Josh Brolin has come a long way from the Goonies, Thrashin' and the bad guy of the week opposite Johnny Depp in a killer episode of 21 Jump Street. And right after he's finished gathering up those space macguffins in Avengers: Infinity War, we will see Brolin step away from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to mix it up with Fox's world of merry mutants in Deadpool 2. Hollywood rights issues kept X-Men related characters from interacting with the rest of the Marvel Universe onscreen, but that can't stop our favorite actors from crossing over as different characters. And given the Fox and Disney deal, and Wade Wilson's fourth wall breaking irreverence, we won't be surprised to hear some MCU related jokes in Deadpool 2.
So why are so many of us comic book fans so excited to see Cable in Deadpool 2? Are you unfamiliar with the big gun sporting time traveling telepathic mutant soldier? Or need a quick refresher?
While legendary X-Men scribes Chris Claremont and Louise Simonson certainly had a hand in his creation, Cable's look, feel, and vibe came courtesy of Rob Liefeld, the hotshot artist who later cofounded image comics. Liefeld co-created the Merc with a Mouth, too, together with writer Fabian Nicieza. Both characters made their respective debuts in different issues of the X-Men spin-off series, New Mutants. Cable is a "man of action," whose methods and leadership style differ greatly from both Professor Xavier and Magneto. This is because Cable comes from a possible future.
In the comic books, Cable's real name is Nathan Summers. He's the son of Scott Summers, aka the X-Men leader better known as Cyclops. As for his mom, well, this is where it gets tricky. Technically his mother is Madeline Pryor, a character who is best described as a clone of Jean Grey, thanks to a series of convoluted retroactive continuity that rewrote some classic Marvel mythology as it relates to the Dark Phoenix saga, a story we'll get to see play out soon in the X-Men movie universe. You know, again.
Don't worry about all of the complicated timelines, 'though. Deadpool is refreshingly free from those kind of story restraints, focusing on the core of what makes these characters great and even mocking the head scratching continuity of the X-Men movies dating back to the 2000 original through the hard R-rated Logan.
All you really need to know here is that Cyclops and sorta Jean Grey had a baby named Nathan who was sent to the future as an infant, returning to the present a grizzled war veteran with a bunch of super cool and comically large guns in tow.
Cable's mutant abilities are awesome but largely put to use to suppress a techno organic virus threatening to overtake his entire body. But his skills as a soldier are no less impressive. In the comics, his birth was engineered by the villain Mr. Sinister; his journey through time enabled by his half sister, the time displaced Rachel Summers, and his childhood partly spent with two characters called slim and red, who were future beings controlled by the minds of Cyclops and Jean. Again, don't concern yourself too much with the finer details: just know that Cable has badass powers, badass skills, and a bad attitude from a messy childhood, a painful and often debilitating sci-fi infliction, and a lifetime of war.
There's a bunch of possible futures in X-Men lore, including the age of apocalypse, where Xavier's time traveling son accidentally killed his father setting off a chain of events that resulted in the villain Apocalypse ruling the world. In that version of the timeline, Nathan Summers becomes the mutant hero X-Man. The Nathan Summers that becomes Cable is from no-less of a war torn land, where he was constantly locked in combat with the villain Stryfe. When he shows up in the present, he's still got that warrior mentality, quickly setting about recruiting new soldiers behind him.
Cable reorganized the New Mutants, Xavier's freshmen team of mutants who came up after the X-Men, into the paramilitary x-force, together with domino. We know that fox is making a new mutants movie and that domino shows up in Deadpool 2, but how exactly all of this will play itself out onscreen remains an exciting mystery.
Did we mention he has an evil twin? Stryfe was cloned from Nathan's own genetic materials. Yes, the son of a clone of Jean Grey has his own clone running around. While it would be cool to see Brolin pull a Jean Claude Van Damme style dual role in a battle against himself, we're more excited to see him with his greatest frenemy.
Maybe we'll even see Brolin vs. Brolin in an Avengers movie someday. In the comics, Cable was actually in the Avengers. His stint with the team was predictably short, but it did happen. The S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier they couldn't call a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier that was the scene of the climactic battle in the first Deadpool was the closest we've come to any sort of crossover between the MCU that's home to the Avengers and the mutant populated movies made by Fox.
But hey, considering what Sony and Marvel did with Spider-Man and the new Fox deal, we could end up with that Brolin vs. Brolin fight after all, if some kind of deal happened before the release of Avengers 4.