Deadpool

From Academic Kids

Template:Superherobox Deadpool (real name Jack, surname unknown, alias Wade Wilson) is a fictional comic book mercenary, anti-hero and occasional supervillain in Marvel Comics' universe. Deadpool was created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza in New Mutants volume 1, issue 98, and went on to become an antagonist of X-Force and Wolverine before receiving his own series.

Recently, he was erroneously thought to be the man called Agent X, and is currently allied with Cable. He is infatuated (sometimes to the point of obsession) with the former X-Force member Siryn as well as the Olsen Twins and, for obvious reasons, Golden Girls legend, Bea Arthur.

Character biography

Deadpool gained his superhuman powers from the Weapon X Project. He volunteered for the Project when he learned that he had terminal cancer and accepted the most dangerous assignments, since he had nothing to lose. The Weapon X Project soon gave Deadpool a superhuman healing ability that was derived from that of the X-Man Wolverine. However, the procedure left Wilson hideously scarred and disfigured, and this, combined with the "war" between his healing factor and cancer, destabilised his mind, giving him short- and long-term memory problems and causing his emotions to run wild.

Recently, Deadpool has been treading closer to being a hero than a supervillain. His 69-issue series (preceded by several mini-series) firmly established his nickname, the "Merc with a Mouth", and showed him in a completely different light than most of his other stories; even introducing his support team, Weasel and Blind Al, and the book became a high-octane, lowbrow comedy parody of the cosmic drama, antihero-heavy plotlines in other comics of the time.

The ongoing series, originally written by Joe Kelly, gained cult popularity for its unorthodox main character and its balance of angst and pop culture slapstick. The premise had Deadpool, a near invincible, cold-hearted, and merciless gun-for-hire and an insecure and severely scarred man using absurdity and sarcasm to deal with his relationships. He had an in house prisoner/nanny/friend named "Blind Al", a disabled senior citizen who is both Wade's prisoner and confidant. Readers found their relationship endearing and puzzling, though the origin of the relationship was not explained for years. When the series begins, Wade is questioning his cold-blooded behavior, and decides only to take jobs against "bad guys". The original premise of the book also included a popular hang-out spot for mercs called "Hellhouse" with its own odd cast of characters, an often comedic rivalry with a man named T-Ray, and eventually the inclusion of Deuce the Devil Dog, who originally belonged to the Marvel Superhero Daredevil. (Whose book Joe Kelly was also writing at the time.)

Unfortunately, the series began in 1996, around the time that Marvel was undergoing massive financial problems. Within a year, the title's lagging sales brought it to the brink of cancellation. On at least one occasion, Marvel planned to cancel the title but reneged after letter-writing campaign from the comic's' rabid fanbase. Kelly, believing that the title would be cancelled with issue #36, plotted his story arc to conclude at this issue. When he learned that the book was not being cancelled, he decided to leave the book at this point anyway out of frustration with lagging sales and lack of editorial support. Kelly's run on Deadpool was critically acclaimed and he gained a Harvey Award nomination for his Spider-Man satire in the double-sized classic issue #11. After leaving Deadpool, Kelly's writing career took off, and he went on to write for major books such as the X-Men, Superman, and JLA.

At the end of the series (years after Kelly's departure), Deadpool was presumed dead after a run in with the artistocratic (and telepathic) villain known as the Black Swan. The Swan, angered that four simultaneous kills of his had been attributed to Deadpool, infected Deadpool with a virus that would erase his memories and personality, leaving him a blank slate. In the climatic fight, Nijo - the brother of one of the deceased and ally of the Swan - learned that the Swan had been the true killer and was killed by the Swan. Deadpool brought a time bomb with him, which he wouldn't disable without his mind's restoration, a feat the Swan claimed was impossible. When the Swan tried to pry the deactivation code directly from Deadpool's mind as they swordfought in real life, Deadpool forced the knowledge of his life into the Swan's head while knocking his face into a hot fire grill. Then the bomb went off.

Weeks later, a mysterious figure showed up at the apartment of Deadpool's manager, Sandi Brandenburg, who gave him the name Alex Hayden (aka Agent X). Most believed that Hayden was Deadpool, with a case of amnesia. In fact, the truth was more complicated, as shown when the Black Swan showed up with a "tabula rasa" Deadpool in tow (who Hayden immediately shot in the head). It was revealed that "Hayden" was really Nijo's corpse, which had been revived and given Deadpool's healing factor by Swan's out of control mental powers (Swan had also received a copy of the healing factor), and whose mind was created from an amalgam of Deadpool and the Swan. And that Deadpool's personality was growing back (unwittingly accelerated by Hayden's bullet to his head).

In an attempt to regain the parts of his mind he had lost, as well as remove the pieces of their minds he wanted rid of ("You and Wilson have my skills, Mr Hayden. In return, I received a taste for Radiohead and an encyclopediac knowledge of pornographic knock-knock jokes. Yes, I'd like to switch back if possible"), including Nijo's sense of honour, they performed a three-way mind meld, which restored Deadpool (who immediately stabbed the Swan in the back), the Swan, and Hayden. Hayden and Hayden's allies Outlaw and Taskmaster then killed (and stuffed) the Swan when he immediately tried to kill them.

He is currently partnered with former X-Force leader Cable. Recently, Deadpool and Cable got involved with terrorists trying to unleash the shape-shifting Fašade virus upon the world. After both of them getting infected by the virus, the pair had to exchange bodily fluids. As a result of the Fašade in his system, his face was temporarily cured of the hideous scarring. Once Cable shut down all infections of the virus worldwide, however, Deadpool was returned to his usual self. The exchange also resulted in Cable and Deadpool sharing large amounts of DNA, so that whenever Cable uses his teleporter to "bodyslide", both he and Deadpool teleport together -- sometimes literally (a "bodyslide by one" results in them being badly integrated into a single body, forcing a messy separation, which, thanks to the DNA share with Wade, Cable is also able to recover from).

As a final note, Deadpool is one of few Marvel comic books that have broken the "fourth wall" and called attention to its nature as a comic book. This may be due in part that early in the series when Deadpool had dealings with the Norse god Loki, he was told the secret of the universe by the trickster god: "There is a man with a typewriter…". Whereas books like DC's Animal Man and Doom Patrol did so for the purpose of meta-textual analysis and postmodern deconstruction, Deadpool's banter to the reader was always more along the lines of Looney Tunes cartoon styled slapstick. In fact, early on in the series, some ads for the book came with the tag-line "Deadpool: Breaking down the fourth wall, brick by brick!"

At the end of Agent X issue 15, upon coming back from the dead, he wonders if he "still thinks in those little yellow boxes". In the current Cable/Deadpool ongoing series, Deadpool occasionally narrates previous events for the reader, on one occasion mentioning that the book's editor told him that the current reader is the only person who has actually bought the book.

Powers and equipment

Deadpool was given a superhuman rate of regeneration by the Weapon X Project. His rate of healing is not as consistant as that of Wolverine. He can speedily regenerate from major wounds to non-vital areas of the body, and can regenerate damaged cells in his nervous system, as well as lost fingers and hands, but this has only happened when his healing factor is fully functional.

Deadpool's regenerative abilities also provide substantial boosts to his strength, stamina and agility, as well as making him highly resistant, but not immune, to poisons and drugs, including alcohol. Deadpool possesses low level superhuman strength enabling him to lift at least 1 ton.

While his healing factor keeps his cancer at bay, the interaction between the two prevents his cognitive facilities from functioning normally. This is the cause of his oft-scattered mind, and telepathic resistance - in effect, his body is constantly be at war with itself.

Because Deadpool is one of Death's chosen ones, due to a jealous Thanos, he can never die.

Deadpool carries a small arsenal of bladed weapons and firearms, and often wears a personal teleportation device in his belt.

Notes

Liefeld's critics point out the number of similarities between Deadpool and Deathstroke the Terminator, a character created for DC Comics' Teen Titans by George Perez in the 1970s. Both characters' costumes share similar themes, both are mercenaries who use similar weaponry, and (most tellingly) Deathstroke's real name is Slade Wilson, while Deadpool's is Wade Wilson. Deadpool's relationship with Siryn also mirrors Deathstroke's relationship with Terra. Additionally, Deadpool routinely clashes with X-Force, a group of teenage superheroes, which is not unlike Deathstroke clashing with the Teen Titans, a group of teenage superheroes.

It is possible that the inspiration for Deadpool's name came from The Dead Pool, a Dirty Harry movie starring Clint Eastwood. Wade Wilson's own motivation for selecting this nom de guerre stems from his traumatic experience with the Weapon X project, where rejects from the program placed bets in a "dead pool" on who would be the next to die. It also helps that the "dead" prefix has so many possible endings - as an example, in the Deadpool comic series, Wade briefly had command of three other mercenaries, the so-called Deadpool Interns. He quickly discarded whatever monikers they had previously had, and renamed them Deadweight, Deadhead, and Deadend.

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