Man, these superhero movies are getting really good at protecting their secrets. (Uh, yeah, so about that; consider this your SPOILER WARNING.)

Deadpool 2 arrives in theaters carrying at least one major surprise that hasn’t been telegraphed in any of the trailers, teasers, ads, or posters. When Deadpool recruits his X-Force team, the list of characters he meets includes one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood: Brad Pitt, playing a guy called the Vanisher.

That may sound like a made-up guy the creators of Deadpool invented to mock how silly superhero comics can be sometimes. But no, the Vanisher is a real X-Men villain that proves all on his own how silly superhero comics can be. In fact, he was the second villain the X-Men ever faced after Magneto, in X-Men #2 from 1963, written by Stan Lee and illustrated by Jack Kirby:


(Sadly Brad Pitt’s Vanisher costume does not look like that.)

The Vanisher later joined an X-Men villain group known as Factor Three, and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Eventually, he did begin working with the X-Men as a member of X-Force, so his appearance in Deadpool 2 isn’t entirely out of continuity. Fun fact: The Vanisher’s real name is Telford Porter - AKA “Tel Porter.” I swear I’m not making any of this up. (Frankly, I’m surprised Deadpool didn’t make fun of that in the movie.)

The movie version of Vanisher is mostly a running gag; his head shot is a blank piece of paper, when he’s in the room with Deadpool auditioning for the team it looks like there’s no one there. On the plane before they skydive into their first mission, his seat is just a floating, empty parachute harness. (How is the harness visible but the rest of his clothes visible? Oh nevermind.) Then on his way down to the ground, the Vanisher collides with some electrical wires and the shock momentarily makes him visible. And there he is, Brad Pitt! This is a true blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo. If you blink, you actually could miss him.

So there you have it; a cameo from one of the biggest movie stars in the world in the sequel to a movie about a fourth-wall-breaking superhero who likes to make jokes about the male anatomy. What a magical world we live in. Deadpool 2 is now playing in theaters.

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