Comic Book Questions Answered - where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org). Here is a link to an archive of all the past questions that have been answered so far.
Reader Abdelrahman wrote in to ask:
Hi there, I was wondering, if you starve Wolverine or Deadpool, would they actually die? This brings up another question, their healing factor must need energy to heal their wounds, so, does it get this energy from food, in form of calorie? Or does it get it from another source ?
Read on for the answer!
Okay, so here's the most important thing to understand before we get into this topic. Some of the most basic rules of science do not apply to the world of comic books. The biggest one is that mass can't just be created out of nowhere. However, we see it happen all the time - the Hulk's whole deal is that he goes from puny Banner into the huge Hulk. So where does that mass come from? In an attempt to explain stuff like this, comic book writers have often gone to this whole "other-dimensional" reasoning (like the Hulk gains his mass from another dimension), which is just kind of bizarre, right? To explain how something DOESN'T make scientific sense, the explanation involves OTHER DIMENSIONS. But whatever, that's the default explanation for anything like that. How can Deadpool regrow a hand? He gets the mass from another dimension. Silly? Oh hell yeah, but hey, at least it's an explanation.
So anyhow, I bring this up because this question really presupposes that this stuff makes sense, and it really doesn't. However, we CAN answer as well as we can based on what we know.
So let's take on Wolverine and Deadpool one at a time. We'll begin with Wolverine.
Wolverine CAN starve. He DOES need to eat. However, as established by Grant Morrison in New X-Men #148 (art by Phil Jimenez and Andy Lanning), he has a bit of a way out of this dilemma when put into situations where he is trapped without food...
Again, that doesn't technically make scientific sense, but hey, it's what we got. I believe that makes it evident that he DOES need to eat to survive, so yes, Wolverine could theoretically be starved to death if he is deprived of food. I believe his healing powers would make it take a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time for it actually kick in, but it CAN be done.
But what about Deadpool? Read on to find out!