2016's Deadpool lifted its titular character, Wade Wilson, out of comic book obscurity (at least to general audiences) and put him at the forefront of pop culture. Now, Fox is hoping Deadpool 2 will do the same for the Merc with a Mouth's grumpy time-traveling companion: Nathan Summers, a.k.a. Cable. While us geeks have a pretty good grasp on the character, odds are your average person on the street won't have the slightest idea of who he is.
#RyanReynolds and the minds behind the X franchise are aware of that, and they've slowly tried to introduce the hardened mutant to the general public through various teases and of course, through the much-talked about first look at the character:
Social media users have been responding quite well to Cable so far. Unfortunately, that reception doesn't take away the fact that the hero still has a long road ahead of him as far as brand recognition goes. That was recently proved by his creator, #RobLiefeld, who became aware of his creation's obscurity thanks to his son.
An Awkward Father-Son Conversation
The writer/artist sat down for an interview with Comicbook.com following #JoshBrolin's awesome character reveal. During their chat, he opened up about an awkward moment between him and his son after watching #CaptainAmericaCivilWar last year:
"My son and I went and saw the world premiere of 'Civil War' [...] we loved it, we partied, everything. We get in the car to go home, and he turns over to me, and I kid you not, I almost drove off the freeway, 'Hey Dad, did you steal that robot arm for Cable from Winter Soldier?'"
Realizing your own blood is completely unaware of the history of one of your creations hurts – a lot. Seeing that, Liefeld needed to have a serious one-on-one talk with the young man:
"I was like, 'What!?!' [...] I was like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to that kid in the cockpit in 'Airplane' to my own son. I said, 'You listen here, kid. Cable predates Winter Soldier by 13 years.'
I won't lie, as a longtime comic book fan, seeing people tie together completely different characters that way gets me every time. But Liefeld's son is probably not the only person drawing similarities between Cable and Buck, so something had to be done about that, Liefeld revealed.
Differentiating Cable From The Winter Soldier
Liefeld said that the Deadpool 2 creative team was initially concerned about non-comic book geeks (such as his son) thinking Cable was just a #WinterSolider ripoff. In order to prevent that, they decided to give Cable's prosthesis a radical makeover:
"The concern for everybody was that you've already got a guy with a bionic arm in the Marvel pantheon. Winter Soldier beat Cable to screen. So that arm, with all those different coils and that different design… He's different, you know. And he's exciting. And it looks a little more unwieldy. You're kind of like, 'That's a cool looking arm.' So, you know, take that Winter Soldier."
Liefeld has a point. Winter Soldier's arm is very sleek-looking. It has a set pattern and a smooth design. #Cable's in the Merc with a Mouth's sequel is much less... well pretty. It's uneven, and it looks like something that was put together in a factory in a hurry. Less bionic Hydra tech, more Terminator robot.
Overall, Nathan Summer's arm has a more mechanical, raw essence to it, which is fitting for #Deadpool's R-rated universe. Taking that into account, the Merc with a Mouth's design team definitely accomplished their goal.
Audiences will get to see how different Cable is from #BuckyBarnes when Deadpool 2 does a superhero landing in theaters on June 1, 2018.
What do you think about Rob Liefeld's Cable story? Do you think their respective metal arms make Nathan Summers and Winter Soldier look similar? Let me know in the comments!