Deadpool 2 sees the on-screen debut of Nathan “Cable” Summers, a character who many fans consider essential to the Deadpool canon. However, comic book readers know Cable’s origin dates back to before Deadpool existed, and that Deadpool and Cable's friendship is a relatively recent addition to comic continuity.
Cable made his comic book debut in the 1990s, although he appeared as a baby way back in 1986. Deadpool showed up in 1991’s The New Mutants #98, and the two characters have been inextricably linked ever since.
While at first, Deadpool's main objective is to kill Cable, a bizarre DNA fusion leads to a 50-issue superhero team up saga that unarguably deserves to be brought to the silver screen. Since the early 2000s, they've been hero BFFs, and their alliance is one of the most lovingly dysfunctional relationships in comic book history.
Cable has one of the most convoluted continuities in all of comic books, and his relationship with Deadpool is complicated from day one. When Deadpool first appears in The New Mutants #98, a mysterious arms dealer named Mr. Tolliver has hired him to kill Cable.
Deadpool fails to get the job done, and eventually realizes Mr. Tolliver is actually Tyler Dayspring, Cable’s son who came back from the future to exact revenge.
Despite being born in the present, Cable grew up in the future, where he conceived Tyler with his wife Aliya Jenskot. At one point, Cable's nemesis Stryfe takes Tyler hostage, and Cable is forced to shoot his son to disrupt the villain's brainwashing. Tyler survives, but is still in recovery when Cable returns to the 20th century. He harbors a grudge against his father, and seeks him out with hopes of evening the score.
This is the mess Deadpool unknowingly gets involved with in his comic debut.
After Deadpool fails to kill Cable, complications increase when Mr. Tolliver hires the mercenary to go after Domino, Cable’s romantic partner. Prior to this, Tolliver replaced Domino with a shapeshifter known as Copycat in an effort to spy on Cable.
Tolliver's plan goes awry when Copycat legitimately falls for Cable and refuses to complete her mission. Since she won't do as he asks, Tolliver decides she needs to go. To further complicate the matter, Copycat is Deadpool's ex-girlfriend.
Cable soon locates the real Domino in Tolliver’s home base, and Copycat briefly reconciles with Deadpool before breaking his heart one more time. Since both Cable and Deadpool care about Copycat, the bizarre love triangle gives the pair a common cause to rally around.
The duo's bromance gets serious with 2004's Cable & Deadpool, a team up comic that forces the two incredibly dissimilar characters to work together.
The first issue of the series, which was eventually retitled Deadpool & Cable as Wade Wilson’s popularity soared, creates a very literal connection between Cable and Deadpool. After Deadpool is hired by The One World Church to steal a dangerous virus, things quickly take a turn for the worse, and both he and Cable accidentally contract the disease.
To save their lives, Cable has to absorb then regurgitate Deadpool. While the trick works, it also mixes up the pair's DNA, producing some strange side effects.
Due to the DNA-merging incident that launches Cable & Deadpool, Nathan Summers can't shake Wade Wilson no matter how hard he tries.
Cable normally teleports using bodysliding technology from the future that links to users' genetic code. Since the duo's DNA is intermixed, whenever Cable bodyslides, Deadpool shows up at his destination.
To make matters worse, unless Cable specifically says “bodyslide by two,” their bodies reappear mashed together—a disgusting process they only survive thanks to their now-shared healing ability. Even though Deadpool has no say in where they teleport, the two team up on several occasions, and their friendship gradually blossoms.