Could Deadpool 3 introduce Wade Wilson’s real arch-nemesis? So far the Deadpool movies (set to officially join the continuity of the MCU upon the Deadpool 3 release date) have been big on taking risks. Firmly R-rated and filled with brutal action and gore, there’s an argument to say that Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool is one of the most comic-accurate superheroes to ever make it to the screen.
So far though, the Deadpool movies have been suppressed by the limitations of being a part of 20th Century Fox section of the Marvel universe. Just like how Sony owns the rights to make Spider-Man movies (and movies based on his villains) 20th Century Fox retained ownership of the X-Men characters, the Fantastic 4, and Deadpool. That’s why the Deadpool movies have seen the murderous mercenary face off against the likes of Cable, and Juggernaut, with occasional help from Professor Xavier’s students (Negasonic Teenage Warhead) and enemies (Domino).
While it’s been a lot of fun to see Deadpool’s ties to this part of the Marvel universe – and, Deadpool 3 will see him teaming up with Logan to continue the trend – the focus on the X-Men has prevented a deep dive into Deadpool’s own specific comic lore. Specifically, even as the third installment in the trilogy gets closer, we still haven’t met his arch-nemesis.
The Marvel villain in question here is T-Ray. Introduced in the Deadpool comics in 1997, T-Ray is an absolute powerhouse of an enemy. He’s been compared to Deadpool’s own personal Sabretooth (Wolverine’s brutal nemesis) which gives a sense of just how strong the connection between him and Wade Wilson really is.
An assassin who’s come back from the dead, T-Ray is an physically powerful warrior who also has a grasp of magic which rivals the likes of Doctor Strange. He even has the ability to create other zombies to do his bidding. Gross, but cool.
Those powers alone, and his awesome aesthetic appearance, would make T-Ray a great villain for any upcoming Marvel movie. However, T-Ray is destined to fight Deadpool because (and here’s the catch) he actually claims to be the real Wade Wilson. Huh?
According to T-Ray, Deadpool murdered him and his wife in order to take on T-Ray’s name and identity, which was then Wade Wilson. Since then, a resurrected T-Ray has been out on a quest for vengeance, seeking to end Deadpool’s life and take back his name. Deadpool disputes this, of course, so who’s telling the truth?
The fact is, we can’t know for certain. But we do know that Deadpool is entirely unreliable as a POV character. He’s never been trustworthy, and T-Ray could well be right. That would be a fascinating dynamic to explore in a movie, inverting the traditional hero/villain narrative by bringing in a villain who could be completely justified in his quest for revenge. To up the stakes even more, T-Ray is one of the only characters who has the ability to kill Deadpool, because we wields a weapon which negates Deadpool’s healing powers.
So, he’s Deadpool’s ultimate villain, even if the movies have given no indication that he exists within the expansive Marvel universe… yet. With the freedom granted by Deadpool’s eventual jump to the MCU, brining in T-Ray could well be Wade Wilson’s next big challenge.
For more on comic lore, check out why Deadpool’s wildest team-up won’t ever happen in the MCU, or see the Wolverine story which would make an amazing horror movie. You can also see our guide to watching the X-Men movies in order, and the Marvel movies in order, and our explainer on Marvel’s Phase 5.