Who Is Deadpool? 15 Facts For Those New To The Anti-Hero
Just a day to go till Fox’s Deadpool movie hits theaters, and we can’t wait to feast our eyes on what has received rave reviews by a number of critics and fans after recent pre-release screenings. While the Marvel antihero’s unfortunate live-action debut in X-Men Origins: Wolverine was flooded with negative feedback and poor reviews, it seems his first solo film might just turn things around, with a sequel already said to have been greenlit.
Deadpool may be immensely popular among comic book fans, but not everyone knows of the Merc with a Mouth (he’s not Ninja Spider-Man), his origin story or his many quirks, which is why we’ve compiled a list of 15 Deadpool facts that’ll prepare you for the movie and maybe help you enjoy it a tad more. Remember that some of these may not apply to the movie.
Created by artist Rob Liefeld and writer Fabian Nicieza, Deadpool made his debut as a villain in New Mutants #98, later evolving into one of the most popular antiheroes in the comic-verse.
His Real Name & the Story Behind It
Writer Fabian Nicieza gave Deadpool the alter-ego “Wade Wilson” as an inside-joke after commenting that Rob Liefeld’s character proposition was very similar to DC’s Deathstroke, the popular Teen Titans villain who goes by the name “Slade Wilson”.
What Does “Deadpool” Even Mean?
The inmates of the Weapon X genetic research project that Wade Wilson joined to have his cancer cured had a betting pool going on each inmates survival odds. The betting pool or “dead pool” had Wilson at the top with 1000 to one odds of survival, which he beat, subsequently adopting the name as his alter-ego.
Due to the Deadpool’s narrative being voiced by his unstable mind, there is quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding his backstory. One version sees his mother die of cancer, leaving him to grow up with an abusive military father who is later killed by one of Wade’s friends as he begins to run with the wrong. I another instance, the antihero recalls being abandoned by his father at an early age and seeing his mother use alcoholism and humor to stifle the pain of her loss, inspiring his own trademark quips.
One thing that mostly remains constant is that he is a Canadian, though he is said to have been in the US Army Special Forces before he started work as a mercenary for hire and eventually volunteered for the Weapon X program (which also tampered with Sabretooth’s memories and gave Wolverine his adamantium skeleton) in hopes to have his cancer cured. The experiments that were carried out on the merc in the program imbued his body with superhuman healing powers along with an unstable mind and unsightly skin condition as side effects.
Powers: Superhuman Healing
Given to him as part of the Weapon X experiment that aimed to transfer Wolverine’s healing factor to a regular human, Deadpool’s superhuman healing is believed to be among the strongest, if not the strongest, in the Marvel Comics Universe. He can reattached severed limbs, has survived being decapitated more than once and was even able to regenerate his head after it was pulverized by the Hulk! This regenerative ability extends to the neurons in his brain, putting them in a state of perpetual flux. This protects him from mind control and other forms of telepathy. It also makes him mentally unstable, though this in turn makes
The accelerated regeneration also retards Deadpool’s aging, making him nearly immortal. An alternate-universe variant of Deadpool He has been killed on more than one occasion (once by Thanos), but subsequently resurrected.
Abilities: Master Assassin
Deadpool is adept at various forms of martial arts and is a master swordsman and gunslinger with years of military training and experience as a mercenary under his belt. He dons dual katanas (now enhanced with Carbonadium to counter accelerated healing) and an assortment of unlimited guns, explosives and other melee weapons that he stows away in a magic satchel.
An Unsightly Man with Mental Instability
The superhuman healing Deadpool was given by the Weapon X program, while protecting his cancer from killing him, also accelerated the regeneration of his cancerous cells, causing his skin to develop unsightly scarring. The same healing factor also, as mentioned earlier, speeds up the regeneration of neurons in his brains, making him mentally unhinged. The antihero’s thoughts are often seen as a witty back-and-forth between the many voices in his head.
Breaks the Fourth Wall
One of the things that makes Deadpool such a beloved character is his ability to break the fourth wall. Deadpool knows he’s just a character in a comic book, and while he mostly uses this ability to gain an edge over opponents in a battle with info from other issues that he shouldn’t have, to interact with readers, making light of any and all situations with slapstick humor or making references to other comic book characters, even those from another publisher, the awareness that he isn’t real has, on occasion, been shown to depress the antihero.
In the comic book series Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, as a result of villain Psycho-Man’s failed attempt at brainwashing him, Deadpool becomes psychotic, killing every major character in the Marvel Universe as a way to rebel against his writers. He eventually breaks into the real world to finish them off, subsequently vowing to track down his readers as well.
Merc with a Mouth and a Sharp Wit
Another Deadpool characteristic that has helped him climb the popularity scale is his sharp wit and incessant blabbering, which is known to drive both allies and enemies insane with anger. He once signed on as a herald of Galactus, eventually talking the world-devourer to the edge of his patience.
Gadgets: Teleportation Devices
Deadpool has been known to use teleportation trinkets, such as Cable’s “bodysliding” TDC (Time Displacement Core), to give himself an edge in combat, but he eventually gave them up, saying that “it made it too easy.”
Fear of Cows
Deadpool has bovinophobia – a fear of cows. Their stare gives him the willies and he feels that they’re “waiting” to strike.
Sexual Orientation: Omnisexual
Wade Wilson is omnisexual. What that means is that his sexual orientation is, as co-creator Nicieza explains, “whatever his brain tells him he is in that moment. And then the moment passes.” Deadpool has had quite a few flings and has even been married a couple times. He was also romantically involved with Mistress Death – the embodiment of Death itself and the polar opposite of the abstract entity Eternity – who is also the love interest of the Titan Thanos.
As is common with comic books, there are a number of alternate-universe versions of Deadpool, some more deliberately ridiculous than others. There’s a female version called Ladypool, a floating zombie head called Headpool (of course), a dog with superhuman healing called Dogpool and a child version of the antihero called Kidpool, who studies at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. A 12-issue series titled Deadpool Corps sees these characters team up.
Friends & Idols
Captain America is known to be Wade Wilson’s childhood hero, and owing to similarities in their backstories, Steve Rogers is perhaps one of the few characters that don’t treat the merc like a nuisance. Deadpool has repeatedly teamed up with Cable across many issues, and even though the two have duked it out on occasion, they’ve always had each other’s backs. The duo even had a entire series titled Deadpool and Cable to their name. Wilson is also quite taken with Spider-Man and aspires to become his best friend. The Merc with a Mouth might finally get his chance with the recent kick-off of the Spider-Man/Deadpool comic series.
Deadpool doesn’t really like chimichangas all that much. He just likes the sound of the word, and is known to have developed obsessions with other words and phrases (like “sphincter says what?”) from time to time.
Conclusion: What Makes Deadpool So Awesome?
Deadpool isn’t your conventional do-gooder. His morality has always been in a grey area. He doesn’t shy away from taking lives and often acts without much regard to others’ lives. However, he isn’t just a goofy, mentally unhinged, emotionally stale mercenary for hire either. Despite his unique mental disposition, he has, on occasion, expressed empathy and teamed up with heroes to fight for good out of the kindness of his heart. That’s what makes Deadpool so awesome. He is a versatile characters the writers can freely mold into whatever the readers want him to be, creating amazing stories and hilarious situations that wouldn’t be possible with others. The character’s ability to break the fourth wall is the cherry on the cake.