Warning: Potential SPOILERS for Deadpool 2 ahead
Without a doubt, Deadpool stole the superhero show in 2016. The long-awaited solo pic for the Merc with a Mouth landed during a traditionally dry movie month (February) and still managed to score a major win at the box office. Before the film even debuted, however, the 20th Century Fox higher-ups knew they had a hit on their hands and announced a sequel in the works – one which included time-hopping X-Men Cable.
Knowing the vital importance of casting the right Nate Summers, Wade’s second go-around even shed a director, initially thought to be a result of Cable casting disputes (although that rumor proved false). After a months-long search, which included notable candidates like Brad Pitt and Pierce Brosnan, Josh Brolin landed the coveted role, which followed a month after Zazie Beetz's casting as the preternaturally lucky mutant Domino. After so much attention focused on the (anti) heroes of the picture, Fox finally dropped a few clues as to which baddie they’d face off against in the sequel, as Jack Kesy (The Strain) snagged the part of lead villain, “Black Bob.”
The only problem is, there are no known villains in the Marvel Universe who go by "Black Bob." So who exactly is Kesy’s villain, and how will he antagonize Wade and crew in Deadpool 2?
“Black Bob” Arrives
Since Bob is an especially common name, even among villains, "Black Bob" could be just about anyone. However, Deadline and The Wrap are both reporting that Deadpool and Cable will face off against occasional X-Men adversary Thomas “Black Tom” Cassidy. For those unfamiliar, Black Tom officially debuted in Uncanny X-Men #101 (1976), created by X-legends Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum. Mostly a criminal malcontent, Cassidy's main mutant power made him capable of directing heat or concussion blasts through his wooden shillelagh (or walking stick). The longtime X-Men antagonist is sometimes associated with the New York chapter of the notorious Hellfire Club, as well as being a card-carrying member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, along with his friend and criminal associate Cain Marko, a.k.a. Juggernaut.
His mutant connection runs deeper than an adversarial role, though, as X-Men team member Sean Cassidy, a.k.a. Banshee, is Tom's cousin. The two are also longtime rivals, dating back to their courtship of Maeve Rourke – who Sean eventually marries. In addition, Sean also snagged their ancestral fortress, Cassidy Keep, from Tom in a game of craps. Tom also raised Banshee’s daughter Siryn – whom Sean wasn’t aware of at the time – as a criminal, although she later mended her ways.
On top of that, Tom has some curious connections to Cable and Deadpool. During an unpleasant téte-a-téte, Cable nearly ended his adversary in a hail of gunfire. Cassidy was rescued by Deadpool, whose employer at the time, Mr. Tolliver, wanted the Irish mutant alive. While healing, Black Tom was infected by a plant mutation, which gave him the ability to manipulate nature. Later, he tried to heal himself from this unwanted new power by chopping off Wade’s hand and using his stupendous healing powers, to no avail.
His conversion to plant matter essentially gave him a super-green thumb, but also made him bat-guano crazy, and he alienated longtime comrade Juggernaut by killing his new teammate and X-Men friend, Squid-Boy. Tom's abilities were later retconned after the "M-Day" story arc, when most mutants were depowered, but he eventually regained his original powers, as well as some plant-life manipulation.
What Black Tom Could Mean for Deadpool 2
If Kesy is actually playing Black Tom Cassidy (unconfirmed by Fox at this point), he’d make an unusual and fascinating villain due to his complex nature. Cassidy's criminal turn came about in part due to losing Maeve to his cousin, as well as their falling out after her death. His curious power-set also makes him a fun fit for the wacky world of Wade Wilson. Tom's cousin Banshee, while deceased as of X-Men: Days of Future Past, would be a fun cameo, at least if he's active in the revamped continuity. While it’s unlikely Sean will appear in Deadpool 2, but several X-Men have already dropped by.
Black Tom’s character is also compelling due to his occasional changes of heart – such as exonerating Siren from her criminal acts and uniting her with her father. Despite admitting to a near-incorrigible negative bent, he has on more than one occasion shown remorse for his actions and operates under a thieves' code of honor. Cassidy is also known to be a bit of a blowhard, with a penchant for cracking a joke or two, which would make him an appropriate offbeat foil for the Merc with a Mouth and his soon-to-be-introduced straight man Cable.
With Black Tom onboard, Deadpool 2 could even adapt the original story where Cable tries to kill Cassidy, associating Wade and Cable in a somewhat naturalistic if obtuse (at least for superheroes) manner. No matter how they introduce Black Tom, hopefully his involvement means that Juggernaut – whose sole appearance was in the now-retconned X-Men: The Last Stand – will also crash into the sequel, or at least tease his reintroduction at a later date.
Once again, Jack Kesy’s adversarial character hasn’t officially been revealed, but a name like “Black Bob” draws some pretty obvious connections. Nevertheless, Fox's Deadpool universe can pull from scores of frequent adversaries, since Wade has managed to piss off just about everyone. Enemies like Black Box (a cyber-mutant whose name is only one letter removed from “Black Bob”), Puppet Master, or Hit-Monkey (whom we hope appears sooner rather than later) could also fit the bill. "Bob" could certainly act a smokescreen, though, to hide another classic Cable & Deadpool-era villain like Mr. Tolliver, or even prep a more recent menace like Madcap for the big screen in relative secrecy.
At the same time, Fox simply might not feel the need to misdirect audiences too much. Since there are so many new plot elements to draw from, hiding away their latest villain, even without confirmation from the studio, allows for plenty of mystery in the forthcoming plot stew. Personally, we’re pulling for Black Tom Cassidy, since he’d make a fantastic foe for Wade’s second run.
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018