By Ben Morse
In the Marvel Universe, they don't come much more annoying, irritating and maddening than Deadpool, the mirthful mercenary with a face that looks like chewed hamburger and a wit as quick as his healing factor. Most other super heroes—if you can really call Deadpool a hero without smirking at least a bit—can't stand to be around 'Pool, which makes his team-up adventures even more enjoyable to read about.
In the past few months with his regular dance partner Cable off the tables thanks to the events leading up to "Messiah CompleX," Deadpool has found himself matched up with Wolverine, Captain America, the Fantastic Four and, in next week's CABLE & DEADPOOL #47, Dr. Strange.
Coming up on December 19, Deadpool enters into the most bizarre pairing of his already remarkably strange career when he finds himself face to skull necklace with none other than Brother Voodoo in CABLE & DEADPOOL #48. In anticipation of that mythical pairing, Marvel.com has come up with the following list of our 10 favorite Deadpool team-ups.
10. Deadpool & the Punisher (DEADPOOL #54-55)
When the last surviving member of a mob family massacred by the Punisher hires Deadpool to take out Frank Castle, the showdown between two of Marvel's most violent characters delivers all the bullets, blood and badass brawling you'd expect.
With the Punisher silent but deadly and Wade Wilson anything but, Deadpool's big mouth causes him to take a good deal of—pun intended—punishment in order to fire off his trademark one-liners. But the red and black rebel gets his shots in as well, assaulting Punny with a lead pipe and getting to quote Clint Eastwood from "Dirty Harry," in some ways making him the instant winner.
9. Deadpool & the Hulk (DEADPOOL #4)
Not so much a team-up as a massacre, but memorable
nonetheless. With his healing factor on the fritz, Deadpool needs a blood transfusion from the Hulk in order to keep on ticking and talking, but unfortunately the Jade Giant has never been much of a giver. Ever the brilliant strategist, 'Pool launches a hopeless full frontal assault on the Hulk and gets beaten from pillar to post for his troubles.
Luckily for Wade, the Hulk also finds himself not quite at full power at the time of their clash, and accidentally impales himself on a street sign, allowing our favorite mercenary to snag the emerald plasma he so desperately needed. As the green jelly on top of this delicious Deadpool cake (eww…), the art for this battle comes courtesy of none other than a young Ed McGuinness, upcoming artist on—wait for it—HULK (coming in January)!
8. Deadpool & Daredevil (DAREDEVIL/DEADPOOL '97)
After a one night stand from hell, Deadpool gets dragged to New York City by the cuckoo-for-Cocoa Puffs Typhoid Mary to put a serious
hurting on her old flame, Daredevil! In the midst of a bid for personal redemption, 'Pool actually hopes to help Mary get over some of her neuroses without getting ol' Hornhead killed in the process, but since nothing ever goes as Wade plans, he ends up throwing down with both his schizo gal pal as well as the Man Without Fear.
While DP, DD and Mary have their little three-way of violence across town, Deadpool's erstwhile sidekick Weasel and Daredevil's perennial pal Foggy Nelson end up sharing a few cold ones and bonding. In the end, if nothing else, Deadpool claims Foggy's seeing eye dog for his own, renaming him Deuce the Devil Dog!
Years later, during the Civil War imbroglio, Deadpool again traded blows with a man he thought to be Daredevil, actually Iron Fist in disguise. 'Pool came within inches of the bluff of a lifetime by nearly fooling the ersatz DD into thinking his iPod was a devastating weapon of some sort, but no dice.
7. Deadpool & Death (DEADPOOL/DEATH '98)
The timeless love story of boy meets girl takes on a whole new meaning when Deadpool sucks lack of face with none other than Death herself! Yep, the Merc with a Mouth somehow manages to snag the heart—unbeating of course—of the cosmic
embodiment of the end of life as we know it, resulting in the most offbeat duo since Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie.
Wade Wilson first garners the attention of the skeletal hottie in the purple robe during his time as an experimental guinea pig for the Hospice, a Canadian shadow cabinet, his constant pain making him a kindred spirit for Death. When Hospice enforcer Ajax leaves Wilson for dead, Death coaxes him back to life, playing the ultimate game of hard to get, and guides him to revenge on his tormentors.
In subsequent years, every time Deadpool suffers a near-death experience, he greets the prospect of possible eternity with the ghoulish girl of his dreams with open arms, Inevitably, however, he always finds himself pulled back to life by his healing factor. Thanos, cosmic despot and rival for Death's affections, even tries to take Deadpool out of the running by hiring old enemy T-Ray to off him, but then resurrects his rival upon realizing he'd only be bringing him closer to what they both covet.
6. Deadpool & the X-Men (CABLE & DEADPOOL #9-10)
Though Deadpool debuted in NEW MUTANTS and spent his formative years primarily battling the X-Men's junior team in X-FORCE or most popular member in WOLVERINE, he didn't meet up with the A-list Children of the Atom until years later
when they recruit him as an unlikely ally against one of their own: 'Pool's on-again, off-again buddy, Cable.
Wolverine pulls a prank on his old rival by knocking him out and then outfitting him with a custom made X-Men uniform aboard the Blackbird, but Wade has the last vomit-inducing laugh on Logan and his buddies (as well as readers) by donning a Silver Age Marvel Girl costume, yellow mini-skirt and all, to barely cover his tumor-ravaged skin.
Deadpool's continued insistence that he wanted to help his "fellow mutants"—as Beast noted, he's not a mutant—doesn't ingratiate him any further to the X-Men, but DP didn't care as he turns on his newfound "teammates," clocking Cyclops upside the head, switching decisively back to Cable's side.
5. Deadpool (& Cable) & Luke Cage & Iron Fist (CABLE & DEADPOOL #21)
When the comically mismatched duo of Cable & Deadpool meets up with the quintessential Marvel buddy team of Luke Cage and Iron Fist, aka the original Heroes For Hire, fists and hilarity fly with equal velocity! Taking center stage: Deadpool's outrage and
Cable & Luke Cage
& Iron Fist
disbelief at Cage becoming an Avenger, capped off by the classic line, "Next you're gonna tell me they recruited Spider-Woman…"
Indeed the verbal barbs came as fast and furious as Iron Fists' kung fu kicks, with DP taking the HFH to task for their mercenary past and Cage's (lack of) fashion sense while Cable rolls his eyes and keeps on shooting. Cage and Fist also get their share of funny in, particularly on the fourth wall-shattering recap page where Luke admits he's only doing this guest appearance to help get his buddy some more exposure—who's got the solo series now, Cage?!
In the end, neither duo scores a decisive win as Black Mamba of the B.A.D. Girls trio knocks all four men out with their "darkest fantasies," Deadpool waking up atop Cable and mumbling about sunscreen while Iron Fist winds up straddling Cage and…well, let's not go there.
4. Deadpool & Wolverine (DEADPOOL #27)
The Merc with a Mouth and the original Canucklehead have clashed many times over their lengthy association—and they'll lock blades again this January in WOLVERINE: ORIGINS #21—but never quite like when Deadpool found himself in the midst of a
psychological crisis of confidence. He picked a fight with Wolverine on the recommendation of Howard the Duck's archnemesis-turned-psychaitrist, Dr. Bong.
When Wolvie resists 'Pool's initial attempts at provocation, DP steals a page from "Street Fighter" and nails Kitty Pryde with Ryu's signature dragon punch, drawing the X-Man's ire. You can't get much grislier than two masters of mayhem with near instantaneous healing factors going tooth and claw, but Deadpool's attempted exploration of Logan's complex psyche in mid-fight makes for plenty of chuckles among the broken bones as Dr. Bong muses at Wolverine's ability to make multi-paragraph speeches in mid-leap.
Ultimately, Deadpool walks away with his confidence restored, Wolverine leaves confused and Kitty needs an ice pack for her poor jaw.
3. Deadpool & the Great Lakes Initiative (DEADPOOL/GLI SUMMER FUN SPECTACULAR #1)
You'd think as fellow Marvel Universe outcasts, the one-time Great Lakes Avengers would be hip to Deadpool and his unique outlook on life—and for the most part
you'd be right. However, even the congenial crusaders of the GLI have their breaking points, and DP has always been good at finding them.
After assisting the official Initiative team of Wisconsin in thwarting a dastardly AIM plot to make the world drunk using the Greek god Dionysus, Deadpool accepts reserve membership in the GLI and proceeds to become the guest that won't leave at their lush headquarters. After 'Pool humiliates Flatman by using him as a towel and kills Mr. Immortal a dozen times, Big Bertha takes action, hoping to win the Merc with a Mouth's heart in her supermodel alter ego, only to learn he's a chubby chaser!
Only Squirrel Girl proves up to the task of giving Deadpool the boot, fuming over his revelation that her beloved Speedball has become the uber-depressed Penance, and forcefully evicting him from GLI HQ.
2. Deadpool & Cable (CABLE & DEADPOOL #1-42)
Most figured that by the end of six issues (at the most!), the manic Deadpool and stoic Cable would have driven each other crazy and into cancellation, but over three years and nearly 50 issues later, CABLE & DEADPOOL proved that the Merc with a Mouth and his would-be mutant messiah foil might be the most endearing one-two punch since peanut butter and jelly.
Cable and Deadpool began their relationship years ago as adversaries, and when
Deadpool first showed up in NEW MUTANTS and later X-FORCE, his main goal as an agent of Mr. Tolliver was to eliminate the mutant soldier from the future. Years later, with both men older if not wiser, Nate and Wade found themselves bound by circumstance, a transporter accident causing them to end up in the same place whenever either tried to teleport.
At first, the dysfunctional duo struggled to co-exist, but as time went on, they became for one another the true friend each had been seeking all along. Both have manipulated on another…okay, mostly it's been just Cable manipulating Deadpool, but they've each been man enough to admit they still need one another…in a manly way.
After their ideological schism during Civil War, Deadpool shoots Cable in the back of the head, but doesn't kill him, and Nate responds by using his telekinesis to boot Wade cross country. However, after a separation, Deadpool comes to Cable's rescue against the Marauders when Gambit and Sunfire attempt to blow up Providence, failing to save his friend, but buying him time and giving them a nice Butch & Sundance moment to wrap a unique partnership.
1. Deadpool & Spider-Man's supporting cast (DEADPOOL #11)
As amazing, uncanny and fantastic as the nine other teamings on this list may be, none can hold a web shooter to the glory of Deadpool meeting up with Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane Watson, Harry Osborn and the rest of Spider-Man's Silver
Age supporting cast. It's a time travel adventure that makes "Back to the Future" hijinx seem like a snooze-fest biology lecture.
Deadpool and his sightless, cantankerous, elderly pal Blind Al end up in the Forest Hills home of Peter and May Parker circa AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #47 and must use 'Pool's hologram projector to pose as Marvel's most infamous nephew and aunt combo. Writer Joe Kelly and artist Pete Woods use the technique popularized at the time by the film "Forrest Gump," recreating panels from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #48 with Deadpool and Al's new dialogue and facial expressions "airbrushed" in. When Kraven the Hunter comes to a party Deadpool attends as "Peter," it's up to DP to stop the bare-chested jungle cat without tipping off who he really is.
The gut-busting comedy of this cross-time meeting of the minds could fill an entire column, but needless to say Blind Al's reaction to Mary Jane's spontaneous dance moves and Deadpool's petrified terror over the Osborns' bizarre cornrows only scratch the surface. This is one team-up you need to track down ASAP.
CABLE & DEADPOOL #48, teaming Deadpool with Brother Voodoo, hits stands on December 19.