The Complete History of Logan and Wade Wilson’s Rivalry, From Marvel Comics to DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE

Wolverine first appeared in 1974’s Incredible Hulk #181 and Deadpool didn’t pop up in Marvel Comics until New Mutants #98 in 1991; however, the two characters are inextricably linked. Mostly, because even though their temperaments are polar opposites, Deadpool and Wolverine’s histories are very similar. The Weapon X project experimented on both of them. Wolverine was given his adamantium skeleton by the shadowy group, and Deadpool had Wolverine’s own healing factor grafted onto his DNA while battling cancer by Weapon X. But in most ways, this is where the similarities end. Let’s dive into Wolverine and Deadpool’s strange relationship and history, both in and outside of Marvel comics, before Deadpool & Wolverine hits theaters in July.

Wolverine and Deadpool’s First Comics Together in the Marvel Universe

(L to R) The Toys R Us X-Men special edition from 1993, the first time Wolverine and Deadpool share a comic, 1994's
Wolverine #88, the first canonical fight between the two characters, and Wolverine Origins from 2008, the true story of Deadpool and Logan's first encounter.
Marvel Comics

In the regular Marvel Comics continuity, Wolverine and Deadpool first met in 1994’s Wolverine #88. That issue saw Deadpool trashing an apartment after failing to get his girlfriend back from her new guy, Garrison Kane. This brought Wolverine into the picture, as Kane was his buddy. After trading the usual verbal jabs, then came the actual jabs, with Wade stabbing Logan through the chest with his two swords. And that set the tone for Wolverine and Deadpool’s entire relationship in Marvel Comics—insulting each other, stabbing one another, getting back up again, and doing it all over again. Rinse, wash, and repeat.

Pages from Wolverine #88, the first fight between Deadpool and Logan.
Marvel Comics

But although Wolverine and Deadpool met for the first time in Wolverine #88, it’s also worth noting they briefly shared the comic page a year before the issue was published. In 1993’s Toys R Us X-Men Premium Edition, the X-Men encounter Deadpool for the first time. Logan and Wade don’t actually fight or talk, but they do share a big group panel together. So it kinda, sorta counts as Deadpool and Wolverine’s first comic book meeting.

Despite these temporal truths, years later retcons to Marvel’s universe determined that Wolverine and Deadpool had met much earlier than that, in-universe at least. In 2008, Marvel revealed a new history for Deadpool and Wolverine. The pair’s first fight actually happened when the Winter Soldier, still a brainwashed Hydra agent, hired Wade to take out Logan. This was all in an effort to draw out Daken, Wolverine’s son, who ultimately saved him. This occurred in 2008’s Wolverine Origins story “Deep End.”

The Best Wolverine and Deadpool Comics to Read in Order to Understand the Pair’s History

Milestone issues of Deadpool and Wolverine, including 1999's Deadpool #27, Deadpool/Wolverine: The Decoy, and Old Man Logan vs. Deadpool.
Marvel Comics

Deadpool and Wolverine have alternately fought and then teamed up in several comics over the past three decades, which makes for one interesting trip down comics’ history lane. In one infamous fight in 1999’s Deadpool #27, Wade fought Logan as a form of therapy for depression. The Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan mini-series, meanwhile, found Wade Wilson getting into it with the cranky gray-haired version of Logan. In Wolverine/Deadpool: The Decoy, a two-faced killer robot from space wanted to kill Jean Grey for all of her Phoenix shenanigans. Since she was dead (at that time), Wolverine dressed up Deadpool as Jean Grey as a distraction until he defeated the killer robot. In Uncanny X-Force, the pair were true teammates at last. However, even with this new relationship, Wolverine and Deadpool still butt heads constantly.

Friends? Enemies? What Is Wolverine and Deadpool’s Relationship in the Marvel Comics?

Wolverine carries Deadpool on his back.
Marvel Comics

Wolverine and Deadpool were what we call “frenemies.” Sometimes they were literally trying to murder each other, and other times they seemed like best buds. Their first meetings were definitely adversarial, as seen in almost all their encounters in the ‘90s. By 1999, the pair fought a group of werewolves together, calling a truce. At the end of that story, Deadpool and Wolverine bonded over their mutual tortures at the hands of the Weapon X program and shared a beer. This was the start of an awkward friendship. Eventually, Logan invited Wade to join X-Force and, for the first time, Deadpool and Wolverine were officially teammates. But they still came to blows sometimes. We’ll likely see this dynamic come to life in the MCU’s Deadpool & Wolverine.

Who Would Win in a Fight, Wolverine or Deadpool?

Wolverine takes on Deadpool in a brutal fight.
Marvel Comics

With over a century and a half of his life and training behind him, Wolverine is likely the better fighter than Deadpool. Although the two have fought numerous times, it almost always ended in a stalemate. Wade Wilson’s healing factor may have been derived from Logan’s DNA, but he had a leg up on the adamantium-clawed mutant. Deadpool literally can’t die. Wade was cursed by Thanos with immortality because the Mad Titan was jealous of Deadpool’s relationship with his beloved entity of Death. So although Logan’s healing factor made it very hard to kill him, Wolverine could actually die. Deadpool, not so much.

Can Deadpool Kill Wolverine in the Marvel Universe?

Wolverine and Deadpool’s History and Relationship Explained Ahead of the MCU’s DEADPOOL 3 Movie_1

In the 2012 alternate timeline mini-series Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, by writer Cullen Bunn and artist Dalibor Talajic, Marvel Comics finally showed a version of Wade Wilson who managed to kill Wolverine. Taking place on an alternate Earth in the multiverse, this comic featured a supervillain brainwashed Deadpool, who killed every known Avenger and X-Man. Only Wolverine was left standing at the end. Not for long though, as Deadpool found a way to kill Wolverine in this Marvel reality. In this story however, he needed a carbonadium sword to do it, as that metal is the only one on Earth that can nullify Logan’s healing factor. So yes, Deadpool could kill Wolverine. He just needs a little carbonadium help.

Who Heals Faster, Wolverine or Deadpool? Their Healing Factors Compared

Deadpool got his powers when Department K infused him with Wolverine’s mutant DNA. Yet his healing factor was ultimately superior to Logan’s. Wolverine’s healing factor can’t regrow lost limbs, for example. Deadpool’s healing factor allows him to regrow any lost and severed limb. Deadpool’s healing factor will even allow him to regrow his head. Wolverine’s wounds do heal, but his powers stop short of recreating actually lost cells out of thin air. Deadpool has the superior healing factor in this regard. Probably much to Wolverine’s annoyance—we bet it’s a sore spot in their relationship.

Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool/Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Twentieth Century Fox

Ryan Reynolds’ first appearance as Deadpool actually came in the much-derided X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009. In that continuity, Wade Wilson was a mercenary with a metric ton of confirmed kills. He’s still a wisecracking motormouth, at least, at first. But unlike in Marvel Comics, Deadpool is a mutant fast enough to deflect bullets with swords. In the comics, he was born without the X-gene. But in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Deadpool was recruited into William Stryker’s mercenary Team X, along with Logan, and was eventually used by the Weapon X program as an experiment. Stryker infused his body with the DNA of several mutants, making him an undefeatable “mutant killer.” But he had his mouth sewn shut, so the famously talkative character became strangely mute. Let’s just say… the fans hated it.

Wolverine and Deadpool fought on Three Mile Island, but Logan defeated him. But we later saw that Deadpool’s severed head was still alive, and he winked at the camera. Luckily, X-Men: Days of Future Past rebooted the X-Men movie universe timeline, allowing the 2016 Deadpool to be closer to the comics. At the end of Deadpool 2, using Cable’s time travel device, Wade ventures into the events of X-Men Origins, shooting the previous Deadpool in the head. We have a strong feeling those time-travel shenanigans will play a part in Deadpool & Wolverine.

Hugh Jackman’s Logan Will Fight Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool in Deadpool & Wolverine

Logan and Deadpool fight it out in the Void in Deadpool & Wolverine.
Marvel Studios

Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds will meet again for the very first time in Deadpool & Wolverine. From what the trailers tell us, it looks like the Time Variance Authority sends Deadpool to a universe where Logan failed the X-Men in some significant way, almost certainly leading to their deaths. Logan’s drowning his sorrows in a bar when Deadpool shows up to recruit him on a mission to save his own universe—possibly from being deleted entirely.

The pair then end up in the Void, the reality where the TVA dumps the remnants of pruned timelines. We know that after they fight each other, they fight Cassandra Nova, Charles Xavier’s evil twin. Aside from those facts, we know Logan and Deadpool will slice, stab, kick, and punch each other. Regardless of where they are in the multiverse, some things remain constant as their ongoing history and relationship continues to unfold. We can’t wait to see Deadpool and Wolverine, confirmed frenemies, take on the MCU.

Originally published on July 18, 2023.

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