These days, Deadpool is a pretty busy mercenary. In addition to his starring role in multiple Marvel Comics titles and a growing film franchise, Wade Wilson will soon add headlining an animated television series to his impressive checklist of success stories. FXX has ordered a 10-episode season of an animated adult comedy series starring the Merc with a Mouth, with Atlanta creator Donald Glover at the helm.
Of course, Deadpool is no stranger to animated adventures, having appeared in the Hulk Vs Wolverine straight-to-video film, not to mention his guest-star role on Disney XD’s Ultimate Spider-Man. As one of Marvel’s most popular characters, it was only a matter of time until Deadpool made the transition to animation in a starring role. In fact, there are many established qualities to the anti-hero, and he seems almost pre-destined to flourish in a cartoon environment.
Old School Animated Callbacks
If you’ve ever enjoyed the comedic stylings of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, you have cartoonist Tex Avery to thank. Best known for his work in the golden age of American animation that produced cartoons that appealed to kids and adults alike, it’s not much of a leap to imagine Deadpool animated in an Avery-style, complete with bulging eyes and wolf whistles. There’s already a Bugs Bunny “ain’t I a stinker?” aspect to Deadpool, after all, from his trickster-like personality to his fourth-wall breaking antics. Few other characters could get away with blowing an enemy’s head off in one scene and seamlessly transitioning to speaking to the viewer at home regarding the bloody mess he’s made, all with a wink and a smile.
While Ultimate Spider-Man’s Spidey regularly pauses the action to talk to the audience, it’s an aside rather than part of the story at hand. Deadpool, on the other hand, would be would be the first comic book superhero to be fully at home dropping meta-commentary while he’s in the middle of a heated fight scene. The idea of Deadpool with Scooby Doo-style “bongo feet” while running after an adversary, or falling through the air a la Wile E. Coyote (with or without anvils) is the sort of thing the character was made for.
Film Universe? We Don’t Need No Steenkin’ Film Universe…
It would be easy to assume that FXX’s Deadpool will co-exist with Fox’s X-Men live-action universe, possibly even taking place between Deadpool and Deadpool 2. But does the animated show need to follow the movie blueprint at all? For that matter, should it? That avenue would place the series in a small box, and would likely wind up being too limiting in the long run. Airing on FXX will work to the show’s advantage, allowing it to get away with more adult material and be even more outrageous than the films could ever dream of, so there’s no reason it should marry itself to the relatively grounded and gritty universe Ryan Reynolds’ incarnation exists in.
Now, we’re not calling for nods to the Fox X-verse to be ignored completely, but marrying the show to the movie continuity would be a huge mistake. While the animated Deadpool should be influenced by the films in some ways, with the occasional wink-and-a-nod to movie continuity, we don’t want to see it beholden to them. This way, the cartoon would be free to carve its own insane path.
Meet the Deadpool Corps!
We’re pretty sure this thought went through your head after the Deadpool announcement: “Deadpool is getting his own television series? Cable is bound to show up in an episode!” While there’s certainly a chance the time-traveling Cable will show his techno-organic self when the series hits FXX, let’s not hold our breath just yet. Fox may choose to keep Cable strictly relegated to the big screen for a while following his Deadpool 2 debut. And that’s just fine, as there are plenty of other characters in Deadpool’s world that are made for animation.
Front and center are the members of the Deadpool Corps, a crew of inter-dimensional ‘Pools from across the Marvel multiverse including Dogpool, Kid Deadpool, Lady Deadpool, and the bodiless zombie known as, yes, Headpool. The Deadpool Corps is just the sort of thing we should expect the FXX series to exploit — it practically writes itself! The image of Headpool hovering over Deadpool’s shoulder like a good/bad angel, dispersing R-rated life advice is the sort of thing virtually destined to spawn dozens of hashtags as it trends across social media.
The bottom line is, Deadpool is tailor-made to strut his fourth-wall breaking self in animated form. This animated series was bound to happen, and once fans get a taste, we can’t imagine there’ll be any way to stop a second season of Wade Wilson’s R-rated antics.
Deadpool’s 10-episode FXX animated series is co-created by Donald Glover and his brother Stephen Glover, with Marvel Television head Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory executive producing.