So dark, are you sure you’re not the DC universe? – Wade Wilson (Deadpool)
When Wade muttered those immortal words to Cable in Deadpool 2, he could have been talking directly to the audience about his own wildly popular franchise, which thematically was, and is a lot darker than every other chapter in the MCU.
But then, Deadpool has always been a little different, existing somewhere on the periphery of mainstream comics and balancing on the tightrope that separates traditional superhero fare and cutting-edge social commentary.
The black sheep of the Marvel Universe, Deadpool is the ultimate outsider who anyone that feels like they’ve never been able to fit in and everyone who feels like they’re out of step with the rest of the world can immediately relate to.
That’s All Well And Good, But Is Deadpool Part Of The Marvel Or DC Universe?
As he made his debut in New Mutants #98, one of Marvel’s most popular series during the late eighties and early nineties, there’s no doubt about which side of the superhero fence Wade Wilson, more commonly known as the dashing masked vigilante and hero Deadpool, belongs on.
He’s a Marvel guy through and through.
He’s always been from New York, and he always will be from New York. Actually, that’s not quite true as Deadpool is actually Canadian, and was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, but as he says himself he’s the “least Canadian person ever”.
But his four-color heart has always belonged to Marvel and the Big Apple.
It is easy to get confused though, as Wade Wilson, Marvel’s loveable merc with a mouth does bear more than a passing resemblance to Slade Wilson, DC’s veteran assassin for hire, Deathstroke.
In fact, if we didn’t know better we’d swear that the creative duo responsible for dragging Wade into the Marvel family, Rob Liefield and Fabian Nicieza were probably directing a literary jab at the home of Batman when they unleashed Wade on the four-color world.
The irony is, that even if he was based somewhat loosely on Deathstroke (which we’re not saying that he was, as you know coincidence is the creative force that comics have always thrived on), Deadpool is now far more famous than his gun-toting muse has ever been.
What’s In A Name?
Probably inspired by the not so intentional similarities that Wade shares with the man who for all intents and purposes could have been his brother, Slade, in two thousand and fourteen, DC unleashed their latest super-powered anti-hero, Red Tool, a vigilante obsessed with Harley Quinn who dresses in red and black and goes by the civilian name Wayne Wilkins on the comic book world.
Whether the character was a return volley aimed at Wade and his bosses at Marvel, is anyone’s guess, but Red Tool did muddy the waters a little more, making it even more difficult to tell who belonged where.
With Slade, Wade, and Wayne running around, armed to the teeth and dispensing their own brand of justice, in their own, slightly similar, ways, the logos that adorned the front covers of their books began to look increasingly fuzzy and more than a little blurred.
All joking aside, even though the swipes that the writers and artists were taking at each other were all in good taste, the way in which each hero ended up conquering their own little (or in Wade’s case, gigantic) coroner of the comics world, meant that it was easy to tell them apart and which of the publishing titans they called home.
Wade has always been, and always will be a Marvel guy. It’s the other two that live way out there on the West Coast.
Who Is Deadpool?
When he first debuted in New Mutants Wade Wilson was a bona-fide badass who was born on the wrong side of the tracks and happy to stay there as long as someone paid his fee. And as long as they kept the cheques coming, he’d kill anyone they asked him to.
Created by the same Weapon X program that gave the world Wolverine, Wade was a candidate with nowhere else to go, and his only hope of a cure for cancer that was slowly killing him lay with the mad Canadian scientists who fooled around with his DNA and supercharged the former special forces operator with a healing factor concoction that they may or may not have “borrowed” from Wolverine.
The combination of his terminal cancer and the off the charts healing factor that constantly keeps it at bay, made Deadpool virtually indestructible and it didn’t and doesn’t matter what any of his fellow “heroes” or the multitude of villains (which actually includes a fairly large number of superheroes) who’d like to see him dead do to him, he always comes back.
Along with Wolverine, Deadpool is the closest thing that the Marvel Universe has to an immortal and unkillable “superhero”.
Even though he entered the four-color world as a villain, it didn’t take Deadpool long to see the error of his ways (and figure out that he could probably make more money on the side of the righteous), and he soon became the wise-cracking, fourth-wall shattering (Deadpool is the only superhero, apart from the similarly named Gwenpool, who is actually aware of the fact that he’s a fictional character and often talks to, and with his readers about it) anti-hero who’s earned more box office money than any other R Rated hero in history.
Did Someone Say Box Office?
That’s right folks we did, and Deadpool is (so far at least) the only Marvel superhero (except for the eighties version of The Punisher, but we don’t talk about that and if you know what’s good for you, you won’t either) with an adults-only big screen rating to pull in the sort of box office returns that have guaranteed his continued, foul-mouthed, super-violent adventures will continue to inspire the hearts and minds of disenfranchised generations for decades to come.
And Finally… Make Mine Marvel
Okay, we’re only going to say this one more time, so listen carefully as we’re not going to repeat ourselves. Deadpool? He always has been, is, and will always be a Marvel character.