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The Deadpool & Wolverine trailer demands a breakdown

Ryan Reynolds is coming for the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Deadpool taunts unseen adversaries as he sits bleeding in the back of a car while holding a knife in Deadpool & Wolverine Image: Marvel Studios
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

The first Deadpool & Wolverine trailer has arrived, and as Marvel diehards predicted, it’s here to shake up the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. The 2024 Super Bowl spot arrives with just enough to tease before the movie’s July 26 release: a premise, loads of tie-ins, and most importantly, multiversal chaos that could leave the MCU in a welcome state of disarray.

When Disney absorbed 20th Century Fox in one of the great seismic entertainment industry shifts of the last decade, there was one notable casualty: Deadpool. In 2019, it looked as if there was no hope for an R-rated character in Disney’s all-audiences MCU pantheon. How times change.

While we barely got a good look at Hugh Jackman’s return to the role of Logan in a not-Fox take on the X-Men character, the Ryan Reynolds-heavy trailer gave fans plenty to chew on. Here’s a breakdown.

The cast of Deadpool and Deadpool 2

negasonic teenage warhead and yukio celebrate Deadpool’s birthday in Deadpool & Wolverine Image: Marvel Studios

Dopinder, Shatterstar, Colossus, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Yukio, Blind Al, Peter, and Vanessa appear in the trailer’s opening, all characters from previous installments in the Deadpool cinematic universe — it’s nice that they get to come back for a bow! But so far, Josh Brolin’s Cable does not appear to be returning. Apologies to X-Force.

Hey, it’s the TVA!

TVA troopers arrive at Deadpool’s apartment in Deadpool & Wolverine Image: Marvel Studios

Deadpool 3 borrows Loki’s TVA, featuring the new agent Paradox — likely inspired by a TVA judge called Paradox who appeared in a single issue of She-Hulk (2005). It’s a great name for a TVA agent, after all.

A mysterious bald man, or... Cassandra Nova?

A mysterious bald man descends some stairs in Deadpool & Wolverine Image: Marvel Studios

There are lots of bald guys in comic books, but where the X-Men are concerned, there’s one conspicuous one: Professor Xavier. And James McAvoy was recently asked about returning to the Marvel Universe and didn’t swear it off. If we’re not talking about Professor X, there are still other X-options, like the professor’s evil twin sister, Cassandra Nova. We’ll see if that pans out or if this is just a big bald herring.

Patch aka Dapper Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

Patch aka Wolverine in Madripoor in Deadpool & Wolverine Image: Marvel Studios

The hair is a dead giveaway for Wolverine, even from the back — but his white suit is a reference to Logan’s most notorious alter ego: Patch. It’s an identity he assumes whenever he’s in Madripoor, where he starts sporting an eyepatch and a spiffy white suit and bowtie. And don’t worry, that’s definitely Hugh Jackman.

That’s a giant 20th Century Fox logo

Deadpool fights in front of a giant 20th Century Fox logo in Deadpool & Wolverine Image: Marvel Studios

RIP.

Pyro, from the X-Men movies

Pyro gets excited for the action in Deadpool & Wolverine Image: Marvel Studios

Aaron Stanford (12 Monkeys) returns to reprise the role of Pyro, the — what else — pyrokinetic mutant, from X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand. He looks happy to be there!

Secret Wars (2015) #5

Deadpool faints on the desert ground next to a Secret Wars comic book in Deadpool & Wolverine Image: Marvel Studios

See that raggedy comic over there? That’s Secret Wars #5, which is pretty interesting. For one thing, a movie called Secret Wars is the current endgame (no pun intended) of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — and it’s presumably inspired by the 2015 comic that shares its name. Secret Wars could mean a lot of things, but its core concept certainly resonates with what this trailer for Deadpool & Wolverine is putting down: A mashing up of different Marvel timelines. Secret Wars #5, specifically, is also an interesting choice, as it’s a chunk of story almost entirely focused on Doctor Doom and how he brought about that timeline mashup in the first place.

Could Doom be somehow involved in Deadpool & Wolverine, in advance of next year’s Fantastic Four? We’ll have to wait and find out.

The next level of puzzles.

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