Cable & Deadpool was a Marvel Comics series that launched in 2004 and ran for 50 issues (May, 2004 - April, 2008). The whole point of the series was the Odd Friendship between Cable and Deadpool that began after the first six issues, where they were somewhere between fighting and helping each other due to their individual missions conflicting/collaborating during that arc. The series had been noted for its Buddy Picture overtones, the high-level of Genre Savvy possessed by all characters, and how it tied into major Marvel events (House of M, Civil War, and referencing One More Day) without the characters being derailed at all for the plot. The duo teamed up again from December 2015-March 2016, for the Infinite Comic Deadpool & Cable: Split Second.
Cable & Deadpool provides examples of:
- The Ace: Shen Kuei a.k.a. The Cat. How good is he? He doesn't accept mercenary jobs for money, he accepts them if the other people competing with him to complete the job would lead to good fights. Deadpool and Weasel both have fanboy moments over him and he beats up all three B.A.D. girls.
- Although he'll still derive payment, not only from the original contractor but from the third party that pays him to consider accepting the job.
- Action Girl: The B.A.D. Girls (Black Mamba, Asp, and Diamondback) who end up in the first major arc of the second volume, Domino, from the first Providence and Rumekistan arcs, and Outlaw and Sandi finally prove themselves as this in the final issue (they only hadn't before due to lack of screen-time).
- All There in the Manual: While most of the basics about any characters were handled in the recap pages, some things like Outlaw being a mutant, Sandi being Taskmaster's girlfriend, and other more in-depth background facts were omitted.
- And This Is for...: There's a Running Gag of Deadpool fighting his way into a building doing this, but the things he mentions have nothing to do with who he's attacking.
- Artifact Title: Cable is not in the last fourth or so of the series due to being dead yet again. He gets minor action in the last issue, sending Wade a weapon from another point in time to help against the symbiote dinosaurs.
- The Bus Came Back: The series liked featuring minor Marvel characters, including Black Box's real identity as the mutant Comcast, who hadn't been seen in awhile.
- Butt-Monkey: Bob, agent of Hydra. You know you're in trouble when a psychotic mercenary declares you his pet and you seem okay with it.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Deadpool can do this all the time, other people are only allowed to on the recap page (except for T-Ray, who insists that it is further proof that he is the real Wade Wilson).
- Call-Back: In Cable's case, one related to his appearance on a couple of occasions during the de-ageing arc: specifically, how as a teenager he looks exactly like his alternate reality counterpart Nate Grey, who had at this point been sort of dead for several years. Underlining the fact that it was intentional, the cover for one of the issues of that arc had teenage Cable in his counterpart's original Age of Apocalypse gear.
- Crossover: The storylines often brought in other Marvel characters like the X-Men, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, the B.A.D. Girls, Brother Voodoo, Dr. Strange, or Hydra.
- 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 awhile while repairing all the destruction their fight causes, and his powers are simultaneously diminishing as he fights the Silver Surfer. He also destroys the Surfer's indestructible board.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Thanks to Cable fixing his mind in issue 16, Deadpool remembers a lot more of his life. He doesn't dwell on it (never has, never will) but he is able to use it to prove that he's Wade Wilson, so T-Ray isn't.
- Final Battle: How the series ended—Deadpool accidentally teleported dinosaurs to New York City, where they also became infected with symbiotes (somehow). This leads to every Hero, Anti-Hero, and mercenary in the city fighting them. Deadpool almost swoons when he realizes he's getting to fight with people like Ben Grimm, Spider-Man, and the Avengers.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Even without depending on how you define "hero", Deadpool does this a lot. Mostly because he's a mercenary and does as he's paid to. He's more Face around Cable, but turned Heel against him twice.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Cable and Deadpool. Despite frequently trying to kill/injure each other, Cable never telling Deadpool anything or trusting him much (admittedly justified at times), Deadpool double-crossing Nate like crazy, and Nate having two female love interests, Cable and Deadpool become BLATANTLY entrenched in each other's lives and quite devoted to the relationship. They call any time they're not on good terms a "divorce" and Cable seems more at ease with Deadpool than with either of his Love Interests (Domino and Irene Merryweather).
- Homoerotic Subtext: Deadpool and Cable's undefined intimate relationship has intentional, lampshaded subtext:
- A genetic merging incident causes Cable and Deadpool to read as genetic duplicates and teleport together when either uses the "bodyslide" technology. The intimacy of this merging is alluded to being on the same level as sex.
- Issue #7 recap: "They fought 'gainst guy tried turning people blue/Made Cable get frozen and Deadpool go goo/Their bodies merged into one conjoined splat/(Not That There's Anything Wrong with That.)"
- Issue #8's "Unused excerpt from the recorded interviews of Irene Merryweather":Deadpool: We got infected with this Facade Virus, which made our bodies sort of melt together. It was actually kind of romantic. Now, when we bodyslide, we end up merged.
Deadpool: Oh, girl, you haven't lived until you do it while bodysliding.
Irene: [long silence]
Deadpool: Hmm. Let me rephrase. You haven't lived until you do it.
Irene: So... Cable is forced to... deal with you.
Deadpool: We bodyslide by one, yeah, sorta like a Play-Doh thing happening. We bodyslide by two and we appear side by side. Either way, we're hermanos en fuego.
Irene: Brothers on fire?
Deadpool: I thought it meant flaming brothers.
Irene: That's not much better.
- Issue #10 recap: "Cable and Deadpool did something with their bodies that's usually reserved for late-night cable TV. As a result, when one 'bodyslides,' or teleports, the other goes along for the ride. But that really has nothing to do with the story."
- Later in issue #10, Deadpool references US military policy at the time regarding same-sex relationships:The Cat: But how do you plan to get it to Cable in time?
Deadpool: We got this whole don't ask, don't tell thing goin'... not that there's anything wrong with that. Bodyslide by two...
The Cat: Don't ask, don't tell—? ... Oh... Oh...
- As Cable recovers in issue #12 from Deadpool partially lobotomizing him to stop his out-of-control powers, the first thing Cable does is ask Deadpool to keep talking. How often do people want Deadpool to keep talking?Cable: No... Wade... Don't shut up... your voice... that ridiculous hollow Demi Moore rumble... Is probably the sweetest sound I've ever heard.
Deadpool: Nate?! I am so in the mood to go to a Broadway musical with you right now!
Cable: You'll get over it.
Deadpool: I don't want to ruin the moment, but I'm pretty sure it's Demee, not Demee.
- The "Demi Moore voice" comes up again in #15 with an alternate reality Cable:Cable: You have no idea, Wade, how much I've missed that gravelly Demi Moore voice... Nor how much I regret having been the one who silenced it.
- Still dimension-hopping in issue #16, Deadpool runs into an alternate universe Cable who was taken over by techno-organics and sprouted loads of shiny metal tentacles. When they attack Wade, he initially protests about his "incredibly personal space" before changing his mind to "see, now I'm kinda liking it," and later saying "he probed me— an' not in a good way"... Yeah, they implied tentacle sex. Deadpool seems to seriously consider becoming one with this Cable before rejecting it.Deadpool: Maybe this is what he wanted... Wanted me to find. Been torn apart for so long, in my head, my body— my heart [...] I can see... a unification.
Siryn: This isn't what Nathan would want, Wade— You know that— fight it!
Deadpool: But it could be... It should be... He wanted me to find a way to be whole. He wanted me to be whole. I could be whole...
Deadpool: [smiling sadly ] Kind of a shame, actually, 'cause for a second there... it was really kind of nice.
- In issue #20, Black Mamba uses her power to make people dream about their greatest desire on Deadpool. Deadpool dreams about being on a tropical beach with Cable, both nearly naked as he gives Cable a back massage.Imaginary Cable: Hmm. That feels good, Wade.
Deadpool: [waking up] Nate... can I use WD-40 on your left shoulder...? Uhm... uh... What just happened? Did I say any of that out loud?
- Black Mamba uses her power again in issue #21, whamming Luke Cage, Iron First, Weasel, Deadpool, and Cable. When they come to their senses, Deadpool is half-straddling Cable's waist while Weasel piggybacks on his shoulders, and Iron Fist is half-sitting on Luke's chest. They're all startled and jump up to stand apart.Weasel: I think it would be for the best if I just didn't ask...
Deadpool: [on Cable] Did anyone else have a dream involving suntan lotion? Serious.
- In issue #22, Irene Merryweather observes the homoeroticism in Cable and Deadpool's sparring match:Deadpool: By the way— even though I've been hit harder by rain— good sparring.
Cable: Was missing something...
Deadpool: Massage oil? did I say that out loud?
Cable: [elbows Deadpool in the head] That's what was missing...
Deadpool: Ben Gay... stat!
Irene: If you boys are quite through eroticizing...?
Cable: I'm done. Wade—?
Deadpool: [wobbly] I'm good.
- When things are strained between Cable and Deadpool and they part ways, they both refer to it as a "divorce".
- Addressing an enormous statue of Cable in issue #43, Deadpool comments about how it's "maybe a bit too... generous... around the naughty bits" and how Cable "could make that techno-organic mesh rise to the occasion when necessary."
- Mind over Manners:
- Cable uses an invention of Black Box's to simulate telepathy by hooking into all the world's electronic information. A lot of people are worried about that.
- He plants a telepathic suggestion in Wade's mind to try and make Wade understand why killing people is wrong... via Wade hallucinating seeing his old victims everywhere, mocking him. Wade calls him out on it as being a serious breach of trust.
- The Multiverse: Deadpool bodyslides through multiple universes looking for Cable, finding different versions of him.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The final villain of the series? Ton of symbiote dinosaurs rampaging through New York City during Dark Reign, causing even heroes who wouldn't normally be active to have to pitch in.
- Odd Friendship: It's heavily lampshaded that Cable and Deadpool have no serious reason to be friends (outside of their mutual teleport system requiring them both to use it or be temporarily fused together anyways). When Deadpool was first created way back when, he was Cable's enemy.
- Overly Long Gag: After being stuck in a lab tank for four days complaining about his need to urinate, bouncing realities while complaining about needing a bathroom, and finally landing in the House of M after two issues, Deadpool visits Mr. Sinister's bathroom to finally pee... for a page and a half. By the end of the next issue, Deadpool is again talking about needing a men's room.Deadpool: Anyway, he built this funky harness for when—
Mr. Sinister: Wash your hands.
- Rapid Aging: Baby Cable grows from an infant to a teenager in a few days. He stops when he reaches his normal age, however.
- Red Skies Crossover: While having tie-ins to House of M and Civil War, the series stayed focused on its own characters. For House of M Wade went tripping through several dimensions to find Cable, one of which included the main universe created in that series. For Civil War, Cable joined the Anti-reg and Deadpool the pro-reg, Cable on principles and Deadpool for fighting. All it did was cause another one of their "divorces" for a bit.
- Running Gag:
- After the Civil War arc, Deadpool continually insists he's an Avenger due to being on the Pro-Reg side when involved in the fighting. He's also continually told that no, he isn't.
- Multiple times, Deadpool refers to himself as a mutant/X-Man, to the exasperation of actual mutants/X-Men who protest, facepalm, or give up and roll with it.
- In the recap pages, people being awkward about describing how Cable and Deadpool ended up stuck together from the beginning of the series. Also, constant statements that the book has about one recurring fan.
- In one issue Deadpool describes his face as looking like a cross between Ryan Reynolds and a shar-pei.
- During his fight with Spider-Man, Deadpool talks about the Tobey Maguire films and how they affected Spidey's public image. He also make quite a few BitingTheHand references to One More Day and how Spidey doesn't remember it.
- Deadpool calls sneaking through pipes "the Super Mario strategy."
- Wade's love of The Golden Girls and Bea Arthur is a running gag.
- Deadpool makes frequent sexual comments about Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
- Speech Bubbles:
- Deadpool's are yellow, as are his thought boxes (which he can see).
- When Cable uses telepathy, he gets blue font.
- Agent X's are grey, and his thought boxes look like notebook paper.
- Spotting the Thread: A memory version— when T-Ray showed Deadpool the moment when Deadpool "tried to kill him and then stole his identity" in an earlier series, and Deadpool was already in costume when he did the alleged act. When Cable fixed Deadpool's memories later, Deadpool remembered that he only got the costume after Weapon X, which he only joined because his cancer made him leave the army (which he signed up for as Wade Winston Wilson). This gets retconned in and out Depending on the Writer, though fans typically take it as proof that Deadpool is Wade and T-Ray is not. Deadpool himself admitted that it depends on who's writing him.
- Strip Poker: In one issue, Deadpool is playing one of these with Bob From HYDRA, Outlaw and Sandi Brandenberg, with only Deadpool down to his skivvies (or less; the characters are shown only from the waist up), until Cable gives him a hint ("She's bluffing") over a psychic link. Later the girls are seen propositioning The Thing for a similar game.
- Take a Third Option: When fighting symbiote-dinosaurs (don't ask), Spider-Man tells Deadpool the best ways to beat them are high-powered sonics and fire. Deadpool shoots one in the brain.Deadpool: Looks lobotomizing them works too!
- Teleporter Accident: A variation occurs: the two main characters' genetic code get mixed up during the first arc, leading to Cable's transporter fusing them together every time they say, "Bodyslide by one," instead of, "Bodyslide by two." Deadpool actually uses the "Bodyslide by one" command again intentionally just to piss Cable off. The tagline about being "stuck together" hints at this.
- Unfortunate Names: Weasel's real name is Jack Hammer (no in-series word on possible relations to Justin Hammer). He wonders if his parents had a sick sense of humor.
- Ugly Cute: In-Universe with Deadpool finding the horrific techno-organic alien embryo that they will be using to save Nate's life adorable.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- Cable is constantly called out for saying he trusts Wade despite usually taking situations out of Wade's hands, especially by Irene Merryweather when Wade takes a girl hostage in a situation Cable started and only did no real harm to her because Cable interfered.
- Wade calls Nate out on planting a subliminal suggestion in his head that makes Wade hallucinate all his previous murder victims mocking him. While Nate denies causing the specifics of what Wade saw, he admits that he did it because he hoped Wade would eventually go to him for help about it and they could talk about Wade maybe being a better person.