Since Deadpool’s big screen solo debut in February 2016, he’s practically become a household name. The film broke dozens of box office records including ‘Highest Grossing Rated-R Film of All Time’ when it nabbed the top spot from “The Matrix Reloaded” after a 13-year run as number one. “Deadpool 2” is set to release in 2018, and Fox has already set plans in motion for multiple sequels, spin-offs, and larger ensemble team movies in the coming years, so if your grandma hasn’t heard of him yet, she will.
After 25 years in relative obscurity, you’d be forgiven if there were a few Deadpool powers you’ve never heard about. So whether you have your own mint condition copy of his first appearance in “New Mutants #98” or the 2016 film was your first exposure to the Regeneratin’ Degenerate, here are 15 Deadpool powers you probably didn’t know he had!
15. APPEARANCE MANIPULATION
When Deadpool first debuted in his own ongoing series, writer Joe Kelly was still experimenting with his power set and gave him a few technological upgrades. One of these was his holographic image inducer that allowed him to change his appearance. Deadpool’s cancer is in a constant state of regeneration due to his healing factor, which causes the skin on his face and body to look grossly deformed, so he’s not exactly inconspicuous in public. Not to mention that anonymity is a serious benefit to a merc-for-hire.
With his image inducer, Deadpool could mask his appearance with the face, body, and clothing of someone less Freddy Krueger-like. Unfortunately, due to his fractured psyche, the image inducer had a tendency to flip between different looks every few seconds. Eventually, the idea was abandoned entirely and Wade Wilson was forced to live with the face of Ryan Reynolds crossed with a Shar Pei.
When most people think of superheroes with a healing factor, their mind tends to go straight to Wolverine. This is forgivable, as he’s been around since 1974 and he’s one of the few characters to appear in every media adaptation of the X-Men franchise, including film, television, and video games. But Deadpool’s healing factor puts Wolverine to shame.
He’s been decapitated and dismembered by Carnage, the Hulk, and Wolverine. He’s been blasted to bits by Cable (among others). In “Cable & Deadpool #5,” he literally melted into a puddle and was swallowed up by Cable before being vomited back out and regenerating into his full form.
As if it weren’t already hard enough for him to die, in “Deadpool Vol. 1 #64,” Thanos learns that Deadpool and the literal personification of Death in the Marvel Universe are in love with each other (definitely some symbolism there). But Thanos has his own love affair with Death, so he curses Deadpool with the inability to die to keep them from being together, making Deadpool literally immortal.
13. SUPER STRENGTH
Deadpool’s healing factor has a number of interesting little side-effects on his body. One of which is that his muscles seem to be inexhaustible and constantly repairing, so he’s developed strength well beyond natural human limitations.
He has been seen at various points lifting people off the ground or punching them high into the air with minimal effort. In “Cable & Deadpool #13,” by Fabian Nicieza with art by Patrick Zircher, an autopsy reveals that he broke a man’s neck instantly with his thumb and forefinger, an act that the doctors agree would require a superhuman amount of strength.
However, his super strength isn’t something that’s showcased often, possibly because, relative to a lot of heroes in the Marvel universe, it’s not much to brag about. He’s nowhere near the level of the Hulk or Juggernaut. He’s not even quite on the level of Captain America, but he can snap a person’s neck with two fingers, and that’s more than Tony Stark or Hawkeye can do.
12. POLYGLOTISM (FLUENCY IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES)
At first glance, a reader might take Wade Wilson’s goofy jokes and zany personality to mean that he’s stupid. That’s far from the truth, though.
One of the benefits of being an international (sometimes intergalactic) mercenary is that you pick up a few languages along the way. When Deadpool teamed up with Hawkeye in “Hawkeye vs. Deadpool,” Wade uses American Sign Language at times to communicate with Clint, who has been deaf since Matt Fraction’s “Hawkeye” run. In “Deadpool & The Mercs for Money,” he speaks Spanish frequently to his Mexican teammate, Massacre, who only speaks Spanish. In “Deadpool Team-Up #1,” he takes a trip to Japan and speaks Japanese throughout most of the mission (to infiltrate the Temple of a Thousand Buddhas) in order to communicate with a cloned dwarf version of himself called Widdle Wade, who only speaks Japanese.
11. SUPER STAMINA
Another interesting side-effect of Deadpool’s healing factor is his superhuman ability to never get tired. His muscular system produces far fewer fatigue toxins than a normal human being, so he can exert himself at peak capacity for several days before he begins succumbing to fatigue. But even if he were to tire out, his regeneration ability would quickly have him back at peak performance in a short amount of time.
This is made clear throughout dozens of fights with Marvel’s heaviest hitters, including The Hulk, Carnage, The Rhino, Spider-Man, and waves upon waves of zombies and aliens without ever slowing down or shutting up. Because of the boost from his healing factor, it’s possible that Deadpool actually has a higher level of stamina than Captain America. The general consensus is that Cap can exert himself at peak capacity for several hours before getting tired, while Deadpool can exert himself for several days.
10. SUPER METABOLISM
Deadpool is well known for his obsession with Mexican food, specifically, tacos and chimichangas. He is frequently seen sitting in his underwear on the couch surrounded by pizza boxes, half-eaten boxes of donuts, and mega-size sodas. In “Deadpool” Vol. 2 #16 by Daniel Way and Paco Medina, he cooks up 372,844 pancakes just because he’s bored. It gives a whole new meaning to his nickname, the “Merc with a Mouth.”
Despite eating his own body weight (and then some) as often as he likes, on the next page, he’s always back to having the shredded, muscle-bound body of, say, Ryan Reynolds. Sadly, it’s a blessing and a curse. Thanks to Deadpool’s super metabolism, he’s unable to get drunk no matter how much alcohol he sucks down, as proven in “Deadpool: The Video Game” when if you downed enough beers, he’ll turn to the camera and say, “Enough with the damn beer. Healing factor won’t let me get drunk anyway.” Tough break, Wade.
9. PERCEPTION OF OUR REALITY (4th WALL BREAKING)
Most of Deadpool’s powers aren’t anything unique to the Marvel universe. Super strength and an accelerated healing factor are practically as common as superheroes themselves. But one ability that is unique to Deadpool is his awareness of being a fictional character.
Since “Deadpool” Vol. 1, he’s referenced previous issues, told other characters their lives exist in a comic book, and he’s even re-written reality with a pen like a scene out of something Bugs Bunny would appear in. As well, his perception of our reality is present in every form of media he’s existed in. In 2016’s “Deadpool,” he speaks directly to the audience. In “Deadpool: The Video Game,” he calls the video game studio to argue about the script. In the prose novel, “Deadpool: Paws,” he even describes the author’s life as he’s writing the book. When you think about it, knowing he’s the main character in his own story is kind of the ultimate superpower. He can enter nearly any situation without fear, because he knows they’re not going to kill off the star of the show.
8. SUPER AGILITY
Deadpool’s mercenary training and experience, combined with the way his accelerated healing factor affects his muscular system, gives him superhuman agility equal to the likes of Spider-Man or Captain America.
In fact, you may have noticed that Deadpool and Spider-Man share more than a few similarities. You’re not alone, and it’s something the writers and artists are well aware of. One of those major similarities is their ability to flip around a room like circus acrobats, and that’s no accident. In “Deadpool” Vol. 1 #11 by Joe Kelley and Pete Woods, he and Blind Al are sent back to 1967’s “Amazing Spider-Man” #47. Pete Woods, with Nathan Massengill on inks, reworked much of the original art, superimposing Deadpool into Spider-Man’s place in his epic battle with Kraven the Hunter.
His super agility has come in handy numerous times with adversaries far stronger, faster, and more powerful than himself, including the Hulk, Wolverine, and in “Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe,” he even manages to kill Spider-Man.
7. AN ARMY OF ONE
Have we mentioned that Wade Wilson is literally an insane person? And we’re not just talking about the fact that he believes he’s a comic book character or that he commits acts of homicide with the lighthearted whimsy of a child playing with puppies. During the entirety of “Deadpool” Vol. 2, among other works, Wade was written as having multiple distinct personalities. At least one of these was due to the villain Madcap taking up residence in Wade’s brain for a while in the form of little white dialogue boxes (as revealed in “Deadpool Annual” Vol. 3 #1, written by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, with pencils and inks by Evan Shaner).
As one might imagine, having multiple brains provides a powerful tactical advantage, namely the ability to analyze and think through multiple aspects of a battle and potential strengths and weaknesses of each strategy at the same time. This is in addition to Deadpool’s already brilliant tactical mercenary mind, which combines to make him a formidable opponent even without the accelerated healing factor.
6. OPTIC BLASTS AND SWORD TALONS
We know, we know! 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” is the last thing you want to see in anything related to Deadpool, but the fact is that this movie gave him some abilities that we’d never seen him have before. This “Deadpool” possessed an amalgamation of powers from the dozens of kidnapped mutants on whom the Weapon X Program experimented in the film.
Aside from making his teleportation ability organic and giving him the heretofore unseen ability to shut up by literally sealing his mouth shut, this “Deadpool” got optic laser blasts from Cyclops, and Baraka-style retractable sword blades implanted in his arms, probably meant to mirror Wolverine.
Incidentally, the “Deadpool” that appears at the end of the movie is not actually played by Ryan Reynolds, but rather Scott Adkins. Reynolds, being a long-time Deadpool mega-fan, left the production over creative disputes, so Adkins stepped in to take over for the finale. That character is even listed as “Weapon XI” on IMDb, so if you want, you can pretend it’s a whole different character from Wade Wilson and that Stryker was lying.
5. PSYCHIC RESISTANCE
Another benefit to having multiple distinct personalities inside his brain, as well as being just generally kind of insane, is that it makes it very difficult for psychic characters to get into his head, so when they do, they can’t really get a grasp of what’s going on. To double down on this ability, Deadpool’s cancer was also accelerated in the experiment that gave him his healing factor, so his brain cells are perpetually dying and regenerating in equilibrium. In other words, psychics can’t really break in, and frankly, they would have to be crazy to even try.
Over the years, he has resisted the telepathic probings of Professor X and Emma Frost. Even his long-time teammate, Cable, couldn’t get into Wade’s head. However, as with many of Deadpool’s abilities, this one seems to come and go. During his time in Rick Remender’s “Uncanny X-Force” Vol. 1, Psylocke was able to telepathically link Deadpool to his teammates, and he was even mind-controlled by the Shadow King briefly to attack the rest of X-Force.
Deadpool has had several run-ins with the symbiotic aliens that created Venom and Carnage, which generally take over the mind and body of their host to make them vicious killers. Even Peter Parker went dark for awhile when the symbiote that would later attach itself to Eddie Brock to become Venom, invaded his mind.
But Deadpool’s mind isn’t like everyone else’s. Another advantage of having several personalities rolling around upstairs is that the symbiotes can’t take over his brain. During 2016’s “Deadpool: Back in Black” limited series, after the Venom symbiote leaves Peter Parker, it comes crawling back to Deadpool. Rather than going (even more) homicidal, Deadpool gets the added strength, speed, and tentacles of the symbiote along with the symbiote webbing that it picked up from Spider-Man.
There’s a moment, just after the symbiote attaches itself to Deadpool where he’s about to devour the brains of Machine Man before he snaps out of it and remembers that Machine Man is his “compadre” and contains himself. Then he chops all the bad guys in the room to pieces, but that’s just normal Deadpool behavior.
3. ASEXUAL REPRODUCTION
Every great action hero eventually has to go head-to-head with a dark version of themselves. When you sign up for superpowers, you’re practically begging to run into an evil clone somewhere down the line. Superman had his Bizarro, for example, while Spider-Man had Man-Spider and Venom and his clones. And Deadpool had Evil Deadpool.
In “Deadpool” Vol. 2 #44, written by Daniel Way and drawn by Carlo Barberi, Wade Wilson learns that his former therapist and current stalker, Ella Whitby, was keeping a collection of his dismembered body parts wrapped up in her fridge. In a fit of disgust, Deadpool chucks them into a garbage bag and tosses them into a dumpster. But the next morning, two unfortunate garbage men find that, thanks to that extreme healing factor of his, the parts have healed back together, and Evil Deadpool was born.
2. HE CAN SUMMON HIS DEMON WIFE
In the most recent volumes of “Deadpool,” Wade Wilson has not only learned that he’s a father, but he’s also entered into the bonds of unholy matrimony with Shiklah, Vampire Queen of the Underworld. In other words, whenever he doesn’t want to go into a fight alone, he has a direct line to someone who can turn into a massive fire-breathing beast, or summon an army of demons and monsters at her command.
In the Marvel Infinite comic “Deadpool: The Gauntlet,” written by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn, she wields the power of Hellfire, controls Blade with an enslavement beam, and attempts to suck the life force out of Deadpool with her succubus powers. In Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness’ “Spider-Man/Deadpool” #5, after Deadpool kills Peter Parker, she brings him back to life only for Deadpool to shoot him again. While she makes it clear that it drains a lot of her power to do this, it’s quite an asset to have someone at your beck and call who can resurrect the dead.
Another one of Deadpool’s discontinued powers came from a teleporter device designed by his buddy, Weasel. That’s right! “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” didn’t just pull that power out of nowhere and give it to Deadpool. Someone involved with that movie actually knew something about Deadpool’s power set.
As you can imagine, having a character who’s basically invincible, with ninja-like hand-to-hand combat skills and an infinite arsenal of firearms and lethal blades, who can also teleport at the press of a button, kind of makes things a little too easy for him. Whenever a character is too overpowered, he gets boring fast. Therefore, it wasn’t long before writer Joe Kelly decided to have the teleporter start to malfunction beyond repair, and he just never got a new one since.
To be fair, during “Cable and Deadpool,” he was temporarily bonded to Cable’s bodyslide teleportation ability, meaning he would show up whenever Cable decided to use it or vice versa. However, this was usually used to get the duo into trouble rather than out of it.
Are there any other powers Deadpool has had over the years that we forgot to mention? Be sure to let us know in the comments!
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