Tyler hates his father and will do anything to kill him.
- Adaptational Heroism: In the X-Men animated series, where he never becomes Genesis.
- Antagonistic Offspring: His son, Tyler, aka Genesis, who was kidnapped by Stryfe spent several arcs making his father's life miserable before being killed by Wolverine.
- Avenging the Villain: After reinventing himself as Apocalypse's successor.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: As a teenager he was captured by Stryfe and handed over to a sadistic mutant telepath named Frisco, who literally put the boy's mind through hell and back for months to make him a Manchurian Agent.
- BFG: He certainly inherited his father's fondness for giant nineties-style guns.
- Big Bad Wannabe: He styles himself as the heir to Apocalypse, but he's manhandled by Mr. Sinister effortlessly and outside of fights with Cable, just a pair of X-Men are all it takes to handle him.
- Conqueror from the Future: Averted at first, with Tyler only seeking revenge on Cable. Later he plays this trope straight upon becoming Genesis.
- Death Equals Redemption: He appears in a vision to a dying Cable shortly after his own death, thanking his father for trying to save him and urging him to not give up.
- Distaff Counterpart: Nearly ten years after Tyler bit the dust, Marvel revisited the idea of Cable having a warrior child carrying on his legacy in Hope Summers.
- The Don: When he first arrived in the present-day reality he took on the persona of shadowy Arms Dealer Tolliver, a Sicilian mob boss.
- Evil vs. Evil: In one of the 1995 annuals he targets Mr. Sinister for turning on Apocalypse.
- Fallen Hero: A former freedom fighter who fell into villainy and took up the mantle of one of the most heinous villains in all the Marvel U.
- Fights Like a Normal: Yet another trait he learned from his father. It served him well in seizing control of the Dark Riders, but throwing down with Wolverine ended up being a little over his weight threshold.
- Gone Horribly Right: One what-if tale focuses on what would have happened if Genesis had managed to successfully go through with his brainwashing of Wolverine. The result? Wolverine becomes more powerful than even Apocalypse ever managed to make him, becomes the literal personification of war, and proceeds to slaughter a good chunk of the Marvel U. Oh, and Tyler is once again killed off by him. Dude can't catch a break even in alternate realities.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: In his very first appearance as Genesis, his Powered Armor comes with a pressurized helmet that makes him look much more like Apocalypse's successor. He takes the helmet off within a couple of panels, and is never seen wearing it again.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Seeking to build his own version of the Four Horsemen, Genesis kidnaps Wolverine and attempts to re-bond adamantium to his skeleton. The procedure fails, driving Wolverine into a Berserker Rage which ends with Genesis and all his underlings dead.
- Killed Off for Real: In Wolverine #100, courtesy of a feral Logan.
- Love Is a Weakness: He believes this, and weaponizes it when going after Mr. Sinister by abducting Essex's hidden Morality Pet.
- Luke, I Might Be Your Father: It's hinted at that Tyler's true father is not actually Cable but Stryfe.
- Master of Disguise: Played with. Tyler successfully invents a false identity for himself so convincing that even his own father is fooled... but said false identity is literally just him wearing a Coat, Hat, Mask.
- Mundane Utility: When he first travels back to our time, Tyler puts his future knowledge to good use... by using it to establish a place for himself in the criminal community as the arms dealer Tolliver.
- Mutants: The descendant of a whole family of them, namely the Summers/Grey bloodline.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Averted and played straight all at once in his attempt to re-bond adamantium to Wolverine's skeleton. The process fails, with Wolverine ejecting the adamantium from his body, but the trauma sends Logan into a Berserker Rage. Tyler himself realizes this by the end.Genesis: Ah. Here comes a doom by my own hand...
- Powered Armor: As Genesis, presumably to compensate for his unremarkable mutant abilities.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Played with. He hijacks Apocalypse's mutant power siphons to power himself up, but is only ever seen using them on Cable (not even killing him!) and while he later claims to have acquired greater power, later appearances proved that to be either a bluff or at best a case of Informed Ability.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Certainly comes off as such in his interactions with Cable, where he disturbingly insists on referring to him as 'daddy'.
- Revenge Before Reason: Established with the reveal that Tolliver was Tyler. Despite building himself up from nothing into a prominent European crimelord, Tyler only cared about making his father suffer, and lost all his ill-gained wealth after Cable's strike on his Sicilian villa.
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: Started off as merely part of Cable's backstory, then his villain, before finally tackling Wolverine. In retrospect, he probably should've stuck with his dad...
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: This was his motive before full-blown Apocalypse-fanaticism set in; he claimed that by taking Apocalypse's power and massacring his ancestral descendants in Akkaba that he would change the future he and Cable both came from and prevent Cable from ever abandoning him to Stryfe. Yeah, he really never got over that...
- Tangled Family Tree: He's yet another Summers descendant. Not helping matters is that it's not clear who his biological father actually is, Cable or Stryfe.
- Telepathy: His official bios state he has this ability, though it's very underdeveloped.
- Time Travel: From 2,000 years into the future, to be precise.
- Unexpected Successor: Tyler had already been established as a not-all-that-sane presence with a grudge against his dad, but to say he was an unexpected choice for the self-proclaimed 'heir to Apocalypse' would be a huge understatement.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Before being brainwashed by Stryfe, Tyler was a bonafide hero and proud freedom fighter.
- Villainous Legacy: Believes himself to be carrying on the will and testament of Apocalypse.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Even after switching his daddy issues from Cable to freaking Apocalypse.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Tyler's main mutant ability is the power to project psychic 'solid-light holograms' directly from people's memories — a fairly useless power by any standards, but especially useless coming from a Summers/Grey descendant.
Harbinger of Apocalypse
An unnamed British man from Victorian London who was abducted by Apocalypse and placed in a Celestial coffin. He remained in that coffin for the next 140 years, until the Hellfire Club's leaders released him in a bid for power. Having transformed into a living weapon by this time, the Harbinger set off on a mission to bring destruction and chaos to the world.
- Action Bomb: After being overcome by the Avengers and Cable in his final battle, he attempts a Taking You with Me attack. It doesn't work, though the issue ends on a cliffhanger to fake out readers into thinking it did.
- Adaptive Ability: His primary ability is this; like Doomsday of Superman fame, he adapts to any attack used against him.
- Badass Boast: "You are no quicker to learn that you were in our London encounter. I was built to survive any enemy's worst!"
- Butt-Monkey: It has to be said that among X-villains, this guy's life sucked pretty hard. Even before becoming the Harbinger he was a down-on-his-luck Brit living in the sewers of London, and then a malevolent mutant of Lovecraftian presence abducts him, shuts him in a fancy coffin without a word of explanation and strips away all his humanity until all that's left is a living weapon. Fate Worse than Death indeed.
- Evil Is Petty: His creation is rooted in this, as Apocalypse had just been defeated by the unlikely Power Trio of Cyclops, Jean Grey and Mr. Sinister, and was limping away to lick his wounds. On the way back he stumbled upon the luckless man who would become the Harbinger, and abducted him purely out of spite as a weapon to turn against his enemies later.
- Cyborg: Like Apocalypse, he is a mixture of man and Celestial machine.
- Generic Doomsday Villain: Subverted in his original appearance where he was contemplative of himself and his purpose, but played depressingly straight later.
- Living Weapon: Transformed into one by Apocalypse.
- No-Nonsense Nemesis: "The concept of sport means nothing to me now, So, let this come to an end..."
- One-Man Army: He was strong enough to fight Cable and The Avengers singlehandedly.
- Really 700 Years Old: He's from the same time period as Mr. Sinister.
- Redemption Rejection: At the end of his first appearance he says that even though his programming compels him to bring destruction to the world, he wants to judge the worth of humanity before obeying it. In his next appearance, he's eagerly bringing destruction, having either forgotten his promise or having judged humanity as unworthy.
- Touched by Vorlons: He's not a mutant, and indeed was just an ordinary human before Apocalypse transformed him with Celestial techology.
- Victimized Bystander: Apocalypse didn't choose him because of any particular quality he possessed, he was literally just some random British guy who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
- Voice of the Legion: Like Exodus before him (who was interestingly enough also an intended weapon of Apocalypse), the Harbinger's speech bubbles are yellow-colored when he speaks.
A childhood friend of Nathan's who he accidentally infected with the techno-organic virus, a secret he's kept ever since. He's been hunting Cable throughout his life.
- Brought Down to Normal: Eventually, Cable is able to purge the virus from him, restoring him to his child state, but also taking all those nifty powers with him.
- Cyborg: Due to the T-O virus completely overtaking him.
- Evil Former Friend: Was one of Nathan's few friends as a child, until the virus got to him.
- Not Growing Up Sucks: Thanks to the combination of his shapeshifting mutation and the T-O virus his body was stuck as a child: he can shapeshift into other forms, but his default is always at the same age he was infected at. Naturally, he's not at all happy with this state of affairs.
- Only One Name: His surname is unrevealed.
- Shapeshifter: Metus' natural mutant power.
A soldier of New Canaan who fell prey to Cybernetics Eat Your Soul after being fragged by Cable. Blaming the Dayspring for his cyborg condition, he pursued both him and his son Tyler through time.
- Bounty Hunter: A futuristic, officially-sanctioned one, as he was charged by General Haight with retrieving "The Other" (who was actually Cable's son Tyler) and preventing any further chronal escapades.
- Cool Helmet: He's got one, and it's more than a little inspired by Boba Fett's.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: He certainly felt this way (and angsted at length about it), though Cable flatly told him he was the same crappy person with or without the cybernetics.
- Cyborg: Turned into one by General Haight after him and his troops were hit with a thermite bomb courtesy of the Cabe.
- Death Equals Redemption: He decides the only way he can reclaim his humanity is by sacrificing himself in Cable's place.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Before becoming Sinsear he was just some random Canaanite soldier.
- Homing Projectile: He fires homing CDs at his enemies. Yes, as in CD-ROMs. It's as goofy as it sounds.
- Implacable Man: He was rather dogged after pursuing Tyler Dayspring, showing up at the mansion of Tyler's Tolliver identity and interrogating his butler. Despite this, Tyler was always a step ahead of him.
- Informed Ability: According to Cable he's a One-Man Army with "almost a million bloody kills to his credit."
- Killed Off for Real: In Cable #41.
- Malevolent Masked Man: He wears a Cool Helmet that covers most of his face and is most definitely malevolent.
- Mercy Kill: Inverted, as he desperately wanted a Mercy Kill from Cable after being blown up but instead got a homing beacon put on him. For that bit of Cruel Mercy he never forgave Cable.
- No Indoor Voice: His speech was always bolded and written in a larger font than that of other characters, implying that either has a very deep voice or he's always screaming at the top of his lungs.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Well, red eye singular, as one of his eyes is just a bloodred visor on his helmet.
- Sins of Our Fathers: Exploited: Sinsear is charged with pursuing Cable's son Tyler by the New Canaan regime and decides he can expand his mission parameters to target his father in order to lure Tyler out of hiding.
- Starter Villain: Like Conquest above, he was created for this purpose. Of the 7 issues he appeared in, five were the first five issues of the original Cable run.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He appeared in a grand total of 7 issues, yet weirdly got character trading cards and was treated at the time like he would be a major villain of Cable's.
- You Can't Go Home Again: By his final story all he wanted was to go home again. Yes, to his hellish war-ravaged future home. The present-day sucked that much for him.
The clone of Cable created by the Clan Askani when it seemed baby Nathan would perish from his T-O Virus, Stryfe was taken and raised by Apocalypse as his heir (in reality his perfect host body). Without the virus ravaging his body, Stryfe grew up with full access to his vast powers. Once Nathan, Redd and Slym Dayspring defeat Apocalypse, he was raised by former Apocalypse loyalist Ch'vayre, who tried to bring the boy onto the right path, from joyful murder to Apocalyse's philosophy of survival of the fittest. It didn't take, and Stryfe grew up to menace his "brother" throughout time.
- Abomination Accusation Attack: He liked to mock Cable about being a clone back when he still believed he was the original Nathan Summers. Unfortunately for him, that Laser-Guided Karma came around like an arrow.
- Antagonist Abilities: He's got all the abilities Cable would have if he wasn't The Fettered.
- Antagonistic Offspring: Stryfe himself is arguably this to Scott and Jean, his biological parents. He's also this to Apocalypse, his adoptive father.
- Appropriated Appellation: An in-universe and OOC example, as he took to calling himself the Chaos-Bringer after being called that in the future. Little did the terrorized people of New Canaan know the Dark Phoenix called herself that long before Stryfe hit the scene.
- Arch-Enemy: To Cable primarily, though numerous members of X-Force also have grudges against him owing to various Kick the Dog moments he committed against them.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Invoked when he defeated Apocalypse and took control of the Dark Riders. Their whole thing is that they follow whoever is the strongest, so they fell in line with Stryfe with no complaints.
- The Atoner: Bizarrely attempted in the Gambit and Bishop miniseries, in which he was depicted as remorseful, frankly pathetic (Cable completely owned him with zero effort to the horror of the two X-Men) and desperate enough for redemption to attempt Death Equals Redemption. In his next appearance he was back to being the unrepentant megalomaniac and this has never been mentioned again.
- Badass Cape: Of the red Evil Overlord flavor.
- Big Bad: Of the "X-Cutioner's Song".
- Big Bad Wannabe: A high-tier case to be sure, but he's not in the same weight class as he once was and in practice is usually made a pawn by more devious villains. He's got the power and clout to stand as a a true Big Bad, but his underestimation of other villains and lack of any real goals aside from "torment Cable" hamstring his effectiveness.
- Biological Weapons Solve Everything: Well, they don't solve everything, but they certainly make Stryfe's ego feel better. In addition to the Legacy virus detailed below, he also attempted to assassinate Professor X via a T-O bullet that infected him with the same disease his brother Cable suffers from. Only Apocalypse saved the X-Men's founder from certain death.
- Cain and Abel: With Cable, obviously.
- The Cameo: He made a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance in X-Men as one of the telepaths captured by Apocalypse during the "Beyond Good and Evil" 4-part episode.
- Clone Degeneration: Implied to be the reason behind his Villain Decay expanded upon in greater detail below.
- Cloning Blues: More like Cloning Melodrama in his case, as he is forever consumed with angst over being Cable's clone. Though, since he thought for most of his life that he was the true Nathan Summers and that Cable himself was the clone, his angst is perhaps justified to a point.
- It gets worse when he runs across Nate Grey, who is also an artificially created version of Cable, but more of an artificially gestated half-sibling (he's made from Jean and Scott's DNA)... and who is, to add insult to injury, much, much more powerful than Stryfe. For context, Stryfe has previously beaten Apocalypse and time-travelled. Nate has kept Apocalypse imprisoned - effortlessly - while simultaneously running Magneto as a puppet and flattening an entire team of powerful X-Men (including Jean Grey, Storm, Ice Man, and Psylocke) in the blink of an eye, and treated the multiverse as his personal stepladder/rewritten reality. You can see why Stryfe might feel a bit inferior.
- Cloning Gambit: His existence is a Cloning Gambit on the part of Mr. Sinister and a future timeline's Rachel Summers, both of whom knew that Cable would be a prime target for the Grand Theft Me predations of Apocalypse. So the duo created "bait" for the ancient tyrant in Stryfe, who served double duty for them both by being a decoy used to keep the real Cable safe and by being a Tyke Bomb designed specifically to destroy Apocalypse at the moment of the inevitable bodyjack.
- Dystopia Justifies the Means: This was his objective during his time as Apocalypse's son in the future, as well as during the "Age of Stryfe" story arc of X-Force.
- Evil Is Petty: Boy howdy is it! Apart from Stryfe's unending angst over being a clone, his prime character trait is his pettiness. Unlike grand scale villains like Apocalypse and Mr. Sinister who seek to change all of civilization, or even self-styled mutant protectors like Magneto and Exodus, Stryfe cares nothing about mutant rights, uplifting civilization, or really anything beside gratifying his own impulses.
- Evil Mentor: Attempted to become one to Hope once. She didn't bite.
- Evil Twin: His defining aspect as a character is being Cable's evil clone.
- Frame-Up: He used his identical appearance to Cable to attempt an assassination of Professor X that would make the X-Men think Cable himself was the culprit, kicking off the "X-Cutioner's Song".
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Used this way in the X-Men 2000 annual, in which the X-Men and Lady Deathstrike team up to take on a force of Prime Sentinels being directed by who they think is Bastion. But no, surprise, it's Stryfe! How did Stryfe return that time? How did he seize control of Prime Sentinels (he's never been associated with Sentinels in any way before or since)? What exactly did he want out of activating the Sentinels? These and all other plot-related questions will be answered never! Additionally, he pulls a Villain: Exit, Stage Left at the story's end, meaning he could have just as easily been a literal giant space flea for all the difference it would have made.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: He's got a lot of angst (first over his perceived Parental Abandonment, later over Cloning Blues) and likes to depict himself as more tragic than villainous, but his cold-blooded manipulation of the MLF members and his spiteful release of the Legacy virus tell you all you need to know about Stryfe. Tragic Villain he's not.
- Joker Immunity: He's died at least three times now (once by having his psychic essence expelled from Cable, once by attempting to contain a sort of anti-Phoenix Force and once by being pulped in his own armor by Magneto) but keeps coming back.
- Kick the Dog: He slaughtered all of Warpath's family and tribe at Camp Verde and murdered Rictor's father.
- Large Ham: In his earlier appearances he was one of the hammiest villains around, making grandiloquent speeches and sweeping poses at the drop of a hat. As the years have passed this aspect of him has sadly tapered off, leaving him as a more generic sort of villain.
- Logical Weakness: Because he lacked the Techno-Organic Virus that Cable had, he doesn't have to use part of his powers to hold the virus back; however, said virus also fortified a good amount of Cable's body (to the point where he's practically a cyborg), meaning that Stryfe has to rely on wearing armor to make up for this disadvantage. All that armor makes him particularly vulnerable to magnetic types, as both Polaris and Magneto have demonstrated to him.
- Manipulative Bastard: He's up there with Apocalypse and Mr. Sinister on the manipulative scale. His evil mutant faction, the Mutant Liberation Front, was made up of mutants who thought the were fighting for mutant emancipation ala the Brotherhood but were in fact nothing but a goon squad for Stryfe to throw at his foes.
- My Own Grampa: Not literally so, but his name came about this way, as Apocalypse names him in the future in honor of a "worthy opponent" who almost killed him 2,000 years ago, never guessing that opponent was the very baby in his hands.
- Oedipus Complex: He was for a time obsessed with his biological (who he believed to be his actual) father Cyclops, as well as his believed bio-mom Jean Grey. Finding out he was a clone apparently cured him of his oedipal obsessions, but left him with an entirely new source of angst.
- Only One Name: He believed his true name to be Nathan Summers for years, but with the revelation that he is Cable's clone Stryfe is the only name he has.
- Orcus on His Throne: Prior to the "X-Cutioner's Song" he spent a lot of time just sitting around watching his minions get their butts kicked and making enigmatic remarks about how it was all going according to plan. Sure, Stryfe, sure.
- Psychic Powers: To the point of Physical God levels; like Cable, Stryfe has the coveted combo of telepathy and telekinesis, with a distinct focus on the latter. Due to not suffering from the Techno-Organic (T-O) virus Cable is afflicted with, his powers are (or at least were) stronger than Cable's. His applications of these powers include:
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: He can use his telekinesis to generate a breathable air field around himself (somehow) and multiple other people.
- Deflector Shields: Via his telekinesis, to the point where he just stood there and laughed as Wolverine tried to cut through his personal defenses to get him.
- Grand Theft Me: After his first death he flung himself into Cable's body and took it over with a time with help from Mr. Sinister. Unsurprising, considering he was Raised as a Host.
- Mind over Matter: He's a champion telekinetic, flinging around Apocalypse effortlessly and later having a telekinetic brawl with Cable across the moon.
- People Puppets: Like Cassandra Nova and Exodus, he's capable of overriding a person's control over their body to make them do what he wants. Demonstrated during his attempted "Age of Stryfe", in which he overrode Wolverine and later forced Elixir to heal him.
- Psychic Block Defense: He's constantly protected by a "telepathic cloak" that disguises his presence from over telepaths. Unfortunately for him, another telepath with such a cloak can then get the drop on him, as Psylocke showed him.
- Psychic Strangle: Via his telekinesis.
- Telepathy: Compared to his telekinesis he's a somewhat lackluster telepath, but he is one.
- Raised as a Host: The future Apocalypse of Cable's time took him in and raised him fully intending to make him his new host body. Little did he know that he'd already been Out-Gambitted by Mr. Sinister.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: It's implied (though never stated outright) that he raped Cable's wife Aliya and that Tyler Dayspring is actually his own son.
- Red Herring: Upon his introduction, it was implied that Stryfe might somehow be Cable, since they have the same face, and were talking about their knowledge of the future while using the same Catch Phrases. It wasn't until later that we learned the real reason for these similarities.
- Sadistic Choice: He's fond of forcing Cable into "give me what I want or you sacrifice someone you care about" style choices. The first time led to the capture and corruption of his adopted son Tyler and the second time led to the crippling of his teammates Hammer and Kane, but the third time around he finally made the right choice and was able to save Kane.
- Scary Impractical Armor: Stryfe wore a suit of armour that looked like it was made out of blades, giving many readers the impression that he'd decapitate himself if he ever shrugged his shoulders. To say nothing of the Spikes of Villainy...
- Sore Loser: So sore that his response to losing was to unleash The Virus on his own people.
- Space Base: He built a headquarters for himself on the moon.
- Spikes of Villainy: He wears a spiky armored costume.
- Split at Birth: Stryfe was created as a clone of the infant Cable who was severely infected with techno-organic virus and would make him as a perfect copy in case the original dies. Unfortunately, he was then kidnapped and raised by the evil Apocalypse.
- Spoiled Brat: Apocalypse's parenting consisted of "sometimes lecture him about my philosophy and then give him whatever he wants."
- Taking You with Me: Attempted on all of mutantkind with the Legacy Virus.
- Tangled Family Tree: Yet another member of the Summers family.
- Underestimating Badassery: He's got a bad habit of this, especially where women are concerned, which trips him up - he misjudges both Nate and Maddie Pryor in Nate's series when they end up working with Cable to bring him down, and most recently, his teenage incarnation thought that he had Rachel Grey-Summers under the control of his pet telepaths, despite their warnings that her mind was strong. He also thought that, once she broke free, he could subdue her. In neither case was he correct.
- The Unfettered: Thanks to his body not being ravaged by the T-O virus. However, he's still not in Nate Grey's weight-class, which leaves him with a serious inferiority complex.
- The Usurper: For his appearance in X-Man's book he took advantage of Doctor Doom's absence to seize control of Latveria. Thanks to the Power Trio of Nate, Cable and Madelyne Pryor he was defeated and sent packing before Doom even realized he'd been usurped.
- To Hell and Back: After his final (original) death in "Fathers and Sons" he was sent to Hell, where he was encountered by Warpath. He fought James thinking he could escape from Hell if he defeated the X-Man, but after being beaten Blackheart revealed he'd never intended to allow Stryfe to escape and just held out the possibility to further torture him. He later escaped anyway (somehow).
- Unwitting Pawn: For a character as powerful and dangerous as he is, he's often prone to being this. From day one he was this to Mr. Sinister, who created him from the start to be a Tyke Bomb against Apocalypse with a "genetic bomb" in his DNA that would reject Apocalypse's essence when the inevitable Grand Theft Me attempt happened. He was this to Apocalypse himself due to having no idea he was being Raised as a Host. He was later this to his own nephew/son, Tyler Dayspring (Tyler's parentage is a little ambiguous), who manipulated both him and Cable for years. Finally, he was this to Apocalypse (the present day one, not the future one) who allowed him to attack the X-Force and attempt to bring about his so-called "Age of Stryfe" before effortlessly beating him while revealing that he'd only allow Stryfe to get so far to test X-Force in his usual Darwinist way. In his last and lowest point, he was the Unwitting Pawn of Madcap.
- Villain Decay: Possibly overlaps with Villain Forgot to Level Grind; in his original '90s appearances Stryfe was an extremely powerful villain, capable of taking out Apocalypse and throwing down with the strongest mutants the X-Men had to offer. In later appearances Cable had a much easier time with him and Apocalypse flat-out dominated him in a rematch, even pronouncing him an unworthy successor and denouncing him as a mistake made by another timeline's Apocalypse that he would never allow to come to pass.
- Villain Team-Up: He's teamed up with Bishop's villainous incarnation and Kang the Conqueror at points.
- He teamed up with Maddie Pryor once. She ended up stabbing him in the back.
- Villainous Legacy: After Stryfe is defeated, it turns out that he has left behind a virus that spreads through humans and kills those with the x-gene, devastating mutantkind for years. Appropriately, it is referred to as the Legacy virus, a name given because Stryfe was constantly ranting about legacies.
- The Virus: The aforementioned Legacy virus, which is noteworthy for being the first of the "virus created to attack mutantkind" plot devices in the Marvel U (many others would follow). Many mutants lost their lives to this contagion, including Illyana Rasputin, Mastermind, Maverick, Multiple Man, Pyro, and others.