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How Did Cable Get the Name Cable?

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
How Did Cable Get the Name Cable?

Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at brianc@cbr.com).

Reader Floyd S. wrote in to ask just how did Cable get the name Cable.

The answer, Floyd, is really weird, in that there really isn’t a specific answer. In other words, there has never been a story where Nathan Summers says, “Oh hey, I think I’ll call myself Cable.” It’s really actually kind of weird, honestly, as there have been plenty of opportunities to do so (PLENTY of times) and it is almost like they are going out of their way to NOT actually have that moment.

However, we basically do know two things. 1. When it happened in time, roughly and 2. What was the likely inspiration for the name.

At the end of the “Akani’Son” mini-series, which shows a young Nathan (going by Nathan Dayspring Askani’Son) being determined to fight against the forces of evil, he’s still going by Nathan, Dayspring or Askani’Son…

askanison4

And soon before he first travels to the past, he’s still going by Nathan or Dayspring, as shown in “Cable” #1 (by Fabian Nicieza, Art Thibert and multiple inkers)…

cable1

We even know what he was going by RIGHT before he first traveled to the past, as shown by James Robinson, Ladronn and Juan Vlasco in “Cable” #-1…

cablenegativeone1

At the end of the issue, he tells Moira MacTaggert that he has many names…

cablenegativeone

Soon after that, though, he begins working with the mercenaries who would eventually be known as the Six Pack, and with them, he’s Cable, as we saw for the first time in a flashback sequence in “X-Force” #8 (by Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza and Mike Mignola)…

xforce8

So presumably, it was when he showed up in the past that he first decided to call himself Cable (oddly enough, in Joe Casey’s “Cable/Wolverine: Guts and Glory”, which shows Nathan’s first adventure in America following “Cable” #-1, he doesn’t show that decision as having happened yet, which is odd because it would have been the perfect place for it to have happened).

Meanwhile, in the final issue of “The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix” (by Scott Lobdell, Gene Ha and a bunch of inkers), a time-traveling Scott Summers (who, along with a time-traveling Jean Grey, helped raise Nathan as “Slymm and Redd”) told Nathan that he was a “cable” between the past and the future…

cable

So that’s the inspiration behind the name, and I guess it makes sense that he wouldn’t use it UNTIL he was actually in the past, as until he was in the past, he wouldn’t think of himself as a “cable” between the two, really, now would he?

I really don’t get how no writer has just written a flashback story where he first decides to adopt the name. We all know the REAL LIFE origin of Cable’s name (which is, simply, it sounded cool), but why hasn’t a writer shown Cable deciding on the name himself?

Anyhow, that’s as good of an answer as you can get right now, Floyd!

Thanks for the question! If anyone else has a question, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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