After the first Deadpool film exceeded expectations in nearly every way imaginable, the Merc with a Mouth was given a hefty budget increase for his second outing — meaning more action, spectacle, and an abundance of new characters for the audience to marvel over.
While the first film succeeded by throwing the superhero rulebook out the window, Deadpool 2 felt like it was finally being welcomed into the fold of the X-Men franchise, all while maintaining its abhorrent sense of humor and gruesome action beats. A number of familiar faces made their return and they were joined by a slew of previously unadapted characters along with a few mutants who have undergone a much-needed makeover from their earlier days in the X-Men series.
As is the case with any comic book movie, the success of the film is largely contingent on how the filmmakers handle adapting these iconic characters.
Luckily for Deadpool 2, many of the mutants they chose to include were rather obscure — giving them a little more leniency when it came to staying faithful to the page. But with such a ballooning cast, not every character was going to get the proper attention they deserved. That isn't to say these characters were an unwelcome addition to the film, just that they failed to exceed their comic book counterparts.
Here are 8 Characters Better In Deadpool 2 (And 7 Worse).
15 Better: Deadpool
Superhero movies have become so ubiquitous in the last few decades that we’re used to iconic characters being recast every five to ten years. Batman has been portrayed by five A-listers in the last 40 years. Spider-Man has been played by three actors since the early 2000s. And we’ve even seen a number of performers swapped out in the self-contained MCU.
Can you really imagine anyone else sliding into the role of Deadpool as comfortably as Ryan Reynolds?
Although the actor’s first outing as the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a massive misfire, Reynolds knew that if he didn’t lay claim to the part — no matter how dreadfully awful the incarnation of the character might have been — he wouldn’t have a chance to turn things around at some point down the line. In fact, any embarrassment Reynolds may have suffered in Origins has only added fuel to the fire of Deadpool’s wall-breaking, self-deprecating humor (We only hope that Reynolds and Co. don’t feel the need to keep poking fun at these past transgressions in any future installments).
And if Reynolds wasn't already the perfect fit to play the Merc with a Mouth, the actor really became obsessed with playing the character when the comic first referred to Wade Wilson looking like a cross between Ryan Reynolds and a Shar-Pei.
So if that isn't fate, we don't know what is.
14 Worse: Vanessa
While the original Deadpool was really a love story at heart (it was released on Valentine’s Day weekend, after all), the follow-up film is ultimately about family. Unfortunately, that meant Morena Baccarin’s Vanessa had to meet her demise in Deadpool 2 before the opening credits even began to roll. While this departure made way for the story that followed, it’s hard to deny that the chemistry between Reynolds and Baccarin is what really held the first film together. Sadly, in this outing, Deadpool doesn’t spend enough time with any one character to pack the same emotional punch.
After an overall absence of Venessa in the trailers, fans speculated that something surprising might be in store for the character in Deadpool 2. In the comics, Vanessa Carlysle isn’t just Wade Wilson’s main lady, she’s also a mutant who goes under the allies of Copycat.
With a name like that, you don’t have to be a comic book reader to surmise that her powers involve shape-shifting. Some hoped that through an unexpected turn of events Vanessa’s latent genes would have made her a welcome addition to her husband’s X-Force assemblage. Unfortunately, Baccarin was relegated to only a few scenes that failed to rekindle the connection we felt for the couple in the first film.
13 Better: Cable
If the first Deadpool movie with missing anything, it was an unyielding straight man for the Merc with a Mouth to bounce insults off, which is exactly what we got with Cable in Deadpool 2.
Although the trailers painted Cable as the big-bad for Mr. Pool’s second outing, the character was given a far more interesting arc in which he’s forced to team up with alongside Wade to stop Firefist from going on to eliminate his family. Not only did this give Josh Brolin a more dynamic role to sink his teeth into, it provided a nice change of pace for those who had watched the actor portray the undeniably evil Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War a few weeks earlier.
Like most of the characters in Deadpool 2, Cable is fighting for screen time. However, the handful of scenes he does appear in — coupled with Brolin’s spot-on look as the time-traveling soldier — made Cable one of the standouts of the film. Since the character chooses to save Wade’s life rather than travel back to see his family, it looks like Cable is thankfully around to stay (especially when you consider that Brolin signed a four-picture deal with Fox). We only hope that they keep the unlikely comedy duo of Cable and Deadpool intact for future installments.
12 Worse: Weasel
T. J. Miller’s performance as Wade Wilson’s best bud Weasel may have been a standout in the original movie, but troubling allegations against the actor made his appearance in the second installment more than a little disconcerting. Late last year, reports that Miller abused his college girlfriend began to resurface and, this time, the story had a lot more sticking power in light of the #MeToo movement. Though Miller and his wife released a joint statement claiming that the accuser was fabricating lies to hurt Miller’s fame, the anonymous ex-girlfriend’s stories have been supported by a number of former students who attended George Washington University at the same time.
On top of this troubling account, Miller was arrested for the possible assault of an Uber driver back in 2016, and just earlier this year, he was arrested again for making a fake bomb threat that could find him doing time behind bars if he’s convicted.
These accusations put the filmmakers of Deadpool 2 in a tight spot, as the movie had already finished principal photography before many of these stories became mainstream.
However, Reynolds did confirm that Miller would not be invited back to for the upcoming X-Force movie or Deadpool 3, should the project ever come to fruition.
11 Better: Domino
While Deadpool 2 featured a number of characters who exceeded expectations, Zazie Beetz’ star-turning performance as Domino may have been the biggest showstopper of them all.
Like the other members of X-Force, Domino answers Deadpool’s LinkedIn ad with maybe the most impressive superpower of the team. And while Deadpool tries to assure her that luck isn’t a real power, Domino’s good fortune proves itself time and time again, making way from some of the more hilarious and cinematic action beats throughout the film.
Just like in the movie, Domino is one of the founding members of X-Force in the comics, who first appeared in X-Force #8 back in 1992. She’s been in on-and-off partnership with both Deadpool and Cable since, using her expert mercenary skills to watch her teammates’ backs every step of the way. Thankfully, the character's marksmanship and martial arts skills were downplayed in the film to better highlight her propensity for luck -- a superpower that even Stan Lee believes may be the best of them all. That's high praise considering Domino wasn't one of Lee's creations.
And whatever differences the character may have with her comic book counterpart, they were quickly overshadowed by Beetz’ infectious charisma and Domino's laid-back optimism.
10 Worse: Colossus
Plenty of the characters featured alongside Deadpool are relatively new -- at least as far as comic books go. But Colossus, AKA Piotr Nikolaievitch Rasputin, has been around since the ‘70s, meaning the deck was ultimately stacked against the filmmakers when it came to creating a character that was just as interesting as his comic book counterpart.
Design-wise, the character was a massive step in the right direction from the one featured in the previous X-Men movies -- which is really a testament to just how far GCI has come in the last decade. However, during that transition, the character has also become more of a caricature who lacks the emotional depth of the Colossus that many have come to love on the page.
Instead of exploring any of the Piotr’s origins, the characters sole purpose is to be a constant reminder of Deadpool’s lack of solidarity. While this largely worked in the first film, his reappearance in Deadpool 2 did little to further the character. His work training Negasonic Teenage Warhead is now complete and he reiterates the same points that he's already made to Deadpool. His only standout moment is his battle with Juggernaut -- which is arguably the only reason he appears in the movie at all.
9 Better: Blind Al
Believe it or not, Blind Al is a character pulled straight out of the comics, as she made her debut in Deadpool #1 back in 1997. However, the character has undergone considerable improvements in the film series.
While Wade Wilson continues to be more anti-hero than hero, the character is far less redeemable on the page, which is on full display when it comes to Blind Al. Instead of the two simply being roommates who are often at odds with each other, Deadpool keeps Blind Al as somewhat of a prisoner, subjecting her to one prank after another that takes advantage of her disability. That isn’t to say that Blind Al takes this abuse sitting down, but their sometimes-spiteful relationship is a lot more sinister on the page. Here, Blind Al also has a backstory that involved her being an intelligence agent, which was thankfully scrapped for the movies as well.
Instead, she’s simply a roommate that Wade finds through Craigslist after his disfigurement. And after Wade loses Vanessa in Deadpool 2, he finds himself back at Blind Al’s apartment where the two continue their relationship that is somewhere between bickering roommates and old married couple.
The bizarre juxtaposition is comedy gold, and once again, some of the funniest scenes in the movie play out in Blind Al’s apartment.
8 Worse: Black Tom Cassidy
Deadpool 2 had a lot of surprise villains, including a reemergence of Juggernaut (who was a massive step up from his X-Men: The Last Stand appearance), as well as a plot twist that found Deadpool and Cable teaming up to thwart Firefist. However, another X-Men alum made his live-action debut in Deadpool 2 with Black Tom Cassidy — though this character's appearance really left something to be desired.
The character made his proper comic book debut in Uncanny X-Men #101, where he is the cousin of Banshee and a close friend of Juggernaut. His powers involved using a wooden medium to generate energy blasts. However, the character was later reworked into a plant-based being who was able to integrate himself into the surrounding vegetation.
Unfortunately, we never get a look at what power set the character has in the film, as Black Tom’s screen time is cut short when he meets his demise courtesy of one of Cable’s futuristic weapons.
That being said, Black Tom was originally going to play a much bigger role in the film, which was unfortunately cut by the studio when production was starting to run over budget. Reynolds said he personally broke the news to actor Jack Kesy, who was still game for the part despite it being reduced to a few days of work. At the very least, we still got the running gag in which Deadpool accuses Cable of being a racist courtesy of Black Tom's name.
7 Better: Negasonic Teenage Warhead
While her screen time may have been cut back to accommodate the blooming cast of the franchise, Brianna Hildebrand settled nicely back into her role as the apathetic Negasonic Teenage Warhead for the Merc's second outing. Though the character may have graduated from trainee to full-blown X-Men, she doesn’t seem to be any more enthusiastic about teaming up alongside Wade Wilson, this time to save a mutant who’s gone off the rails. However, Negasonic Teenage Warhead’s character was further developed by giving her a girlfriend — making it the first time that an LGBT couple is featured in a mainstream superhero movie.
Thankfully, the movie doesn’t beat the audience over the head with the character’s sexual orientation, we’re just expected to accept it as is. And while her girlfriend could have used a little more development, Yukio's instant connection with Deadpool was already enough to make her a welcome addition to the team.
Before Deadpool, Negasonic Teenage Warhead was a fairly obscure Marvel hero, so it didn’t bother many comic book fans when the character's looks and powers were revamped for the film. In fact, her previous abilities largely revolved around telepathy — which didn't make a whole lot of sense anyway considering the character's unforgettable name.
6 Worse: Shatterstar
Much like Deadpool, Shatterstar is another mutant and member of X-Force who was created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza. The character made his debut in The New Mutants #99 in the early ‘90s, when the X-Men were reaching new prominence thanks to the popular animated series.
Like any comic book character who has been around for more than a few decades, Shatterstar’s backstory has become a bit convoluted; he’s a time traveler, an alien, a mutant, and his own grandfather depending upon which issues of the comic you chose to abide by. All of which makes him the perfect addition to the Deadpool franchise. Sadly, Shatterstar is another member of the X-Force whose time is cut short on the big screen. And while this may have better served the movie, there’s simply much more of the character to be impressed with on the page.
Actor Lewis Tan reportedly signed up for the film without even knowing who he would be playing, but that didn’t stop the stunt-double/ actor from comfortably sliding into the role of the alien who hails from Mojoworld. In fact, Tan has already starred in another Marvel property with his performance as Zhou Cheng in Iron Fist and, with any luck, he’ll reappear as Shatterstar in the upcoming X-Force film as well.
5 Better: Juggernaut
After a split-second shot of Colossus punching something that looked like Juggernaut’s helmet appeared in one of the trailers, rumors began to circulate that Cable might not be the only imposing threat that the X-Force was up against in Deadpool 2. Those hopes came to fruition when the massive villain finally reared his helmet-encased head during the prison transfer sequence.
We get our first hint of the character’s presence when Deadpool and Firefist are brought to the Icebox, a prison for disobedient criminals, where Russell gets the bright idea that the only way out is to befriend the biggest guy that's behind bars. And while Juggernaut may not have been dressed in his iconic red getup from the comics, he was an otherwise massive step up from the laughably-ridiculous incarnation of the character in X-Men: The Last Stand.
Instead of going for realism and casting another bulky actor in the role, the filmmakers pulled out all the stops and opted for a purely CG character instead.
Reynolds even pulled double duty by provided the motion capture and the voice-over work for the character — though we would have never guessed from the footage alone. The results made for a truly imposing villain that the heroes must face off against in the third act of the film.
4 Worse: Zeitgeist
After Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård stole the show playing Pennywise the Dancing Clown in last year’s It (another one of the highest-grossing R-rated movies of all time), fans were excited to hear that the actor was suiting up to play a member of the X-Force... and an unusual one at that. Even though Zeitgeist has only appeared in one comic book issue, the character is still given more of an interesting story arc on the page than he is in the film.
In both mediums, Zeitgeist has one of the more unusual powers of any superhero: he vomits acid. In X-Force #116, the character’s origins are explored when he recounts the accidental discovery of his powers which led to him accidentally disfiguring his girlfriend’s face. Talk about a tragic childhood! Although he eventually tries to use this skill to make the world a better place, the memory of his disfigured teenage girlfriend haunts him and he often wears a protective face guard to prevent anyone from suffering a similar fate.
While we greatly appreciate this type of comic book deep cut in Deadpool 2, the character simply suffers from a lack of screen time. That isn’t to say that Zeitgeist was an unwelcome addition, only that his character is more interesting in the comics.
3 Better: Firefist
While the Deadpool movies may be spot-on when it comes to the tone of comic books, the filmmakers haven’t been afraid to massively revamp the characters. Both Domino and Negasonic Teenage Warhead look nothing like their comic book counterparts — with the latter’s powers being totally different from those on the page. And the same can be said for Firefist, who made his live-action debut in the film after appearing in the comics over 30 years.
While the character’s ability to control fire is largely the same, Firefist’s origins, look, and personality are very different — which all make for a far more memorable addition to the Marvel Universe.
Here, Firefist — better known as Russell Collins — is an emotionally unstable mutant who has been subjected to repeated torture while living at an orphanage. Despite Wade Wilson putting his life on the line to save the teen, Russel can’t help but feel dejected, which pushes him closer toward a villainous lifestyle.
While Firefist may not be the most imposing villain (the filmmakers were wise enough to work in Juggernaut to fill that role), Russell succeeds in being the sympathetic antagonist that most comic book movies are sorely lacking, making him a welcome change from his comic book inspiration.
2 Worse: Bedlam
While Terry Crews may have been the most recognizable member of the X-Force (excluding Brad Pitt’s split-second cameo as the Vanisher), his character of Bedlam probably left the least impact on viewers, meaning that this mutant is undeniably more memorable from his time in the comics. Bedlam first appeared in Factor X #1 back in 1995 and, much like his movie counterpart, he’s able to disrupt various electrical systems by emitting a bioelectric force of his own. Like any proper superhero, Bedlam had a tragic upbringing that was filled with loss and hardship before he found his way to Domino and was brought in as a member of the already-established X-Force.
Of course, Deadpool 2 wastes little time developing the back story for Bedlam and the other members of the X-Force. And for good reason, as one-by-one they met their demise during a failed parachute landing.
Crews has even said that his character’s appearance in the trailer was meant to fool audiences into believing that the X-Force was going to be an integral part of the plot. Of course, the practical joke landed, though we'd like to see more of Bedlam in future installments, especially considering that Crews' comedy chops went largely unexplored here.
1 Better: Peter
Peter may or may not have been based on a comic book character, but the fact that we couldn’t keep our eyes off of this Sugar Bear in every scene he was featured in undoubtedly earns him a slot amongst the “Best” of Deadpool 2. Peter joins Deadpool’s X-Force after answering Deadpool’s LinkedIn ad and, despite claiming to have no superpowers, he becomes a welcome member of the team.
Despite going by just “Peter,” fans have speculated that the character may actually be based on Peter Wisdom, a mutant who is a member of the British Secret Service.
And what better way to infiltrate a superhero team under the guise of a happy-go-lucky Average Joe with a spot-on dad bod? The character even has a real-life LinkedIn page where he’s listed as “Peter W.” — making it seem increasingly likely that this character stems from the comics. He's also one of the few members of X-Force to stick his parachute landing despite the unruly winds. Pretty lucky for a guy who didn't even want to jump out of the plane in the first place.
Not to mention that in the post-credit scenes, he’s one of the few characters that Deadpool specifically goes back in time to save, hinting that we may not have seen the last of Peter after all.
So which Deadpool characters do you think the movie got right or wrong? Let us know!