This morning marked the arrival of a new trailer for the highly anticipated Deadpool 2, and while we’ve known for a while that the sequel will feature X-Men characters Cable and Domino, there are more than a couple of characters in the trailers that haven’t been named -- until now. Today, we learned the codename of one of them: Bedlam, played by Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews.
If Bedlam doesn’t sound familiar to you, that’s... not a surprise, as he's not exactly an A-lister. With a "real" name of Jesse Aaronson, the character technically has two first appearances. Originally, he was one of a number of mutants introduced in the alternate reality known as "Age of Apocalypse," where he worked for the dystopian reality's Mister Sinister.
His Marvel Universe debut came a bit later, in 1995. Jesse had grown up experimented on as a teenager after his parents were killed when he was very young. Once he was rescued by Charles Xavier’s Mutant Underground Support Engine (aka M.U.S.E.), he stayed with them to train until he left at age 19 with the aim of tracking down his missing brother, who he was told was a figment if his imagination while he was in a psychiatric hospital as a teen.
With the help of X-Force member Domino, Jesse set out to find his brother and bring what little of his family back together. Unfortunately, it turned out that his brother Chris had become evil and used his powers of disrupting higher brain functions to call himself King Bedlam. The brothers came together with Chris’ new team of Hellions—rivals of various X-teams that have existed over the years—to blackmail the US government and reanimate Marvel Comics villain the Armageddon Man. They were stopped by X-Force, and Jesse returned to the team after the New Hellions escaped.
Bedlam’s body is constantly generating electromagnetic pulse energy. As a result, he has the ability to detect brainwaves and electrical energy, which he can then manipulate in a variety of way, such as being able to take out Iron Man’s armor. He can also affect a person's neural patterns enough to make them sleep or incredibly confused, and can even wipe memories on some occasions.
Jesse isn’t exactly a popular character; he was semi-prevalent in X-Force and adjacent comics back in the ‘90s, but the last time he was seen was back in 2003 in Uncanny X-Men #423. There, he was captured by the mutant hating group the Church of Humanity and crucified on the grounds of the Xavier Institute. The X-Men tried to save him, but his injuries were too severe, and he died.
While his inclusion in Deadpool 2 may seem puzzling, the makeup of Deadpool’s X-Force team seems to be pulling from as many eras as possible. With Crews being a big name actor, it wouldn’t entirely be surprising if the character suddenly returned in the comics, either in a new X-Force comic, or Domino’s upcoming solo book. Assuming he survives the film, it wouldn’t be surprising for him to show up in Fox's X-Force film as well.
Debuting May 18, director David Leitch’s Deadpool 2 stars Ryan Reynolds as the titular Deadpool, Morena Baccarin as Vanessa, T.J. Miller as Weasel, Leslie Uggams as Blind Al, Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Stefan Kapičić as Colossus, Zazie Beetz as Domino and Josh Brolin as Cable.