Even in Deadpool’s relatively short history in which he was initially created as a parody of DC’s Deathstroke in New Mutants #98, he has quickly turned into a cult character, making it onto all of those best comic book characters lists one finds floating around the Internet. And, no, it’s not because the media tells us he is so awesome. Although, 20th Century Fox did go to great lengths to launch a very unique promotional campaign that had not been done before (including a Tinder account for Deadpool), in an effort to ensure the film would be a big hit. In fact, before any of this promotion, the studio had been against making a Deadpool movie. Ryan Reynolds had been trying to get Deadpool made for 11 entire years!
Comic book fans would agree that there are many things to love about Deadpool. He’s an anti-hero with a heart of gold who can never seem to win at life. He’s probably one of the most relatable superheroes out there, with his love of the occasional, less than super food. Who doesn’t love a good chimichanga? Humans could really take a cue from Deadpool, who learns to triumph over all of his setbacks. Here’s why he was awesome long before Fox began all the recent promotion:
10. Deadpool is Canadian
There has been some question as to whether Deadpool is Canadian or American. But, all Canadians rejoice. Deadpool is indeed Canadian, even though his original storyline involved Deadpool being kicked out of the United States Army Special Forces because he refused to complete an assignment where he would have had to kill a Sumo Wrestling ring leader (but doesn’t, because he falls in love with his daughter). Proof that Deadpool is Canadian? First of all, he was born in an “unrevealed location in Canada” according to Marvel Universe’s website. His citizenship is also listed as Canadian. On several occasions, Deadpool has also referenced his native homeland.
9. Deadpool is a Pop Culture King
Deadpool is a modern-day superhero. He is filled with pop culture references that make the comic book a pleasure to read. From viral videos to World of Warcraft to Yo Mama jokes, Deadpool just fits perfectly into contemporary society. He even references the infamous Star Wars reboot in 2000 and a Salt-N-Peppa song. According to Ryan Reynolds, there are over 100 easter eggs in the movie as well. One is the Hello Kitty lip balm that is inside a car at one point. This was apparently a joke that the directors put a lot of thought into, as Hello Kitty is the only other account that Deadpool follows on Twitter.
8. Deadpool Doesn’t Take Himself Too Seriously
In modern speak, he’s pretty chill. Forgive us if you’re one of those serious types, but Deadpool just doesn’t take himself too seriously. He dresses up as his biggest comic book rival (DC’s Batman) in an effort to parody him. But he uses a child’s bed sheet and cat ears to do it, showing he is not afraid to make himself look a little ridiculous. He also lacks common sense and constantly fails (#fail). Whether he is trying to save a friend or make a dollar in order to pay rent, he is constantly fumbling around. He rejects the idea that superheroes need to be tough or gritty.
7. Deadpool Has A Great Sense of Humor
He is full of sarcasm and is the king of one-liners. A lot of his sense of humor comes when he breaks the fourth wall. From “Shh. My common sense is tingling” (Spiderman) to falling down laughing over Black Talon’s “chicken head” or poking a little bit of fun at other supervillain’s weapons (like Doctor Octopus’ long, metallic arms) we can’t help but laugh along with him. Deadpool is just full of wit. He suggests that Doctor Octopus’ metallic arms might be better suited as a spatula or a whisk. Then there was the time he mocked Taskmaster’s name, saying it sounds like an infomercial. His sense of humor serves him well (and his readers).
6. Deadpool’s Interesting
Why is Deadpool so interesting, you ask? A lot of reasons. His origins are super mysterious. Another reason? Deadpool is not a “goody-goody” or a teacher’s pet – we’re looking at you, Superman. Deadpool is an anti-hero. In other words, he lacks all of those typical super-hero traits like total mortality or courage. He is a mercenary, meaning he kills for money (although his murders often align with the good guys). However, he also has moments where he wants to be a “real hero.” Deadpool also screws up a lot – he sometimes kills the wrong person or doesn’t fulfill his contracts. He’s unpredictable and insane. He finds death to be hilarious. All of this makes him a super interesting comic book character. His evolution is also interesting: he started out as a villain and over time, has turned into an anti-hero. And what is his Golden Girls’ Bea Arthur obsession about?
5. Deadpool is Pansexual
Comic book fans have been trying to figure out Deadpool’s sexuality for years, debating among pansexual and bisexual, even though he mainly lusts after women. In fact, one of Deadpool’s creators, Fabian Nicieza, has found all of the questions regarding his sexuality to be tiring. Fabian Nicieza recently weighed in on the topic over Twitter, saying “He is NO sex and ALL sexes. He is yours and everyone else’s.” He also added: “He can be gay one minute, hetero the next, etc. ALL ARE VALID.” If we are pressed to put labels on him, that would make Deadpool pansexual. Apparently, Deadpool’s brain cells are in constant “flux”. It was also brought up that because his pansexuality is a result of his mental disorder, gay people might take offence to this. His short answer to this is just that Deadpool is the way he is.
4. Deadpool is Relatable
Deadpool is perhaps one of the more relatable comic book characters out there. Not only does he love chimichangas (who doesn’t love Mexican food?), but he is also very self-conscious, which, as humans, we can relate to. You can’t get much more self-conscious than referring to your own previous issues. There is a human quality to Deadpool: he is very flawed. He constantly loses, even failing to save a close friend. In today’s world, most of us can relate to failure and loss. And Deadpool is a perpetual outsider who fails to garner respect. He is the king of relatability. We have a feeling that #fail will soon be incorporated into the comics (probably started by Deadpool himself!).
3. Deadpool Carves his own Path
When The Punisher asks Deadpool why he does this or that, Deadpool just responds with “[t]this is my book.” Deadpool carves his own path. I mean, the man killed off basically everyone in the Marvel Universe, including their writers and illustrators. By the way, the series Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe was one of the most popular. Deadpool is forever breaking the rules when it comes to fictional characters and the fourth wall – he often references characters that don’t even exist in his own universe. He will go on lengthy internal monologues (but those can actually be heard by all of the characters around him) because he loves them so much – even the likes of Super-Man, for example, isn’t too impressed. He loves whoever he wants, regardless of gender. He bends the rules when it comes to violence that other superheroes can’t or won’t.
2. Deadpool’s Meta
In other words, we’re talking about all of that comic awareness and fourth wall breaking kind of stuff. Guys: Deadpool knows that he’s in a comic book and that he’s fictional. He references his own back issues and has a storyline where he has to kill all of the other versions of Deadpool. He talks about how readers will have a hay day over writing slash fiction. It doesn’t get much cooler than that. Although Deadpool is not necessarily the only comic book character to do it (think DC’s The Joker), he was one of the first comic book characters to break the fourth wall. But that isn’t enough in itself. When he does do it, he does it well. So well in fact that he could probably write his own “10 Times Deadpool Broke the Fourth Wall” kind of list that people seem to like these days.
1. Deadpool Triumphs Over his Setbacks
Deadpool has had a lot of setbacks. For one, Deadpool’s regenerative healing power ultimately made all of his cancerous tumors grow at an alarming rate, leaving him disfigured and rather gruesome to look at (that is why he always wears his red costume). Not only that, and perhaps even worse, is the fact that his healing powers disrupt his brain cells, making his mental instabilities even more apparent. Despite all of these setbacks, Deadpool doesn’t let any of it defeat him. He preserves through it all, even if it doesn’t always go as planned. In a sense, Deadpool is a “hero” to us all.