Warning! This post contains SPOILERS for X-Men ’97, episode 3, “Fire Made Flesh”




  • Cable’s origins in X-Men ’97 have been rewritten, revealing key elements about his parents and backstory.
  • The updated origin mirrors the comics but with remixes; like Jean Grey and her clone Madelyne being alive at the same time.
  • X-Men ’97 confirms Cable’s parentage, unearthing past mysteries about what Cyclops knew and what Jean kept from him (while also raising more questions).

Cable’s rewritten origin in X-Men ’97 helps answer a major Cyclops mystery from the original animated series 31 years ago. As seen in X-Men ’97, episode 3, the ramifications of Nathan Summers’ birth and origins occur in rapid succession, adapting key elements from the original comics while also providing some exciting twists. To that end, it does seem as though a key question about Cable’s father has finally been confirmed.

In the original X-Men animated series, Cable was a recurring character who made a handful of appearances in the show’s first two seasons. However, his most important appearance was in the two-episode arc “Time Fugitives” from X-Men season 2. Traveling from his dystopian future to the present day, Cable’s history and key connections to the X-Men were only hinted at. Now, Cable’s rewritten origins in this animated X-Men universe have finally been revealed in full thanks to X-Men ’97, including the answer to a critical Cyclops mystery.


X-Men ’97 Season 2: Characters, Story & Everything We Know

X-Men ’97 Season 1 is now available on Disney Plus, and here is everything we know about Season 2’s characters, story details, and more.

How X-Men ’97 Just Rewrote Cable’s Origin

More Streamlined Yet Still Tragic

Jean and Cyclops Sending Nathan To The Future In X-Men '97

In X-Men ’97, Cable’s origins are more streamlined compared to the original comics, though the core beats, such as Nathan being the son of Madelyne Pryor and Scott Summers, are still present. However, key differences include Jean Grey still being alive shortly after Madelyne gives birth, resulting in some major clone confusion on the X-Men’s part regarding the identity of the real Jean. The reveal that Madelyne is a clone of Jean and her subsequent corruption by Mister Sinister (her creator) also happen in quick succession.

X-Men 97 Disney Plus TV Series Poster

X-Men ’97

X-Men ’97 is the direct continuation of the popular 1990s animated series X-Men: The Animated Series. Taking up where the third season left off, Marvel’s revival brings back famous mutants such as Wolverine, Storm, Rogue, Gambit, Cyclops, Beast, Magneto, and Nightcrawler, who fight villains like Mr. Sinister, the Sentinels, and the Hellfire Club.

Jennifer Hale , Chris Potter , Alison Sealy-Smith , Lenore Zann , Cal Dodd , Catherine Disher , Adrian Hough , Ray Chase , Chris Britton , George Buza

Release Date
March 20, 2024


Streaming Service(s)

Beau DeMayo

Jake Castorena

Beau DeMayo

The same is also true of the Techno-Organic virus Sinster gives Nathan (just like in the comics). It’s also worth noting that Nathan’s middle name has been changed to Charles rather than Christopher as it is in the comics, a means of honoring Professor Xavier who’s presumed dead in this animated universe. That said, all the important narrative elements of Cable’s origins are there (albeit somewhat remixed).

This also includes Jean and Scott having no choice but to send Nathan with Bishop to the future to receive treatment for the T-O virus. While this mirrors Bishop raising Nathan in the comics, it’s also ironic considering how often the original animated series pitted Cable and Bishop against each other as rival time travelers. Regardless, this will undoubtedly begin Nathan’s journey to become Cable, an incredibly capable warrior who’s sworn enemies with the villain Apocalypse in the far future and also returns to the present as an adult (both in the comics and in the original X-Men animated series).

Cable’s X-Men: Animated Series History Explained

Time Fugitives

Cable debuted in the first season of X-Men as an already active hero in the present, fighting to liberate the island nation of Genosha from its mutant-oppressing government. However, Cable’s status as a warrior from the future fighting against Apocalypse in the year 3999 AD wouldn’t be confirmed until the second season of the original series with the two-episode arc “Time Fugitives”. Faced with the erasure of his own time thanks to Bishop (seeking to save his own future timeline by going back to the present), Cable is forced to go back in time and help Apocalypse.

In “Time Fugitives”, Bishop and the X-Men destroy the T-O virus developed by Apocalypse (the very same Sinister will use on Nathan after his birth). However, Cable has no choice but to go back in time and ensure the virus’ creation as it was crucial in the creation of antibodies necessary for mutantkind’s survival. While Cable initially tries to kill Bishop, he’s stopped by the X-Men. That said, a solution presents itself in the form of Wolverine’s healing factor which develops the antibodies after Logan is infected, resulting in Cable’s future being restored (though still in a war with Apocalypse).

X-Men ’97 Finally Reveals Jean Grey Never Told Cyclops About Cable

A Major Secret Kept For Years

Jean Grey Reaches Out And Touches Cable's Mind

What’s particularly notable about the “Time Fugitives” arc is that there’s a key moment in which Jean Grey touches Cable’s mind while he’s in the present era. To that end, it’s heavily implied that Jean knows that Cable is Cyclops’ son, hinting to Scott that Cable is not only important to the future but also to their future specifically. However, this tease is never brought up again for the rest of the original X-Men series.

Because Cyclops didn’t put the pieces together in X-Men season 2, he was likely never aware that Cable was his future son. Furthermore, it follows that Jean sat on this mystery for years, choosing to keep Cable’s true identity a secret from the man she loved. However, it’s unclear how much Jean learned when she touched Cable’s mind, such as whether she also learned about his mother Madelyne, her clone created by Mister Sinister.


Every Upcoming Marvel Movie: Full MCU Phase 5 & 6 List (& Beyond)

Between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment, here is every upcoming Marvel movie release date and what we know about the projects so far.

The Cable Plot-Hole Isn’t Quite Resolved

There’s Still Some Questions…

Jean Grey Reflected In Cyclops' Visor

In “Time Fugitives”, Cable mentions that he already knows about Jean and Cyclops specifically. This implies that he knew about his past and true parentage to Scott and presumably his mother, Madelyne Pryor. However, when Jean reads his mind, she clearly doesn’t learn anything about Madelyne, her future incarceration by Sinister, or the T-O virus that makes Cable’s journey to the future necessary as seen in this new X-Men ’97 episode.

Perhaps Jean didn’t get the full picture due to Cable’s time-displacement as well as his future timeline facing erasure.

This begs the question as to how Cable knew who Jean and Cyclops were if he presumably didn’t know his newly revealed backstory. After all, Jean would surely have seen it all in his head if he had, unless she only received fragments. Perhaps Jean didn’t get the full picture due to Cable’s time displacement as well as his future timeline facing erasure. At any rate, it’s very exciting to get Cable’s origins in X-Men ’97 all the same.

New episodes of

X-Men ’97

air every Wednesday on Disney+.

Key Release Dates

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *