Take 5: We pick five essential Deadpool comic books you need to read

Over the weekend, something incredible happened. Deadpool, the first R-rated Marvel comic adaption to receive a wide release and critical acclaim, shattered several major box office records during its first three days of release. The records broken include biggest preview night for an R-rated film ($12.7 million), biggest single day sales for an R-rated film ($47.5 million), biggest President’s Day weekend box office ($135 million), and biggest opening weekend for an R-rated film of all-time ($135 million). It’s also now the film with the third-biggest opening of all-time for a non-sequel title (following Avengers and The Hunger Games). By comparison, Deadpool did better than the entire domestic theatrical run of 2011’s Green Lantern in just 72 hours.

With everyone seeing and talking about Deadpool we thought it might be a good idea to highlight some of the best stories from the Merc with the mouth’s life in comics. Deadpool has 25 years of plots and arcs behind him already, which can often appear daunting to newcomers, but thanks to his constant fourth-wall-shattering dialogue with readers it’s possible to jump into essentially any Deadpool comic and learn pretty much everything that is currently happening within seconds. That is one advantage neither Batman nor X-Men can match, and it makes Deadpool the perfect entry point for people who still feel largely unfamiliar with the world of comics outside movies.

Whether you get your comics from a store (hooray for supporting small businesses) or you read your books online (Marvel has a digital subscription service that is second-to-none), Deadpool adventures are easily found anywhere comic books are sold. There are currently four Deadpool titles in production, including Deadpool, Deadpool And The Mercs For Money, Spider-Man And Deadpool and Deadpool And Cable: Split Second. All these books are great, but if you are short on time/money we recommend Deadpool and/or Spider-Man And Deadpool. Both books only recently began, so newcomers can catch up in relatively no time at all.

If you want even more Deadpool (and of course you do), we have selected five of our favorite stories from Wade Wilson’s unbelievable history that we feel are essential Deadpool adventures. Some tales include zombies, while others feature things like a talking dolphin, a creature called Pandapool and more fun with multiverses than you can possibly imagine. It’s all told through the perspective of everyone’s favorite immortal mercenary, and though it should go without saying it’s not always a family-friendly adventure. Deadpool is strictly for teens and adults, as well as super-lucky kids with cool parents.

Deadpool Bi-Annual (Physical/Digital)


Written by funnyman Paul Scheer and Nick Giovannetti, the 2014 Deadpool Bi-Annual is the perfect example of just how hilariously outrageous Wade Wilson’s life can be. Deadpool is hired by WaterWorld to protect their theme park from activists, but he has no idea he’s going to wind up face-to-snout with Brute Force—protectors of the environment! This includes a rough-and-tumble bear, a talking dolphin and more.

Deadpool Kills Deadpool (Physical/Digital)


This title may throw you for a loop at first, but as a whole the arc serves to showcase the many variations of Deadpool that exist throughout the Marvel multiverse. You see, Deadpool is not just Wade Wilson, though that is how we know him in this universe. Other worlds in other timelines know of beings like Squirrelpool (half squirrel/half Deadpool), Dogpool (half dog/half Deadpool), Bearpool (you get the idea by now), etc. This story follows a malicious Deadpool from an alternate reality who has decided to wipe all other incarnations of Wade Wilson from existence (even fan favorites Kidpool, Dogpool and the new Pandapool), and the efforts of the original Deadpool to recruit every other version of himself (all wearing the same outfit, no less) to stop him. Sounds confusing, I know, but it’s a hilarious and often violent adventure you won’t soon forget.

Night Of The Living Deadpool (Physical/Digital)


Every great action franchise must eventually do battle against the undead, and Night Of The Living Deadpool offers fans of Wade Wilson exactly that. Set against a post-apocalyptic planet Earth, NOTLD finds Wade Wilson waking from a self-induced food coma to discover the zombie uprising has begun. In order to figure out the source of the outbreak and put a stop to the killing Deadpool must join forces with a group of survivors and face off against the hordes of the undead. There are less asides in this story than most Deadpool comics, but Wade has no problem running his mouth nonstop within the context of the story. The art, which uses just three colors (black, white and red) is unforgettable.

Dead Presidents (Physical/Digital)


Comedian Brian Posehn worked with Tony Moore and comic vet Gerry Duggan to bring Wade Wilson back to life when Marvel rebooted his comic in 2012. The first story in their run finds Deadpool facing off against ghost versions of America’s greatest minds, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Gerald R. Ford and Benjamin Franklin. The Marvel heroes cannot be see as the ones who defeated the former leaders of the free world, so they look for someone who has the skills, reputation and plausible deniability to handle the job. The answer, as you might suspect, is Wade Wilson. Hijinks and political punchlines soon ensue.

Funeral For A Freak (Physical/Digital)


The oldest story in this feature, Funeral For A Freak is the arc that explains how Wade Wilson came to be immortal. Deadpool told you of Wade’s healing abilities, which more or which came to be the same way they originated in the comics, but what the film fails to tell you is that immortality was not always a skill the merc with the mouth possessed. In fact, Deadpool’s immortality is no gift or skill at all. The reason Deadpool cannot die is because Thanos, the biggest bad guy in the Marvel universe, doesn’t want Wade to steal the affection of his girlfriend, Death. Yes, Death is a woman.