Think you know the origins of everyone’s favourite ‘Merc with a mouth‘ – why not check out this article to see if you do?
Real World Origins
Deadpool was created by writer Fabian Nicieza and artist/writer Rob Liefeld.
Liefeld created Deadpool’s look and name, and Nicieza created the personality of the character. Or, in other words, Liefeld tried to rip off DC’s Deathstroke, and Nicieza wouldn’t let him.
Is that unfair of us to say? You decide.
DC’s Deathstroke is an ex-military mercenary assassin named Slade Wilson who underwent experimental procedures which gave him the ability to heal faster than normal humans. He often uses guns, swords, and mockery to disctract his opponents.
Marvel’s Deadpool is an ex-military mercenary assassin named Wade Wilson who underwent experimental procedures which gave him the ability to heal faster than normal humans. He often uses guns, swords, and mockery to distract his opponents.
Of course, Deadpool has since gone on to become not only his own character, but also one that far surpasses Deathstroke in popularity – but let’s not pretend that he began life as a completely unique character.
Once again, if you think we’re being unfair, here’s a quote from a Forbes interview with Rob Liefeld: ‘Wolverine and Spider-Man were the two properties I was competing with at all times. I didn’t have those, I didn’t have access to those. I had to make my own Spider-Man and Wolverine. That’s what Cable and Deadpool were meant to be, my own Spider-Man and my own Wolverine.’
And before you think that that comment was taken out of context, consider the following: Like Wolverine, Deadpool is Canadian, and was involved with the Weapon X program.
It could be said that coincidences upon coincidences plague Deadpool’s origins.
However, he does have one unique ability that wasn’t ‘inspired’ by other characters: Breaking the Fourth wall (also known as ‘speaking directly to the audience’), as was excellently shown in the two Deadpool films.
The thing is, Deadpool’s not the first comic character to break the fourth wall. He’s not even the first Marvel character to do it regularly (that honour belongs to She-Hulk). He is, however, the first to regularly use fourth-wall-breaks to deconstruct comics – and by extension, superhero tropes.
For instance, he often interacts with the caption boxed in the panels of his comics, thereby adding another layer of meta-comedy.
As is common with many Weapon X ‘graduates’, Deadpool doesn’t remember much about his past.
He can remember a few things from his childhood but they’re all lies – when he returned the family home, he was surprised by two things: Both of his parents were alive (he thought his father was dead), and he didn’t recognise them at all.
So, there are very few things that Deadpool can remember which are actually true. Here are the few facts which are generally accepted as being part of Deadpool’s pre-Weapon-X origins:
– He travelled the world, becoming a sumo wrestler for a time.
– The first time someone offered him money to kill someone else, he declined the offer.
– His first love was a teenaged mutant sex worker named Vanessa.
– He left Vanessa when he found out he had cancer.
– He joined Weapon X because they lied that they had a cure for cancer.
Weapon X didn’t have a cure for cancer per se, but they did have a way for Deadpool to reverse his cancer because of how they tinkered with his genetic makeup.
Eventually being considered a Weapon X failure, he was moved to the Weapon X hospice (which was basically a medically-themed prison run by Weapon X).
Due to killing another failed Weapon X experiment, Deadpool was kicked out of the program.
Why did he kill another failed Weapon X experiment like himself, you might wonder?
Was it because the other Weapon X experiment had wronged him in some way? Had they offended or insulted him? Did Deadpool do it purely because he’s chaos personified?
None of these things are why.
The real reason? Love, believe it or not. Specifically, love of Death.
See, in the Marvel universe, the very concept of Death is personified by a hooded, skull-faced woman named Death – and Deadpool had fallen madly in love with her. First he kills himself, and then he gets someone else to kill him – all so he can see her. Death, however, wanted a favour from Deadpool – to kill one of his fellow Weapon X experiments named Worm, to end Worm’s suffering.
This resulted in Deadpool being killed bt the Weapon X administrators, which in turn resulted in Death basically making him immortal.
Over the years, Deadpool has seemingly teamed up with as many people as he’s fought, some of them even being the same people (such as Wolverine, Cable, and even Spiderman).