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The Evolution of Deadpool

An analysis of the character from his very 1st appearance to his current run. I’m going to stick to the comics and the 616 universe, which did have some alternate versions but I won’t be going to many.

From my Point of view. Skewed slightly due to the fact that I know of his earlier appearances because I read them and less of his later appearances because i didn’t.

I’ll try and keep my stupid opinion to my stupid self…although there will be some stupid shit like that.

I must have issues because I’ve done a few, poorly written, articles on Deadpool

I was there when Deadpool first appeared. I started reading X-Force from #1 and went back a grabbed some previous New Mutants since I wasn’t reading that at the time. 

Deadpool first appeared in New Mutants #98 (Feb.1991), Created by Rob Liefeld & Fabian Nicieza. 

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Deadpool was a mercenary who worked for a mysterious guy named Tolliver , I assumed he was some Europeon crime boss. When Deadpool wasn’t working directly for him, he was in the middle east making a living off the conflicts over there. 

We knew he had a beef with Cable because his employer had a beef with Cable, which was a long WHOLE-nother story. Also it kind of got personal when Cable mailed Deadpool back to his employer after beating him up. Not sure how he had the address.

From his earliest appearances we knew some key information just from a few scenes. He was highly skilled as he took down Siryn, CopyCat (as Domino) and Shatterstar (Who had warrior cred for being from the Mojo universe) and he didn’t kill him as that was not his orders, so he was professional in that sense.

Yet he also could have been switched allegiances mid battle if the price was right, so he was motivated by that.

He also had ties to the Weapon X program as told through Garrison Kane.

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X-Force v1 14-15 (fall 1992) sees the end of Tolliver (kind of) which leads Deadpool to seek revenge on Domino & Cable (and the secret of Tolliver’s prize - see Circle Chase below)

Another early appearance stuck to this model of Deadpool as hired merc (like the Dead Man’s Hand story which ran through Nomad 4-6, Daredevil 307-309 and Punisher War Journal 45-47 in 1992). Tolliver was still alive and well at this point.

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In August of 1993, Deadpool gets his own mini series written by X-Force writer Fabian Nicieza and drawn by Joe Mad. Called the Circle Chase it deals with the fallout of Tolliver being thought dead and the “prize” that awaits some lucky crook. Weasel, Deadpool’s tech guy, helper makes his debut in the Circle Chase. 

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This series shows Deadpool unmasked; prior to his involvement with the Weapon X program.

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and the unmasked post Weapon X hamburger head version

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We get to see more of the Deadpool’s supporting cast - mostly from X-Force appearances..Copycat, Sluggo, Garrison Kane, and Slayback. 

A project of the same project that created Wolverine, Weapon X. Most of Deadpool’s supporting cast was from those days at Weapon X. 

In 1994 Deadpool gets his second limited series written by Mark Waid with art by Ian Churchill. Frankly, I cannot remember much of this story. I do know Deadpool clashes with Black Tom.

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It did further a budding relationship with Siryn, which was further explored in later issues of X-Force - namely issues 46 7 47 (Fall of 1995) where Deadpool helps Siryn escape from a mental institute. 

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and ends up being “committed” 

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Although Siryn goes back to help him in X-Force issue 56 (July 1996)

In 1994 Deadpool makes a couple appearances in a hired-merc-type capacity

  • 3 issues (15-17) of the Secret Defenders where he teams with Cage & Dr.Druid…oddest team ever.
  • 2 issues of Silver Sable (23 & 30)
  • 1 issue of Wolverine v2 (88) Deadpool shows up to settle scores with Kane & CopyCat and takes on Wolverine.

In 1995…The Age of Apocalypse. 

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This is interesting to note because the character of Dead Man Wade was a tortured soul who hated living things. No 4th wall breaking, jokes or even fun … sure it was a serious story line filled with death, so Wade fit right in.  

 Deadpool’s first ongoing solo series starts in 1997 written by Joe Kelly (1-33) and drawn by Ed McGuinness (issues 1-9)

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The ongoing series introduced 3 main elements not previously seen

Blind Al his blind Aunt May looking prisoner, the Hell House and T-Ray

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*T-Ray ..who may or may not be Wade Wilson…turns out he just may be…or not! 

Now the series also introduces the biggest element which drives the series in the beginning (and for most of it from what I’ve gathered), that of Deadpool as a hero. by bringing in Zoe Culloden and the mysterious Landau, Luckman and Lake. We get a cosmic, broader scope not seen previously. It just seemed like a way to make the series about redemption rather then the day to day life of a mercenary. 

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I stopped buying after issue 21. It wasn’t because I wasn’t enjoying the series but I moved and had no comic shops nearby. It was my first phase of being out of comics. 

Although the series is the beginning of doing one thing that I don’t always like … a case of too much information. 

In doing research to fill in the missing information I had due to not reading them, T-Ray, Blind Al and Zoe Culloden seem to make it to issue 31 of the 1997 series. 

Interesting to note that Issue 28 (May 1999) was the first time Deadpool breaks the fourth wall.

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Christopher Priest toke over as writer and did issues 34-45

The next 3 writers often did collaborations with one another at some point through their runs

Jimmy Palmiotti did issues 45-55

Buddy Scalera does 49 -64

Frank Tieri worked on 57-64

Gail Simone did 65-69 (finishing the 1st solo series)

The 1st Deadpool solo series morphed into Agent X (also written by Simone) 

I know next to nothing of Agent X except to say that, at first, it was thought this was Deadpool in some sort of …disguise. That’s not the best word for it, yet a moot point because it wasn’t Deadpool. After the first Deadpool/Agent X series was all done, Deadpool returns to a monthly book, though a little different.

Cable & Deadpool (2004-2008). Fabian Nicieza returns to the character he helped create in this team up book. Before this article I had never read anything from this title. Nicieza wrote the entire 50 issue run.

The series did bring back several of Deadpool’s old cast and even introduced Bob, Agent of Hydra (in issue 38 in a 4th wall breaking)

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Between Feb.2008 to July 2008. Deadpool appears in Wolverine Origins 20 - 25, where he is hired to kill wolverine. I didn’t read the story, although it’s notable because the writer is Daniel Way and the Artist was Steve Dillon. Notable because the pair would later re-team to do Thunderbolts with Deadpool being part of the team.

His inclusions in Way’s Thunderbolts (for MarvelNOW) was awful…so awful that I had a few (88) questions about issue 1.

Speaking of Daniel Way, the 2nd Deadpool solo series debuted in November of 2008. The  opening Arc deals with Secret Invasion, then after fallout of Secret Invasion and into Dark Reign. It also looks to be the first time Wade speaks in multiple voices.

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I’m not sure exactly when the “shift” happened. I mean the shift from Deadpool being a joke-y loud mouth in serious situations to the same joke-y character in goofy, silly situations. 

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Now the 1997 series had silly situation…ie Doctor Bong. For the most part, the series while still having that joke story line now and then seemed to play it straight. 

Yet in researching all things Deadpool it would seem, I’d even go so far as to say that Deadpool is and was almost entirely a silly character put in silly situations. At least in numbers of issues go, Slash, number of years.

At least when it comes to his solo books vs his inclusion in team books. I did hear that Deadpool’s appearances in Remender’s Uncanny X-Force (2010) was excellent but I also missed out on this.

Even when I did return to comics, I really didn’t get back into Deadpool. I did get a few issues from his 2008 solo series. Totally missed the Cable/Deadpool series…and got pissed off at his MarvelNow issue 1…my last Deadpool issue.

I think I’m in the minority here but Deadpool (for me) has become a joke character, a throwaway character and although there’s nothing wrong with comedy characters, Deadpool evolved into this rather then like Lobo who started out as one.

Maybe it was a way to truly distance the character from his Deathstroke-clone origins but honestly I think in an over saturated usage the character sells in any format they use with him.

Although in writing this article I did come to realize that the character has qualities that still shine through now and again and I’m just best to avoid anything I don’t care for and move on…

So moving on…

Filed under the evolution of deadpool deadpool marvel comic books

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