It’s still pretty crazy to realize that there’s a Deadpool movie coming out. As someone who has been reading about the character for years, it simply blows my mind to see him advertised on the top of New York taxis and everywhere else. Whether it succeeds or fails, it’s good to know that they’ve finally given Wade a fair shake.
As someone who’s read nearly every Deadpool appearance – ladies, I’m single – I figured I’d go deep into the character’s lore. Travel into the most obscure parts of the character’s 25-year history and pick out some interesting pieces of trivia that even the biggest ‘Pool fans might have missed. Less, “Did you know Deadpool is based on Deathstroke the Terminator?” and more, “Did you know that Deadpool and Shang Chi once unknowingly ate hotdogs made of human flesh while taking a break from an illegal motorcycle death race?”
They did. Then they punched a waitress. Somehow the guy who wrote that went on to write Secret Wars. Go figure.
Anyway, I went with 15 entries here because that’s a nice, round number. Wait, no it’s not. Anyway, let’s begin.
1. DEADPOOL MADE SOME RANDOM CAMEOS ON THE OLD X-MEN CARTOON
Okay, this one’s relatively well known, but I like mentioning it. The early ’90s X-Men animated series featured three appearances of Deadpool. In a fashion. At no point did he have any lines, or even show up in person. They were all illusions.
In the first season, Xavier was searching around Sabretooth’s mind and saw a visage of Deadpool. In the second season, Morph decided to mess with Wolverine by briefly turning into Deadpool. Then in the third season, Xavier’s inner darkness took form and attacked Wolverine in Deadpool’s form. Keep in mind, by the time he first showed up, Deadpool had only been around for a year in the comics!
May I remind you that Kitty Pryde never showed up in any of the five seasons. Meanwhile, the previous X-Men cartoon was literally named after her.
What’s notable about Deadpool’s appearances is that they referenced Deadpool’s connections with Wolverine and Sabretooth long before that was apparent in the comics. Sure, it was mentioned pretty early on that Deadpool had a history with Weapon X, but he didn’t even meet Wolverine until 1994, two years after the show had been on the air.
2. AFTER ONE COMIC APPEARANCE, ONE FAN PREDICTED DEADPOOL’S FUTURE
Deadpool’s first appearance was New Mutants #98. The series was cancelled two issues later, but New Mutants #100 included a lengthy fan letter from one Vincent Bettes that’s a bit of a trip to read. See, Deadpool’s debut wasn’t THAT special. He had some personality in his voice, but it’s not like we got to know him or anything. He fought the New Mutants for several pages and got taken down. But that Bettes guy…dude lost his mind.
New Mutants #98 was, well, a whole lot of fun. This is mainly because of Deadpool. I love him. He looks cool, is obviously the best at what he does, and he has a great attitude. And he’s funny. He reminds me of Spidey, both visually and with his wise-cracks. In fact, Deadpool is basically Spidey wielding instruments of death rather than webs. But it works! I was hoping he might join the New Mutants, but this seems unlikely since he’s a bad guy, not a mutant, and because you guys are cancelling the book.
The “not a mutant” mention is kind of odd because I don’t recall that ever coming up in New Mutants #98. Not that he showed any kind of special power, but someone shows up in an X-Men comic wearing spandex, it’s safe to at least expect them to be a mutant.
Otherwise, this enthusiastic guy is the first of many to compare Deadpool to Spider-Man (in print, at least). He goes on to talk about how Deadpool could totally fit in as a member of X-Force and that he deserves his own long-lasting series.
The letter is closed out with, “Until Deadpool’s own comic hits #100, Make Mine Marvel!”
Due to Marvel’s habit of renumbering every other month, I guess Mr. Bettes is still making his Marvel.
3. DEATHSTROKE AND DEADPOOL HAVE FOUGHT EACH OTHER IN EACH COMPANY’S BOOKS
Back in the ’90s, Marvel and DC used to be hella tight, but after the JLA/Avengers crossover over a decade ago, they turned away and never looked back. Too bad for Deadpool as he never got to be in any of those DC crossovers. Deathstroke got to fight the X-Men and the Punisher over the years, but Wade was left out in the cold.
While not official, the two have battled it out. First came in 2006 with Superman/Batman Annual #1 by Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness. Coincidentally, they’re the same creative team that started Deadpool’s initial ongoing series, which made him into the breakout star of the ’90s.
The comic is about Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne on a cruise while Wayne is being hunted by Deathstroke. They end up in the Bermuda Triangle, which opens up a portal to Earth-3…or Earth-2… Whichever one has it where the good guys are bad guys and the bad guys are good guys. While this brings out the likes of Owlman and Ultraman, this also brings forth Deadpool.
More specifically, it’s Deadpool in Deathstroke’s color scheme. He supposedly is still named “Deadpool,” but we’ll never know for sure as he keeps getting shot or maimed every time he’s about to say it. The two mercs fight it out amongst the nuttiness with Deathstroke being really annoyed by his counterpart’s inability to stop talking.
Then we get Cullen Bunn and Salva Espin’s Deadpool Kills Deadpool from 2013. It’s about a big war between the good Deadpools and evil Deadpools from throughout the multiverse. It mainly acts as a way to kill off the Deadpool Corps. During the final siege, Regular Deadpool and his remaining allies (which include Pandapool, Grootpool, the Deadpool from 5 Ronin, and so on), he’s seen dueling with Deathstroke with Deadpool’s color scheme.
Man, I would have wanted to see more of that throwdown.
Oh, and speaking of Deathstroke…
4. DC COMICS CREATED THEIR OWN DEADPOOL KNOCKOFF
Yeah, so this happened.
In 1994, Marv Wolfman and Sergio Cariello were doing the Deathstroke the Terminator ongoing series, back when Slade Wilson was a full-on anti-hero. In #41, they introduced another gun-toting merc with a hate-on for Deathstroke. It’s Ravager III, otherwise known as Slade’s half-brother Wade.
To keep things from being too blatant, he’s Wade LaFarge (sometimes DeFarge) because they share the same mother. Otherwise, he’s got a red outfit that looks like Deadpool with hair, while speaking in color-outlined bubbles, much like Deadpool had in his early days.
There’s nothing especially biting about this knockoff of a knockoff because Deadpool as a concept is only three years old at this point and they’ve yet to give the character any depth. It’s more Wolfman and Cariello making jerkoff motions while rolling their eyes on Nicieza and Liefeld’s award-winning character design.
Despite being kind of boring all-in-all, Ravager is at least somewhat important to Deathstroke’s history. He not only kills their mother, but he also fridges both of Slade’s baby mommas. Slade’s daughter Rose would get revenge years later by slaughtering Wade and stealing back the Ravager name that once belonged to her brother.
5. DEADPOOL KILLED HITMAN, APPARENTLY
Rounding out this trilogy of DC-related entries, it looks like Deadpool is responsible for the death of Tommy Monaghan. For those of you who don’t know who that is, you are very, very fortunate because that means you are capable of reading Garth Ennis and John McCrea’s masterpiece for the first time.
The series is about a hired killer who lives in Gotham City and specializes in taking out super-powered targets, but is secretly a genuinely good guy underneath it all. Tommy is arguably a better counterpart to Deadpool than Deathstroke is.
Tim Seely and Elmo Bondoc’s recent Deadpool vs. Thanos miniseries features a section where the two protagonists end up in Hell. Thing about being alive and in Hell is that it acts as a beacon to every one of your victims. Soon we see legions of tortured souls screaming the names of Deadpool and Thanos. Notable ones include Sluggo, one of the many Grasshoppers to join the Great Lakes Avengers, and an AIM agent. Probably the one Deadpool shot for enjoying the Star Wars prequels more than the original trilogy.
Buried in the group shots, cursing Wade’s name, is most definitely Tommy Monaghan. Unfortunately for him, he would be cheated out of his inter-company vengeance thanks to Mephisto bailing out Deadpool and Thanos.
6. DEADPOOL BEAT DAREDEVIL IN A POPULARITY CONTEST BACK IN THE DAY
In 1999, Chris Claremont and Oscar Jimenez teamed up to do a miniseries called Contest of Champions II. It had, believe it or not, absolutely nothing to do with the first Contest of Champions. Well, outside of the basic idea of having superheroes fight each other without there being any hard feelings. In this setup, aliens coerce a bunch of heroes into taking part in a fighting tournament for reasons. It’s not as cool as it sounds.
Going back to the old Marvel vs. DC well, some of the fights are decided via fan vote. You have Mr. Fantastic vs. the Hulk, Hawkeye vs. Gambit, and Deadpool vs. Daredevil. The scarlet battle of flippy heroes takes place in the fourth issue and let me tell you, if you thought Deadpool was wordy already, wait until you see what horrors await when Chris goddamn Claremont gets his mitts on him!
Otherwise, it’s a cool fight scene that Deadpool wins by using Daredevil’s selflessness against him. Deadpool doesn’t so much beat him down as he catches him dead to rights with a gun to the back of the head.
Remember, this comic happens LONG before Deadpool is a huge name. Tumblr wouldn’t exist for another eight years. This would be coming out at the tail end of Kelly’s amazing run on Deadpool. Granted, Daredevil is still a year or two away from Brian Michael Bendis writing him into legendary run status, but the voting does take place during the Kevin Smith run, so that certainly has to count for something.
Deadpool would then be advanced into a fight with fellow vote-based winner the Hulk. It’s over in a page.
Oh, talk about Daredevil reminds me of something.
7. DEADPOOL FIGURED OUT THE MYSTERY OF THE SECOND DAREDEVIL BEFORE THE ACTUAL REVEAL
In the mid-00s, Daredevil was running through the streets, fighting crime in Hell’s Kitchen. Sounds par for the course, except Matt Murdock was stuck in prison during the time. Not only was this a big part of Ed Brubaker Daredevil run, but it was also going on during Civil War. The Civil War miniseries didn’t delve into it, but did feature a panel of Daredevil admiring a penny as a little nod that the Daredevil in this story wasn’t blind and therefore wasn’t Murdock.
The Cable/Deadpool tie-in for Civil War had the two chums disagree over the Superhero Registration Act. Cable was against it and Deadpool was for it. This led to Deadpool fighting a handful of anti-reg heroes. One of which was Daredevil, who proceeded to land a jumping knee right into Deadpool’s face.
Normally, that wouldn’t be worth remembering, but Deadpool had a moment of déjà vu. Before he could accuse the false Daredevil, he was interrupted with a shield to the head as Captain America arrived.
If you really paid attention to the series, you might have been able to figure out Deadpool’s revelation. Nine issues earlier, Deadpool took on Luke Cage and Iron Fist. During the fight, Deadpool took a hard knee to the face from Iron Fist. A jumping knee that was framed exactly like the one Daredevil delivered.
Coincidentally, the big reveal that Iron Fist was moonlighting as Daredevil wouldn’t hit stands for another week after that Cable/Deadpool issue.
8. DEADPOOL KNEW HE WAS RYAN REYNOLDS WELL IN ADVANCE
The first arc of Cable/Deadpool was about a special virus that could be used to change human DNA and alter how people look. A well-meaning cult intended to use it on the world and make everyone blue, thereby making racism moot. It was a flawed idea, but Deadpool figured it would give humanity one less reason to suck.
When confronted by Cable, Deadpool explained his reasoning for being for utilizing the virus, describing himself as, “Ryan Reynolds crossed with a shar-pei.”
This comic was from 2004. X-Men Origins: Wolverine was 2009. Wow.
Even factoring in that Blade: Trinity came out in 2004, which kickstarted the idea that Reynolds would be the perfect Deadpool, that was in December. Cable/Deadpool #2 was in April.
You know, I bet New Mutants reader Vincent Bettes knew Ryan Reynolds would one day star in a Deadpool movie without even knowing who that was.
9. DEADPOOL HAS BEEN AN AVENGER SINCE THE MID-90S
A Deadpool, at least. Still counts.
Remember Heroes Reborn? The 1996 debacle was about creating a new world for the Avengers and Fantastic Four to exist and be reimagined. Rob Liefeld was a big part of the process, so with it came a lot of muscles and growling. The Avengers of that world had a lot of the usual guys, including a reimagined Swordsman. While he shared some similarities to the late Avenger from the mainstream universe, his past remained a mystery, even to himself.
At the end of Heroes Reborn, all the Avengers returned to the rightful world except Swordsman. That left him with the title of the Last Avenger.
In 2000, Joe Kelly and Ethan Van Sciver revisited the failed comic line for Heroes Reborn: The Remnants. It was a comedy one-shot starring a team of lesser versions of existing characters, such as Miss Thing, Panther Cub, Mant, Amazo-Maxi-Woman, and Sterling. They were originally put together because Swordsman had contracted cancer and needed to step away from superheroism so he could undergo some experimental procedures. Eventually, he returned and changed his moniker to Deadpool while donning the red and black spandex.
The one-shot deals with Deadpool meditating and coming to discover that their world is nothing more than a construct created by Franklin Richards. In other words, Deadpool becomes aware that he’s fictional and it drives him insane. He also gets really, really fat for some reason.
In the end, despite the best attempts by the Remnants to stop him, Deadpool goes out by riding a nuke into the moon while hooting and waving a cowboy hat around in the air. Slim Pickens would be proud.
10. X-FORCE’S ADVENTURE INTO THE FUTURE SPILLED THE BEANS ON DEADPOOL’S UPCOMING STORYLINE
Rick Remender’s run on Uncanny X-Force is really one of the best comics Deadpool’s ever been associated with. In a team of killers out to snuff out any and all looming threats to mutantkind, Deadpool found himself becoming the team’s conscience. In one adventure, the team ended up several decades into the future. After the events of a terrible war that killed many, X-Force essentially policed the world in a Minority Report sense. It was a utopia, but at a cost.
X-Force met up with their older counterparts, who were also joined by an elderly Frank Castle, who naturally would join in with a team of mass murderers “for the greater good.” Deadpool’s brief meeting with his senior self brought up that at the time, Deadpool was missing his healing factor and was completely killable. It was a reminder of the status quo going on in Deadpool’s main series, at the time written by Daniel Way.
The Punisher told Deadpool that the huge cataclysm could be prevented if he killed a certain child in his present, which set Deadpool off. Deadpool proceeded to make fun of Castle for both the suggestion and for being a terrible character in general who stole everything from Charles Bronson. Frank pulled a gun on him and Deadpool saved himself by saying that his death would ruin the time-space continuum.
“How important is Wade to history?” Frank asked a nearby Hank Pym.
“Remember that thing with Zombie Nixon?”
That sounds like a random throaway joke line that would fit Deadpool in a foreboding future story, but it turns out Remender was bringing up an upcoming storyline by his good friends Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn. In the aftermath of Daniel Way ending his lengthy run on the character, those two writers would collaborate on a new Deadpool volume months later and the very first story would involve Deadpool fighting zombified presidents of the United States.
11. DEADPOOL GUEST-STARRED IN A BOOK THAT WASN’T ALLOWED TO MENTION HIM BY NAME
No, I’m not talking about the Superman/Batman issue again. That was no big deal because it was a different publisher. I’m talking about a Marvel comic that featured Deadpool and couldn’t say that it was Deadpool.
More specifically, it was Marvel Adventures: Marvel Super Heroes #4 by Paul Tobin and Ronan Cliquet. The issue had Deadpool on the run from licensed bounty hunter Kraven the Hunter and a collection of different superheroes like Nova, Captain America, Invisible Woman, and so on.
The Marvel Adventures line was an all-ages thing and much like animated kid’s shows, “dead” is basically a four-letter word in this kind of setting. Therefore, even though Deadpool was the big antagonist of the comic, nobody could outright identify him.
The most we’d get is a running gag of someone saying, “His name is Wade Wilson, codename—“ and then being interrupted by someone saying they’re aware of him.
12. HIS APPEARANCE IN MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 3 FEATURES A NIFTY CALLBACK
From what I understand, when it was announced that Deadpool would be appearing in the three-on-three fighting game, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Capcom developers were a little confused when fans kept insisting that Deadpool be able to pull off the Shoryuken (or “twisting, jumping uppercut” if Street Fighter isn’t your thing).
Back in the late-90s, Deadpool #27 by Joe Kelly and Walter McDaniel told the story of Deadpool’s need to fight Wolverine for the sake of therapeutic reasons (long story). Wolverine, hanging out in his street garb with Kitty Pryde, didn’t want in on whatever nuttiness Deadpool was offering and gave him the cold shoulder. Kitty got in Deadpool’s face about it and, in order to better goad Wolverine, he asked her if she ever played Street Fighter. Before she could speak a full sentence, Deadpool Shoryuken’d Kitty into the distance.
Coincidentally, this was my first Deadpool comic. Apparently watching him punch a young woman in the face endeared me to the character. Oh, Jesus, maybe I’m the one who should be looking into therapy…
Anyway, Capcom did give Deadpool the ability to Shoryuken his enemies, making it a launcher attack to begin air combos. Various interactions played on Deadpool’s love of the Street Fighter series, such as when he’d face one of their characters and geek out, or scream at Capcom to put him on the cover of the next game.
13. DEADPOOL FOUGHT “MACHO MAN” RANDY SAVAGE TWICE…SORT OF
This one gets a bit layered with the references, but bear with me. Back in the day, Thing had a long-lasting team-up comic called Marvel Two-in-One. One of the more beloved stories featured a cosmic being named the Champion of the Universe coming to Earth to challenge their strongest to a series of boxing matches in the name of the planet’s survival. In the end, all hope lied with Thing and he impressed the Champion with his inability to stay down no matter what kind of damage he took.
In the ’90s, the cartoon Dexter’s Lab had an episode of Dial M for Monkey that acted as a retelling of that comic (it barely counts as a parody). In this version, the invader was Rasslor, an unbeatable wrestler from the stars voiced by Randy Savage. This time it was Monkey’s tenacity that inspired him to spare Earth.
That brings us to Deadpool Team-Up #888 (the series was reverse order because…I don’t know) by Cullen Bunn and Tom Fowler. Deadpool decided to become a pro wrestling manager during a time when Thing was moonlighting as a commentator and wouldn’t you know it, a cosmic being named Max Intensity showed up to challenge Earth’s mightiest.
And he talked exactly like Randy Savage. Of course he did. Deadpool even called it out by mentioning the Dexter’s Lab connection.
Deadpool and Thing faced Max Intensity in a tag match after Max was able to split himself in two. Thing pinned one while Deadpool exploded the other, which sounds about apt. Deadpool then cut a promo that would make Ric Flair proud to close out the book.
A couple years later, in Deadpool’s main book, he took on a demon named Vetis. Vetis was pretty powerful and would smack Deadpool around by morphing himself, or parts of himself, into that of superheroes and villains while retaining their abilities. Despite having the entire Marvel Universe in his shape-shifting rolodex, Vetis decided to end it by transforming into Randy Savage and bodyslamming Deadpool into the street.
14. ONE OF THE SONGS ON THE MOVIE SOUNDTRACK IS A FAN-MADE TRACK
The soundtrack for the Deadpool movie features a handful of pre-existing songs mixed in there with the regular score. You have songs by Salt-N-Pepa, WHAM, DMX, and Juice Newton, but there’s also “Deadpool Rap” by Teamkickhead. At first you might think that this is a rap made for the movie, but not completely.
Teamkickhead is a group that makes songs in regards to video games. In this case, they did a rap about the Deadpool game from several years ago, which certainly caught somebody important’s attention. I guess since an R-rated movie is the only way to give this song official play due to the constant sailor mouth, it got roped into the movie soundtrack, vindicating the hell out of Teamkickhead’s efforts.
The version on the soundtrack is very much revised. Mainly because the original references a lot of game-based stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with the movie. Stuff like slapping Wolverine awake, Cable showing up, fighting Mr. Sinister in Genosha, and saving Rogue’s life. Instead, there’s now a brief mention of Colossus and…that’s about it.
15. A DEADPOOL MOVIE EXISTS IN THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
In 2010, Marvel released a series of one-shots called X-Men Origins. One of these issues centered on Deadpool, as written by Duane Swierczynski and drawn by Leandro Fernandez. It involved Deadpool interviewing for screenwriters to adapt his life to film. He settled on one guy who wanted to hear all about Wade’s life from childhood. After getting at the emotional core of the character, he assured Deadpool that he’d make for one hell of a movie.
When it came time for its release, Deadpool was aghast at what his life had been turned into. Moments of torture and trauma were turned into comedic scenes filled with explosions and lame Hollywood tropes. He fantasized about killing everyone in the theater, but suppressed it to instead leave and violently destroy the screenwriter’s brand new sports car.
It would be easy to explain it away as Swierczynski making fun of Wade’s depiction in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Hell, the in-comic movie is even called Deadpool Origins. Yet I find myself wondering if it has more to do with the upcoming movie. After all, the screenplay would have leaked by that point and the comic’s version of the movie does have its connections, such as the use of Vanessa Carlysle.
Also notable is that prior to seeing the movie, Deadpool admitted to reading the script and didn’t seem to have any issue.
Maybe Swierczynski was riffing on what he was afraid Hollywood would do with the leaked screenplay. What this raunchy, violent story would be turned into in order to garner a PG-13 rating and become just another brick in the wall for superhero movies.
Hey, at least Deadpool will be fully aware that Fox did a better job in real life.
Gavin Jasper still wishes Deadpool had Dan Hibiki’s special taunt in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Follow Gavin on Twitter!