I didn’t ask to be super, and I’m no hero – Wade Wilson (Deadpool)
When Wade Wilson’s High School Yearbook was published, the only accolades that accompanied his picture in it were “Most likely to kill a roomful of people with a roll of sellotape’ and ‘Least Likely to be an Avenger.
Ever’. At least, that’s what we think it probably said as Wade isn’t exactly a team player, and with the exception of Spider-Man, doesn’t work well with others.
And even though it probably took him less than a decade to make the sellotape dream come true, it took Deadpool a little longer to prove the naysayers wrong and become a fully-fledged, card-carrying member of the Avengers.
Wait a minute, did we just say that Deadpool was an Avenger? This is the same Deadpool who left no stone unturned and did absolutely everything that he possibly could to avoid joining the ranks of the X-Men in Deadpool and Deadpool 2 that we’re talking about and not some weird, Skrull copy of the merc with a mouth, right? Well, sort of.
While his track record in the MCU means that there’s a less than zero chance that Deadpool will ever have his own room in Avengers Headquarters (and the licensing rights from Fox, at the time, would have racked up a bill that even Tony Stark would have balked at paying), in the four-color world, Deadpool didn’t just become an Avenger, he was actually asked to join the team by it’s leading light and numero uno example of superheroic perfection, Captain America.
We were almost as shocked as Deadpool was when Steve Rogers stepped up to the plate and asked him to become a member of the Avengers following the destruction wrought by Secret Wars and the devastating events of the Avengers vs X-Men arc.
The conflict that almost raged out of control during the story that pitted mutants against their former human allies convinced Captain America that the only way to bring harmony and peace to the superhero community was by finding a way to truly unite it.
He knew that he needed to find a way to make the costumed crusaders work together, and formed a team composed of members drawn from the rank and file of the Avengers and the X-Men.
That decision opened the Avengers door to Wade, and when Captain America knocks on your door or any other for that matter, you’d better get up and answer. And that’s exactly what Wade did when he became an Avenger.
Avengers Unity Squad
Nothing in Deadpool’s life is ever simple, and his tenure as an Avenger, which began and ended in Gerry Duggan’s Uncanny Avengers was based on two overwhelming and decisive factors.
The first of which was directly inspired by Wade putting himself at risk to save Rogue’s life, which made Captain America see something in Deadpool that no other superhero did, or was willing to admit.
That somewhere underneath his mask and suit that was desperately in need of a trip to the nearest available washing machine, and despite his protestations to the contrary, Deadpool really was a hero and all that he needed to let the world see what Steve Rogers did, was the opportunity to shine among a squad of his peers.
Although peers is probably the wrong choice of word, as the closest things he has to like-minded associates in the Marvel Universe are Taskmaster and Sabretooth, which is a scary and somewhat unsettling thought, even if it is true.
While Cap’s faith in his new comrade was endearing, he was the only member of the Unity Squad, which was led by Rogue and also included Spider-Man, Quicksilver, Havok, Thor, and Wolverine on its roster, who actually wanted Deadpool on the team, and they were only convinced to let him join when Steve Rogers pointed out that Wade’s lucrative merchandising business was an effective way to fund the new Avengers offshoot.
In other words, Wade had to buy his way into the Avengers by agreeing to fund the Unity Squad.
Nothing Lasts Forever
Given the chance to prove his worth, Wade rose to the challenge with aplomb and became an integral part of the Unity Squad, and even though he was directly responsible for Spider-Man leaving the team during a rather unpleasant encounter with the Super-Adaptoid, he was also indirectly responsible for helping the Avengers to defeat the Red Skull during the AXIS storyline and in its aftermath was persuaded by Steve Rogers to stay with the Unity Squad, after attempting to quit in the wake of the Spidey fiasco.
Wade lasts longer than anyone thought he would as an Avenger, and only leaves in the wake of his finest moment, when he did what even Captain America had never managed to successfully do and put the Red Skull down for “good” (remember kids, nothing last forever in comics) in the closing moments of Civil War II and essentially, and from a certain point of view (which you need to learn to see everything from if you’re a Deadpool fan) ultimately saved the day.
But with his personal life rapidly descending toward the ninth level of Hell, both figuratively and literally, as the superhero war came to an end, Deadpool walked away from the Avengers, for both his and the team’s well-being.
The Avengers Aftermath
Being a member of the Avengers was good for Wade, as it taught him that he could play with others, and led to him forming an on and off partnership with Spider-Man, which in turn led to them getting their own book, Spider-Man / Deadpool which ran for fifty issues between two thousand and sixteen and nineteen.
Even though the book was canceled, their “friendship” still persisted, and Deadpool still calls Spidey his “best bud”, even if Peter doesn’t call Wade as often as Wade would like him to.
Will Wade ever become an Avenger again? Who knows what might happen in the pages of the world’s greatest comic, but after Secret Empire, there’s no way that Deadpool would ever listen to Captain America again.
But that doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t say yes if Spider-Man asked him to step up to the plate and become an Avenger again.