With production finally underway on 20th Century Fox’s adaptation of the Marvel Comic Deadpool, with a cast led by Ryan Reynolds and Morena Baccarin, a director in Tim Miller, and a confirmed R-rating, now seems like a good time to take a good, hard look at the source material. For both the well-informed and the uninitiated, read on…
BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL
Wade Wilson is your ordinary, everyday mercenary until he falls head first into a pool of dead people, granting him the ability, and sense of humor, to become a LIVING DEADPOOL! Just kidding. Wade was originally a Canadian with quite a nasty case of cancer who was looking for any means to save his own life: cue Weapon X. Leveraging his status as a soldier at the time, Wilson found himself in the same program which was originally responsible for creating a certain short, bloodthirsty mutant known as Wolverine. It was here that he was granted a healing factor that would save his life, fix nearly any wound, but also permanently, horrifically, scar his face and body.
Originally created by comic legends, Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza, Deadpool first hit the scene in New Mutants #98, which would later become X-Force, in 1991. Here, Deadpool was hired to assassinate the mutant Cable, and wasn’t exactly the same character as we know him today. It was only until years later that writers began developing Deadpool as a character who broke the fourth wall and tended to lean toward the goofy side of things rather than the serious.
Wade, aside from being a veritable super soldier and weapons expert, has a healing factor that allows him to take some pretty nasty hits, and spring back as if nothing had happened. Deadpool’s had his limbs ripped off, his head knocked off his body, holes punched through him, burned to a crisp, and much MUCH more, but has always sprung back to life good as new. Deadpool usually finds himself taking jobs from different clients within the Marvel Universe, often to humorous effect, such as when he was hired to fight the Hulk or kill Count Dracula.
However, underneath all the bluster and wisecracks, he has a heart of gold and will usually stick his neck out to make sure that innocent folks aren’t hurt in his latest job’s wake. Deadpool also has the unique “ability” to consistently break the fourth wall, usually realizing that he himself is a comic book character and will sometimes take a break from the story to address the audience directly. This is probably a result of Deadpool being somewhat insane, and when I say “somewhat,” I mean very. The Merc with a Mouth usually finds himself arguing with numerous voices in his head about any given topic, and it makes for some funny banter all around. It should be very interesting to see if this comes to play in the upcoming movie.
HOP IN THE ‘POOL, THE WATER’S FINE
So with Deadpool out of the way, who makes up his supporting cast? Well we can start with Blind Al. Al is an old woman who also happens to be blind that Deadpool keeps as something of a hostage/house guest. While the details of the relationship between the two is always a bit murky, she acts as an “angel on the shoulder” of Wade, offering guidance, and sometimes a swift kick in the butt. Along with her is Weasel, played in the upcoming film by T.J. Miller, who acts as Deadpool’s weapon supplier and best friend. The two riff of one another with fantastic results in the comics and it should be great to see how Ryan Reynolds and Miller do the same. Weasel was sometimes replaced with Bob, Agent of Hydra, but I don’t think good ole Bob will be making an appearance in the film, what with Marvel’s grasp on all things Hydra firmly in place.
Who are the leading ladies in Wade’s life, you may ask? Well, he has a bunch of them! To start, there’s Copycat, a character very similar to the X-Men’s Mystique, with the ability to shapeshift. In the film, she’ll be played by Firefly‘s Morena Baccarin. We’ll see how they portray her, but I would imagine they would make a couple changes to her powers to differentiate her from the blue antagonist of the X-franchise. There’s also Siryn, a mutant with the ability to blast super sonic vibrations using her voice through the air, and daughter to one of the earlier X-Men, Banshee. Typhoid Mary, an antagonist to Marvel’s Daredevil (with his own Netflix series dropping April 10th), is about as insane as they come, constantly struggling with her many different personalities and taking the role of mercenary, much like Wade.
However, Deadpool’s craziest relationship isn’t even with Typhoid, but with Death. No, this isn’t a female character who happens to be named “Death”, rather he is literally in love with the physical representation of death in the Marvel Universe. This infatuation has actually brought him face to face with the upcoming Avengers villain, Thanos! Yep, Deadpool and Thanos have gone toe to toe over the affections of Death, but much like is the case with Bob, I wouldn’t expect to see this happening in the movies anytime soon.
Surely, Deadpool’s greatest villain is the rendition of himself in the movie, Wolverine: Origins (also played by Ryan Reynolds) wherein his mouth was glued shut for over half his screen time! I kid, I kid…kind of. One of Wade’s biggest antagonists is T-Ray, a fellow mercenary claiming to be the real Wade Wilson! Aside from having a veritable slew of mercenary abilities under his belt, T-Ray also has some crazy powers up his sleeves that he gained from studying sorcery such as weather manipulation, levitation, and teleportation to name just a few, because seriously, this guy has a lot of powers. Dr. Killebrew is the doctor who originally gave Deadpool his abilities and the two don’t exactly see eye to eye, butting heads from time to time. Killebrew doesn’t have any powers to speak of, but his last name is “Killebrew” which has gotta count for something! Deadpool’s also tangled with an assassin that happens to be a monkey appropriately named “Hit Monkey”, an evil version of himself that was created from some of his left over body parts, again appropriately named “Evil Deadpool”, and Garrison Kane, another of his fellow soldiers in the Weapon X program who just so happens to call himself, “Weapon X”.
Deadpool has butted heads with a lot of other villains but a good chunk of them have been characters that fall under the Marvel Studios banner. Taskmaster, Thanos, Tiger Shark, the Wrecking Crew, and the Thunderbolts to name a few!
WHAT TO READ
Want to read even more about the Merc with a Mouth? Here’s a few great Deadpool installments to whet your appetite prior to his movie dropping in February of next year:
– Deadpool Classic Vol. 1
– Deadpool: Dead Presidents
– Deadpool: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (My personal favorite ‘Pool story of all time)
– Deadpool: Joe Kelly Omnibus
– Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet