When Deadpool was first introduced in New Mutants #98, the whole concept of the character was not just that he made wisecracks, but that he was deadly while making those wisecracks. He really was as if Spider-Man had turned evil. If Spider-Man seriously became evil, that would be bad for everyone involved and the same was true for Deadpool. He took on Cable and the New Mutants all at once and it was only the timely intervention of Domino that kept X-Force from being nipped in the bud before it even began. However, over the years, Deadpool has become so much of a joke character that people sometimes forget just how capable of a fighter he can be.
With this list, we will try to rectify that by showing you 20 of the most impressive comic book victories that Deadpool has ever had. We will try to stick mostly to some of the more name brand villains and heroes that he has defeated over the years, because it is not as impressive to say “He killed 50 Hydra agents.” You sort of expect him to do well against some hired help; but he has also defeated some very major superheroes! We will mostly be sticking to in-continuity comic book fights, with one major exception that was just too notable to ignore.
THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
As we mentioned in the intro, we are concentrating just on in-continuity victories, because once you get into out-of-continuity stories, all sorts of strange things happen and fights do not go the way that they normally “should,” because the writers are not restricted by the rules of the regular comic book universe. For instance, if you want to have the Punisher take out the entire Marvel Universe, that is actually something that could happen, despite the fact that there is no way that the Punisher could take out the entire Marvel Universe.
That was the basis for Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, where Deadpool gets manipulated by the Psycho-Man and essentially snaps, deciding to kill all of the superheroes in the world. All of these fights were very clever by writer Cullen Bunn, but a number of them also involved the superheroes doing just the wrong thing at just the wrong point in time to allow Deadpool to defeat them all. At the end of the series, Deadpool actually hunted down Bunn and series artist Dalibor Talajic to kill them, too. If you have seen panels of Deadpool killing superheroes, it is almost certainly from this comic or its recent sequel.
Naturally, as the two most popular characters in the X-Men Universe, Deadpool and Wolverine have faced off against each other a number of times. In fact, there was a brief period in time when Deadpool was not appearing in any comic books at all and he still made an appearance in a 1995 Wolverine Annual. Likewise, when Deadpool was going through another rough period in his comic book career, he made a guest appearance in a multiple issue arc of Wolverine: Origins that went over so well that the writer of the series, Daniel Way, soon launched a new Deadpool ongoing series. Deadpool has not been without a series since!
In the Wolverine: Origins fight, Deadpool put his healing factor and Wolverine’s healing factor to the test by going through a series of classic Looney Tunes-esque attacks that eventually left them stuck to each other, with Deadpool holding a gun to Wolverine’s head while Wolverine had his claws in Deadpool’s guts. Deadpool shoots and he woke up first, thereby winning the fight. Later, though, we learned that Wolverine was assuming he would be defeated by Deadpool because Wolverine knew his true target, his son, Daken, would show up to try to kill Wolverine once Deadpool won. It was Wolverine who arranged a payment to Deadpool to capture Wolverine!
When Deadpool finally got an ongoing series in 1997 from Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness, their opening story arc saw Deadpool having to come to terms with his healing powers suddenly going away. This was made very evident when his hand was sliced off in a fight! Deadpool corralled Killebrew, one of the scientists that had experimented on Deadpool back in the day in the complex where Deadpool first gained his healing power and his disfigured look. Killebrew negotiated his safety Deadpool by letting him know that he could fix Deadpool’s healing problems.
The catch was that Deadpool would need to get a vial of Hulk’s blood. So Deadpool had to defeat the Hulk… without healing powers! You would have to be crazy to try something like that, and luckily that was the case for Deadpool. So he tracked the Hulk down and essentially picked a fight with him. He kept just out of the path of Hulk’s blows before he finally came up with the idea of maneuvering the Hulk into lunging at him right when an exposed pole was waiting to impale the Hulk. It was only a momentary victory, but it was all that Deadpool needed to get the Hulk’s blood to cure him.
Cullen Bunn teamed up with artist Salva Espin for another madcap Deadpool miniseries with 2014’s Deadpool vs. Carnage. Deadpool just happened to be watching television after a story about Carnage slaughtering some innocent people flashed on to the screen. Deadpool flipped through the channels and his insanity convinced him that somebody was speaking to him through the words he received via flipping through the different stations. Somehow, the path he was sent on accidentally ended up leading him right to Carnage.
They had a bloody battle, but Deadpool seemingly won the day by revealing that he prepared for the fight by bringing with him a blaring loudspeaker and some illegally downloaded dub step music. The music drove the symbiote from Carnage, as symbiotes hate noise. Sadly, once Deadpool had won, Carnage’s girlfriend, Shriek, saved him by blasting Deadpool. Wade tracked Carnage for the rest of the series before he actually bonded with a few different symbiotes himself to bring Carnage to justice. The series was filled with hilarious dialogue, like Deadpool telling Carnage, “I think what they’re trying to say is… If you strike me down… I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine. And also… I am your father.”
In the early 1980s, there was a Marvel miniseries called Contest of Champions that pitted the heroes of the Marvel Universe against each other in a competition between the Grandmaster and a mysterious being that turned out to be Death. The series had originally meant to tie in with the 1980 Summer Olympics, but when the United States backed out, the original series was canceled and a couple of years later came out in a revised format. That is why there are so many brand-new non-American superheroes in the series.
Deadpool was not around when the original Contest of Champions came out but nearly two decades later, Marvel did a sequel called, appropriately enough, Contest of Champions II. This time, the Earth’s heroes are kidnapped by the Brood and forced to fight against each other in small battles, some of which were decided by fan vote online between the issues. Deadpool moved through the early rounds well, defeating Generation X on his way to a match against Daredevil. Deadpool used what he knew about Daredevil’s morality to take advantage of him and win their match. Deadpool’s next fight, though, was a rematch against the Hulk and it did not go well for Deadpool, as he was crushed.
Another major Marvel miniseries that Deadpool was too new to be a part of was Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars, which came out in 1984 and involved a mysterious being known as the Beyonder kidnapping a number of superheroes and supervillains from Earth and transporting them to a specially made planet known as Battleworld. The Beyonder then told the heroes and villains that whoever won in their battle would be given their fondest desire. While Deadpool was not in the original series, a 2015 miniseries, Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars by Cullen Bunn and artists Tony Harris and Matteo Lolli, showed that Deadpool secretly was in the story!
He was on the side of the heroes when they came to Battleworld and he fought along their side when the villains attacked the superheroes en masse. The Absorbing Man was introduced as a foe of the god of thunder, Thor, before evolving into being able to take the entire Avengers on himself. However, when he encountered Deadpool and tried to absorb some of Deadpool’s healing powers, he was shocked to absorb Deadpool’s horrible disfiguration as well. Deadpool defeated the Absorbing Man simply by being himself! Later in the story, Deadpool’s body begins healing and he even has a romance with the Wasp. In the end, though, Deadpool got his fondest wish — he disappeared from the original story.
Over the years, Deadpool and Bullseye have had a friendly rivalry. They were both mercenaries and assassins and as such, they had a sort of professional relationship. Few people could quite understand Deadpool’s lot in life as Bullseye. When Deadpool began to reflect on whether he wanted to do more than just be a killer, it was Bullseye who tried to talk his friend out of it. However, that doesn’t mean that Deadpool was not willing to fight his friend when the time came. When Bullseye was hired to kill the woman who Deadpool believed to be his ex-wife, Deadpool knocked out Bullseye to save her.
Later, when Norman Osborn took over S.H.I.E.L.D. and formed his own dark version of the Avengers, with Bullseye as Hawkeye, Osborn sent Hawkeye/Bullseye to kill Deadpool. They had an epic battle that entertained both men, with Deadpool getting impaled in the head with an arrow at one point. Ultimately, Deadpool prevailed after they had an extensive fight in the back of a butcher’s, with Deadpool defending himself with an armor made out of meat! Deadpool eventually won by strangling Bullseye with a chain and then stabbing him with a meat hook. Don’t worry, Bullseye lived to tell the tale.
CAPTAIN AMERICA (POSSESSED)
As mentioned before, Bullseye was there to counsel his friend when Deadpool debated giving up killing and becoming a hero. There were two major things that were pushing Deadpool in this direction. One, he was trying to impress the superhero Siryn from X-Force, who was against killing and who Deadpool believed that he loved. Second, he had been told that he might be the Mithras, the being who would help bring the universal messiah to Earth to bring about world peace.
Eventually, Deadpool decided to embrace his new mission but was then shocked to learn that his job as Mithreas was to kill the Tiamat, the being who was possibly destined to stop the messiah from bringing unity to Earth! Deadpool and the Tiamat met in battle and it seemed as though Deadpool was killed. Captain America was then chosen as his replacement as Mithras. As it turned out, the delay was all the messiah, known as S’met’kth, needed to get to Earth and bring universal peace… but it was by taking over the minds and free will of everyone on Earth. In the end, Deadpool couldn’t let that happen so he actually has to become the Tiamat instead! He defeated the possessed Captain America by kicking him in the groin and then killed S’met’kth, saving the world but ruining everyone’s sense of peace.
Early in Gail Simone’s run as the writer on Deadpool, the merc with the mouth began to have problems with his healing factor following a confrontation with the villainous Black Swan in the previous issue, who infected Deadpool with a telepathic “virus” that slowly destroyed Deadpool’s skills and his healing. In Deadpool #66 (by Simone and UDON Studios), Deadpool was hired by an elderly man to steal him the horn of the supervillain Rhino, as the old man believed that the horn could be ground up and snorted to make him vital again. Deadpool was also offered a deal from the old man’s young wife to not do it, because she didn’t want her husband to suddenly be vital.
Deadpool ended up taking on the Rhino anyway, and in the battle, he was quickly outmatched by the powerful villain. However, Deadpool luckily had collected a bunch of old Avengers merchandise and he used them all to try to slow the Rhino down, until he finally grabbed Ant-Man’s reducing gas dispenser and sprayed Rhino with a face filled of Pym Particles, shrinking Rhino down so small that Deadpool could just sit on him to stop him. Hilariously, years later Deadpool would be shrunk down himself and ended up taking out the Rhino still, even the Rhino had long returned to his normal size!
In the miniseries, Deadpool: Suicide Kings (by Mike Benson, Carlo Baberi and Sandu Florea), Deadpool is framed for a crime that he did not commit, a ghastly crime that left many innocent people dead. Well, guess who believes that Deadpool committed the crime? The Punisher, that’s who! And he decides that he has to, well, punish Deadpool. Daredevil and Spider-Man, though, guest star as they try to keep Deadpool from being killed by the Punisher.
The Punisher mostly comes out on top throughout the miniseries, shooting Deadpool repeatedly in the head, including one stunning sequence where Deadpool is met by Spider-Man, who promised to protect him… right before the Punisher uses a sniper rifle to blow a hole in Deadpool’s head! However, Deadpool eventually grew sick of being hunted down by the Punisher, so he decided to turn tail on Punisher… literally! The Punisher was using a special robotic tail that he had recovered from a supervillain and it seemed like it had successfully electrocuted Deadpool, but Deadpool was playing possum and instead knocked Punisher out. Eventually, Deadpool proved his innocence to the Punisher, who agreed to team up with him to take down the real bad guys alongside Spider-Man and Daredevil.
When Kang the Conquerer debuted in Avengers #8, he had one of the most impressive successes and most embarrassing defeats all in the span of a single issue. The warlord from the future came to the Earth because he was bored of easily defeating everyone in his timeline. So, he used his future technology to defeat the Avengers rather easily. However, the Wasp managed to escape; she and Rick Jones’ teenage friends then came back to defeat Kang and free the other Avengers. So yes, he took out Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and Giant-Man, but a bunch of teenagers were too much for him.
That hopefully puts Kang’s wildly divergent success rate into mind when you learn that in Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars, Deadpool easily defeats the warlord by simply beating him up. This is a guy whose armor is filled with futuristic gadgets designed to give him an advantage in our time, but it was not enough to be knocked out by Deadpool, who then dragged him to the jail that the superheroes had set up at their Battleworld headquarters. Later in the series, Deadpool also defeated Thunderball of the Wrecking Crew, but it sure feels like everyone defeats the Wrecking Crew at one point or another, right?
When Taskmaster was introduced in the pages of Avengers #195 by David Michelinie and George Perez, there were three notable things about the character. One, his strikingly bizarre Perez-designed Skull costume. Two, his fascinating superpower, where he could replicate the abilities of anyone that he sees, so he could kick like Batroc, shoot arrows like Hawkeye and throw a shield like Captain America just by looking at them doing their feats. Finally, in a twist, the villain, whose main occupation was teaching people to be henchmen, would always get away.
This did not mean that he would always win, of course, but he always got away. Michelinie wrote him in most of his appearances over the years, so Michelinie was able to keep this trait going for almost two decades before Taskmaster ran afoul of Deadpool. In the second issue of his Joe Kelly/Ed McGuinness ongoing series, Deadpool shocked Taskmaster by fighting in such a non-comprehensible fighting style that Taskmaster couldn’t copy it! He was so distracted that Deadpool managed to knock him out for the very first time! Taskmaster actually respected the fact that Deadpool was apparently too crazy to copy and the two mercenaries ended up being good friends after this.
In 2006, the Marvel Universe was turned upside down by the repurcussions of the crossover event known as Civil War. In that series, a team of superheroes filming a reality show tried to take down a group of supervillains when one of the supervillains exploded, killing most of the heroes and villains there, but also 300 other people in the town, including three dozen schoolchildren from a nearby school. The American government decided to pass the Superhuman Registration Act, where superheroes had to register with the government if they wanted to operate as superheroes. Iron Man became the public face of the pro-registration side while Captain America stood for the anti-registration side. Captain America formed a group of rogue “secret” Avengers who continued to be superheroes underground.
Deadpool got a job from the United States as a government agent in charge of hunting down unregistered heroes. Deadpool’s friend, Cable, meanwhile offered his sovereign nation as a refuge for un-registered heroes. Deadpool’s bond with Cable allowed him to spy on some of the heroes and Deadpool attacked, taking down Goliath, Hercules and Falcon before finally being corralled by Cable and Captain America. Cable eventually tricked the government into thinking Deadpool was secretly working with him, which voided Deadpool’s contract, making the two heroes no longer active enemies. They weren’t friends for a while, though, after that little trick.
A few years after Civil War, the Marvel Universe was once again turned upside down, but this time it was from an outside force instead of fighting among themselves. It turned out that the Skrull Empire had been taught for years that it was their purpose in life to takeover Earth. So they slowly began peppering members of the shape-shifting Skrull race into various important places on Earth before they all struck at once, setting off a “secret invasion” of the planet.
Deadpool was a free agent at the time, so when he showed up killing a bunch of Skrull agents, he convinced the Skrulls that he owed no allegiance to Earth, as all humans ever did for him was torture him and experiment on him and betray him. So he agreed to allow the Skrulls to use his powerful healing power to make new Super-Skrulls based on Deadpool. However, they also ended up absorbing his insanity and soon began killing each other. Deadpool revealed that he was secretly working for Nick Fury and he began killing all of the Super-Skrulls, using all the various tricks that he learned over the years to take down the much larger Skrull force.
At one point, Deadpool decided that he wanted more out of life than being a killer, only to learn that his destiny was to be the guy who killed the messiah, thus assuring that Earth would not be brainwashed by an outside force. Of course, it also assured that Earth would not achieve world peace. Needless to say, Deadpool was quite bummed. He sought out therapy, but foolishly ended up in seeing a psychologist that was actually the former Howard the Duck foe known as Doctor Bong. Doctor Bong came up with a rather unusual therapy for Deadpool.
He told him that he should engage in a knock-down, drag-out brawl with Wolverine. The problem was that Wolverine had no reason to get into a brawl with Deadpool. Logan was just relaxing on a trip to an outside market with his friend and X-Men teammate, Kitty Pryde. It was a nice day, and there was no need to fight. Deadpool, though, was just told by a profession that there very much was a need, so the only way that he could think of forcing Wolverine to fight him was to sucker punch Kitty Pryde, knocking her unconscious. That did the trick. Amazingly enough, Deadpool actually did have a breakthrough during his brawl!
Dr. Ellen Whitby was a psychiatrist at a mental institution in which Deadpool was once placed, and she sought to cure him of his insanity. In reality, though, Whitby was obsessed with him and believed that the two were in love. When Deadpool escaped from the institution, he stopped by her apartment and discovered that she had a refrigerator filled with various body parts that Deadpool had lost over the years. Disgusted, Deadpool told her he was in love with someone else and threw the body parts out. Whitby killed herself, but shockingly, the various body parts healed together to form a new Deadpool!
This Deadpool had all the skills and knowledge that the original Deadpool had, but due to being made up of disgusting cut-off body parts, he had gotten even more insane than the normal Deadpool and began committing heinous crimes, pinning them all on the real Deadpool. The two fought a number of times, before Evil Deadpool finally met his maker in the final part of Cullen Bunn’s “Killogy,” Deadpool Kills Deadpool, a miniseries where the Deadpool from Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe travels to different realities hunting down other Deadpools. The “real” Deadpool wins, but Evil Deadpool dies along the way.
During his run on Captain America, writer Mark Gruenwald believed that it was important to make sure that Captain America had at least 12 villains who could sustain a story arc, with the idea being that this way, you could theoretically have a good villain for every month of the year. Gruenwald, for his part, introduced two major villains who have been parts of Captain America’s Rogues Gallery ever since, the evil anarchist, Flag-Smasher, U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M. and the violent mercenary, Crossbones. Both U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M. and Crossbones have tangled with Deadpool a number of times. Deadpool actually ended up killing off every member of U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M. a couple of years ago. However, Crossbones is the more notable villain, since he was a featured villain in two Captain America movies, so we will spotlight Deadpool’s victory over Crossbones instead.
In Deadpool #21 (by Brian Posehn, Gerry Duggan and Mike Hawthorne), Crossbones tried to cash in on a $10 million bounty put on Deadpool’s head. Deadpool quickly overpowered him with the help of one of those Central Park horse drawn buggies. Deadpool tossed him into a hot air balloon and sent him flying. Four issues later, Deadpool was dealing with some problems, so when Crossbones tried to get revenge, Deadpool nearly beat him to death. There is an awesome panel where Sabretooth walks into the background, ready to attack Deadpool. He sees what Deadpool is doing to Crossbones and quickly turns around and walks the other way.
Madcap is actually another villain introduced during Mark Gruenwald’s Captain America run, although he never became a recurring Captain America foe. He had once been a very religious man, until his church’s bus crashed, killing his family and friends and exposing him to a chemical that makes him impossible to ever kill. His mind snapped and he used another ability he gained from the chemical, the power to cause madness in others, to become an absurdist villain known as Madcap. Now, during Daniel Way’s run on Deadpool, Deadpool suddenly had an extra caption box that interacted with his thoughts. This was believed to be an extra personality, just a sign of Deadpool’s declining mental stability; but eventually, it was revealed to be Madcap! He had apparently merged with Deadpool at one point!
Thor and Luke Cage helped separate the two from each other. As it turned out, however, Madcap did not deal well with the separation and began to resent Deadpool. He insinuated himself into Deadpool’s life and then tried to turn the world against him. Deadpool managed to lure him out and defeat him, though, with Madcap then taking his own life with one of Deadpool’s most powerful weapons. He came back as a parasitic entity, so Deadpool had to enlist the help of the Elder of the Universe known as the Collector to finally capture Madcap.
When Rob Liefeld joined New Mutants, he worked with writer Louise Simonson, and they soon began to plot the book together. When Simonson left the series, though, Liefeld was now the dominant creative force on the title and he enlisted writer Fabian Nicieza to work with him. The two men proceeded to slowly but surely weed out most of the cast of the New Mutants and replace them with new, harder edged characters. They ultimately launched a new series starring these new characters, plus a few leftover New Mutants, as the paramilitary strike force known as X-Force. One of their strongest new members was the alien swordsman known as Shatterstar.
Shatterstar was essentially bred to be a fighter and he had a hard time relating to the world outside the context of fighting. Therefore, he was thrilled to find a worthy foe in Deadpool when the mercenary infilitrated X-Force’s headquarters to attack Domino, or at least it seemed as though that is what he was doing. Shatterstar engaged Deadpool in battle, but he was shocked to learn that this was not the much-anticipated match of equals that he was looking forward to. It turns out, Deadpool was actually much better than him and quickly knocked him out. He then headed for Domino, who turned out to be Deadpool’s shape-shifting ex-girlfriend, Vanessa. Hey, it was the 90s — it made sense then!
As noted earlier, when Deadpool first encountered the mercenary and assassin known as the Black Swan, he beat Deadpool badly and infected him with a mental virus. You see, the Black Swan was such a brilliant assassin because he was not just a well-trained killer, but also a telepath and he could read people’s minds and tell what they were going to do before they did it. Plus, he had the neat trick of being able to infect their minds with the aforementioned mental virus, which would slowly eat away at their ability to function.
Deadpool decided to take out the Swan before the virus destroyed him, so he hunted the Swan down to his home for a final confrontation. The Black Swan once again used his powers on Deadpool, but this time, Wade fought back, using all of the pain and torment in his life to overload the Swan’s telepathy. The pain was too much for Swan, who Deadpool then threw into the Swan’s own fireplace! Sadly for Deadpool, he had planted explosives in the castle in case he lost and he had misplaced the code during his battle with the Swan (it was written on a hand that was chopped off), so the castle exploded, seemingly killing them both. They instead survived as a merged entity with one of Swan’s soldiers as the mercenary known as Agent X. Eventually they were separated back into their own bodies.
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