Deathstroke and Deadpool. The infamous copycat characters that are brought up in every conversation pertaining to the big two, Marvel and DC, stealing characters and ideas from each other. Of course, Deathstroke came first, a character of the widely acclaimed New Teen Titans in the ’80s from DC Comics. In the ’90s, Deadpool creators Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza took obvious inspiration from DC's assassin and implemented many character traits from him into their own mercenary.
With many similarities, ranging from name, design, and profession, Slade Wilson and Wade Wilson are compared non-stop. Sharing many synonymous traits, it's become a joke to the point that even DC has made a “rip-off” of Deadpool called Red Tool in their own Harley Quinn comics. While they're often compared, where do they contrast? That's what we're here to show you. Here are 8 differences between Slade and Deadpool from the comics.
8 Deadpool Can Break The 4th Wall
Among all of Wade Wilson's famed attributes, perhaps his most famous is his uncanny ability to break the 4th Wall. The 4th wall, of course, is the barrier that separates character from reader—a barrier that Deadpool is aware of. With this, he often finds himself talking to his audience, whether that be making sly remarks about the plot of a comic or a relevant topic that only members of the real world would know. Deadpool is one of the few characters in the Marvel Universe who can do this, and those around him who hear his “rambling” assume he's just crazy. He is, but not how they think.
Now his DC counterpart, Slade Wilson, does not have this ability. Deathstroke doesn't know he's in a comic book. He thinks he's an actual assassin with an actual life and purpose, other than for the entertainment of a bunch of geeks. It would be pretty devastating for any character to learn they are, indeed, just pawns in a game called comic books. Comic readers would be like old Lovecraftian Gods, so high above the drawn and printed beings that we observe on a bi-weekly basis, slowly bleeding in an existential dread into their heads as they realize they are truly nothing special. Yeah, it's kind of a bummer.
7 Deathstroke Is A Villian
The skilled assassin Slade Wilson was created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez in 1980, first appearing in New Teen Titans #2. Of course, this first appearance was as a villain and adversary to the Teen Titans. This is one thing Slade shares with Deadpool, who first appeared as a villain in The New Mutants #98. However, these two diverge in the fact that Deathstroke has remained a villain throughout the majority of his time in comics. Deadpool, however, has not.
Deathstroke has served as a villain, not only for the Titans but also for Batman and the Justice League in general. There have been a few times where he's been uneasy allies with the heroes of the DC Universe but each time is very short-lived. Besides, his times as a bad guy greatly outweigh the good. Deadpool's villainy really only extends to his first appearance. Every other time we see him, he's either trying to be a good guy or acting as a neutral party.
6 Deadpool Can't Die
Stab him, shoot him, or dismember him. No matter what you try, odds are, it won't work against the Merc With The Mouth. Being blessed/cursed with perhaps the strongest healing factor in the Marvel Universe, Deadpool can come back from almost any blow. It actually takes effort to even hurt him, as Deadpool found out when he tried to off himself a few times (long story). His ability to grow back limbs and heal from bullet wounds and even mental damage has shown that he is quite the unkillable foe. This gives him a very foolhardy and unpredictable style of fighting. He's all in and rarely worries about harm to himself.
Slade Wilson, on the other hand? Yeah, no. While Deathstroke does have a healing factor, it can't hold a candle to Deadpool's. He can heal bullet wounds and survive fatal injuries, but if you cut off Slade's arm, he might as well say bye-bye to that limb. Perhaps Wade can call in a favor and get Deathstroke in touch with Cable. Nathan Summers is sure to know a great robot “arms” dealer.
5 Deathstroke is a Genius
If someone told you that Deadpool is one of the smartest characters in the DC Universe, you'd have every right to laugh in their face. While he's not stupid, he's far from the brightest lad. This could be attributed to his blatant insanity or just a lack of real education, but the same can't be said about Slade Wilson.
Slade Wilson is an extremely intelligent man who uses his wide knowledge to his advantage in his mercenary escapades. Achieved through a serum injected into him when he was part of the Army, Deathstroke is essentially a super soldier with enhanced abilities and biology. This gave him access to 90% of his brain, making him a brilliant strategist and fighter, on par with the Dark Knight himself. Essentially, if you had Deathstroke take on Deadpool in a game of chess, Slade would win each time.
4 Deadpool Is Humorous
There's a reason Wade Wilson is nicknamed the “Merc With A Mouth”: he just can't seem to shut it. Deadpool is always cracking off a joke and making fun of his enemies in a humorous way. From random pop culture references to direct insults of their person, Deadpool is relentless with his jokes. Of course, this is a guise to hide how scared and depressed he is, but that's a topic for another section on this list.
The real question is... is Slade Wilson funny? No. He doesn't have time to spout off jokes like Deadpool does. He's straight to the point, preferring to get a kill over with as fast and efficiently as possible. A knock-knock joke or fart gag could really put a halt to the efficacy that he strives for. It's alright, though—Deadpool has enough wisecracks to make up for his lack of a funny bone.
3 Deathstroke Wears The Correct Gear
Everyone knows the saying, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”. If that's true, then Deadpool must really want to be a sports mascot, because that spandex really doesn't scream, “deadly mercenary.” Of course, why would he dress up for the job? Nothing really matters to the Degenerate Regenerate.
Slade Wilson, on the other hand, definitely dresses the part. Wearing armor that includes Kevlar, promethium mesh, and even Nth metal, Deathstroke is definitely in no mood to get hurt while on the job. He's dressed to impress—if impress means brutally slaughter those he's hired to take care of.
2 Deadpool Is Depressed
Deadpool may seem very happy-go-lucky with his jokes and quirky attitude, but the honest truth is he's not okay. Deadpool suffers from intense and deep depression, which he uses his landmark humor to cover. Deadpool doesn't have many insecurities, but his mental state is definitely one of them. Mostly having to do with his knowledge that he's a comic book character and nothing truly matters, he's in a constant spiral of existential dread.
To contrast, Slade Wilson is on top of his world. He doesn't have time to let emotions corrupt him or pollute his mind, making him pretty content with his life. Now, of course, if he found out that he was a comic book character, he might sing a different tune, but we'll never really know.
1 Deathstroke Is From DC
Now, this should go without saying, but just in case some of you CBR readers don't know yet, let us remind you. Slade Wilson hails from the DC Universe, where you'll find such heroes as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. The DC Universe started with Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman.
Deadpool, on the other hand, can be found in the Marvel Universe. The Marvel Universe consists of heroes like Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. The Marvel world as we know it first got its start in Marvel Comics #1, back when the publisher was known as Timely Comics. Yeah, you probably knew this, but sometimes it can get confusing out there in the comics world.