Deadpool: Hilarious Comic Relief, Or Sociopathic Murderer?

Posted by Undeadpool (698 posts) - - Show Bio

Marvel’s Merc With the Mouth was close to achieving Wolverine-like levels of overexposure in the wake of the publisher realizing what an untapped font of popularity they had after fan reaction to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but some of our newer readers may not know that Deadpool’s origin stretches all the way back to the fun and carefree days of the nineteen hundred and nineties.

Deadpool debuted in the pages of Rob Liefeld’s New Mutants as a mercenary hired to take down Cable and his squad of teenage killers (it really was a different time). And though he failed miserably, you couldn’t keep a good merc down. Fabian Nicieza and Joe Kelly would grab the character and run with him, turning into a wise-cracking, fun-loving, mercenary with a supporting cast that included the likes of milquetoast hacker Weasel, the mystical assassin T-Ray, and hostage Blind Al.

Wait, what? That’s right: good ol’ hilarious, wise-cracking Wade Wilson kept a blind woman hostage in her own house. And while she would generally browbeat and belittle him, if she crossed a line that she herself didn’t know about, he would lock her in a room that was filled with shards of broken glass and other sharp things called The Box. He was also known to lock Weasel in there from time-to-time. I don’t know for sure, but I think Nicieza and Kelley introduced this rather macabre and sinister aspect, as well as his penchant for murder, to remind us that, for all the quips and cracks, Deadpool is a psychotic killer. This is what’s lacking from current incarnations of Wilson.

== TEASER ==
So happy together!

Now don’t get me wrong, I love what Daniel Way and Rick Remender have done with the character (the twenty spin-offs I could perhaps do without, but that’s another article for another time), though I find the internal monologue in Way’s rendition a little baffling. It seems to be an attempt to give Deadpool someone to riff on, even if it’s just another voice in his head and it usually works, but it was a little disorienting when I picked up the book for the first time. I kept thinking that Nick Fury was talking to him through a radio, since it was taking place during the Secret Invasion and Deadpool was working with the Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. It has yet to be explained, and the other voice tends to be the straight man, but sometimes gets just as crazy as the “yellow” voice. Contrast this against Nicieza’s Cable & Deadpool (now being released as Deadpool & Cable in trade paperback) where Deadpool had Cable to play off of. One specific story arc stood out in my mind.

Cable had raised an island from the ocean and offered anyone who wanted it free asylum, human or mutant or whatever. He called it Providence and, of course, it was soon flooded with refugees from all across the globe. One such person was a known terrorist leader who was still being hunted by the international community, which couldn’t touch Providence. When he was found dead, a massive investigation launched spearheaded by Cable’s good buddy Deadpool, but it turned out that Deadpool himself was the culprit and he was exiled from the island. Deadpool didn’t remember the murder or even why he’d done it, but on reflection came to the realization that he’d killed the man not due to any perceived threat but merely because he'd felt like it. Think about that for a moment: Deadpool killed this person, perhaps deserving and perhaps not, because the idea of doing it entered his mind. This sent him on the path to self-improvement and becoming a true hero, which would span the rest of the series’ run. It was interesting to see Daniel Way reset a lot of this development, only to come back around and have Wilson embark on a very similar quest for validation as a hero.

Deadpool's X-Force Uniform

Then there’s Uncanny X-Force Deadpool who doesn’t get as much time in the spotlight, but since it’s a team book, that fits, where Deadpool seems to have achieved a certain degree of stability and even nobility. Warren Worthington mentions at one point that he’s been giving the mercenary checks, but that they’re never deposited nor cashed, so Deadpool appears to be doing the X-Men’s dirty work out of the goodness of his heart. The notion that he wants to belong is also a very strong theme of that book, such as during the first arc of Uncanny X-Force. Angel and ‘Pool are wounded and Wade essentially carries his teammate to safety, putting himself at great personal risk. When we get a peek inside his head during this, we still see a fractured, near-schitzophrenic internal monologue that seems to imply that his quipping and wisecracking is more of a coping mechanism.

In the end, Deadpool is at his best when he’s going up against his own nature. He’s borderline sociopathic, he has trouble relating to other people, and he makes jokes when he probably shouldn’t, but he wants to be a better person. But even if he achieved that, if he became the hero that he’s aspiring to be, it wouldn’t change the fact that he got there standing on a pile of corpses and that most of those corpses were created for the wrong reasons. Whether or not Deadpool can ever find redemption and peace will be interesting to see, but I definitely think the character deserves better than to just be a constant punchline.

#1 Edited by doordoor123 (3810 posts) - - Show Bio

Uncanny X-Force Deadpool is Deadpool done right. Its nice to see because no one has written him that way in a while.

#2 Posted by KRYPTON (2421 posts) - - Show Bio

Deadpool is a household name that everyone (should) know

#3 Posted by NightFang (10850 posts) - - Show Bio

I thought he was both?

#4 Edited by cmaprice (853 posts) - - Show Bio

Are comic relief and sociopathic murderer mutually exclusive now? 
John Wayne Gacy.
I win.

#5 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29813 posts) - - Show Bio
@NightFang said:
I thought he was both?
You didn't read the article. 
#6 Posted by B'Town (2369 posts) - - Show Bio

@NightFang said:

I thought he was both?

In my reading I DO see him as both. It is difficult for me to see him any other way.

#7 Posted by fbdarkangel (5106 posts) - - Show Bio

Why not both?

#8 Posted by Manchine (4319 posts) - - Show Bio
@KRYPTON said:
Deadpool is a household name that everyone (should) know
If deadpool ever became a household name that everyone should know, then we FAILED!  Deadpool is comic relief anti-hero.  He makes a far better villain then he does hero.  The Hero that he is (Hero term used very loosely) is stupid.  He is more related to Joker as a villain then to any hero.
#9 Posted by thabigred (46 posts) - - Show Bio

I love Deadpool, and he is both by the way.

#10 Posted by cmaprice (853 posts) - - Show Bio
@Manchine said:
@KRYPTON said:
Deadpool is a household name that everyone (should) know
If deadpool ever became a household name that everyone should know, then we FAILED!  Deadpool is comic relief anti-hero.  He makes a far better villain then he does hero.  The Hero that he is (Hero term used very loosely) is stupid.  He is more related to Joker as a villain then to any hero.
Becasuse the Joker isn't a household name or anything...
#11 Posted by Ruvik_ (1565 posts) - - Show Bio

#12 Edited by Man of Lengend (1019 posts) - - Show Bio
love DP. He is far more noble, than even he gives himself credit for  .... actions speak louder than words.There is always a method to his madness. Deadpool has even saved the planet more than a few times now. He is a crazy killing machine , but recently he  our crazy killing machine. plus its the only comic that still makes me crack up every issue   
#13 Posted by xerox_kitty (17338 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice article that perfectly sums up the evolution of the character. I always find it funny to look back at New Mutants #99 and see the lack of wise-cracking, and how easily he was taken down with a few knives sticking in his back.

I miss Weasel & Blind Al. I even chuckled when the ghost of Deadpool possessed Weasel purely to guide Al into the open grave. It was a nod to a long forgotten relationship.

#14 Edited by Pacperson (304 posts) - - Show Bio

Nicieza and Kelley got it right....He was crazy and sometimes very cruel to this friends, but there was always a method to his madness, a reason for it (at least in his mind) and when it came down to it, he cared about his friends, and what others thought about him.
Now in Kellys run he don't care about anything or anyone (Besides getting paid..) and he never takes anything serious anymore, its all about wakyness and weird space adventures =/

#15 Posted by Outside_85 (11770 posts) - - Show Bio

Prefer him as a wisecracking punching bag for the Hulk :)

#16 Posted by shackle (217 posts) - - Show Bio

Tiresome and played-out

#17 Posted by King Quisling (2073 posts) - - Show Bio
@NightFang said:
I thought he was both?
#18 Posted by Kairan1979 (17085 posts) - - Show Bio

Deadpool is a comic relief sociopatic anti-hero. He'd never become a superhero 24/7 because it's against his nature. He'll get bored soon, or his merc-sense starts tingling, or he meets a hot girl, and he'll be back at square one.

#19 Posted by savri (53 posts) - - Show Bio
I first want to say that I could care less for the guy, I loved him when the character was new to the "New Mutants #98", but now he is nothing more then a violent thug, where the more guts in the writing, the better. To associate him with anybody, Wolverine or Nick Fury is (now) a long shot.
#20 Posted by HellionVulcan (4257 posts) - - Show Bio

Deadpools abit a of everything its what i like about him but my favorite moment is the nude female avengers painted on the side of the pool .... always makes me laugh .

#21 Posted by ShirEPanjshir (604 posts) - - Show Bio

This must be the most entertaining and correct post I've read about Deadpool on just about any website. Kudoos to you! A really good job!
Now on Deadpool: I prefer the Joe Kelly / Fabian Niceiza version about all else. Remender's Deadpool is currently the best one out there and Daniel Way's just a let down so far. As I said on my review of the latest Deadpool issue: he's been recycling old story arcs and reusing them for his own series ( Hulk vs Deadpool, Deadpool with a death wish, Deadpool on a crusade to become a hero, etc. are all very familiar to those who've read Deadpool Classic and Cable & Deadpool ). Plus the rest of Way's books are mostly filled to the brim with gimmicks. 
Don't get me wrong; the book certainly has it's entertaining value and isn't bad. Its just that I really miss Deadpool's character development, which went out of the window as soon as Way started his run. Way writes Deadpool stories with nothing in mind except what he feels like at that little moment, which gives entertaining and funny stories, but no real story arcs of any value or progress.

#22 Posted by Samimista (21803 posts) - - Show Bio

Both it makes Deadpool who he is today if he was missing one of the attributes he wouldn't be the same merc with the mouth.

#23 Posted by cattlebattle (14210 posts) - - Show Bio
@shackle said:
Tiresome and played-out
#24 Posted by Cafeterialoca (1581 posts) - - Show Bio

How about Deadpool with an actual plot and direction?
Remember during Cable and Deadpool when Deadpool actually had things to do and would get Character development?  That's why Deadpool is less interesting now.  He'll always just walk into other guest stars, but rarely amount to anything.

#25 Posted by Undeadpool (698 posts) - - Show Bio

@ShirEPanjshir: Thanks for the praise! It was a lot of fun to write, but I had to do a lot of fact-checking to make sure I had my info correct.

@King Quisling: @fbdarkangel: Check out the article, I pretty much address that.

#26 Posted by Fantasgasmic (1092 posts) - - Show Bio
Annoying oversaturated bastion of Liefeldian 90s-ism. A poor attempt at making the Joker, but "extreme"
#27 Posted by Transmetal (361 posts) - - Show Bio

He's both...nuff said
#28 Posted by Evpraksiya (268 posts) - - Show Bio
@thabigred said:

I love Deadpool, and he is both by the way.

#29 Posted by EdwardWindsor (14517 posts) - - Show Bio

Deadpool was at his best when he lived with Blind Al. Current deadpool is ok but classic was the best.

#30 Posted by Darkmount1 (1408 posts) - - Show Bio

I think he really needs to get out more in the animation bit. He was supposed to be on Wolverine and the X-Men in season 2, where he would've been voiced by Nolan North again, but season 2 got scrapped, as you know. 
I really think it'd be funny if they had him guest star (while toned-down a little) on The Super Hero Squad Show, voiced by "Weird Al" Yankovic!
#31 Posted by JonesDeini (3857 posts) - - Show Bio
He's always been both. Kelly wrote him the best and that's just how he did it, just with less boxes lol I liked Way's first arc and his Arc with him going to Utopia. He does a good job of showing that Wade uses his insanity/humor as a coping mechanism to cover his deep desire for belonging and acceptance. You know what, the stuff with Spider-Man/Hit Monkey was good too. Now I'm not such a big fan of how Way's writing him. I feel like Remender's not doing anything Way didn't do during his first two or three arcs, and he's certainly not doing anything Kelly didn't do first and easily superior.
#32 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29813 posts) - - Show Bio
@Fantasgasmic said:
Annoying oversaturated bastion of Liefeldian 90s-ism. A poor attempt at making the Joker, but "extreme"
That post is wrong on so many levels it's hilarious. Well done, sir. 
#33 Posted by DarthStorm (161 posts) - - Show Bio

I like when after they killed young Apocalypse, Deadpool was yelling at the team and asking what was wrong with them and Wolverine said that Deadpool had killed people and he said "Yeah, but I'd never kill a kid!" One of his best moments.

#34 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6958 posts) - - Show Bio

I personally like him when he has the punchlines.  He's kinda like the Freddy Kreuger of mutantdom for me for some reason.

#35 Posted by mark5 (1220 posts) - - Show Bio
@King Quisling said:
@NightFang said:
I thought he was both?
second that
#36 Posted by cyberninja (10524 posts) - - Show Bio


#37 Posted by Sekele (297 posts) - - Show Bio

He is both  
I probably earn the wrath of all decent people, but I'll say that some serial-killers had quite a sense of humor 

#38 Posted by goldenkey (3033 posts) - - Show Bio

It's a bit over done.  I think sooner or later they'll actually make him to be what Kelly was doing.  Same crazy fun, just more of a threat.  He's getting that in the short amout of page time he receives in X-Force now more then his own book.  I liked that all the other assassins were fearful of him in the Kelly runs, but now he's more of a jester and people are annoyed by him.  He's not going anywhere, he's just to cool, and the only thing that can happen is he goes up.  To many people like him, and the ones that don't, don't nessessarily not like him they just thinks he's being written wrong.
#39 Posted by B'Town (2369 posts) - - Show Bio

@mark5 said:

@King Quisling said:
@NightFang said:
I thought he was both?
second that

Hey Hey, I seconded it... you my dear are third. ;P

#40 Posted by CATPANEXE (9505 posts) - - Show Bio

this has crossed my mind before. in an entertainment based universe a character like Wade can be lovable. 
our morals don't seem to apply highly to imaginary worlds, and more so it's where our dark fantasies can
operate with no real consequence.
in real life Wade would be a monster and despised.
It's going to be weird though to see him plastered on plastic cups and candy wrappers by the time the film
comes out.

#41 Posted by JazGalaxy (17 posts) - - Show Bio

The problem with writing characters that are supposed to be "funny" is determining what that means. 
Is the character a straightman in a world that's funny? (Like the show Seinfeld?) Or is the character a funny person in a world of straight men? (like a standup comedian.) Is the person funny to those around him, or just funny to us the audience? 
I feel like this never really gets sussed out in Deadpool and it weakens his character. as a psycho murderer, even if we find him funny, those around him should not because nobody reasonable in the real world or marvel universe would.

#42 Posted by Z3RO180 (7768 posts) - - Show Bio

i love deadpol cause he is one of your best mates that when you go on a night out he is the reason you and him are running from an angry boyfrind and his gang of maes then when u get away you both lagh at the experieace...HERES TO YOU DEADPOOL the besty mate we all have.

#43 Posted by Pacperson (304 posts) - - Show Bio
@Cafeterialoca said:
How about Deadpool with an actual plot and direction? Remember during Cable and Deadpool when Deadpool actually had things to do and would get Character development?  That's why Deadpool is less interesting now.  He'll always just walk into other guest stars, but rarely amount to anything.
Sad...but true... ;-; Nothing has happened in Ways run, just randomness and guest characters. nothing that will really matter.
#44 Posted by alphamale73 (87 posts) - - Show Bio

He used to be my fav character, now not so much. He has range. He has versatility, and the differing opinions are proof positive of this. My description of him would be a spoof of Spider-man who instead of spider powers he is a deadly assassin trained in various forms of armed and hand to hand combat, with regenerative abilities. He is a very skilled fighter, and the mutant gene derived from  Wolverine is messing with his head and the cancer is eating away at his brain slowly causing the psychopathic behavior, and the schizophrenic word bubbles.

#45 Posted by Xenozoic Shaman (422 posts) - - Show Bio

I like the Uncanny X-Force version.  It's actually the first version of him that I was exposed to.  When I finally read a real Deadpool issue, I found it almost unbearably nonsensical.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, if that's your taste.

#46 Edited by Deadcool (6900 posts) - - Show Bio

Both, he is perfect being both, I like him as comic relief, but being as sociopath killer makes him different from the rest, all together is a perfect character, the best stories I have read about the character, is about a perfect combinatio of both elements, stories like Pulp Deadpool, 5 ronin, Doomwar, Cable and Deadpool, etc. 
#47 Posted by Norusdog (205 posts) - - Show Bio

I want to like Deadpool but can't.  His design is cool n all that.  But when I read a comic I do NOT want to be REMINDED I'm reading a comic...I like to lose myself in the story etc.  So his breaking the 4th wall is a deal breaker for me.  I'm just not interested in him because of it.  Though if they wrote that crap out I'd probably check him out

#48 Posted by Cafeterialoca (1581 posts) - - Show Bio
@Pacperson: I'm really surprised how Way is still writing the book.  His jokes are too far apart and his ideas seem like he's really doesn't know ay storylines to come up with.
"Now he's a pirate!" "Now he's in space!" "Now he's a vampire!"
At this rate, he'll run out of all these Saturday Morning Cartoon gimmicks!
#49 Edited by cosmo111687 (1578 posts) - - Show Bio
@InnerVenom123 said:

@Fantasgasmic said:

Annoying oversaturated bastion of Liefeldian 90s-ism. A poor attempt at making the Joker, but "extreme"

That post is wrong on so many levels it's hilarious. Well done, sir. 
I think Fantasgasmic has a fair point. I can see how Deadpool can be annoying to some people. Not everybody has to like his humor. He does appear in a lot of media and he does have tons of spin-offs and such, so I can see how he can be considered "oversaturated". He was famously drawn by Liefeld. He was created partially as a spoof of 90s culture. And as for how he compares to Joker, let me run down the check-list:
Schizophrenic Psychopaths: Check 
Dark, Demented Humor: Check 
Breaks 4th Wall: Check 
Obsession with television and media, especially cartoons: Check
Driven into madness due to a horrible accident involving experimental chemicals or procedures that left him permanently disfigured: Check
Puts closest friends, family members, and loved ones at serious risk: Check 

They're different characters, for sure, with their own unique back-stories and history, but they're both funny, sadistic, highly-skilled and dangerous buffoons. Only a blind man couldn't see how Deadpool is, in some way, inspired by or at least similar to The Joker.
#50 Posted by dannyzielinski (1 posts) - - Show Bio

I think I'd have to go with both,  Deadpool is the reason I have continued to read comics for the past 15 years.  Hes funny and dark.... perfect combo.  The merc with the mouth is tha Man!

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