SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Deadpool 2, which debuted in theaters on Thursday night.
All throughout Deadpool 2, Wade Wilson and the other characters make countless references to notable comic books and superhero movies. Heck, even the opening credits alone reference James Bond, John Wick and Flashdance! So when Deadpool and Russell Collins (A.K.A. Firefist) both get sent to a special prison for super-powered beings called the Ice Box, you can better believe that it is an actual comic book reference.
Here's the thing, though -- it is such an obscure reference that it's referencing something that appeared in a single issue of a mostly-forgotten comic book from over two decades ago. Interestingly enough, however, it was first drawn by a current comic book superstar!
1997 was a weird time at Marvel Comics. With the publisher still in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings, Marvel's non-Spider-Man and non-X-Men superhero line was in rough shape. This is because in 1996, Marvel cut a deal with two of their former artists, Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld, to produce new comic books starring the Fantastic Four and the Avengers, who were written out of the regular Marvel Universe following the events of the Onslaught crossover.
With Lee's Wildstorm studio and Liefeld's Extreme Studios now handling Captain America, the Avengers, Fantastic Four and Iron Man, Marvel tried to keep their non-Spider-Man and non-X-Men line of comics going by introducing a number of new series using the superheroes they were still left behind on Earth, including Heroes for Hire, Quicksilver and Thunderbolts.
Another one of these books was taking Maverick, a German mutant hero who had fought along side Wolverine's side in the past, from the pages of X-Men and Wolverine and giving him his own standard superhero series.