[looks at Storm]


[looks at Xavier]

What do they call you? "Wheels"?

Most comic book characters have names which are so befitting them, or are so obvious, that you can only say, "Duh" to their origin. Spider-Man? Superman? Batman? Iron Man? Cyclops? What else would you even think of calling these characters?

Nathan Summers' codename of Cable seems a little less obvious though.

Regarding the creation of Cable, Rob Liefeld has said,

I was given a directive to create a new leader for the New Mutants. There was no name, no description besides a 'man of action' the opposite of Xavier. I created the look, the name, much of the history of the character. After I named him Cable, Bob suggested Quinn and Louise had Commander X.

But where does the name Cable come from? Either an in-universe or out-of-universe answer is acceptable here if it sheds any insight.

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    Could it be that every super-sized gun Rob Liefeld drew him with was connected with a giant cable which never actually connected TO anything like a power pack or ammunition belt or alien spore generator. There were just cables everywhere. – Thaddeus Howze Jul 12 '13 at 19:44
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    @Thaddeus Maybe they were connected to the feet... which Liefeld never drew. – phantom42 Jul 12 '13 at 19:47
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    @Thaddeus or grasp of anatomy – phantom42 Jul 12 '13 at 19:52
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    I don't even need to click on that link. I know it is probably that picture of Captain America with the distorted chest isn't it... YEP... – Thaddeus Howze Jul 12 '13 at 19:59
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    He should be rename to Wireless with technological advance version of cable. – Victor Salazar Jul 16 '13 at 8:52

There's an in-universe explanation/easter egg, of sorts:

At the end of The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix Limited Series, on page 30 of issue #4, after the defeat of Apocalypse, Slymm (Scott Summers' consciousness sent into the future to protect and mentor the young Nathan Summers) says this to his son:

Someday you'll be a cable that unites the past with the present and the future...yesterday with today and tomorrow...You'll be all those things, Nathan Christopher...But know that you'll never be alone.

Then Slymm disappears from his life forever. I'd assume that this made such a huge impact on Nathan that he later adopted it as his codename.

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    This is so many years after Cable's initial existence, perhaps someone decided they would use this moment to create a reason for the name. It was at best, an afterthought. Nice but certainly not planned for. – Thaddeus Howze Jul 17 '13 at 23:10
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    @Thaddeus You won't get any disagreement from me on that point. – Discord Jul 17 '13 at 23:22
  • Yeah, feels really shoehorned. Not a a string that unites past and present, but CABLE. Scott was going through his industrial phase. – Worse_Username Oct 19 '17 at 9:46
  • Shoehorned or not, in-universe, in Nathan Summers' personal timeline, it's valid. – RDFozz May 18 '18 at 17:10

I've never been able to discover just why Liefield chose Cable as the name for the character either though, in all honesty, I've never put forth a concerted effort. He was a character created in a time when one-word names were excessively popular. Liefield probably doesn't know himself, all things considered. We are talking about a guy who has made a habit of creating rather shallow characters, nearly all of which have one-word codenames.

Being part of the new-blood that Marvel brought onboard to rejuvenate flagging sales and rather stale stories, at the time, Liefield always struck me as the least creative of them all. (Lee and Silvestri were, in my opinion, much more talented.) To this day, I don't believe that he has 'grown' past the point of drawing characters the same way he did all those years ago at Marvel; page-after-page of posed people with small heads, pinched features and bulging muscles and breasts.

It, most likely, took him all of a few minutes to settle on the name and it probably had something to do with the cybernetic parts...but that is just conjecture on my part.

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  • "page-after-page of posed people with small heads, pinched features and bulging muscles and breasts." And action lines! Never forget the action lines! – Pete Hooper Mar 10 '16 at 15:23

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