Deadpool, the Merc with the Mouth, is one of Marvel’s most popular characters right now, despite his relatively recent origin in the ’90s. While Ryan Reynolds played a version of the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the upcoming Deadpool from Fox will be the first time that movie audiences get to see a true onscreen version of the wise-cracking, slightly mentally unstable mercenary who has a habit of breaking the fourth wall and a love for chimichangas.
With the movie on the way, now is the time for those new to the character to get to know him a little better. With that in mind, here’s a list of 10 Deadpool Comics To Read Before The Movie.
10. X-Men Origins: Deadpool
Published back in 2010 after talk of a Deadpool movie first started, this one-shot is a bit of a tongue-in-cheek way for the character to deal with the movie news. Deadpool has heard about the movie that will be made about him, so he is making sure that Hollywood doesn’t mess up his story. He even goes so far as to hire a screenwriter to get the facts straight, and who gets Deadpool to open up about his origins and life in ways that we never knew about before.
9. Deadpool: Wade Wilson’s War
In a story outside of the comics continuity, this miniseries presents Deadpool’s origins in a very different way. As part of a black ops hit team, Wade is involved in a massacre in a small Mexican village, which leaves him with a lot of ‘splaining to do.
Over the course of the series, his origins are presented in two different ways: Wade’s own, over-the-top version and the more believable version as told by the people who turned him into Deadpool. Which is to be believed? That’s hard to say; it is Deadpool after all. Anything is possible and the impossible happens often.
8. Deadpool Classics Vol. 1
Collecting several of Deadpool’s earliest appearances, Deadpool Classic, Volume 1 can act as an essential primer for anyone wanting to get into the character. It all starts with Deadpool’s first ever comic appearance, New Mutants #98, then continues in Deadpool’s first miniseries, Deadpool: The Circle Chase, where Deadpool battles other mercenaries for the rights to an extremely powerful weapon that only goes to the last merc standing.
Also included is Deadpool’s first self-titled limited series from 1994 and the first issue of his self-titled ongoing series from 1997. Covering Deadpool’s comic origins and many of his first stories, this is an essential book for a Deadpool fan or one just wanting to get into the character.
7. Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe
The title pretty much sums up the content in that this is a non-canon story in which Deadpool kills every other superhero and supervillain in the Marvel Universe. The story takes the things that makes Deadpool funny and turns them into a traits that suggest he might be a bit more psychotic and disturbed then he realizes.
There’s jokes, but there’s also a huge body count as Deadpool cuts his way through the Marvel Universe without remorse. This miniseries is actually the beginning of a larger Deadpool “killology” in which Deadpool kills all sorts of people in three connected miniseries. Though not canon, the books are a different take on Deadpool, delving into the darker corners of what he could be.
6. Night of the Living Deadpool
You’ll come to notice that zombies and Deadpool seem to go together. A lot. After waking up from a food coma, Deadpool is shocked to find that the zombie apocalypse has occurred! He must fight his way through the zombie hordes and survive the zombie menace. As seemingly the last hero left alive, Deadpool searches for remaining survivors to help protect them from the zombie hordes, even if he have played a part in helping to create them.
5. Suicide Kings
When Deadpool takes up the job from a help wanted ad, he is framed for a crime he didn’t commit and it’s up to him to fight and clear his name. Along the way, he comes into conflict with the Punisher, and gets some help from both Daredevil and Spider-Man in clearing his name.
Any comic that teams up Spider-Man and Deadpool is usually good for a few laughs, as the two have a bit of a history together. Though it’s unlikely we’ll ever see anything like this story on the big screen, it’s a good story for seeing Deadpool interact with the heroes outside of the X-Men or the Avengers.
4. Deadpool: Dead Presidents
After a necromancer starts raising the corpses of dead presidents, it’s up to Deadpool to put them back into the grave. Along the way, he’s aided by the ghost of Ben Franklin (most assuredly not a president despite what Deadpool thinks) to help make sure that the men who helped found and shape the United States don’t destroy it with the zombie army they’re raising.
This story actually marks the beginning of the run written by comedians Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn which fully embraced the weird and ridiculous character that Deadpool could be, while still getting into some more serious moments.
3. Deadpool: Merc With A Mouth
Subtitled with one of Deadpool’s many nicknames, this series follows Deadpool as he is sent to the Savage Land to secure a deadly weapon, which just so happens to be the zombified head of the Deadpool from the Marvel Zombies universe. Teaming up with his zombified counterpart and a bullied AIM agent, Deadpool fights Hydra and journeys to the zombified dimension, all while trying to woo the beautiful Professor Veronica.
2. Cable and Deadpool: If Looks Could Kill
A mouthy, mentally unstable mercenary and a time-traveling mutant messiah don’t exactly seem like the best of pals, but Cable and Deadpool share a love of guns, pouches, and action, and sometimes that’s enough. Initially on opposite sides of a conflict, the two are able to quickly find common ground together. Cable puts a plan into action to better all of humanity, while Deadpool puts a plan into action to get into the action.
1. Deadpool: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
The The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly story arc takes Deadpool, Wolverine, and Captain America to North Korea where they find out some shocking secrets about Deadpool’s past. During the process, the trio free a group of North Korean test subjects who have been turned into knock-off versions of the X-Men by using Deadpool’s DNA and that of the X-Men.
This story is one that is at times both hilarious and very serious, showing that while Deadpool is a wisecracking, sass-talking mercenary, he’s also a man who’s led an extremely troubled life. Hopefully the movie will be able to strike this balance as well as this story was able to.
So, what do you think? Are there any other Deadpool stories that are essential reading?