SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Cable #155 by Zac Thompson, Lonne Nadler, German Peralta, Jesus Aburtov and Tavis Lanham, on sale now.
Cable can be a confusing character. His history is quite literally all over the place and he’s lived his life in a rather non-linear fashion, to say the least. However, at the heart of it he’s always been one thing: A man who's primary goal is to protect and look after his family. Whether that’s the wandering tribes of his youth, the mutant community as a whole or his immediate family, the Summers, everything Cable does is to protect those he considers his own.
Nathan Summers has been on his own for far too long, and this week he returns to the Xavier Mansion to reunite with daughter and the X-Men at large. But in the background lurks his most dangerous enemy of all time, one tied to the deadly disease he’s lived with his entire life.
Hope Summers was the first mutant baby born after M-Day and the sole survivor of Cooperstown, Alaska, whose population was slaughtered in the mad dash to claim her. When the dust settled, Cyclops entrusted the life of the mutant race to his son Cable, who took the then-baby mutant into the future, just as he himself was taken into the future as an infant. There, the two attempted to survive while being hunted by Lucas Bishop, who believed Hope to be the catalyst for his own post-apocalyptic timeline.
Cable and Hope eventually returned to the present, and after Cable died and came back, and Hope undid the damage done to the mutant population, the pair of them finally had time to relax and enjoy life as a family. Naturally, though, as it goes for any member of the Summers family, that led to Cable being forced to clone himself once a day in order to survive while Hope found herself trapped in a comatose state, leeching the power of another mutant to join X-Force on missions while inhabiting a drone body.
Again, Cable can be a confusing character at times.
Ultimately, Hope kicked Cable out of X-Force for not being honest with her or the team. Since then, Nathan Summers has been somewhat of a wanderer. He joined the Avengers Unity Squad for a little bit, he had some time hopping adventures with Deadpool and fought against the villainous Conquest, but he hasn’t had that community around him that’s so important to him as a character.
One of the most key aspects of Cable’s character that hasn’t really been a focal point for a long time is his techno-organic infection. As a child, he was infected with the T/O virus which forced Cyclops to send his son to the future where he could be safe, and as he grew up he learned to control the infection with his psychic powers. Something people tend to forget about Cable is that he’s one of the most powerful psychic mutants to ever live, but he has to use so much of that power on keeping his own illness in check, his personal power level often seems somewhat lower than other mutants'.
This new run on Cable introduces Metus, a techno-organic monster that’s been hunting Cable since he was a child; we first see it when it attacks Hope at the X-Mansion and gives her scar around her eye to match her father’s. While Cable is all about community, Metus wants nothing more than to ensure Cable lives a lonely and solitary life, always attacking those around him.
Hope and Cable make up over their past falling out and decide to work together to bring Metus down once and for all, but in doing so Cable may have put himself at more risk than ever before, absorbing the techno-organic creature into himself, stressing the limits of his own telekinesis. Future issues promise to show past fights with Metus throughout Cable’s complicated history, but can the time-hopping mutant control his own illness to keep himself and his daughter safe?