Deadpool is a character I really don’t get. I can see his appeal, but considering how inconsistently he’s handled, I’m surprised by his level of popularity. Most people only know him from the Wolverine: Origins movie. Though they completely botched his portrayal, there isn’t much more to the character.
It’s hard to believe the character’s only been around for just over 20 years, but looking at his design, it’s easy to see he’s a product of the 90’s. Created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza in 1991, he first appeared in New Mutants #98 as a mercenary hired to kill Cable and his team. Deadpool’s design was similar to Deathstroke from DC. His name, Wade Wilson, even parodies Deathstroke’s Slade Wilson.
Deadpool was reject of the Weapon X program, the same that created Wolverine. The Weapon Plus program was intended to recreate Captain America. Weapon X (10) experimented on mutants with healing factor. Deadpool’s origin is a little sketchy as I’ve heard it told slightly differently a few times. One says Weapon X gave him healing factor, staving off the cancer that scarred his body. Another says his healing factor supercharged his cancer, scarring his body. Regardless, healing factor from Weapon X, scarred body, wears a mask as a result, rejected from the program.
One of his most notable alias’ is the Merc with a Mouth, as he never shuts up. He makes Spider-Man seem quiet by comparison. Mostly put in funny situations, Deadpool’s books are often comical in nature. Often, he breaks the fourth wall, talking to the reader. Some issues have him acknowledging he’s in a comic book. This is where the character can falter. Comedy is hard, let alone being consistently funny on a monthly basis. Though Deadpool has starred in a myriad of books (he’s become as saturated as Wolverine or Spider-Man at some points), only a handful are worth mentioning.
His first solo series written by Joe Kelly (of Ben 10 fame) is astounding. His 33 issue run in 1997 is easily the best the character has to offer. Luckily, an omnibus has finally released. Rick Remender included him as part of his Uncanny X-Force team. Remender used him smartly, even adding a few emotional beats to the character. His current series, part of Marvel NOW!, is being written by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn, an actual comedian. This series started of with Deadpool facing down zombie U.S. Presidents.
I will give the movie version some credit, they did cast him well. If you’ve seen Ryan Reynolds’ turn as the character (in human form), you have an idea for what he’s like. He doesn’t shut up. It was what they turned him into for the third act that was poorly handled. There’s been rumors of a solo movie for years since, but I think it’s Reynolds trying to will it into existence. Seeing how The Wolverine redeemed Origins, I’d give them a chance.
If you’re interested in Deadpool, check out any of the three book I mentioned above, particularly Kelly’s run. Deadpool can be hit or miss for me, but people obviously love him as there was four monthly books starring the merc at one point. I don’t get it.
What’s your favorite Deadpool story? Is he over saturated? Comment below!
Deadpool Corps. Yep.