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Deadpool Vs. Spider-Man: Who's the More Classic Hero?

Since the beginning, Marvel's had a tradition of anti-heroes.

 The Pool's even got the classic poses down.

How in the world could Deadpool be called a classic Marvel character? It’s an unorthodox claim, but I’d even take a step further and say the merc with a mouth fits into a tradition that predates Spider-Man. While Marvel has a long procession of true blue heroes, if you take a step back, you’ll realize this universe has been largely defined by its anti-heroes since the very first issue of MARVEL COMICS was published in 1939. Who debuted there? The scientific monstrosity, the Human Torch, and Babs’ favorite fish man, the underwater punk and anti-human malcontent Sub-Mariner. Rebellious rogues were Marvel's first characters and they set the tone for all the ones who've followed.

Oddly enough, it was the discussion I went to recently about DC Comics’ 75 anniversary that got me re-assessing Marvel’s history. Paul Levitz pointed out that most of the major, iconic superheroes were created by young men (some even teenagers at the time) who infused their characters with a youthful enthusiasm that's always been an intrinsic part of their appeal. Levitz was promoting 75 YEARS OF DC COMICS: THE ART OF MODERN MYTHMAKING , of course, and his comment reminded me of an earlier anniversary-marking coffee table book; namely Les Daniels’ MARVEL: FIVE FABULOUS DECADES OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST COMICS. There was a profile of Namor’s creator Bill Everet there that noted how the cartoonist was a self-described angry young man and it'd certainly be apt as Namor in his early days was very much a creation of spit and fire. == TEASER ==

 This was how Namor spoke in the 30s. Quite far from the refined "Imperius Rex!" right?

Time has tendency to soften all edges. Elvis and the Beatles are the least dangerous kind of music for kids, now, but their rock ‘n roll was volatile in its day. The same could be said of the jazz of a generation prior, and the principle applies here. Believe it or not, Marvel Comics were actually very popular with hippies for a brief time in the 60s, with Spidey and the Hulk being named as rebellious icons on par with Che Guevara and Bob Dylan. Indeed, today’s pop culture was yesterday’s counter-culture and it’s easy to neglect what Namor was like at the beginning if you’ve only been exposed to the more mature and stately (if still hot-blooded) characterization he’s had since his re-introduction in the 60s.

Grant Morrison described his first MARVEL BOY mini-series as being an effort to get back in touch with this kind of thunder. Noh-Varr burning "F*** YOU" into New York City might've been a little scandalous in the 2000's, but it's perhaps tame in comparison to what the original SUB-MARINER COMICS got away with in the 30s. While DC's first hero, Superman, was a virtuous champion of the people, Marvel's first, Namor, was a misbegotten bastard teen who phrased his war on humanity with cocky slang. 

 Wolverine may have come a LONG way since his debut as the world's first and greatest Canadian cape, but he started as a foe for the Hulk.

Whenever fans gripe about there being too many DEADPOOL titles right now, I can't help but smirk: it sounds exactly like the griping I heard about the Punisher and Ghost Rider's saturated popularity when I was a kid. People talk a lot about DC’s trinity, which is largely set in stone, and I’d argue that Marvel’s “big three” has always included at least one anti-hero... and it’s always been in flux because of that. Just as yesterday's counter-culture is today's mainstream, so too do yesterday's anti-heroes become today's heroes to be rebelled against. Part of the appeal of these characters is that they aren't your daddy's heroes, and thus, either in the plot or in the nature of their publication, they're defined by their resistance to those who've come before. If we have a contrarian line here that started with Namor and the Torch, continued up through the Hulk and then went on to the likes of Punisher, Ghost Rider and, now, Deadpool, it’s no coincidence that most of them (some of Marvel’s biggest characters, remember) started off as villains in others’ titles. Wolverine, Punisher and Deadpool respectively made their debuts as heels for Hulk, Spider-Man and the New Mutants (close affiliates, of course, of Wolverine.) So, when it comes firebrand super-men who defy society, what better heir is there to a smart-mouthed mutant who sinks ships than another smart-mouthed mutant whose job is assassination?

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of  HYBRID BASTARDS!  &  UNIMAGINABLE . Order them on Amazon   here  &   here .  Follow him on Twitter:  @tompinchuk 

79 Comments
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Posted by batman_is_god

PFFT. 
 
If Marvel only had one character they could call classic, it would be Spider-Man.
Posted by spiderguylll
@batman_is_god said:
" PFFT.  If Marvel only had one character they could call classic, it would be Spider-Man. "
Posted by webhe4d

Enjoyed the read, but Spider-Man is THE classic Marvel icon

Posted by WolfMonkey

i knew i liked deadpool for a reason

Posted by ShirEPanjshir

Interesting point of view :)

Posted by Morpheus_
...
Moderator
Posted by ninjadude853

Spider-man is marvel's ultimate icon. He's second only to Batman and Superman.

Edited by Jordanstine

Nice point of view TP.

 

If you think about it, some of Marvel's more famous heroes all started off as villains: 
 
- Hawkeye 
- Black Widow 
- Elektra 
- Quicksilver 
- Scarlet Witch 
- Wonderman  
- Emma Frost (White Queen) 
 
Even the Silver Surfer, to an extent, appeared originally as a FF4 villain.

Posted by longbowhunter
@ninjadude853 said:
"Spider-man is marvel's ultimate icon. He's second only to Batman and Superman. "

Couldnt have said it better.
Posted by DeathpooltheT1000

Adn the real question is, where is my underware?
Ohh is on my head, sorrry for the joke, but is Deadpool actually a hero?
He is not a villain, but that dont mean he is a heroe or even and antihero.

Posted by Eyz

Very good point!
 
Deadpool certainly is a big part of Marvel's plan nowadays, having him be put in their latest games and (hopefully) in movies and cartoons.
 
It sure happened pretty fast and grow quickly out of hands, thus why some of us may hate seeing the guy everywhere, despite still having some place for him in our heart.
 
I like DP, the character, but not most of his current books :/

Posted by Gambit1024
@ninjadude853 said:
" Spider-man is marvel's ultimate icon. He's second only to Batman and Superman. "
Wouldn't that make him 3rd then? ;)
Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt

spider-man as an individual is more classic than deadpool but their respective concepts are the same age
Posted by robokungfu

I could have sworn the question presented by the article was a joke.  And it IS a joke.  Deadpool sucks and is a cheap imitation Deathstroke from DC but with "attitude."  *yawn*

Posted by JonesDeini

Very interesting read. I'm inclined to say that Spider-Man's the objective classic character. But for Marvel as a company I'd have to say that a Deadpool or better yet Wolverine are what the companies roots are in.

Posted by DeathpooltheT1000
@robokungfu said:

" I could have sworn the question presented by the article was a joke.  And it IS a joke.  Deadpool sucks and is a cheap imitation Deathstroke from DC but with "attitude."  *yawn* "

  
  

Posted by comicbikerscott

cool article
Posted by primepower53
@webhe4d said:
"Enjoyed the read, but Spider-Man is THE classic Marvel icon "
Posted by ComicCrazy

Spiderman is and Deadpool should never be compared to the classicness of Spiderman or anything of Spiderman for that matter. Yes I like Deadpool but really what is so great about him he is just reallly annoying and silly.
Posted by Om1kron

1. Anything created by liefeld cannot be called classic. He's like the Carlos Mencia of comic books.  
 
2. speaking of ghost rider, it is taking EVERY ounce of grown up discipline against impulse buying not to purchase all of those ghost rider comics in the glass case at meltdown. They're so cheap it's hard not to want it.  

Posted by the_fallen11
@webhe4d said:
"Enjoyed the read, but Spider-Man is THE classic Marvel icon "
Edited by Deadcool

Interesting point of view, a classic by definition is the best example of an element, if Marvel is that element, then the average kind of character in the company is a classic, Marvel was the first company with gray superheroes that deal with something more than just supervillains, and Spider-man is a great example of it, same as Ironman (corporate responsibility, Alcoholism) and Thor (Humilty), Marvel is also known for the creation of anti-heroes, but if we are talking about anti-heroes, Punisher or Moon Knight are better examples, Deadpool is an antihero, but, he is.. well... Funny (LOL-RANDOM)...
 
But I got your point...
 
Edit: By the way, nice article...

Posted by Man of Lengend

great points i agree!! DP love

Posted by yankeemanf

idk what deadpool is considered...deadpool doesnt even kno what he is considered...whether he is a villian, hero, or anti-hero it doesnt rele matta cuz spider-man is the utlimate marvel hero and if u look at it spider-man and deadpool arent that much diff personalitywise they like to crack a lot of jokes just spidey is a hero

Posted by Gawdzilla

Nice article...but Deadpool isn't a mutant

Edited by Amish_Joe
@yankeemanf said:

" idk what deadpool is considered...deadpool doesnt even kno what he is considered...whether he is a villian, hero, or anti-hero it doesnt rele matta cuz spider-man is the utlimate marvel hero and if u look at it spider-man and deadpool arent that much diff personalitywise they like to crack a lot of jokes just spidey is a hero "

  Deadpool and Spidey are completely different characters.  Deadpool is a homicidal mercenary with little to no scruples. The Scarlet Spider is a white knight who prefers to not kill at all, even when it would be easier or better to do so. Deadpool is insane. Spiderman is sane.  Ergo, there is quite a bit of a difference personality wise. Also, the "both crack a lot of jokes" idea is flawed. Parker uses the wise cracks to distract himself and villains from how scared he is. That's from the horses mouth. Deadpool does it to annoy and confuse enemies into making mistakes. Also, Deadpool can talk in 1st person narration. 
 
@robokungfu said:

" I could have sworn the question presented by the article was a joke.  And it IS a joke.  Deadpool sucks and is a cheap imitation Deathstroke from DC but with "attitude."  *yawn* "

Deadpool is a parody of Deathstroke. Even the name; You do the DEATH STROKE in the DEAD POOL. 
Posted by ShirEPanjshir
@ComicCrazy said:
"Yes I like Deadpool but really what is so great about him he is just reallly annoying and silly. "
Go read Deadpool Classic. Now.
Posted by yankeemanf
@amish_joe:  lmao i knew they were parodying deathstroke but i neva noticed the names lol thats pretty funny actually lol
Posted by Manchine
@batman_is_god said:
"PFFT.  If Marvel only had one character they could call classic, it would be Spider-Man. "
Posted by Crimson_Archer

deadpool is the best, but spiderman is the classic

Posted by Augustus Freeman VI

the funny thing is that deadpool was the second comic I ever bought as a kid.  And the reason I bought it was because he reminded me of spider-man lol

Posted by MTHarman

Honestly, both Deadpool and Spiderman are currently past tense with anything that resembles awesomness nor would I care who wins. 
I was a huge fan of both until Spiderman turned out to be a pathetic mamma's boy who runs away from the horror's of marriage and Deadpool who went from a badass ninja-like X-man villain all the way to being more annoying than the Impossible Man with poor bland sense of humor that even pot-heads wouldn't find funny.
Posted by goldenkey
@MTHarman: ah but you're wrong.  pot heads find very funny.
Posted by Jekylhyde14

I think it's also fair to remember that Spider-Man bucked the hero mold of his time. The big heroes predating Spider-Man were guys like Superman and Batman who, at the time, were both moral pillars with cleft chins. Peter Parker was more like comic book fans: Scrawny, misunderstood, and equipped with a smart mouth. He also made mistakes and questionable moral choices like his decision to let the burglar who killed his Uncle go after he robbed the wrestling promoter. The things Peter said to villains while thwarting their schemes were too flippant and bold for Bats or Supes to say even at their cockiest. Instead of following a strict, moral code by the books, Peter followed his heart and gut a lot more while making tough calls. So, yeah, Spider-Man never killed and always, more or less, really tried to do the right thing. However, I would argue he does fit the Marvel rebellious trend in heroes. He followed a sort of Superman superhero model, but in his own way and with a young, fresh personality. 
 
Deadpool really just took it a step further. He was created in an era that was loosening up on the "heroes don't kill" code. He's also more of an overt anti-hero while Spider-Man's just a more relaxed version of a superhero. It is clear to see that Deadpool was created with Spider-Man in mind just as Spider-Man was created with Superman in mind. Deadpool has the smart mouth and even kind of looks like Spider-Man, but does what he does for money and is perfectly fine with killing. In this way he rebels against the Spider-Man image just as Spider-Man rebelled against the Superman image. They both act as sort of parodies or commentaries on the classic superhero image, but they're from different eras and do it in different degrees.  
 
Great points about Namor. That guy was always basically a terrorist. Waaaaaay ahead of his time. 

Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir
@Om1kron said:
"  Anything created by liefeld cannot be called classic. He's like the Carlos Mencia of comic books.     "
I adore this statement ^
Posted by Mercy_

Fix

Moderator
Posted by entropy_aegis

Spiderman simply cause he isnt a ripoff parody.
Online
Posted by SUPER-MAN 23

The reason Spider-man hates Deadpool so much is that, Deadpool's jokes are better than his. Nuff' Said

Posted by Grouchy224

God I hope this article is a joke. Deadpool more of a classic hero than Spider-Man? Wow..just..that statement alone is enough to want me to get sick all over the place. ComicVine's lost a bit of credibility in my view from this.

Posted by tensor

spider man is the alpha an the omega for marvel he is the classic hands down best marvel character to me

Posted by GabrielNox

Heh, I'm rather in awe that you wrote an article like this.

And I'm also shocked that so few people understood it.

But yes, you have a great point, Marvel was always more anti-hero oriented, that's actually why I like them.

Wait, other then spider-man, is there a pure hero in Marvel, I mean somebody truly bori...*cough*..."good"? It seems most of them have been over the fence more then once, especially in the last 3-ish events.

Edited by batmanbeyond8
never compare spiderman to anyone as low as dead pool. Deadpool is cool funny but the idea of comparing them is just    lame


 

Posted by kev17

why is this on the punishers page? 

Posted by mavfan626

In the way TP explained, it could be said that DP is more of a "Classic Hero" in the Marvel Uni but if you simply ask who the classic hero in the Marvel then it's Spiderman..      
Posted by TheguywhothinkshesDeadpool

In no way is Deadpool considered "classic".

Posted by Abnormally Warm Guy
@TheguywhothinkshesDeadpool: Did you read the article?
Posted by DeathpooltheT1000
@Abnormally Warm Guy: Most of people only read the first 5 lines, they later, say i dont going to read it and write a comment, is actuallly pretty normal
Posted by Abnormally Warm Guy
@DeathpooltheT1000: I know that's what he did. I was calling him out on it in a subtle way.
Posted by GabrielNox

It would seem you ware too subtle, perhaps calling him an idiot would have helped.

Posted by DeathpooltheT1000
@Abnormally Warm Guy said:
" @DeathpooltheT1000: I know that's what he did. I was calling him out on it in a subtle way. "
Being Subtle online never works, that why online critiques are rants and i loved moar that life itself.
@GabrielNox said:
" It would seem you ware too subtle, perhaps calling him an idiot would have helped. "
A punch in the face works better.
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