On Sunday, February 11th, 2024, the teaser trailer for Deadpool & Wolverine debuted during Super Bowl LVIII. That’s right: like it or not, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is back, he brought Hugh Jackman, and he’s here to save the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A tall order? Perhaps. But considering 24 hours after its debut the teaser had already garnered a record-breaking 365 million views, it isn’t outside the realm of possibility.

Deadpool Wolverine
DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE. © 2024 20th Century Studios / © and ™ 2024 MARVEL.

If you’re visiting Comics Beat, you probably already know that third Deadpool movie will be the first time the Merc with the Mouth appears in MCU continuity. But the Loki allusions are just the tip of the crashed helicarrier when it comes to the Easter egg-laden trailer. Let’s break down some of the highlights, and cross reference Marvel Comics continuity for possible alignment.

Secret Wars

One element of the Deadpool & Wolverine trailer that has captured the attention of True Believers is the inclusion of a Secret Wars comic. Around the two-minute mark of the trailer, Deadpool ends up lying on the ground beside a copy of Secret Wars #5.

The 2015 Secret Wars event was nine issues long. Written and designed by Jonathan Hickman, with art by Esad Ribic, colors by Ive Svorcina, letters by Chris Eliopoulos and Clayton Cowles and main covers by Alex Ross, the plot of Secret Wars saw Doctor Doom salvaging parts of the incursion-shattered multiverse to create an all-new, all-different Battleworld. 

During the event, all regular Marvel Comics titles were replaced with Battlezones and Warzones! limited series tie-in titles. This was thanks to the fact that, in spite of the best efforts of the Secret Avengers, Earth-616 was destroyed by an incursion. And it’s worth noting that incursions have already been mentioned in the MCU, in both Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and in the most recent Marvel Studios movie, The Marvels.

The Battlezones titles were focused on expanding the narrative immediately surrounding the main Secret Wars narrative. However, unbound by continuity, the Warzones! titles took on a variety of forms, including follow-ups for previous Marvel Comics events (Spider-Verse: Warzones!) and reinterpretations of the universe (1602: Witch Hunter Angela; Marvel 1872).

Days of Doom and Deadpool

Doomwar #4 cover by RomitaJanson, White.

Speaking of Doom, the supervillain of all supervillains played a major role in Secret Wars. And a cloaked and masked figure beside a science-fiction-y satellite dish in the Deadpool & Wolverine teaser has some True Believers speculating that this individual could be revealed as Victor Von Doom.

This doesn’t seem too likely to me: would they really reveal Doom’s design in a teaser? And even if it’s eventually revealed to be a Doombot, in my opinion, unveiling the look of the MCU’s Doom would be a Giant-Man sized reveal for a trailer.

[UPDATE: Marvel announcing the main Fantastic Four cast makes Doom in Deadpool & Wolverine seem more likely, doesn’t it?]

However, Wade has indeed crossed paths with Doom over the decades in the 616, so it’s certainly not impossible that those stories could serve as inspiration here. And legally, Marvel Studios has every right to use both of the Fantastic Four continuities established by Fox Studios, in the same way that they’re currently mining Fox’s X-Men continuities.

Alas, Poor Wade; I Knew Him

A relevant note regarding Wade and Secret Wars: Deadpool wasn’t directly involved in the event. That’s because he was already dead. Deadpool died during the planetary incursion, as depicted in Deadpool (2012) #45, written by Gerry Duggan & Brian Posehn, penciled by Mike Hawthorne, inked by Terry Pallot, colored by Jordie Bellaire and with a cover by Scott Koblish & Ruth Redmond. Don’t feel too, bad, though: Deadpool was resurrected (alongside the rest of the planet) in the wake of Secret Wars.

A family gathering goes apocalyptically wrong in Deadpool #45.

Perhaps especially relevant here is the context in which Wade bites the big chimichanga. The fatal incursion occurs as Wade is gathered with his closest friends and family for a celebration aboard a yacht. Perhaps the birthday party we see in the opening scenes of the Deadpool & Wolverine trailer is an analogous, with Wade being pulled away by Loki’s TVA rather than the incursion.

(L-R): Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool/Wade Wilson, Leslie Uggams as Blind Al, and Randall Reeder as Buck in Marvel Studios’ DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2024 20th Century Studios / © and ™ 2024 MARVEL.

Post-incursion, Deadpool appeared in several Warzones! titles. These included the four-issue series Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos, written by Duggan with art by Salva Espin, colors by Val Staples, letters by Joe Sabino and covers by Reilly Brown & Jim Charalampidis.

This story was about Deadpool’s wife, Shiklah, Queen of the Monsters, as she commands a team consisting of Werewolf By Night, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Living Mummy, Man-Thing and Marcus the Centaur. Meanwhile, the ghost of Deadpool narrates. It’s a fun story, and on the final page, Wade acknowledges that he’s already being resurrected for a new title.

From Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos #1.

And then there’s Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars by writer Cullen Bunn, artist Matteo Lolli (with Matteo Buffagni on #4), colorist Redmond, letterer Sabino and with covers by Tony Harris. Based on the original 1984 Secret Wars by Jim Shooter & Mike Zeck, this revisionist history comedically inserts Deadpool into the narrative of the 80s event while the current roster of Marvel Comics heroes were preoccupied with the 2015 event.

Movie Studio Warzones!

While it’s possible the teaser may be misleading us, it seems as though Deadpool gets himself sent to the Void (see: Loki season 1’s penultimate episode, “Journey Into Mystery”). This might explain why one of the TVA agents Wade is fighting seems to be taken by Alioth. Further, it might provide context for the 20th Century Fox logo that looms large in the background of several shots of the teaser: that continuity has been “eradicated”; deemed non-canonical and sent to the end of time (alongside Alligator Loki and the Thanos Copter).

Could all this suggest that Deadpool & Wolverine might be taking more than a little bit of inspiration from the Secret Wars tie-ins? Like several Warzones! titles, the two (or so) “deleted” continuities could collide and lead to a relatively self-contained adventure that references both the Fox and Marvel Studios narratives without being too firmly shackled to either. However, Marvel Studios trailers are notorious for being manipulated so as to conceal storylines and plot twists, so it’s hard to say how seriously to consider any single element of the teaser.

Will you be checking out Deadpool & Wolverine when it arrives in theaters on July 26th, 2024? The Beat wants to hear from you! Be sure and give us a shout-out and let us know what you’re thinking, either here in the comment section or over at The Beat’s page on Bluesky.

The first two Deadpool movies are currently available for streaming on Disney+ (so long as your parental guidance settings are properly calibrated, of course).