Even before Marvel kicked off the modern cinematic movie universe, the foundation for the X-Men continuity was being laid. Initially just sequels, spinoffs, and prequels, the past few years have seen X-Men craft its own shared universe. Still, the constant soft reboots, time travel, and character recastings have made made Fox’s corner of the Marvel universe one of the most confusing shared narratives around. But the sequel to the film that technically began the shared X-Men universe could be what rights the ship.
Deadpool 2 will follow its predecessor by providing fans with the first true stand-alone franchise in the X-Men continuity. And while it’s hands down the silliest superhero movie there is, it may just do what a number of other X-Men films have failed to accomplish: connect the timelines.
Following the various parallel time lines Fox have given fans can be confusing. Even Days of Future Past, which was meant to have the prequels flow into the original trilogy only made things more confusing. But a small and intriguing new detail from today’s first look at Josh Brolin as Cable has fans wondering if Deadpool 2 will manage to connect all of the existing X-Men timelines.
The twin reveals of Brolin as Cable in Deadpool 2 will keep the Internet buzzing for some time. Not only does the actor look strikingly similar to the fan-favorite mutant, but all of the details you could hope for are on display in the new costume.
The first thing that catches the eye is Cable’s optic implant. His infamous arsenal of heavy artillery is also on display, including a massive gun. Then there’s Cable’s cybernetic arm, one of the signature aspects of the character. Finally, you can spot the techno-organic virus that afflicts Cable creeping up his neck.
Like Deadpool and Domino, Cable was created by Rob Liefeld and has featured in a number of X-Men stories in the comics. The son of Cyclops and a clone of Jean Grey, Nathan Summers was born in a dystopian future with the power of telepathy and telekinesis. He uses the bulk of his powers, however, to keep the techno-organic virus he has at bay. Still, he’s a powerful warrior and one of the most competent combatants in the Marvel Universe.
Given his complicated history, there’s no telling how much of Cable’s backstory will be kept intact in Deadpool 2. Still, the final aspect of his costume reveal points towards one of the more recent additions to his canon and how it might play into the future of the X-Men universe.
THE TEDDY BEAR
Hanging on Cable’s left hip is a beat-up teddy bear. At first blush, this seems like it could just be a way for Deadpool 2 to insert some of the main character’s infamous irreverence into a character that’s general represented as grim and dour. Mirroring the unicorn Captain Boomerang has in Suicide Squad, the stuffed animal could just be a little personality quirk. It could also be a reference to a promo image from the first Deadpool that featured Wade pointing a gun at a teddy bear. But another possibility exists that could have massive ramifications for the rest of the X-Men franchise.
One of the biggest modern moments for the mutants in recent comics was Scarlet Witch uttering the phrase “No more mutants.” With those three words, she devastated the mutant population on Earth and prevented any new mutants from being born. In 2007, however, an exception was introduced.
Hope Spalding was born in a small town and revealed to be the first new mutant since the Decimation. Immediately, she was hailed as the mutant messiah by some and a threat to others. The Purifiers, a group of anti-mutant extremists, even sought to kill Hope.
In the end, Cable was able to rescue the baby and bring her to the future. It’s there—and across multiple other time periods—that he raised the young girl, who took the last name Summers and learned to fight, survive, and lead from her adoptive father. Eventually, she’d return to the present and help reignite the mutant race and even bring the Phoenix Force back to Earth.
HOW HOPE COULD CONNECT THE X-MEN TIMELINES
While we don’t know much about Cable in Deadpool 2, he will retain his status as a refugee from the future trying to back the past a better place. And given that one of the core things he brings with him is a teddy bear, it seems highly likely that Hope exists in the X-Men universe. While Scarlet Witch doesn’t appear to be a factor, her entire plot is unlikely to feature in a Fox film. That said, another X-Men movie may have already set up a similar set of circumstances.
In Logan, we learn that the future of the X-Men universe is one where most mutants have been wiped out. Even more telling, but no new mutants have been born in some time. While a number of young experiments exist, we could see Hope emerge as the first new mutant in this dystopian time. From there, we could see Cable travel back to the time of Logan and save Hope, bringing her even further into the future where things are darker still. By then traveling back to the present where Deadpool 2takes place, Fox could establish a through line from Deadpool 2 to the end of Days of Future Pastto Logan.
This tethering would hardly remove all of the issues that have arisen over the years with the X-Menseries and its confounding continuity, but it could help connect the events of Deadpool 2 with the larger universe we’ve seen. Furthermore, Cable would provide Fox with a means to continue exploring the time period of Logan.
By doing so, we could see more of X-23 and the young mutants she runs away with. In fact, the much-discussed X-23 movie could feature Hope’s birth and Cable’s intervention. Cable and Hope’s adventures across time could also factor into the upcoming X-Force movie. And already, more evidence has emerged that the Mutant Messiah may appear in Deadpool 2.
Deadpool 2 may not seem like the most likely candidate for establishing a coherent reality and course-corrected continuity, but the arrival of Cable opens a number of doors for Fox to iron out their timelines. The existence of Hope also allows Fox to explore all sorts of new stories and time periods with yet another young mutant at the forefront. Hopefully, we’ll know more about Cable’s teddy bear soon, but for now it’s yet another interesting piece of next year’s Deadpool 2.