It’s no secret that Deadpool is more than a little unorthodox. Comic book fans have always had a fondness for anti-heroes like Wolverine and the Punisher, and Deadpool is no exception. Since his 1991 premiere in the pages of Rob Liedfeld’s X-Force, our favorite mouthy mercenary has blurred the lines between humor, action, comedy -- and let’s face it -- good taste. After all, isn’t that the reason he’s also become one of the most beloved creations at Marvel, with a second major motion picture set for release?
There’s lots to love about Deadpool. As far as comic book fans go, he’s pretty much got it all: an endless cache of guns and ammo, top-notch fighting skills, a cool costume, a winning devil-may-care attitude, and a willingness to do just about anything (and we mean anything) to get the job done. Over the years Deadpool has gone through more harrowing adventures than a hero has any right to survive. Through it all, he’s maintained a flair for the absurd that fans have come to love... even by his definition of crazy, Deadpool’s strange adventures have taken him to new territory, which we are now going to explore together! Here is the CBR rundown of the 20 weirdest things about the loveable crackpot!
21 DEADPOOL IS DEATHSTROKE
Deadpool is basically Deathstroke the Terminator, a Teen Titans villain who’s known as the greatest contract killer in the DC Universe. The similarities don’t end at their mercenary pasts, though. Deathstroke wears a black and orange suit of full body armor, while Deadpool sports a red and black version. Deadpool’s first mission is to kill Cable and the X-Force, and Deathstroke’s goal is to eliminate the Titans. Their fighting skills are equally incredible, and both sport a trademark combo of sword and guns. Deathstroke’s alter ego is Slade Wilson, and if you’re reading this list, you’re familiar with Deadpool’s real name (also Wilson for the newbs). Deadpool’s co-creator, Rob Liefeld, grew up reading the Teen Titans.
Loving Deathstroke, he created Deadpool as an homage to the character and artist George Perez.
While similarities between Deadpool and Deathstroke were obvious from the onset of Wade Wilson’s mercenary career, it didn’t take long for Deadpool to forge his own path. With each appearance Deadpool became less villainous and more heroic -- the same can’t be said for Deathstroke (well, until recently). Most significant is Deadpool’s killer sense of humor. You’re unlikely to witness Deathstroke using humor to distract his opponents, but you can’t read a Deadpool comic without Wade Wilson cracking a joke (or a skull). Deadpool has come into his own, leaving behind those dated (but originally quite fair) comparisons.
20 FROM C-LIST TO A-LIST
In typical Deadpool fashion, nothing has come easy for the anti-hero-for-hire. His path has taken him through one violent clash after another, and the fact that he’s still around after having suffered multiple deaths speaks volumes. To begin with, he was never meant to be much more than a parody, a disposable character used as a plot point. From his very first appearance, his knack for humor -- even in the grimmest of circumstances -- endeared him to readers. It’s given him one of the most loyal and vocal fanbases in comics.
Comic book fans began clamoring for more Deadpool appearances. It took only two years for Wade to get his own mini-series, penned by his original writer, Fabian Nicieza. What followed was another miniseries, and in 1997, his own ongoing title. It should come as no surprise that Deadpool’s movie career mirrored that of comics. Ryan Reynolds, a self-professed fan, took hold of the character in the Wolverine movie franchise. But the presentation of the character angered fans (and Reynolds), and it looked like his big-screen life would end abruptly. Believing in the character’s potential, Ryan Reynolds, with the support of millions of fans, brought Deadpool back from the cinematic graveyard to star in the most successful R-rated movie of all time.
19 SHUT YOUR MOUTH
While Deadpool’s popularity with comic book fans isn’t in question, the same can’t be said for the superhero community. He’s a bit of a pariah. It’s not just because he’s willing to go to extremes, least of which killing, to get the job done. Deadpool is known for his endless banter, and not everyone enjoys a gabby grinder. Even Spider-Man (also a verbose fellow) would rather steer clear. All of this is because Deadpool can’t keep his mouth shut.
Then again, without that annoying repartee, it’s unlikely that Deadpool would’ve risen beyond comic book obscurity.
Deadpool’s first movie appearance was universally condemned. When he underwent his painful transformation in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it was the last thing fans expected to see -- Ryan Reynolds emerged without a mouth. Hollywood has a history of heavy-handed tinkering when it comes to literary characters, and comics are no exception. So how does a superhero known as the merc-with-a-mouth get his kisser taken away? Essentially the filmmakers removed Deadpool’s most commanding weapon: his ability to take down his foes with the power of words. Perhaps the folks behind his first movie never cared whether he’d live to see another day (though the post-credits stinger does suggest they had plans for him). Still, they should’ve known that you can’t keep Deadpool down.
18 THE MERC WITH THE MERCH
In the world of merchandising, every Marvel property has a world of collectible figures, T-shirts, trinkets and paraphernalia. Deadpool is no exception, with everything from bedsheets to underwear and socks. It shouldn’t be surprising that you can find a collection of merchandise only Deadpool fans could appreciate! There are Deadpool jelly molds shaped like his head, a piggybank with Deadpool’s trademark red and black mask, and Deadpool refrigerator decals. The winner for the most appropriately gruesome merchandise is the severed Deadpool head pencil holder made of polytone; there’s plenty of space to impale Deadpool with the pens and pencils you keep misplacing throughout the house.
Suffering from superhero envy, Deadpool has embraced the notion of his popularity, taking it to new dimension within his comic book. More than once he’s taken the mantle of most popular “hero”, and he won’t shy away from telling anyone who’ll listen. His shameless self-promotion has led him to create a merchandising empire that rivals even Captain America – it’s not uncommon to see an adoring fan holding a toy or wearing a Deadpool T-shirt in the background. Though achieving worldwide fame doesn’t necessarily make much sense for a hired killer, not making sense is what we’ve come to expect.
17 BROTHERLY LOVE
Deadpool’s made no secret of his love for Captain America. Considering his choice of gainful employment, that’s more than a little strange. Yet Wade Wilson idolizes the star-spangled Avenger. He’s even told Cap how he feels. Maybe it’s the good looks he wishes he still had, or the timelessness of Steve Rogers. As far as Wade is concerned, the man can do no wrong. Perhaps feeling sorry for the guy, Captain America hasn’t rejected the love he’s been shown, using it instead to temper the merc’s violent tendencies.
Captain America's influence on Deadpool has worked on more than one occasion... perhaps too well.
Marvel recently revealed that its ultimate icon, Captain America, was an agent of Hydra -- a crazed organization bent on world domination. How did that happen? It’s a long and convoluted story best kept for another list. Suffice it to say that Steve Rogers used it to his advantage. Before Marvel’s heroes could figure out the truth, Captain America convinced Deadpool to kill an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. who’d discovered his true nature. When Deadpool learned he was being used, he sought revenge. As far as Wade is concerned, that’s probably dulled Cap’s aura at least a tad. Somehow, we think Deadpool’s likely to get over it.
16 HERE COMES… AVENGERPOOL?
Yes, you read that right. Deadpool was an Avenger. No doubt Wade’s man-crush on Captain America had something to do with the mercenary joining the ranks of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. No one can argue that Deadpool doesn’t have a lot to offer in skills and power. As we’ve already established, he has a fairly steady stream of cash (especially at the time), which helped Deadpool to fund the Avengers for the time he joined the in-universe titled "Unity Team," aka The Uncanny Avengers. Regardless of the reasons, it’s hard to make a logical case for Deadpool’s membership. Wade Wilson has guns – lots of guns – and he’s more than happy to use them. That’s not a trait the Avengers typically prefer.
This time using it for good, and knowing that Deadpool’s affection is quite real, Steve Rogers extended the membership branch to the mouthy merc. The offer came at a time when the Marvel Universe was in turmoil, as it usually is, and the Avengers Unity Team was born. It was a noble effort to show that mutants, Inhumans and humans could get along. Since the world looks up to the Avengers, it seemed like a good idea to assemble a team with a diverse cast of heroes. Though the intention was unquestionably noble, better candidates could have joined, preventing the in-fighting that ensued. At least Deadpool’s membership made for an entertaining read.
15 SPIDEYPOOL IS ALSO A THING
If we’d compile a short list of superheroes Deadpool looks up to, Spider-Man would rank second. At first glance the unlikely pair have a lot in common. They share a love of full-body suits. They also love to ramble and inject their own sense of humor at the worst time -- Peter Parker’s just as likely to spin a web as he is to shoot a one-liner. Sounds a lot like our loveable anti-hero doesn’t it? Once you scratch the surface, however, the similarities quickly fade. They’re nothing alike. Spider-Man abides by a strict moral code of conduct, while Deadpool’s law involves good times and cash.
If you happen to believe that opposites attract, then the pair are a match made in comic book heaven.
Like most unusual pairings, nothing comes easy for Spideypool. Peter Parker would prefer keeping his distance, but unfortunately for Spider-Man, both their costumes are red, and they’ve been mistaken for each other on many occasions. That alone should be cause for the duo never to hang out. They also argue incessantly, and villains aren’t likely to get in a word balloon of dialogue. Although that’s an advantage few superhero pairings have, it’s hardly enough to make for a fine-tuned team-up. Perfection is over-rated in the world of Spideypool; maybe that’s the real reason we all love this crazy pair so much.
14 DEADPOOL AND SPIDER-MAN HAVE A CHILD
We’ve already established that for better or worse, Spider-Man and Deadpool are close. They certainly have all the makings of a great romantic pairing, sometimes sounding like Han Solo and Princess Leia. That’s probably never crossed Peter Parker’s mind, but you know the same can’t be said for Deadpool. Like Wade, if you’ve ever wondered what a Spider-Man/Deadpool lovechild would look like, it’s probably nothing like the reality.
Itsy Bitsy is her name, and she’s the creation of a mad villain, Patient Zero. Determined to have his revenge against his nemeses, he injects a willing patient with genes from both Spidey and Deadpool. The result is paradoxically perfect. Armed with a vicious sense of humor and a set of deadly spider powers, Itsy Bitsy turns on her creator, deciding she wants to fight crime with her daddies. The perfectly heroic thing to do at this point would be for Spider-Man and Deadpool to take Itsy Bitsy under their wing. Unfortunately, Itsy’s a little too homicidal for the pair, and they consider disintegrating their unwanted child. Considering Spider-Man’s unwillingness to kill under any circumstances, it’s safe to say that having a lovechild with Deadpool sends shivers down the wallcrawler’s backside.
13 DEADPOOL IS A SOFTIE
In the world of mercenaries and contract killers, rubbing shoulders with Captain America and Spider-Man makes zero sense. And yet, that’s what Deadpool likes to do. It’s not always easy to see that Wade Wilson has a heart. If you look close enough, the facts speak for themselves. When Wade discovers he has a daughter – and we’re not talking about the homicidal Itsy Bitsy – he moves to the same neighborhood to keep an eye on her. When Apocalypse is reborn a seemingly innocent child, it’s Deadpool who becomes protective. He hopes to guide the kid away from his villainous destiny, even when his teammates are willing to kill.
Maybe Deadpool can’t live in a world without Spider-Man.
Deadpool has sacrificed himself for the sake of his teammates when he joined X-Force, a reborn team whose mandate was completing the mission at all costs. The aforementioned tussle with Itsy Bitsy is probably the greatest proof of Deadpool’s sweetness. When Spider-Man was determined to eradicate the lab creation, Deadpool wouldn’t let him murder. Deadpool knew that killing would damage Peter Parker’s psyche, ending his heroic career as Spider-Man. Maybe Deadpool can’t live in a world without Spider-Man. But we think a willingness to kill so that your buddy doesn’t have to is more proof that Wade Wilson is a softie.
12 TWO BODIES ONE MIND
Captain America and Spider-Man might be willing to tolerate Deadpool’s antics on occasion, but they’d never want to live in his head. Few could, except perhaps for Madcap, a villain in colorful tights who loves to goof around. Sharing a similar fate to Wade Wilson, Madcap gained his powers because of science gone wrong. After an accident, the madman lay unconscious in a pool of a chemical called, get this, Chemical X07. Like Deadpool, he effectively became immortal, gaining the ability to heal any damage. The accident drove him insane and Madcap was born; sounds surprisingly like Deadpool, except that Madcap feels no pain.
After a chance meeting on a rooftop, Deadpool and Madcap recognized their similarities, exchanging banter and comparing their abilities. The not-so-friendly meeting resulted in a fight with Thor, whose lightning disintegrated both their bodies. The pair regenerated as one, and Madcap found himself living in Deadpool’s similarly damaged mind. Seeing Deadpool talking to himself would hardly surprise anyone who knows him, but Madcap wasn’t prepared to experience being Deadpool. Each time Deadpool took a hit, Madcap felt pain for the first time. After another rumble, Madcap and Deadpool physically parted ways, and the encounter counts among Deadpool’s strangest tales.
11 HEADLESS WILSON
Deadpool isn’t the only superhero with the ability to regenerate. Where would Wolverine be without his famed healing factor? The same can be said for Deadpool, a character who probably holds the record for the most deaths in comics. The only problem is that Deadpool’s healing powers make little sense. Though it’s probably easy to argue that all comic book science is flawed, Deadpool’s ability to regenerate is downright bizarre.
It’s so powerful that he’s been decapitated on more than one occasion. Each time he’s lived to fight another day.
During one classic battle he was torn to pieces. On another Deadpool was able to regenerate entirely with just his hand remaining. It’s all very macabre and one of the reasons fans love him so much. Considering his healing power, it’s especially perplexing that his face can’t heal. The explanation appears to be simple. Wade suffered from cancer; the disfigurement is a result of a cancer he had before becoming Deadpool. The cancer acts as a barrier holding back the full power of his healing factor, which if removed, would kill him. It makes no sense, which is to say a lot of sense in the wonderfully wacky world of Wade Wilson.
10 A FRACTURED MIND
We’ve already established that there’s almost nothing Deadpool can’t survive, decapitation and incineration included. Yet having to experience the trauma of a violent death, only to be reborn and live it again, is enough to shatter even the toughest minds. The transformation that made him Deadpool should have been sufficient to drive Wade nuts. You could argue that Deadpool is mad. Certainly, his willingness to throw himself into situations that will cause him more pain, time and time again, shows that he’s at least a glutton for punishment. Having established that his healing factor will heal anything but his cancer, it begs the question, what about his mind?
We know that comic book science is far from realistic, but there’s no reason why a healing factor couldn’t repair brain damage. You could argue that Wade Wilson’s mind isn’t physically hurt. The ordeal of each stabbing or shooting, followed by the requisite regeneration, could be something entirely different. But if you think that Deadpool has been decapitated more than once, regenerating one’s head should be enough to heal even mental trauma. Trying to figure it all out is enough to give us a massive headache -- something Wade’s healing powers can hopefully fix.
9 ALIVE AND DEAD, AGAIN AND AGAIN
Thinking of all the superheroes who’ve come back from the dead would make for a long list. Superman did it perhaps most famously, returning as four distinct superheroes; it started a trend in comics. Even Batman, a man with no superpowers, passed away only to make a dramatic return. When it comes to dying with bravado, nobody does it with more style than Deadpool. It might not always be graceful, such as the time Hulk tore him to pieces, but each fight leads to a potential death, and creative writers have taken advantage of his ability to come back from anything.
There are endless kooky aspects to Deadpool’s rebirths. Arguably Deadpool’s zaniest death happened at the hands of Thanos.
Deadpool returned as four distinct characters, poking fun at the previously mentioned Death of Superman. Wade Wilson was reborn as an altruistic version of himself, a valiant hero whose needs come second to those he helps. Another version was a wise-cracking idiot that puts the real Deadpool to shame. The third was another extreme form of Wade: a brutal killer with no conscience. The final and weirdest Deadpool to emerge was little more than an amoeba, mumbling just one word: “pickles”.
8 DEADPOOL WAS VENOM
Nothing should surprise us, and the title of this entry is no exception. Venom is an alien entity that can’t live on its own. It requires a host for its survival, eventually taking full control of its victim. Presumably a mind that’s too strong, or one that’s too damaged, wouldn’t be the ideal choice. It’s strange to think of the Venom symbiote willingly attaching itself to Wade Wilson. Deadpool’s chaotic mind should send shivers down anyone’s spine, including an alien creature like Venom. But it’s not so much the choice of host as the method that warrants our attention.
Years before Deadpool made his debut, Venom appeared in 1984’s Secret Wars, one of comics’ first cosmic events. It’s when Spider-Man first adopts the black costume that eventually becomes Venom. Years later, the comic book Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars retcons that bit of history, revealing that Deadpool wore the black suit before Peter Parker. If we follow this road to its conclusion, Deadpool wasn’t the tastiest meal. A superior host in the form of Spider-Man came along, and Venom jumped ship as soon as it could. If we take it as cannon, it’s even possible Venom’s instability is a direct result of the time it spent in Wade’s mind. This rethinking of Venom’s Deadpool connection is a ludicrous idea that only works in Deadpool’s universe.
7 MUTANT OR NOT?
The re-imagining of a comic book character is nothing new. Even in the earliest days of this medium, a character’s origin was subject to change if it suited the story. In this case, Wade Wilson is no exception, and some aspects of his history are predictably wonky. When he first appears in the pages of New Mutants, it’s easy to assume that Deadpool is a mutant.
The source of his powers reveals the answer isn’t quite so simple.
For a long time, we knew next to nothing about Wade Wilson. Depending on which comic you’ve read, Wade was a mercenary long before he was Deadpool. When Wade developed an incurable cancer, the only way he could survive was to undergo a procedure at the hands of the same people who created Wolverine. Wade submitted to Department K, an arm of the Weapons X program. An injection of Wolverine’s healing factor was the key to fighting off the aggressive cancer, giving Wade regenerative abilities. Since the genes of a mutant gave him his powers, Deadpool might be considered a mutant himself. But in the Marvel Universe mutants are born and not made, so Deadpool walks a fine line -- just the way he likes it.
Despite not technically being a mutant, Deadpool has an unwavering link to the X-Men universe. He’s never left their orbit for very long; Deadpool’s been a member of X-Force, and he’s sufficiently annoyed Wolverine to get the attention of most other X-Men. It’s easy for readers of decades of comics to assume that Deadpool has either fought or teamed-up with most of the X-Men. We might take it for granted that Deadpool knows every mutant out there. In comics it’s possible to revisit the past to inject Deadpool where he needs to be with relative ease.
In the movie version of Deadpool, the same rules don’t apply. You can’t assume that everyone has read comics. But that’s just what the Deadpool movie does. After a glorious fight on a bridge, the X-Man Colossus pitches Deadpool into a car. As soon as he’s up, Wade knows the metal man’s name (but not his fellow mutant), and the audience is expected to ignore that there’s no explanation. It’s possible a scene was planned to explain how they first met. A quick flashback would’ve served to cement Deadpool’s link to the X-Men and strengthened the picture. They took the time to introduce other characters and establish history, and Colossus and the X-Men shouldn’t have been an exception.
5 AJAX ATTACK
Movies often make little mistakes, and there are countless fan pages dedicated to exposing and explaining the errors. Though it doesn’t have to take away from the film’s enjoyment, it’s sometimes fun to pick out the little inconsistencies in a movie. Deadpool has its fair share beyond the assumed familiarity with the X-Men. We first meet the villain Ajax and are left with so many questions. Deadpool obviously has history with the creep, and we learn that Ajax is also a survivor of the Weapon X program. Deadpool’s regeneration makes some sense, considering he’s given a gene that continually heals. Ajax probably shares that gene since he can regenerate. But it does little to explain his super-strength or his super reflexes, powers Deadpool doesn’t possess.
The strangest bit of Ajax’s story is when Deadpool calls him Francis.
Granted it’s probably not the best name for a megalomaniacal villain. It’s a mystery why his real name is so important. Maybe it’s just embarrassing to him -- it must be since Ajax appears to want it forgotten. It’s even stranger when Deadpool goes around beating up Ajax’s minions, demanding to know where Francis is hiding. Do they even know he’s called Francis? Does it even matter at this point? Not much considering the movie pulled off faithfully recreating Deadpool.
4 MONSTER MATCH
Deadpool’s one-sided friendship with Spider-Man, his tepid link to the X-Men, and Wade’s fanboy admiration for Captain America are well established and comical, but they’re nothing compared to his romantic affiliations. Who would expect anything less? He’s been linked to the super spy Black Widow and the mutant Siryn, each completely different and unlikely partners. But there’s only one woman that could stand toe to toe with Wade Wilson.
Dracula hires Deadpool to find and deliver Shiklah; she is the Queen of the Undead, and the vampire hopes to marry her so he can unite their empires. Arriving minutes before her sarcophagus is destroyed, Deadpool saves a grateful Shiklah – she decides that Deapool and not Dracula is her match. As in most Deadpool comics, nothing goes according to plan. The monstrous Shiklah becomes the perfect mate for Wade, even if he resisted her initial advances. After marrying and moving to New York, the Deadpool-Shiklah union didn’t last. Shiklah fully embraced her evil nature while Deadpool’s superhero adventures progressively clashed with her desires, and the couple became enemies. In true Deadpool style, Wade restored Dracula to help him defeat the woman the undead lord had wanted to marry – all in a day’s work for Deadpool.
3 DEADPOOL THE KILLER
It’s been established that Deadpool is weirdly sweet for a contract killer. There’s a limit to who he’ll terminate, but that doesn’t mean he won’t kill for money or pleasure. Wade Wilson has his share of hateful baddies he’s more than willing to send to an early grave; Evil Deadpool, made up of his old body parts, T-Ray, a man claiming to be the real Wade Wilson, Doctor Bong, a madman geneticist with a bell-shaped helmet, and a zombified Abe Lincoln.
By the end he goes after the book’s writers and artist, and even you, the comic book reader.
A list of enemies like that should keep Wade Wilson sufficiently busy, allowing him to evade the attention of the superhero set. But Deadpool can’t resist going after almost anyone. He’s tried to take out Daredevil to no avail, and his frequent contracts have put him at odds with Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Punisher. After a disguised Psycho-Man tricks him into therapy, Deadpool becomes completely unhinged. He decides to take out Psycho-Man and goes on a killing spree, first targeting the Fantastic Four. He then goes after the rest of the spandex community in a series appropriately titled Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe. By the end he goes after the book’s writers and artist, and even you, the comic book reader.
2 SMASHING THE FOURTH WALL
In theater, the fourth wall is best described as an invisible wall the separates the actors from the audience. In comics it’s the similarly imaginary barrier between the characters and the reader. superheroes live on the page, generally unaware that they exist for your reading pleasure. In the Golden and Silver Ages of comics, it wasn’t uncommon for superheroes to speak directly to the reader, especially on covers. Grant Morrison’s Animal Man, Buddy Baker, most famously broke the fourth wall by confronting the writer and making a deal to stop the violence he’s subjected to in the comic.
Readers have come to expect that Wade Wilson will regularly disrupt a fight with useless dialogue – it’s especially fun when it’s directed at the reader. Deadpool has become the king of the fourth wall, periodically breaking it to engage you. It happened in the movie; it’s one of the most unorthodox yet endearing aspects of the character. In the Deadpool film, Wade speaks to the audience throughout, casually shifting from humor to action. In comics Wade first breaks the fourth wall in the hands of writer Joe Kelly, a tradition that carries through to today. It’s become a staple of the character that’s unlikely to change.
1 DEADPOOL KILLS DEADPOOL
You may want to sit for this last item on the list. After targeting the entire Marvel Universe, Deadpool set his sights on the only target left – himself. It’s part of what’s commonly called the Deadpool Killology – Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, Deadpool Killustrated, and Deadpool Kills Deadpool – the culmination of a murder spree that can only lead to himself. Wade gets in a pickle because of alternate versions of Deadpool that exist in different dimensions. He forms a group and embarks on adventures, calling the team-up the Deadpool Corps.
The team is made up of Lady Deadpool, a disembodied head called Headpool, an unkillable pooch named Dogpool, and Kid Deadpool.
It’s not the Deadpool Corps that Wade targets. Instead he goes after Dreadpool. You guessed it, this is yet another version of himself. Dreadpool dispatches the Deadpool Corps and Wade is bent on revenge. They meet in an epic clash, resulting in Dreadpool seeing the error of his ways. Deadpool manages what the title promises, and Wade kills himself – at least the version of himself called Dreadpool. It all sounds very final, but Deadpool lives to kill another day.