Deadpool did it again, and this time, he brought some friends. With the release of Deadpool 2, Marvel’s Merc With a Mouth has charmed his way into audiences hearts and earned mostly positive reviews from critics with another foul-mouthed, hyper-violent blockbuster. In this David Leitch-directed follow-up to 2016’s Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds’ mutant mercenary teamed up with some new X-Men, encountered a few surprise villains and formed X-Force, one of Marvel’s most famous mutant teams. While Josh Brolin’s Cable and Zazie Beatz’s Domino brought some fan-favorite mutants to the big screen for the first time, Deadpool 2 also had room for a lot of Marvel’s less famous mutants.
Even by superhero movie standards, Deadpool 2 was stuffed with a dizzying number of deep cut cameos and outrageous guest appearances. Now, CBR is taking a look at Deadpool 2‘s biggest, quickest and most surprising cameos. In this list, we’ll be taking a look at some of the movie’s nods to Wade Wilson’s comic book and cinematic history. We’ll also be unraveling some of the blink-and-miss-it celebrity cameos that you might’ve missed. Finally, we’ll look at how these characters tie back into the wider world of the Marvel Universe’ X-Men stories and the last 18 years of Fox’s X-Men movies.
SPOILER WARNING: The following list contains comprehensive spoilers for Deadpool 2, in theaters now.
Although Lewis Tan’s Shatterstar was only on X-Force for about 10 minutes in Deadpool 2, Shatterstar is one of X-Force’s stalwart members in the Marvel Universe. The alien warrior was created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza in 1991’s New Mutants #99, just one issue after Deadpool’s first appearance. Like his cinematic counterpart, Shatterstar is a sword-wielding warrior from an extra-dimensional planet called Mojoworld. From his impressive ponytail to his double-bladed swords and all-white battle armor, Tan’s Shatterstar is a remarkably faithful cinematic translation of Liefeld’s first costume for the character.
While Tan’s Shatterstar met an untimely demise after an icky encounter with some helicopter blades, Shatterstar has had a far more distinguished career in comics. After co-forming X-Force, he stayed with the team throughout much of the 1990s, He grew especially close to Rictor, his earth-shaking teammate, and the pair eventually left the team together. After a few years out of the spotlight, Shatterstar resurfaced in Peter David and Valentine De Landro’s X-Factor. While both were members of X-Factor Investigations, Shatterstar and Rictor’s once-ambiguous friendship quickly evolved into one of Marvel’s most celebrated romantic relationships. Tan’s off-duty look, which he sported when he applied for a spot in X-Force, draws several stylistic notes from the more streamlined black-and-white outfit Shatterstar wore in X-Factor. Since that title ended, Shatterstar has served as an occasional supporting character in the X-Men’s adventures.
17. BLACK TOM CASSIDY
Although he didn’t have a huge role to play in Deadpool 2, Black Tom Cassidy has a long history duking it out with Deadpool and the X-Men. In the movie, Jack Kesy’s Black Tom appeared as one of the most intimidating inmates at the mutant prison where Deadpool was held. In comics, Black Tom was created by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum in 1976’s X-Men #99. The Irish mutant has the somewhat strange ability to channel energy blasts through wood, and he eventually gained some plant-controlling powers through his secondary mutation. While Tom was never the kind of villain who threatened the world, he could usually be found scheming alongside his partner-in-crime, Juggernaut, or battling his cousin Banshee, the X-Men’s supersonic screamer.
Although Black Tom and Juggernaut didn’t share any scenes together in Deadpool 2, Tom was one of the first villains Deadpool encountered during his solo adventures. In Fabian Nicieza and Joe Madureira’s 1992 miniseries Deadpool, the two mercenaries clashed over a disputed claim to another villain’s will. In 1994’s Deadpool: Sins of the Past, by Mark Waid, Ian Churchill and Ken Lashley, Tom played an even bigger role as the story’s main villain. After having a piece of wood implanted into his body to enhance his powers, Tom tried to capture Deadpool so he could use Wade’s healing factor to stabilize his condition.
16. NEGASONIC TEENAGE WARHEAD
Negasonic Teenage Warhead was one of the most surprising breakout characters from 2016’s Deadpool. And in Deadpool 2, Brianna Hildebrand’s explosive young X-Man came to Deadpool’s aid once again. When Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely created Negasonic in 2001’s New X-Men #115, she was only around for a few moments before she perished in a massive Sentinel attack that cost millions of lives. However, after Hildebrand’s Negasonic got rave reviews in Deadpool, Negasonic returned to comics in 2016’s Deadpool & the Mercs for Money #1, by Cullen Bunn and Iban Coello. Although Ellie Phimister initially only had precognitive abilities, she gained reality-warping powers, super-strength and a new short-haired look inspired by her cinematic counterpart when she returned to comics.
Since Deadpool 2 had almost twice as many characters as Deadpool, Negasonic didn’t have as much screen time in the sequel. Although she had a new girlfriend and became a full member of the X-Men, Negasonic was largely reduced to serving as a supporting player during the movie’s fight scenes. After the film’s climactic battle, she just walked out of the movie to take a group of young mutants back to the X-Mansion. With some help from her girlfriend Yukio, she also repaired Cable’s time-travel device in one of the movie’s post-credits scenes.
In the lead-up to Deadpool 2‘s release, the identity of Shiori Kutsuna’s character was something of a mystery. Since she seemed to display electrical powers, most fans assumed that she was a version of Surge, a young mutant who was a member of the New X-Men in the 2000s. However, Deadpool 2 revealed that Kutsuna was actually playing Yukio, a young X-Man who was also Negasonic Teenage Warhead’s girlfriend. While she still used her Surge-like electrical powers to help out in the movie’s fight scenes, most of her dialogue consisted of her and Deadpool saying “hi” to each other repeatedly.
In comics, Yukio is a considerably different character who’s one of the X-Men’s most trusted human allies. Originally, Yukio was a Japanese assassin who was created by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller in 1982’s Wolverine #1. Although Yukio and Wolverine initially met as enemies, the two fighters became allies, and she eventually took in Logan’s adopted daughter Amiko. When the X-Men were in Japan, Yukio became extremely close friends with the X-Men’s Storm. In 2013’s The Wolverine, Rila Fukushima portrayed a slightly different version of Yukio on the big screen. While she was still a skilled fighter who worked closely with Logan during his adventures in Japan, this version of Yukio had the mutant power to see how people will die. It’s currently unclear what, if any, connection Fukushima’s Yukio has to Kutsuna’s Yukio in Fox’s cinematic X-Men universe.
14. THE X-MEN
In one of Deadpool 2‘s funniest moments, Deadpool narrowly avoided having a full-fledged team-up with the X-Men. While the mutant mercenary was complaining about the lack of X-Men in his movies, a full team of X-Men made a quick appearance behind him before silently hiding behind closed doors. This group included most of the cast of 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse. The team consisted of James McAvoy’s Professor X, Nicholas Hoult’s Beast, Evan Peters’ Quicksilver, Tye Sheridan’s Cyclops, Alexandra Shipp’s Storm and Kodi Smit-McPhee’s Nightcrawler. Along with Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey and Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique, this team of X-Men will make their next appearance in 2019’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
Since the new X-Men movie and Deadpool 2 were filming at the same time, Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg actually shot the X-Men’s cameo, which was then digitally inserted into the background of the Deadpool scene. This cameo also added another layer of confusion to the X-Men’s already-complex cinematic timeline. Theoretically, Deadpool 2 takes place in the present day, while Dark Phoenix is set sometime during the 1990s. In the scene, Quicksilver was even wearing a shirt depicting the iconic ’90s rock band Nirvana. Since Deadpool 2 has so many time-traveling antics, it’s best to assume that they were able to co-exist in the same place as the result of Deadpool messing with the timestream.
13. PETER (WISDOM)
When Rob Delaney’s Peter showed up as a member of X-Force in Deadpool 2‘s trailers, he was a complete surprise. Instead of having any kind of mutant power or martial arts skill, Peter was just a normal, middle-aged man who joined X-Force. Although he didn’t initially seem like he was based on any specific comic book character, some of the film’s promotional materials suggest that Peter is secretly a less impressive version of Peter Wisdom, a mutant secret agent. For instance, Peter’s Twitter profile indicates that his last name begins with a “W,” and Peter’s LinkedIn profile says that he’s a sales manager at the “Excalibur Cutlery Co.”
Shortly after Pete Wisdom was created by Warren Ellis and Ken Lashley in 1995’s Excalibur #86, the mutant joined Excalibur, a British offshoot of the X-Men that included characters like Colossus and Nightcrawler. Wisdom also has the mutant ability to generate “hot knives” of plasma energy from the edge of his fingertips. Like his probable cinematic counterpart, Wisdom also had a very brief stint as a member of X-Force in comics. After Ellis and Whilce Portacio took over the series, Wisdom joined X-Force and served as its leader for a few issues starting with 2000’s X-Force #102. Both Peter and Pete Wisdom walked away from X-Force after narrowly escaping death.
Although Terry Crews’ hit comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine was recently saved from an early demise, Bedlam, his character in Deadpool 2, wasn’t so lucky. When Deadpool was assembling X-Force, Crews’ Bedlam seemed like a standout candidate. With his ability to manipulate electrical fields, Bedlam could short-circuit electronic devices and the electrochemical signals in the human brain to cause a variety of unpleasant sensations. However, Bedlam perished a few moments after his introduction when a botched parachute landing sent him flying into an oncoming bus.
In comics, Bedlam had a slightly longer tenure with X-Force before his embarrassing end. Jesse Aaronson and his brother Terrence were originally introduced in the alternate reality storyline “The Age of Apocalypse” in 1995’s Factor X #1, by John Francis Moore and Steve Epting. A few years later, Moore and Jim Cheung brought Bedlam into the Marvel Universe in 1998’s X-Force #82. After befriending Domino, Bedlam joined X-Force to help the team battle his unhinged brother. Although Pete Wisdom helped him develop creative uses for his mutant powers, that incarnation of X-Force broke up after a relatively short time together. In 2003’s Uncanny X-Men #423, by Chuck Austen and Ron Garney, Bedlam was kidnapped by an anti-mutant hate group called the Church of Humanity. Along with several other mutants, he was strung up outside of the X-Mansion, where he later perished from his injuries.
11. CABLE’S FAMILY
In Deadpool 2, Cable travels to the present to save his family from being taken out by an adult version of Julian Dennison’s Firefist in the future. At one point, Cable mentioned that his daughter was named Hope, and Islie Hirvonen briefly portrayed her during a flashback sequence. In comics, Hope Summers, Cable’s adopted daughter, has been at the center of his life for the past decade. After most of the world’s mutants were depowered, Hope was the first new mutant born in years in 2008’s X-Men #205, by Mike Carey and Chris Bachalo. After several competing factions tried to claim her for their own purposes, Cable took Hope into the future, where he raised her to be a competent young hero in her own right.
Although she was never named in Deadpool 2, Cable’s wife, who was played by Hayley Sales, also made a brief appearance in a flashback. In the Marvel Universe, Cable has had two wives, and both of them met early ends. His first wife, Aliya Dayspring, was created by Fabian Nicieza and Art Thibert in 1993’s Cable #1, and she ultimately perished in battle. After Cable adopted Hope years later, Cable married a woman named Hope in 2008’s Cable #7, by Duane Swierczynski and Ariel Olivetti. After they raised young Hope together for a few years, the elder Hope perished, and Cable officially named Hope in honor of her late adoptive mother.
While a handful of eagle-eyed fans noticed that X-Force had an invisible member in Deadpool 2′s trailers, Brad Pitt’s Vanisher was still a surprise when he appeared in the movie. For most of his time onscreen, he was completely invisible, but audiences got a quick glance at his face while he was being fatally electrocuted by some power lines. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1963’s X-Men #2, the Vanisher was the second villain the X-Men ever faced. While his cinematic counterpart was invisible, the curiously-named Telford Porter was, naturally, a mutant teleporter in comics. After appearing in a few stories during the earliest days of the X-Men, the Vanisher only made a handful of appearances over the next several decades.
Like Pitt’s Vanisher, the Vanisher also served with X-Force in comics for a brief time. After being captured by the team, Porter was forced to join the group in 2009’s X-Force #11, by Craig Kyle, Chris Yost, Clayton Crain and Alina Urusov. He was basically X-Force’s chief mode of transportation until he seemingly perished and returned to a life of low-level crime. It’s also worth noting that Pitt portrayed the vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac in Interview With A Vampire, a 1994 movie that was part of a running joke throughout Deadpool 2.
9. STAN LEE
Unlike most other movies based on Marvel’s characters, Deadpool 2 didn’t actually feature an appearance from Stan Lee. However, that doesn’t mean that his presence was totally absent from the film. While Lee played a DJ in 2016’s Deadpool, the Marvel icon appeared as a bystander on the street in the David Leitch-directed Deadpool 2 teaser that ran in front of 2017’s Logan. While his part was cut out of the theatrical version of the teaser, it was included when the brief scene was released online.
Taking a note from Marvel’s Netflix shows, Deadpool 2 includes a few other images of Lee throughout the movie. In shows like Daredevil and Luke Cage, Lee makes fleeting appearances in advertisements as the N.Y.P.D.’s Captain Irving Forbush, a version of the old Marvel comedy hero Forbush Man. While Lee wasn’t named in Deadpool 2, a large mural of Lee could be seen painted on the side of a building during the movie’s prison truck sequence. Earlier on in the movie, a bust of Lee could be seen for a few seconds while Deadpool was walking through the X-Mansion. Naturally, Deadpool broke the bust while he was goofing around in Professor X’s motorized wheelchair.
In the X-Men’s world, nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Seemingly lifeless objects like Cerebro and the Danger Room can eventually become sentient characters who attack the X-Men. On a similar note, the artificial intelligence that operated Cable’s futuristic technology also became a character, and Cable’s self-admitted best friend, in comics. In Deadpool 2, Cable’s A.I. just seemed like a souped-up Siri that helped Cable modify his weaponry and get information about the past, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t follow the unlikely path of its comic book counterpart.
In the Marvel Universe, Cable’s digital assistant played a much more meaningful role in his life. The A.I. initially debuted as the operating system on a Celestial spaceship in 1988’s X-Factor #24, by Louise and Walter Simonson. When an infant Cable was infected with a Techno-Organic Virus that started turning him into a machine, the ship’s A.I. merged with Cable to save his life. As Cable traveled back-and-forth through time, the A.I., which became known as the Professor, remained Cable’s most steadfast traveling companion. In 1994’s X-Force #39, by Fabian Nicieza and Tony Daniel, the Professor jumped into a nearby robot body and took the name Prosh. Although Cable was initially overjoyed, Prosh’s presence began to make Cable’s T.O. Virus more severe. In a heart-breaking moment, Prosh saved Cable’s life by leaving Earth and rocketing into space. After a few years, Prosh even helped a group of space-traveling X-Men in the 2001 series X-Men Forever before flying off into obscurity.
In both comics and film, Zeitgeist just can’t catch a break. In Deadpool 2, Bill Skarsgård’s X-Force member had the mutant ability to spit out acidic vomit that could burn through anything it touched. After the film’s ill-fated parachute sequence, he was unfortunate enough to fall into a woodchipper and see his powers explode onto the well-meaning Peter in his final moments. While that might seem like a needlessly cruel fate, it’s actually a more dignified end than his comic book counterpart met.
Zeitgeist was created by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred in 2001’s X-Force #116. After those creators were brought in to completely revamp the comic, Axel Cluney was positioned as the leader of an all-new, all-different X-Force. While the team had usually been a militaristic team of outlaws, Zeitgeist’s X-Force was a team of celebrity heroes who starred in their own reality TV show. Despite the fame, Zeitgeist despised his fans and obsessed over the team’s battle tactics. While trying to rescue a kidnapped boy band, Zeitgeist and his team were ambushed. After a brutal attack from a heavily-armed helicopter, Zeitgeist and most of his team perished in a shockingly violent sequence. While this controversial sequence made headlines within the comic book industry, it was the perfect way to kick off X-Statix, the dark superhero satire that Milligan and Allred’s X-Force evolved into.
6. IRENE MERRYWEATHER
Near the beginning of Deadpool 2, Firefist debuted when his fiery outburst made it onto a TV news report. In a blink-and-miss-it moment, a news reporter identified herself as Irene Merryweather. While she only made a fleeting appearance onscreen, Irene played a fairly big role in Cable’s life for several years in the Marvel Universe. Irene was created by James Robinson and Jose Ladronn in 1997’s Cable #48, near the beginning of their criminally underrated run on the series. Initially, Irene was a reporter for a tabloid newspaper called The Inquiring Eye. While she was investigating a secret society of mutant elites called the Hellfire Club, Cable saved her life, and he hired her to be his official biographer.
After she began working for The Daily Bugle, Irene continued to work as Cable’s public connection to the rest of the world. When Cable formed his own island nation, Providence, in the mid-2000s, Irene helped him run the country, despite some reservations about his stability. Around then, she also grew friendly towards Deadpool. After Irene spent several years out of the spotlight, her friendship with Deadpool took a cruel, ironic twist. In 2018’s Despicable Deadpool #292, by Gerry Duggan and Matteo Lolli, Deadpool was manipulated into assassinating Irene on the orders of Cable’s evil clone, Stryfe.
5. MATT DAMON AND ALAN TUDYK
In one of Deadpool 2‘s stranger moments, the first people who Cable encountered when he time-traveled to the present day were having an incredibly detailed conversation about toilet paper. In a scene that recalls the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator first appeared in the present-day, Cable walked up to two yokels, knocked them out and stole their truck. Both of those unlucky yokels were played by some surprising actors. One of those men was played by Alan Tudyk, who portrayed a similar character in the cult-favorite 2010 horror comedy Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil. For sci-fi fans, Tudyk might be most familiar for his role as the pilot Wash in the fan-favorite series Firefly, where he starred alongside Deadpool 2‘s Morena Baccarin.
In another totally unexpected A-list cameo, the other yokel was portrayed by Matt Damon, who was completely unrecognizable with a large beard. In the film’s credits, Damon was also credited as “Dickie Greenleaf,” which is a reference to The Talented Mr. Ripley, a 1999 thriller that Damon also starred in. While the actor has been rumored for numerous superhero roles over the years, this marks Damon’s second comic book movie cameo in the past few months. Damon also made a surprise appearance in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok. In that Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, Damon portrayed an Asgardian actor who appeared as Loki in a very dramatic retelling of Thor: The Dark World.
4. THE MUTANT RESPONSE DIVISION
Even though Deadpool 2 doesn’t have a ton in common with the other X-Men movies, it still features some anti-mutant forces that should be familiar to longtime X-Men fans. Early on in the film, Deadpool and Firefist are detained by the D.M.C., a division of the Mutant Response Division. The M.R.D. is a government-sanctioned mutant-hunting organization that was initially created for the 2009 cartoon Wolverine and the X-Men. Shortly thereafter, the M.R.D. was brought into comics, where it was a United Nations-sanctioned organization tasked with capturing mutants around the world.
Two of the places where mutants were held against their will in Deadpool 2 also have comic book roots. Deadpool, Firefist and Juggernaut were held in a prison called the Ice Box, a Canadian facility that held super-powered inmates. The prison’s first and only comic book appearance occurred in 1998’s Maverick #8, by Jorge Gonzalez and Jim Cheung. Before Firefist was imprisoned there, he was also held against his will at the Essex House for Mutant Rehabilitation. That facility almost certainly has a connection to the major X-Men villain Mister Sinister. Although Nathaniel Essex hasn’t appeared onscreen yet, the twisted mutant geneticist was teased in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse and 2017’s Logan. On a similar note, Sinister secretly operated a few orphanages in the Marvel Universe, including the one that the X-Men’s Cyclops grew up in.
One of the biggest surprises in Deadpool 2 was the Juggernaut. Since he was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1965’s X-Men #12, the Juggernaut has been one of the strongest villains in the Marvel Universe. In Deadpool 2, he lived up to that fearsome reputation by forcing Deadpool, Cable and the X-Men to work together to bring him down in the film’s climax. Like his comic book counterpart, this gargantuan villain had a serious grudge against his step-brother, Charles Xavier. While it’s not clear where he drew his power from in the film, the Juggernaut is usually mystically-powered by the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak in the Marvel Universe.
As Deadpool 2 screenwriter Rhett Reese told CBR, Ryan Reynolds voiced the Juggernaut and did facial motion capture for the CGI-heavy villain. However, the Juggernaut’s face was largely obscured in the movie, since he kept his trademark helmet on to keep Xavier from telepathically attacking him. Even though Vinnie Jones played the Juggernaut in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, that version of the character earned a mixed critical response from fans and critics. Along with his partner-in-crime Black Tom, the Juggernaut was one of the first villains Deadpool fought in his solo comic book adventures in the mid-1990s.
Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool have a lot in common. Both characters love sharp weapons, have mutant healing factors and worked for the Weapon X Program in 2009’s tepidly-received X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Even though Jackman didn’t film any new material for Deadpool 2, his presence was felt throughout the film. In the first shot of the movie, Deadpool could be seen building a model of Wolverine’s final moments from 2017’s Logan while commenting on that movie’s R-rating. A few scenes later, Deadpool crashed into a kitchen where a boy was eating a bowl of Wolverine-branded breakfast cereal.
Still, Deadpool’s most meaningful interaction with Wolverine occurred in Deadpool 2‘s post-credits scene. After Deadpool used Cable’s time machine to travel back to the events of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, he came face-to-face with Wolverine through the use of archival footage and creative editing techniques. In that film’s original climax, Wolverine battled an uncharacteristically silent version of Deadpool who had been brainwashed by the Weapon X Program. In Deadpool 2′s revised version of that scene, a time-traveling Deadpool finished off that version of the character right in front of Wolverine. In response, Logan only offered a puzzled look as Deadpool explained that he was just fixing the timeline.
1. X-MEN ORIGINS: DEADPOOL
While Deadpool 2 was filled with inside jokes and self-aware meta-commentary, the final moments of the film took those ideas to a whole new level. After being given a functioning time machine, Reynolds’ Deadpool went back in time to fix the biggest mistakes in his cinematic life. First, he saved the life of Morena Baccarin’s Vanessa and Rob Delaney’s Peter, who had perished earlier in the film. Then, he traveled to the previously-mentioned X-Men Origins: Wolverine scene, where he wiped out the first cinematic version of Deadpool.
At the start of X-Men Origins, Reynolds’ Wade Wilson was a quick-witted assassin who seemed like he was being set up to become Deadpool. By the end of that movie, Reynolds’ character had been transformed into a bizarre version of Deadpool with no mouth and a bevy of powers including optic blasts, teleportation and giant sword-like claws in his arms. Since that character disappointed and confused fans, Reynolds’ time-traveling Deadpool went back in time to wipe that character from existence. In an even more self-aware twist, Deadpool traveled back in time again to stop Ryan Reynolds from taking a role as the DC Comics hero Hal Jordan in 2011’s dismally-reviewed Green Lantern. Even though his time-traveling shenanigans didn’t do anything to help the X-Men’s convoluted cinematic timeline, Deadpool still found a way to symbolically right some of the biggest wrongs in superhero movie history.
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