Complicated

Somebody wrote about the problem with introducing Cable onscreen is that his backstory is complicated. For starters, he’s the son of Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Jean Grey’s doppelganger (who is just as complicated as he is). He got experimented on and became sick before he was sent to the future. He became an old man and kept on time travelling and associating himself with various groups.

His friend Deadpool might’ve started similarly but it’s easy to describe him as cheeky with a tendency to break the fourth wall and putting out catchphrases like chimichanga (he only liked the dish’s name, not the dish itself). To make matters worse, his sibling Rachel and doppelganger Nate Grey are similar. Rachel predated both of them, flitted between teams and is also a time traveller. Nate Grey came from an alternate universe and all three of them seem to age faster than their parents do.

Unsurprisingly, they seldom make appearances outside of comics. Should Cable appear onscreen, albeit live action he’d probably become like¬†Supergirl*. Supergirl is Superman’s cousin and female counterpart but her own presentation in comics is so complicated and mercurial that writers are just left with making her Superman in drag on telly. The cinematic Cable would be an amalgamation of all three Summers children and could come off as a butch Jean Grey if they forgo the virus thing.

*Speaking of Supergirl, her alt-universe doppelganger Power Girl seems older and is also complicated. One could say that Power Girl is to Cable as what Supergirl is to Nate Grey. This would make Jean Grey Superman. Save for that Cable predated Nate but it’s spot-on.

PALE AND TOO INTERESTING

If albino black family man and rookie journalist James Olsen were to appear he’d effectively undermine the problems with his prior portrayal without even trying. Black people can be very pale due to defects like albinism and he wasn’t swarthy before, so whatever complaint about him ironically undermines the problems with making him black in the first place.

If you have an unusually but naturally pale black man with blond hair and whose surname is Olsen, one wonders if he could work just as fine if he were a white European American. He¬†might effectively undermine the problems with racebending, moreso if he’s now a character that defies categorisation and stereotyping way too effectively.

With him reverting back to being a photojournalist but has an orphaned brother to look after, it would make the Supergirl programme too self-aware. If Superboy becomes his orphaned biological kid brother which makes the intended relationship even creepier than it should be. It might even work better than Karolsen because it’s a successful role reversal.

But like with albino black Jimmy Olsen, fans wouldn’t like it because it’s too provocative and self-aware for its own good.