An Intro to Deadpool

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So by now you’ve seen the trailer. And the red band trailer. And chances are- you were into it.

And chances are, you didn’t recognize anybody in it aside from Deadpool and Colossus. Why would they do this? Probably so they can kill characters off that don’t have their own franchise and Deadpool kills a lot of people.

So here’s a quick guide to D-Pooly, his history, allies, and enemies. Sure you could go to Wikipedia, Comic Vine, Marvel Database, or a thousand other sites. But you’re already here, you might as well stay.

A Brief History

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If you’re familiar with Weapon X, you’re familiar with the kinds of things Deadpool has dealt with. Black Ops CIA stuff, murderous mutants who kills for a human government. Wolverine running around naked in the Canadian wilderness.

However, going into Deadpool’s history before he entered the program is where things get a bit tricky. Tricky enough that it’s tough to say where different writers just wrote different histories or we’re never really supposed to know how Deadpool started. For a long time, he was Wade Wilson- born in Canada and having served in the military. Then it was revealed he was actually born in Ohio and received military training anywhere he could from across the country, changing his identity whenever he saw fit, with Wade Wilson being one of those identities and the one that stuck the longest. Kind of a Joker situation. What’s set is stone is that no matter what happens in Deadpool’s life, he always seems to get back into the mercenary game. There’s no “official” origin aside from what you like the most.

What is canon is Deadpool’s relationship with the shapeshifting prostitute, Copycat aka Vanessa Carlyle. Though he leaves her once he finds out he has cancer, thinking that his problems would just burden her. It’s here he finds Department H, a branch of the Canadian Department of National Defense. Subjected to various tests and experiments for the promise of curing him of cancer, it really just turned into torture for Deadpool, who would taunt the guards when he found the opportunity.

Things get even weirder here as the physical embodiment of Death shows up. To be with her, Deadpool does what he can to end his time at the hands of Doctor Killbrew, the terribly named man who heads up the department. Most of the torture and experiments are carried out by Ajax, Killbrew’s head guard, who also acted as an enforcer. A doctor with an enforcer? You know this place is bad news.

But given the severity of Wade’s condition, and the fact that he was sent to the branch for failed experiments by this point (That’ll boost your confidence), the surrounding guards had bets going to see which experiment would last the longest, throwing money into a “dead pool” to see who would last the longest. Deadpool takes this name for himself and eventually attacks Ajax. During the fight wherein the other guards become involved, Deadpool’s new healing factor kicks in and he is able to escape. Not with his mind entirely intact thanks to that same healing factor, which heals his body faster than his cancer can kill him but it’s also what’s disfigured him.

After Wade returned to life as a mercenary, it’s really been a back-and-forth life of trying to do the right thing, doing a lot of the wrong thing, and surviving revenge sought after by all of his hateful, C-list rivals.

Powers/Abilities

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Aside from being an expert on practically all bladed weapons and firearms. In comics, this nearly goes without saying that he’s also a master martial artist. In what styles? We don’t know! What we can say is that as much as Wade messes around/gets blown up, he knows how to take care of business when he needs to.

Being at peak human strength, Deadpool also has his biggest defense- his healing factor. Extracted from ol’ Wolverine himself, Deadpool’s regeneration abilities also make him immune to chemicals, poisons, and even most forms of telepathy. So while many healing factors in other characters have certain limits, Deadpool can take just about anything thrown his way. You could say at the cost of his so-called sanity.

Who was in the trailer?

Negasonic Teenage Warhead

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A teenage mutant, Ellie Phimister died during the attack on Genosha. She was then brought back, only to be killed again knowing full well what would happen to her being that she had the powers of precognition. Probably INFJ or something. What’s her relationship to Deadpool? We’ll have to see, since she has nothing to do with him in the comics. He’s probably protecting her for some reason. In the movie she is played by Brianna Hildebrand.

Weasel

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Weasel, aka Jack Hammer (Yep) is Deadpool’s arms dealer and information broker of sorts. He’s like Micro to Deadpool except Deadpool hasn’t killed him…yet. In fact, it’s actually Deadpool’s fault that Weasel isn’t doing more with his life. Time-traveling Deadpool went back in time and took Weasel binge-drinking…which promptly caused him to fail his mid-terms, drop out, yada yada yada… If Deadpool is Kramer, Weasel is George. In the movie, he’s played by TJ Miller.

Copycat

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As mentioned above, Vanessa Carlysle is a mutant that can shapeshift after physically touching who she wants to change into. One of the few serious relationships Deadpool has ever been in, Copycat’s timeline is difficult to track. As her “first appearance” was as another character that turned out to be her. However, it’s uncertain if this was planned by the writers all along or just changed to suit the writer’s current needs. Some of these characters are hard to keep track of man. In the movie she’s played by Morena Baccarin and it’s unknown if she’ll actually show up as her normal, blue-skinned self.

Ajax

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For a while he was Deadpool’s main rival, as you may have been able to tell. With Deadpool strapped to multiple chairs and gurneys, it was Ajax, aka Francis (Last name unknown), he spent a lot of time being tortured at this man’s hands. In the film, it looks like he’ll play a similar role albeit without the superpowered suit his comic book counterpart has. That was, after Deadpool escaped the lab and left Ajax brain-damaged, only to come back even stronger but dumber than ever. But you know how comics are and few things last forever. In the film he’ll be played by Ed Skrein.

Blind Al

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One of the weirder relationships in Deadpool’s life and that’s really saying something. Originally hired to kill her for an unknown reason, Deadpool instead took Al as a hostage/roommate. As in, they seem to get along living together but Al is also not allowed to leave. She’s one of the few characters that can riff with Deadpool and leave him speechless. It’s like a sitcom where a golden girl gets matched with an assassin. Actually, that’s almost exactly what it is. Everybody should have an Al in their life. In the movie, she’ll be played by Leslie Uggams.

Angel Dust

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A mutant prone to adrenaline fueled berserker rages of sorts, and is able to utilize super strength/durability for a short amount of time for exhausting herself. In the comics, she’s part of the mutant group, the Morlocks, a peaceful underground society that really does just want to be left alone. In the movie, it looks like she’s a part of the program that trains/tortures Deadpool. Played by Gina Carano.

Colossus

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You know this guy, I don’t need to say anything. Veteran X-Man, Piotr Rasputin is a big Russian guy whose skin can turn into a strange biometal upon will. Super strength, super durable, all around good guy. He once sacrificed himself to save mutants from the mutant killing virus, the Legacy Virus but Joss Whedon just wouldn’t let him stay dead. Again, nothing to do with Deadpool in the comics, we’ll see what happens.

Other Deadpool associates that probably aren’t in the movie

Cable

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The future son of Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Jean Grey (Jean Grey), Nathan Summers is nearly all powerful as far as mutants are concerned. He’s usually seen as an anti-hero in the sense that depending on his missions (from the future!) and whether or not they work toward the benefit of the X-Men or not. Often paired with Deadpool for ridiculous reasons for an “Odd Couple” effect. (REALLY) Summarizing his powers, a very powerful/skilled telepathic/telekinetic mutant.

Domino

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Another mutant, with the abilities to shift probability in her favor, you can read all about her here. Even if you’re not into the whole MBTI thing. An object of affection for Deadpool, she always rejects his advances while attempting to complete whatever covert mission she’s on. Skilled with weapons.

Taskmaster

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One of the few non-mutants here, Tony Masters (Too on the nose?) is one of the greatest fighters in the Marvel U., able to perfectly replicate anyone he sees, aside from superpowered characters like Thor and those guys. All he has to do is watch them just long enough to copy them. He often carries the weapons needed to imitate that fighter’s style, such as a shield like Captain America.

A similar role to Deadpool and his “Any job for the right price” M.O., Taskmaster and Deadpool have a love/hate relationship. Sometimes they help each other, sometimes they try to kill each other. The even always mentioned with he and D-Pooly is when Taskmaster couldn’t copy Deadpool’s moves due to his unpredictability. One of my personal favorite characters, in the pirate get-up or the ninja outfit.

Bob, Agent of HYDRA

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Similar to Weasel though much less useful, Bob is as stated- an agent of HYDRA. Crazy thing is that thanks to the Captain America movies, I don’t need to explain who HYDRA is. Bob goes back and forth as a friend to Deadpool and something of a servant/punching bag. He hated his job as a HYDRA worker, complaining about the long, boring hours. Until Deadpool kidnapped him and they’ve been on-and-off buddies ever since. However, he’s even more likely to negatively affect Deadpool than he is to help him. All accidental, of course.

Essential Deadpool Reading

Now, keep in mind that everybody has their own favorite version of what Deadpool is. Some like when writers take a more serious approach to him; keeping him as an armed-to-the-teeth mercenary with an acerbic sense of humor. Others like a similar approach but with more “wackiness.” Others like him as though he were made for Looney Toons and censors just wouldn’t allow a guy with guns, where the characters and environment are just as ridiculous as he is.

So the stuff I’m recommending is bouncing back and forth between the more serious and the slightly less so. While comics get pretty crazy no matter what and Deadpool being the poster boy for it, I prefer the Deadpool stories where he tells the jokes, not necessarily is one.

Anything from Joe Kelly– I can’t say this is my favorite but it is the beginning of everything Deadpool became famous for. Nonstop jokes, fourth wall breaking, Deadpool parodying every other character (or celebrity) out there. Can’t go wrong with this. Here we have classic Deadpool and introductions to many of the characters above.

Agent of Weapon X: Deadpool– My favorite Deadpool story of all time and one of the stories that comes to mind most frequently when writing anything violent, it’s strangely enough, easier to find the individual issues than the graphic novel. Deadpool is “asked” by Weapon X to rejoin. And he does under some very specific conditions. But it’s Weapon X, and nothing is as exactly as they’ve promised. We were also introduced to this awesome suit in the arc.

Uncanny X-Force– While the lineup changes, the team originally consists of Wolverine, Archangel, Psylocke, Fantomex, E.V.A., and of course…Deadpool. This officially makes the team one of the baddest in comic book history. I’ve got this as “essential” because Deadpool is usually on his own but this displays his actual workings within a team. Where he constantly annoys others. More importantly, writer Rick Remender gives us a version of Deadpool people just aren’t used to seeing; not so much serious as he is less stupid. You know bad things are happening when Deadpool becomes the voice of reason on the team. This series gave us the sweet black and white outfit. Don’t deny the link.

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