Back Issue Review: First Appearance of Deadpool in New Mutants #98
Since he first burst into the Marvel Universe in 1991, Deadpool has grown in popularity and sales potential. As of the summer of 2014, Deadpool had three ongoing titles to his name (his regular title, his Deadpool vs. X-Force books, and Deadpool: Dracula's Gauntlet). He has also appeared in one Marvel movie (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, in 2009), and has a significant following on Twitter and Facebook that yearned so hard for a true Deadpool movie that they got one (starring Ryan Reynolds and set to hit theaters February 12, 2016). But what kind of an entrance did our Merc with a Mouth first make in the Marvel Comics Universe?
Thanks to the San Diego Comic-Con special put on by Marvel Unlimited (promo code SDCC14), this reviewer managed to track down all of the early Deadpool appearances and conducting "back-issue-reviews" on these seminal comics.
New Mutants #98 Cover-1st Appearance of Deadpool
Deadpool first showed up as a villain who has been hired by a Mr. Tolliver to assassinate Cable in New Mutants #98 (February, 1991). The first part of this book introduces a villain called Gideon, and lets us in on his plot to kill a man in Latin America who we later learn is the father of X-Force member Sunspot. After the Gideon pages, the comic turns to the mansion of the then-missing-and-presumed-dead X-Men, where we find mutant soldier Cable in the Danger Room helping young mutant Cannonball train for combat. Cable then goes to the mansion's library, where he is suddenly attacked by another new character dressed in red and black. The villain announces himself as Deadpool! This is the very first appearance of our Merc with a Mouth, and of course, Cable does not know him yet. While trying to kill Cable, Deadpool talks a lot (imagine that!) and openly reveals that he has been hired by a Mr. Tolliver to murder Cable. Deadpool, being the efficient merc that he is, came prepared to deal with the plethora of young, new mutants who come to aid Cable. Deadpool seems to have weapons and tactics to take out all his attackers, (Cannonball, Boom Boom, Rictor, Sunspot). Things are starting to look bad for our New Mutants (who would become X-Force in a couple of issues), until the fortuitous arrival of the deadly Domino!
Domino and Deadpool in New Mutants #98
New Mutants #98 is also Domino's first appearance, and her first act upon arriving is to stick several blades into Deadpool's back. As it turns out, Cable and Domino know each other, and he had invited her to join him in training up this force of new mutants. The last we see of Deadpool in this comic book, he is sitting up (hey, how come he didn't die from all those knives in his back?), talking smack, and trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey. He is later referenced when Domino asks Cable what he did with the would-be assassin. Cable replies that he mailed Deadpool back to Mr. Tolliver. Yup, mailed him back. Federal Express.
Deadpool and Cable in New Mutants #98
Not a very glorious beginning to the Deadpool career. On the bright side, though, we do see spatters of Deadpool's famously quick wit and twisted sense of humor.
New Mutants #98 introduced the three characters of Gideon, Deadpool, and Domino. The plot and art were by Rob Liefeld, and the dialogue was by Fabian Nicieza. Keep in mind, this was in the early 1990s, and the hair styles portrayed in the comics mirrored to a degree the horrible hairdos of the time period. Even with this in mind, reading this comic today was visually painful. Liefeld's style is cluttered, full of lines, and overly pouch-friendly. Nicieza's dialogue on this book was heavy-handed and overly melodramatic. If not for the 1st appearances of Deadpool and Domino (who is a pretty cool character), New Mutants #98 would be a very forgettable book. Thankfully, Deadpool moved on to better things, and Domino found a home as in X-Force and as an X-Man. And both she and Cable would go on to work with Deadpool in many future issues.
Be sure to check out other Deadpool articles in our insane Deadpool section.
Roger Lee is a life-long comic book and sci-fi aficionado. As such, he fell into the habit of writing about the superheroes and sci-fi scenarios that he reads in the comics and books and sees on screen. Since writings on superheroes need to be shared, he has written for web audiences for years. His writings have appeared on www.comicshistoryguy.com, www.comicbookmovie.com, www.bamsmackpow.com, and now in superheroreviews.com.