WARNING: This article contains Deadpool 2 SPOILERS
There's nothing that Deadpool 2 won't make fun of, but the jokes around Wade Wilson's father point to comic book stories much darker than the comedic tone suggests. Considering the level of meta jokes and celebrity cameos, slapstick comedy and over-the-top gore, it's hard to remember that at one time, Wade Wilson was just an ordinary man. Well, an ordinary hitman... who may have had some military expertise in his past.
Deadpool 2 clarifies that Wade spent years as a Special Forces operative, but also confirms his father's role in his origin story. It may seem like a throwaway line as part of Wade's own struggle to become a father (potentially), but the introduction of his runaway dad, and jokes of his "Papa" are anything but funny if you know Deadpool's comic history.
In the Marvel Comics Universe, Deadpool's father is dead. And in some versions of the story, Wade is the one who actually killed him.
Deadpool's Father Abandoned Him
It's difficult to discuss Wade Wilson's childhood trauma considering how many dark jokes he has made about child abuse and molestation in his two films alone. That is a topic for another time, but Deadpool 2 finally sees him speak honestly with his girlfriend Vanessa about his absent father. According to Wade, his father walked out on him and his mother early on, with no further explanation (leaving Wade with doubts about his own skills as a parent, assuming he will one day become his father). And that's the same story introduced in the comics.
Well, one of the stories. Given his mental instability it should really come as no surprise to learn Deadpool's origin has changed with writers more than once. But in the 2010 X-Men Origins: Deadpool comic, Wade tells a similar tale of his childhood with greater detail. In that story, his father was the source of Wade's laughter, hiding behind their front door to deliver knock-knock jokes to his sons delight. Until he left and never came back, leaving Wade to keep knocking... even after his knuckles split open and bled. So no, Deadpool isn't telling jokes just for the laughs.
Deadpool Killed His Parents in The Comics
That origin story would be grim enough on its own, and other similarities to the movie origin suggest it acted as the source material for the film version (or at least shares many elements with other telling). Its ending is telling though, with Wade having his dreams of seeing his life's story on screen dashed, swapping reality for fantasy. At which point the story ends with Deadpool finally heading to his father's address, and revealing his identity in a scene straight out of a movie (albeit a different genre). So it goes without saying that the "abandoning father and drunk single mother" shouldn't be taken at surface level.
Especially not when, in 2014, the Deadpool comic showed a very different sequence of events in flashback. During Deadpool's time as a contract killer, he was being medicated to amplify his detached, amoral murdering alongside Sabretooth. To prove just how impossible it was for Deadpool to refuse a job for moral reasons, he was sent to kill his own parents. Traveling back to Canada, he headed into his childhood home, passing by family photos and even stopping in what appears to be his old bedroom.
On the surface, Deadpool doesn't recognize any of it. But as he sits on the single bed, examines a baseball glove, and later observes the sleeping couple, it's clearly suggested that Wade's mental wheels are turning. Either way, he sets the fuel and fuses, and turns the house into a flaming heap.
So for movie fans hoping that one day Wade's father really would "hear him," it's still possible that Wade's fractured psyche found a cover story for his most twisted contract. If a future sequel pulls this similar twist... don't say we didn't warn you.
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018