Deadpool 2 has a lot of pop-culture references worked into its non-stop slew of jokes, along with some pretty big celebrity cameos that will give viewers a major thrill. However, the sequel also has plenty of major geek culture references, including an equal amount of jabs at both the Marvel and DC cinematic universes that have become major zeitgeist fixations.
Warning: this post contains massive SPOILERS for Deadpool 2!
Read on below for the complete list of the Marvel and DC movie references that pop-up in Deadpool 2. If you notice anything that didn't make it into our list, be sure to let us know what it is, in the comments section! In the meantime, here's the list of references, in the order they appear in the movie.
NOTE: The X-Men movie franchise isn't included. Just the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Batman v Superman gets taken down a peg early on in the film, as Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) comes home to his girlfriend, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), after a particularly troublesome attempted assassination. Wade must make an excuse for why he's late, and his second option is trying to say he met a crazy guy dressed as a bat, but they became friends when they realized both their mother's names are "Martha." A reference to the most hated and controversial moment in a hated and controversial movie.
In the second act of the film, Deadpool and young Russell end up in the "Ice Box," a mutant prison that's actually inspired by a real Marvel Comics locale. When the characters are being taken to their cell, we get a larger establishing shot of the prison interior, and fans have spotted a figure who looks very much like The Joker. It hasn't been concretely confirmed yet (hence the asterisk above), but it seems fairly credible, and would be a totally awesome visual ode that fits in with one the movie's running gags about Batman (more on that, below).
When Deadpool ends up locked in the "Ice Box" with Russell, they fit him with an inhibitor collar that negates his mutant powers. In Deadpool's case, that means leaving his rampant cancer unchecked by his healing factor, with Wade quickly beginning to waste away. In describing to Russell why he won't be a factor in helping them escape, Deadpool claims that he's essentially useless now, and that someone should give him, "a bow and arrow" because he might as well be Hawkeye. Ouch!
During Deadpool's first fight with Cable in the Ice Box prison, Wade Wilson observes Cable's bionic limbs, and complains that he didn't know he'd be fighting a guy with a "Winter Soldier arm." Apparently Deadpool's Marvel Cinematic Universe awareness is part of his mutant power set.
When Deadpool and Cable first battle, and 'Pool is actually holding his own against the future soldier, Cable asks, "Who are you?" To which Wade cannot help himself but to reply: "I'm Batman." It's double reference, really: Michael Keaton made the saying in the 1989 Batman movie (and in a recent commencement address) - then Christian Bale gave an ode to the line in Batman Begins.
As the "Cable v Deadpool" first fight progresses, Cable angrily explains what kind of world and life of pain he comes from, while restraining Deadpool and stabbing him in the shoulder to incapacitate him. Deadpool's hilarious response (as you've seen all over the trailers) is, "It's so dark - you sure you're not from the DC Universe?" A pretty big right hook to the Zack Snyder era of that film franchise. Just don't remind Ryan Reynolds that his Green Lantern movie was a major factor in setting up Snyder's run 🤫...
In one scene where Deadpool is trying to work through his depression, he's speaking to Weasal (T.J. Miller) and reveals a wish to leave this planet and go to a planet of functional idiots, where he could be their Superman. We've never looked at Superman's story that way, but maybe Deadpool has a point?
At one point late in the film, Deadpool and Cable team-up for an uneasy alliance. During one of their many banter exchanges, Deadpool breaks the fourth wall by referring to Josh Brolin by his other big Marvel movie name, calling him "Thanos."
The climax of Deadpool 2 sees young Russell team with the Juggernaut to wreak havoc, forcing Deadpool, Cable, Domino and Colossus to take them on. When Juggernaut comes to kick some hero ass, Deadpool tries to talk him down using the calming cadence Black Widow recites to Hulk in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Needless to say, it doesn't work out.
Dopinder spends most of Deadpool 2 trying to be down with X-Force, and constantly falling short. However, after Deadpool and his remaining teammates finally take down Juggernaut and pull Russell away from his angry, vengeful path, they are confronted by the evil Headmaster of Essex House for Mutant Rehabilitation, who promises he will be bringing a reckoning to all muties. Headmaster never gets to make good on the threat, as his shockingly (and hilariously) run down by Dopinder's cab, earning the young man his spot in Deadpool's entourage, and the nickname "Brown Panther."
A final mid-credits scene takes a hard swipe at Ryan Reynolds' own contribution to the DC movie universe: the 2011 Green Latern. Using Cable's time travel device, Deadpool goes back to the moment the real-life Ryan Reynolds decided to do the movie, and promptly blows his brains out. The segment ends with Deadpool apologizing to Reynolds natives homeland, Canada.
Those were all of the Deadpool 2 DC and Marvel references we spotted; is their anything you saw that didn't make the list? Please let us know in the comments so that we can add it!
Deadpool 2 is now in theaters. The X-Men movie universe will continue when X-Men: Dark Phoenix opens February 14, 2019, followed by The New Mutants on August 2, 2019.