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Josh Brolin is about to have a very big 2018. The dude -- who we've already adored thanks to his brilliant performances in movies like No Country for Old Men, True Grit, Sicario and Milk -- is preparing to tackle two major comic-book roles that will have him trading punches with massive superheroes, first as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, then later as Cable in Deadpool 2. Safe to say, next summer officially will be the Summer of Josh.
This first picture of Josh Brolin as Cable doesn't say "summer," though. It ways "pain." It says "hurt." And it says a few little secret things as it reveals the initial look as Brolin's interpretation of the classic comic character. In the Marvel books, Cable is the son of Cyclops and the clone of Jean Grey, a being named Madelyne Pryor. Yeah, it's complicated. Also, Cable is brought from his time period to a distant future as a child, so that a cure for his deadly techno-organic virus could be found. As we dissect this picture of Brolin's Cable ahead of the movie's June 1 release, let's start with the virus, which Deadpool 2 director David Leitch appears to be keeping on board.
The Techno Virus
Look closely at Josh Brolin's neck in the image and you can see the result of the techno-organic virus that plagues Cable's body and turns his left side into a cybernetic material. The metal fitting on Brolin's neck extend down to his left arm, which is 100% robotic. Cable's basically half of a cyborg. But this enhancement helps give him the super-human strength that assists him in battle. You can bet he's going to pummel the indestructible Deadpool with that arm in next summer's Deadpool 2.
Weapons That Go To '11'
The original Deadpool overloaded its frames with clever jokes and pop culture references, as when Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) professed his love for Golden Girl Bea Arthur, or when he calls Negasonic Teenage Warhead "Ripley, from Alien 3" because of her shaved head. We expect more of the same from Deadpool 2, as the same basic creative team is back for the sequel. And the self-referential humor continues in the image, as there's a Spinal Tap gag on Cable's gun. The knob (which we aren't exactly sure what it controls) goes up to 11. Why doesn't he just make 10 the loudest/strongest/deadliest? Because this gun goes up to 11.
The Scars, And That Eye
In that distant future, where Cable was brought to stave off his virus, the man becomes a mercenary, leading bands of killers into battle. This explains the weaponry that he bears, but also the battle scars that he wears on his face like a road map of the perils he has faced. (No pun intended.) Josh Brolin's movie-star good looks are scuffed up to play this anti-hero. And the up-close shot shared by Ryan Reynolds on social media also shows that Deadpool 2 is committing to the character's cybernetic left eye. According to Marvel, the eye "permits Cable to see deep into the EM (Electro-Magnetic) spectrum, and far deeper than any known 20th -- 21st century technologies are capable of. It is also possible that through this eye, Cable is able to see the deployment of psionic energies, as well as the less exotic spectra of electromagnetic energies." This indicates that Deadpool 2 will be diving into some unique powers, and building on the story of the original.
'X' Doesn't Mark The Spot
And yet, one thing that's very important to Cable is missing from his uniform, because of the way that Cinematic Universes operate. There's no "X" patch anywhere to be found on Josh Brolin's Cable suit. The red and black "X" is a consistent emblem on Cable's comic counterpart, a tie to the X-Men and X-Force teams that Cable has led over the years. But Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) doesn't connect to the proper X-Men universe on screen yet, which allows him to make Hugh Jackman jokes or stop by the X-mansion and find versions of characters we've never seen on screen before. There's a rumor that in addition to Deadpool 3, we'll eventually get an X-Force movie. So, will Cable get his "X" patch at some point during Deadpool 2?
That Teddy Bear
This one remains a mystery. There's a teddy bear clipped to Cable's belt. We asked Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld what it means, and he says Cable "took it from Deadpool." We tracked down the promo art that showed Wade Wilson pointing a gun at a harmless teddy bear. And we know that Wade had a stuffed unicorn in the first movie. Inside joke? Plot point that suggests the presence of Hope Summers? This could mean nothing, or it could mean a lot. Stay tuned until June 1, 2018, when we hope all of the answers will arrive!