Deadpool, aka Wade Wilson, has had one of the craziest popularity spikes in recent memory. Had you asked the average Joe on the street three years ago who he was, they would have looked you dead in the eye and asked if you were talking about about some sort of Government conspiracy involving poisoned water. But now, with the highest-grossing R-rated comic film ever made and a hilarious viral marketing campaign under his teleportation belt, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t know the the potty-mouthed Avenger’s name.
Of course, with a rise in popularity comes a rise in so called “experts” weighing in on how the character “used to be better” or how the movie “is nothing like the comics” or how “they only picked Ryan Reynolds for the sex appeal.” Yeah, we all know those kinds of people, the ones who only know what was in the massively popular movie or who did a quick Google search on the character or read a single Deadpool comic. But then there are those facts that even most die-hard comic book fans often forget about, leading to widespread false information about the Merc with a Mouth within the general public.
We’re here to try and set the record straight. Here are 15 Things About Deadpool That Everyone Gets Wrong!
15. He hasn’t always been a her0/antihero
One of the themes that most stood out in the recent Deadpool movie was the question of what it really meant to be a hero. And how Wade Wilson was definitely not one. Despite Colossus’ begging, Wade shot his enemy dead right there in the street, squelching his big “hero” moment in favor of petty revenge. Even so, we all know that underneath that sarcastic demeanor and Hugh Jackman-esque good looks is a man with a heart of gold. Although he may be an insane murder machine, Deadpool always ends up doing the righteous thing in the end. Right?
Wrong. When Rob Liefeld created the character back in 1991, the Merc with the Mouth was intended to be a straight-up villain. For his first few appearances, Deadpool was a constant harasser of the New Mutants and the X-Force; he tried to kill Cable in their first encounter and gleefully murdered, robbed, and insidiously manipulated his way through anyone in his path in subsequent issues. He still had the sarcastic wit we all know and love, but there was nothing but villainy within his heart.
14. He isn’t completely invulnerable
We’ve talked about this one before. Deadpool’s healing factor is one of the most powerful in all of comics. He’s come back from so many impalements, decapitations, disembowelments, and incinerations that it’s become somewhat of a challenge for writers to find new ways to demonstrate his regeneration powers. Wade Wilson has even survived being reduced down to a single speck of blood!
But alas, some clever plot devices through the years have brought an end to the Merc with a Mouth. Most recently, he was killed in the Death of Deadpool arc, when his entire universe collided with the Ultimate Universe, killing everyone who was in it at the time (aren’t comics weird?).
In Age of Apocalypse, an evil Nightcrawler decapitates Wilson and teleports his head away from his body, effectively killing him. He also gets reduced to a pile of mush by Thanos before the Mad Titan realizes that killing Deadpool is actually doing him a favor. Surprisingly, Wade Wilson isn’t as invulnerable as we were originally led to believe.
13. He isn’t the One and Only!
You’d be hard pressed to find another antihero like Deadpool. Since his rise to popularity everyone seems to be trying to copy his formula: DC has completely reinvented Harley Quinn to be more like the character, incorporating “random” humor into her personality and having her perform more heroic deeds than she used to. Even Marvel tries to copy their own character’s success with titles like The Superior Foes of Spider-Man and Squirrel Girl. Alas, Wade Wilson remains as the one and only Merc with a Mouth.
Or so we thought. Marvel has a ton of different multiverses with their own versions of each character, so it should come as little surprise that there are more than one Deadpool. The most famous, code-named “Dreadpool,” was an even more psychotic interpretation of the character who murdered every superhero in his universe, and then proceeded to seek out and destroy the Deadpools of every other universe. In the spectacular treat Deadpool vs. Deadpool we were introduced to such alt-universe versions like Pandapool, Deadpool Dinosaur, Galactipool, and Cesspool. And that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface!
12. His healing factor is his only ability
We’ve also touched upon this one before, too. Due to its prominence in the stories and humor of the Deadpool comics, the character’s healing factor is front and center when the topic comes up. Press a little bit further, however, and you’ll find that this is generally the only ability people think the character has. We’ll be the first to admit that we are guilty of this as well; most writers don’t point out the fact that there is so much more the character has hidden up his sleeve.
For years Deadpool’s broken teleportation device has been a staple of the character; in the beginning (when he was a villain) writers used this as a quick plot device to allow him to live to fight another day. As he made the switch from antagonist to protagonist, the teleporter started to be used as a source of humor: It was constantly broken, which only allowed Deadpool to teleport short distances away. Wade Wilson also has super agility, peak human strength, and gadgets such as cloaking devices to help him get the job done.
11. Deadpool doesn’t actually prefer to work alone
The Merc with a Mouth gets himself into so many crazy situations and has such an off-putting personality that you’d think he’d avoid the hassle that any sort of team-up brings with it. Anyone who watched the Deadpool movie can agree with these sentiments, as the character spends the entire film brushing off the offers to join the X-Men. Of course, other heroes aren’t exactly fans of working with Wade either for obvious reasons…
Whether willingly or not, Deadpool has actually been the subject of sooo many team ups and has had multiple sidekicks over the years. The most well-known of these sidekicks is good ol’ Hydra Bob (or just “Bob” due to rights issues). His two other sidekicks, Blind Al and Weasel, have taken the spotlight thanks in part to last year’s hit film.
Then there’s all the team-ups. Deadpool has partnered with Spider-Man, Wolverine, Colossus, and Captain America. But nothing can top the ongoing partnership that defines Deadpool as a character, his complex relationship with Cable, which lasted for fifty gut-bustingly hilarious issues.
10. His origin
If you’ve seen the movie, you can recount the story of Deadpool’s origin; Wade Wilson, suffering from stage four cancer, undergoes a shady experimental treatment that unleashes his mutant power of healing while also turning him completely insane. It’s a story that has been told time and time again with different variations, and is the go-to origin tale for the character.
However, much like the Clown Prince of Crime himself, Deadpool does not have a singular origin. There have been stories in which Deadpool was a part of the very same Weapon X program that gave Wolverine and Sabretooth their starts. T-Ray (a longtime enemy of the character) claims that Deadpool isn’t even really named Wade Wilson, but rather he stole the identity from one of his many targets. Some writers claim that Wilson’s father was murdered while he was still young, while others show that he is still alive. Even the character himself constantly admits that his origin depends on who is writing the story.
9. The character isn’t completely a rip off of Deathstroke
Yeah, Rob Liefeld himself admitted that his creation’s name was a nod to DC’s Slade Wilson (aka Deathstroke). “Wade Wilson” is the alter ego of Deadpool, which the writer quoted as saying “where do you do the Deathstroke? In the Deadpool!” Even in the character’s early conception a coworker came over to Liefeld and point-blank said, “That’s Deathstroke.” We can see it. Both characters have a similar body shape, use guns and swords, have a similar skill set, and even have masks that look somewhat the same!
But… that was never the intention. In fact, when provoked with the question Liefeld admitted that Deadpool was supposed to be a clone of Wolverine crossed with the Amazing Spider-Man. If you actually compare the two characters this becomes even more apparent; Slade Wilson is a stoic, no-nonsense assassin that can be downright terrifying. Deadpool is… definitely not that. Looks aside, there is very little that Slade and Wade Wilson have in common.
8. He has a softer side
Deadpool has always been a character who looks out for numero uno. Whether it’s inciting Wolverine to violence just so he can have a good brawl, murdering Ajax for reasons of revenge, or torturing Hydra Bob just for kicks, Wilson will do anything to get his way. He’s narcissistic. He’s a murderer. He has a potty mouth that he never refrains from using. Anyone who stands between Deadpool and what he wants is just asking to be put in a physical and mental world of hurt.
He may not play nice or give a damn about consequences, but Deadpool is far from the selfish a-hole everyone makes him out to be. He has shown that he has a soft spot, falling in love and even taking some children (very haphazardly, we might add) under his wing. There was also the time in which Wilson went out of his way to prevent a teenage girl from committing suicide. Of course, he then dragged her right into a dangerous mission where death lurked at every corner, but that’s beside the point!
7. His sexuality
Deadpool is all about the “Babes” as he’d call them. Over the years he has been in relationships with Shiklah, Copycat (or Vanessa, in the movie), and Lady Death while also lusting after characters like Domino and Black Widow. Some of the less subtle writers beat you over the head with the character’s sexual deviancy, including (but not limited to!) prompts in the Deadpool game that allow you to grope a scantily clad woman in one of his fantasies (of course, we find out that the woman he’s seeing is really Cable, followed by some hilarious button prompts).
It’s pretty safe to assume that Deadpool would identify as straight then, no? According to director Tim Miller and confirmed by Ryan Reynolds, Wade Wilson is actually pansexual; he is attracted to whatever his ever-changing mind tells him at the time. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone considering how obvious his crush is for Spider-Man during their crossovers. He’s also expressed attraction for Thor, among many other male comic book characters.
6. His “insanity”
Deadpool is one of the very few comic book characters that are aware that they are just fictional characters being created by the stroke of a pen. This makes the Merc with a Mouth stand out from the crowd and address his audience directly, leading to some really funny meta humor across his different titles. To the residents of the Marvel Universe, however, Deadpool seems bat***t insane, as he constantly talks to people who aren’t there and makes references to the “creators” of their universe.
Let us get a little philosophical here. Put aside the fact that Wade Wilson performs crazy stunts and throws himself into bodily harm on a consistent basis. If a character is aware of the realities of their universe, are they truly insane? Deadpool has used this knowledge to his advantage constantly; he’s made trips into the real world to talk with his creator, he can travel back in time through the panels of his books, and he can even use the power of recap panels to help him remember things that happened in the past. We’d like to think that Wilson isn’t insane… he’s just on another plane of existence!
5. Not every superhero hates him
With a character as annoying as Deadpool (and we mean ANNOYING) it would be natural to think that nobody else would ever want to be around him. And you’d be right! Thor hates working with him. Spidey (usually) hates being around him. The X-Men shun him. And Wolverine… well, that above image tells you all you need to know about their relationship! Even to his long-time partner Cable, Wilson often seems like more of a nuisance than a true friend.
Luckily for Wade, there are a few Marvel characters who have a soft spot for him. Captain America may be put off by his foul language, but Steve Rogers often shows sympathy for our favorite Merc; he knows what it’s like to be the subject of a scientific experiment gone wrong. Hawkeye shows some love for Deadpool in their mini series Hawkeye vs. Deadpool, though it comes across as more like pity. We also can’t forget to mention Colossus, the only character in the Deadpool movie who thought Wade Wilson was worth saving.
4. He has a sense of morality
Amidst the mass chaos that Wade Wilson creates, it’s easy for us to forget that he is still a human being. As he goes about causing the destruction of entire city blocks and turning henchman after henchman into living kebabs and laughing about it, we get the idea that Deadpool loves destruction and violence. We once saw a idea floated on the web that claimed if Deadpool really knows that his entire world is fake, then wouldn’t it be normal for him to do whatever he wants without feeling any sense of morality? Like a gamer when they play Grand Theft Auto? However, even in this knowingly fake world, there are some lines that even Deadpool won’t cross.
As we mentioned before, Wade has a soft spot for children. He famously goes off on the rest of the X-Force after one of his teammates murders Apocalypse, who has resurrected as a young boy. Although the rest of the team realizes that what happened was for the greater good of humanity, Deadpool refuses to believe it. Wade Wilson also has a zero-tolerance policy for abusers, beating the ever-loving hell out of anyone he finds guilty of the crime. In some continuities the character has a daughter that he must watch over from afar, leading to some really touching moments in an otherwise comedic book.
3. The “voices” in his head aren’t his inner dialogue
If you are ever to pick up a Deadpool comic book, chances are you will see the character randomly chatting it up with the voices in his head (depicted as boxes of white and yellow). Each voice had its own unique personality, assumed to be springing from deep inside the Merc’s mind. This went on all throughout the Daniel Way era of Deadpool comics. Bear with us, as this entry is definitely the most obscure on this list, but what if we told you that Deadpool wasn’t talking to himself at all?
After Way’s departure Marvel decided to bring Deadpool down a notch on the insanity scale. It was revealed in Deadpool #28 that the white boxes in his mind, which were normally the voice of reason, were actually the voice of Howard the Duck villain Dr. Bong. On the flip side, the yellow boxes (which were more insane in nature) were the work of Madcap, a D-list Captain America villain. As popular as Way’s run was, it’s very easy to forget that these text boxes were not always a consistent staple of the character.
2. He hasn’t always been a walking meme
Speaking of Daniel Way’s run on Deadpool: the character was changed drastically through time. Like we said before, Deadpool was a villain for his first five or six years of existence. He was snarky and sarcastic, but far from the over-the-top personality that most people are familiar with. Then, when he got his own series, elements like the fourth wall breaking and the little text boxes were introduced.
However, during the mid-to-late-2000s, the character went completely off the rails. It was not uncommon for him to scream “CHIMICHANGA!” as he charged his enemies or talk about how he had a unicorn fetish (although that seems to be common theme for overly-angsty comic characters). He made reference to whatever was the internet meme of the week, made a mountain of pancakes just for the hell of it, and enjoyed getting into hot tubs with blow-up dolls (seriously). Is this the same character who took a moral stance against Wolverine for killing a child? Is this the same guy who tried to murder Cable in cold blood?
As much as we appreciate this version of the character for bringing Deadpool into the mainstream, we must admit that it got downright cringeworthy at some points. Luckily, the writers since then have toned him down; leaving him as a crazy goofball who gets into wacky adventures without most of the Spork-loving, “ZOMG so random!” style of humor he used to be known for.
1. Deadpool wasn’t truly in X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Remember back in 2009, when Fox decided it was a great time to go forth with a bunch of X-Men spinoffs about their most popular characters? Wolverine and Magneto were supposed to be the first two, setting up cash-in after cash-in. But then X-Men Origins: Wolverine came out. It was a trainwreck. You could tell that the movie was setting up Deadpool by casting Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson, but luckily for fans everywhere the character disappeared after the opening scenes, saving us from a version of Deadpool that would bastardize the character for years. Right? RIGHT?!
Okay., so they tried to do Deadpool in the movie, although “try” may be too strong of a verb. To this day many refuse to acknowledge that the character Ryan Reynolds portrays at the climax of the movie is Deadpool. Because he’s not. There’s no costume. He has katanas in his arms and shoots lasers out of his eyes. The Merc with a Mouth HAS HIS MOUTH SEWN SHUT!
Even Reynolds (a diehard fan of the character) was so upset by whatever this was supposed to be that he refused to shoot these scenes, forcing a stunt double to stand in for the entire climax. Call him whatever you want, but this guy ain’t no Deadpool.
So what do you think of our list? Did you know the Merc with a Mouth well enough that this was all old news to you? Did anything surprise you? Let us know in the comments!