X-Men Movies VS Comics: ‘Deadpool 2’ Edition
One thing that helps Deadpool 2 stand out from the original film is the introduction of many lesser known X-Men characters on the big screen. And yes, all those weird ‘X-Force’ characters are from the comics. For those who wanted a guide we’re here to help!
Oh, and spoilers. So, so many spoilers.
Like, all the spoilers.
Played by Ryan Reynolds
The Movie: Wade Wilson is a soldier turned soldier of fortune turned man dying of cancer. Having recently found true love with Vanessa he takes his chances with a dubious underground project that can cure him and give him super powers. This turns out to be a half truth and they’re looking to make Wilson a super-powered slave. After being horribly disfigured and given the ability to recover from any wound Wilson destroys the project facility and hunts down those involved. In the sequel he attempts to join with X-Men before losing patience with their non-killing ways. Instead he seeks purpose protecting young mutant Russell from Cable.
What separates Deadpool out from other comic characters is his awareness of being a comic and movie character. This often leads to him addressing the audience directly and making references to movies and trends that don’t exist within his universe, including referencing Josh Brolin playing both Cable and Thanos.
The Comic: Deadpool was introduced as a fast-talking mercenary and straight-up back guy, one of many attempts by artist Rob Leifeld to create his own ‘Wolverine’. He was one of many ridiculously serious bad-ass characters with bundles of swords and guns. It was much later in his publication history that writers leaned into the character’s quirks and made him aware of his comic book nature. He converses with different narrators – the ‘yellow boxes’ – and also addresses the audience directly. His backstory is much more vague in the comics and the character hasn’t gone through as much development. A heterosexual relationship isn’t the core of the character’s motivation either and he’s confirmed as pansexual in the comics, later marrying Lady Death. In terms of powers Deadpool has obtained a number of devices that allow him to teleport and project holograms.
Played by Josh Brolin
The Movie: We get introduced to ‘Cable’ in his own time, some point in the future. He’s standing over the burned remains of his family looking cranky. He uses a handheld device to travel back to the current time to avenge his family by killing their killer whilst he’s still a child. Cable is a cyborg, a human with robotic parts which cover most of left side. He doesn’t appear to have any super powers, instead relies on his futuristic technology to build elaborate firearms.
The Comic: Ho boy, here we go…
Following the death of Jean Grey during the Dark Phoenix Saga, Cyclops meets and falls in love with a woman who appears to be Jean’s double, Madelyne Pryor. It is later revealed that Madelyne is a clone of Jean Grey created by Mr. Sinister, but not until after she and Cyclops marry and have a son named Nathan. When infant Nathan is infected with a techno-organic virus by Apocalypse he is taken into the far future to be kept alive, although later Cyclops and Jean travel to future to raise him and teach him to use his telekineses to keep the techno-virus from taking over his body and turning him into a mechanical being. Obviously.
After living a long, war-torn life we see Nathan, now known as ‘Cable’, travels back in time to try and prevent his grim future from coming to pass. He joins the New Mutants as their new leader and reforms them into X-Force, a paramilitary unit to battle against threats to mutantkind. Not long after this Cable appears to be killed by Stryfe, his evil clone from the future, but comes back. Cable typically carries a huge arsenal of futuristic guns and knives and access to teleportation technology. Although he is telekinetic he generally doesn’t utilise this ability as it risks his virus spreading.
Yeah. It’s a whole thing.
Played by Zazie Beetz
The Movie: Domino becomes of the key recruits in Deadpool’s X-Force team, describing her powers as being ‘lucky’. Deadpool initially dismisses this because ‘luck’ isn’t a power and isn’t visually interesting enough for a movie. Domino is unfazed and generally has a cheerful and optimistic attitude and provides Deadpool with some serious back-up and, well, everything goes her way. Her power essentially plays out like a death scene in Final Destination, a series of coincidences that line up to favour Domino’s required outcome even if she doesn’t know what that is at the time. It’s revealed later in the film that Domino spent her childhood being tortured at the Essex Institute.
The Comic: Domino, or Neena Thurman, first appeared as a member of X-Force and old colleague of Cable. Like all Leifeld character’s she’s an improbable badass whose powers were not well established into later in their run. Her powers are essentially the same across the comics and movie in that luck tends to favour her, although it’s more subtle in the comics. Comic Domino has a grim back story involving a government breeding program to develop living weapons. A few months after her first appearance it was revealed that ‘Domino’ was actually shapeshifter ‘Copycat’ – who was also Deadpool’s girlfriend Vanessa. The real Domino would later be rescued and become a member of the team.
Played by Julian Dennison
The Movie: Russell ‘Firefist’ Collins is a young mutant who is held at the Essex Institute who is brought to the X-Men’s attention during a public super-powered outburst. When the X-Men, along with trainee member Deadpool, arrive on the scene to bring Firefist in but they struggle to calm him down. Deadpool realises that Firefist has been physically abused and attacks members of the Essex Institute, leading to them both being arrested and sent to prison that housed dangerous mutants. Initially Firefist wants to befriend Deadpool, but is spurned. It’s only after Cable attacks the prison in an attempt to kill Russell, and Russell teams with Juggernaut, that Deadpool resolves to help him. The main plot of the film involves Deadpool trying to convince Russell to not follow a path of vengeance before Cable kills him. Russell is a hot-tempered and naive young mutant who, in spite of his ability to summon and control fire, struggles to stand up for himself and connect with others.
The Comic: This is the character most removed from his comic book source. ‘Rusty’ Collins is introduced as an older teenager who is from Oklahoma rather than New Zealand. He’s a member of the US Navy since the age of 16 and first manifests his fire ability while on shore leave. His ability appeared when he was becoming intimate with a woman, resulting in her being severely burned. This incident turned Rusty into a fugitive who is taken in by X-Factor, at the time posing as mutant hunters, and later joins the New Mutants and later the criminal Mutant Liberation Front with his girlfriend Skids. Later Rusty and Skids travelled to ‘Avalon’, a sanctuary for mutants lead by Magneto, where he’d be killed by Holocaust. Rusty’s ability to create and control fire is as it appears in the movie, but the name ‘Firefist’ only appeared one time in publication history.
Voiced by Stefan Kapičić
The Movie: This key member of the X-Men comes from Russia and has a metallic skin, making him essentially invulnerable and immensely strong. We often see Colossus at the mansion, mentoring young students and trainees and attempting to recruit Deadpool with the intent to set him right. Colossus is a gentle soul, always looking to resolve conflict non-violently and emotionally invested in his work. He also appears to be an unwilling participant in a homoerotic relationship with Deadpool.
The Comic: Piotr Rasputin lived in a farming community in the Soviet Union before being recruited into the second wave of X-Men. Unlike the movie Colossus can shift between his human and metallic forms at will. The movie actually captures his personality very well, as Rasputin is often depicted as a painter and family focused, particularly caring for his much younger sister Illyana.
NEGASONIC TEENAGE WARHEAD
Played by Brianna Hildebrand
The Movie: Negasonic Teenage Warhead is an amazingly named trainee at the X-Mansion being mentored by Colossus. She’s brash and unfazed by Deadpool’s threats and insults. She has the power to generate powerful explosive blasts. In Deadpool 2 she appears to have become promoted to full member of X-Men and is dating Yukio.
The Comic: Ellie Phimister has telepathic and precognitive powers. She appears in a class being taught by Emma Frost on island nation Genosha. Here predicts a devastating attack shortly before it occurs, an attack that kills thousands of mutants including Phimister. Frost explains to rescuers that she choice the codename Negasonic Teenage Warhead herself, taking it from a song by Monster Magnet.
Yeah, she has nothing to do with her movie counterpart. Fun fact: Marvel gave Fox permission to change the character’s powers and personality in exchange for using Ego the Living Planet in the MCU.
Played by Terry Crews
The Movie: Bedlam is one of the recruits to Deadpool’s X-Force. He has the power to disrupt electrical systems, even the ones in people’s brains in order to cause panic or anxiety. Plus he’s Terry Crews so he’s also massively strong and super charismatic. Then he gets splattered on a bus.
The Comics: Jesse Aaronson aka Bedlam was a late addition to the original X-Force, meeting up with the X-Force while they’re fugitives. Bedlam has the same powers as in the movie, disrupting electrical systems and being able to detect electrical fields in a given area. After some meddling by the high evolutionary Bedlam also gains the ability to disrupt electrical systems in people’s brains. Bedlam is much younger in the comics and not as muscular (because few people are) as his movie version, and takes a course of anti-psychotic medications to manage his mental health concerns.
Played Lewis Tan
The Movie: Another member of X-Force, Shatterstar presents himself as an alien from the planet Mojoverse who is ‘better than you at everything’. He comes equipped with swords and a weird helmet and, in the first mission, gets his ridiculous hair in his eyes during a parachute jump resulting in being diced by helicopter propellers. It’s worth noting that he has green, alien blood.
The Comics: Shatterstar was introduced during the transition between ‘New Mutants’ and ‘X-Force’ and was yet another Rob Leifeld attempt to create an ultimate badass character, this time modelling him after Longshot. In the comics he has advanced strength, agility and the ability to heal by…moving his organs around? Something like that. He also has the power to put his hair in plaits and a ponytail and a mullet simultaneously. The Mojoverse is an alternate universe rather than an alien planet, and Shatterstar has red blood. Shatterstar also wields swords with two blades parallel to each other for some reason. Like many Leifeld creations he was given more purpose and personality after Leifeld left and was one of the first openly gay characters in Marvel continuity.
Played by Brad Pitt
The Movie: The fourth member of X-Force is not actually seen on screen up until he is electrocuted and killed during the first mission. It would seem that he cannot change from his invisible form as he spends the movie totally invisible and silent up until his death where he is revealed for a brief moment.
The Comics: The Vanisher has a long history in the X-Men comics, appearing in the second published issue in 1963. Unlike his movie counterpart who is invisible, comics Vanisher is a criminal who can teleport, allowing him to ‘vanish’ from the crime scene. He would resurface from time to time, often as a the leader of a crime organisation, but his full story has never been delved into. It would appear that he doesn’t have the intelligence of viciousness to succeed in the world of crime and often recruits gangs of youths to work for him.
Played by Bill Skarsgård
Yes, that the best picture I could find of him in the movie.
The Movie: The final member of X-Force is a cocky young fighter with the ability to spew acid. We don’t learn anything else about him before the first mission where he accidentally parachutes into a wood chipper.
The Comics: Zeitgeist is the leader of the second version of X-Force created as part of an initiative to create a media and celebrity focused mutant group. Axel Cluney’s powers manifested when he was kissing a girl and he vomited acid on her face. As leader of X-Force he lives a decadent celebrity life while wearing a protective mask over his mouth. The group beset by in-fighting and attempts to increase their celebrity, but most of the founding members are killed in their first published mission. Zeitgeist himself has the bulk of his torso blown away by helicopter fire. The movie is pretty accurate in that they’re both pretty insubstantial.
Played by Shiori Kutsuna
The Movie: Yukio is a new member of X-Men and is introduced as Negasonic Teenage Warhead’s girlfriend. She is a cheerful counterpoint to Negasonic’s stern personality, and hits it off with Deadpool almost immediately. Whilst she isn’t given a great deal of screen time she shows that she has advanced martial art skills and electricity based powers. At the end of the movie she helps Negasonic fix Cable’s time travelling device.
The Comics: Yukio first appeared in the ‘Wolverine’ solo series. She’s an ally and former lover of Logan who takes care of a young child Wolverine adopted in Japan. She isn’t super-powered but is a highly skilled ninja and thief, and her devil-may-care attitude puts her in good stead with Wolverine.
The character also appeared on screen in The Wolverine with precognitive powers. This version of the character appears to be unrelated, although they do share a similar hair style and colouring.
BLACK TOM CASSIDY
Played by Jack Kesy
Couldn’t get a pic of this guy in character…have a random pic instead.
The Movies: Whilst Wade and Russell are imprisoned they run afoul of gang leader ‘Black’ Tom Cassidy, which leads to a number of racially based one-liners from Deadpool. As the characters are unable to use their powers during this sequence we never see what Black Tom’s abilities are, and he’s killed during Deadpool’s attack on the prison transport trucks.
The Comics: Black Tom Cassidy is the cousin to X-Men veteran Banshee and partner in crime of Juggernaut. The two met in prison and worked together on a number of missions, largely centred around trying to defeat Banshee. His powers allow him to blast energy through a wooden medium so he’s often scene carrying a wooden cane to facilitate this.
Played by himself
Yeah, the only picture available is Colossus punching him in the helmet.
The Movie: Juggernaut is befriended and then freed from the mutant prison by Russell and is exactly want you’d want. He’s bloody huge, crazy levels of strong, wears a dome and runs through walls. They got him right this time. He even dropped a mention of being step-brothers with Xavier.
The Comic: Yeah, pretty much that. Except for him not being a mutant. Juggs is without a doubt the best known non-mutant character in X-Men. While fighting in the Korean War alongside Xavier, Cain Marko finds the magical Gem of Cyttorak which turns him into the unstoppable Juggernaut. He donned the helmet primarily to stop his step-brother from invading his mind.