5 Deadpool Graphic Novels You Should Read Before Seeing The Movie
Next weekend, a movie that seemed highly unlikely to ever happen will finally hit the big screen. Since Ryan Reynolds was announced to play Wade Wilson in Wolverine Origins, fanboys hoped for a spin-off featuring Deadpool. However the film’s confusing 3rd act gave us “Deadpool” (read my rant here) and killed nearly all hope for a spin-off. Fortunately, now that the Cinematic X-Men universe has been reset and everything we’ll finally get to see a proper Deadpool in his own movie.
Deadpool has been a beloved character since his debut in The New Mutants #98 back in 1991 and his solo/co-staring series throughout the 90s and 2000s and launched into mega-popularity over the last few years. If the trailers and awesome marketing for the movie wasn’t enough, some fans may want to know a little about Deadpool before he makes his (proper) silver screen debut.
Mostly, all you’ll need to know is that Wade Wilson is a skilled mercenary that gets cancer, he enters the Weapon X program (same program that made Wolverine) to cure it and instead he becomes indestructible like Wolverine and horribly disfigured. Throw in some insanity (or as the film will go to avoid a PC fight: dark sense of humor) and you more or less get a feel for who Deadpool is. With a little over a week to go, there’s plenty of time to get acquainted with the Merc with the Mouth via his numerous stories. Here’s 6 that I think would make for a great introduction to the character:
Wolverine Origins Volume 5- Not to be confused with the terrible Wolverine solo movie, this was a comic series that follows Wolverine after he regains some very long lost memories. This was my first real introduction to Deadpool. Sure, I’ve heard of him via Deadpool and Cable; but really didn’t know much about the character and I just happened to find this graphic novel one afternoon at Barnes and Nobel and decided to read it. This was an arc in a Wolverine series that served as a pilot for a new series of Deadpool comics. In this story, Wolverine and Deadpool go head to head after Deadpool is hired to take out Wolverine. Both get into pretty gruesome fights and since both have healing factors, it goes for a while as they play a warped cat and mouse game (often times trading roles). This also had some great Pool-o-vision Panels that would become popularized in Daniel Way’s Deadpool series. I personally enjoyed it as it was my first real introduction to Deadpool and I think it very much serves as a fantastic introduction to the character.
Deadpool Does Whatever A Spider Can (Deadpool Classic vol. 3)- So this is literally one issue of Deadpool’s classic series, but the thing is that since Deadpool became really popular, some of the older comics are a bit pricey. Fortunately for much less than a single issue from this series, you can get the trade paperback which includes this story and a few others! This adventure includes Deadpool’s cinematic allies of Blind Al and Weasel. I personally enjoy it because Deadpool is teleported into a Spider-man comic from the 60s where he plays the role of Peter Parker (via his hologram device). The fun is that all the 60s slang, style and everything is retained and Deadpool is….well Deadpool.
Daniel Way Complete Collection Vol 1- This series is very deep into the Marvel event of Secret Invasion and the fallout afterwards but it does launch the modern version of Deadpool that made the character insanely popular. Also with this trade, it looks like you get that Wolverine story from above in addition to Deadpool taking on the Skrull army and running afoul of Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers (it was a weird time when The Green Goblin was put in charge of stuff for some reason). I personally enjoyed Daniel Way’s run with the character and the following volumes bring more fun with Deadpool and his side-kick Hydra Bob (who sadly probably won’t appear in future Deadpool adventures as Hydra is owned by Marvel and Deadpool is with Fox). In addition to Bob, Deadpool also has run-ins with the X-men and he even tries to cash in on a literal death wish by provoking a fight with the Hulk in the later trades.
Deadpool (Dead Presidents)- This is a really good launching point for the current series of Deadpool by Gerry Duggan and comedian Brian Posehn. It retains some of the silliness of Way’s run but does more of a callback to the classic character that was popularized in the mid-90s solo series. In this arc, some sorcery goes awry and the resurrected zombies of our nation’s former leaders wreak havoc.
Deadpool: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly- So this skips a volume in the current Duggan/Posehn series but this one is a bit different from my other selections. Deadpool is largely seen as a wacky killing machine, but some of the appeal to his character is that buried deep lies some tragedy. This storyline is where that element REALLY comes into play. Plus you get to see him fight alongside Captain America and Wolverine!
Uncanny X-Force- Deadpool gets to become part of X-men’s black ops killing squad along with Wolverine, Archangel and more! This wasn’t a very long run and had some really cool moments.
Deadpool: Dead- Deadpool loses his healing factor which means he can finally die! Served as the Finale to Daniel Way’s series.
Deadpool’s (Secret) Secret Wars- This is a relatively recent storyline with Marvel’s recently wrapped Secret Wars spin-off….except rather than the recent series of the same name with God Doom and the destruction of the multi-verse, this puts Deadpool in the original Secret Wars event from the 80s.
Fans won’t have to wait very long to wait to see Deadpool’s first solo film. Deadpool opens in theaters on Feb 12 and will be rated R (YES!).