I’m no hipster, but I knew Deadpool way before he got famous. To think he’d be featured in video games, even starring in his own solo game (!), and movies– that was crazy talk in the 90’s. Of course, his film counterpart was kind of a mess. Talks of a ret-conned spin-off have been in the works for years now. And while I remain slightly hopeful it can break away from development hell, the more I think about it, they’ll never be able to do him justice.
Nothing will ever be able to top Joe Kelly’s “Dead Reckoning” run.
Deadpool’s history is a mess. Wade Wilson was a “failed product” of the Weapon X program (the same program that brought adamantium to Wolverine). He gained(?) a healing factor that helped him beat cancer, but for some reason left him horribly disfigured in the process. He’s an assassin for pay, having a knack for making wisecracks, thus giving him the nickname “The Merc with a Mouth”.
And yeah, he’s funny. Yeah, he’s silly. These days there’s a lot of emphasis on him breaking the fourth wall. But Joe Kelly’s arc gave him so much depth. He didn’t rely on just jokes because, FYI, fundamentally Deadpool is a f’d up character.
Kelly might have something hilarious in one panel, but then Deadpool would do something inexcusable the next– reminding you it’s kind of hard to laugh at a cold-blooded killer. But eventually, Deadpool was given a shot for redemption.
According to a prophecy (because comics), an alien messiah is coming to earth to eliminate all pain and suffering. However, the vision also states there will be an evil, Tiamat, whose mission is to kill this savior. The Mith-ras, the chosen one to protect and ensure the messiah can save the earth is… Deadpool.
He dismisses the idea immediately, but it sparks a change.
The more missions he takes, the more he realizes he’s unfulfilled. He’s missing something. Even the people he interacts with notice something’s off. He starts doing more of the right thing– and is it because that whole Mith-ras idea was implanted? Was the good in there all along?
He starts to take joy in the fact that he has a higher calling. He has a chance to make something of himself.
Not everybody’s on board though. One opposition being Cable (the future child of Cyclops and Jean Grey sent from the future– because comics)! He’s pretty staunch that this “new” Deadpool is still the same ol’, but Wade adamantly protests:
And in the course of the conversation, you find out how much Deadpool’s mulled this “hero” thing over. As much as Cable wants to criticize him, Wade’s already beat him to the punch.
Even in his moment of higher calling, Deadpool has to do what he always does… kill. In response, Cable spews one of the best lines I’ve ever read in a comic:
As if that wasn’t enough philosophy for my 15 year old mind, the showdown with Tiamat goes horribly. Deadpool gets his ass handed to him, leaving him but a miserable pile.
For some reason, high school’s a time where it’s really important for you to find your place. Where do you belong? What identity do you set for yourself? Being oblivious, of course, to the fact that you can continually change it down the line.
You know what’s a hard fact of life? Dropping the ball. You know what’s a harder pill to swallow? Dropping the ball when it’s supposed to be your moment to shine.
Naturally, I’ve never felt the pressure Deadpool felt in that moment [note to self: I never will]. But, there were times when I felt like I had it. So when he completely botched his “true purpose in life”, it was all too easy to relate.
And the amazing thing was, he recovered:
And he’s able to laugh and wisecrack again.
That should be inspiration enough, but no! In a huge plot twist, the alien messiah turns out to be a sham. He doesn’t want to bring world peace. He wants to take away free will.
Can this be true? How is he supposed to decide for the rest of the world they really do want free will over peace? After fighting a brain-washed Captain America and kicking him in the nads (because comics!), Deadpool flies off confront the messiah.
“How can you be sure this is the right thing?”
Those words will stick with me forever.