Superhero Breakdown: Deadpool

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Fun fact: Deadpool (Wade Wilson) is the only Marvel character who can actually justify their excessive violence.

Did you know that Deadpool is Canadian? Did you know he can’t die because Death is his bae? Did you know that, underneath all his murderous ways, he actually has a heart of gold?

Deadpool: A Brief Overview

Deadpool is a fan-favourite for many reasons.

He’s a ninja who uses guns. His propensity for witty banter in the middle of a fight is legendary. He’s a mercenary who sometimes doesn’t kill people, and sometimes doesn’t accept payment for the job. He’s a loose cannon. He’s a lover and a fighter (regardless of what he said in his first film).

But more than that, he’s the perfect deconstruction of comic book ‘heroes’.

This is because he knows he’s a comic character – so he also knows that all the people he kills were never real to begin with, which technically means although he’s an assassin – he’s not a murderer.

Comics are weird, okay?

Deadpool: Origins

Deadpool, surprisingly, has a lot in common with Wolverine.

They both have superhuman healing factors, they were both experimented on by the Weapon X program, and they both hail from Cananda.

Unlike Wolverine, however, Deadpool chose to join the Weapon X program. This is because they promised him a cure for his cancer. Although Weapon X doesn’t have a cure for cancer in general, they were able to use knowledge (and a little DNA) taken from Wolverine’s experiment to cure Deadpool’s cancer.

That’s right – Deadpool’s healing factor was ‘donated’ to him by Wolverine!

Deadpool: Powers

As mentioned, Deadpool has Wolverine’s healing powers.

This means he also has all the side effects of those powers, such as being highly resistant to drugs and toxins, being immune to disease, having a super-long life span, and being highly resistant to telepathy.

He also has peak human attriubutes, approaching the levels of Captain America when it comes to strength, stamina, agility, reflexes, and speed. Further, he’s also a highly-trained mercenary, which means he’s a top-level martial artist, master assassin, and a skilled linguist.

It’s not clear whether or not it’s ‘a power’, but he’s also fully aware that he’s a comic book character.

This, in turn, makes him wildly unpredictable. There’s a Marvel character called Taskmaster, whose power is ‘being able to copy any combat technique that he sees’. Taskmaster is so powerful that he was able to learn Captain America’s combat style – including bouncing the shield effectively!

However, Deadpool’s fighting style is so bizarre and unpredictable that Taskmaster has given up on ever trying to learn it.

Deadpool: Equipment

If you can think of it, Deadpool can use (and probably has used) it kill someone.

Yes, even cotton candy (which may be called ‘fairy floss’ where you live.)

As for his standard gear, his kit commonly includes katanas, sub-machine guns, throwing stars, and smoke bombs.

Deadpool: Allies and Enemies

Deadpool is one of the few ‘neutral’ characters in Marvel comics who’s been incredibly active for the last few decades.

This means that there’s a lot – and we mean a LOT – of crossover with his friends/allies list, so it only makes sense to combine the two entries.

Deadpool was most famously ‘allied’ with a character named Cable, who is the alternate-reality-future time-travelling son of Cyclops (Scott Summers) and Jean Grey (uh – Jean Grey). However, Deadpool has also fought against Cable as well.

His fellow Weapon X ‘graduate’, Wolverine, has also fought alongside and against Deadpool.

Deadpool has also fought alongside and against various X-men groups, and was a member of X-Force (the Black Ops section of the X-Men.)

There are only two allies which Deadpool has never actively fought against: His sidekick, Bob from Hydra – and his ‘friend’ (it’s complicated) Blind Al.

It could also be argued that the sentient text captions in the Deadpool comics count as allies/enemies as well, but we’ll leave that up to you to decide.

Deadpool: Common Themes

Deadpool stories are quite often deceptively meaningful, which may explain why the character’s so popular – while his comics can be read on different levels, there’s no ‘correct’ way to read them.

Are we reading a story about Deadpool trying to get a movie made about his life, or are we reading a story about the cloistered and often-toxic society that is ‘Hollywood’? Or was the story actually about comics? Or veganism? Or the importance of family? Or the importance of self-worth? Was it all of these thing? Was it none of these things?

Like Taskmaster trying to learn Deadpool’s fighting style, the reader is left confused, bewildered, and not sure what to think.

Deadpool: Cultural Impact

One of the reasons that Deadpool’s so great is that he’s the perfect character for few people left on Earth who think comics (or comic book characters) are ‘for nerds’.

Show these people Deadpool killing a room full of people while complaining about the quality of the chimichanga he ate last night, and these people will realise that comics aren’t JUST for nerds – they’re also for chaotic people who revel in violence as well.

Not that you can’t be a chaotic nerd who revels in violence, of course!

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