In addition to his legacy as a comic book creator, Stan Lee is one of the greatest salesmen of this or any other generation. Sure, the products he’s selling have historically been funny book characters of his own creation – either under the Marvel banner where he fashioned such characters as Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, and more, or through one of his seemingly countless business endeavors since leaving the House of Ideas in the late 1990s – but you get the feeling that the guy could and would apply his trademark salesmanship to whatever needed talking up – and he might even throw in a little “Excelsior!” just to spice things up a bit.
While Lee’s contributions to Marvel Comics are acknowledged with every cameo appearance he makes in the company’s films – even the ones not directly produced by Marvel Entertainment or distributed by Disney – there’s one character in particular that Stan the Man didn’t have a hand in creating: Deadpool. As it turns out, the Merc With a Mouth doesn’t really need anyone’s help in the advertising department – being the worldwide highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time is generally proof of a pretty solid marketing campaign – but Lee still has a few thoughts on why the character is so popular with audiences today, and what its is that he finds so appealing about Wade Wilson and his not-so-alter ego Deadpool.
The official Deadpool Twitter page posted a new video where Lee goes into a short explanation of the character’s appeal and he lands on some pretty salient points. While it might be debatable whether or not Deadpool is “like a real person” or that “he talks the way regular people talk” Lee is zeroing in what drives audiences’ fascination with the character when he says, “You never know what he’ll say or do next.” Deadpool’s wit is as lightening fast as his physical reflexes and, obnoxious though it may be, it does serve as his calling card. Let’s face it; everyone wants to be the guy with the perfect line or devastating comeback in any given situation, and most of the time, Deadpool is that guy.
If having a smart mouth is a superpower, then Wade Wilson may have had a latent ability long before he was turned into a disfigured killing machine with an accelerated healing factor. To that end, Wilson actually bears a strong resemblance to Stan’s most famous creation, Spider-Man. Both Wade and Peter Parker tend to get a little verbose while doing battle with their adversaries, but whereas Peter knows more or less when to quit, Deadpool definitely takes things to the extreme. That might explain Lee’s comment that Deadpool is “as disrespectful as most people are.” So, basically, Deadpool is everyone on social media, but just reimagined as a… superhero?
And maybe that’s the biggest selling point to Deadpool: his lack of respect for anything or anyone makes him truly indestructible. There’s no injury he can’t heal from, and there isn’t anything anyone can say that’ll hurt him much either, or that won’t elicit a far more devastating response from the red-suited menace. Does that make him, as Lee says: “Like the guy you wish lived next door and would be your best friend?” Well, maybe, so long as you have insurance and aren’t too particular about appearances.
Deadpool is available now in digital, DVD, and Blu-Ray formats. Deadpool 2 does not yet have a confirmed release date. Wolverine 3 opens in U.S. theaters on March 3rd, 2017, followed by unannounced X-Men films on October 6th, 2017, March 2nd, 2018, and June 29th, 2018. X-Force is also in development.