Deadpool, a fan-favorite character among comic book lovers, has a lot of unexpected layers. The complexity of this anti-hero means almost anyone to connect with him on some level, even if he's a little rough around the edges. Many fans like the character for his sharp mouth and his habit of breaking the fourth wall to talk to the audience, but there is much more to the costumed crimefighter also known as Wade Wilson.
Even though he is a newer character (only dating back to 1991), Deadpool has made his way into the hearts of millions and, with the Ryan Reynolds-starring movie on the way, is shaping up to be a comic book character that will remain in our psyche for decades to come.
So, even if you are already head over heels for this chimichanga-eating mercenary, or you want to learn more about him, read ahead for Screen Rant’s list of 12 Things You Need To Know About Deadpool!
Deadpool’s origins aren’t as clearly defined as some of the more well-known superheroes, partially due to his mental instability, which makes him an unreliable narrator. What we do know is that his life began as a child in a dysfunctional family. In some versions of the story, his father abandoned him and his mother when he was very young. This led his mother down a spiral of alcoholism, but she would rely on humor to get her through her day, which gave Wade Wilson his trademark sharp wit.
In another origin, we see that Deadpool’s father was abusive and his mother died of cancer. We may never know his true early life due to his brain constantly regenerating, but we do know that he traveled around the world honing his skills as a mercenary. Later, he volunteered for the Weapon X program in hopes to cure his cancer, since if it were successful, the experiment would give him Wolverine's healing powers. The experiment went off the rails, deforming his face and giving him a copious amount of mental problems, but it did leave him with a regenerative healing ability.
Also, during the Weapon X program, the guards would bet on who would survive and who would die during the experiments. All the bets were against Wade Wilson, but he came out on top. Hence the name: Deadpool.
Almost every superhero has the classic love interest that they go out of their way to save, or they have a deceased lover who helps motivate them to keep being a hero. Though the movie version of Deadpool seems to be of this typically heterosexual romantic type (hence, the ironic "Valentine's Day" billboards), the comic book version of the character isn’t as clear and defined in terms of sexuality. Deadpool has had many partners throughout his history, and not all of them are human women. For a character as unique as Deadpool, it's no wonder he’d have some extremely unique partners.
Deadpool is a pansexual, which means he doesn’t care what gender you are or even if you lack a gender completely. This is why he’s seen having relationships with shapeshifters, aliens, and perhaps oddest, the physical representation of the abstract concept of Death. As odd as some of his relationships can be, it’s refreshing to see a character with no prejudices towards love interests. For a mercenary, he’s got a very open heart and allows himself to feel for anyone he desires.
The red suit isn’t just so bad guys won’t see him bleed, but is actually inspired by the web-slinger himself, Spider-Man. Though Deadpool was conceptualized as a character easy to draw so that the artists would make deadlines quicker, his creators were also inspired by Spider-Man’s costume. Later on, this inspiration was translated into the comics by having Deadpool admire Spider-Man and even constantly try to win him over as his best friend.
On top of this, Wade Wilson was also highly inspired by the DC character Slade Wilson, also known as the Teen Titans adversary, Deathstroke. Both men are mercenaries, are physically enhanced, have an affinity for battle, use swords, and have a huge arsenal of guns. So, Deadpool’s suit isn’t the only thing directly inspired by other characters. Luckily, Deadpool still stands on his own as a character, despite all of these inspirations.
Most people know Deadpool for constantly breaking the fourth wall and talking directly to the readers (or even the writers and illustrators). These breaks are often hilarious and act as great pop-culture references. Unfortunately, there is a darker undertone to these moments. With the self-awareness of knowing he is nothing more than a character in a comic book and at the dispense of the writers, Deadpool has been seen as discouraged and pained by his existence.
In fact, there have been several times in which Deadpool has addressed the existence of the fourth wall as something emotionally crushing. As we see in Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe and Deadpool Roasts The Marvel Universe, Wade is unbelievably depressed by the weight of knowing that he exists only as a means of entertainment for all of us.
Deadpool is an anti-hero to the core, but in his heart he's a good guy (most of the time). While he has killed hundreds of people and constantly torments those closest to him, Deadpool has shown great compassion in brief, intimate moments. He has even been seen donating his organs and sacrificing his body for others.
One of Deadpool's most memorable moments comes when he rescues Evan (a clone of the villain Apocalypse) from his creators and informs him that he is more than just a clone destined for evil - that he has a choice to be his own man. Later, after Evan enrolled at the Jean Grey School For Higher Learning, Deadpool payed his new favorite pal a visit. In one of the most heartwarming set of panels in all of Deadpool’s comics, Wade tells Evan that if he could have a son he’d want one just as awesome as Evan. In this moment, Evan thanks Deadpool for being the “hero” who helped him when he needed it the most.
At one point in the comics, Deadpool gets married. His bride was kept a secret for several issues, but was later revealed to be Shiklah, the Queen of the Undead. Deadpool created a massive spectacle for his ceremony that saw almost the entire Marvel universe assembled. While the wedding as a whole may sound like a positive event in the messed up life of our favorite merc, the wedding was actually just another mess that Deadpool has gotten himself into.
The wedding wasn’t even initially planned as this larger than life event either, until Marvel was able to gather all of the previous writers and artists for Deadpool, who wrote and drew the recurring side-characters from their time on the comic, helping make the wedding become the “event” it was.
Deadpool has become a member of many teams within the Marvel Universe. While not always being an overwhelming positive member, Deadpool has managed to leave his mark on teams widely known for other major characters. For instance, Deadpool was part of the X-Force, a roster including Wolverine, Fantomex, Psylocke, Archangel, E.V.A., and Deathlok.In a slightly stranger scenario, Wade Wilson actually became an Avenger. Brought on and inducted by one of his heroes, Captain America, Deadpool was given membership due to Steve Rogers seeing a “true hero” within him, despite having murdered dozens of people over his tenure as Deadpool.
In another storyline, he was a part of the Deadpool Corps, which was comprised of different versions of Deadpool from the alternate earths within the Marvel multiverse. With all of the personalities, and insane physical alterations to each version of Deadpool clashing, the Deadpool Corps was just the right amount of crazy for our Earth-616 Deadpool.
As if being a Merc with a Mouth wasn’t enough, Deadpool arguably has the strongest healing factor in all of the Marvel Universe. Given the power thanks to the experiments of the Weapon X program, Deadpool’s healing factor is so incredible that it has allowed him to survive otherwise-fatal injuries dozens of times. Knowing that he is virtually invincible, Deadpool has often sacrificed his body for others safety, sparing others the pain of certain death. Deadpool has been shown to survive some of the harshest, physically damaging events known, and yet he comes out alive. Among other things, Deadpool has survived a nuclear bomb, decapitation, and dismemberment. Even further, he himself donates his own organs on a regular basis because they grow back so quickly.
The largest downside to his healing factor is what else it repairs within his own body. suffering from horrible cancer during his involvement in the Weapon X program, Wade Wilson’s cancer cells were given the same regenerative abilities as his normal cells. This is why Deadpool is always hideous. There have been certain versions that change this up, but almost always, Deadpool looks as though he is knocking on Death’s door.
Obviously, we are all tremendously excited to see Ryan Reynolds' reformed version of the Merc with a Mouth in this February’s Deadpool. Angry with how the character was handled in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (in which he also played the character), Ryan Reynolds spent years campaigning for a proper version of Deadpool to be brought to life. However, his connection with the character goes beyond just playing him on screen. Deadpool in the comics has actually referenced Ryan Reynolds, saying that he himself looks like a cross between the actor and a shar-pei.
Ryan Reynold’s intense affinity for the character is enough to get any of us excited, but the similarities between the two make us excited to see Ryan Reynolds really become Wade Wilson.
Almost every superhero with their own comic book has a group of friends and sidekicks that they work with. Deadpool is no different in this regard. Wade Wilson has several close confidants that have become recurring characters in his solo adventures. Unlike many other characters, Deadpool’s sporadic emotions make the relationships with his friends much more strenuous than the usual superhero teamwork that happens in comics.
The closest confidant of Deadpool is Blind Al, an old, blind woman living at Deadpool’s house as a sort of prisoner. While she is being kept hostage, she acts as a mother figure to Deadpool and feels as if she can redeem herself if she can set Wade on the path to redemption himself. Next, we have Weasel. One of Deadpool’s closest friends, he is an arms dealer and information broker who has helped Wade on many adventures. Deadpool has obviously made more friends than that over the years, but Blind Al and Weasel are his closest two confidants.
While Deadpool’s healing factor is amazing, one of his most out of place powers is known as “bodysliding.” Bodysliding is basically teleportation, using a device that Cable (whose relationship to Deadpool we will explore shortly) developed himself. Unfortunately, during Deadpool’s adventures with the time-traveling Cable, their DNA became mixed up, so whenever one would teleport, the other would teleport to the exact same location as well, making their bodies morph together.
This fusing during teleportation would actually change Wade’s appearance and make him temporarily handsome, rather than the usual Freddy Krueger-esque appearance. Cable eventually fixed the device and was able to bodyslide each one of them individually so that the other wasn’t pulled to that location at any moment.
Cable gets his own spot on this list because he and Deadpool have developed a unique and strange relationship. Cable and Deadpool not only had their own comic series together, but have crossed paths many times in other comics. They may be at odds sometimes, but the two have a lasting friendship. Cable has often gone out of his way to try and convince Wade of doing good, rather than killing for money.
Both have fought each other, but in the end they will always be pals. Cable is the straight man to Deadpool’s comedic insanity, and it results in a hilarious dynamic. These two will forever go down as one of the greatest comic duos for their insane adventures and unique banter.
Hopefully you learned a few things about the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool. For a character often seen as a comedic psychopath, there is obviously much more depth to him. Either way, be sure to let us know which Deadpool fact was your favorite, and tell us which tidbits we left off this list. Thanks for reading and be sure to check out Deadpool on February 12th, 2016!