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The Untold Truth Of Garrison Kane

With the emergence and subsequent dominance of superhero movies over the past two decades, dozens of characters who originated in the pages of Marvel Comics have since made the transition to the screen. But since there are literally thousands of characters in the vast Marvel library, the majority are still waiting for their moment in the Hollywood spotlight. One of those characters is the X-Men-adjacent antihero Garrison Kane, but Kane's number may soon be called.

After hearing about the chemistry between actors Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds in the movie Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld reached out to Johnson on Twitter and Instagram to pitch him on the idea of portraying another one of his co-creations, Garrison Kane, in a future Deadpool movie. Johnson, who has yet to appear in a Marvel movie, replied to Liefeld's tweet and seemed open to the idea, asking the famed comic book artist what the chemistry is like between Kane and Deadpool. Although this brief social media conversation hardly constitutes confirmation of a movie deal, it still got fans salivating over the possibility that they could one day see Johnson as Garrison Kane. But just who is he? Read on to discover more about this relatively little-known Marvel character.

Garrison Kane is so '90s

Garrison Kane debuted in X-Force #2 in 1991. The character was created by Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza, two names synonymous with comic books of the 1990s. In addition to co-creating Kane and Deadpool, the duo also created or co-created a number of other Marvel characters during the decade, including Domino, Copycat, Stryfe, Gideon, Bloodstrike, and Cable. 

Cable, who was created by Liefeld and Louise Simonson, is highly associated with superheroes of the '90s. His absurd musculature, metal arm, propensity for carrying around giant guns, glowing eye, storage-laden costume, and tiny feet are all hallmarks of Liefeld's art style. And since Liefeld characters dominated the '90s, Cable — and all his design cues — have become the poster child for comics in the decade.

Then there's Kane, who is arguably even more '90s than Cable. Let's see... absurdly muscular? Marvel's website lists Kane at 6'2" and 480 lbs. Metal arm? He's got two of 'em. Giant guns? They can pop right out of said arms. Glowing eye? The better to see you with, my dear. Storage space on the costume? Pocketed belts on the chest and legs for all your ammo needs. And finally, tiny feet? Kane's feet were at times practically microscopic. Add to all of this Kane's sweet, high-collar red jacket/vest thing (another example of '90s comic fashion) and his name (Kane was a badass name in the '90s, as seen on '90s wrestler Kane and fellow '90s Marvel Comics character Kaine), and you've got yourself one of the most '90s characters ever.

Garrison Kane didn't always have powers

Garrison Kane is mostly associated with the X-Men and their related characters. He made his debut in the pages of X-Men spinoff X-Force as a member of the assassin team Six Pack alongside mutants like Cable, Domino, and Grizzly. He later spent time with the Weapon X program, known for experimenting on mutants such as Wolverine and Sabretooth, and he dated the mutant Copycat. But despite the fact that practically everyone he associates with is a mutant, Kane himself is not a mutant. That is, he wasn't born with superpowers.

When Kane first became a member of Cable's team of assassins, he was just a regular dude. Granted, he was a massively muscled and highly trained dude, but non-superpowered nonetheless. That changed after Kane got all four of his limbs blown off on a mission. To save his life, and also make him stronger than ever before, Cable sent Kane away to have mechanical arms and legs installed onto his limbless torso. Now a cyborg, Kane had super-strength as well as the ability to project his fists like missiles (fun!). Throughout his history, Kane continually gained other improvements, including a cybernetic eye and morphing metal arms that allowed him to spontaneously create guns (thanks, '90s), even eventually gaining the ability to absorb the powers of others. One can only assume Kane loaded himself up with superpowers so his mutant friends would stop making fun of him.

Garrison Kane was a part of the Weapon X program

The Weapon X program should be well known to fans of the X-Men. The shady Canadian government initiative is responsible for giving Deadpool his healing factor, for bonding adamantium to Wolverine's skeleton, and for augmenting a number of other characters' superpowers — including Garrison Kane, who's had a few run-ins with the organization in the comics. The first time Kane was involved with Weapon X, it was to save his life. After having his arms and legs blown off during a mission with Six Pack, Cable sent Kane there to be healed, and the program granted Kane the cybernetic arms and legs that are arguably the character's best-known trait. Kane even took on the code name "Weapon X" for a while — a title originally used by Wolverine.

Years later, Kane would rejoin a renewed Weapon X program in order to gain upgrades to his initial equipment. These upgrades completely altered Kane's look, making him appear more machine than man. They also greatly improved his powers, as he was granted the ability to absorb the abilities of any other Weapon X member. While a part of this new Weapon X team, Kane worked as an assassin, going on missions for the group's nefarious director Malcolm Colcord, marking perhaps the darkest period in the character's Marvel Comics tenure.

Garrison Kane's girlfriend should be familiar to Deadpool fans

Fans of Deadpool should be pretty familiar with the character of Vanessa Carlysle. Vanessa, portrayed by Morena Baccarin in Deadpool and its sequel, is Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool's girlfriend in the films. She's the main motivation behind Deadpool's hero turn in the first film, culminating with his going full superhero to rescue her from the clutches of his archenemy, Ajax. In Deadpool 2, it's Vanessa's death that drives Deadpool's actions throughout that film. But in Marvel Comics, Vanessa has a wildly different history.

While movie Vanessa has no superpowers, comics Vanessa is a mutant who goes by the codename Copycat. She's a shapeshifter, but her powers go deeper than that — she also possesses the ability to mimic the powers of other superhumans. Her comics dating history also has a lot more going on than her movie counterpart would suggest. While she does indeed date Deadpool in the comics, she also develops a crush on Cable and dates Garrison Kane. Copycat and Kane even move in together in an attempt to live a somewhat normal life together for a time, but alas, their romance wasn't meant to be. After joining up with a renewed Weapon X program, Kane is assigned to kill Vanessa to show his loyalty. He actually attempts to go through with the assassination, too, but is thwarted by — wait for it — Deadpool.

Garrison Kane has a complicated history with Cable

Garrison Kane and Deadpool certainly have a history together, with the two coming to blows several times over the years in the pages of Marvel Comics. But that history is nothing compared to the convoluted backstory between Kane and Cable. As stated previously, Kane started off his antihero career as a member of Cable's Six Pack. When he lost his limbs, it was due to an explosion set off by Stryfe, Cable's clone. After seeing Stryfe's face, Kane erroneously believed that Stryfe and Cable were the same person, and he made it his mission to get revenge, even going so far as to join up with a Canadian task force whose mission it was to bring Cable to justice for alleged crimes. After confronting Cable and learning the truth about Stryfe, Kane got over his issues with his former boss and rejoined the Six Pack.

After going on several missions together, Kane and Cable again parted ways. Kane went bad, eventually joining up with the renewed, mutant-hating Weapon X program in order to become stronger. This eventually brought him into direct conflict with Cable, who was storming the Weapon X compound to put a stop to their war on mutants. The two battled, and Cable managed to incapacitate his former underling by using his telepathic powers. When Kane regained consciousness, he had a change of heart, and decided to aid Cable in his battle against Weapon X — giving his life in the process.

Garrison Kane is neither a hero nor villain

Throughout Garrison Kane's history, he's never fully committed to being either a hero or a villain. This makes sense considering the company he keeps, as characters like Cable and Deadpool fit into the same mold. When we first meet Kane, it's as a member of the Six Pack. While they're ostensibly heroes with the aim of taking down supervillains like Stryfe and Apocalypse, they're also assassins who don't bat an eyelash when it comes to killing people. After his falling out with Cable, Kane joins Weapon P.R.I.M.E., a strike force under the direction of the Canadian government. His mission is to bring in Cable for alleged crimes, making him akin to a police officer of sorts. 

After patching things up with Cable, Kane rejoins the Six Pack for a time, but eventually decides that the pseudo-hero life isn't for him. He then goes full villain and joins up with A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics), a terrorist group that uses technology to try and take over the world and is frequently led by the giant-headed MODOK. After deciding he isn't strong enough, Kane ditches A.I.M. for Weapon X, getting some new upgrades and continuing to operate as a straight up villain. He ends his comics career by turning on Weapon X and going hero, reinforcing once and for all that Garrison Kane is a man whose allegiances constantly shift.

Garrison Kane was almost in Deadpool

If the Rock doesn't end up playing Kane in a future Deadpool movie, it won't be the first time that Kane will have missed out on a trip to the big screen. The character was featured in the original screenplay for Deadpool alongside the characters Sluggo and Wire. All three were intended to be henchmen to the main villain, Ajax, but they were cut before filming started. Why were Kane and company excised from the film? Well, it depends who you ask.

Director Tim Miller claimed it was because he wanted to feature more women in the film, so he replaced the trio with Gina Carano's Angel Dust. "Rob Liefield is still crying because Garrison Kane's not in the movie, and Wire had one of the single best jokes in the script ever; his death was pretty epic," Miller told IGN. "But I felt like, honestly — and this is not pandering — I wanted some more women in the movie. And so I wanted to replace them with a female superhero, or supervillain in Gina [Carano]'s case."

Deadpool writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese cited a different reason for cutting Kane and company. "They were Ajax's muscle and we ultimately for budget reasons consolidated those three characters into the Angel Dust character. And I think a lot had to do with there's some CG elements to those characters," Wernick told IGN, with Reese adding, "Garrison Kane has a bionic arm for instance, and that was going to be expensive."

Garrison Kane had a cameo in X2

Garrison Kane didn't get his big Hollywood break in Deadpool as initially planned, but even if he had, it would have actually been the character's second time on the big screen. Well, sort of. Kane had a cameo — or rather, his name did — in the X-Men film X2: X-Men United. In one scene, the shapeshifting mutant Mystique uses her powers to gain entrance to the office of the film's main villain, Col. William Stryker. On Stryker's computer, Mystique finds a list of names. There's no detailed explanation; they're meant to be an Easter egg, since the bulk of them correspond to characters from X-Men comics that don't appear in the film — including Garrison Kane.

Kane is pretty easy to spot, since his real name is also his alias. A few other characters on the list are also in the same boat, such as the teleporter Lila Cheney and villain Tom Cassidy. But most of the other names require a bit more X-Men knowledge. For instance, Remy LeBeau is on the list, a.k.a. the X-Man Gambit. There's also Alison Blaire (Dazzler), Jamie Madrox (Multiple Man), and Nathaniel Essex (Mr. Sinister). Even a couple of Kane's old pals, Vanessa Carlysle (Copycat) and Wade Wilson (Deadpool) made the cut, technically putting the Deadpool stars in a movie together over a decade before their 2016 blockbuster.

Garrison Kane had a hero's death

Garrison Kane always operated in a gray area between hero and villain, but the character was still given a hero's sendoff in his final act. During Kane's second stint with Weapon X, he had more or less gone over to the dark side. After receiving an extensive power upgrade that allowed him to absorb the abilities of other Weapon X members, he became quite formidable and, apparently, drunk with power. He worked for the renewed Weapon X program as an assassin in its renewed mission to eliminate mutants, and in 2003's Weapon X #12, that mission put him face to face with an old friend.

To resist Weapon X's new mutant-hunting endeavors, Cable formed a team of mutant fighters called the Underground. Cable's mutant militia took the fight directly to Weapon X, storming the compound and coming into conflict with Kane himself. After battling his old frenemy, Kane came to the realization that he was being used to inflict harm on mutantkind — and he was sick of it. Meanwhile, fellow Weapon X member Madison Jeffries was overwhelming the underground by using his power to create organic machines out of inorganic material, creating an army of robots. Kane noticed this, and used his power-stealing abilities to absorb Jeffries' robots into himself. The bots didn't jibe with Kane's cyborg nature, and they ended up killing him, but his sacrifice allowed Cable and company to continue their fight against Weapon X.