When time travel is a part of your power set, it can sometimes be used as a “get out of jail free” card by writers who are looking to amp up the stakes of an event with a character death, which we’ve seen a number of times with Cable, the militaristic mutant from the future.
Whether it’s as a member of the X-Men or as leader of X-Force, Cable has given his life numerous times since his debut in the 90s, and with almost every major X-event since we’ve seen the death of CAble in some form. So today we are going to take a look at the many deaths of Cable to determine which was his best exit so far.
9 FALL OF THE MUTANTS
Cable’s very first “death” happened during the Fall of Mutants event when he was just a baby, after he had already narrowly avoided being sacrificed by his mother Madelyne Pryor during the Inferno event.
Sensing Nathan’s potential threat, Apocalypse infected the baby with a techno-organic virus that would have killed the child if a time traveler hadn’t appeared with hope, though his father Cyclops thought he lost his son forever. Even with the advanced future tech, Nathan was so close to death that a clone was created who would become Stryfe.
One one of Cable’s earliest jaunts back through time, he encountered the immortal creature known as Skornn while he was adventuring as a warrior named Traveler, and it was only through the sacrifice of a magical ally that they were able to stop the monster.
When the creature returned, Cable gathered a group of X-Force together to find the blade known as the Five Fingers of Annihilation, which he used to sacrifice his life energy. Cable was presumed dead after they both disappeared, though he would eventually return to normal after reappearing as an infant.
7 SPLIT SECOND
Cable’s body and powers went through many changes over the years eventually leaving fans with a powerless, non-bionic soldier who occasionally received precognitive flashes of the future, which was his past, and time travel is confusing.
In Deadpool & Cable: Split Second, temporal anomalies incapacitated Cable and threatened reality, so Deadpool was sent by the Time Variance Authority to first kill other versions of Cable, and then save them in order to fix Nathan, effectively bringing the character back to his status quo and “killing” off the convoluted version, somewhat.
6 SHOT IN THE HEAD
For a time Cable managed to remove the T/O virus from his body, which caused his psionic abilities to increase exponentially. So Cable set himself on the path of saving the world, beginning with the war-torn country of Rumekistan.
When his role as savior was challenged in Rumekistan by his former mercenary group known as Six Pack, Cable rushed in to help, where he was blindsided and shot in the head by Deadpool, who left him for dead. However, Cable had manipulated these actions into place and was able to recover from the near-fatal head wound.
5 US VS THEM
When Cable’s prophetic visions were at their worst, he assembled a new team of X-Force to covertly investigate the world’s governments after the “Alexandria Incident” revealed a dark super-soldier program weaponizing mutants.
Cable was infected with the Volga virus which amped up his abilities to a critical level, so he had Doctor Nemesis create an army of clones that he controlled and killed each day before they burned out while he was in stasis. This army of clones was annihilated by the Volga-powered Fantomex before everyone was cured by Hope Summers.
4 MESSIAH COMPLEX PRELUDE
Cable worked alongside Rogue and her team of X-Men for a time immediately before the Messiah Complex event, though the team was infiltrated by Mister Sinister and his Marauders and then attacked to take them off the board.
Cable and his knowledge of the future were an immediate danger, so Sinister sent former X-Men Gambit and Sunfire to Cable’s island of Providence to take him out, and by all accounts, they succeeded. However, Cable would reappear alive and well during the event to save the life of the infant “mutant messiah” by taking her into the future.
3 X-CUTIONER’S SONG
One of the first times Cable “died” in the comics occurred during the “X-Cutioner’s Song” storyline that explored the mysterious origins of the man called Cable and his relation to Scott Summers/Cyclops.
During a battle on the moon with Cable’s evil clone Stryfe, it was revealed that Cable (though at the time they thought it was Stryfe) was the lost son of Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor, returned from the future. Cable sacrificed himself to stop Stryfe from killing their “parents,” and they were both lost in a time vortex.
The Extermination event brought an end to the chapter of the time-displaced original X-Men, who had been operating alongside the modern-day team for a few years and wreaking all kinds of havoc on the time stream.
And like any good X-event, it was kicked off in a big way when Cable was murdered by a hooded assailant, who claimed he was relieving Cable of his duty. This hooded murderer was later revealed to be a younger version of Cable come back in time to return the original five X-Men to the past and replace his older self.
1 SECOND COMING
After Cable had escaped with the mutant messiah to the future, he raised her as his adopted daughter Hope Summers and trained her while on the run until she was old enough to return to the present-day and join the X-Men.
Unfortunately, they returned at a very bad time for mutantkind, and a number of forces combined to attack the X-Men at the same time. This resulted in Cable sacrificing himself to hold open a portal to the future long enough to get X-Force home, though it was later revealed that he had merely been thrown through time.
There aren't many X-Men who have sacrificed as much for Xavier's dream as the man called Cable, so we're counting down his greatest death scenes!