Boo-yah, the wait is almost over!
In just a couple of days, Deadpool returns to movie screens everywhere. Not only are all your favorite characters back, but this time Deadpool is also joined by new pals Cable, Domino, and the gang from X-Force. So in honor of the Merc with the Mouth latest adventure, I’ve decided to write about some of his underrated comic book appearances.
Before we get to my list, a quick reminder: just like my previous underrated comics posts, this Deadpool comic list features a few stories you may have missed when they first came out. But keep in mind that these comics are by no means necessary to enjoy “Deadpool 2” in theaters.
One last thing I should mention. The following list is not in any particular order. These are just good comic stories you might have missed when they first came out. They’re also good comics to enjoy before or after seeing the movie. And away we go:
Deadpool #4 (April, 1997)
Written by Joe Kelly, with art by Ed McGuinness, Nathan Massengill and Norman Lee, Deadpool #4 features what I think is Wade’s first encounter with the Incredible Hulk. The story revolves around Killbrew trying to create a cure for Deadpool’s condition. But in order to do so, Deadpool needs to get a sample of blood from the Hulk.
As a surprise to basically no one, the Hulk turns out not to be too fond of this idea and a fight ensues.
Deadpool #4 was the first Deadpool comic that made me laugh. Up until this point, I knew Deadpool as cold-blooded assassin, but this issue made me see the fun in the character. Joe Kelly really knew how to write Deadpool, it’s no wonder he’s still one of my favorite writers.
Daredevil Deadpool 1997 Annual (July, 1997)
More often than not, comic book annuals don’t leave a mark. I’d go as far as saying most annuals are bad. But every once in a while, an annual would come along that surprised. In this case, it’s 1997’s Daredevil Deadpool annual.
“Whomsoever Fights Monsters…” was written by Joe Kelly (him again), with by Bernard Chang and Jon Holdredge. Here, Typhoid Mary, that schizoid sweetie from Daredevil’s past, returns to her old stomping grounds to exact revenge on everyone who’s ever screwed her over, including DD! Now Deadpool’s on her tail, but whose side is he on?
I like this annual for two reasons: one, it’s funny seeing the wise cracking Deadpool next to the usually serious Daredevil. Two, I’m a big fan of Bernard Chang’s artwork. I’ve liked his stuff since I saw it in the Valiant comics of the early 1990’s, so it was cool to see him on a Marvel book.
X-Force #15 (October, 1992)
Without a doubt, my favorite run on the X-Force title came courtesy of writer Fabian Nicieza, and artist Greg Capullo. In my opinion, the two creators worked on some of the original series’ best issues. While there are many good ones to choose from, for this post I’m gonna mention X-Force #15 featuring a fight between Deadpool and Cable.
In X-Force #15, the team rescues Sunspot who then joins them. Meanwhile, Cable rips through Deadpool and Tolliver to free the real Domino. Say what now? You see kids, up to this point, Domino has been a shapeshifter named Vanessa who’s working for Tolliver’s. And yes, the same Vanessa from the movies.
The fight between Cable and Deadpool is brutal, and it’s outcome changed the team for many months. This is one issue that is worth tracking down.
Secret Defenders #15 (May. 1994)
Yeah, yeah, I know you’re probably wondering what an issue of Secret Defenders is doing on this list. After all, Secret Defenders was an awful series from the 1990’s. But the idea of Doctor Strange putting together various teams of heroes to defend the planet, was actually pretty cool. It was the execution of the idea which ultimately failed.
This book was written by Tom Brevoort and Mike Kanterovich, with art by Jerry Decaire, and inks by Tony DeZuniga. Here, a new team of Secret Defenders is formed to keep the evil Malachi from gathering the last two pieces of the shattered Moebius Stone of Agamotto. And judging by that cover, it looks like Luke Cage had been hitting the gym. The new Dr. Druid costume is a bit much though.
Look, I’m not saying Secret Defenders is great, but any book starring Dr. Druid, Luke Cage, Deadpool, Shadowoman, and Malachi, will get my attention. Why? because dear god, that team sounds terrible, so it must be good!
Uncanny Avengers #22
Written by Gerry Duggan, with art by Pepe Larraz, Uncanny Avengers #22 finds that The Unity Squad has been playing a cat-and-mouse game with Red Skull – but it all ends here! Not everyone will finish on their feet… The final fate of Charles Xavier’s telepathic brain is revealed! Rogue does some soul-searching in an unlikely place, and we present our craziest final splash page ever.
Some girls might take one look at Deadpool’s horribly scarred, tumorous face and decide to run the other way. But Rogue of the X-Men apparently had a different reaction in the pages of Uncanny X-Men. It all started not long after Rogue beat him close to death as he’s been in years. But soon, hormones were raging.
The romance between her and the Merc With a Mouth didn’t last long, but it was fun while it lasted.
Deadpool #1-4 (1994 Mini-Series)
Deapool’s had plenty of mini-series over the years, but for me the fours issue 1994 Deadpool series is one of the best. The series was written by Mark Waid, with art by Ian Churchill and Ken Lashley.
In the series, Juggernaut and Black Tom Cassidy captured Dr. Killebrew to help Black Tom, whose body was deforming due to his mutant power. Killebrew believes the key to helping Tom is a sample of Deadpool’s healing factor. It just so happened that at the same time, Theresa Cassidy and her father Sean Cassidy (Banshee) were searching lfor Tom as well. The two heroes arrive in time to save Deadpool from being captured.
But that’s not the part of the story I like. For me what steals the show in this series, is the blossoming relationship between Syrin and Deadpool. From the second Wade met Theresa, he fell in love. Sure, sometimes Deadpool acted like a stalker, but she was the first person to make Wade want to be a better person.
Their romance lasted a good while, well into 1997 I believe. I liked these two together, it felt very natural for them to get attached, so kudos to Mark Waid. But I will agree that it was an unexpected and odd relationship, but then again, any relationship with Deadpool is bound to be somewhat odd.