‘Deadpool’: The Comic Book References You May Have Missed

Deadpool is still making headlines for a veritable boatload of reasons right now. Hollywood is still trying to figure out what to take away from its record-breaking opening weekend, and meanwhile, fans are trying to decipher the details behind the already-green-lit sequel. Aside from all this, the one big task for fans and critics alike has been extracting the various Easter-Eggs and comic book references from the movie, of which there are plenty.

Deadpool‘s comic books are jam-packed with offhand mentions about other characters. At its core, it’s a meta-commentary on the superhero genre, giving it a wide berth to make fun of any and everyone in the Marvel universe. The movie didn’t disappoint in that regard, dealing out a series of sly references aimed directly at those in the know. Because of the insider appeal of many of these jokes, we’re going to break down the most significant of the bunch so that you too can be in on the action.

1. Green Lantern

Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern

Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern | Source: Warner Bros.

Deadpool wasn’t Ryan Reynolds’s first (or even second) attempt at a comic book movie. His initial try at a lead role came with DC/Warner Bros., as the titular hero of 2011’s Green Lantern. The movie was widely panned as one of the biggest misses in the history of DC or Marvel films, with Deadpool acting as Reynolds’s chance at redemption. Knowing this, it wasn’t short on references to the DC hero.

The first mention came in the opening credits, as we saw a Green Lantern trading card flying out of the wallet of a baddie in slow motion. The second was a little more subtle, with Wade Wilson asking to have his super-suit “not be green… or animated.” As many fans know, the suit featured in Green Lantern was inexplicably CGI-heavy, a mistake that Reynolds outwardly didn’t want to make again.

2. X-Men references galore

X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class | Source: 20th Century Fox

It wouldn’t be a Deadpool movie without a mountain of X-Men mentions. It’s a list that’s fairly long, especially for a film that featured two members of Charles Xavier’s team of mutants backing up the merc with a mouth. Here are the main ones we caught.

  • Frequent Hugh Jackman mentions, based on Deadpool’s penchant for relentlessly making fun of Wolverine in the comics.
  • “McAvoy or Stewart? The timelines are so confusing,” referring to James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart, the two actors who’ve traditionally played Charles Xavier in all the X-Men movies.
  • “Tell Beast to stop sh-tting on my lawn” — Not all that subtle, in reference to the blue-furred mutant Beast of past X-Men movies (played by both Nicholas Hoult and Kelsey Grammar at various stages in the timeline).
  • The X-Men mansion: Deadpool aptly points out that the X-mansion seems suspiciously empty save for Colossus and Negasonic, correctly opining that “the studio must not have been able to afford more X-Men.” We also get a mention of the mansion seemingly blowing up all the time, something that occurs in virtually every X-Men movie.

3. X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Deadpool in X-Men Origins, 20th Century Fox

Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine | Source: 20th Century Fox

With Origins, we have superhero movie so terrible, that 20th Century Fox now just ignores its existence in the canonical X-Men universe. Deadpool though afforded the studio a perfect opportunity to set the record straight. The movie wasn’t shy about calling back to Origins on numerous occasions.

  • “My most prized possession,” said as Wade Wilson picks up an action figure of the Deadpool from Origins.
  • Ajax threatens to sew Wade’s mouth shut, a callback to Deadpool actually having the same done thing done to him in the Origins. 
  • When describing his military past to his friend Weasel, Wade looks back on it as a time he went to “exotic places to meet new, exciting people… and then kill them.” This is in fact a line of dialogue identical to one spoken in X-Men Origins. 
  • Weapon X: Known in the comics as the shady government organization that gave Wolverine his adamantium claws, it’s subtly implied that the Ajax is also working for that same program. Incidentally, they were also the ones who gave Copycat her shape-shifting powers. Why is that meaningful? Copycat’s alter ego is Vanessa Carlysle, a name shared by Wade Wilson’s girlfriend in Deadpool, who cryptically claims to have “played a lot of parts” in her life. 

4. Well-placed street signs

Deadpool Street Signs - 20th Century Fox

Deadpool | Source: 20th Century Fox

These ones went by a little faster than some of the other Deadpool Easter-Eggs, but they’re worth mentioning nonetheless. Above, you can see “Nicieza St” and “Fabian Rd,” and when combined, they form the name of the comic book co-father of Deadpool, Fabian Nicieza. In that same sequence, there’s also a flash of “Liefield St,” a reference to Rob Liefeld, the other creator behind the original comics. Liefeld also gets his very own cameo, appearing in the mercenary bar as Wade walks in for the first time.

5. “Famous Feige’s”

Marvel Comics

Source: Marvel Comics

The first time we see Wade Wilson sans the trademark red suit, he’s intimidating an unfortunate pizza boy. The scene itself is a direct copy of a similar sequence from the Deadpool comics, and in it, we see the “Famous Feige’s” pizza place Wade orders from is an unmistakable nod to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige. Of course, Deadpool is a 20th Century Fox production, but Feige still has a long history of producing Fox’s movies (including the first X-Men movie).

6. HYDRA Bob

HYDRA Bob - Deadpool, Marvel Comics

HYDRA Bob | Source: Marvel Comics

It took a while for this one to get noticed, namely because 20th Century Fox technically doesn’t have the rights to this character. But there’s a reason the minion Wade recognizes as “Bob” in the climactic end battle is included. In the comics, HYDRA Bob is a frequent friend and ally to Deadpool, as a low-level HYDRA minion often called to Wade Wilson’s side for assistance. To get around the legal red tape, the movie stripped out the back-story, putting them on enough steady ground to avoid a lawsuit from Marvel Studios.

Follow Nick on Twitter @NickNorthwest

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