This X-Men Member Cloned Himself So Often He Lost His Sense Of Morality

Cable, the time-traveling mutant soldier of the X-Men, has never been shy about making tough choices in difficult situations. Under his leadership, the New Mutants became more militarized and proactive in the team known as X-Force.

There have been several iterations of X-Force over the years, each with a reputation for getting their hands dirty. They’re willing to do things the other X-Men won’t consider. It’s a reality that comes, in large part, from Cable’s influence on the team. But one version of X-Force, led by Cable, was particularly nasty.

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At Simon Spurrier’s X Force series, released in 2014, saw Cable assemble a team of mutants to perform covert missions in the name of protecting mutantkind. He chose mutants such as Betsy Braddock, Fantomex and Marrow. The members relished violence and possessed more lax morals than most X-Men. This X-Force team carried out extremely sinister missions involving murder, torture, and terrorism and usually resulted in significant collateral damage.

Gradually, these missions became more and more morally wrong until the other members of X-Force began to question Cable’s orders. Although they were willing to relax their morals for the greater good, the extent of the violence and surveillance began to seem impossible to justify. They felt that Cable behaved more insensitive and ruthless than he had in the past. They turned out to be correct because a physical condition impaired Cable’s judgement: excessive cloning.

X Force #6 (by Simon Spurrier, Jorge Molina, Craig Yeung, Rachelle Rosenberg, and VC’s Cory Petit) reveals that before reassembling X-Force, an injection of super-soldier formula had turned him into a human bomb. Cable got around this by putting his body into stasis and creating a new clone of himself every morning. This clone would carry out the mission of the day then would commit suicide before its explosion at the end of the day. The process would begin again the next day, with the new Cable clone telepathically receiving the memories of the previous clones. Doctor Nemesis helped Cable create these clones while researching a way to safely heal Cable’s main body.

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Although this cloning process allowed Cable to continue his mission to use X-Force to protect the mutant kind, it had a detrimental effect on his brain. The telepathic process used to pass his memories from clone to clone was flawed. This prompted him to behave in a detached and emotionless manner. Additionally, after Cable’s main body was finally healed, Doctor Nemesis speculated that the clones’ moral judgment gradually deteriorated with each clone created. So the later Cable clones were making decisions that the original Cable probably wouldn’t have made. They were crueler and more ruthless than he would have been.

The members of X-Force did a lot of things they regretted, all because they were following orders from a mentally unfit man for leadership. Cable may not have been entirely responsible for the actions of his clones. Nevertheless, he still has to face the fact that he was partly responsible for countless acts of violence that are impossible to justify.

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