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Deadpool – Badass of the Week

“Destiny doesn’t care that I’ve made sacrifices to get here.

That I’ve said my prayers and brushed after meals.

Destiny wants a garbage man… and I’m always it.

Bang bang.  I’m Deadpool.  You’re Dead.

A special edition of Badass of the Week by Ben Thompson

deadpool marvel comics

Deadpool is a criminally deranged, psychopathic ninja mercenary with a mutant healing factor, a withering sarcastic wit, an encyclopedic array of pop culture references, and unfettered access to katanas, hand grenades and automatic weapons, which he uses to kill everyone ever.  He’s like Snake Eyes, Wolverine, and David Spade’s Hollywood Minute mashed into the body of an Olympic athlete, then combined with the impulse control of Charlie Manson – and the end result is that he’s so fucking awesome at pummeling people into meat juice that he somehow manages to be an effective assassin even though he sneaks around heavily-fortified military facilities in a fire-engine red jumpsuit.

deadpool marvel comics

Deadpool’s real name is Wade Wilson, though I prefer to avoid calling him that because it just makes me think of the middling NFL Quarterback who today is pretty much best known for being so completely fucking terrible that when he blew his knee out while playing for the Saints the hometown crowd actually cheered the fact that he’d gone down with an injury (this, of course, was back before Katrina, when it was still OK to say that Saints fans are assholes).  Perhaps this association is somewhat appropriate, however, because if there’s one thing our favorite comic book mercenary is known for, it’s taking a severe beating in as entertaining a way as possible.  Of course, unlike Wade Wilson’s NFL career, Deadpool generally rebounds from his crippling injuries by bouncing right back in the next issue decapitating feebs with a samurai sword while talking shit about Bea Arthur and headbutting bullets through his enemies’ brains.

deadpool marvel comics

The Merc with the Mouth’s origin story is one of the more convoluted things you’ll come across, but the gist of it is that Wade Wilson’s parents were killed by some combination of cancer and/or bullets while he was young, and the man who would become Deadpool responded to this tragedy by dedicating his life to becoming completely fucking awesome.  He joined the U.S. Special Forces, but when serving his country as a Green Beret wasn’t dangerous enough for him, he decided to go mercenary instead, offering his flying/stabbing/murdering skills to the highest bidder.  He traveled the world planting katanas in peoples’ faces in exchange for money, leaving behind a trail of bloody corpses and vengeance-seeking arch-nemeses in his wake, but when you’re an insane ninja master who dual-wields Uzis you usually don’t have to waste all your time worrying about the myriad people out there who want to run your head through a garbage disposal.

But the face-stabbing murder party couldn’t last forever, and Wilson eventually learned that he was getting his ass kicked by the one thing on this planet capable of defeating him – he was suffering from an advanced stage of some kind of horrible unsurvivable cancer.  So, confronted with his own mortality, Wilson took the obvious next step and dumped his girlfriend, volunteered for the Weapon X program (why not?  It did so much great stuff for Wolverine…), and let a bunch of crazy whacked-out Canadian scientists perform a near-endless series of sadistic experiments on him in an effort to “help him out brah”.   The evil scientists (is there any other kind?) implanted him with Wolverine’s awesome mutant healing factor, which did a great job of slowing down the cancer, but unfortunately ended up setting processes in motion that would eventually cost Deadpool his livelihood, his good looks, and whatever remained of his already-tenuous grip on his sanity.  No biggie.

deadpool marvel comicsAfter Lance Armstronging his way free of cancer, Wilson worked as a special operative on behalf of Project X, and things were going pretty well until he (possibly not accidentally) killed a teammate during a mission.  Since friendly fire is generally frowned upon by military types, Wilson was rejected from the Weapon X program and thrown into some kind of fucked-up evil Canadian prison where he was subjected to a bunch of ridiculous experiments that drove him batshit insane and left his face looking like a combination between the Thing, Red Skull, and a scrotum.  While in the facility he fell in love with the physical personification of Death, which was fun until Thanos got pissed and severed their connection – this was good for Thanos, sure, but the downside was that Wilson was pretty much immortal from that point on.  A good example of this newfound resistance to death is his escape from the afore-mentioned hellacious facility – when some nutjob pulled out Wilson’s still-beating heart, Wilson got super-fucking-pissed, regenerated a new heart and immediately avenged his own death before killing a bunch of guards and walking out of the facility amid a pile of exploded corpses.  Nowadays he works as a professional badass-for-hire, wears a mask to hide his disfigurement, and calls himself Deadpool because that’s the title of an awesome Dirty Harry movie.  Ok, maybe I made that last part up.

deadpool marvel comicsOne cool thing about Deadpool is that aside from the healing factor he doesn’t have any kind of genetically-enhanced powers – he’s just a regular dude who’s honed his strength and reflexes through decades of training in pretty much every fucking martial art this side of thumb-wrestling.  He’s a master marksman, a peerless swordfighter, and can efficiently dual wield any weapon larger than a staple remover with ultra-deadly results.  He also speaks fluent Japanese, German, Spanish and English, can order a chimichanga in seven different languages, and uses a teleportation device to blink in and out of the most secure military installations, making him basically the ultimate assassin.  Of course, that mutant healing factor doesn’t hurt either – it’s bailed him out every single time he’s died horrifically in battle, which, incidentally, is basically every 2-3 times he shows up in a comic book.  During his career serving as essentially the Marvel Universe’s equivalent to Kenny McCormick, Deadpool has been blown up, liquefied, eaten, barfed out, torn in half, sniped, shot with everything from arrows to ninja stars, beheaded a couple times, disintegrated into ashes, and taken more flying knee strikes to the face than any one man probably deserves, yet no matter how horrific his injuries he just keeps on coming back looking for more asses that need to be wrecked.

deadpool marvel comics

As you can probably imagine, there’s a pretty big market out there for a professional assassin who has access to a teleportation device, a pair of gleaming steel katanas, and the ability to survive after being cut in half by machine gun fire, and as a result the Regenerating Degenerate shows up pretty much all the time.  It doesn’t matter what’s happening in the story arc – if some super-villain needs to whack and/or capture a hero (and this happens fairly often in the Marvel Universe), the next thing you know Deadpool is dropping down from the ceiling and pummeling the fuck out of Shatterstar, or hauling ass on a moped, or massacring an entire military base in Zaire and fist-fighting a dude inside the lion enclosure at the zoo.  He’s worked for the Kingpin, taken a job as a Hobgoblin impersonator, pissed off X-Factor, served as a sumo-wrestling Yakuza enforcer, and spent some quality time hanging out with a dude named Dr. Bong, which probably sounds a lot more chill than it really was.  Deadpool eventually got sick of taking bullshit orders from bizarre time-traveling intergalactic law firms / arms dealers, and now he owns his own mercenary firm, where one of his employees is his own disembodied flying zombiefied head from another plane of reality.  He’s just entrepreneurial like that.

deadpool marvel comics

Another bitchin’ thing about The Crimson Nutcase is that even though he’s a totally merciless bastard, he occasionally shows signs of having some vague remnants of a conscience.  Essentially what it amounts to is that he’s a villain who wants to be a hero but knows he doesn’t have what it takes – mostly because he really has a tough time not killing people everywhere he goes.  His affiliations with teams like Alpha Flight and the X-Men never really seem to last long, because at the first sign of trouble this guy is running through a knee-deep river of blood screaming “BULLLEETTTTSSS!” while firing twin submachine guns indiscriminately into a crowd of enemies.  Superheroes usually frown on this sort of thing.  They also didn’t find it all that funny when Deadpool fought alongside the X-Men while wearing an exact replica of Marvel Girl’s costume (complete with miniskirt), though they were probably the only ones who felt that way on that particular occasion.  Still, despite being a total motherfucker, Deadpool does occasionally come through for the forces of good.  He’s fought the Skrulls, thwarted an alien invasion, saved his shape-shifting ex-hooker girlfriend’s life by passing some of his healing factor on to her, and once saved the free will of humanity by kicking Captain America in the ballsack.  Which was awesome, by the way.

deadpool captain america

Deadpool is also pretty fucking hilarious, mostly because he’s one of the few comic book characters out there who doesn’t take himself too seriously.  He talks endless shit to his enemies, always has some kind of snarky comment no matter how serious the situation may seem, doesn’t hesitate to taunt his enemies even when they have the upper hand, and doesn’t have a problem breaking the fourth wall and cracking jokes directly to the readers – a trait that doesn’t do anything to dissuade his allies from their belief that he’s completely fucking insane.  He also answers a letters column.  Oh, and his cell phone ringtone is the YMCA theme – the guy is apparently already so badass he just doesn’t give a shit about keeping up appearances.

deadpool marvel comics

“Deadpool bounds up vegetarians and force-feeds them meat loaf.”

 

Read more Badass of the Week: Batman, Thanos, and Doctor Doom.

Additional reading:

http://www.marveldirectory.com/individuals/d/deadpool.htm

http://www.comicvine.com/deadpool/29-7606/

http://marvel.wikia.com/Deadpool_%28Wade_Wilson%29

http://marvel.com/universe/Deadpool_%28Wade_Wilson%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadpool

About Ben Thompson

Ben Thompson graduated from Florida State University in 2002 with degrees in History and Political Science. He has run the popular website badassoftheweek.com since 2004, and has written humorous history-related columns for outlets such as Cracked, Fangoria, Penthouse, and the American Mustache Institute. His first book, BADASS: A Relentless Onslaught of the Toughest Warlords, Vikings, Samurai, Pirates, Gunfighters, and Military Commanders to Ever Live was published worldwide by HarperCollins in October 2009. A second book, titled BADASS: Birth of a Legend: Spine-Crushing Tales of the Most Merciless Gods, Heroes, Villains, and Mythical Beings Ever Envisioned, was released by the same publisher in March 2011.

25 Comments

  1. Garrick

    March 4, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    You forgot to mention he is probably the only self aware comic book character. He see’s and reacts to the little yellow dialog boxes, and refers back to previous comic book issues all the time.

    • Jay Tomio

      March 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm

      That would be the 4th wall he mentioned, not to mention on of the images in the post with Bullseye.

    • Zach

      March 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      That’s called ‘breaking the 4th wall’, and the article did in fact mention it.

    • Behemothxp

      March 4, 2011 at 6:23 pm

      Also “the only” :P? She-Hulk has been famous for being aware that she is a comic character for quite some time.

      To the article: I didn’t know Deadpools parents were ever mentioned? And I thought he enlisted to Weapon X because of his cancer, which is now having an ongoing battle with his healing factor leaving his mind and body quite torn at all times (hence the appearance and enhancement of his already established brain problems)

      • Benndetto

        March 13, 2011 at 8:43 pm

        At this point his back story has been retconned so many times, he doesn’t even now what it is and has given up on it.

        • Volax

          March 17, 2011 at 11:53 am

          As the man said himself “It depends on whose writng for me at the time”

  2. greg

    March 5, 2011 at 2:22 am

    Thanks for continuing to give props to Marvel characters and not the weak-ass dc characters. I knew Deadpool was badass but didn’t know how badass :D. Spiderman is the other really sarcastic character I can think of but he doesn’t seem to be able to hold a stick of dynamite to Deadpool (which I’m sure Deadpool would actually be willing to do just to be funny)

    • Jay Tomio

      March 5, 2011 at 10:29 am

      I actually hope next time we can get Ben on a DC character, see how they measure up to Thanos and Deadpool on the badass meter!

      • Anonymous

        October 4, 2011 at 10:02 pm

        how about V for Vendetta, that guy makes batman look like a squeaky clean humanitarian

  3. AlbinoDarkBeast

    March 5, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I’m guessing the only DC character worthy of Ben Thompson would be the God damned Batman

    • Jay Tomio

      March 5, 2011 at 2:44 pm

      While he can of course do what he wants,it wouldn’t be one I’d prefer simply because of the mass of material and back history behind batman. I’d probably stay away from the top dozen or so historical icons from both of the big 2.

  4. Greg

    March 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    I just shot five birds.. which means I won.. I won a fucking heartbeat ringtone Ben.. A HEARTBEAT RINGTONE ON BADASS OF THE WEEK!! <– that's me yelling at you for having such a dipshit app on your page. I love you man, but you can eat shit for the free ring tone! Keep 'em comin

  5. SalaComMander

    March 5, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    You may want to take note of a certain quote Deadpool once said.

    “I’m not insane. I talk this way to prevent from GOING insane.”

    While the credibility of his words are in question, it may just be true, judging from the brief BURSTS of sanity, proving that he is in control.

    If you need proof of this, play Marvel Ultimate Alliance, and complete the unlockable Deadpool Comic Mission all the way through. The very last thing you hear will be Deadpool dropping his goofy persona to prove that he means business, and that he knew all along exactly what was going on.

  6. WarPig

    March 7, 2011 at 12:38 am

    Deadpool is the best antihero with Hellboy, Wolverine when he’s pissed and Afro Samurai all as close number twos. A king-of-the-ring/battle royale match with the four of them would be worth the price of admission. Thanos could referee.

    • BornIn1142

      March 10, 2011 at 9:08 am

      I wouldn’t really call Hellboy an anti-hero. He’s a demon, but also a totally noble stand-up guy with no real unheroic qualities except being destined to end the world.

  7. Dominik

    March 14, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    ou forgot the greatest thing he ever did, he was riding in achopper with 2 soldiers, and then don’t know why started talking about star wars, one soldier said he likes the newer ones because of the special efffects, BAMM, kill by deadpool.

    • Volax

      March 17, 2011 at 11:55 am

      It was actually a spaceship with 2 AIM dudes… and his zombie head

      • Volax

        March 17, 2011 at 12:00 pm

        oh, and Deadpool said fly casual as a star wars refernce and you know the rest

  8. Raz

    March 14, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Awesome. Deadpool is one of my favorites. You forgot Bea Arthur!

  9. Pgood

    March 24, 2011 at 1:40 am

    A note: his cancer wasn’t healed. A big part of his character and his arc is that the healing factor he was given doesn’t discriminate between him and his cancer: his ugliness is an effect of the cancer on overload, spreading to every part of his body. He’s only alive because his healing factor works equally well on his actual body parts.

    Granted, ignoring that allowed you to use “Lance Armstrong” as a verb, which is pretty badass.

    Also, another moment of badassery? Him Dragon Punching Kitty Pryde. Surprised I didn’t see it mentioned.

    “Speaking of games, you ever play Street Fighter?”

  10. Richi

    April 22, 2011 at 1:15 am

    another note: im pretty sure hes Canadian. any bio on him lists that as his nationality and citizenship, and his birthplace as “an unrevealed location in Canada”, it seems he moved south when he was younger and joined the US army, moved back to Canada later, and now travels all over the place. mmm… Wolverine, Deadpool… im noticeing a trend here. seems like all motherfuckers from up north are crazy badass!

  11. John

    July 19, 2011 at 9:25 am

    One thing I would add is that his insanity is a weapon.
    The reason Cap and Wolverine (who generally beat everyone) have so much trouble with Deadpool is that he is completely unpredictable… Even to himself sometimes.
    He once got a bang on the head and his inner-monologue and dialogue switched, so he was accidentally revealing all his plans.
    There was another time when he fell out with his inner-monologue and it refused to talk to him, leaving him with no tactics at all.

  12. Alex. A

    October 29, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Yeah, Deadpool is cool, it’s just that he just seems like a tweaked copy of Deathstroke. Like the entire backstory, costume and Name (Ish) is completely copied but is made by Marvel instead DC. But still a awesome character, it’s just that it’s a bit annoying noticing the similarities when trying to read the Deadpool ones :L

    • James B.

      January 22, 2013 at 11:42 pm

      That’s because he was meant to be a parody of Deathstroke. The artist scrawled his design up and then another artists said he looked like Deathstroke, so they made him a not-so-serious character and sort of polar opposite in attitude from Slade Wilson.

  13. Joe

    December 9, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Needs to do Spiderman, the original deadpool.

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