Deadpool Movie: Complete Guide to Characters and Marvel References
We've rounded up every Marvel reference and X-Men Easter Egg in the Deadpool movie for you. My God, it's full of spoilers.
This article contains so many Deadpool movie spoilers it’ll make your head spin. We originally ran it in February, but since it’s now available for (legal, you animals!) streaming as of today, we’ve dusted it off.
I never believed it would happen, but we’re finally there. The Deadpool movie exists, is out in theaters, and is a whole lot of fun. After a botched, slapdash appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, a leaked script, leaked test footage, and so on, it’s really kind of amazing that we’re here.
Of course, not only is Deadpool a comic book character with a lot of translated history, but he’s got a whole lot of snarkiness to him and with it comes random references. Lots of ’em. So we’ve decided to list as many references and Easter eggs as possible.
It’s a work in progress and I even caught the movie a second time with a pen and notebook to remind myself what I missed. For you. Because you’re special and I believe in you. Also as an easy excuse to see it again.
If there’s anything I missed, let me know in the comments or on Twitter, and I’ll update this once it’s been verified.
Okay! Let’s get this started…
This is your final warning. This article consists of pretty much nothing but spoilers. Turn back if you haven’t seen the movie yet!
– One of the first things we see in the movie is “Rob L.” written on one goon’s coffee cup during that crazy opening credits sequence. It’s a reference to one of Deadpool’s creators, Rob Liefeld. He and Fabian Nicieza worked on New Mutants #98 back in 1991, which I’m required by law to point out in any Deadpool trivia article.
Oh, you do know that Deadpool began life in that New Mutants comic before becoming an X-Force supporting character long before he was the cult sensation and international box office star that you see before you in this movie, right? Good. I don’t have to spend any more time on that.
There are more Liefeld references in the movie, too. During the freeway battle, which takes up a huge chunk of the movie, there are signs for exits named after Liefeld and Nicieza.
As for Ryan Reynolds, the movie has no problem poking fun at his own troubled superhero history:
– The opening credits sequence shows the cover of People Magazine’s November 17, 2010 issue, where Ryan Reynolds was awarded “Sexiest Man Alive.”
– Someone has a trading card of some sort in their pocket that’s supposed to be Green Lantern, poking fun at Reynolds’ less-than-stellar other superhero movie. Later in the film (and you probably saw this in the trailers) Wade remarks that he doesn’t want his superhero suit to be green or animated. Both a reference to Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern stint and Deadpool’s animated eyes.
– Wade happens to own an action figure of Deadpool from X-Men Origins: Wolverine for the sake of jabbing at that movie’s terrible portrayal. It was the leaking of that very action figure’s appearance that allowed the internet a glimpse of what they were in for.
– Ajax suggests sewing Wade’s mouth shut. While working in the context of the scene, Wade tells him that it’s a bad idea. Just like Deadpool’s mouthless depiction in X-Men Origins: Wolverine was.
Obviously, there’s no danger of that here, as this is probably the most comic book accurate superhero costume of the modern era. It helps that the original design if pretty timeless. But because this is a superhero movie, and a Deadpool movie, they still give us their own riff on the “costume making montage set to music” which has been deployed in places like Lois & Clark and Supergirl.
– Deadpool’s initial costume is white. This might be a nod to his X-Force attire.
– The movie wastes no time in bringing in one of his signature character traits: Deadpool breaks the fourth wall, talking directly to the viewer at times and being well aware that he’s fictional. This aspect of the character has been around since the late-90s and as far as I can tell, the very first time it happened was in Deadpool v.3 #0 from 1998 by Joe Kelly and Yancey Labat. It was a special 12-page story that came with an issue of Wizard Magazine.
– Deadpool remarks that he looks like he was bitten by a radioactive shar-pei. Not only is this an easy Spider-Man reference, but it’s also a reference to Cable/Deadpool #2 from way back in 2004 where Deadpool compared himself to Ryan Reynolds mixed with a shar-pei. Great callback.
– When beating up Ajax, Deadpool refers to himself as being from Regina, Saskatchewan. Deadpool’s nationality is something that bounces back and forth in the comics depending on the writer. Some say he’s American while others say Canadian. The latest run with him has basically solidified the idea that he’s Canadian.
You know who else is Canadian? Ryan Reynolds. Oh, and Wolverine.
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– Weasel suggests Wade should star in a horror movie and likens him to Freddy Krueger. It’s a comparison that’s been made several times in the comics, most notably by Kate Bishop Hawkeye, who thought it was a Halloween costume and was instead mortified to realize it was actually Deadpool.
– With a knife in his skull, Deadpool sees little cartoon characters crowding around Vanessa. Ever since Daniel Way took over writing Deadpool (starting with Wolverine Origins #21), he started a regular gag where Deadpool would see the world differently like that. It’s been referred to as Pool-o-Vision.
– Wade gets ready for the final battle with the line, “Time to make the fucking chimichangas.” As started in Cable/Deadpool #13, Deadpool loves ordering chimichangas at restaurants. Not because he especially likes eating them, but because he simply loves saying the word. This has somehow stuck and is considered one of his regular quirks.
– Wade’s incident with the pizza guy is heavily based on a scene from Daniel Way’s run with the character. It’s from Deadpool v.4 #10. Despite the movie’s R-rating, the comic version is a lot darker. It isn’t just a case of stalking countered by intimidation, nor is it about teenagers. The pizza boy ruined Deadpool’s client’s high school life, which carried over into her adult life, due to spreading some horrible rumors about her.
Such rumors were never outright said, but when Deadpool whispered them into the home owner’s ear, the man was disgusted and outraged. Deadpool then killed the pizza guy as part of the contract.
– The playful, sexual way Wade messes with the pizza boy ties into Deadpool’s pansexual nature, which director Tim Miller insisted they play up. There are loads (heh) of other references to Wade’s fluid sexuality in the movie, too.
– During this scene, Wade is wearing a shirt with Bea Arthur on it. In a running gag that started in Cable/Deadpool #1, Deadpool considered Bea Arthur to be the sexiest woman in show business.
– The pizza is from Feige’s Famous Pizza. Kevin Feige is the president of Marvel Studios. (Thanks, Jim the Nickel and bittergourd!)
– Vanessa Carlysle, otherwise known as Copycat, is Deadpool’s original flame in the comics. Technically, she appeared first in New Mutants #98 along with Deadpool…in the sense that in the comics she’s a shape-shifter and was really pretending to be other new character Domino. They didn’t reveal that fact until several issues later. Prior to that life, much like in the movie, she was a prostitute.
– After Vanessa makes a reference to Empire Strikes Back involving Yoda, Wade remarks that it’s like he made her in a computer. Likely an allusion to the movie (and later TV show) Weird Science about a couple nerds who made the perfect woman using their computer.
– The idea of Wade wanting to leave Vanessa behind out of fear of her seeing him die of cancer is lifted straight from the comics. It was briefly shown in the first Deadpool miniseries and was revisited in Deadpool v.3 #-1.
– Wade jokes about “boomboxing” the WHAM! song “Careless Whisper,” which is a nod to Say Anything…, the 1989 movie where John Cusack holds his stereo over his head, playing “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel in order to serenade his girlfriend.
– As reader Francisco Lourenço Ribeiro points out, the scene of Vanessa going into the rainy alley to get kidnapped by Ajax may be based on the scene in Spider-Man where Mary Jane is saved from muggers and Peter hides in the shadows. This is supported by Weasel telling Deadpool, “Go get her, tiger,” what with “tiger” being Mary Jane’s trademark thing.
– Weasel has been Deadpool’s go-to weapons and tech guy since Deadpool v.1 #1. He was created by Fabian Nicieza and Joe Madureira. Real name Jack Hammer (yes, really), Weasel is actually improved by the movie’s take. Mainly because in the comics, Weasel is the one constantly taking abuse from Wade, which just makes Wade look like a bully.
The fact that the roles are reversed makes both of them more likeable.
– Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children, otherwise known as the Hellhouse, is another Joe Kelly creation, appearing in Deadpool v.3 #1. Run by an old man named Patch, the Chicago-based clubhouse was a place for mercenaries to hang out and get job offers. This was mainly used as an excuse to have Deadpool constantly butt heads with his main (at the time) arch-nemesis T-Ray.
Coincidentally, Patch was in the original screenplay, but they took his role and added it to Weasel’s.
– Liefeld is one of the names on the Dead Pool (see? Told ya there were more references to Deadpool’s creators). Wade even acknowledges one of the mercs by that name.
– When Wade orders the blowjob drink at the bar, the waitress’ name is Kelly. Joe Kelly wrote Deadpool in the late-90s and is credited as being the writer who truly gave him life as a three-dimensional character.
– The Dead Pool board has a lot of Easter egg names mixed in there. I did see “M. Tyson” and “S. LaBeof” mixed in there. A reader with an unpronouncable Disqus handle pointed out “B. Cosby”, “C. Sheen”, “K. West”, and “V. Putin.”
Give it some time. I’m sure someone will have a screenshot.
– The Dead Pool is a thing from the comics, but not at the Hellhouse.
– The villain of the story is Ajax, otherwise known as Francis. He first appeared in Deadpool v.3 #14, created by Joe Kelly and Walter McDaniel. Originally known as the Attending (Ajax was his cyborg upgrade), he was a Weapon X experiment with super-strength, speed, etc. and also couldn’t feel pain. Since he was a complete sociopath, the government decided he wasn’t worth using as a superhero. Instead, he became an orderly at the Workshop, the Weapon X den where Wade was experimented on.
Like in the movie, Wade found out his real name is Francis and made fun of him relentlessly. At one point in the movie, Wade calls him “Basil Fawlty” instead of Ajax. Basil Fawlty: is tall, British, and a hilarious asshole. Ajax/Francis is just British and an asshole.
In the comic, the real doctor taking care of Wade was Dr. Killbrew. Originally, he was given a minor role in the screenplay to build on a sequel, but he was ultimately nixed.
– The dialogue about last words when Deadpool is about to kill Ajax is extremely similar to the conversation Nick Fury and Baron Von Strucker had in Secret Warriors before Fury shot Von Strucker in the head. Probably just a coincidence.
– On the other hand, the battleground in the third act sure looks an AWWWWWFUL lot like a busted SHIELD Helicarrier. Don’t know how they got that to happen or if it means anything.
– Colossus, real name Piotr Rasputin, is the oldest Marvel character in this movie, debuting in Giant-Size X-Men #1 in 1975. He was created by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum. Despite his big inclusion in this movie, he has very little history with Deadpool in the comics. They fought briefly during the Daniel Way run of Deadpool and in a time-travel story, the two were in a future incarnation of the X-Men.
– Deadpool compares Professor Xavier to Heaven’s Gate, a religious cult that existed for a few decades and made news in 1997 when its members killed themselves, believing that their souls would be picked up by UFOs and brought to Heaven.
– Deadpool destroying his own limbs in an attempt to fight Colossus and failing every step of the way is a bit of a reference to the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In the original script, Deadpool even calls it out more blatantly. He even references Colossus as RoboCop (“Dead or alive, you’re coming with me!”), which goes well with the agonizing, Verhoeven-esque, over-the-top violence of the scene.
– Colossus talks about bringing Deadpool to the Professor, and he asks if it’s going to be James McAvoy or Patrick Stewart, as the new timeline thing is really confusing. Obviously he’s breaking the fourth wall and talking about the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past and how it affects the X-Men movies’ continuity.
– Deadpool warns about spoilers for 127 Hours, which ended with James Franco cutting off his own limb to escape.
– When Deadpool’s blood splatters all over Colossus’ face, he jokes, “Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret.” A reference to the book of the same name by Judy Bloom, which is about a girl having her first period.
– The way Deadpool falls off the bridge and lands in a garbage truck as it drives off is very much like what happens to John Cusack in the movie Better Off Dead, though his fall was far more accidental. (Thanks to Oeno)
Negasonic Teenage Warhead
– Negasonic Teenage Warhead, named after the awesome song by Monster Magnet, was a short-lived character introduced by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely in New X-Men #115 back in 2001.
By “short-lived” I mean she was killed almost immediately. Her powers were precognition and telepathy, making her nothing like her movie self. Man, you think they would have learned their lesson when they did this crap in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but whatever.
Her powers, role, and even haircut in the movie are more fitting to another member of the X-Men, Cannonball, who, as it turns out, fought Deadpool during Wade’s first appearance.
– Deadpool calls her Ripley from Alien 3, mainly due to having the same short hair and stern outlook. He also refers to her as Sinead O’Connor, a musician known for her shaved head, and quotes her song “Nothing Compares 2 U.”
– Negasonic’s outfit is closer to the classic outfits of the original X-Men and even closer to what Cannonball wore as a member of the New Mutants (thanks to Bill Clay!). It also plays well into the joke from the first X-Men movie where they mention the lack of yellow spandex. It was mostly a jab at Wolverine’s comic self, but Cyclops is living in a glass house on that one. (Thanks to Jack9Crow)
– Angel Dust is another random character, though at least the power set is correct. She was created by Geoff Johns and Shawn Martinbrough in Morlocks #1 in 2002. Coincidentally, this would be the second time a villain of a Ryan Reynolds movie is a Johns creation. Green Lantern featured the entity Parallax.
In the original script, Angel Dust’s role was spread out among other obscure X-characters Garrison Kane, Sluggo, and Wyre.
– Angel Dust has a thing about chomping on matchsticks and Deadpool asks if she’s a big Stallone fan. In the Sylvester Stallone movie Cobra, he spends the entire movie chomping on a matchstick.
– Blind Al is another Joe Kelly creation, appearing first in Deadpool v.3 #1. A motherly figure, she’s actually Deadpool’s prisoner in the comics. It’s played for laughs for a while until later going into how messed up their relationship actually is. While written out at the end of Kelly’s run, she has shown up here and there over the years to give advice.
– Deadpool refers to her as Mrs. Magoo. Mr. Magoo is a cartoon character created in the 1949, known for getting into comedic situations due to his blindness.
– He also calls her Ronnie Milsap at one point. Milsap is a blind country singer.
David Cunningham (Worm)
– Wade befriends fellow experiment David Cunningham. Cunningham is very much supposed to be Worm from the comics. Worm was created by Joe Kelly and Steve Harris in Deadpool/Death Annual ’98. That issue is the basis for this whole segment of the movie where Wade is tortured and gets his powers.
In the comics, Worm has a metal implant on his head, making him resemble Kano from Mortal Kombat. Here, Cunningham has a blood-red eye to reference it without getting overly sci-fi about it.
As part of the Workshop, Worm would use his cyber ability to figure out the odds of which experiment would die next. In other words, the Dead Pool. Due to Wade’s importance to Killbrew and the fact that he would heal from nearly any kind of damage, Worm christened him “King of the Dead Pool.”
– Deadpool runs into an enemy named Bob that he appears to be old friends with. Ever since debuting in Cable/Deadpool #38, Hydra Bob (or Bob, Agent of Hydra) has been Wade’s ever-suffering sidekick. Come to think of it, Wade has a lot of ever-suffering sidekicks.
– Deadpool mentions that Bob’s wife’s name is Gail. While Bob is married to a woman named Allison in the comics, Gail is almost definitely a reference to Gail Simone, considered to be one of the best Deadpool writers despite writing a relatively few issues.
Deadpool Post-Credits Scenes Shenanigans
– The post-credits sequence is a take on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, down to the setting and bathrobe and the demand that the viewers go home. Oh, and the “chicka chick-aaaah!”
– He jokes about Samuel L. Jackson showing up, a reference to the revolutionary post-credits scene from Iron Man.
– Deadpool confirms Cable will be in Deadpool 2. The son of Cyclops and Madelyne Pr…forget it. Explaining who he is would take too long. He’s from the future, he fought Deadpool in New Mutants #98, and they starred in their own buddy comic for 50 issues as well as a recent digital series. They’re the odd couple of the mutant corner of Marvel.
– Deadpool owns an Adventure Time watch. The joke is basically the reference, I guess. You’re on the internet. You already know what Adventure Time is. You have to.
– When joking about fondling Wolverine’s balls, he starts speaking in an Australian accent and mentions “down under,” a more direct reference to Hugh Jackman’s nationality.
– One of the prominent signs on the freeway says “Parker Boulevard.” As reader Mike Priest points out, this could very well be a reference to Spider-Man. My first reaction was that it might be a reference to comic writer Jeff Parker, but that guy’s written like a single Deadpool comic in his career, so that’s not too likely.
– Deadpool constantly refers to the recruiter character as Agent Smith, likening him to the cold, suit-wearing villain from the Matrix movies.
– Later in the movie, Deadpool attacks the recruiter while calling him Jared and makes a joke about a footlong. This would be innocent on its own, but considering Wade made jokes earlier about the recruiter seeming like a child molester, this is most definitely a topical joke about Jared Fogle’s recent arrest and conviction for being a pedo.
– Joking about Batman and Robin’s sexuality is old hat, but most famous for Fredric Wertham’s attempts to bring down the comics industry with his book Seduction of the Innocent.
– When Ajax and Angel Dust leave Sister Margaret’s, Weasel makes fun of them for dressing like they’re going to go watch Blade 2. Blade Trinity starred Ryan Reynolds as Hannibal King, which inspired many to think he’d play the perfect Deadpool.
– The way Deadpool impales the final goon with two katanas and holds him up is very reminiscent of the Adam Kubert cover of Wolverine #88, the first ever meeting between Wolverine and Deadpool.
– Stan Lee has his expected Marvel cameo, this time as a strip club DJ. What’s funny and notable about this is that Stan Lee didn’t co-create a single character in this movie.
– Voltron: Defender of the Universe was a sweet cartoon from Japan coming from the mid-80s where five pilots would control giant lion mechs, then combine them into a sword-swinging robot. Where is this arcade that has that Voltron prize because I totally need that.
– Wade talks about his Liam Neeson nightmare, where he goes into a tangent about the Taken trilogy without outright identifying the movies by name.
– During the bit where Deadpool’s freaking out over hitting a woman, he throws off an attacker while yelling, “Get off me, spider monkey!” As pointed out by reader Jason Aniceto, this is taken from the first Twilight, where Edward tells Bella, “You’d better hang on tight, spider monkey,” while she was on his back in similar fashion.
– When going after Ajax, Deadpool brings with him a copy of the November 25, 2008 People Magazine where Hugh Jackman was awarded “Sexiest Man.”
– One of the experiments in the facility where Wade gets his powers has bones sticking out of their back. This is likely a reference to X-Men character Marrow, who constantly has them jabbing out of her back and can regenerate them at will.
– Before the credits, he calls himself, “Your friendly neighborhood Deadpool,” yet another jab at how similar he is to Spider-Man.
Gonna update this baby every now and again. In the meantime, did we miss anything worth noting? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter. As always, try not to be a jerk about it.
Gavin Jasper considers Deadpool to be the superhero movie equivalent of WWE’s Yes Movement. X-Men Origins is that WrestleMania with the 18-second match. Follow Gavin on Twitter!