HISTORY: The foul-mouthed mercenary now known as Deadpool was once little more than medical waste, written off as a miscarriage of science and technology by the directors of the Canadian government's enigmatic Weapon X project. Were its name known outside certain highly specialized circles, the black-ops initiative would have boasted a distinguished -- if blood-spattered -- track record. Previously, it's technicians had spawned a number of noteworthy scions -- including the feral Wolverine, maverick mutant adventurer, and the savage Sabretooth, psychotic murder machine.
And they had looked forward to an uninterrupted string of successes. Enter Wade Wilson. Diagnosed with cancer, the gun-for-hire left the woman he loved and accepted an unorthodox offer of salvation. Playing upon his hope for a cure, the Weapon X scientists attempted to recreate Wolverine's genetically endowed healing factor through artificial means. Although successful, the Byzantine procedure left Wilson's epidermis and face a horridly callused mess. Considered a failure, he was consigned to a prison laboratory for program rejects. Unable at first to accept his mangled appearance, Wilson slipped into the darkest pit of his soul. He killed several guards and escaped -- dubbing himself "Deadpool," after the facility. Some time later, he re-emerged as one of the world's foremost mercenaries-for-hire.
After cementing his reputation as a solider of fortune and quasi-super hero, Deadpool signed on the dotted line for the terrorist known as Tolliver. His target: the time-tossed mutant freedom fighter called Cable. Deadpool learned that his former lover -- Vanessa Carlyle, the shapeshifter named Copycat -- was posing as Cable's girlfriend and teammate, the probability-altering Domino. Wilson launched repeated offensives against Cable and his mutant strike team, X-Force -- culminating with a battle in which Tolliver was killed and Vanessa seriously wounded. Deadpool showed mercy on his former flame, diverting a portion of his powers to heal her injuries.
Escaping custody in a metal asylum, Deadpool gained the attention of the interdimensional firm of Landau, Luckman & Lake. LL&L believed Deadpool to be the Mithras, one who would usher in a new golden age for the inhabitants of Earth. But the prophecy was a sham: The being destined to bring this era to life actually would transform the planet's inhabitants into mindless, grinning boobs. Deadpool averted disaster, but internal politics within LL&L brought an end to their relationship. His optimism again shattered, Wilson returned to his status as a killer-for-hire.