With Marvel’s rehashing of a once visited character, Deadpool opening as the newest edition to the cinematic universe this month I decided to take a look back at Deadpool’s origins and see what exactly makes him tick.
By: Carefree Black Nerd
Deadpool is Marvel’s resident anti-hero. I have to admit that I have very limited Deadpool knowledge. Sure I remember seeing him in different books I picked up as a child. But he never did a crossover with my personal X-team—Generation X* (see first feature article). Prior to Marvel’s announcement of Deadpool’s solo movie and even before his first silver screen appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine I found myself a little intrigued by him and his red suit but my interest only got me that far.
25 years to the month of Deadpool’s first appearance in New Mutants #98 (February 1991) Marvel fans can finally find him on the big screen in all his comedic glory. The Merc with a Mouth as first introduced into the Marvel universe as a super villain in both New Mutants and X-Force. Later his depiction changed to the role of anti-hero.
Deadpool is disfigured and mentally unstable which is interesting since he’s one of the very few characters who routinely break the fourth wall in the Marvel universe. Wade does this as a part of his character’s shtick and all in the name of humor and good fun. The way he uses his slapstick is very different than the way the Purple Man in Marvel’s Max series, Alias uses it.
Deadpool’s backstory has been deliberately presented as vaguely as possible. It’s subject to change depending on the writer at the time. What makes any story told believable is that Wade himself is unable to remember any of his origin story or personal life. My favorite story out of all that have tried to explain Deadpool’s past is that one told by his arch enemy, T-Ray. In his version of events T-Ray claims that he is actually the real Wade Wilson and that Deadpool is a manic murderer who stole his identity.
Much like Wolverine, Deadpool has an accelerated healing factor. This was artificially endowed to him through the Weapon X program. He regenerates destroyed tissue at a superhuman rate because of this he is immune to diseases. This power set prevents him from being permanently injured thanks to the advanced cellular regeneration throughout his body. This mutation also causes psychosis and mental instability. His neurons are also affected by the cellular regeneration. It is implied that Deadpool’s healing factor exacerbated an underlying mental issue. This was demonstrated when he lost his healing factor but didn’t gain his sanity.
His brain cells are mutated as well. His dying neurons rejuvenate themselves at super accelerated rates. This allows Deadpool to recover from any head wound and renders him nearly invulnerable to psychic and telepathic powers. Additionally, Deadpool’s body is extremely resistant to drugs and toxins thanks to his mutation. He can, however, be affected by certain drugs like tranquilizers if the dosage is large enough. It’s shown that Deadpool is effectively immortal when X-Force encounters him 800 years in the future.
In December of 2013 Deadpool was confirmed as #omnisexual. This came from Deadpool writer, Gerry Dugan via twitter. One half of Deadpool’s co-creator, Fabian Nicieza stated:
“Deadpool is whatever sexual inclination his brain tells him he is in THAT moment. And then the moment passes.” He goes on to explain that Deadpool is “NO sex and ALL sexes. He’s your and everyone else’s. So not dismissive but rather the epitome of inclusive.”
That quote is one of the reasons I like Deadpool as a character. I like him for breaking through the fourth wall and his comedic commentary (that’s so much better than Spiderman’s on Wade’s worse day). But Deadpool is also a sexually wide-ranging character. His attraction to the same sex is treated just as his attraction to the opposite sex: as normal. In my Generation X article I spoke about representation and how important it was for me to see Synch, an African American teenage kid in my favorite comic. Who knows what kid dealing with their own issues with seeing someone like them in comic, movies, cartoons or something might run across the omnisexual Mr. Wilson.
Deadpool’s history through Marvel comics is a colorful and interesting one. The preview’s for his solo movie look very good and they were even funny (the first few times I heard his jokes) but I just hope that Marvel does him justice on the big screen this time around. I’ll be sitting front row with my fingers crossed and my hat off to you Mr. 2 guys, a girl and a pizza place.
** Notable aliases: Regenerating Degenerate, Jack, Wade T. Wilson, Mithras, Johnny Silvini, Thom Cruz, Hulkpool, Wildcard and Zenpooleature
Feature | Season 1 | Issue 1