Transformation Tuesday- Meet the Merc with the Mouth: Deadpool / by Benjamin Sawyer

Fans of the comic book genre find themselves scratching their heads why this foul-mouthed Ryan Reynolds character is being made into a superhero movie. Marvel’s next superhero movie trailer Deadpool has been making its rounds. Talks of this movie have been running around since the Wolverine Origins movie (2009) when many Deadpool fans were upset with the character development of their beloved mercenary. Those nerds, like myself, were super happy to hear that Ryan Reynolds would come back to play Deadpool in his own movie and hopefully see some justice done for this comic book character. But for those who don’t know, why give the Wolverine bad guy a movie?

Well, funny story. He is not really a bad guy like Loki and he is not really a hero like Spider-Man. In fact, some would call this character an anti-hero. He was first created to be a supervillain in The New Mutants #98, but has since evolved into an anti-hero mercenary with his nonstop talking and breaking the fourth wall with the audience. Hence his second title, Merc with a Mouth. Deadpool was created by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld and published by Marvel in 1991. Compared to the other Marvel superhero characters in recent movies, Deadpool is pretty young still.

Who is this crazy character? Deadpool, or Wade Wilson, is a disfigured and mentally unstable mercenary. His backstory changes from writer to writer, but he is a Canadian who joined the Weapon X program that gave him special abilities like the accelerated healing factor. Wade Wilson had an incurable cancer so he joined Weapon X for experimental treatment. While his regular cells regenerated, his cancerous cells regenerated, too. The cancerous cells in his brain explain Deadpool’s multiple voices in his head.

Although Wade Wilson is perceived as crazy, he is a mercenary for hire. Deadpool is fluent in multiple languages- English, German, Japanese, and Spanish- as well as trained in multiple forms of martial arts. While he has these deadly skills, his adventures and situations have a great levity to them. Deadpool does not seem to understand social situations sometimes and continues to talk, annoying other characters in the story. He also is not fully aware of when he is talking out loud or in his head, which can lead to some hilarious situations between characters. Because of his rapid healing factor, he seems to have almost no regard for bodily harm to himself which can also lead him to some dangerous scenarios that he has to fight or talk his way out of.

Now if you take out the silliness that is Deadpool, he sounds very similar to a supervillain from the DC universe: Deathstroke or Slade Wilson. How?

Liefeld was a known Teen Titans fan. Deathstroke is the main supervillain from that series, created in 1980. Liefeld created the character’s mannerisms and abilities that were similar to Deathstroke. Nicieza is supposed to have given Deadpool the name Wade Wilson as an homage to Deathstroke so they could be possibly related. But Deadpool evolved and took on a whole life of his own in the short years since he was created.

One example of his shenanigans was an addition of a sidekick in 2007. While other sidekicks of superheroes show courage and have amazing skills, Bob, Agent of Hydra, is a married man who joined Hydra after his wife put pressure on him to keep a job. Bob has no special power or combat training. He is a low level lackey Deadpool took a strange interest in. Deadpool was on a dangerous mission to save Agent X from Hydra when he ran into Bob. Bob was easily coerced by Deadpool to join his side- whatever that side is. In some ways, Bob is just as funny in serious situations as he exclaims at inopportune moments “Hail Hydra” and running away from threats. Deadpool and Bob keep the reader entertained with serious plot lines that seem to go off the rails in unexpected ways.

If you have not checked out any comics, videogames, or movies with Deadpool, I highly suggest it- if you are 13 and older. He is a mercenary with regenerative powers who plays with knives and guns. There are some violent scenes and vulgar language that could be too much for younger viewers. For those eager to meet Deadpool in a small dose, you can check out the Epic Rap Battles of History on YouTube between Deadpool and Boba Fett. And do not miss the Deadpool movie February 12, 2016.

First Appearance of Deadpool in the New Mutants #98 (1991)

Cable and Deadpool issue #18 (2004)

X-Men Legends: Rise of Apocalypse (2005)

Cable & Deadpool #38 (2007) First appearance of Bob, Agent of Hydra

Deadpool Corps (2010)

Deadpool game remastered 2015 for PS4 and Xbox One


Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool in new Deadpool movie to be released 2016