Deadpool: Where Do I Start?

He’s arguably the most successful new character introduced in the past twenty years at Marvel Comics, but if you told him that he’d probably brush it off AND be over-joyed all in one sentence. He’s Deadpool, the famous Merc with a Mouth who burst to life in the final issues of Rob Liefeld’s run on New Mutants and bounced around the House of Ideas with a manic grace and an outsider aesthetic, proving to be a loose cannon both in-story and outside of it.

His appearance in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine caused a resurgence in the character despite some changes to his movie persona, with Deadpool-ooza washing over the Marvel line for a number of months in 2010, including a peak time of three ongoing series (Deadpool, Deadpool Team-Up, Deadpool Corps.) and one month where he appeared on 20+ variant covers for different titles. Since then the buzz has died down, but Deadpool remains a key figure in the Marvel Universe.

For both his fans and his detractors, iFanboy has pulled together four go-to guides to get to know Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool.

Deadpool Classics, Vol. 1: What’s better way to get to know the Merc with a Mouth than by revisiting his earliest adventures. From his brief debut in New Mutants to his first two miniseries, you get a slice of life as big as your head. These early days show Deadpool in a pretty varied manner, but seeing comics greats like Mark Waid, Joe Madureira and Ed McGuinness take on the hero in his formative days make this a sure-fire pick.

Deadpool vs. The Marvel Universe: Like the Marvel equivalent of Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, Deadpool has walked, ran, shot and trapezed himself across the Marvel universe time and again. In this 2000s era collection, original co-creator Fabian Nicieza joins artist Reilly Brown as Deadpool goes face to face with Captain America, the Fantastic Four, Doctor strange, Wolverine and more (I didn’t really Deadpool had so many faces!)

Cable/Deadpool Vol. 1: If Looks Could Kill: Like spiritual brothers, these two Rob Liefeld creations go from mortal enemies to erstwhile allies in a long-running series that creates a whole new buddy pair-up to rival Booster Gold and Blue Beetle or Tango & Cash. With Cable’s drive to save humanity from a stark future, Wade Wilson acts a comedic foil to the one-eyed cyborg’s plan and also an unlikely hero at times.

Deadpool: Dead Head Redemption: This melting pot of creative forces sees over two dozen creators shoot out short stories of the Merc with a Mouth as fast as Deadpool can spout wisecracks. From Jason Aaron to original co-creator Rob Liefeld and more, these stories are the comic equivalent of Benny Hill’s “Yakety Sax” theme if played by a death metal band. Come for the comedy and violence, stay for the gun-toting mimes and first appearance of… fanman.


  1. I started with Deadpool VS. The Marvel universe, then went onto Daniel Ways run. I enjoyed it, but am taking a break from DP at the moment. A little goes a long way.

    • FUN GAME ALERT! Any time someone says “DP” as shorthand for “Deadpool”, pretend they’re actually talking about double penetration! I think Wade would approve…

  2. There’s only one thing to get started in Deadpool you need to hear, Joe Kelly.
    Then you can catch on to Cable/Deadpool.
    and if you can get your hands on the Christopher Priest run, i will pay off, it’s not only batshit crazy but also completly Deadpool unlike Ways current run.

  3. Also, the fantastic Agent X series written by Gail Simone. Because of the title, I think many people don’t realize that it is a Deadpool book.

    • Absolutely! But don’t forget her brief run on Deadpool proper right before Agent X. All great stories, hitting that perfect balance between insanity and pathos that only Joe Kelly was able to capture before her.

      Deadpool is a fantastic, fun and layered character in the right hands. Most folks write him as a one-note meta joke, though, which gets old almost immediately.

  4. I think the greater question is WHY do you start?


  5. You definately need to start with the Joe Kelly stuff – Deadpool #1 – #32 or or so – what 3rd Series? – That’s the meat and Pool-tatoes of the character. The “Classic” stuff – New Mutants, X-Force, and Series 1 & 2 are all OK if you need your fix, but the character really takes proper shape with Kelly.

    Priest hits upon a lot of great ideas and then iFanboy lovey Palmiotti takes a hard-boiled Brooklyn streets look at ‘Pool. Gail Simone had some great stuff – which Fabian Ni-cheesey-man also revisits in C/DP.

    Cable/Deadpool is a great book – and morphs at the end into Deadpool Vs Marvel Universe. I thought Way had a great take on ‘Pool in the Wolverine:Origins arc, but I think the new Way Series is only really hitting its stride now – though the Deadpool/Bullseye arc was also tops. By far my favorite “new” series was Merc with A Mouth – holy smokes, my friends – that was great. Great art, gags, zombies, zombie heads… you know it.

    Deadpool Max is a bit out-there.

  6. How about not starting anywhere?

  7. We should send Marvel a letter called Deadpool: when does it STOP?

  8. Deadpool MAX is easily the best Deadpool series ever. I’m surprised iFanboy doesn’t give it more love. (Doesn’t Ron champion Lapham sometimes???)

    I really loved the early Deadpool mini with Joe Mad art . . . . But I was 12 when I read that.

    Deadpool MAX is really the only Deadpool series that I can take seriously. It baffles me that iFanboy doesn’t get it.

  9. Joe Kelly’s Deadpool was pretty great;) But I’ve recently discovered that Remender is writing the ‘definitive’ version of the character. Trust me.