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Your Deadpool Starter Kit



Film-225Deadpool hits theaters like a grenade this weekend, which means it's (again) time for most of us to try to sound knowledgeable about a comic book character who isn't Batman, Spider-Man, or Wolverine.

Here are three things you need to know to demonstrate decent nerd cred, plus recommended reading for those who want a strong Deadpool starter kit.

  1. His nickname is the Merc with a Mouth. (It's quite a long nickname, so let's call it his nom de guerre instead.) Deadpool is a mercenary, willing to do all sorts of dirty deeds in exchange for cash, and he sometimes gets hired to do good deeds, like temporarily join the X-Men. The "mouth" part of his name is monumentally clear to anyone who's watched the film trailer.
  2. He breaks the fourth wall. This means that Deadpool talks directly to the audience/reader, which is an excellent way for the writers to increase the snark level by 1,000%.
  3. Deadpool fans have been waiting for this movie for years. Ryan Reynolds played Deadpool in the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and rumors went hot and cold for the next six years about whether the Merc with the Mouth (see how easy it is to just casually toss his nom de guerre into conversation?) was really getting his own feature film. Now the rumors will revolve around whether he's getting a sequel. Apparently the end credits of Deadpool help fan those flames.

 

So here's what you say when someone mentions Deadpool: "Oh, yeah, the Merc with the Mouth. Can't wait to see how he breaks the fourth wall in the film, which fans have been waiting for for years."

But c'mon—faking nerd cred is not nearly as satisfying as having genuine nerd cred. Below is our recommended reading list that will truly bring you up to speed:

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Deadpool Classic Vol. 1: A good introduction to those who are Deadpool novices, and it's fun to see how Deadpool changes from villain to, well, a jerk with good intentions. If you want just a taste of Deadpool instead of a full meal, this is a good place to start. Then you can later decide just how much Deadpool is enough Deadpool for you. (It'll never be enough!)
 

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Deadpool Omnibus, by Joe Kelly: Joe Kelly is universally acclaimed as the man who set a very high standard for Deadpool, using excellent writing to lift the Merc with a Mouth from being a one-joke character into someone who is far more complex. He's certainly not always a good guy—heck, he is the perfect definition of the antihero—but that's what makes his arc so fascinating. Yes, it's large and expensive, but it's pretty much a given that this is a must for serious fans.
 

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Deadpool Classic, Vol. 9: Gail Simone brings it with her dynamic writing and Udon studios delivers crazy-good art to this ninth volume of the Deadpool Classics (and you should read Volume 10 as well). Deadpool is infected by the Black Swan with a mind-eating virus, but he won't let that stop him (much). Includes some of the most straight-up hilarious moments in Deadpool-land, which is saying quite a lot given that humor is as essential to Deadpool's existence as breathing.
 

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Deadpool Classic, Vol. 11: Merc with a Mouth: Convinced yet that Deadpool is bonkers—in all the best ways? If not, grab this series in which Deadpool is sent on a mission to retrieve the severed head of zombie Deadpool and return it to the Marvel Zombies Universe. This collection has everything plus the zombie kitchen sink, including an appearance by Lady Deadpool.
 

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Deadpool & Cable Omnibus: This is the series that may or may not set you up for the Deadpool 2 film (if that ever happens), and it also contains references to the Marvel Civil War. (Pro tip: The plot lines of the Marvel Civil War comics and Civil War film do not completely mirror each other, so don't be a noob and refer to the film's plot like it's the comics' plot. It's not.) Deadpool & Cable unspools like a heartwarming buddy story, except the buddies are both badasses, often at each other's throats—and super funny.
 
 
Did we miss any essential Deadpool reads? Let us know.
 

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