9 Dead Deadpools: The Wilson Memorial
Deadpool Kills Deadpool is finished and the multiverse has been wiped clean of alternate Deadpools. Let's take a second to look back at the scarred antiheroes who've passed on.
This week brought the end to the Deadpool Killogy, a trilogy written by Cullen Bunn. Following Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe and Deadpool Killustrated, Bunn teamed up with artist Salva Espin to bring us Deadpool Kills Deadpool, in which there's a war across the multiverse between all sorts of Deadpools from various realities. There are a lot of dead Deadpools in the miniseries' wake and while a number of them are lazy "mix Deadpool with a Marvel character" cannon fodder, there are plenty of alternate Deadpools that we know, including Deadpools who have had their own comics over the years and now they're snuffed out in a blaze of nihilism.
All except Evil Deadpool, which sucks, since he's one of the lamer Deadpool villains, up there with Deathtrap and White Lightnin'. Of all the bad guys to be recurring...
With all these variations of Wade Wilson having moved on, I think now's a good time to take a look back at the lost Deadpools of the multiverse. It's worth noting that there are some throwaway Deadpools who strongly resemble pre-existing versions of the character, but aren't them. One is Venompool, who appeared in What If Venom Possessed Deadpool? and the other being the luchador Deadpool who appeared in Strange Tales II in a story by Rafael Grampa. The appearances seem different enough, plus the original Venompool wiped out his own universe in a self-pity tantrum.
I've also seen it suggested that an overweight Deadpool with torn tights who shows up in background shots is Deadpool from Heroes Reborn. In that world, he was an Avenger who went insane upon realizing that Counter-Earth was fake. He gained an excessive amount of weight and killed himself Dr. Strangelove style.
First appearance: Marvel Zombies #3
Created by: Robert Kirkman and Sean Phillips
Also known as Zombie Deadpool, Headpool came from the once-so-popular Marvel Zombies universe. While it was never said who infected him, he was first seen in the background of the big battle between the zombified heroes and the Silver Surfer. The handful of heroes who were able to ingest the Surfer gained his cosmic powers and wiped out all of their allies. Deadpool somehow escaped intact and resurfaced during an invasion into Earth 616. There, he was defeated by Jennifer Kale of the Florida Initiative and reduced to merely a head.
Under the sway of Dormammu, the Hood tried to use the zombie head as a weapon of mass destruction and cause a zombie outbreak on Earth 616. Thanks to ARMOR and the reformed Midnight Sons, the outbreak was stopped before it could spread and Headpool was seen floating in the water to parts unknown. He ended up in the Savage Land, where the locals worshipped him as a god. The mainstream Deadpool got tangled up in a plot involving AIM and Hydra where everyone was out to get their hands on the zombie head. Deadpool and AIM agent Betty Swanson tried to return Headpool to his original universe, but that ultimately didn't take and he ended up back on Earth 616.
Deadpool recruited Headpool to be part of the Deadpool Corps and fit him with a propeller beanie that allowed him flight. From going so long without giving into the hunger, Headpool lost interest in spreading his zombie disease and became just another smart aleck in a team of smart aleks. He came in handy at least when the rest of the team was gassed and he was able to save them due to not needing to breathe.
After the Corps went their separate ways, Headpool wasn't seen again until the very beginning of Deadpool Kills Deadpool, where an evil Deadpool clad in black leather stuck him in a microwave and blew him up. Headpool's last words were that he couldn't die because he was the comic relief.
GOLDEN AGE DEADPOOL
First appearance: Captain America: Who Won't Wield the Shield?
Created by: Stuart Moore and Joe Quinones
Back when Captain America being dead was a thing, Marvel released a comedic one-shot of short stories that featured such ideas as Forbush Man's gritty reintroduction to the Marvel universe and Doctor America, a trippy, drug-induced reimagining of Cap. Golden Age Deadpool, shown via old movie serials, was Private Fredrick "Wheezy" Wilson, nephew of President Woodrow Wilson. He tried to fake mustard gas poisoning in World War I by smoking an excess of cigarettes, but that ended up giving him breathing problems. He returned to the States, stuck always having to wear a gasmask and being a social pariah. He spent his days watching cartoons at the local theater, which drove him more and more insane. It also caused him to see the world as an old-timey cartoon with people taking the form of sepia-toned, anthromorphic cats and dogs.
Wilson was brought in to work with the Nazis, not realizing that they were evil. They experimented on him and gave him powers at the cost of ruining his skin. He became Veapon Swastika and worked against the Americans until deciding to betray the Nazis, recycle scrap and support the building of nuclear bombs.
Outside of that short story, Golden Age Deadpool only appeared again in the first issue of Deadpool Kills Deadpool, where he was interrupted mid-speech by the leather-clad Deadpool zapping him with a laser that overrides healing factors.
First appearance: Prelude to Deadpool Corps #3
Created by: Victor Gischler and Phillip Bond
In his home reality, Dogpool was taken in by Mascara X, a group of scientists who did horrible experiments on animals for the sake of perfecting makeup. Their attempt at a one-time use mascara ended up giving the dog a healing factor. They didn't know this and instead threw him into a dumpster. The hideous pooch soon found a home as part of a circus, where he'd endure all sorts of disaster and come out of it alive. "Deadpool the Daredevil Dog" became a big hit and caught the eye of Mascara X, who wanted him back. Dogpool refused and they sent a dog version of Wolverine after him, ultimately failing.
Deadpool recruited Dogpool to be part of the Deadpool Corps, where the dog became close with Kidpool. At the beginning of Deadpool Kills Deadpool, the Deadpool Corps got back together in search of the main Deadpool. When Deadpool was about to be murdered by his leather-clad counterpart, Dogpool lunged at the evil Deadpool. The killer used his gun to vaporize Dogpool to the horror of Kidpool, giving just enough distraction for the main Deadpool to get his bearings and finish off his enemy. Afterwards, he tried to comfort Kidpool and told him that Dogpool was a good dog.
First appearance: Prelude to Deadpool Corps #2
Created by: Victor Gischler and Whilce Portacio
In Kidpool's world, Xavier's school was an all-male orphanage while Emma Frost ran the all-girl school. This young Deadpool was a troublemaker and rebel who tended to terrorize young Scott Summers, but everyone still considered him to be more of a loser than anything else. After causing trouble at the dance mixer, everyone appeared to have problems with the boy. That's when the mainstream Deadpool appeared to recruit Kidpool and talked up how he was destined for greatness. Kidpool went along with it, glad to see that he was leaving his universe in a way that made him look awesome.
Since the main Deadpool didn't want to have to call everyone "Deadpool", he renamed his young counterpart Kidpool, though more than often just referred to him as Tito. Kidpool isn't to be confused with Kid Deadpool, Deadpool's short-lived sidekick from the early 00's that nobody else seems to remember.
Anyway, Kidpool died when the Deadpool Corps returned to their headquarters to discover that all of their heroic counterparts were slaughtered. Kidpool figured that if they removed the weapons impaling those with healing factors, they could save some of them. When removing a katana from the torso of a morbidly obese Deadpool, Kidpool discovered it was booby trapped and he triggered a bomb. He was more annoyed at first because he just escaped being roped in by the Avengers Arena killfest.
First appearance: Deadpool Pulp #1
Created by: Adam Glass, Mike Benson and Laurence Campbell
Hey, remember Marvel Noir? When we got cool 1930's-style stories reimagining various characters that were all over the place and then suddenly vanished? Late in that line they introduced Deadpool Pulp, a four-issue miniseries based on a more grounded-in-reality version of Deadpool existing in the 1950's. It's a really cool depiction of the character, which makes it much more painful that they killed him off for the sake of killing him off.
Wade was an agent from Canada with plenty of mental issues and several scars over his face. He was tasked with retrieving a briefcase with a nuclear weapon in it from enemy operative and old flame Outlaw. Despite his iffy mental condition, caused from being tortured by the Japanese in World War II and having to chew his own thumb off to escape, Deadpool was given many opportunities to serve thanks to General Cable. Deadpool was originally sent to rescue him during that World War II mission that went awry and although they both came out alive, Cable blamed himself for Deadpool's trauma.
It was discovered later that the mission to find the briefcase was being sabotaged by General Stryfe, who wanted to start World War III. Back during the war, Stryfe had Deadpool and Cable conditioned to follow his orders in the style of the Manchurian Candidate. Once he awakened that part of Deadpool, it only lasted for a moment. The voices in Deadpool's head overpowered the "new guy" trying to take over and Deadpool reverted to his normal self. He killed Outlaw and sacrificed himself to get the nuclear device away from civilians. Wade survived the explosion, but his body was horribly burned. Cable pulled some strings and brought in some doctors to do some experimental procedures to hopefully save his life, though that's the last we saw of him until Deadpool Kills Deadpool.
Pulp Deadpool appeared as part of the reformed Deadpool Corps, where he was inexplicably back to looking normal. He was killed off-panel by an evil Deadpool with the claws of Wolverine.
First appearance: Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth #7
Created by: Victor Gischler and Rob Liefeld
Wanda Wilson came from a world where tensions between the government and the public finally hit a breaking point to the extent of rebellion. While Wanda didn't have much of an opinion on the revolution, she ended up siding with the rebels because of her overwhelming need to feel wanted. Her actions made her a target to the fascist super soldier General America. In one of their battles, Deadpool and Headpool appeared on their quest to find the Marvel Zombies universe. Deadpool helped her take down General America and the two decided to start making out, because that's what insane, straight people do when they meet their gender-swapped clone. Then they decided to never do that again because it was a little too weird, even for them.
Wanda was recruited some time later to join the Deadpool Corps, where she was able to shine on in a major role due to having the most distinct personality of the group, not counting the main Deadpool. While Wade's face is burned and/or melty without the mask on, Lady Deadpool was depicted as having lots and lots of scars. During the Deadpool Corps series, Lady Deadpool had her face fixed to look beautiful because what use is having a fan-servicey concept like "Deadpool with boobs" if she isn't a looker?
Lady Deadpool appeared to be the ringleader of the heroic Deadpool troupe when hunted down by the evil Deadpools. Throughout the story, a Watcher tasked with only watching Deadpools acted as a guide, insisting that he couldn't outright interfere because he was a fan of all Deadpools. He ended up assisting Lady Deadpool because she was his favorite. When the Deadpools were threatened with Galactuspool devouring the world they were standing on, Lady Deadpool kissed the Watcher, got into the Deadpool Corps spaceship (The Bea Arthur) and kamikaze'd into Galactuspool's face, killing them both.
While mostly expected, her death was a little bit of a surprise, since she has something resembling a fanbase and isn't as expendable as the rest.
First appearance: Ultimate Spider-Man #91
Created by: Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley
Sergeant Wadey Wilson was a human supremacist and leader of the Reavers. He and his group kidnapped the X-Men and Spider-Man, brought them onto the island of Genosha and hunted them for sport while broadcasting it live over the internet. Deadpool was ultimately defeated by Spider-Man, who unmasked him to reveal Charles Xavier. That was just a hologram meant to mess with their heads and when he was truly unmasked, everyone recoiled in horror at his true face. Like his Reaver brethren, Deadpool had sacrificed his own humanity to become a cyborg. His face lacked any flesh whatsoever, was missing part of the skull and the only thing protecting it was a clear, plastic shell.
Kitty Pryde ended up short-circuiting him with her powers and he seemingly died in an explosion. Once everyone escaped, we found out that he was still alive after all. Deadpool stayed hidden in the years that followed, strangely enough. He only received one appearance in Deadpool Kills Deadpool, in a montage where he was stabbed in the chest by his 616 counterpart.
First Appearance: 5 Ronin #1 (Wolverine)
Created by: Peter Milligan and Tomm Coker
5 Ronin was a really cool miniseries that reimagined Wolverine, Hulk, Punisher, Psylocke, and Deadpool as ronin in feudal Japan with zero superpowers. Deadpool, known as Watari here, appeared in all but Psylocke's issue and arguably appeared to be the main character. Shown as a shambling fool in a straw hat, Watari showed up at times to lead the heroes on their way via his buffoonery. He watched Wolverine's identical brother get slaughtered and buried the body, later mistaking Wolverine as the slain swordsman having returned from the grave, which alerted Wolverine to his brother's fate. He arrived on the mountain where a large monk tried to meditate his rage away and set him off to become the monster he was born to be and protect a nearby village. When the Punisher was caught dead to rights by a man wielding a pistol, Watari's sneeze from outside was enough of a distraction to turn things around.
Like the others, Watari's main target was the evil man known only as the Daimyo. Daimyo briefly ran across the fool on his day in the country and found it insulting that he wouldn't bow to him. Later, he woke up in a cold sweat upon realizing who that fool was. All of his guards had been slaughtered, causing Daimyo to confront Watari. Watari couldn't remember why he wanted to kill Daimyo, but was certain he needed to do it. Upon killing him, he suddenly remembered being one of the Daimyo's lieutenants, who was betrayed and set up to be slaughtered with the rest of his men. Since then, he had been insane and even he couldn't figure out if it was all an act or for real. Seconds after the reflection, Watari couldn't remember if he just killed the Daimyo and if he did, he wasn't sure why. Facing the reader, he wondered aloud, "Do you know why? Do you know why I killed him? I guess I must have had a good reason."
Later on, he told Wolverine of his success, which pissed him off. Only the Hulk wasn't annoyed at being cheated out of killing the Daimyo himself.
Watari showed up in the final issue of Deadpool Minus Deadpool to help lead a final run to Dreadpool's headquarters. He lasted long, but was eventually pierced by several blades wielded by a Deadpool who strongly resembled Deathstroke the Terminator. The main Deadpool avenged him immediately.
First Appearance: Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe #1
Created by: Cullen Bunn and Dalibor Talajic
In his own world, this version of Deadpool was brought to a mental hospital by the X-Men. Unbeknownst to them, his psychiatrist was really Psycho-Man, who intended to control Deadpool's mind. The experiment went very wrong and awakened a new, more sinister inner voice that vanquished the other two. Nicknamed "Dreadpool" by Cullen Bunn in interviews, this version of Wade Wilson became aware that he was a fictional character and it broke him. He started a one-man war against all of the superheroes and villains in the world as a way to lash out against the concept of comic book continuity.
It wasn't a very good comic. It was four issues of Dreadpool killing people and winning every time because it was his name on the cover. The worst part was the very first scene, where Invisible Woman blew up Dreadpool's head and it completely grew back off-panel in what appeared to be about ten seconds. Even if we wanted to cheer on Dreadpool for all of this mean-spirited bloodshed, the stakes had flown straight out the window from the first minute.
Killing off his world's heroes didn't bring him happiness, nor did killing off heroes from other dimensions. He took to going into the realities of classic literature to kill the likes of Captain Ahab, the Little Mermaid, Beowulf, Huck Finn, and others in hopes that the various heroes derivative of them would cease to exist. He was defeated in the end by Sherlock Holmes and started a new plot to eliminate all the Deadpools of the multiverse. Most of the other Deadpools were either slaughtered or died via suicide pact. In the end, it was just Dreadpool and the Deadpool of Earth 616.
Deadpool won the fight and proved that Dreadpool wasn't as nihilistic and evil as he wanted himself to be. As Dreadpool started to see the light (which included Deadpool namedropping 80's wrestling Nikita Koloff to make a point), Deadpool lopped his head off and covered him with acid that would negate his healing factor. Sure, readers may have forgiven him in time, but Deadpool lost a lot of friends in those four issues so to Hell with him!
Those are Wilsons who died, died!
Those are Wilsons who died, died!
Those are Wilsons who died, died!
Those are Wilsons who died, died!
They're all Deadpool!
And they died!