Warning: This article contains spoilers for characters who appear in Deadpool 2. If you want to be surprised by their entrances, come back this way after you’ve seen the movie.
While Deadpool 2 doesn’t really have an arch-supervillain antagonist, it does have several foes from the Marvel mutant-verse that Deadpool has to get past, and he meets one of them in a prison for depowered mutants. Wade’s newest pal Russell has the initially stupid idea of taking on the biggest man in the yard, which does not work out for him; when Wade, who’s now just a mortal special forces guy dying of cancer, declines to put up much of a fight, a wedge is driven between him and his young friend. The tough guy who precipitates this? Black Tom Cassidy, played by Jack Kesy, whom fans of The Strain may remember as The Master.
The main reason Black Tom is included in Deadpool 2 seems to be his name, as Deadpool proceeds to make endless jokes about him being African-American, which he isn’t. Instead, he is black-haired Irish; as Preacher fans know, most comic characters named Cassidy hail from the Emerald Isle. The “black” in his name refers to the fact that he’s the black sheep of his family, though it also distinguishes him from his red-headed relatives, the most notable of whom is cousin Banshee. You may remember that character from X-Men: First Class, as played by Caleb Landry-Jones, who has since gone on to high-profile parts in the likes of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Twin Peaks.
Tom’s powers aren’t as easily definable as those of his cousin Sean (yes, “Sean Cassidy”). It makes sense that the guy named Banshee has sonic screams; it doesn’t in any way follow that a chap named Black Tom has the power to channel heat and concussive force through wood, though considering what a bad conductor wood is, that’s a scientifically miraculous gift. At one point he went through a secondary mutation as he tried to power up with wood implants follwing a battle with Cable, and became something like a deranged Groot. Mutant powers aside, he’s skilled with weapons and tactics, and has come up against Deadpool several times, at one point attempting a hand transplant to try to steal his healing factor.
Black Tom once befriended Juggernaut in prison, which is kinda-sorta what happens in Deadpool 2 except that Juggernaut ends up becoming friends with Russell instead, as the kid finally realizes that making friends with the biggest guy is the thing to do, and the biggest guy is hidden in the basement. In the ’90s animated X-Men, Juggernaut and Tom were partners during the Dark Phoenix saga; given what happens in Deadpool 2, we can probably assume they’re not involved in the movie version of that story due out early next year. Although given the different time frame, younger versions are possible, though it’s less likely producer Simon Kinberg would have okayed the same mutants in different incarnations all at once.
Black Tom had his own action figure in the original Toy Biz X-Men/X-Force series. It doesn’t look a lot like the new movie version, but then again it’s not in prison clothes:
It’s possible that because his name out of context could be read negatively, the Fox folks figured that the only way to do Black Tom was in a movie that could specifically call the confusion out. Regardless, it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing him again soon.
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Images: 20th Century Fox, Amazon.com