Did Rob Liefeld Hint At X-Force's Villain?

Stryfe comics

With the release of Deadpool 2 in June, another X-Men fan favorite was finally introduced to the big screen: Cable, played by Josh Brolin. Like Deadpool, Cable was created by Rob Liefeld, and while the Merc with the Mouth and the time-traveling cybernetic soldier initially started out as adversaries, by the end of the sequel, they had become allies. Deadpool and Cable, as well as Domino, will next appear in X-Force, but plot details are still being close to the chest, like the identity of the villain. However, Liefeld may have hinted that the X-Force movie could see Stryfe, Cable's evil clone, being the main antagonist. When directly asked if Stryfe will show up in X-Force, Liefeld responded:

Well, do you really hire Josh Brolin if you don't want him to play both roles? We are perfectly assembled for an X-Force movie. And how do you not scratch that Stryfe itch, right?

Using Stryfe in X-Force would make sense. Cable doesn't have a large rogues gallery to call his own, but Stryfe has definitely given him a lot of trouble over the years, to the point that some might consider Stryfe Cable's arch-nemesis. And, as Rob Liefeld pointed out while speaking with Nerdist, if you have Josh Brolin as Cable, then that paves the way for him to give dual performances in X-Force. All this being said, Liefeld seemingly cast some doubt on whether we'll actually see Stryfe on the big screen with the following tweet.

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So for now, Stryfe is far from confirmed to appear in X-Force, but he's certainly a worthy candidate to be the movie's villain. In the comics, Stryfe was cloned from the infant Cable, a.k.a. Nathan Summers, when it looked like he might die from the techno-organic virus. Cable ended up surviving, but Stryfe was soon stolen by Apocalypse to serve as a host body for him upon reaching adulthood. That never happened, and the adult Stryfe instead became one of Cable's greatest opponents. Like Cable, Stryfe also traveled back in time to the present day, where he formed the Mutant Liberation Front. Unlike Cable, whose powers are continually being used the keep the techno-organic virus at bay, Stryfe has full control of his natural telekinetic and telepathic abilities.

Warning: SPOILERS for Deadpool 2 are ahead!

Deadpool 2 briefly touched on Cable's life in the future, but aside from his family being killed by Russell Collins (which has been averted), we don't know anything about his past. Cable is stuck in the present now, but that's not to say that Stryfe couldn't come from a new future to wreak havoc or be cloned from Cable now and have his growth accelerated. Of course, creative liberties come with adapting comic book material into superhero movies, and that's especially true when working in Deadpool's corner of the X-Men franchise. So even if Josh Brolin were to pull double duty as Cable and Stryfe in X-Force, it's possible their dynamic wouldn't be quite the same as it is on the printed page.

Directed by Drew Goddard, X-Force doesn't have an assigned release date yet, but production is scheduled to begin this fall. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates, and look through our X-Men film guide to find out what other projects are in development for the mutant-filled franchise.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.