SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Deadpool 2, in theaters now.
Deadpool’s comic book appearances have always had a certain irreverence to them, and the films have managed captured that spirit rather well. From mocking other superheroes and their movies to having some fun at his own expense, Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) will say anything to get a laugh. Deadpool 2 follows in its predecessor’s footsteps, finding the Merc with a Mouth once again breaking the fourth wall with abandon, dropping references and burns that would demolish continuity if they came out of anyone else’s mouth.
To celebrate ‘Pool’s free-for-all attack on the superhero genre, we’ve collected every mention of other live action comic book characters. In the end there proved to be so many of these one-liners, we ended up breaking them down into three major groupings: The MCU, the DCEU, and the X-Universe.
It makes sense to start with the X-Universe, since Wade is a part of it… sort of. We kind of have to use that caveat because the writers are clearly not too concerned with continuity. Case in point, the Deadpool movies are supposed to take place in the present, yet the cast of X-Men: Apocalypse makes a cameo – and that film is set the 1980s.
Regardless, the first victim in Wade’s roast is, of course, Wolverine. The film starts with Deadpool setting down a music box that has a Wolvie figure impaled on a metal spike, like the death scene from Logan. Then, as he’s blown to smithereens moments later he quips, “Fuck Wolverine. First he rides my coattails with the R-rating. Then the hairy motherfucker ups the ante by dying. What a dick. Well, guess what Wolvie? I’m dying in this one, too!” Not only is this a genuinely funny moment, it gets super metatextual by referencing how the success of the initial Deadpool movie made it easier for James Mangold to make the R-rated Wolverine film fans had always hoped for.
Later in the film, Wade is walking through the halls of a strangely empty X-mansion with Colossus and states, “You’d think the studio could throw us a bone. You can’t just dust off one of the famous X-Men? The putz with the giant pigeon wings?” This is obviously a reference to Angel, who he refers to as “pigeon wings” again toward the end of the film. When he uses Cerebro during his time at the School For Gifted Youngsters, he is actually dressed like James McAvoy’s Professor X, and notes the helmet smells like Patrick Stewart, who played Xavier in the first three X-Men movies.
At the Essex House, when the X-Men are trying to stop Russell’s tantrum, Deadpool gets blown into the orphanage. In the room he flies into is a young boy eating breakfast. He picks up the cereal box on the table and signs it. When the camera pauses momentarily on the box we can see the product is called Hero Flakes and features Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine on the front. The signature reads “Ryan Reynolds,” with a Deadpool logo beside it.
In the convoy/prison break scene, Pool Boy tries to deflect Cable aka Nathan Summers’ bullets with his katanas. While there is a lot of sword swinging, he just gets shot a bunch of times, an allusion to the scene in X-Men Origins: Wolverine where Wade does the same thing… but manages to accomplish the physically impossible feat.
Easily the best and most satisfying joke is in the after-credits when Wade goes back in time and assassinates the X-Men Origins: Wolverine version of Deadpool, aka Weapon XI, shooting the mouthless not-really-Deadpool in the head and then unloading most of a clip into him.
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