Deadpool did something for me in the last ten years I didn’t think was possible. The character got me back into comics. I had read them my whole life but stopped in my twenties for no good reason. But when I first got my hands on some of the Deadpool comics out there, I found myself blown away. Some may see it as moronic but it is actually one of the most ingenious comic books ever written for one simple reason that sets it apart from all other comic books: Deadpool KNOWS he is a comic book (or movie, a.k.a. fictitious) character.
He is aware he is just a work if fiction and plays with those very tropes with glee. It is one of the only comic books I have ever read that sometimes makes fun of its OWN fan base. Now that is just ballsy, honestly. On top of that, Deadpool comics are not scared to poke fun at themselves, either, and that brings a lot of joy and humor to the broodiness that overtook comics in the late 90’s (and made me lose interest in the medium). With Deadpool 2 just a few months away from hitting theaters, we thought now might be a good time to suggest some Deadpool comics to you guys and gals to check out before going to see it in May.
These entries are numbered for your convenience, but presented in no particular order, which is exactly how Deadpool would want it!
15) If Looks Could Kill: Cable and Deadpool 1-6
The main draw of the movie sequel is that X-Men and Deadpool fans are finally getting Cable on the big screen. Think of him as the serious guy paired up with a nut job and you understand how great their dynamic will play out on-screen.
This particular story arc will give you the basics you need to know about the Deadpool/Cable connection, why they work so well together, and they may even take some of the elements from this story for the film, so worth checking out for THAT reason, too!
14) Deadpool Vs. The Punisher
Out of all the Deadpool comics, I really like when a “good guy” is sent after DP. There is always an almost Looney Tunes exchange of violence between him and whoever his enemy is at the time. You will see a few of those on this list, starting with this one. Punisher is out to kill Deadpool, and Deadpool is out to kill Punisher, and as odd as it may sound, there is so much humor at the Punisher’s expense, you just don’t get to see a bad ass often put through some of the shit DP puts him through here, and it is hilarious.
And make no mistakes, the Punisher is no pushover. You see these two go at it again in the Suicide Kings run of Deadpool which is also very much worth picking up. There you go, a twofer.
13) New Mutants #98
I know what you are thinking. Isn’t New Mutants a DIFFERENT Marvel movie coming this year? Yes, yes it is, but it is also the comic that debuted Deadpool for the first time, as well as another character who will play a major part in the new Deadpool movie, Domino, who would go onto to be his lover (in X-Force comics, yes, it can be very hard to keep track o all this jumping around).
But this is a great jumping off point because it shows the intros of these two characters who the sequel will be focusing on (along with Cable). Spoiler alert (for the comic): it is not actually Domino first showing up in this issue but rather a “bad girl” named Copycat whose name tells us everything we need to know about her.
12) Dead Reckoning: Volume 1, #3-5
What was great here and what we hopefully get to see more of in Deadpool 2 is Deadpool being the TRUE hero he is capable of. While it can be fun to see him cause anarchy and death, in this run we see Tiamat on the edge of taking out the universe (and defeating most of Marvel’s strongest heroes in the process) so Deadpool stepped up big time and decided to save the world by beating the shit out of Tiamat (while also getting the shit beaten out of him, which is a running theme for his life, sadly).
Just nice to see the anti-hero get to be seen as the real hero now and then, and that’s exactly what he is at the end of this comic.
11) Payback: Deadpool Volume 1, #18,19
What makes these few issues integral to seeing Deadpool 2 is it is essentially the story they sort of translated for the first DP movie, albeit very loosely. We see Deadpool fighting with Ajax (from the first film) over what he made Wade Wilson into. A sort of tortured, burnt, shell of a human who cannot experience love or death, which for the rest of us, are the two things we are pretty much ensured.
It brought some pathos to the character and showed us that beneath the jokes and un-killable exterior was a very broken and very real man.
10) Deadpool’s Art of War
Peep this golden premise and try NOT to want to read this immediately:
Deadpool goes back into the past to kill Sun Tzu. He then decides to rewrite the book to his own whims and to ensure that his new practices are adopted, so he also sets off another world war.
Yes, insane and nonsensical, but that is what makes Deadpool comics so damn enjoyable. There are NO rules and anything goes. Even rewriting history, literally.
9) A Kiss, A Curse, A Cure: Deadpool Death Annual ’98
Not sure if you non-comic readers know this about Deadpool but he is in love with death. And no, not just the act of it. In the Marvel universe, she (Death) is represented as a woman, and with Deadpool being immortal, even though she loves him too, they can NEVER be together. Man, heavy stuff for a guy who jokes about his d#ck so much.
It is a tragic love story on par with Shakespeare’s work and it is in a comic book. Seriously. This annual is when we get the first real insight into Deadpool’s love of death, her love returned, and the hopelessness that love yields them both.
8) Sins of the Past, Miniseries, 1-4
This is the story arc that set in motion the Deadpool we all know and love today. We know he jokes and seems so confident and to not give a crap about what people think, but we see a very human side to Deadpool in this issue and it really changed the way a lot of people saw the character.
There is a moment he shares with X-Men Syren where she gently touches his face and it f*cks him all up because he thinks he looks like a monster and she sees a vulnerable, beautiful man. He is not used to be treated that gently and you see it really affect him, which is something DP does not show very often.
It was also the run that started a quasi-relationship between the two, sort of. As far as Deadpool comics go, this arc is a must-read!
7) Hey, It’s Deadpool: Volume 1 #1-5
This was the book that truly changed Deadpool into how we see him today. wisecracking, hurting but good at hiding it behind violence and humor (and a love of certain Mexican food).
In particular, it was the writing of Joe Kelly who sort of found Deadpool’s real voice. Rob Liefeld who created Deadpool has straight up admitted he was just ripping off Deadshot from DC (who is named Slade Wilson by the way) and for That reason he was very Snake Eyes (from GI-Joe). Cool looking assassin who didn’t have much to say.
It was Joe Kelly’s turn as Deadpool writer on this run that gave us the real Deadpool. The madman with voices in his head and a strong gift for committing violent acts for our enjoyment. Hell, had he not redefined the character we probably would have never even gotten a Deadpool movie at all, real talk.
6) With Great Power Comes Great Coincidence: Deadpool Volume 1, #11
This issue a pretty much a complete satire of the first appearance of Kraven the Hunter from Spider-Man. Deadpool and Blind Al get sent back in time and they have to disguise themselves as Aunt May and Peter Parker to escape. Yes, it sounds absurd and fun and it is both of those things.
Though Deadpool comics are often hilarious, this is considered one of his funniest and best issues.
5) Head Trip: Deadpool Merc with the Mouth #1-13
Definitely a surreal issue of Deadpool (which most are, actually) this issue sees DP have to go to the savage lands to find a bio-weapon that turns out to be a zombified version of his own severed (still living and talking) zombie head from another Marvel universe, which he then takes with him.
There is really only one thing I should have to say to sell this run to you if that last part didn’t:
It has a zombie T-Rex in it.
Game over, man, game over.
4) Hawkeye Vs. Deadpool
Man, you might not think Deadpool and Hawkeye trying to kill each other or hanging around buddying up sounds that exciting, but it is. It is deftly written, often hilarious, and sometimes quite bleak, covering almost every emotion across the course of the read.
But again, it boils down to being a good book because there always ends up being a very cartoonish interaction between DP and these semi-flat, seemingly one-dimensional characters who Deadpool helps breathe more life into. This and Matt Fraction’s run are what made me truly appreciate Hawkeye. Sorry, but bow and arrow skills are shit compared to popping claws out of your hand, but this book shows us he has his place.
Plus, it is just plain fun to see how many unique ways Deadpool gets killed in these kinds of books.
3) Deadpool Volume 1, #0
This particular issue along with a few others in this run (4, 20, 28, 29,30) all feature the first time that Deadpool broke the fourth wall and addressed the fact that he is a comic book character and not a real person while talking TO the reader. It was a mind-blowing thing no comic book fans had ever really seen like that before, and it cemented his place as one of the greats.
It was as if the writers tried it out a little to test it and people took to it so they ran with it, but people often forget, when he first appeared, he was not the Deadpool we all love today.
It was this comic run that brought him there and helped him LITERALLY find his voice(s).
2) The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Deadpool Volume 3, 15-19
Many consider this to be the best Deadpool storyline – and with good reason. Deadpool keeps waking up with his organs missing (because Deadpool) and he doesn’t care because he can regenerate so whatevs.
But then he finds out people are using them to make weapons (long story, read comic, thank me later) so he teams up with two other genetically modified meta-humans (Captain America and Wolverine) to try to find out what is really going on and put a stop to it.
As you can imagine, the dynamic between these three is incredibly written and for as much as they are all very different, they find things that connect them, and the ending makes it pretty much a perfect read
1) Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe
There really is no one like Deadpool, Marvel nailed it with this character and I found this book so enjoyable because it allowed Deadpool to just kinda go nuts in an alternate universe storyline which sees DP killing off all (yes, all) of the Marvel universe in increasingly creative and unsettling manners.
The whole irony of the issue being the fact that once he met his bloodlust and tapped into it, there was no one left to kill. Except Wolverine. Over and over. Now that, my friends, is some gangster shit and exactly what makes Deadpool so badass and places this at the top of the list even though it wasn’t in numeric order.
So what is your favorite Deadpool comic? Take to our comments and let us know!