By Brett White
After making a bloody splash as an X-Force villain just over 20 years ago, Deadpool has grown from a cult favorite second banana to Marvel's most notorious leading mercenary.
On June 25, 2013, comic book fans everywhere will get to experience life in the red and black tights when Deadpool's first ever video game breaks its way into stores. This marks Wade Wilson's first time headlining a game after appearing in other titles like “Marvel: Ultimate Alliance” and the Marvel vs. Capcom series.
To celebrate this momentous occasion, we're giving you an in-depth look at Deadpool's history, from his humble beginnings as X-Force's snarkiest foe all the way to today.
It's not easy being friends with Deadpool.
After having their lives jeopardized on too many occasions, former DP allies Blind Al, Weasel, Taskmaster, Sluggo and Big Bertha teamed up in DEADPOOL (2008) #36 to break up with 'Pool—violently. The altercation ended with Sluggo dead again and Wade's body riddled with bullets from his old buddies. This seemed a new low, even for the Merc with a Mouth. He wanted to die.
Wade hatched a plan to achieve his goal in DEADPOOL (2008) #37. Since his healing factor posed a problem, he did the thing that all unkillable people do when they want to be killed: he angered the Hulk. The tussle in Arizona put innocent people in danger, though, thus forcing DP to put a stop the Hulk's rampage and, therefore, his own demise.
Now a prisoner of the Crossmore mental institution, Wilson met his match in DEADPOOL (2008) #40. After years stalking his crushes, 'Pool found himself the unwanted object of Doctor Ellen Whitby's desire. She helped him escape Crossmore in DEADPOOL (2008) #43, but Wade nixed the romance because she was too crazy—for Deadpool! After he shut Whitby down hard, Deadpool's conscience led him back to Whitby's apartment where he hoped to smooth things over. Then he discovered a bunch of his severed body parts in her fridge and realized that smoothing things over wouldn’t possible. DP threw the body parts into a dumpster, where they thawed and healed together to form an even more deformed and sadistic Wade Wilson clone.
The dueling Deadpools reunited at a chimichanga spot in New Jersey in DEADPOOL (2008) #45. After many explosions and bullets, Captain America confronted Wade, convinced that he had returned to his old destructive habits. When Deadpool finally got hold of Evil Deadpool, the twisted clone revealed that he just wanted to permanently destroy any and all goodwill DP had built up over the years. Cap and the law enforcement arrived and took out Evil 'Pool in a hail of bullets and, mysteriously, one special dart that deactivated his healing factor, killing him. Forget mourning the accidental loss of monstrous life—Wilson celebrated to know that he could be killed!
Around this time, Wade saw one of his previous wishes come true: he finally got asked to join an X-Men team in UNCANNY X-FORCE (2010) #1! Of course the team turned out to be a black ops kill squad and not a spandex-clad group of do-gooders, but still, take what you can get! The team's first mission: kill Apocalypse, who had been resurrected by the Clan Akkaba as a child. The mission seemed to go down successfully, with Fantomex pulling the trigger in UNCANNY X-FORCE (2010) #4. But this didn't sit right with Deadpool, who suddenly found himself associated with people capable of murdering a child, a line even DP never thought he'd cross. Unbeknownst to Wilson, Fantomex had secretly taken the child Apocalypse—now going by Evan—away to grow up in peace.
When a group of Deathloks arrived from the future to steal the World—a shrunken yet expansive Weapon Plus research facility—from Fantomex in UNCANNY X-FORCE (2010) #5, the team fought back. DP killed the man responsible for creating the future Deathloks in the present day, thus saving his teammates and the World.
Still feeling close to reuniting with his lady love, Death, Wilson, teamed with Bob, Agent of HYDRA, in DEADPOOL (2008) #50 to manipulate X-Force into helping him acquire the healing factor-destroying serum that killed his evil twin. After putting the group up against Typhoid Mary and the Hand, 'Pool and Bob finally got the serum from Tombstone, who had it all along. After being injected and seeing all of his scarring heal, 'Pool felt rejuvenated. He apologized—in his own Wade Wilson way—to X-Force and Bob for getting them involved, and resolved to live his life.
To prove himself at the top of his game, 'Pool targeted a super smart super villain team, the Intelligencia, in DEADPOOL (2008) #55—and they mopped the floor with him. Realizing that relying on his healing factor made him soft, DP started taking lessons from Taskmaster—who had been secretly hired by Black Box, formerly of the Executive Elite, to gather info on the merc. Using this info, Black Box teamed up with other similarly named rogues from Wilson's past—Black Tom and Black Swan—to take him down. Wade survived the scrape, only to have his handsome face burned and returned to its scabby state in DEADPOOL (2008) #60.
Deadpool reconnected with X-Force in the mystical dimension known as Otherworld in UNCANNY X-FORCE (2010) #20, which landed him between the forces of the Captain Britain Corps and a demonic incarnation of Psylocke's older brother, Jamie. Like most X-Force missions, this one ended with Psylocke taking her brother's life to prevent his future misdeeds.
Everything came to a head in UNCANNY X-FORCE (2010) #25 when the would-be Apocalypse, Evan, got kidnapped by Daken and his Brotherhood. Deadpool went after the kid, infiltrating the super villain team with the rest of X-Force not far behind. But he found Evan suited up in modified Apocalypse armor, a few steps closer to evil. While X-Force and the Brotherhood clashed to bloody results, Wilson confronted Evan and talked him down, telling him that he's a symbol that anyone can be redeemed. For once this merc's mouth did some good, as X-Force escaped with their lives, something Deadpool now found himself glad to have.