Negasonic Teenage Warhead was an obscure character from the New X-Men who gained popularity after appearing in the first “Deadpool” movie.
Deadpool’s witty banter with X-Men character Negasonic Teenage Warhead in his movie resulted in her having a major comeback in the comics. Her inclusion in the film was an interesting choice, as prior to this, her comic book counterpart had never even met him.
Negasonic Teenage Warhead originally appeared during one of the X-Men’s most tragic moments, the mutant genocide that took place in the “E is for Extinction” story, but her true origins began outside the comics.
The character was created by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, debuting in New X-Men #115, a series famed for Morrison’s use of high-concept science fiction themes. She is a long-haired black-clad student in Emma Frost’s class on the mutant island of Genosha. Negasonic Teenage Warhead says she suffered a recurring nightmare fifty times the previous night, and is reliving it again–a nightmare portending the death of everyone. That very moment, giant sentinels descend on Genosha, killing sixteen million mutants.
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In the aftermath of the attack, the X-Men find Emma Frost as she stumbles from the wreckage, having survived due to her newly-evolved diamond skin. Emma carries the precognitive goth girl in her arms, glass shards jutting from her body. Even as Emma asks a rescue crew to take the teenager to a hospital, the crew informs the traumatized Emma that Negasonic is already dead.
However, this is not the true origin of the character, nor is it her last appearance. Morrison’s New X-Men explored numerous philosophical themes, and mutants served at various points in the story as a coded metaphor for the experiences of LGBTQ+ people, BIPOC, Jewish people, and disaffected youth. The series was released in 2001, when the youngest members of Generation X and the first Millennials were coming into their own and the music scene was finding new ways to vocalize teenage angst in the post-grunge aftermath that followed the death of Kurt Cobain. When designing this precognitive goth girl, Morrison took inspiration from the band Monster Magnet, and specifically from a 1995 stone rock song of theirs entitled “Negasonic Teenage Warhead.”
Despite her death, she would return again, first as a psychic illusion in Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men, then as a zombie in the story Necrosha. However, Brianna Hildebrand’s portrayal of the character in the 2016 Deadpool film led to her returning to the comics, alive once more, and now with a new punk aesthetic replacing her goth look and new movie-inspired powers.
Since her comics return, she has almost exclusively appeared in comics starring Deadpool or his close allies. However, the most interesting thing about Negasonic Teenage Warhead has nothing to do with the comics. Rather, it is the fact that her entire comics existence is owed to other media, first in the form of a 90s stoner rock song, and then her inclusion in a movie.
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