After fighting organized crime as the wisecracking mercenary Deadpool for two years, Wade Wilson fails to kill one of his targets on his anniversary with his girlfriend Vanessa. That night, after the pair decides to start a family together, the target tracks Wade down and inadvertently kills Vanessa. Wade kills all but one of the men in revenge, before pulling them both into the path of an oncoming truck. Blaming himself for Vanessa’s death, he attempts to commit suicide six weeks later by blowing himself up. Wade has a vision of Vanessa in the afterlife, but remains alive due to his healing abilities and his body is put back together by Colossus. Wade is left with only a Skee-Ball token, an anniversary gift, as a final memento of Vanessa.
Recovering at the X-Mansion, Wade reluctantly agrees to join the X-Men because he believes Vanessa would have wanted him to. He, Colossus, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead respond to a standoff between authorities and the unstable young mutant Russell Collins / Firefist at an orphanage owned by the Essex Corporation, labeled a “Mutant Re-education Center”. Realizing that Russell has been abused by the orphanage staff, Deadpool kills one of the staff members before being restrained by Colossus, and both Wade and Russell are arrested.