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.
This time around, the question comes courtesy of my friend, Chris N., who asks:
The petition to get a PG-13 cut of Deadpool has generated some internet backlash, with a lot of fans claiming a Deadpool movie that isn’t R-rated just isn’t Deadpool. Now I haven’t read much Marvel this past decade, but I read plenty of Deadpool from the character’s first 15 years, and the comic was never R-rated. Where are people getting the idea that Deadpool is an R-rated character?
I think it IS pretty clear that, when introduced, Deadpool was not an R-Rated character. So when did the change occur?
There are four notable ways that a movie is rated R, nudity, sex, profanity and violence. The first two really don’t apply to Deadpool (although Deadpool Max has had nudity in it, but that didn’t come about until nearly two decades into Deadpool’s history). The last two, though, are more at issue here.
Of the two, when it comes to an R-Rating, profanity is a lot stricter than violence.
Profanity-wise, Deadpool used censored comic book cursing very early on. Here it is in just his second appearance in X-Force #2 (by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza)…
He did it frequently enough that Daniel Way and Steve Dillon even made fun of it in Wolverine: Origins #23…
Bleeped out cursing is not a common trope in films, so you could say that he would therefore “need” to curse in the film, which would lead to a R (you can curse in PG-13 films, but in very small quantities). However, for the sake of argument, let’s even say that cursing is not an important part of Deadpool. The key part is the next step – the violence. Go to the next page to see how Deadpool’s violence has evolved over the years into R-Rated territory…
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