The Deadpool movie is coming to theaters on Friday, just in time for Valentine’s Day weekend! This is a huge event for X-Men fans because it’s the first time Fox has done a real spin-off (outside of Wolverine), and its popularity will heavily factor into how they produce solo X-Men movies going forward. If you’ve picked up a comic book in the past 10 years, you’re probably familiar with Deadpool’s distinctive face, and you know that all the bleach in the world won’t fix that. Trust us, we’ve tried. And if you have missed it, we’re here to catch you up on who he is and how he came to be. We’re also going to break down the supporting cast of the movie and who they are in the comics, with help from the guys at Marvel Database.
Who is Deadpool?
Deadpool was created in 1991 as an enemy to the X-Men. Rob Liefeld designed the character as a visual homage (or rip-off, depending on who you ask) to Deathstroke in the Teen Titans comics. Writer Fabian Nicieza gave him the name Wade Wilson as a joking reference to Deathstroke’s real name Slade Wilson, and a wisecracking personality to set him apart. Deadpool was originally a mercenary hired to attack the X-Men, nicknamed “The Merc With a Mouth” for his irreverent sense of humor.
Although NOT a mutant like the X-Men, Wade Wilson was given super-powers by the “Weapon X” program that also created Wolverine. Wilson enrolled in the program voluntarily because he was dying of cancer at the time. The experimental procedure gave him Wolverine’s healing factor, which stopped the cancer from killing him, but also gave him a permanently hideous appearance and drove him completely insane. Over the years Deadpool has become less of a villain — still motivated by money, but often acting as a reluctant hero. He’s also become known for breaking the fourth wall, with many jokes showing he knows he’s in a comic book.
And now, the rest of the supporting cast…
The Love Interest
Copycat, born Vanessa Carlysle, met and fell in love with Wade Wilson prior to either of their superhero careers, when she was a prostitute and he was a simple mercenary. Wilson broke up with her after learning that he had cancer. While it doesn’t seem Copycat comes into her powers in the Deadpool movie, she later becomes a powerful mutant with shape-shifting powers. In addition to duplicating someone’s appearance, her ability to mimic people on a cellular level allows her to duplicate someone’s powers. This requires physical contact.
Ajax is an enforcer for the Weapon X program, and the main focus of Deadpool’s mission of revenge. A combination of genetic modifications and cybernetic implants give him powers like super-strength, super-speed, and a high tolerance for pain. His job is to keep the program’s experimental super-soldiers in line. In the comics, he was seemingly killed by Deadpool, but he returned years later as a serial killer murdering the survivors of Weapon X.
Angel Dust is a mutant who’s been a member of the Morlocks. Her powers allow her to increase her adrenaline for short periods of time, giving her enhanced strength and agility. This effect only lasts for a short period of time before it burns out and she is completely exhausted. In the film version, she works closely with Ajax to conduct the Weapon X program experiments. As a result, she ends up a target of Deadpool’s and the X-Men’s ire.
In the movie, Al’s home is the refuge Deadpool turns to after escaping the Weapon X laboratory. In the comics, Blind Al is an old woman who has a complicated relationship with Deadpool. She lives with Deadpool as his roommate, but she is also his prisoner. There is very little concretely known about her past. Deadpool spared her life during an assassination once, but he has also tortured her many times over the years. Despite this, Al believes that Deadpool is redeemable, and she has acted as a maternal figure to him over the years. Deadpool seems to legitimately care for her in his own twisted way. They are also engaged in a constant prank war. Let’s hope we get some of that in the film.
Weasel is Deadpool’s best friend and closest partner. In the film, he’s the one who ultimately convinces his deformed buddy to become the masked vigilante we all know and love. Throughout the Deadpool comics, Weasel is also a genius who provides several support roles to Deadpool, including intel, hacking, and supplying weapons. Deadpool frequently abuses Weasel and pranks him, but Weasel sticks with his pal because they have fun together… kidding, it’s because Deadpool makes him a ton of money.
In the Deadpool movie, the X-Men are sent by Wolverine to convince Deadpool to join the team and their fight against the Weapon X program. Colossus is one of that group, and is a long-standing member of the X-Men who has already appeared in several other films. Born Piotr Rasputin, his mutant power allows him to transform into a flexible metallic form. This makes him invulnerable and much stronger in combat. He is well-known for his romantic relationship with teammate Shadowcat, and he has also briefly been the Juggernaut.
Negasonic Teenage Warhead
Joining Colossus is Negasonic Teenage Warhead, a teenage mutant (obviously) with powers including telepathy and precognition. Never a full member of the X-Men, she studied telepathy under Emma Frost and has also been a member of the Hellfire Club. Her name is taken from the song “Negasonic Teenage Warhead” by Monster Magnet.
Deadpool is in theaters now. For even more about “The Merc With a Mouth,” check out the Marvel Database on Wikia.
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