It’s not long now until Deadpool fans finally get to see the regenerating degenerate on the big screen for the very first time. You know, if you ignore the whole X-Men Origins: Wolverine incident.
We’ve seen a lot of great superhero films in recent years (and there are plenty more on the way), but Deadpool promises to be different. That’s because Deadpool isn’t quite like anybody else.
Here’s everything you need to know…
Deadpool was created by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld and first appeared in Marvel comics in 1991 in New Mutants #98. Despite being drawn by Liefeld, who has a reputation of being a questionable artist (if you don’t believe me just image search ‘Rob Liefeld Captain America’), Deadpool became a bit of a cult favourite, eventually getting his own ongoing series a couple of years later.
The character was pretty much a rip-off of the DC character Deathstroke a.k.a. Slade Wilson. They’re both mercenaries with a penchant for guns and sharp things, they have similar costumes, and even their names are pretty close.
When Nicieza first saw Liefeld’s design, he pointed out the similarities, which lead to Deadpool being named Wade Wilson, a nod to his DC ‘relative’.
Wade Wilson gained his healing factor from Wolverine, sort of…
After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, Wilson was given a healing factor (derived from Wolverine’s mutant healing ability) by the Weapon X programme, the same guys that gave Wolverine his adamantium skeleton.
The healing factor gave Wilson the ability to regenerate from pretty much anything, including being beaten to a pulp by the Hulk, or turned into a pile of ash by Thor. Unfortunately, the healing factor also meant that his cancer cells wouldn’t die, leaving Deadpool permanently disfigured and looking “like a testicle with teeth”. You win some, you lose some.
The Merc with a Mouth…
Deadpool likes to talk. A lot. Even if nobody’s listening. Part of the character’s appeal is that he tends to ramble on and make quips about all sorts of things, from pop culture references to his love of Mexican food.
In the comics, Deadpool frequently breaks the fourth wall, a character trait which seems to have made it into the upcoming movie. He is aware that he is in a comicbook, and often makes in-jokes directly to the readers. This is often just mistaken by other characters as a sign of his insanity.
Comedy is a big part of Deadpool’s character, which has been evident in the recent marketing campaign for the movie.
The voices in his head…
Deadpool has always been a bit mentally unhinged, but for a few years he had voices in his head in the form of little inner monologue boxes. Pretty much every comicbook character has one inner monologue box; it’s how the readers can understand what the characters are thinking and helps to move the plot along. As Deadpool had more than one of these inner monologues it often lead to him having conversations, and arguments, with himself.
Deadpool’s inner voices were always a bit hit and miss with fans. Some loved the voices and some hated them. They first appeared, with no explanation, when Daniel Way took over writing in 2009, and disappeared at the end of the writer’s run in 2013.
Originally just thought to be a sign of madness, the voices were eventually explained in Deadpool Annual #1 in 2013 when it was revealed that Deadpool and Madcap (another unhinged character with regeneration abilities) had regenerated into one body after they were disintegrated into a pile of ash by a lightning strike from Thor. The two were separated again when Deadpool was ripped in half by Luke Cage and Thor, allowing Madcap and Deadpool to re-grow into their separate selves. It was fun while it lasted.
They say you can judge a man by the company he keeps. Well, Deadpool’s closest ‘friends’ are a random bunch of misfits that he’s met over the years, and he’s not particularly nice to them.
First up is Blind Al, an old lady who (in case you haven’t guessed) is blind. She was kidnapped by Deadpool and held captive at his home where she would cook and clean for him and also serve as a cross between a prisoner, housekeeper and mother-figure. Blind Al is portrayed by Leslie Uggams in the Deadpool movie.
The next Deadpool friend worth a mention is Weasel. Weasel, aka Jack Hammer, is kind of Deadpool’s tech-guy, helping him out with gadgets and weaponry, but also often falling victim to the merc’s unhinged and violent personality. Despite numerous mistreatments, Weasel is probably the nearest thing Deadpool has to a best friend. Weasel will appear in the Deadpool movie, portrayed by T.J. Miller.
Another Deadpool acquaintance is Hydra agent, Bob. He’s a cowardly henchman whose main abilities involve hiding from danger or running away. Bob seems to normally end up worse for wear whenever he has a run-in with his ‘pal’ Deadpool.
One of Deadpool’s more recent buddies is SHIELD Agent Emily Preston. Agent Preston recruited Deadpool when SHIELD needed a superhero to fight the resurrected zombie presidents of the United States. They needed a hero whose reputation wouldn’t be damaged by killing off national heroes like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and Deadpool’s reputation couldn’t really have been any worse.
Preston was killed after an attack by zombie George Washington, her mind was then temporarily stored in Deadpool’s brain until she could be given a new body in the form of a life model decoy, a super-realistic robot replica. Naturally.
Recently Deadpool became a member of The Avengers and has been using his ill-gotten wealth to fund the team. Prior to this, Deadpool’s not really been a great team player, and not through a lack of trying.
He’s had numerous team-ups over the years, including with the likes of Cable, Spider-Man, Wolverine and Captain America. Unfortunately, none of them ever seem to work out too well for the Merc with a Mouth. He tried to join The X-Men several times, he even made his own uniform, but they weren’t very keen on the idea.
A few years ago Deadpool created his own team – The Deadpool Corps – made up of alternate universe versions of himself. The Deadpool Corps consisted of Deadpool, Lady Deadpool, Kid Deadpool, Dogpool (a dog version) and Headpool (he was just a head).
Deadpool is in cinemas TODAY! (February 10th). Go see it!