Deadpool 2 hasn't yet been announced - other than by Deadpool himself at the end of this year's movie. With Deadpool now officially the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time, however, word on the sequel can't be far off. Thus, Empire has been musing on possible antagonists for Wade Wilson next time. And we begin with the obvious...
This one’s a no-brainer: Deadpool himself promises Cable for the sequel in his Ferris Bueller-riffing post-credits shower scene, and director Tim Miller told Empire last year that “if we don’t put Cable in Deadpool 2 we’ll be run out of town on a rail”.
So who is he? Well for a start he isn’t a villain per se, but where Deadpool’s concerned that’s a grey area. Let’s say, from Deadpool’s warped perspective, Cable is a frequent antagonist, although he’s also an uncomfortable ally. One story saw Deadpool hired by a religious cult to steal a designer virus that would eradicate racism by making everyone the same colour. Cable, on the other hand, wanted to destroy the virus because of its side effect: it made people melt. That’s the sort of relationship they have. There’s a fractious odd-couple superhero buddy movie in there somewhere.
He’s the son of Cyclops and Jean Grey’s clone Madelyne Pryor (long story) and a sometime member of X-Men offshoots the New Mutants and X-Force. He’s a powerful telepath and expert marksman, but there was a point where he got on the wrong side of the X-Men when he developed a god complex and started trying to make humanity be nice to itself by force. Nobody likes an all-powerful dictator: even one with good intentions. You can just imagine Deadpool scolding him with Monty Python’s “not the messiah” line.
Proof if any were needed that Deadpool is his own worst enemy, T-Ray claims to be the real Wade Wilson. According to his version of events, Deadpool is actually a man called Jack, who stole his identity. And he doesn’t like “Jack”, because Jack was responsible for the death of his wife. Himself surviving a murder attempt at Jack’s hands, the newly monikered T-Ray turns himself into a master assassin and sorcerer, selling his soul to his “Dark Masters” along the way. As you do when you’re hellbent on revenge. Possibly. He then sets himself up as a mercenary and competes with Deadpool for jobs. He teamed up with Thanos at one point, which won’t be possible on screen because Thanos is already part of Disney’s Avengers universe. But Cable or Apocalypse (see below) could feasibly be swapped in.
As you might infer from the name, Hit-Monkey is a hit-man who’s also a monkey. He’s a Japanese Macaque, to be precise: one whose tribe took in a mysterious on-the-run assassin and were wiped out when the assassin’s pursuers came looking for him. Having studied the assassin’s training methods, he decides to walk the world with a bag full of guns as a killer of killers. Deadpool got on the wrong side of him in a three-issue mini-series in 2010. Activision announced the development of a Hit-Monkey videogame in 2013, but it turned out to be a hoax. The game was actually the Deadpool beat-em-up that came out last year.
Yer actual Grim Reaper: an anthropomorphic personification of death, and not much like the perky goth from Neil Gaiman’s DC Sandman comics. This one’s a sort of cosmic chess-player, not necessarily villainous, but often willing to manipulate worldly events for her own ends, particularly when it gives her the upper hand against her brother Eternity. Deadpool, uniquely among “sane” humans, can see her, and the two have a peculiar romance during his time of extended torture. But she forbids him from even kissing her unless he’s actually dead. So his opting to stay alive rather puts the kibosh on their affair. Various parties – Thanos and T-Ray included – have a vested interested in keeping Deadpool alive precisely to make his desired tryst with Lady Death impossible.
Another mercenary, and another occasional Deadpool friend as well as enemy: a “frenemy”, if you will. His real name is Tony Masters, and his power is to be able to perfectly mimic the fighting style and ability of any non-superpowered combatant he comes across (or watches on video: he can even do the moves super-fast if he watches the film speeded up). He can then sell the moves he’s learned to the highest bidder, and various criminal organisations have used him as a training instructor. He was also an Agent of SHIELD at one point, although that obviously won’t be happening in any Fox Deadpool movies. The exception to the above rule is Deadpool, who is, uniquely, too mental and unpredictable for Taskmaster to get a handle on.
Id the Selfish Moon
Yup, it’s an actual moon. Id appeared for three issues of Deadpool only, but we thought he was ridiculous enough to be worth mentioning. A satellite of the similarly sentient planet Ego, Id got bored in his home Black Galaxy, so pootled off on his own looking for more excitement. But the realisation that he and Ego were unique beings in the universe sent him mad, so he changed his agenda to destroying any societies enjoying a good time. One such was the planet Kegger 24-7, which found itself doomed by Id’s seismic waves. Another world to meet a similar fate was Ongulia, whose remaining inhabitants hired Deadpool to fight back on their behalf. Deadpool’s – ultimately successful – Id-killing strategy involved crop circles and a fission bomb.
An insane supervillain with a mutant healing factor, the future Madcap (real name unknown) was on a church outing when his bus crashed into a chemical tanker carrying one of those “compounds” that turns you into something else. Everyone but Madcap was killed in the accident, but after a prolonged wallow in the pool of ooze, Madcap emerged with his belief in a rational universe shattered. He dedicated himself to causing violent chaos thereafter. He’s basically Marvel’s Joker.
There was a point in the comics where Deadpool was certified insane and had loads of voices in his head. During this period, through various shenanigans, he and Madcap became fused, and Madcap became one of those voices. Until eventually Deadpool got himself torn in half by Thor and Luke Cage and became two separate people again. Subsequently, Madcap started impersonating Deadpool to cause trouble. Put Madcap and T-Ray in a Deadpool sequel together and you’ve potentially got three Wade Wilsons running around.
Nothing to do with the never-ending series of horror movies, Marvel’s Puppet Master is Phillip Masters. His deal is controlling people by turning them into puppets with radioactive clay and controlling them psychically. Like Taskmaster, he can’t get anything from Deadpool because of the Merc’s all-over-the-place mind. He learned this while attacking the investment company that screwed up his pension. Deadpool was on a team-up with Machine Man on that occasion. It didn’t go well. Machine Man was keen not to destroy anything so he could collect a bonus to buy alcohol. Deadpool was keen to destroy everything. They eventually managed to defeat Masters by lobotomising him with a laser and puppeteering him out of a high window.
Post-Josh Trank, Fox once again has a moribund Fantastic Four on its hands. But that does mean they still have the rights to Doctor Doom, and having now failed the metal-faced Latverian arch-dictator in two separate iterations, they could do worse than stick him in a different franchise. Toby Kebbell might even come back. Deadpool would have some stuff to say about that, we’re sure.
Doom and Deadpool have encountered one another in comic-book form on a number of occasions. There was some parallel universe stuff with a green-costumed Deadpool – called Deathwish – actually turning out to be Doom. And a bit more significantly, there was the crossover event Doomwar, in which Deadpool inveigled his way across the Latverian border by disguising himself as a gypsy called Ygor. He then stormed Castle Doom single-handed.
And with X-Men: Apocalypse almost upon us, it’s worth noting that Deadpool has encountered the super-mutant more than once in print. Does Apocalypse survive this movie? We don’t know yet. But if he turns out to be an ongoing antagonist in the X-franchise, and Deadpool is heading towards a crossover…
In the AXIS storyline, everything goes bass-ackwards: Deadpool is part of Magneto’s supervillain group that turns good, and he gets Apocalypse to go and fight the Avengers, who have turned evil. Meanwhile in another timeline, there’s Age Of Apocalypse, in which Deadpool becomes known as 'Dead Man' Wade, a curmudgeonly member of Apocalypse’s Pale Riders. Nightcrawler teleports Wade’s head off his body and hides it in a crater on this occasion. But it’s okay; he gets better.