Deadpool won't shut up about pop-culture and superhero movies. Now I have carpal tunnel for writing them all down. Thanks.
This article consists of nothing but Deadpool 2 spoilers. We have a spoiler free review here if you prefer.
The Marvel Brolinsance continues with the release of Deadpool 2. Much like its predecessor, it mixes R-rated action, R-rated humor, a dash of pathos, and lots of references and meta jokes. It’s another movie in the X-Men Cinematic Universe featuring bottom of the barrel characters. In other words, there’s a ton of Easter eggs and trivia references sewn into this bad boy.
Best we could, here’s a reference guide. This goes without saying, but spoilers galore. Even for movies other than Deadpool 2! The first shot of the movie is a reference to how Logan ended!
So Wade Wilson, New Mutants #98, blah blah, Deathstroke ripoff, etc. We know all that. So what references do we get from this movie?
– Early on, Wade discusses how horrible his father was. This is 2/3 on point to the comics. In the comics, there were three different takes on what Wade’s father was like. First there’s the Christopher Priest take, where Wade’s father was a lowlife who walked out on him when he was a child. Then Fabian Nicieza had his own version where Wade’s father was a strict, albeit well-meaning, military man who died trying to pull Wade away from hanging out with a dangerous crowd.
Gerry Duggan later insisted that those were false memories. There was nothing especially wrong with Wade’s father, though Deadpool unknowingly killed him as part of a memory-wiping experiment.
– Deadpool prepares for his first job in the movie by listening to “X Gone Give it to You” by DMX, which was a prominent theme to the first movie.
– Deadpool popping out of a coffin to assassinate someone was done in Deadpool Team-Up #898, as part of an alliance with the Zapata Brothers.
– Deadpool’s frustration at being suicidal and being unable to see it through is a regular occurrence in the comics. The first movie’s earlier draft even had a segment dedicated to Wade trying to off himself again and again and constantly failing due to his healing factor.
– As an X-Men trainee, Deadpool wears an ugly team outfit over his own. This is similar to a story arc in Deadpool #16 from the Daniel Way run where Deadpool insisted on joining the X-Men.
– The red motor scooter Deadpool rides is actually a thing from the comics. He rode it around in Deadpool #68 and even appeared on the cover with it along with Taskmaster.
– Deadpool tries deflecting Cable’s bullets with his katanas at one point, only to realize that several of them made it through his torso. His movements are exactly like Wade Wilson’s swordplay in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
– Towards the end of the movie, Deadpool is covered with ash and his red costume becomes gray. This ends up making him look like how he dresses in the Rick Remender X-Force series. Coincidentally, he joined the team in response to Cable’s supposed death.
– Vanessa did also die in the comics, albeit under very, very different circumstances. In Deadpool #59 by Frank Tieri and Georges Jeanty, Deadpool was given the order by Weapon X to kill Vanessa, otherwise known as the mutant Copycat. Deadpool refused and instead tried to defend her against their various soldiers. Vanessa ended up being mauled to death by Sabretooth and, much like the movie, died in Wade’s arms.
Shockingly, despite the first movie’s popularity, Vanessa was never brought back in the comics and only got one mention since.
– Cable, real name Nathan Summers, made his first adult appearance in New Mutants #87 as created by Louise Simonson and Rob Liefeld. A mysterious time traveler, he was later revealed to be the son of Scott Summers and Madeline Pryor (a clone of Jean Grey). He was raised in a horrifying future ruled by Apocalypse and dedicated himself to going back in time to prevent that reality from ever taking place.
The movie doesn’t really get into much about what he’s about, but to be fair, the comics took their time on that too. The ’90s X-Men cartoon never even got around to explaining who he was, only giving us the occasional hint that he had something to do with Cyclops and Jean.
– Fun fact: for people who got to see early screenings of Deadpool 2, it came with a video of Deadpool begging us not to check Cable’s Wikipedia page because it’s too much of a mindfuck.
– So what do we know about Cable’s future? He mentions that it’s about 50 years later (which would make him age appropriate to be Cyclops’ kid without having to send him further into the future like in the comics), though grown-up Firefist appears to be plenty younger. Despite the claim that the world is ruined, we never get a good look at what that entails.
– Cable mentions his daughter’s name is Hope. Hope Summers is a character introduced in X-Men #205, created by Mike Carey and Chris Bachalo. After the events of M-Day and the near extinction of the mutant race (more on that later), Hope was the first baby born with the mutant gene. Cable found her and protected her, mainly from Bishop. Cable and Hope traveled through various eras with Cable raising Hope until she became a teenager. Eventually, she returned to the present.
– Cable’s rivalry with Bishop had Cable on the opposite side of the conflict compared to Deadpool 2. For Bishop, Hope’s existence would lead to his own horrible future, so he was dedicated to killing her before it was too late.
– With Cable being played by Josh Brolin, there are at least two references to Brolin’s previous roles. Deadpool calls him “One-Eyed Willy,” a legendary pirate from The Goonies, which starred Brolin. The other is Deadpool calling him “Thanos,” what with that being his other huge comic movie role these days.
– Deadpool calls Cable “John Connor,” due to his similarities to, well, everything involving the Terminator franchise.
Russell Collins, played by Julian Dennison, is essentially a hybrid of different characters.
– In the comics, Firefist was introduced in X-Factor #1 by Bob Layton and Jackson Guice. A fit, white teen in slacks who physically looks nothing like his cinematic counterpart, Rusty was a pretty generic part of the X-family until leaving to join Magneto’s side as an Acolyte. He died back in the mid-90s.
– He actually has more in common with his animated counterpart from the X-Men cartoon. There, he was a boy living in a corrupt orphanage headed by Zebediah Killgrave.
– Russell shares a lot in common with Johnny, a little boy who appeared briefly in Deadpool’s initial solo series. In Deadpool #58, a mutant boy’s fire powers went out of control and Weapon X (now with Deadpool as a member) went to go investigate. Deadpool was able to talk the boy down from his rampage, but Garrison Kane took advantage of the situation and murdered the kid, much to Deadpool’s fury.
– Thematically, Russell is more based on Evan Sabahnur, codename Genesis. An incarnation of X-Force featuring Deadpool was sent on a mission to kill the reincarnation of Apocalypse. The target ended up being a child, who was being fed propaganda from Apocalypse cultists. Fantomex shot and killed the boy, which awakened nothing but disgust in Deadpool, as killing a kid was over the line for him.
Secretly, Fantomex cloned the child and tried to use virtual reality to raise him as a Clark Kent-like farm boy. Named Evan Sabahnur, he was eventually enrolled in the X-Men’s school. Evan eventually became part of a plot where his rise to villainy would lead to a Minority Report dystopian future. Instead, Wolverine and Deadpool were able to get through to Evan and convince him to be a force of good. Since then, Deadpool has at times acted as a father figure to the boy.
– As a concept, Domino, real name Neena Thurman, was introduced in the same issue as Deadpool: New Mutants #98, by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld. In actuality, “Domino” was Vanessa/Copycat in disguise. The real Domino didn’t show up until about a year later in X-Force #8. Domino has been a regular associate to Cable and has teamed up with Deadpool on occasion. At most, she only tolerates Deadpool.
– Deadpool rants about her luck-based powers and how stupid they are, at one point claiming that such an idea would come from some guy who can’t even draw feet. This is an obvious reference to Deadpool and Domino’s co-creator Rob Liefeld, who is constantly made fun of for his difficulties in drawing convincing feet, which more often than not means seeing feet obscured or cropped out of his panels.
– Cain Marko, the Unstoppable Juggernaut, was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. His first appearance was in X-Men #12. In the comics, Juggernaut is depicted as being a force of magic and not one created from a biological mutation. He already appeared in X3: X-Men United, as played by Vinnie Jones.
– The credits claim that Juggernaut is played by “himself.”
– Conversation between Juggernaut and Russell establishes that in the movies, Cain Marko and Charles Xavier are step-brothers and that Juggernaut wears the helmet to protect himself from his psychic attacks. The familial connection was completely ignored in X3, though the two only shared one scene.
– Juggernaut fought Deadpool a couple times early on in the comics before Deadpool had his own ongoing series. By the time Deadpool had his own series, writer Joe Kelly decided that Juggernaut would be too obvious to use. Juggernaut later appeared at Wade’s funeral during hte Frank Tieri run.
– Juggernaut tearing Deadpool in half just may be a reference to the memorable opening sequence to Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #1 where Hulk tore Wolverine in half in similar fashion. Hey, it wouldn’t be the only Hulk/Juggernaut comparison in this movie.
– Colossus vs. Juggernaut is a regular occurrence in X-Men lore. Much like in this movie, Juggernaut is a league above Colossus and tends to outfight him at every turn.
– Another Nicieza/Liefeld creation, the team X-Force was introduced as a rebranding/spinoff of New Mutants after that comic hit its 100th issue. The team has had many different incarnations, but the main take has been a more fascist take on the X-Men to contrast with Xavier’s more defensive MO. One of the original team members is Cannonball, who the cinematic version of Negasonic Teenage Warhead appears to be slightly based on, at least in the powers department.
Terry Crews’ Bedlam first appeared in the comic Factor X #1, created by John Francis Moore and Steve Epting. Bedlam doesn’t exactly get to do much in the movie, but the power set is accurate to how he’s portrayed in the comics.
Zeitgeist (Axel Cluney) even being in this movie practically spells out the gag about X-Force’s fate. The character was introduced in X-Force #116, which was the beginning of the Peter Milligan/Mike Allred X-Force/X-Statix run. Like in the movie, he could spit acid vomit, but also like in the movie, he died in his first issue despite being treated as a big deal. In fact, a majority of X-Force were killed in that first issue.
– Vanisher, real name Telford Porter, was introduced in the second issue of X-Men. He has absolutely nothing to do with his cinematic counterpart, including powers. Comic Vanisher is a teleporter while the movie version is just invisible. Also, he was an X-Men villain and never a member of X-Force. It’s likely more like the writers saw that name as one of the ones they could use in the movie and wrote a gag around it, much like how they included Negasonic Teenage Warhead in the first movie just because they thought the name was great.
– And hey, turns out he’s Brad Pitt! That’s still not the most random Brad Pitt death in movie history if you’ve seen Burn After Reading. Told you there would be spoilers here.
– Brad Pitt was in talks to play Cable, but couldn’t fit it into his schedule.
– Sometimes comic movies are too afraid to fully embrace the batshit insane world of comic books. That’s why it took so long for us to get Sentinels and why Galactus was a cloud. Shatterstar, despite his limited screentime, dives deep into being exactly like his comic counterpart. Introduced in New Mutants #99 (a mere issue after Deadpool) by Nicieza and Liefeld, Shatterstar is both an alien and from the future. And he has those stupid double-katanas.
– Mojoworld was introduced in Longshot #1 and is a separate dimension run by a blobby TV producer with spider legs. This is now part of the X-Men Cinematic Unvierse.
– Black Tom Cassidy was introduced in X-Men #99 by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum. His wood/blast powers are kind of moot since he never actually does anything mutant-based in the movie. Black Tom is the brother of Banshee, but there’s no indication of their relationship in the film.
– In the comics, Black Tom fought Deadpool several times. Not only as a partner of Juggernaut, but also at a time when Deadpool was cycling through his “Black” villains in one adventure, such as Black Swan and Black Box.
– During the early days of X-Force, Cable gunned down Black Tom and almost killed him. Coincidentally, Black Tom only survived because Deadpool saved his life.
X-MEN EASTER EGGS
– Firefist’s rampage is covered by reporter Irene Merryweather. Introduced in Cable #48 by James Robinson and Jose Ladronn, Irene is a reporter who became a close friend to Cable. She was essentially the normal, down-to-earth person there to normalize the future mutant with the giant guns. She was recently killed by Deadpool in the comics due to Cable’s clone Stryfe blackmailing him.
– During the auditions segment, there’s a cartoon drawing of a cowgirl in the background. This is Outlaw, otherwise known as Inez Temple. Introduced during the Gail Simone Deadpool run, the mercenary mutant Outlaw had a couple flings with Deadpool and even married him briefly. Unfortunately, Deadpool’s healing factor wasn’t enough to offset the combination of her super-strength and endless libido and he had the marriage annulled.
– The Ice Box is a prison located in Canada, introduced in Maverick #8.
– Russell’s orphanage is named in honor of “Essex,” most likely a reference to Nathanial Essex, otherwise known as Mr. Sinister. Essex was referenced in Days of Future Past’s ending and there’s been rumblings about having him appear in one of the upcoming movies.
– The mutant inhibitor collar was introduced in Days of Future Past. In the comics, it was introduced in X-Men #141.
– The orphanage features various posters promising that M-Day is coming. In the comics, M-Day was the event where Scarlet Witch – distraught over the events of House of M – used her powers to depower nearly every mutant in the world, leaving less than 200.
SUPERHERO MOVIE STUFF
– The movie’s opening shot shows Deadpool’s music box in the form of Wolverine being impaled on a tree stump. This is how Wolverine died at the end of Logan. Deadpool also jokes that Logan wouldn’t have received that R-rating if the first Deadpool movie hadn’t already proven it could be done successfully.
– Deadpool briefly brings up comparisons to Passion of the Christ, namely how they’re the top two biggest money makers for R-rated movies. In terms of domestic, Passion of the Christ wins with $370 million to Deadpool’s $363 million, but worldwide, Deadpool has $801 million compared to Passion’s $622 million.
– Deadpool tries to excuse his lateness with Vanessa by claiming that he and another costumed guy had a big fight, but stopped once they found out their mothers are both named “Martha.” That’s an easy reference to the end of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where Batman suddenly pulls a 180 on his murderous opinion on Superman.
– In the first movie, Deadpool told Blind Al that he had a stash hidden of a bunch of cocaine and “the cure for blindness,” which at the time felt like him being a jerk mocking her. Turns out he literally had those things after all!
– Deadpool repeatedly talks about the X-Men member “Pigeonwings,” referring to Angel and the fact that having wings is kind of a dumb power when there are others who can fly without them.
– As Deadpool once again rants about how the only X-Men characters we appear to see are Colossus and Negasonic, there’s a quick shot of the current X-Men movie team meeting in a room as Beast (Nicholas Hoult) quietly closes the door before Deadpool can notice. This includes Xavier (James McAvoy), Quicksilver (Evan Peters), and Cyclops (Tye Sheridan).
– Deadpool’s speech where he decides to shoot up one of the orphanage employees is paraphrased from Colossus at the end of the first movie. The difference is that while he was straight-up ignoring him in the first movie when he shot somebody, this time he felt like he was genuinely doing the right thing.
– Upon losing his powers, Deadpool calls himself worthless like Hawkeye and his bow and arrow. Hawkeye has been regularly mocked for being considered the lamest movie Avenger.
– Deadpool describes Cable as having a Winter Soldier arm. In both the comics and Marvel Cinematic Universe, Bucky Barnes lost his arm during his faked death and had it replaced with a cybernetic limb. Cable’s arm is actually a metal parasite engulfing the flesh.
– Deadpool tosses out the iconic, “I’m Batman,” line, which is the go-to introduction for movie versions of that character.
– Deadpool remarks that Cable is so dark that he must be from the DC Universe. DC’s recent cinematic takes have been regularly criticized for being overly grim and colorless despite being centered around goddamn Superman. Fittingly, Ryan Reynolds and Josh Brolin have both starred in failed DC movies with Green Lantern and Jonah Hex.
– Deadpool names Domino “Black Black Widow,” doubling down on cracking jokes about white characters with “Black” in their name. Plus Domino is the token female hero and has the same basic abilities as Black Widow.
– Speaking of Black Widow, Deadpool tries to subdue Juggernaut by telling him, “The sun is getting real low.” This is how Black Widow would calm the Hulk into becoming Bruce Banner in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
– Dopinder is called “Brown Panther,” which is just a reference to Black Panther. It’s late in the movie and we’re running out of steam.
– In the mid-credits, Deadpool goes back in time to save certain people, but also takes time to enter X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) to riddle the original Deadpool with bullets. The mouthless Wade Wilson from this movie is considered a blight on the character’s history and while he got made fun of in the first Deadpool, this just goes farther into the absurd.
– Immediately after, Ryan Reynolds is shot to death before he can accept the role of Green Lantern (2011). That too is considered a big mistake in Reynolds’ acting career.
– After failing to fully fulfill his contract kill, Deadpool describes it as “mission accomplished” in the George W. Bush sense. In 2003, George W. Bush spoke onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln to announce the end of major military combat in Iraq. All the while, there was a massive “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” banner in the background. The claims, both verbal and printed, seemed a bit shortsighted, to say the least.
Oh yeah, Brolin played that guy too.
– The movie Wade and Vanessa watch early on is the 1983 release Yentl starring Barbara Streisand.
– The opening credits include references to both James Bond movies and the iconic chair shot from Flashdance. It’s a natural callback to the comedic credits from the first movie, though with a more negative bend, such as how the first movie called the screenwriters “The Real Heroes” while this time they’re “The Real Villains.”
– Deadpool calls Yuki “Pinkie Pie.” Pinkie Pie is a character from My Little Pony who, much like Deadpool, breaks the fourth wall. In fact, Death Battle had an episode dedicated to Deadpool vs. Pinkie Pie.
– Colossus tells Russell, “Come quietly or there will be trouble.” Deadpool and Russell immediately point out that he’s ripping off RoboCop, which he also did in the first movie when he told Deadpool, “Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.”
– At the Ice Box, Deadpool wonders what gang he’ll end up in and asks about the Sorting Hat. The Sorting Hat is the magical being from the Harry Potter books that chooses which group each Hogwarts student belongs in.
– Cable’s futuristic gun has a dial on it that goes from 1 to 11. This is a reference to This is Spinal Tap, as the band has their amps recalibrated from going up to 10 to 11 in volume because 11 is a higher number and therefore must be louder. None of them realize that the max volume is the max volume no matter what number you put on it.
– Weasel refers to Cable as “the time traveler’s wife’s husband.” The Time Traveler’s Wife is a novel by Audrey Niffenegger.
– Weasel calls it out, but Wade uncrossing and crossing his legs in order to show his gross baby crotch is a reference to Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct (1992). In the famous scene, she did the same move, only wearing a skirt with no underwear.
– Deadpool tries to win Colossus back by holding a tiny boombox up outside his window, just like John Cusack’s iconic pose from Say Anything (1989).
– We join a scene with Deadpool finishing his rant that Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is pornography. That movie starred Ryan Reynolds’ wife, Blake Lively.
– Deadpool notes that Russell has started dressing like the Unabomber. The 90s serial bomber Ted Kaczynski is mainly remembered for his police sketch that showed him wearing a hoodie and sunglasses.
– “Sweep the leg, Johnny!” is the command that the villain from Karate Kid is told when fighting Daniel in the climax.
– Deadpool nicknames Negasonic “Eleven,” the name of the super-powered, shaved head girl from Stranger Things.
– Blink and you’ll miss it, but a news ticker reports that “Christopher Plummer refuses role in Deadpool 2.”
Any other Easter eggs or references we’ve missed? Sound off in the comments!
Gavin Jasper wonders if the Fat Gandalf line flub joke was planned or an improvised blooper that they kept in. Follow Gavin on Twitter!