When did Deadpool start talking to himself?
December 30, 2009 2:25 PM   Subscribe

When did Deadpool start talking to himself?

Back in the day, a high school friend of mine who was a huge Deadpool fan loaned me a stack of comics featuring the character, which I read with gusto and enjoyed a great deal. I'm somewhat hazy on the timing, but it would have been sometime between the character's debut in '90-'91 and the year I graduated high school, which was 1994. I can't recall any story details from the books, but what I do recall is Deadpool's dialogues with his two inner voices (one in a yellow box, the other in a white box with monospace font). I remember this convention so vividly that it seemed comforting and familiar as I started to read some of the more recent Deadpool titles over the last few months.

I received a copy of the trade paperback "Deadpool Classic" as a Christmas gift, which reprints his first appearance in The New Mutants, a four-issue series called The Circle Chase, and some other early Deadpool material. I was very surprised to see that none of the stories in the collection make use of the yellow-and-white dialogue boxes that I remembered so well -- or thought I did, anyway.

So now this is really bothering me. At what point did Deadpool start talking to himself using the two-different-color-boxes conceit? Was there some story-related event that brought it on, or was it a convention introduced by a particular writer that stuck? Is there any way I would have actually seen this in my teenage years, or is my memory faulty?

(As a side note, I was never interested in Cable & Deadpool and aside from glancing at some of the non-Cable-related titles in the very late 90s/early 2000s (ex: Deadpool & Widdle Wade), I haven't been following Deadpool books at all until very recently.)
posted by trunk muffins to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think this is a Joe Kelly invention, which first turned up late in Deadpool's first ongoing and really kicked in hard during Cable & Deadpool (which is a great series, btw)
posted by EatTheWeek at 3:20 PM on December 30, 2009

I don't know the exact answer to your question, but Deadpool started life as a Rob Liefeld character (you know, the guy who drew that infamous picture of Captain America with the chest so over-muscled it looks like he has huge tits) and his character has changed almost completely since other, better writers took over. So bottom line, any early Deadpool comics are going to feature a personality vastly different than the Wade we know and love today.
posted by Target Practice at 3:28 PM on December 30, 2009

Best answer: This review of Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth #1 from July 2009 credits (in a slightly off-hand way) the dual-box convention to Daniel Way, who used it throughout his Deadpool (v2) run which began in 2008.

I've looked through random issues of Deadpool (v1) 1-69, Cable & Deadpool 1-50 and haven't yet found an instances of the dual boxes. In fact, the closing issues of those series both suggest it isn't happening at all yet during their runs, since Deadpool is going about his business entirely without them. Deadpool's internal monologue is pretty consistently presented in a rounded yellow box, however. The "Joe Kelly invention" that EatTheWeak refers to is more likely Deadpool's internal monologue taking on its now-familiar sardonic, self-effacing and occasionally fourth-wall-breaking tone.

Starting in Wolverine Origins #21 from 2008, in a story also by Daniel Way, Deadpool starts talking to himself, but the white boxes take the form of scribbled diary entries. It's kind of like the diary voice is just balls-out insane, and isn't really a counterpoint to Deadpool's main personality, although it seems he does bicker with it a little.

I downloaded a Deadpool collection via bittorrent to supplement my treeware collection, checked out a bunch of issues, and I genuinely think the dual-box thing started in earnest with the 2008 series, and may have been directly presaged only by the Wolverine Origins appearances. If anyone can specify an earlier appearance, I'll start backward from it and see what I can find...
posted by chudmonkey at 5:12 PM on December 30, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks much for the answers thus far. This is very definitely a puzzle. There's a chance that I was exposed to some of Kelly's work between 1998 - 2002 or so, when I was actively collecting comics (mostly indie and foreign stuff, not so many superhero books), even if I don't particularly remember it. But I'm having a very hard time believing that Deadpool's boxes made their debut just last year! I swear I remember them from long ago.

This calls for research... the kind of research that requires lots of comic book reading.
posted by trunk muffins at 6:46 AM on December 31, 2009

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