What Comics To Read Before Watching Deadpool


Even if you’re not that familiar with Deadpool — and it appears many people still aren’t, considering how many people yelled out “Spider-Man” when this writer went out last Halloween wearing a Deadpool mask — the irreverent marketing campaign and R rating should clue you in on the idea that his movie is going to be a very different kind of superhero flick.

Then again, if you read any Marvel comics, it would be difficult for you not to have read some Deadpool stories. The Merc With a Mouth has been to this decade what Wolverine was to the 90s: a character who pops up everywhere, from his own series (sometimes more than one at a time) to team books to guest appearances in other heroes’ titles.

Amazingly, we still haven’t seemed to reach peak Deadpool, or at least in keeping with his fondness for breaking the fourth wall, if fans have started to tire of him, he might simply not care. The point is that you can easily go out and grab some Deadpool comics before you see the movie if you want to familiarize yourself with the Regeneratin’ Degenerate.

That still might not be enough for you. What are the essential Deadpool comics to read before watching the movie, the ones that get down to the essence of what Wade Wilson is all about? It’s not easy to make that call for a character who thumbs his nose at continuity and consistent backstory, but we’ll do our best to give you a reading list.

Note that while we provide Amazon links for the sake of convenience, we always endorse hitting up your Local Comic Shop for any of these volumes. It’s also worth a look through Marvel Unlimited if you have an account there. Let’s get to it!

Deadpool Volume 3: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Collects: Deadpool Vol. 3 #13-19

Deadpool is a killer, but he still has a heart. Also other internal organs, which is part of the problem when evil forces decide they might be able to use Wade’s parts to help create their own enhanced assassins.

More importantly in relation to the Deadpool movie, this story by writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn and artists Scott Koblish and Declan Shalvey provides one of the best blends in the character’s history in terms of humor and serious stakes. Deadpool doesn’t have to yuck it up all the time, and he doesn’t here.

Oh, and Captain America and Wolverine show up. One of those heroes definitely won’t be in the film, while the other might be, at least in some form. Consider them just another fun hook if you needed one.

Deadpool Classic, Vol. 1

Collects: New Mutants #98, Deadpool: The Circle Chase, Deadpool: Sins of the Past Vol. 1 #1-4, Deadpool (vol. 1) #1

No reason not to go back to the very beginning. This collection includes Deadpool’s very first comic book appearance, his first mini-series and the very first issue of his initial ongoing series. Call it a proof of concept that the unique creation of Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza had staying power.

Supporting characters from the movie? You’ll find them in here, especially T.J. Miller’s Weasel and Morena Baccarin’s Vanessa. And the compilation ends with the very first time that writer Joe Kelly and artist Ed McGuinness team up, a pairing widely considered to be the best Deadpool has ever had. Those gentlemen are also doing the current Spider-Man/Deadpool series, which is highly recommended.

Deadpool: Wade Wilson’s War

One of the most interesting facets to Deadpool’s origin is that since he’s an unreliable narrator, fans still aren’t sure if the details of it are true. This miniseries by Duane Swierczynski and Jason Pearson takes that idea and runs with it. Like, all the way downfield.

During the course of the story, two different accounts of Deadpool’s backstory come out, and by the end, you still aren’t sure which one is true. It’s possible neither of them are. In fact, since this is Deadpool, that might even be likely.

This series isn’t canon either, as it’s not set in Marvel’s official continuity. Is the Deadpool movie set in the X-Men film continuity though? if those types of questions bother you, this might not be the superhero for you.

Next: See Where Deadpool Ranks Among the 50 Greatest Superheroes

These collections are honestly just the tip of a very large iceberg, because this dude has been in a lot of comics. Enjoy your reading, and have fun at the movie!